Tag: art (last 300)

The Two A.S.’s

(Anand G) Anand Giridharadas reassesses Adam Smith in light of Amartya Sen. ‘While some men are born small and some achieve smallness, it is clear enough that Smith has had much smallness thrust upon him,’� [says] Amartya Sen, who is one of A.G.’s Hvd teachers.

Draupadi in fizz

(Gallerychemould Pics) Saris made of bottle caps by artist Sharmila Samant. More bottle saris: [via]
Previously: saris, bottle caps, art

An India-South Korea Strategic Partnership?

(Express) One of the first foreign policy acts of UPA-II last year was to sign a comprehensive economic partnership agreement with Seoul. Dr Singh now has the chance to complement his economic outreach to South Korea with a full-fledged strategic partnership.

Divine retribution

(Vishal12) In ’34, Gandhi told Biharis a massive quake was because they enforced untouchability. Nehru, Tagore were horrified.

How Dems lost the Kennedy seat

(NYT) Rahm Emanuel was on holiday in Rajasthan and Coakley didn’t campaign between Christmas and New Years: Dems caught napping in loss of Kennedy seat.

Must be some damn good tea

(NYT) Rich: Tea Party Emporium offers a $90 bejeweled tea bag, while ‘populist’ Palin charges $120K per speech.
Previously: tea party, tea, sarah palin

Just show up and sound reasonable

(Prospect·L) Stewart was outmatched by charming torture lawyer Yoo, who contradicted his own memos.
Previously: john yoo, jon stewart

Life of Beatrice

(Millions) ‘Life of Pi’ author Yann Martel’s ‘Beatrice and Virgil’ is an ‘Animal Farm’-like take on the Holocaust, due in ’10. Shteyngart releasing a fiscal collapse novel.

Darwin, Musically Speaking

(NPR) David Balakrishnan composed Tree of Life — a large multimedia composition where “styles and eras seem to evolve" including Indian classical music, bluegrass, swing, bebop, Afro-Cuban, East Euro folk, hints of funk... it’s based on Darwin’s theories.

5 Year Plan

(5yearplan) The 5 Year Plan is a DIY artist action in honor of Mahatma Gandhi, to benefit Doctors Without Borders (MSF). Artists include Pushpa Kumar, Alpana Bawa, Yoko Ono, Francesco Clemente and many brilliant lesser known artists.

Third party crasher ID’d

(WaPo) Carlos Allen the 3rd party crasher, planned it in advance by wearing tux and slipping in with a group of prominent Indian businessmen.

The mysterious man in a tux

(NYT) The third party crasher, a U.S. citizen in a tux, tagged along from a previous meeting with Indian leaders. [Ah, the old tag-along trick.]

Like an Agatha Christie mystery

(ABC) A *third* party crasher attended the Obama-Singh state dinner, coming in with the Indian delegation.

Ticker Trouble

(TO Globe) Evidence is mounting that south asians are more prone to heart disease than the general population. Study suggests that South Asian males have more ‘bad’ cholestrol made worse by the adaptation of north american dietary habits.
Previously: heart disease

Yesterday’s massive party crashers story was just the beginning

(WaPo) The WaPo refused to investigate torture but is running multipart series on party crashers. WaPo = print version of ‘Jersey Shore.’
Previously: media, party crashers

I’m a celebrity, get me into here

(WaPo) WaPo runs ridiculous, minute-by-minute celebrity expose about the party crashers.
Previously: party crashers, media


(NYT Aug) Khosla-funded geothermal energy co could have triggered earthquakes. Project now shut down.

Sartorial gyaan

(NYT) NYT finally cottons to party crasher’s attire: ‘twas a lehenga.

The decline of the committed crasher

(New Yorker) Full-time party crashers: ‘the tall Indian-looking guy who said he was from Australian Consolidated Media... they were colorful and kind of endearing.’
Previously: party crashers

Live from New York, Wiig in a lehenga

(SNL) Epic SNL skit with Kristen Wiig in a lehenga rips on Secret Service for party crashers incident.
Previously: snl, party crashers

Cold, hilly and sparse

(Daily Show Vid) Jon Stewart, Tom Friedman in highly skeptical discussion on Afghanistan war’s ‘magical thinking.’

Also, audition by munching a marigold

(Telegraph) Samrat C: Tilottama Shome told me [the director] was looking for a Bengali guy to play the photographer’s assistant. Italo is liberal but also guides us. The idea is to react instinctively.

Who’s Sari Now?

(NYT) MoDo: Obama was the ultimate party crasher, and so are the WH staff who preened rather than inviting guests relevant to India.

99 red lehengas

(NYT) Party crasher trying to sell story, ‘her now famous red sari’ [lehenga], Secret Service screening was haphazard.

The talented Mrs. Salehi

(WaPo) State dinner party crasher falsely claimed to be a Redskins cheerleader.

It wasn’t me

(TPM·L) Indian embassy denies clearing party crashers.

The curious incident of the lehenga in the night-time

(TPM·L) Theory: Indian consulate vouched for party crashers, Secret Service went along against their better judgment. Embarrassing to both White House, Indian gov’t.

Evading the Secret Service

(Gawker) Theory: state dinner crashers worked their polo connection to Indian embassy to get in on the down low.

Please forgive me

(Gettyimages Pic) Amartya Sen begging wife Emma Georgina Rothschild for mercy at state dinner.

Naming namaskar

(Techcrunch) Collab software startup with Jewish cofounders named Asana after yoga.
Previously: yoga, startups


(Chaicart) San Francisco chaiwalli: Organic, free trade, natural, composting, unlicensed, street food 2.0.
Previously: chai cart, tea

Tong wins Man Asian prize

(Guardian) Su Tong, author of book which inspired ‘Raise the Red Lantern,’ won Man Asian prize, beating out Omair Ahmad, Siddharth Chowdhury, Nitasha Kaul, Filipino writer Eric Gamalinda. (ht: @AmitavaKumar)

Art appreciation

(Hulu) ‘Parks’ S2xE9: Aziz Ansari only liked nude images but now he’s emotionally affected by abstract art.

