Showing posts from August, 2007

the full moon






Pink Bangles

Sagarika Ghose writes about the achievements and struggles that Indian women face 60 years after Independence.

Today women's empowerment is a government slogan, it is the universal feature of every party manifesto. The officialising of the Indian women's movement has meant that society has been left to find its own definition of freedom. For millions of Indian women, it's not a talented woman like Kiran Bedi or even a professional politician like Pratibha Patil who is a role model. Instead, it's the heavily made- up and bejewelled, husband-centred glamorous figures of the soap operas, with their hair full of sindoor and their minds full of domestic politics, who are figures to be emulated. In urban India, across income groups, when it comes to individual freedom—as opposed to the collective freedom of equal opportunities in education and at work—that freedom is often defined as simply the freedom to be constantly sexy. The Indian woman is so sexy and beautiful that she&…

Chak de India

This movie rocked. I loved everything about it. It reminded me of Bend it like Beckham and Lagaan. It was very empowering for girls and women.

Canada bans Neem Toothpaste

Neem toothpaste is dangerous to ingest.
Canadian health authorities have issued a second warning on the use of a toothpaste made in India. From Health Canada's Aug. 24 advisory (reproduced in full below, along with the original July 26 warning about an ingredient also found in antifreeze):

Further to the Health Canada warning issued July 26, 2007, further testing on Neem Active Toothpaste with Calcium, manufactured by Calcutta Chemical Co. Ltd in India, has revealed that in addition to unacceptable levels of diethylene glycol (DEG), the product also contains high levels of harmful bacteria. This poses additional significant health risks, especially to children and individuals with compromised immune systems.

Health Canada continues to advise Canadians to discontinue use of this product. Potential adverse effects of ingesting products that contain unacceptable levels of harmful bacteria include fever, urinary tract infection, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea a…

Baby Books

Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers, illustrations by Marla FrazeeThis is a wonderful book with infants holding center stage from different shapes of babies, to the seasons that they are born in. Also where all they get kissed, to how they get dressed. To their feeding, rocking, carrying and to the noises they make, the toys they play with and to the friends they make and to them crawling and finally walking. The book has adorable illustrations.

Moo, Baa, La La La! By Sandra Boynton this book deals with different animals sounds, with wonderful illustrations.

Animal Crackers Nursery Rhymes by Jane Dyer –This book has some old favourite nursery rhymes like Hey, Diddle Diddle, 1,2 Buckle my shoe, Baa, Baa Black Sheep and Polly Put the Kettle on. It seems definitely to have an English touch to it. The cover seems to have humpty dumpty, but not its matching nursery rhyme in the book.

Look By Kyra Teis- this book is a true visual delight, with a lot of bright colors, and different shapes and siz…

No End in Sight

powerful documentary exposes the Bush administration's lack of a plan to rebuild Iraq. If there is one movie you need to see on the reasons for the U.S. quagmire
in Iraq, this is it.

Wrenching account of U.S. errors in Iraq
By Carrie Rickey
Inquirer Movie Critic

'We used to joke that there were 500 ways to do it wrong," says Barbara Bodine,
American diplomat and former coordinator for central Iraq, of how the
United States could rebuild the Middle Eastern nation after the fall of
Saddam Hussein. "And only two or three ways to do it right."

No End in Sight, Charles Ferguson's lucid, concise and devastating account
of what went wrong in Iraq, patiently counts those 500 ways.

The result is a heartbreaking, soul-searching chronicle of how America
snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in a nation where outraged
citizens look into Ferguson's camera and testify, "Saddam was awful,
but the Americans are worse!"

Muqtada al-Sadr, shown in newsreel footage inciti…

Playpen Time


Mira's Rakhi Brothers...


Women’s Words

Ms magazine writes about Fatima Sadiqi.

UNTIL 2007, MOROCCAN women who married foreigners could not pass citizenship to their children—who had to apply, year after year, for residence permits to live in their own country. Finally, after decades of feminist protest, parliament has guaranteed paternal and maternal equality in determining nationality.

The new citizenship law follows the 2004 Moudawana (Family Law), which entitles women to a range of civil rights. The minimum marriage age was raised from 15 to 18; women may now wed without the consent of a male wali (marital tutor); polygamy is restricted to cases in which wives, including the new bride, consent by written contracts approved by a judge; and men may no longer unilaterally “repudiate”—divorce—their wives without compensation.

One feminist responsible for such rights is Fatima Sadiqi, a Moroccan- Berber professor at the University of Fes and a linguist specializing in how women and men use language in Morocco. She found that Be…

America's Wildly Overblown Vick Hysteria

Alternet puts the Michael Vick story in perspective.

Countless numbers of pro football players have committed rape, physical assaults and armed robberies. They have been inveterate spouse and girlfriend abusers, and have even been accused of a double murder (no not O.J., more on him later). Yet none of them have ever had an airplane fly over their training camp with a banner that read abuser, killer, robber, assailant or thug. None have ever been taunted, jeered and harangued by packs of sign-waving demonstrators screaming for their blood when they showed up at the courthouse. None of them have ever brought the wrath of the entire sports world -- sportswriters, fans, league officials, advertisers, sports talk jocks and bloggers down on their heads. None have ever had senators, congresspersons and packs of advocacy groups publicly demand that they be drummed out of their profession.

India's neighbours in the news

Pakistan is dealing with the the possible return of former Prime Minister's Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto.

Both exiled ex-PMs Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif will be back in Pakistan by October and running for re-re-re-election in December. And that, gentle readers, couldn’t be better news - the election, ie, not Bhutto or Sharif in power again! But as I have said many times, let the people choose.

What does it all mean? In terms of internal politics of Pakistan, this is tremendous news for the resurgent democratic movement in Pakistan. The full participation of the many political parties - including the Bhuttos and Sharifs - will guarantee that Pakistan start recovering from the despotic military regime. However, that is easier said than done. The military, under Musharraf, has become the largest land-owning, asset-controlling entity in Pakistan with ex- and current military officials serving across the civil and social landscape. How can that military be coaxed “back into the ba…

Qurratulain Hyder

C M Naim writes about Ms. Hyder here.

Only a few days back, to mark the 60 years of Independence, when we asked an eminent jury to pick out 60 Great Indians in 60 years of our Republic, the name of Qurratulain Hyder was introduced prominently as Urdu's Marquez."Through her novels and short stories, this prolific writer gave Urdu fiction a brave and endlessly inventive new voice," we wrote, and quoted the London Times: "Her magnum opus, Aag Ka Darya (River of Fire), is to Urdu fiction what A Hundred Years of Solitude is to Hispanic literature.

[She is] one of the world's major living writers."

But, alas, no more.

For, Qurratulain Hyder breathed her last in a Noida hospital after a prolonged illness at 2:30 a.m this morning. She was awarded the Jnanpith in 1989 for her novel Aakhir-e-Shab ke Hamsafar (Travellers Unto the Night), the Sahitya Akademi award in 1967, the Soviet Land Nehru Award in 1969 and Ghalib Award in 1985, and had been honoured with the Padma…

sleep time


cousins Brandon and Mira


emmy blowing her bday candle




simon and brandon








a family








protecting the eggs

The statues depict their African creators traditional close bond to nature and the environment.

Mother and children

The artists have handcarved these sculptures from opal stone, cobalt and springstone.


This was a very interesting sculptural exhibit on the lawns of the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis.