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. 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).

    Actually I know a Telugu woman named Krishna Satya as well, so it’s not just a Kerela/Tamil thing. We Andhras are in on it too.

    Krishna is just Sanskrit for “Dark Skinned” and while it’s associated with a male deity, that doesn’t necessarily make it a male name. I’ve met women named Shiva too. Then again, Shiva, though generally considered male, is technically supposed to have female traits as well so go figure.

  2. Théo for boys and Théa for gals are very much à la mode nowadays here in France; supposed to be of greek origin.

  3. Krishnaa was another name for Draupadi too from the Mahabharatha.. and it’s not only south indian..it’s from the north too… Draupadi, Princess of Panchala…and Panchala was supposed to be somewhere near the north western part of ancient India, near today’s Punjab. Although it’s more popular in the south.. tons of Krishnaveni’s and Krishna Bharathi’s all over the place in Andhra..

    it’s totally unisex..

  4. Well, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru’s youngest sister’s name also happened to be Krishna, and so yeah, it’s not just a Southie tiend. My maternal grandad was a huge fan, and named all his kids after members of the Nehru family. Ergo, mother’s name is Indira and aunt’s name is Krishna. (We’re from Kerala.) Also know one Gujju named Krishna. So no, I don’t think it’s a regional thing.

    Side note: Completely in agreement with phillygrrl.

  5. Not sure why Indian females (and some males) are obsessed with P. Laxmi.

    I love Top Chef, slurred speech and the fact that she’s South Indian. All of that floats my boat. Contrast that with my opinion regarding Kareena Kapoor; I don’t think she’s hot. I am sure there are people who think I’m blind for typing such things. :) .

    Phillygrrl and a-hem, thank you!

  6. I think its an apt name, considering Krishna was a “miracle” baby too. I had no idea that she was dealing with endometriosis.

    I’m guessing the “Thea” part is a nod to her father’s side.

  7. “I love Top Chef, slurred speech and the fact that she’s South Indian. All of that floats my boat. Contrast that with my opinion regarding Kareena Kapoor; I don’t think she’s hot. I am sure there are people who think I’m blind for typing such things. :)

    (Someone’s going to have to remind me how to quote someone on here, I never get it right…)

    In total agreement with you re: Kareena. For the longest time (and to some extent even now) whenever I see her I’m reminded of the ‘Ain Ghazal statues I learned about in an art history class, because I associate both the statues and Kareena with an overly abundant use of kohl.

    http://www.idixa.net/Images/iVoix/AinGhazal-3.jpg

  8. I love Top Chef, slurred speech and the fact that she’s South Indian. All of that floats my boat. Contrast that with my opinion regarding Kareena Kapoor; I don’t think she’s hot. I am sure there are people who think I’m blind for typing such things. :)

    Congrats to her. Padma Lakshmi is both hot as well as intelligent and articulate- all things Kareena is not :-)

    I was actually just thinking about this the other day, but other than Parminder Nagra and Kal Penn, it seems like most Indians that “cross over” into TV/movies/media (Sendhil Ramamurthy, Mindy Kaling, Frieda Pinto, Aziz Ansari, Lakshmi Menon and -if you consider her worth mentioning- Aishwarya Rai) South Indian? Wonder why…

  9. If you take classical indian beauties they’re southies too.

    Rekha, Vyjayanthimala,hemamalini,Sreedevi,Aish and the list goes on

  10. Is it common knowledge that in Tamil (maybe Malayalam as well) “penne” or “ponnu” means “girl”? I ask because Anna seems to have punned in the title. A pun using penne.

  11. Krishna is just Sanskrit for “Dark Skinned”

    Most everyone in India must be krishna then. Actually krishna is sanskrit for black.

    Speaking of which why hasn’t anyone at SM blogged about the momentous news from yesterday’s 60 minutes on CBS? The krishna-skinned indian-american, KR Sridhar, looks on track to change the face of the energy business with his invention of the Bloom Box.

    http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/10/02/22/1915250/Fuel-Cell-Marvel-Bloom-Box-Gaining-Momentum?art_pos=7

    Is his first name Krishna as well?

