Pulchritudinous Padma produces a pretty penne!

Ah, a post in which I celebrate my beloved Padma’s miracle baby with a wholly apposite indulgence in that ever-so Malayalee pastime: alliteration. Well, in the title, at least. :) More on “titles”, in a minute.

Padma step and repeat.jpg

Unto us, a daughter is given. Krishna Thea Lakshmi was born on Saturday and according to Mama’s spokesperson, “Mother and baby are well and happy.” Congratulations, Padma! No, there is still no word on who the Father is, and to those who are consumed with knowing, I can’t help but ask a futile question, “WHY DO YOU CARE?” Yes, I know she is a public figure and nosiness is to be expected. I am also aware that I’m way biased in her favor, but I’m not defending her right to keep Mum (ha!) because of my proclivity to adore her. Even if she’s a celebrity, I believe in her right to keep certain things for and to herself. You want to know who made that dress she rocked in front of the Step and Repeat (see: picture to the right)? Totally understandable. You want to know whose baby juice was up in her plumbing? WHY? Ugh.

Now about those “titles”…in my preparation for the production of this post, I saw plenty of them, most of which were innocuous, if not eye roll-inducing or superficial:

“Padma Lakshmi Welcomes Miracle Baby Girl!” [E!]

“The Bun Is Out of Padma’s Oven!” [Not the New Yorker, the other one]

“Padma Lakshmi Has a Daughter, Ensuring That There Will Be Hot Chefs in the Future” [Celebuzz]

And then, there was the inevitable lameness:

“Hairy Krishna! Padma Bestows Baby Girl Upon the World” [Village Voice]

Really, Village Voice? The child is two days old. I’m sure she, like thousands of other babies is covered in lanugo. I get that you were attempting to be clever but why go there in your attempt to reference Hare Krishnas (I think that’s what you were trying to do?). Maybe my kundi is especially chapped because brown girls have enough follicular drama at (or even before) puberty with which to contend; I’d hope that newborns might be spared from such insults. Think I’m overreacting? Endure a bikini wax and then get back to me. “Hairy” is not to be bandied about lightly, damn it. But the wit continues:> This past Saturday night, as the earth continued its inexorable turn around its axis, Padma Lakshmi brought forth a baby girl named Krishna into the world. Like her mother, the infant is also named after a Hindu deity (although Krishna is a god, not a goddess): Undoubtedly, she will also attract plenty of worship from paparazzi and Top Chef acolytes alike. [Village Voice]

Yes, Krishna is a God and not a Goddess. Sofa king what? As far as I know, the name is unisex; I’ve met people of both genders called Krishna. Just to be sure I wasn’t high all of those times, I asked as much on Twitter and several of you confirmed it (thanks, Renu, Sid, Naresh and Funkaoshi!). One of SM’s first readers even enlightened me with this tweet:

I would spell it with two a’s at the end. but Krishnaa is the true name of Draupadi, Queen of the Pandavas, in the Mahabharat [link]

Drunk off the power of twitter and the satisfaction derived from instant answers, I asked another question: “Is (naming a girl Krishna) a regional thing, i.e. more likely in South?”. I heard from several mutineers who said that it’s common in the North, especially among Gujaratis. I was puzzled. Padma had said that she would be choosing a Sanskrit name for her child and that the baby would be named after a family member. I thought her peeps were Tamil, Malayalee or both? Before a wrinkle could crease my brow, via magical twitter, again, the answer; “It’s a Southie/Kerala/Pallakad thing”. Brava. May baby Krishna Thea be blessed with such smart and helpful cousin-sisters and brothers as I have been (yeah, I think of you as family. Enjoy a warm fuzzy, on me).

75 thoughts on “Pulchritudinous Padma produces a pretty penne!

  1. Padma Lakshmi looks like she could be from Somalia or Ethiopia.

    So much for the claim that brahmins are from europe ;)

    She does look lighter than almost all of the indians I have seen. In real life not pictures.

  2. @31:

    I wish Indians could come out of South/North/East/West/Maharthi/Hindi/Bla…bla streotypes.

    Your wish will come true sooner than you realize. and then what? One’s pride in identity will be replaced by the materiallistic mantra, ” I consume”.

  3. Your wish will come true sooner than you realize. and then what? One’s pride in identity will be replaced by the materiallistic mantra, ” I consume”.

    I think it would be more like: “Braaaaaaaaains! Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaains!”

  4. it just doesnt make sense that she publicly advertize for burgers and talk about how shes a brahmin in every other TV appearence.

    from what i’ve read,she talks about being brahmin as a reference to the type of environment in which she grew up. but otherwise, she never mentions actively practising the religion.

  5. from what i’ve read,she talks about being brahmin as a reference to the type of environment in which she grew up. but otherwise, she never mentions actively practising the religion.

    casually mentioning that your a brahmin as a reference of environment smacks of opportunism and elitism.