Tech titans want in on ID project

(Techcrunch) With Bill Gates lobbying Nilekani, Yahoo’s CEO lobbied Manmohan Singh to join the national ID project. Yahoo is popular due to Yahoo Cricket.

Papa the bus

(Gametrailers) ‘Uncharted 2’: bus marque is a Tata parody (at very end).
Previously: uncharted 2, gaming, tata

Pokhara civil war

(Vid) *Very* impressive, cinematic trailer for ‘Uncharted 2,’ with signs in Nepali. More Nepal gameplay: [via]
Previously: nepal, uncharted 2, gaming

The pencil test

(Wiki) Sandra Laing, subject of ‘Skin,’ is a dark-skinned white Afrikaner born to apartheid supporters. The S. African gov’t classified her as white, then black, then white based on her skin and hair.

Popsamiti art paper

(Popsamiti) Popsamiti is platform for artists and writers to explore narratives for the 21st century. Read popsamiti, a limited edition print publication also available as a pdf download. Watch online the Motherland Pop TALK: debating South Asian art and culture

Saffronart Gallery panel discussion

(Saffronart) Indian art panel discussion coinciding with Frieze Art Fair, a showcase of contemporary art in London. Hour-long audio discussion posted on website.

Starry Night at the sabzi mandi

(Holotropic Art) Moonchild S. African artist paints Van Gogh-inspired market in Kishanghar, Rajasthan. Another is supposed to be Ganesh in female form: [via]
Previously: art, ganesh, rajasthan

Nozette threatened espionage for India

(TPM·L) NASA employee Stewart Nozette told a colleague if the U.S. prosecuted, he’d tell India or Israel everything he knew. He visited ISRO at least twice.
Previously: stewart nozette, isro

A flight to nowhere

(CBC) another dismal review of Amelia. i personally think mira nair was the wrong choice for this. she’s a brush painter. earhart called for broad strokes, sweeping vistas, the imagination, the torment that fueled exploration. instead we got a navelgazer.

Did NASA scientist pass secrets to India?

(TPM·L) Stewart Nozette is charged with trying to sell NASA secrets to Israel, but docs indicate he tried selling them to another country first. Was it India, while he was working on Chandrayaan?

How Raja Ravi Varma got his first break

(Randomhouseindia) ‘The Painter’: Jensen was forced to work under Raja Ravi Varma’s intense gaze and struggled with getting his subjects to fit the mould of European portraiture. Varma learned how to blend colors better by watching him.

‘Amelia’ screening

(Twitter) ‘Amelia’: has chai in Calcutta stopover. Mira always puts a little desi in all her movies. Swank joined for Q&A.

Stewart takes down CNN’s vacuousness

(Daily Show) Aasif Mandvi says CNN is a sober news org while John Oliver exposes it as a bunch of goat f-ers (at end of clip).

Lord Paul exaggerated expenses

(ToL) Multi-millionaire Labour donor Lord Paul claimed GBP38K in expenses by falsely claiming a flat as his main home. (via @tunkuv)
Previously: lord paul, uk, labour party

Accused of being a bad cop

(Rediff ‘01) LA cop Kulin Patel cleared of shooting suspect in back, planting gun in massive RAMPART scandal (ht: DJDP). [But much of RAMPART bad cop scandal was real.]
Previously: kulin patel, rampart, police

Gandhi angel

(Yfrog Pic) Suspended Gandhi angel at Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art. (via @shashwati)
Previously: mohandas gandhi, art, taiwan

Shan Pipe Band Learns the Star Spangled Banner

(NYT) Pakistani artist hired a traditional brass band and filmed ‘Shan Pipe Band Learns the Star Spangled Banner.’ NYT reviews contemporary Pakistani art show.�
Previously: art

Syncretism pays

(Anniepaulactivevoice) Xtian desi Jamaican commissions Muslim B’lore artist to paint offspring as Hindu deity.
Previously: art

Nonviolent Pathans for independence

(Wiki) Khudai Khidmatgar: nonviolent NWFP independence movement vs. Brits which allied with Gandhi. ‘The British used to torture us... but even then Badshah Khan told his followers... nothing can conquer nonviolence.’

‘Genius grant’ winners

(NYT) MacArthur Prize winners: L. Mahadevan, Harvard, applied math; Maneesh Agrawala, Berkeley, computer displays; Edwidge Danticat, Haitian-Am novelist...

Amartya Sen on ‘Capitalism and Confusion’

(Vid) The septuagenarian Nobelist speaks on the philosophical and metaphysical misunderstandings (and confusions) that led to the financial crisis. At Cornell (where he was once on the faculty himself). Q&A: As are inaudible, but Qs are v interesting.

Don’t be a Dick

(Vid) CBS announcer denied U.S. Open winner Juan Martin del Potro’s request to thank family in Spanish. Later agreed, but WTF. At 0:30.

Sharp-dressed man

(Daylife Pic) Samrat Chakrabarti rocks shiny suit, big shoes at TIFF for ‘Waiting City.’

‘Waiting’ at TIFF

(Gettyimages Pic) Samrat Chakrabarti, Radha Mitchell, director of ‘The Waiting City’ at TIFF.

Oh, for a book to ban

(Open) Journie longs for provocative, gonzo novel, not ‘effete’ books by ‘Bengalis and Malayalis living in south Delhi or south Mumbai writing for each other.’ Chandrahas smacks back, see comments.

‘Life Partner,’ zzz

(Twitter) ‘Life Partner’ is Bollywood’s way of informing us, via Govinda’s performance of it, that the C Walk is well and truly dead.

Best Price Modern Wholesale

(Time Aug.) Amritsar’s Wal-Mart up against hyperlocal stores: -He asked, Madam, is your daughter not home? You haven’t been ordering cheese singles! -Half the econ is black, documenting credit doesn’t work.
Previously: wal-mart, amritsar

‘Tiger’ sold 375,000 copies after win

(Bookseller) ‘White Tiger’ is the bestselling recent Booker winner after ‘Life of Pi.’ Plenty of longlisters outsell the winners though.

