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July 29, 2008


From a baseball blog:

I had a friend who went to high school with triplets named Veni, Vidi, and Vici.

No idea if this is true or not, but nice regardless.

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- July 29, 2008 1:06 PM // Humour

July 24, 2008


Sandip Roy profiles Sujit Saraf, founder of the Bay Area theater group Naatak and their upcoming production, "Mataji:"

Saraf says he's realizing that the stories he wants to tell increasingly don't happen in India anymore. "We didn't do plays in English in the beginning," he says.

"Over the years it's become clear that some Hindi plays we do are as foreign to us as 'A Streetcar Named Desire' is in India," he says. " 'Mataji' is really our play." The house it's set in could belong to any of the cast. The play skewers India's penchant for exporting gurus and god-men. Some promise to manifest themselves on the moon. Others conjure up Rolex watches or cure cancer by touch. Saraf's Mataji hugs.

Over the years, we've had any number of films from Hollywood trying to poke fun at the same thing: fake gurus with tenuous Indian connections. The Guru and The Love Guru come to mind. It's good to see the same creative territory explored from a different and more realistic perspective which I am sure Naatak will bring. Here's to a complete absence of tired Bollywood pastiches that seemed to fill those aforementioned films and to something different.

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- July 24, 2008 6:38 PM // Bay Area , Diaspora , Theater

July 16, 2008

Aishwarya Rai PSA Poster

Amar Parikh e-mails:

So guys, I took the kid to the public library here in Nutley, NJ, last week. We were wandering aimlessly somewhere between Juvenile Biography and Children's Literature when I came upon this PSA from Ms. Rai. She must have some really good reps. She hasn't done much in this country and yet she's been on Oprah and Letterman, in Revlon commercials and now, presumably, in public libraries across America.

But the poster would mean nothing to an American kid. It probably has the same impact as a poster of, say, Gerard Depardieu in rural Bihar warning kids about the dangers of drinking water from mud puddles.

Note: Ms. Rai-Bachchan appears as part of the Celebrity READ campaign which places posters in libraries encouraging kids to read - an effort, that at first appearance, seems analogous to putting "Please Eat" signs in restaurants or "Definitely Shop" signs in malls. But they seem to work apparently and include such other noted persons of letters as Shaq, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Colin Farrell and Bernie Mac.

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- July 16, 2008 11:19 AM // Bollywood , Diaspora

July 9, 2008

Amusing Airport Codes

From Orbitz's list of US Airport codes, we have:

Colorado Springs, CO (COS). Only if you like your trig.
Dickinson, ND (DIK). Sophomoric, I know but can't resist.
Eek, AK (EEK). Mighty Mouse's home base? Mouse phobes?
Fargo, ND (FAR): A long long way to go ..
Fresno, CA (FAT): This place must be rolling in it.
Goodnews Bay, AK (GNU): Only amusing if you're a geek and the Free Software Foundation means somthing to you.
Hot Springs, AR (HOT): I am sure the locals still chuckle over this one.
Huron, SD (HON): Sexist? Maybe. Warm? Certainly.
Los Angeles, CA (LAX): Describes the schedules, quality and service at this place to a T.
Lansing, MI (LAN): Wonder if this place has free wifi. Har har.
Mobile, AL (MOB): An airport we cannot refuse?
Nulato, AK (NUL) - Nothing here, move along.
Pueblo, CO (PUB) - Watering hole.
Rutland, VT (RUT) - They're stuck.
Sioux City, IA (SUX) - At least they don't try to hide it.
Topeka, KS (FOE) - You know where you stand right away.
Watertown, NY (ART) - Or exploitation? You decide.
Wenatchee, WA (EAT) - The Jewish mother of airports?
Yakutat, AK (YAK) - Must be a chatty place.
Yuma, AZ (YUM) - Let's end on dessert.

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- July 9, 2008 3:22 PM // General , Travel

July 4, 2008

Desi Spam

Usually, I ignore my gmail spam - I don't even see the spam on my Yahoo mailboxes since they have the option of directly depositing everything they deem unacceptable to the trash folder. Since gmail doesn't, I occasionally will scroll through to see if there's been any false positives - it's happened once or twice.

Wading through the spate of announcements attempting to zero in on a host of male insecurities, I was struck by what seemed to be a recent development in the names of the senders. These are utterly bogus of course, often being a random combination. It was funny though to see desi names in the mix. I include some salient ones:

chuck pradeep
hermie raj
ignacio giridhar
killy deepak
dalston prasad
engelbert nikhil
kleon shashi

I am sure these names are but further attempts to fool the mail filters of the world. Still, it's always good to see a dash of curry powder in a block of spam. Ignacio Giridhar and Engelbert Nikhil actually sound quite space agey.

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- July 4, 2008 7:14 PM // General