Naeem Khan at Fashion Week

Designer Naeem Khan showed his Fall 2012 collection at New York Fashion week. Worn by the FLOTUS and on the red carpet, his work is often in the public spotlight. Titled “The Body As A Canvas: From the Mughal Paisley to the Hindu Tilakas” the show brought Indian-inspired bling to the runway.

The Washington Post writes that “there was so much beading that the audience in the front row could hear the pieces chiming against each other as the models walked.”

The New York Times India Ink interviews Khan and asks about the inspiration behind his latest work. Continue reading

ACK tribute in NY

Almost a year after the passing of the Father of Indian comics Anant Pai, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop pays tribute in New York on February 16 to the comic series he created.

Amar Chitra Katha: Monica Ferrell, Chitra Ganesh, Keshni Kashyap, and Himanshu “Heems” Suri of Das Racist Does your knowledge about the Ramayana come entirely from comics your mom brought you from Jackson Heights? Or are you a comic book fan interested in engaging with one of the bestselling comics in both Asia and the world? Party down with the Workshop’s tribute to Amar Chitra Katha, the beloved Indian comic that’s sold more than 90 million copies, often featuring lovelorn maidens, fearless saints, and mythical kings romping around a half-toned South Asian fantasia, tinted yellow, blue and green.


I’ve read the Ramayana and enjoyed the comic versions too. I’ll also admit that much of my knowledge of the Bible comes from the colorful, engaging Amar Chitra Katha comics. For more details on the event, visit aaww.org.

A quick look at Lahore

After completing school at the University of North Carolina, Nushmia Khan spent time traveling abroad. In Lahore, Pakistan, the recent grad with a background in multimedia journalism visited family and took over 5,000 photos. She shares some of them in a short film called “Time in Lahore.”

The music is by Basheer & The Pied Pipers. Visit Nushmia.net for more about Khan and her trip to Pakistan (“Leaving Pindi is always hard” and “It’s a man’s world”).

Marie Claire interviews Nikki Haley

Haley's senior class photo (c. 1989)

Marie Claire Magazine titles its interview with South Carolina’s governor “Will Nikki Haley Be Our First Female President?” and looks at her tips for personal success and her inspirations. That’s how we get to know she’s totally into Joan Jett. I wonder if she watched The Runaways when it came out in theaters a couple years ago or if she has a vintage collection of Jett LPs.

Here’s some of what she had to say:

FIND WHAT MOTIVATES YOU–ON A DAILY BASIS AND IN LARGER WAYS. Music motivates me. When we have bill signings, we’ve got music playing. I have a great love for Joan Jett. When I am going through the toughest times, I’ll blast her music. She was one of the first female rockers when female rockers weren’t accepted. When no one would sign her, she created her own label. And when she accomplished everything … she walked away! I mean, how cool is that?   FIND DIVERSE ROLE MODELS. Mine are my mother, Margaret Thatcher, Hillary Clinton, Martina Navratilova, Gabby Giffords. And Joan Jett. I tell you, Joan Jett is my idol. I would just love to meet her! (Marie Claire)

 

Curry leaf flavor in the LA Times

Flickr photo by Tatiana Gerus

A recent Los Angeles Times article, “Curry leaf tree, a touch of India in the backyard,” reminds me that my dad’s old office had a curry leaf tree growing just outside his window. From time to time, while he was working, he would see desis drive or walk up to his office building and step up to the elevated garden area to grab a bunch of the fragrant leaves to go. My grandma lived next to his office and she planted the tree many years ago. Of course she wasn’t the only one to do so in sunny southern California.