The rise and fall of Bodhi gallery

(Timeoutmumbai) Barista founder pushed art prices to new highs with chain of Bodhi art galleries, which are now folding. (via @vikasbajaj)
Previously: art

‘Hanging Fire’

(NYT) Taxidermied water buffalo, Muhammad’s winged steed Buraq — Pakistani art exhibit at Asia Society, Manhattan, ‘Hanging Fire.’
Previously: asia society, art, muslims

Tulsi Pipe dream

(PMH Pics) Toronto art crew made delicious love to a stretch of Tulsi Pipe Road, Bombay.
Previously: jing bangg, art, bombay

Khushwant on Jaswant’s Book

(HT) I do not agree with Jaswant Singh’s reading...I believe Partition was inevitable...Indians were never an integrated society...Nehru Patel Jinnah were helpless against the tidal wave of hatred generated by history.

‘Woodstock’: a long, boring trip

(WSJ) The Ravi Shankar songs in ‘Woodstock’ (Ang Lee, Demetri Martin) place the movie in the ’60s but not at ground zero. It’s not a concert movie.

A Tale of Two Books

(Hindu) Vidya Subrahmaniam thinks Shashi Tharoor’s 1997 book ‘India from M to M’ criticized the Gandhi-Nehru family, and compares it favorably with the BJP. But Vidya, nobody remembers that book in 2009! It’s not as if there was a furore and they let him by.

Preemptive censorship at Yale

(BoGlobe) The Muhammad cartoon violence in Pakistan, Libya and Nigeria was manipulated by political parties. Fearful, Yale Press banned an author from including them in her book.

Sen’s monster exegesis

(ToL) The essential Amartya Sen: the 3rd-century debate between Asoka and Kautilya, a downbeat institutionalist, is more enlightening than a tired contrast between Hobbes and Hume. (via @soniafaleiro)
Previously: amartya sen

Carlos Ramos on India

(Coreyhelfordgallery) Gorgeous India-themed art by Carlos Ramos which has fun with Orientalism. Style’s a cross between New Yorker and Ghee Happy. Rest of gallery: [via]
Previously: carlos ramos, art

‘The Wish Maker’

(NYT) Through 3 gens of a Lahore family, Ali Sethi charts Pakistani life since Partition. Evoke sthe comic mislocutions of Jonathan Safran Foer and the vertiginous mania of Zadie Smith.

It’s all Urdu to me

(TO Globe) gentle canadian humor on language as we use it today. Understandable. Imagine using google, bing and yahoo in a sentence just fifteen years back.
Previously: cartoon

Life of Pi II

(Guardian) Yann Martel sold a ‘Pi’ followup for $3M, another animal allegory, this time donkey + howler monkey + Holocaust. [Sequel-itis.]
Previously: yann martel, life of pi

Birdy Nam Nam

(Wiki) Birdy Nam Nam are a DJ crew from France named after Hrundi V. Bakshi’s catchphrase in ‘The Party.’

One artist who won’t take a bat to Holland Cotter

(NYT) NY artist Zarina Hashmi is one of S. Asian art’s few minimalists: single sheets of paper perforated with pinpricks, an impression of delicacy and irritation. Her art reflects Sufism with gold leaf to evoke a presence of light.

Suu Kyi poster

(Osocio Pic) Shepard Fairey of the iconic Obama poster does same for Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi.

Simple people rejoice in big box

(WaPo) Emily Wax story on Wal-Mart in India uses tired wide-eyed native frame-- indigenous superstores have been around for several years.
Previously: wal-mart

Keep on Truckin’

(Vid) The elaborate artwork seen on Pakistani trucks is considered part of basic auto maintenance and can cost about 2 grand.

A quixotic ledger entry

(Ptinews) India says Pakistan owes it Rs. 300 crore ($62M) in pre-Partition debt, carrying it forward every year but without tacking on interest.
Previously: economy, partition

Openly gay man running for office in India

(WaPo) Manohar Elavarthi aspires to be the first openly gay man elected to a major political office in India... Middle-class gays wake up early to move into separate rooms before household staff arrive.
Previously: gays, manohar elavarthi

It’s all about Martin

(Daily Show) Jon Stewart’s no Sanjay Goop-ta, but Martin Bashir’s comments on MJ’s death were ridiculous.

Unaccustomed dearth

(Charlierose Vid ’08) Jhumpa Lahiri strokes chin on Charlie Rose, says she’s a detached observer. (thanks, Elite-Irony)

Redemption in quake zone

(NYT) An ex-cokehead American volunteered after the ’05 Pakistan quake and never left, setting up a hospital and raising $200K from the U.S. and Unicef.
Previously: earthquakes

Newsha Tavakolian

(Newshatavakolian) Photos by Iranian journie. Check out Pakistan quake; Kosi river of sorrows, Bihar; and Tehran, capital of nose jobs.

Insider, trading stories

(Vid Audio) Martha Stewart grills Anoop Desai on BBQ sauce for her radio show. ‘How did you get away with writing a thesis on BBQ sauce? Only in the South.’

Art of the Sufis

(NYT) Sufi art at Brooklyn Museum: ‘sufi’ came from Arabic for rough wool, ‘derwish’ from Farsi for poor.

‘Yo Teach!’

(Tumblr) ‘Funny People’ (Aziz Ansari) posts fake sitcom clip starring Jason Schwartzmann as teacher for the kids society’s left behind. With desi kid.

Missteps in new Amritsar Wal-Mart

(WSJ) Amritsar’s Wal-Mart wholesale operation told merchants they only needed to show their biz licenses to shop there, which few of them have.
Previously: wal-mart, amritsar

‘Cheap sensationalism’

(Guardian) Jimmy Carter, Roald Dahl slammed Rushdie and ‘The Satanic Verses’ after the fatwa. Scroll to end.

