Cute or Fashion Crime?

Ok you all know how I felt about this:

Today, a picture of her newborn Ikhyd popped up on her Twitter account. The kid, minus the outfit, is mad cute. But… I am totally against killing albino ladybugs just so that the baby of a wealthy singer can be dressed like this. Can we get PETA up in here or something? Acts of Fashion Fug against a child should at least be a misdemeanor. I’m just saying. And why does this look like a mug shot?

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Finally, the law has changed. Congrats to at the activists in India that made it happen! Our hats off to you.

In a landmark ruling Thursday that could usher in an era of greater freedom for gay men and lesbians in India, New Delhi’s highest court decriminalized homosexuality.

“Discrimination is antithesis of equality,” the judges of the Delhi High Court wrote in a 105-page decision that is the first in India to directly guarantee rights for gay people. “It is the recognition of equality which will foster dignity of every individual,” the decision said.

Homosexuality has been illegal in India since 1861, when British rulers codified a law prohibiting “carnal intercourse against the order of nature.” [Link]

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Defend the wicket-Caption contest

From we see some pictures from “behind the scenes” at the Summit of the Americas that just ended (thanks for the tip Siddhartha). It looks like Obama is giving some guy named Brian Lara advice on how to swing a cricket bat. I am not sure if his form is right. It might be why Tiger Woods was invited to the White House yesterday. It also looks like Obama’s wicket is wide open. You know what time it is. It is caption contest time. Go at it.

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Where Obama gets his desi-ness from

An old college photo of Obama appeared at the NYTimes today. The photo features the man who taught Obama how to cook desi food among other things:

Sohale Siddiqi (also Hal Siddiqi) was the best friend and roommate of Barack Obama while he attended Columbia University in the early 1980s. He is identified as “Sadik” in Obama’s memoir, Dreams From My Father. Obama describes Saddiqi as “a short, well-built Pakistani” who smoked marijuana and snorted cocaine. Siddiqi was from Karachi, Pakistan and came to America from London on a tourist visa. He overstayed his visa becoming an illegal alien. [1]

Obama first met Siddiqi when he attended Occidental College in Los Angeles. Obama was living with a group of Pakistani students when Siddiqi arrived for a visit. Obama transferred to Columbia University and lived off campus with Siddiqi. Siddiqi was not a student and made his living working in restaurants. Together they lived in a drug-ridden slum apartment on 339 East 94th St. Siddiqi go the apartment by lying, saying he had a well paid job. The apartment was furnished by what they could find in the streets.

Obama and Siddiqi would go out together and enjoy the nightlife of New York City. Siddiqi claims Obama stopped using drugs when he arrived at Columbia. Obama eventually moved out when Siddiqi’s partying began to interfere with his studies. [Link]

More on Siddiqi here.

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Vellambans* do the Veirdest Things

appropriate much.jpg

Via Mutineer Maisnon’s status message, an…um…interesting celebrity wedding:

Say Anything star Ione Skye and Australian singer-songwriter Ben Lee chose an exotic location and traditional garb for their Hindu wedding in India, captured in this photo for PEOPLE.
About 50 of the couple’s friends and family members, including Josh Radnor from How I Met Your Mother, witnessed the Dec. 29 ceremony in a village on the Bay of Bengal. [People]

Say Anything? How ’bout say WHAT?

My brain is short-circuiting with everything this story conjures for me: Lloyd Dobbler’s love, Chennai/Madras, Depeche Mode’s “Stripped”, Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes”, Claire Danes so-called ex-, possible religious/cultural appropriation, an ex-Beastie Boy-wife…yowza.

To be fair, it wasn’t an entirely random choice; Ben Lee’s spiritual advisor is Indian, and the love guru did preside over the ceremony. That doesn’t make it any less jarring to see on People magazine’s website, though.

