Immortal.

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I think it was Camille who originally alerted us to the horrific discovery of a baby in Bombay, who had been stabbed almost to death, before being thrown in the garbage.

A newborn Indian baby found abandoned with 26 stab wounds has survived, doctors said on Wednesday, despite a cracked skull and exposed intestines.
The baby boy, who doctors said was aged between one and two days, was discovered soaked in blood at a garbage dump in India’s financial capital of Mumbai on Tuesday, they said.
His intestines were hanging out from a deep wound on his back and he had dirt and garbage stuck on him.
“When he was brought in he looked pale from blood loss,” said Ramesh Hatti, a doctor at a city hospital.
He is still in a lot of pain but is now stable.”
Police have not been able to trace the baby’s parents or establish a reason for the attack.
Babies are sometimes abandoned by unwed Indian mothers, who fear severe social repercussions for having a child out of wedlock. [CNN]

Today, another tipster emailed us an update– via The Mumbai Mirror:

The good news is that the infant is doing well…Dr Oak said he has been taken off the ventilator. “He is able to breathe on his own but he is too young and vulnerable to infection. So, we may keep him in the ICU for a few days,” he said.
The phone has been ringing off the hook, at the hospital.
Many callers were eager to adopt the little one. A woman called up the Mumbai Mirror office and said, “How can I adopt the baby? What is the procedure. How can I help this child?”
According to Madhuri Mhatre, a social worker with an adoption agency called Bal Anand, “Adoption takes a lot of time because we have to be sure that the child goes into a good family. We check the legal, financial and domestic background of all prospective parents.”
In any case, doctors said, it is too early to speak of adoption.

This tiny little fighter is so lucky, so fierce:

A milkman saw the bleeding child in a garbage dump outside Lokhandwala complex at Kandivli (W) on Tuesday morning. He rushed the baby to Bhagwati hospital in Borivli. But since Bhagwati was not equipped to take care of the injured infant, he was sent to B Y L Nair Hospital. Doctors carried out a two-hour operation on Tuesday night to close the wounds and replace lost blood. He was then put on a ventilator.

I get chills every time I read that. How many times did this child slip through death’s fingers…

The state government plans to inquire about the miracle baby now recuperating in B Y L Nair Hospital…
Since government-run children’s homes do not often handle newborns, the department will contact NGOs who have the expertise to do so.
“At the same time, I have instructed my officials to check out if the government-run children’s homes in Mumbai and Pune have the facilities to take care of the baby,” said Dr Singh, who is unhappy about too much publicity being given to the baby’s wounds.

Wait, why?

He says such images can cause distress among citizens.

Oh, boo-hoo. There can’t be enough publicity, if it inspires much-necessary outrage and reasserts the power of shame. The elderly and the newly-born are not garbage, to be disposed of when inconvenient. Continue reading

Sepia Mutiny Eastside / Westside Road Tour

It’s been way too long since we’ve done meetups in two of the most desi-licious cities in the US. So, mutineer A N N A and I have joined forces to coordinate our travel scheds and bring you the Sepia Mutiny Summer Road Tour – a back to back meetups in NYC & SF.

The following dates & places are still tentative but we wanted to pass y’all the heads up ASAP –

Saturday, August 18 New York City

5pm – ???

Verlaine

110 Rivington St
(b/t Essex & Ludlow)
(212) 614-2494

Special Bonus – this meetup will be co-sponsored by our good friends at Ultrabrown.

[The last NYC meetup? - back in Nov '06!]

Sunday, August 26 San Francisco

3pm — ???

Café Greco
(A N N A’s favorite!)

423 Columbus Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 397-6261

[Last one in SF? Sept '06]

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p>You’d better believe that we’ll do our part to Help Vinay & Sameer at the meetups. Special prizes to anyone else who manages to attend both meetups. And, as usual, we’ll do our best to document the depravity in our flickr group.

Continue reading

Once Upon a Time… [UPDATED!]

…in a land not-at-all far away, there was a divisive issue that was almost as annoying as Paris Hilton– and just as ubiquitous, too.

According to the SAJAforum blog, yesterday, there was another cartoon on outsourcing (shocking! original! unexpected!).

This time, it’s Mother Goose & Grimm who are having their say. Well, more like Grimmy and Attila, but you know what I meant.

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Do you think it’s funny?

Better yet, does anyone feel like getting creative the way our beloved DJ Drrrty Poonjabi did with the last cartoon I blogged about on this “hot topic”?

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w00t Nina! Thanks for the prompt “revision”. :D


MotherGooseRedo.jpg

…that’s much better. Anyone else? Continue reading

More FREE fun for the People– in Berkeley

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Via my Auntie Valsa’s kid, Jasmin, over at ASATA, news of an upcoming free M.I.A. show at Amoeba Records in Berkeley, this Saturday at 2pm.

