but if getting naked is *necessary*, well, THAT’s different.

i have no clue who bengali actress Monalisa is, but she definitely has my attention (and the attention of many of our Stuff-appreciating, red-blooded, male readers after THIS post, i’m sure):

“I know what people want from us. Although bikinis have become progressively smaller and girls have been flaunting their bare legs on screen, it’s just not enough. I think the Indian audience now wants to see actresses do topless scenes. They want full value for the money they spend,” she says.
Monalisa, who pairs up with item girl Payal Rohatgi in the sex comedy Tauba Tauba, is willing to oblige. According to the bindaas babe: “If I have an attractive figure, why should I have problems showing it off? To be honest I have no qualms about uncovering the upper half of my body, but the requirement of the story should be such.”
A breast-baring performance, insists Monalisa, has logic of its own. “Unnecessarily shedding your clothes just amounts to obscenity.”

um. wow. so many thoughts, so few of them printable. ;) i kid.

i’m torn:

-part of me wants to support her, if that’s what she wants, since i’m not one to talk about modesty;)

-part of me would be saddened if indian film became as crassly lame and over-sexed as the rest of the world’s, i.e. amreeka’s

-part of me can’t BELIEVE that she said what i “bolded”. indian audiences want value, and that means getting nekkid? eep. :o

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law and order-in-the-temple

it is an issue of the separation of mandir and state. i think. read on:

A Hindu temple in Flushing, Queens, has shot into prominence with its trustees asking for an injunction on a state court order that asks the temple to conduct elections and have proper audits.
Attorneys for the Ganesh temple, the oldest Hindu temple in North America, citing the principle of the separation of religion and state, asked a federal judge on August 26 to place an injunction on the state Supreme Court order.
When the case came up for hearing at a Brooklyn court it was packed with Indian Americans, some of them with sandalwood and ash marks on their forehead, many of the women in saris, eliciting curious glances from visitors to the federal court.
…The matter, which was only a local and community issue in Queens, gained national prominence after the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty took up the case.

via HindustanTimes.com

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Gurinder Chadha on Her “Bride and Prejudice”

Gurinder Chadha, director as everyone should now know of Bend it Like Beckham and the forthcoming Bride and Prejudice spoke to recently spoke to rediff.com about her recently completed film.

How would you define Bride And Prejudice? It is a British film made by British finance, obviously because I am British. But it is a homage to Hindi cinema and to Hollywood musicals. My friends in the West, who have seen it, have compared it to Grease. They don’t know the musical references from Hindi films. There are very deliberate references to the cinema of Manoj Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Yash Chopra and Karan Johar. Do you think post-Bend It, Bride And Prejudice might be over-sold to the public? I don’t think so. I know audiences will go to the theatres with a lot of expectations. But they will enjoy it. I don’t think it will be a huge 100-week ‘House Full’ film in India because it’s in English…What I hope to do with Bride And Prejudice is make the Hindi language familiar to the world. After all, Bollywood is much bigger than Hollywood. Hopefully, it will work both ways. It will spur Westerners to watch more Hindi movies and also inspire Bollywood filmmakers towards better narratives.

Click here to read the full interview.

The film opens in India and the UK on October 8th, and during the very busy Christmas movie season in the states.

Incidentally, it is quite amazing to flip on my cable, and in one channel sweep find Monsoon Wedding on IFC, Bend it Like Beckham on HBO, and commercials for Mira Nair’s forthcoming Vanity Fair throughout. From eating chilled monkey brains and snake surprise to this. How far Desis have come! Continue reading

Sigma “nice-Beta” Rho

UGA (the University of Georgia) has a new frat on the block as reported by their school newspaper, The Red and Black:

“We were trying to find something that fits our needs — not the stereotypical frat…a place to be accepted,” said Vinay Matai, president of Sigma Beta Rho and a senior from Greenville, S.C.

“(The fraternity) focuses on social aspects and philanthropy,” he said. “We want to give back to the community.”

Matai founded the University chapter in May along with seven other students.

But I personally was wondering why you need a brown fraternity when there is potentially an Indian or South Asian Students Association on campus that might be able to do some of the same activities? My question was answered as I scrolled down: Continue reading

I am calling you from “The Washington DC of Virginia”

Are the Republicans outsourcing their campaign to Banaglore, India? From The Telegraph:

Stung by leaks that Republicans are outsourcing their election campaign work to India, the Republican National Committee (RNC), the partyÂ’s highest policy-making body, recently filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against one of its own outfits for raising money by using Indian telemarketers.

The complaint alleged that fund-raising telephone calls from India on behalf of an organisation called the Republican Victory Committee “prompted false, widespread rumours that the RNC was outsourcing its donor phone calls to India.”

Okay, who let the cat out of the bag in the first place though?

The Texas outfit may have actually got away with its outsourcing exercise if it had not been for the poor training given to Indian telemarketers who handled the job. Sources here said the India-based operation was exposed when one American who received a fund-raising phone call on behalf of the Republican Victory Committee wanted to know where the call was coming from.

The Washington DC of Virginia,” the caller answered. Washington, the US capital, is actually in DC, short for District of Columbia, and Virginia is its neighbouring state.

The answer, which misrepresented American geography, triggered a series of actions which eventually led to the RNCÂ’s complaint with the Federal Election Commission.

Aren’t the Republicans firmly behind outsourcing though?

“Great Indian Excuses”

Vicious OpEd in Rediff -The Great Indian Excuses resurface.