Rishi Kumar’s grandmother brought curry leaf seeds from India, and his mother planted them 18 years ago at her home in Diamond Bar. Now the curry leaf has filled out into a mini-grove of slender stalks, bushy with the pointed leaves essential to Indian cuisine.
After graduating from UC San Diego in computer science, Kumar came home to his parents’ house and started gardening seriously. He started a community-supported agriculture project, or CSA, called the Growing Home and Learning Center, based out of the 2,500-square-foot garden around the house. He put in a series of cinder-block terraces, heavily mulched with forest humus and horse stable bedding, and started planting. An Ayurvedic garden is out front, where the lawn used to be; in the back, plants reflect his family’s Punjab roots: holy basil, neem (a tree believed to have medicinal properties), Indian jasmine. (LAT)


For more information on the curry leaf tree read the rest of the article. It’s part of a Tuesday series called the Global Garden.

Jindal kids at the ball

The MSNBC PhotoBlog thinks the Jindal kids–Selia, Slade and Shaan–stole the show at their father’s inauguration for his second term. In the blog’s photo picks, the young threesome make a red-carpeted entrance at the inauguration and peer into a canister presented to their father during the ceremony. Nola.com includes another image of the kids on the dance floor with their parents in its gallery of the inaugural festivities.

Gov. Jindal spent a good portion of his speech yesterday (full text) on the topic of education and ended with cheers of Who Dat! and Geaux Tigers! in support of the state’s sports teams.

Don’t Tase Our Moms, Yo

Tunics are a clothing staple at stores these days. But a local FOX affiliate reports that a Pakistani Tampa woman’s family feels that she may have been shocked with a Taser because she was wearing a traditional tunic or salwar while shopping at a Walmart. (Thanks for the tip Bewildered.)

The 61-year-old Tampa woman was walking down the aisle of the Walmart on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard when she “felt a jolt” in her back, said Laura McElroy, a spokeswoman for the Tampa Police Department.   Concerned, the woman called her daughters, who rushed to the store and discovered two small marks on her back consistent with being shocked by a stun gun, McElroy said. (Tampa Bay Times)

The police are not releasing video surveillance of the event yet, and they say that the video does not show a Taser being used but does show two women walking past the victim and then passing her again as if targeting her. They will determine if it’s a hate crime after finding and interviewing the suspects, and are also pursuing a theory that it was an attempted robbery.

Bombs away, please

Four locations in Queens rang in the first night of the new year with firebombs. An Islamic center, a bodega, a home used for Hindu worship, and the home of an African-American Christian family had firebombs thrown at them. A fifth location in Nassau County, the home of a desi family, was also targeted with a firebomb. No people were hurt in the attacks, and the NYT mentions that in three of the attacks the bombs used Starbucks Frappucino bottles.

This morning New York religious and community leaders will hold a press conference to denounce the attacks at Imam Al-Khoei, the Islamic center targeted by one of the firebombs. The state’s governor and NYC’s mayor have both spoken out against the attacks.

CBS New York reports that police released a sketch and surveillance video of the suspect, and that the NYPD will pay a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction. Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,000 reward. NY1 notes:  ”Anyone with information on the attacks should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.”

A Name to Remember

The New York Times reports that the placement of Mohammad Salman Hamdani’s name on the National September 11 Memorial obscures his bravery that day. Lauded by the mayor, police commissioner and other government officials, including Rep. Keith Ellison, as a hero for trying to save lives at the World Trade Center on 9/11 before he died, 23-year-old Hamdani had been an EMT and a police cadet.

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US Hopes Desis in India Make Chai Not War in 2012

The U.S. is sending comedy showcase “Make Chai Not War” with performers Rajiv Satyal, Azhar Usman and Hari Kondabolu to India for a seven-city tour starting this week. Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said the tour is part of the State Department’s regular global exchange cultural programs. She offered more information on why the government is supporting the $100,000 tour.

“The reason we decided to support this tour is because, among the things that they are known for is their talk about religious tolerance, about the importance of breaking down prejudices and about the positive experiences they had growing up as Indian-Americans in the United States,” Nuland said.

“In addition to doing shows, they’ll also be holding audience discussions on these issues of religious tolerance, and doing workshops and having some interviews with the press,” Nuland said, adding that the seven city tour costs about US $100,000; of which the US Embassy in New Delhi is supporting them with a grant of US $88,000. (Economic Times)

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