If you think I’m sexy

(Fbook) Anoop Desai in incredibly cheesy ‘Idol’ performance with Rod Stewart. Very brief solo at 0:40.

Baldie from Skynet

(NYT) ‘Terminator Salvation’ features a bald Helena Bonham Carter [like Persis Khambatta in ‘Star Trek’].

Depp stalling ‘Shantaram’

(HT) ‘Johnny Depp wasn’t keen to come to India. What happened with Brad and Angelina Jolie in Mumbai during A Mighty Heart scared him off.’ Depp wanted to recreate Bombay in Mexico; Nair said no. She’s now working on an Amelia Earhart biopic.

Economists, biz happy over Congress win

(NYT) Economists predicted the Congress win would narrow India’s gap with China. Infrastructure isn’t built not due to lack of money, but due to red tape, poor design and corruption.

The animal spirits come out

(Marketwatch) Bombay stock exchange up 17% on Congress victory. Trading suspended for entire day.

First Indian Wal-mart isn’t

(Time) The first Indian Wal-mart is a wholesale operation named BestPrice to avoid rousing local opposition. (ht: SB)
Previously: wal-mart

Election slogans from movies

(WaPo) Congress supporters ate hand-shaped ice pops and shouted ‘Singh is king.’ Congress benefited from rural work guarantee. Mayawati ‘promised to decrease crime rates and then began recruiting criminals.’ Rahul Gandhi sipped tea with lower castes.

Resounding victory means more reform

(WSJ) Congress’ election victory without leftists means more financial reform. Manmohan Singh could step aside early for Rahul Gandhi [sickening].

Congress chants Rahman hook

(Bloomberg) Exultant Congress workers in khadi cloth chanted ‘Jai ho’ over the party’s election victory. The home minister narrowly won (thanks, P-I).

Taliban fight produces surge of refugees

(NYT) 1.3M Pakistanis fleeing the fight against the Taliban may be the largest migration since 14M moved during Partition.
Previously: taliban, partition


(Vid) Jam session w/Samrat C. and singer Meetu Chilana, who’s joining Cirque du Soleil in June.

‘The Wedding Weekend’

(Vid) Samrat Chakrabarti in ensemble rom-com ‘The Wedding Weekend.’ Photo: [via]

Evacuating the Carterets

(Ecologist) On the Carteret Islands, king tides have washed away their crops and rising sea levels poisoned those that remain with salt. They’re evacuating the Papua New Guinea atoll just north of Australia [like Maldives].


(Indiaprwire) The Netherlands’ postal service has released 4 stamps honoring godman Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. (ht: aa)

Angolan dance music craze

(BoGlobe) MIA appears on ‘Sound of Kuduro’ by Buraka Som Sistema. Kuduro is a fusion of Angolan rhythms and Euro electronica.

Red is a power color

(Life Photo) Samrat Chakrabarti rocks the raw silk at IFFLA.

‘Flamingoes’ purpler than purple

(DNA) ‘She felt the entire world bursting upon her: a river uncoiled, lions roared, a marigold bloomed, a mass of clouds floated over a delta, orange lava bristled, the sea churned, a cocoon split open and something with green gossamer wings emerged.’

‘Lost Flamingoes’ excerpt

(Rediff Mar.) Excerpt from ‘Lost Flamingoes,’ based on Jessica Lal murder: She saw the stall of a paanwalla with glossy clusters of heart-shaped leaves and papyrus foils of silver. The earring was loose again. Family gold ought never to be lost.

Shanghvi’s 2nd just as purple

(HT Mar.) ‘The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay’: ‘smugness blasted out of her face like a fart’, ‘Priya had a crusty librarian’s voice, one that could only be relieved by a dildo’. Indian novels come from ‘the almost-a-pussy of a drag queen called Lady Epic.’

Mistaken identity

(Blogsome) Chowdhury: Patna quiz shows ask, ‘Who is the author of Patna Roughcut?’ They rarely ever get it right. The audience invariably shouts back, ‘Amitava Kumar.’

‘Diksha at St. Martin’s’

(Tribuneindia) The author of the terribly stylish ‘Patna Roughcut’ released an earlier short story collection, ‘Diksha at St. Martin’s,’ referring to being freed from the shackles of ignorance by Martin Scorsese. It’s set in Delhi and Patna.

Pogrom vs. pogrom

(WSJ) The BJP taunted Congress over the clearing of a Bofors suspect and Jagdish Tytler, while Congress reminded voters of Modi’s role in the ’02 Gujarat pogrom.

Too big to fail

(WaPo) The original Boston Tea Party protested a law which helped the monopolistic East India Company unload its excess tea in America. It was invoked by Sun Yat-sen, Mahatma Gandhi and the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon.

The Brits want credit

(Daily Show) Tea parties, shmee parties. As a British person, John Oliver wants credit for torturing political prisoners with thumbscrews and killing 30 million Native Americans.

Tax Day tea party

(TPM·L Photo) A woman in a straw hat festooned with tea bags takes part in a tax protest in Iowa.
Previously: tea parties

D’oh! in Kannada

(BBC) A Karnataka minister fled an election rally when he realised he was addressing Congress workers and not his own party, the BJP. [Because Indian election signs are oh-so-subtle.] (ht: S)

Chor Boogie

(Chorboogie) California spray paint artist goes by Chor Boogie.
Previously: chor boogie, art

Who’s manning TARP

(Sunlightprojects) Just 4 people were named in a FOIA response as being responsible for disbursing $700B in TARP funds, including Neel Kashkari and Karthik Ramanathan.

Dal mein kuch kala (something odd going on)

(Marthastewart) Anil Kapoor’s moustache went on the Martha Stewart show and shared its recipe for black dal. (ht: Beth)

A four-leafed clover for Trawnna

(TO Star) According to legend, the first leaf is for hope, the second for faith, the third for love and the fourth for luck. Theo the cartoonist shares his rendering of a clover.