The two-hour ceremony was presided over by Lee’s spiritual guru, Sakthi Narayani Amma. Following the ceremony, a reception was held at a nearby guest house with Lee’s friends the Kahn Brothers performing as the wedding band. Lee, 30, and Skye, 37, then gathered the entire wedding party to visit an orphanage and performed for the children there.
The couple plan another ceremony in Los Angeles to legalize their union, since the Indian nuptials were not recognized at home in California.
“We have to go to City Hall tomorrow, and I’m mildly resentful about it,” Lee told the newspaper. “You go through a huge experience on an emotional and spiritual level, then you have to go and do the paperwork. [different People link]

Please correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t everyone have to go to City Hall, to get a marriage license? And is this ceremony all right with all of you? In my entirely unscientific survey of two of you, one of you was offended and the other wasn’t– but only because “it’s not that surprising”. Things that make you go “hmmm“… Continue reading

What did you go as?

I actually loved Heidi Klum’s Kali outfit that V.V. blogged about. If I was wealthly enough to afford putting together something like that I’d be all about it. My costume from this past Friday night only cost $15 and I had to make it myself.

Before you ask, nobody tried to open the access panel and rig votes (not that it wasn’t encouraged). So here is the deal. If you are a reader of this site and wore a costume on Friday night that is either related to the election or to anything with a desi connection (like Klum’s costume) then please email me at abhi [at] sepiamutiny dot com and I will paste the picture in this post. No, if you wore a sari that doesn’t count as dressing up. As for me, I’d hate to throw my costume out. I am wondering if on Tuesday I should just go stand really close to and in front of people, just to see what happens.

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Happy Diwali! (Now, Explain This Photo)

I found the following photo on Flickr, using a search for the “Diwali” tag (most recent):

diwali photo 2008.jpg

The caption on Flickr is “Behold Srivathsan, the Magician of Fire.” If you click on the image and login to Flickr, you can see a larger version of the photo. Is it just your usual fireworks, or is something unuusal going on? What is up with the horizontal streak of light across the frame?

Whatever the case, I think it’s safe to say that this is the kind of thing that is pretty much “only in India.” Continue reading

Visions of the Divine?

Via our tipline, Janeofalltrades sent us a story about a special garland of flowers that recently “appeared” in Queens. It isn’t quite as spectacular as the Virgin Mary appearing on a grilled cheese sandwich, but its still pretty cool:

To most people, the purple flower that sprouted between two concrete slabs in a Queens backyard would be just a hardy vestige of summer.

Sam Lal sees something more.

The Jamaica man is convinced the mysterious blossom is an incarnation of the elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesh – and neighbors and friends are flocking to see it.

The nearly 4-foot-tall flower grew in June and began to resemble an elephant’s head and trunk in August. Lal said that the ailments that had plagued him for months disappeared.

“This formation came to heal my illness,” the 60-year-old Hindu man said of his relief from pain due to a bone spur near his spine and bulging discs in his neck. [Link]

When a garland resembling Ravana appears, then I will become a true believer.

And speaking of “Divine Visions” SM Tipster Arul sent us a great Flickr portfolio of French stencil artist C215’s work. The portfolio includes pictures taken of his artwork in the Karol Bagh District of Delhi.

New Delhi between 7th -16th October 2008. (See map with each photo if you’re ever in Delhi) Sometimes threatened, usually uncomfortable with the large crowds that gathered for the spectacle of a couple of foreigners having strayed off the tourist trail somehow and ended up in their unimaginably poor district. These pieces were mainly for the children to see and enjoy, which hopefully you can see from the India Set, they did. [Link]
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Something to cleanse the palate

After a weekend of discussing all the hate and intolerance surrounding the U.S. Presidential campaign, I just couldn’t go to bed without doing something to help cleanse our collective palate of the distasteful business. And so, let me point you to some cute pictures and a story in the Daily Mail that will help you feel all warm and fuzzy again…for a few moments.

When two white tiger cubs were born during a hurricane they had to be separated from their mother after their sanctuary flooded. However they have since found an unlikely surrogate mother in chimpanzee Anjana, who has taken on the role of caring for the cubs….

The two-year-old chimp has been helping keeper China York care for the 21-day-old cubs at The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (TIGERS) in South Carolina.

‘Mitra and Shiva, were born during Hurricane Hannah,’ said Dr Bhagavan, founder of TIGERS. “During that time everything flooded in the sanctuary and they had to be moved into the house as their mother became stressed.

‘It was important for their safety that they were separated.’

Placed into the care of infant animal care giver China and her chimpanzee companion, Anjna, the cubs have become almost inseparable from their new motherly figures. [Link]

There are a lot more cute pictures embedded in the article.

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