Advice for Huma Abedin, i.e. Stay Home and Have Babies

Dear Ms. Keller,

To be honest, I really have had no desire to write a single word about Weinergate. Our guest blogger, Razib has been keeping tabs on the story for us here at Sepia Mutiny. Other than my girlcrush on the fashionable lady married to the man in question and my well-wishes for the future success of the individuals involved, I didn’t really care to comment on the matter. After all, who knows/cares what goes on in the boudoirs of a married couple.

Those are exactly the sentiments you express in your post for Vanity Fair. In “Advice for Huma Abedin, Wife of Representative Anthony Weiner,” you write, “We’ve never been able to fathom the laws of attraction, and we haven’t a clue what goes on in other people’s relationships. She says she’s staying. So we’ll take it from there, and give her some tips to help make it work.” Then you go on to comment on their relationship. Well, what’s a little gossip between us ladies? Right? Right. Let me start by saying how much I admire your five tips for Ms. Abedin Mrs. Weiner. Stay home. Focus on the family. Lose lame-o mentors like Hillary (with her goshdarnawful contagious marital problems). Make awesome babies. All fabulous tips that my grandmother has been telling me for years. Continue reading

Shed Your Sleeves: Lose the Skin-Lightening Creams

productLf.jpgOnly a few weeks till the start of summer. This can only mean one thing: skin. Bring on the season of skin-baring shorts, skorts, minis, sundresses, tank tops and bathing suits. And if you’re desi, bring on the nagging moms and aunties who try to tell you to cover up – more for the sake of preserving your complexion than for modesty’s sake. I think you all know how I feel about our society’s obsession with skin coloring. But I was reminded of it again when Ennis sent me a clip of an upcoming documentary, “Dark Girls.” The clip features African American women, but the movie’s producers write, “We know this issue goes beyond the United States and Black people. This is for ALL women from around the world.” I agree. Continue reading

Curry Smugglers Present Special Show Sunday May 22


When I first discovered the Curry Smugglers back in Fall 2010 through Twitter friends, I took it upon myself to listen to all of their episodes, starting from the most recent and going back to the very beginning. Given that the only desi music I know is the ’90s Bollywood music from my youth (and of course whatever Taz unearths for us here on SM), I was thrilled to find a show that features a variety of genres coupled with lively commentary from the show’s genial co-hosts and producers, Paresh and Sachin. Having been thoroughly educated a la Curry Smugglers, I’m happy to announce that the pair will air a special show on Sunday, May 22nd, featuring popular Bollywood playback singer Lucky Ali and Raghu Dixit, an independent artist from The Raghu Dixit Project. I caught up with Smuggler Paresh (featured below with guest Raghu on the right) to find out more about the gang’s latest shenanigans.

PG: Who/what’s a curry smuggler? Does this involve actual curry?

Paresh: First off, can I offer you a beverage? I’m coming up a with a curry-flavored shot, don’t crinkle your nose…

A Curry Smuggler is defined as a species of music lover in the genus of Dances Muches. By definition, this listener enjoys music that is mainly bootleg ‘Bollywood’ remixes paired with tracks from Brit Bhangra, Desi alternative pop/rock bands, Urban Asian artists and anything else that fits in the make-your-kundi-dance genre.

PG: So no actual curry distribution, but lots of music.

Paresh: Right, garam masala is not an aphrodisiac… We are two guys with a strong support team of family and friends behind us who want to show people across the Western Hemisphere and ultimately the world that there’s a ton of talent in India. We’re expanding our ‘genre pool’ every season but are very focused on the club/production/remix area of desi music because it holds common threads for desis worldwide.

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UPDATED: In Memory of Mohan Varughese (1988-2011)

Mohan.jpgYesterday, at 5:12PM, while I was sitting in the law library, panicking over the last sentences of my final exam for this semester, only a few blocks away a 23-year old boy, Mohan Varughese, a student from Penn State, was sitting with his girlfriend on the front steps of her off-campus apartment near Temple University, no doubt luxuriating in the perfect spring sun.

The semester was almost at an end, final examinations ended in two days and already the campus had a deserted look about it. The few people left to tend the campus were mainly university employees. The security guards. The maintenance crews, finally able to swab the floors without interruption. Outside, you could hear the cries of children, playing hopscotch and jumping rope double-dutch style in the streets, pausing every now and then to let cars go by. Continue reading

Mindy Kaling aka Kelly Kapoor Back with More Subtle Sexuality

If you’re a Mindy Kaling fan, you’ll enjoy the new music video produced by her character from The Office, Kelly Kapoor. Fans of the show will recall that Kelly and her coworker teamed up to form girl group, Subtle Sexuality, about two years ago and released their catchy “hit” single, “Male Prima Donna.” Well, the dynamic duo is back. I don’t find this particular song, “The Girl Next Door” as singable as the last one. It’s a bit slower and ballad-y. (Perhaps Kelly has a particular fixation on Taylor Swift this season, who knows. Certainly elements of “You Belong With Me” in the piece.) You can catch the “story” behind the song, here. Enjoy!

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Posted in TV

Micropixie Releases Under the Neath

MPX.jpgI first heard of Micropixie (MPX) last summer through Daniela Kantorova of Mideast Tunes, who urged me to explore the work of the recording artist. I was immediately intrigued by the groovy, dulcet tones I heard in her short, My Beige Foot. So when I found out through Nila that MPX had released a new single through her brand spankin’ new record label, One Little Alien, I figured it was time to hear from the alien herself.

The story behind your latest release, Under the Neath?