Unaccustomed dearth

(Morningnews) Lahiri micromanages a dozen subspecies of guilt and love and never slips up. Nothing ever rings false. But the dysfunction and anomie of Lahiri’s uprooted Bengalis seemed trivial by comparison [to a novel about Hurricane Katrina]. (ht: jabberwock)

Tharoor running in Kerala

(Hindu) Shashi Tharoor will be the Congress candidate in Thiruvananthapuram for the Lok Sabha.

Indian Art Forum

(Yahoo) Gallery show in Frankfurt Germany diplaying contemporary artwork by South Asian artists from around the world, like *PMH, Vinita Agarwal, Sabahat Nawaz
Previously: art, *pmh

India’s own Google Earth

(Reuters) India is launching Bhuvan, a high-res Indian map site with soil and water quality maps from satellites.
Previously: bhuvan, google earth

‘The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay’

(Middlestage) Shanghvi’s new novel is off-putting not just he’s settled into his faults. He does not even play to his own strengths — his prose is peculiarly self-defeating. E.g.: ‘Glee dripped out of Natasha like precum.’

Parties get catty over ‘Jai Ho’

(NDTV) -By buying this copyright, the Congress has divided artists on party lines. Jai Ho should not belong to any one, it belongs to the country. -They (the BJP) are used to stealing. This is what they do.
Previously: jai ho, bjp, congress party

Indian King

(WSJ) MLK traveled to nine cities including Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Kolkata and Trivandrum. The younger King met with Pratibha Patil and attended a rendition of Rahman’s ‘Jai Ho.’

‘The Dragon’s Gift’

(Asianart) ‘The Dragon’s Gift’ at SF’s Asian Art Museum displays sacred and beloved Buddhist arts in Bhutan. From 2/20-5/10.
Previously: art, bhutan

Predators show up on Google Earth

(Teeth) Google Earth satellite photos from ’06 show U.S. drones, probably Predators, parked on a Pakistani runway. Updated photos show only a new hangar. More: [via]
Previously: google earth, predators

Patel and Lee sitting in a tree counting to 3.141592653

(TO Globe) Ang Lee signs up for Life of Pi. I dont think I’d be the first to think this would be perfect for Dev Patel.
Previously: yann martel, ang lee

‘Franklyn’ trailer

(Vid) Art Malik plays a bigwig and Gary Pillai a doctor in upcoming sci-fi noir ‘Franklyn.’ With Eva Green, Ryan Philippe. Full cast: [via]

MLK, the black Gandhi

(WaPo) MLK’s son retracing dad’s steps in India... Vijay Prashad: ‘In the radical black community, Gandhi was seen for his political ability to move millions into nonviolent struggle. The black leadership pined for their black Gandhi.’

The continuing dehyphenation

(NYT) The Awami National Party, which controls the NWFP, accused the ISI and army of being allies of the militants... Holbrooke will insist that the flow of aid depends on Pakistan shutting down terrorism.

Sellers owned the ‘Panther’

(NYT) The cast — John Cleese, Emily Mortimer, the Bollywood beauty Aishwarya Rai Bachchan — suggests something a little more refined. Martin’s Clouseau is a skillful gloss, but lacks the layers of oratorical pretension Sellers put into it.

Divas squared

(Sulekha Photo) Aishwarya Rai on the Murthi Stewart show.

Mirren in a turban

(Journalinquirer) ‘Inkheart’: The mansion looks like a dreamy tourist hotel from a Merchant-Ivory production. Helen Mirren plays a nasty scold who always wears a turban, the reliable standby of the actress tired of having her hair fussed over every second.
Previously: inkheart, turbans

Goddess Lakshmi & Bipartisanship

(Kos·L) Kossack Tara, compares bipartisanship to story of Devas & Asuras churning Milky Ocean for Ambrosia. [via]

Apu of Guantanamo

(Daily Show) Jon Stewart’s Middle Eastern accent sounds like a spin on Sellers.

Torture opponent to rewrite rules

(Politico) Outspoken torture opponent Marty Lederman, prof. at Georgetown, is replacing torture enabler John Yoo at the Office of Legal Counsel.

I had a dream. Of a Nehru topi

(CBC) Photos of MLK in his famous speech to the nation are against a backdrop of more than a few Nehru Topis. I jest machangs. Let us dream.
Previously: martin luther king

Half of Sen’s missing women weren’t

(Slate ‘05) 50M of Amartya Sen’s 100M ‘missing women’ in Asia may have been the result of disease: women infected with hepatitis B had far more boys. (ht: Rahul)

Our Bollywood portrait

(Ourdelhistruggle) NYers in Delhi get their portraits painted filmi style. Scroll to bottom. (ht: AV)
Previously: bollywood, art

“The Velocity Series"

(Enderlingallery) Stunning charcoal-on-paper renderings of natural phenomena, by UK-based desi artist Kulvinder Kaur Dhew.
Previously: art

Dalai Lama, Playboy and a wedding

(NYT) They exchanged photos; his was taken with the Dalai Lama in India. His first wife was an ex-Playboy bunny who painted the Dalai Lama’s gardens.


(Tumblr) What an Indian mermaid might look like. (ht: Shashwati)
Previously: artwallah

Oakland riots over BART shooting

(SF Chron) Godhuli Bose stood near her smashed Toyota Corolla. An Oakland, Calif. protester walked by, repeatedly calling her a misogynist epithet. ‘F- your car.’ Bose, a high school teacher: ‘I can’t afford this.’
Previously: bart

Contemporary Pakistani art in NYC

(NYT) In ‘Nai Reesan Shehr Lahore Diyan (There Is No Match of the City Lahore)’ a girl skips rope in front of burned-out buildings — the aftermath of arsons committed by religious extremists. Photo: [via]
Previously: art

R.I.P. Eartha Kitt

(Vid) Forget Nelly Furtado in Hindi. Southerner Eartha Kitt, who passed away today, had a hit song in Turkish. Her obit: [via]
Previously: eartha kitt, turkey

HoE at the AGO

(TO Star) Heaven on Earth the only major Canadian movie to see commercial release in 2009. But it will air at the Art Gallery of Ontario in early Feb. Tho’ not a fan of Mehta, credit to her for at least trying to tell the story of immigrant desis.