  12. mindy kaling is half-bengali (her mom) i think. also, kal penn is gujarati. and we have to be talking about the USA. punjabis are dominant in the UK right among british media people? (just pure demographics)

  13. the wikipedia entry only has kaling as tamil. but here’s her explanation of why she was raised with english: “My dad is from [Chennai] and my mother is from Mumbai. They met in Lagos, Nigeria. My mother speaks Bengali, Hindi, and English, and my father speaks Tamil and English, so English was the only language in common. My older brother and I were born in Boston, and raised speaking only English.”

    Kaling says it was surprisingly easy to convince the powers-that-be that Diwali was a good idea for a show. “I was never worried with Greg that he would say ‘Oh, most white Americans have never heard of Diwali, they won’t get it, they’ll switch channels.’ He just completely embraced it in a boyish, excited way.

    seems improbable to me that a woman from mumbai would know bengali unless they were ethnically bengali.

  14. Ashish Wrote if you take classical indian beauties they’re southies too. Rekha, Vyjayanthimala,hemamalini,Sreedevi,Aish and the list goes on

    Are they really beautfiul? Aish may be… Rest all are bollywood actresses who could run around tress. None of them are good looking in real life.

    One could debate about Southern or Northen or Western or Eastern or other parts…Madhuri Dixit, Priynaka Chopra, Bipasha…(list is too long) are considered very pretty..I don’t think they are from South unless you define South as everything south of Himalayas…

  15. Rest all are bollywood actresses who could run around tress. None of them are good looking in real life. One could debate about Southern or Northen or Western or Eastern or other parts…Madhuri Dixit, Priynaka Chopra, Bipasha…(list is too long) are considered very pretty..I don’t think they are from South unless you define South as everything south of Himalayas

    agreed. we send the uglies to bolly and keep the good ones to ourselves.

  16. Krishna is a unisex name and is used both in the north and south of India. My massi’s Punjabi and her name’s Krishna.

    About the Village Voice’s ‘Hairy’ headline: lame, lame, lame, and not funny. I don’t think you’re overreacting.

  17. 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?).

    i agree that the hare krishna was the most likely intention, but the ‘hairy krishna’ could also be an (inadvertent) pun on the term bal gopal (used to refer to a young krishna, but also can literally mean ‘hair krishna’). although i’m not sure vv meant it that way.

    I don’t think they are from South unless you define South as everything south of Himalayas…

    a lot of maharashtrians consider themselves south indian,so maybe not just confined to the 4 state normally associated with the ‘south’

  18. Melissa, try using the greater-than and less-than signs around the word “blockquote” before whatever you’re quoting; then repeat the tag, except with a “/” in front of the second “blockquote”.

    For example: If I had used the aforementioned signs in lieu of quotation marks, I’d be able to quote “Yay for Melissa!”, like so —>

    “blockquote” Yay for Melissa! “/blockquote”

    HTH! :)

    ::

    Anjali, I’ve had that thought, as well. :)

    ::

    Bluebulb, “penne” is a Malayalam word, too. I try and drop Malayalam in every post I write, but it’s not always possible.

    ::

    Ek larki, THANK YOU.

    ::

    AK- nothing to add to your comment, just wanted to say I heart you, and often think of you whenever I see or taste a specific, delicious mixture of coconut and jaggery. ;)

  19. Krishna is a unisex name

    That is not quite correct. Krishnaa (with long vowel-ending) is the feminine form, Krishna (with the short vowel-ending) is the masculine form. It’s the same with Shivaa and Shiva.

    As someone mentioned earlier, one of Draupadi’s names is Krishnaa.