I “hella” thought those of you in the yay area who have reconciled your inner turmoil regarding her connection with/representation of/grahpic allusions to the LTTE might want to know. Me? I’m still conflicted, so I’ll keep humming

Let you be superior
I’m flithy with the fury ya

…it’s easy being morally inferior when there’s such a sick soundtrack to feel shame to. I keed, I keed. Continue reading

“Trashed” Grandmother Passes Away.

A heart-breaking update to my previous post, “On Respect for our Elders“:

A SICK 75-year-old grandmother who was thrown in the garbage by her relatives in India last week has died, officials say.
Chinnammal Palaniappan, died on Sunday in a home for elderly people where she was taken after being rescued from the garbage dump in Erode town, 400km from Chennai, capital of southern Tamil Nadu state.
Palaniappan had told her rescuers that on July 19 she was taken from her home by her grandsons and on waking up found herself among a heap of rotting garbage.
“She was improving after she was fed and given necessary medicines in the facility but on Sunday evening she developed breathing problems and died,” an official said.

Thanks for posting this to the news tab, Anonymous. At least she’s finally at peace.

If anyone hears news regarding the worthless family who did this despicable deed, please let us know. I can’t be the only one who is interested in their fate, and how the TN government proceeds with this tragic case. Continue reading

Natasha is so twee! [Updated]

I heart Bat For Lashes, which is half-brown. ;) Like the blog I am currently so addicted to, I have a massive girl-crush on Natasha Khan. This is complicated, and not just because I’m straight; it means that even though I also have ole voice of the beehive on my iPod, I’m totally going to be a bitch to her, since she is also up for a Mercury Prize, and I want my Natasha to win (no, not because she’s desi, because she rules):

Kind of like how Chan Marshall is Cat Power, Natasha Kahn is Bat for Lashes, a British singer/songwriter and visual artist whose album Fur and Gold made the short list for the 2007 Mercury Prize (but will most likely lose to Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black). Kahn is beginning to make waves on this side of the pond. She’s touring the U.S. right now with her all-girl live show lineup. [Jezebel]

The line about squash in her bio keeps summoning “The Royal Tenenbaums” to my memory, I’m random like that:

Bat for Lashes is the stage name of Natasha Khan (born 25 October 1979), a Brighton-based songwriter.
Born to a Pakistani father, part of the eminent family of squash-playing Khans, and an English mother, her early childhood was spent travelling the world following her father who trained the Pakistani squash team, summers in Pakistan, and the rest of the time in Hertfordshire[1][2]. She had a strict religious upbringing until her parents separated, when she was eleven years old. [viki]

Her next four Amreekan shows are in Chicago, Minneapolis, SF and LA. Sigh. Why couldn’t she come to Hollywood for ugly people? Oh, and FYI, she is SO not a creepy Lily Allen. That is like, sooo mean.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go cry, which is what I always do after watching this video, but only because it reminds me of my beloved BMX, which got stolen when I was seven. That and those stuffed animal heads haunt my nightmares. Continue reading

Pak Attack

This has been forwarded to me ~15 times and you are all right, it’s some seriously funny shiznit. “Yo Momma” is an MTV series that looks for the best trash talkers around the country. I watched last season end to end (ah, the miracle of Tivo) and it was ridiculously good. This time around, the show’s been infiltrated by a desi dude who’s donned the character “Pak Attack” and if he can keep the gimmick going, he’s actually got what it takes to go all the way & win the show.

You smell so bad that people would rather sit next to me on an airplane…

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p>In this clip over at MTV.com, he DESTROYS his yo momma competitor, Osa. Set aside ~10 min of your life to watch a Russell Peters worthy performance. Except, of course, there’s a much higher improv quotient here & Pak’s strictly amateur. (His myspace page indicates that in real life, he’s probably a GeorgiaTech engineer. )

Now I’ll warn you, gentle mutineers, that there’s a certain brand of humor you’ve gotta be ready to accept on any show called “Yo Momma”… with that caveat in mind, a couple of Pak’s laugh lines –

“It is true, it is true, I work at 7-11, but just like my store, yo momma’s legs are open 24-7″

“The only difference between my camel and your momma, my camel spits”

Social commentary?

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Congrats, Aarti!

The Hill has more beautiful people for us, 40 more, in fact. The first one caught tipster DTK’s attention (thanks!).

Aarti Nayak, scheduler for Rep. Julia Carson (D-Ind.), doesn’t like skiing one bit, but that’s where she met her husband, Dave — on the slopes.
“He had a little blond girlfriend at the time,” she says with a wry smile. But when Nayak came into the picture, well, the blond was history. They have been married since September. She hopes to have kids.

Aarti Hill.PNG Considering today’s hot comment threads/topics, it seems appropriate to wonder what kind of wedding they had?

Was it meant to be? Nayak reads astrological signs, although she’s not a fervent believer.
During college at Virginia Tech, she and a friend wrote blurbs on astrological signs for the Eccentric, a student newspaper — they were called the “psychic sisters.”
At any rate, she doesn’t look one bit “psychic.”