‘Rendezvous with Rama’ greenscreen

(Filmroster Video) Greenscreening the effects for the much delayed, possibly canceled ‘Rendezvous with Rama,’ movie version of Arthur C. Clarke story.

The marvels of privatization

(Hindu) After the ’05 Pakistan quake, LeT and other terrorist groups in six-wheeled military-style trucks were better organized than the army. They even pulled injured soldiers out of the rubble.
Previously: let, earthquakes

Art in Doha

(NYT) The Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar is modeled on Ibn Tulun Mosque in Cairo and Tunisian fortresses. For withdrawal, it’s set on a man-made island. A silk tapestry of a couple in front of a tent illustrates Laila-Majnu.
Previously: muslims, art

Husain’s ‘Guernica’

(Hindu) A painting by M.F. Husain on the Mumbai attacks, ‘Rape of India,’ was unveiled at a Kensington Gardens gallery.
Previously: m.f. husain, 11/26, bombay, art

Marwari art in D.C.

(WSJ) Marwari paintings on display at Sackler Gallery in D.C. Raja Bakhat Singh killed his father and was poisoned by his niece. In one painting, male (representing consciousness) and female (matter) sit with arms crossed, split apart.

Portable sewing machine for sweatshop employees

(Onion) A segment from the Onion in Bengali starring Samrat Chakrabarti (can someone with good Bangla verify the subtitles?)
Previously: samrat chakrabarti

‘The Visitation’

(Komail Aijazuddin Painting) Koran story about an angel’s visit, redone ‘Friends’-style.
Previously: art

Qatar Pei-ing for art

(NYT) I.M. Pei says Qatar’s Museum of Islamic Art is his last major cultural design. It’s Cubist and resembles Tunisian fortresses. ‘Islamic architecture is very strong and simple. There is nothing superfluous.’
Previously: qatar, art, muslims

Al Gore invented Live Earth

(BBC) Al Gore, Will.i.am, Roger Waters, Bon Jovi at Live Earth concert in Bombay next month. [Maybe Kalyan-Anand fans can hit up the Black-Eyed Peas singer for royalties.]
Previously: live earth, bombay

Wag the Dog, for celebs

(NYT) During the ‘marriage-breaker’ scandal, Angelina Jolie is accused to diverting attention with a Pakistan trip. At the ‘A Mighty Heart’ premiere, she insisted on control over how the interview was used... She made $14M for pix of her kids (!)

The golden hoard

(WSJ) The golden hoard of Afghanistan’s Tillya Tepe (Golden Hill) is on display at the S.F. Asian Art Museum, along with ‘erotically carved ivory from India.’
Previously: afghanistan, art

Art and the barbarian

(TO Globe) Museums have been prime offenders in designating the off-white as the “other" and the exotic in relation to the presumed white norm. The reinvention of the AGO hopes to turn the dial. The point is made that art collectiing is a barbarian act.

Filipino writer pips Shanghvi

(Hindu) Filipino writer Miguel Syjuco won the Man Asian prize, beating Siddharth Shanghvi’s ‘Lost Flamingoes of Bombay’ and Kavery Nambisan. ‘Ilustrado’ is a multigenerational Filipino family saga. Amit Varma had been on the longlist.

Kalakar in Qatar

(WSJ) Qatar’s I.M. Pei-designed Museum for Islamic Art looks like creamy building blocks, each cube adjusted just enough to catch a triangle of harsh light or deep shadow... Conceptual art — Sufi script on shoes — was confiscated for blasphemy.
Previously: art, muslims, qatar

Pakistan quake fells apple orchards

(AFP) The 6.4 tremor that destroyed homes and killed up to 300 people in Pakistan also felled many golden and green apple trees in a large apple-exporting region.

Quetta quake kills 150

(NYT) A pre-dawn earthquake killed at least 150 in Quetta, Baluchistan while they slumbered.
Previously: earthquakes

A mighty baby switch

(NYT) ‘Changeling,’ in which Angelina Jolie suffers not knowing if her only child has been murdered, puts her back in the wrenching territory of ‘A Mighty Heart.’

‘President’ at SAIFF

(Saiff) Films at SAIFF in Manhattan include ‘The President is Coming’ by Anuvab Pal (with Konkona Sen) and ‘Kissing Cousins’ with Samrat Chakrabarti.

Murdered LA son had pledged desi frat

(NYT) Rajaram murder-suicide: Krishna, 19, was in his second year at UCLA and had a full scholarship, He’d pledged the South Asian fraternity Delta Phi Beta.

Rajaram used to be rich

(LAT) The LA murder-suicide family was once well off, making $1.2M in a venture fund and $500K in real estate. Those who knew Rajaram said he was high strung and emotionally unstable. He apparently killed his family after losing $ in the stock crash.
Previously: karthik rajaram

Respectful maniac

(CNN) The murder-suicide perp’s 19-year-old son Krishna was a Fulbright Scholar and honor student at UCLA. The parents had given up their master bedroom to their eldest — who was spending the weekend home from college — ‘out of respect.’
Previously: karthik rajaram

Financial Advisor in SoCal Kills Family, Self

(LAT) Karthik Rajaram, 45, an unemployed financial advisor apparently despondent over his troubles shot and killed his wife, his mother-in-law and three children before taking his own life in northwest San Fernando Valley.
Previously: karthik rajaram

Kunzru and Shteyngart

(New Yorker) Kunzru: ‘It’s my great misfortune to have been born into a dead empire’... In NY, nobody treats short, furry Shteyngart like crap — they pet him. His mom prints out every negative thing that gets written about him in Russia.

Leave it to a Bengali to play god :)

(New Yorker ‘93) [From story which inspired ‘Flash of Genius’ movie:] In 1972, Ananda Chakrabarty applied for a patent on a microbe that breaks down crude oil. The Supreme Court ruled in his favor, creating a brand-new kind of IP.