  6. casually mentioning that your a brahmin as a reference of environment smacks of opportunism

    what? more doors open to me in the us by saying i am a brahmin. damn, and all this while i thought it was the man holding me down. thanks for the pro tip, pulio.

  7. what? more doors open to me in the us by saying i am a brahmin. damn, and all this while i thought it was the man holding me down. thanks for the pro tip, pulio.

    mentioning your a brahmin .. look at me im high class. is the elitism part. doing that while sellin burgers is the opportunism bit.

  8. “from what i’ve read,she talks about being brahmin as a reference to the type of environment in which she grew up.”

    what’s the relevance that environment?

  9. So much for the claim that brahmins are from europe ;)

    Huh? People actually think that? Can you elaborate, this is the first time I’ve heard this!

    I hope they ate the placenta in a mullagatawny soup.

    LOL, SM Intern- I find this one to be the most interesting..

  10. mentioning your a brahmin .. look at me im high class. is the elitism part.

    again. you think anybody cares about this in the u.s? that this codes as high class to her audience??

  11. “from what i’ve read,she talks about being brahmin as a reference to the type of environment in which she grew up. but otherwise, she never mentions actively practising the religion.”

    From what I hear, she does make it a point to visit the Ashtalakshmi temple in Beasant Nagar, Chennai. Other than that, I highly doubt she’s religious. She was raised vegetarian, but, as you might know, that quickly went to hell.

    Telling people who don’t know much about India that you’re a Brahmin probably does make them think you’re part of some aristocratic background…I’m thinking I’m gonna start dropping my caste( not a brahmin, however) into my daily occurrences…we sound awesome on paper…the reality of course ain’t that spectacular…

  12. mentioning your a brahmin .. look at me im high class. is the elitism part.
    

    again. you think anybody cares about this in the u.s? that this codes as high class to her audience??

    I would think the stereotype of Brahmin’s in America would be more like “the people who oppress others/untouchables” since people who don’t know much would really draw off the stereotype.. you know,, Gandhi, Dalits, “evil” Brahmins…

  13. “I would think the stereotype of Brahmin’s in America would be more”

    And that’s the .1 % that actually understand the distinction.

  14. 70% of India does not care about Brahmin.

    No one cares about Brahims in the USA.

    Most Indian kids born in the the USA (or out of India) don’t know Brahmin.

    Brhamin:- What does it mean ?

  15. A- I think we were talking about the automatic assumptions when people in America hear the world Brahmin, not what it actually means now in modern India (which I think is a very complicated questions to answer, too!)

  16. Googled her and did a ctrl+f on some of the interviews linked on the first page, no mention of ‘brahmin’ anywhere. Same deal with her wiki page. Did someone just make that up and throw it in these comments for fun? All the Brahmin mentions on google seem to be from fawning brown types. Search for “padma lakshmi brahmin” has an SM post as the first result.

    Congrats to her and the kid and the father, anyway.

    As for her ethnicity…whatever she is, she doesn’t look like she’s from anywhere in particular. She looks like a strange mix of features from all over the place, subcontinent and beyond.

  17. what’s the relevance that environment?

    i meant that oftentimes she mentions it when talking about growing up in a traditional/conservatve hindu environment(after all,tam-brams do have a very distinctive culture). she also mentions it when she says that she grew up vegetarian, and is still sometimes squeamish about eating meat

    doing that while sellin burgers is the opportunism bit.

    i’m pretty sure there was no indication of her being brahmin in the carl’s ad

  18. “i meant that oftentimes she mentions it when talking about growing up in a traditional/conservatve hindu environment(after all,tam-brams do have a very distinctive culture). she also mentions it when she says that she grew up vegetarian, and is still sometimes squeamish about eating meat”

    There’s nothing conservative or remotely hindu about her. I think its meaningless for her to mention it.

  19. There’s nothing conservative or remotely hindu about her. I think its meaningless for her to mention it.

    not you in particular, but if it’s meaningless, why does anybody care whether she does or does not discuss her brahmin roots? plus, just because you don’t see it outwardly does not mean that she is not hindu or conservative to some extent (or more to my point that growing up in a hindu or conservative background didn’t influence her in some way)

  20. There’s nothing conservative or remotely hindu about her. I think its meaningless for her to mention it.

    Do any of us know her personally? No? Then we shouldn’t assume we know exactly how she worships or why. Beyond that, if someone identifies as “Hindu” culturally but not in a stricter, religious sense, do any of us get to determine what they “are”? I would hope not.

    Sure, she’s a public figure, so some measure of conjecture/armchair analysis is to be expected but the pseudo-omniscience is inappropriate. And I’d say that even if I didn’t like her. How many readers of this site have been insulted by others who decided they weren’t “Desi” enough? Muslim enough? Hetero enough? Identity and faith are intensely personal things; we should respect that, no matter whom we’re discussing.