What the H-E-double-toothpicks does a “psychic” look like? Enough with this paranormal profiling!

The first-generation American from an Indian family twirls her dark, curly hair, which her friends have compared to singer-model Toni Braxton’s locks.

Let me channel “chip-on-her-shoulder-Auntie“: “Vy they had to compare her to Toni Braxton? Minnie Driver also has such hair! Harrumph! Racist!” ;)

But makeup is not very important to her.
“I don’t care anymore,” she explains.

Even about lipgloss?? Say it isn’t so, my sweet sister…perhaps you just need some Hindu lips.

When it comes to beauty, Nayak is gently scornful of contests and pageants. She said one of their past interns participated in pageants and waved the Miss America wave.
“Who are these girls anyway?” she asks skeptically.

Oh, and as for her auspicious placement at the top of the list:

Other than the Top 10 , the rest of these beautiful people are not ranked in any specific order.

Suuuuuuuuuure they aren’t. Continue reading

It’s a nice day for a white (brown) wedding

Apologies to Billy Idol, but a recent article in the Washington Post about local weddings has me thinking in the abstract (I’m as far from the lavan as I have ever been) about wedding customs and how they change.

The article makes a number of interesting points. It starts by describing how non-desis have discovered the business opportunities involved in brown weddings, such as Sue Harmon who has two white mares specially reserved for baraat duty, or Foxchase Manor which has learned how to handle the havan without setting off all the fire alarms:

“The normal instinct is to blow out the fire when you’re done … But that creates this huge puff of smoke that’s actually much bigger than when the fire is lit. So the key is to keep the fire in a portable container, and then when you’re done, you carry it outside and close all the doors before blowing it out.” With an average of 80 South Asian weddings a year, the staff has had ample opportunity to perfect the technique, he added. [Link]

Still more interesting to me was a story of how other “ethnic” couples have adapted some aspects of desi ceremonies:

Why wear white?

South Asian vendors, meanwhile, are increasingly hearing from non-South Asian couples who want to borrow their customs. Caucasian couples who came across photos of Sood’s creations … have asked her to decorate their weddings in the same shades of maroon and gold. She’s even draped a mandap — the wedding canopy — with kente cloth for an African couple… [Link]

But the bit that really caught my attention was about how ABDs are wanting to have hybrid wedding ceremonies that incorporate aspects of the white weddings they grew up watching on television:

Perhaps most radical, however, is the growing use of whites and ivories in the decorations. “In Indian culture, white signifies mourning,” she said. “It used to be such a taboo for weddings. But now so many brides are demanding it.”

Priti Loungani-Malhotra, 32, a dressmaker based in Arlington County, has even designed a white version of the classic Indian wedding gown, with a mermaid-shaped lengha, or skirt, that would do Vera Wang proud. [Link]

I always thought precisely those two aspects of western weddings – the procession down the isle and the white dress / black tux were boring and dull compared to the circumambulation of holy objects (at least in some desi weddings) and bright red wedding garments. I know I’m a guy, and the long walk down the isle brings attention to the bride, but I just never liked it. For one thing, I don’t like the parts of either culture that view a woman as something to be given from one man (the father) to another (the husband).

How many of you would (or did) seize control of your wedding from your parents and create a wedding ceremony that incorporated aspects of both cultures? Are you all more enamoured of white wedding customs than I am?

Continue reading

Behold: Toronto’s Swaminarayan Mandir

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Click to enlarge.

Several of you have written to us regarding the grand opening of Canada’s Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (that was fun to type!). The pictures, which you can view in a slideshow here, are gorgeous. Were any Canadian mutineers there on July 22? If so, please let us know, below.

After 18 months of construction and millions in fundraising efforts, a one-of-a-kind Hindu temple opened Sunday in Toronto.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper was on-hand to celebrate the official unveiling of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir.
Harper said the $40 million architectural marvel represents India’s and Canada’s embracement of spiritual and ethnic pluralism.
“Canada’s accommodation of diversity is not without precedent,” Harper said, addressing a large crowd.
There have been forerunners — and of these perhaps none is as note-worthy as India.”
Located at Hwy 427 and Finch Avenue in north-west Toronto, the temple is an architectural masterpiece. Built with Turkish limestone and Italian marble, the temple was built by artisans armed with chisels, hammers and ancient Hindu doctrine outlining how a holy place should be constructed. [CTV.ca]

By the numbers:

-24,000: the number of pieces sculpted in India, marked with a barcode and then reassembled to create the mandir.

-July 22, 2007: official opening

-$40 million: cost of construction, majority of which came from the community

-400: the number of volunteers who devoted their time to such an awesome project.

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As giddy as such architectural perfection makes me, my inner %$#@< is wondering if Dubya would have made like Harper, had this mandir been constructed somewhere in this great nation… Continue reading