Found in translation

(Slate) Like ‘Before Sunrise’ or ‘Lost in Translation,’ ‘Nick and Norah’ captures the excitement of exploring a city with someone you barely know and really, really like. So slight it’s almost diaphanous, but a fine mood movie.

‘Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist’

(NYT) NYC’s streets are so benign that Nick’s abandonment of a girl in desolate West Side seems a failure of gallantry rather than potentially homicidal malice. [With the music of Devendra Banhart.]

Religious holidays are no excuse

(Daily Show) Jon Stewart pulls out a conch and chides lawmakers for using Rosh Hashanah as an excuse to skip out on the bailout. ‘How many Jewish congressmen are there anyway?’ [Will they use Diwali when there’s a war vote?]

Devendra’s infinite playlist

(NYT) Nick is a newly jilted high school bassist and Kat Dennings’s Norah is the infatuated stranger compelled by his mournful homemade CD mixes. One night the pair zigzag through hipster New York (Arlene’s Grocery? Check. Devendra Banhart? Check.).

Portman, Banhart split up

(Now) Natalie Portman broke up with Devendra Banhart, whom she met when she starred in his proto-Hindoo music video ‘Carmensita.’ (ht: Amar)

A date with Jhumpa

(Tabloid) The Aura Estrada Prize will go to a young Latina who writes in Spanish. Salman Rushdie, Junot Diaz Paul Auster, Gabriel Garcia Marquez are pitching in. Jhumpa Lahiri, Gary Shteyngart auction off dinnner dates.

Lahiri Wins Frank O’Connor Prize for ‘Unaccustomed Earth’

(HT) ‘Unaccustomed Earth, in its poise and elegance, its finely calibrated, nuanced grasp of universal human emotions and its closely attentive, flawless prose is — by far the best collection of stories published this year.’ — notes the linked article.

‘A Mighty Heart’ flopped at box office

(WSJ) ‘A Mighty Heart’ (Angelina Jolie, Archie Panjabi, Irfan Khan) lost about $15M. The dark, funny academic comedy ‘Smart People’ (Dennis Quaid) also did poorly.
Previously: a mighty heart

Groove to Jalebee Cartel

(MySpace) Jalebee Cartel fries squiggly orange beats. Listen here.
Previously: jalebee cartel

Amitava at the DNC

(Blogsome) S.R. Sidarth told me that he believes that Macacagate guided him to his calling, politics. ‘Obama’s story resonates with Indians’... In contrast to the Obama t-shirts, the McCain ones are all the hue of deep mud.

MoMA Delhi

(NYT) India’s first contemporary art museum, Devi Art Foundation, will open Saturday over 7,500 sq ft in a Gurgaon office tower: pink fiberglass cow, velvet fan made of human ribs (in a vegetarian household), cow dung cave.
Previously: art

In Delhi, art is the new black money

(WaPo) Delhiites ‘who know nothing about art are buying it. They come with pockets full of cash to art galleries. There is art under their beds.’
Previously: art

Bose at Philly Museum

(NYT) Nandalal Bose show at Philly Museum: MoMAs should rename themselves to Museum of Western Modernism. Bose’s print of Gandhi became his most widely-spread image. Photos: [via]

Stewart: Cheney vaults bounds of absurdity

(NYT) Jon Stewart: I’ll create a character who only asks Iraq reconstruction employees, ‘What do you think of Roe v. Wade?’ Then you read ‘Imperial Life in the Emerald City’ by Rajiv Chandrasekaran and you go, oh, they did that.

Subverting pop art

(Mint) In ‘Words,’ Dhruvi Acharya painted over real strips from Amar Chitra Katha comic books, erasing the images but leaving the blurbs, which sound dirty and sexist. ‘How strong and firm is his grip.’ [Friend’s art show opening in Bombay.]

Man Asian Literary Longlist

(Manasianliteraryprize) The longlist for the Man Asian Literary Prize was just announced. Includes Amit Varma’s ‘My Friend, Sancho’ and Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi’s ‘Lost Flamingoes of Bombay’ among other desi titles.

Clean politician’s dirty tactics

(NYT) Afraid it could lose a no confidence vote by a single-digit margin, squeaky-clean Manmohan Singh’s Congress Party is springing criminal MPs from jail and renaming airports to gather votes.

When Gandhi met Churchill... in 1906

(TO Star) In 1906, two Boer War veterans met in London to discuss the fate of British Indians in the Transvaal. They were the colonial undersecretary and the provincial lawyer, Winston S. Churchill and Mohandas K. Gandhi... from the book by Arthur Herman.

‘Fatal Love’s’ sequel

(NYT) ‘Erasing Borders’ shows 63 works by 40 Indian-American artists in Westchester, NY, including Siona Benjamin, Pratima Naithani, Prince V. Thomas, Salma Arastu, Anna I. Bhushan, Samanta B. Mehta, Ela Shah and Shelly Bahl.
Previously: art, erasing borders

Sheetal’s cirque

(Geocities) Photos of Sheetal Gandhi dancing in Cirque du Soleil (scroll down). She also performed at Artwallah ’08.

Pickin’ peaches at Johl’s

(India50) Pablo Bartholomew’s photos of Punjabi farm workers in Yuba City.

‘Outside In’

(Pablobartholomew) Pablo Bartholomew’s striking photo exhibit of India in the ’70s.
Previously: pablo bartholomew

Aitzaz Ahsan on Charlie Rose

(Charlierose) Aitzaz Ahsan on Charlie Rose, June 30. With David Rohde and Mark Mazzetti, the NYT reporters who wrote the ‘Qaeda Grows in Pakistan’ story NYT same day. Ahsan is extremely articulate, and thoroughly persuasive. Second half is Salman Rushdie on EoF.