If Anjali Bhagwat had stiff muscles, K M Binu ran with the wrong spikes, Karnam Malleswari suffered a last-minute back problem, and Suma Shirur was done in by a mental block!

The exceptions were heptathlete J J Shobha, who braved excruciating pain to finish the event in eleventh place, and tennis stars Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes.

There seems to be no end to the excuses given by Indian athletes for their shoddy performances at yet another Olympiad that ended last night in Athens.

Whether these were genuine reasons for their failure, only the athletes can tell. But one thing is for sure. They have got readymade excuses for every failure and it appears to come to them naturally.

New Sikh Temple in San Jose

While Manish reports on the celebrations @ Amritsar, in local news, the Bay Area Sikh’s have opened the nation’s largest Gurdwara in San Jose – MercuryNews.com | 08/28/2004 | Gurdwara facts

The new San Jose gurdwara will be the largest and most expensive in the country. The Bay Area is home to four other Sikh temples, in Hayward, Pittsburg, El Sobrante and Fremont. Fremont’s temple, built in 1991 for $1.8 million, had been the nation’s largest. The San Jose gurdwara: Cost $10 million, which was collected over 10 years. Was paid for with $6.75 million from the sale of its former home on Quimby Road, and $4.36 million from individual loans and donations from the Sikh community. Encompasses three buildings that total 20,000 square feet on 40 acres in the Evergreen district.

When planned, the Gurdwara raised some controversy -

Plans for the 40-acre property sparked controversy when Sikhs first unveiled their goal to move from the old temple on Quimby Road. A vocal minority of neighbors feared there would be traffic and noise headaches and criticized the magnitude of the project, which was scaled back to meet some of the concerns. Public hearings in San Jose lasted late into the night and at times erupted into name-calling. Protesters carried signs reading “No Sikh Jose.”

But all’s well that ends well -

“I’m very emotional,” said Amrit Singh Sachdev, 49, a computer engineer. “This is bringing back memories for me, when the whole street shuts down, just like in India.” The ceremony, which drew about 7,000 guests, signified a happy chapter in a rocky journey that began in the early 1990s.

Whole streets shut down like in India? Well, I suppose there’s always a temple opening up somewhere….

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Sikhs mark 400th anniversary at Golden Temple

On Sep. 1, Sikhs will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the day their holy book was first brought to their most sacred site. In 1604, Guru Arjan Dev carried the Guru Granth Sahib into the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab. The book is accorded such respect that a prayer is spoken before the book is closed, and it’s swaddled in fine cloth and carried on the head.

India’s prime minister, Manmohan Singh, the first Sikh to hold that post, will preside over the 4 million-strong celebration. In a nod to modernity, Amritsar will host a laser show, very apropos since the inventor of fiber optics is a Sikh.

Every celebration has its inevitable drama. Due to tensions dating back to Indira Gandhi’s reign, Gandhi’s daughter-in-law Sonia Gandhi was not invited to the celebration. And a family which holds an even older copy of the holy book has yet to agree to put its copy on display:

The precious manuscript is kept in a 900-kg iron vault built by a German engineer. Though the family claims that the National Archives has preserved the pages, scholars are sceptic. Says Dhillon, “The preservation was done sometime in the 1960s by an outdated method. Nowadays the accepted practice to preserve such manuscripts is to get them microfilmed and as far as I know this has not been done.”

Nonetheless, Amritsar is being newly repainted, the temple walkways are getting new carpeting, and pilgrims are arriving by the trainload in anticipation of celebration.

girl, unwanted.

baby shalini.jpg after an operation failed to “tie” his wife’s fallopian tubes, Chhagan Singh Rathod of Rajasthan says he will kill his youngest daughter, Shalini, age 3, since he “cannot afford to support” her.

Mr Rathod has filed a case against the doctors in the state’s High Court and wants compensation from the hospital, which denies wrongdoing.
He recently sent an e-mail to Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, saying that if something was not done about his case soon he would kill Shalini – although he later withdrew the threat.
…The child in the middle of all the fuss, Shalini, is oblivious to the controversy surrounding her birth and continues to live happily in her own world.
Her father is still waiting to hear from the chief minister.

Tabla music never sounded this good

tinasugandh.jpg
Stuff Magazine has an incredibly insightful and in-depth feature on the brilliant tabla player Tina Sugandh. Oh who the F@%k am I kidding? Its a fluff piece (and most of it is insulting) but I needed SOME excuse to post this picture.

STUFF: I read that one of your musical influences is White Zombie. What part of their album Make Them Die Slowly do you most identify with?
TINA: Can I just tell you that I grew up in a heavy-metal band doing covers? My claim to fame was that I could play all the major Metallica songs. I hung out with not the greatest crowd. On prom night, everybody was on acid, but I just had a couple of beers. I grew up on Pantera and Skid Row.

I can’t BELIEVE they go here however:

STUFF: Are you well versed in the Kama Sutra?
TINA:When IÂ’m married! You donÂ’t get into that stuff till youÂ’re married.

STUFF: So, are you what Britney Spears once claimed to be?
TINA:I didnÂ’t say that, either. The Kama Sutra is about trying different things, and I just believe that if you want to go all crazy, thereÂ’s no one better to do it with than your husband. ItÂ’s a belief thing, and people have different beliefs.

I can’t beleive she even answered that question. Still, the fact that she is single gives my life hope.