  20. ak wrote:

    a lot of maharashtrians consider themselves south indian,so maybe not just confined to the 4 state normally associated with the ‘south’

    Ahem…

  21. TTCUSM – i didn’t forget telangana – normally, i would say ‘touche’, but there are currently still only 4 southern states ;)

    anna – aww, thanks – and that means a lot, considering your southiness mean there’s a higher likelihood of encountering coconut-jaggery creations. i think of you, too, esp. because associating coconut/jaggery/kozhkattai with you is so much nicer than my prior point of reference.

  22. i think of you, too, esp. because associating coconut/jaggery/kozhkattai with you is so much nicer than my prior point of reference.

    it is hawwwttt when two women fawn over each other over objects shaped thusly

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

    AK a lot of maharashtrians consider themselves south indian,so maybe not just confined to the 4 state normally associated with the ‘south’

    southie on February 23, 2010 7:20 AM · Direct link <<<<<

    agreed. we send the uglies to bolly and keep the good ones to ourselves.

  24. Padma is a caste-conscious racist. All her articles in magazines, whether they are recipes or whatever, always mentioned how she was a Brahmin.

  25. Not sure why Indian females (and some males) are obsessed with P. Laxmi.

    Cause she’s spiceeyyy. I mean I’m straight, but I question it when I see her…

  26. Jenna,

    She is 39…or should I say just 39, I have to look at more pictures of her to figure out the answer.

  27. Krishna could be both male and female .if it is Krishnan it is male. men have names Krishnan and Unnikrishnan. females have names Krishna,Krsihnapriya, Krishnaveni.

  28. “Pulchritudinous Padma produces a pretty penne!”

    Anna, isn’t “penne” the vocative case? What’s the nominative in Mallu for “girl”?

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

    Might be a Mallu thing. Ethiopian people mistake me for one of their own, on an almost-daily basis (living right above DC’s Little Ethiopia has much to do with this).

    Anna, isn’t “penne” the vocative case? What’s the nominative in Mallu for “girl”?

    Well damn, now that you mention it…I think my ardor for alliteration arrested my appreciation for accuracy!

  30. Isn’t her mother a gori? And didn’t her Mallu father leave them when she was young? Not matlab she’s not qualified to be brown, I just wonder why she might refer to herself as Brahmin. I suppose it’s all just part of the role she’s created for herself. Can’t wait to see the baby.

  31. “penne”

    south indian languages transliterated into english letters always sound wrong to me. I know teh word this is supposed to be, but when its typesd like that, i expect it to be followed with “a la vodka”.

  32. talking about being a brahmin a lot and then showing up in commercials advertising burgers seems messed up. i dont really care about padma…

  33. talking about being a brahmin a lot and then showing up in commercials advertising burgers seems messed up.

    Does she talk about being Brahmin a lot? Either way, eating or not eating beef is a personal choice. It’s not like it’s a minimum bar for being Hindu or for being of Brahmin stock. I don’t exactly envision anyone asking her to perform a puja for them or anything so what’s the deal? I don’t eat beef, but my reasons are 50% cultural/personal and 50% environmental. It’s not as if I consider my abstention to be a fundamental part of my identity. It’s just something I do.

  34. Does she talk about being Brahmin a lot? Either way, eating or not eating beef is a personal choice. It’s not like it’s a minimum bar for being Hindu or for being of Brahmin stock. I don’t exactly envision anyone asking her to perform a puja for them or anything so what’s the deal? I don’t eat beef, but my reasons are 50% cultural/personal and 50% environmental. It’s not as if I consider my abstention to be a fundamental part of my identity. It’s just something I do.

    i dont have a problem with anyone eating anything. it just doesnt make sense that she publicly advertize for burgers and talk about how shes a brahmin in every other TV appearence. Why make a public spectacle of your stock and not really have anything to do with it. Its like a combination of elitism and opportunism. She can eat whatever she wants, just sound reasonable.

  35. She’s hot, preggers or not. Salman Rushdie’s cute, too…I can’t wait to see the brown kid. I want to put bhindi on him and dress him up in a shalwar kameez…I think hollywood needs this.