The title of my new single comes from a phrase my Dad always says (instead of “underneath”, it’s “under the neath”. He has a habit of adding a “the” to everything. eg. when he refers to my Mum, he says “the Mummy”). There’s a very sweet passage in the track where he gives me advice on getting music lessons (which I eventually took to heart). Other phrases are things my littlest sister said when she was a kid. The track sounds like it is laden with innuendos (at least to my dirty mind…), but it is quite innocent. The music (co-composed with Audio Pervert, a Delhi-based producer) was inspired by Underworld’s wonderful album Beaucoup Fish.

Last I checked, you were planning to release a second album, The Good, the Beige and the Ugly. Still in the works?

Yes, it’ll be coming out after the third One Little Alien release. I’ve been working on it for over 3 years now so this sonic baby is well overdue. It’s also a concept album, continuing from my terrestrial adventures after Alice in Stevie Wonderland, but less from the perspective of an alien, and more from the view of a non-white human female. It’s an intergalactic feminist spy thriller… (my, how I love the phonetics of that phrase)! The UK-based producer I worked with, Paul Horton, is very gifted, and I am super excited that it will be out soon.

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When Harry Tries To Marry

Harry .jpgI seriously loathe American romantic comedies. I realize that sounds a bit hypocritical coming from a Bollywood-phile like myself. But while you, dear reader, may remain skeptical, I argue that Bollywood romcoms remain in a sphere separate from your typical romcom. Sure they both have the goofy meet cute deal where you have the ravishing heroine collide with a studly hero. (Boom! Bam! Voila! Sparks!) And both contain the usual mix of mishaps, misadventures, misinformed relatives and the like. But I watch Bollywood to practice my Hindi, catch up on the latest fashions and of course – to find new music.

The average modern American romcom, on the other hand, has little to redeem itself. Exceptions exist. Woody Allen can do fun things with romcoms. I’ll watch anything with Jimmy Stewart and Carey Grant. And of course, there’s Love Actually. Wait, that’s British. But overall, I find American romcoms vapid enough to induce nausea at the slightest exposure. Nowadays, when my friends drag me to the theater to see the latest Drew Barrymore romcom, I try not visibly gag and treat it as a sociological experiment or sorts. Why the human insistence on retreating to the fantasy of finding one true love when realistically, very few of us will? (And speaking of love, Pew Research Center showed that four in 10 Americans believe the institution of marriage is becoming obsolete.) But enough of this talk of love and doom. Let’s talk romcoms. Continue reading

Man Proposes Via Bollywood Flash Mob

Bollywood, it gets them every time.

When boyfriend Aayush decided to propose to girlfriend Ambika, he wanted something beyond the run-of-the-mill “beach at sunset” or “candle-lit dinner, ring in the champagne glass” proposal set-ups. So he took her down to San Francisco’s Pier 39 where she was in for a surprise. Watch the video and see what happens. Keep your eye on the guy in the red and white horizontal striped polo, that’s Aayush.

Aayush starts off by joining the group for a Punjabi number (I’m sure one of you clever mutineers can tell me the song title) and then goes into “Ainvayi Ainvayi Lut Gaya” from the 2010 film Band Baja Barat and ends with Joe Cocker’s, “You Are So Beautiful.” Epic.

Congrats to the happy couple! And mad props off to Aayush, that had to be some major planning. I wonder if he’s danced before? If not, that’s quite impressive. Heck, either way, that’s impressive. He just set the bar quite high, my friends. Quite high.

Hat Tip: Joey Chopra Continue reading

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Things I Would Do if I Had Time

Mutineers, I just can’t do it. I just can’t have fun for the next four weeks. Law school exams are coming up and for the next 21 days, you’ll find me in the Internet-free zone of the law library, soaking up a few fluorescent rays. But when I’m in panicked OCD mode, I tend to make lists. So here’s my SM list of things I would do if I had more time.

1) Blog about missing Illinois teen Maryam Chaudhary. I hope and pray that this girl is safe.

Skokie Patch reports that 16-year-old Zaineb Chaudhary was reported missing on March 11, and has not been in contact with her friends since March 12. Police at the time said that Chaudhary left voluntarily due to tensions with her parents, and Fox Chicago reported this week that those tensions might have been caused by plans for an arranged marriage.

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Elmo Goes to Pakistan

Sesame Street.jpg“I don’t own a television.” When I let that slip into conversation, most of my friends are aghast. They immediately assume one of two things: a) I am one of those holier-than-thou, live-in-the-moment, anti-media types or b) I’m just a weirdo. It’s probably a combination of both. Maybe someday I’ll see the need for a television, but right now I’m content with my laptop for movies and the occasional show at someone else’s house. But then again, our family has never been the television type. (Insert assumed air of humility and delicate toss of head.) My parents didn’t purchase their first television set until I was about 14, before that I mostly got my pop culture in disjointed snippets. Five minutes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at a neighbor’s house. The occasional pop song at the mall. Our church didn’t allow the ownership of televisions. Too secular. Too much potential for exposure to sex. Gasp!

So unlike most American kids, I didn’t wake up early every Saturday morning and rush to the television to watch my favorite cartoons (at least not until I was 14). All that to say this: I’m not very familiar with the children’s show Sesame Street, which airs in 120 countries in 20 international versions. I did not learn my numbers from the Count, alas. Aside from that cute little rubber ducky song and of course a fascination with Cookie Monster (nom), I wouldn’t know my Bert from my Ernie. Luckily for kids in Pakistan, however, Sesame Street will soon be a reality in a country where education is on the bottom of the governmental to-do list. Forget NYC, these puppets are going to Lahore.

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