Bartholomew nation

(Tabloid) Richard and Pablo Bartholomew are father and son photogs with exhibits at the same time at two different NYC galleries just blocks apart. Pablo shot Bombay artistes and celebs in full ’70s regalia, his father photographed their family.
Previously: pablo bartholomew

Lalwani gifting ‘Gifted’ gift to Liberty liberty

(Guardian) Nikita Lalwani’s ‘Gifted’ won the inaugural Desmond Elliott prize, and the author will donate the GBP 10,000 award to civil liberties activist group Liberty, headed by Shami Chakrabarti.

Are India and America Finally Equal Partners?

(Vid) Barkha Dutt takes show to Stanford. Top Indian, American economists, technologists, entrepreneurs, Govt officials, students on panel; adman Suhel Seth makes excellent points; excerpts on youtube; full show on ndtv.com (We the People) [via]

‘Get Smart’s’ turban schtick

(NYT) ‘Get Smart’ has a pathetic bit about a guy in a turban on a plane and takes tiny, tinny digs at the VP. They even have a president who can’t pronounce nuclear properly and reads ‘Goodnight Moon’ to the kiddies.
Previously: get smart, turbans

Srivastava to run Flickr

(Valleywag) Founder’s funny resignation letter from Yahoo Flickr leaves Kakul Srivastava in charge. She came from the Yahoo side, studied at MIT and Berkeley. Photo: [via]

‘Get Smart’ like ‘Harold and Kumar’

(Charlestoncitypaper) Like ‘Harold and Kumar 2,’ ‘Get Smart’ riffs off Brit terrorism when Steve Carell tries to burn a wad of gum off his shoe aboard an airplane.

Man gets 3 years for exporting military parts

(AP) Indian-American businessman Parthasarathy Sudarshan, 47, was sentenced to 3 years for exporting guidance systems and night vision parts for Indian combat aircraft at the behest of an Indian embassy official.

Bashir has brain tumor

(Fox) Telejournie Martin Bashir went to the hospital after hitting his head on the Times Square set of ‘Nightline’ and discovered he had a small pituitary tumor. Docs will leave it alone. (ht: cp)
Previously: martin bashir

Hastey Hastey

(Sacbee) Jimmy Shergill flick comes to America with the oddly-translated title ‘Hastey Hastey Follow Your Heart.’ Leads one to believe it’s in Chinglish :)

‘Unaccustomed Earth’ a guilty pleasure

(Rifforiffo) ‘Unaccustomed Earth’ is a guilty read, the equivalent of Archie comics. It’s a bunch of stories about Gogol Gangulis approaching middle age and married to white people. Lahiri writes about the mundane almost exclusively.

Booker of Bookers shortlist

(Manbookerprize) The Bookers of Bookers II shortlist includes ‘Midnight’s Children’ and ‘The Siege of Krishnapur’ (‘73). No Kiran Desai, ‘Life of Pi’ or ‘Arthur & George.’

Daughter? You get a do-over

(WaPo) Chinese officials are happy at quake aid after Tibet protests. Quake victims will be exempt from the one-child policy. In rural parts, many are already allowed a second child, especially if the first was a girl.

Save a yuan, kill a child

(NYT) Like quakes in Pakistan and Iran, the China quake seems to have killed thousands because of construction which cut corners. Rebar had too few supporting rods and watered-down concrete.
Previously: earthquakes, china

Afghanistan art exhibit opening in D.C.

(WSJ) ‘Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures From the National Museum, Kabul,’ opens Sunday at the National Gallery of Art. His academic work: ‘They’d sold 16 copies. I tore up the check. Filling out the W-9 would have been more trouble than it was worth.’

Quake pushes Tibet to sidelines

(NYT) Tibet groups have been forced to lobby quietly while China mourns its quake victims.
Previously: earthquakes, china, tibet

‘A Mighty Heart’ suited Jolie

(NYT) Jolie is not a weeper. She seems capable of only playing variations on herself, which is why she was persuasive holding back tears as a steely Mariane Pearl in ‘A Mighty Heart.’

Giant Singh gets rapturous Indian welcome

(WaPo) Last week, 7’3", 420-lb. wrestler Dalip Singh Rana returned to India for a vacation. Thousands garlanded him at Delhi airport, but pehelwans questioned whether WWE wrestling is real. Singh will appear in ‘Get Smart.’

Freedom fried

(DNA) The Shiv Sena wants to rename the popular street food the Shiv vada pav as an electoral stunt. Congress names everything from slums to airports after Indira and Rajiv Gandhi. [via]

China, Burma slow to react to disasters

(WSJ) In democracies, public pressure pushes elected officials to act. In nondemocracies like China and Burma, after nature kills people, delay and incompetence kill the rest. [But what of Katrina?]

Cheap buildings killed thousands

(Insidebayarea) As in previous earthquakes in India, Pakistan and Iran, the Chinese quake killed people largely because of builders who cut corners and concrete buildings which didn’t assume seismic activity. [via]
Previously: earthquakes, china

Chinese quake set off by plate tectonics

(NYT) Where Asia and India collide, the Tibetan plateau is pushing southeast against the flat Sichuan basin. On Monday afternoon, an upward thrust fault broke, generating an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.9.
Previously: earthquakes, china

‘Unaccustomed Earth’ a quiet, formal ‘static’ book

(Time) Everyone is pulled in at least six directions at once. Parents backward; children forward. America west; India east. Marriage outward; solitude inward. Lahiri’s stories describe a metastable equilibrium of enormous multidimensional forces. [via]

Utilitarianism and India

(New Yorker) John Stuart Mill said India was stalled just past barbarism w.r.t tech. There the telegraph came before railroads because Brits wanted to hear of mutiny more than they needed to travel. Marx thought railroad would end caste system.
Previously: john stuart mill

Prince Harry joins army, Rahul takes road trip

(WaPo) Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Discover of India’ tour: ‘He needs to be a brand. He walks around the villages, talks to the poorest, eats with them. He is creating a visual sense of leadership.’ Why it’s almost as if politics are more about image than substance.

IvyLeague Prof Sues Students For Being Mean to Her

(Gawker) A Dartmouth lecturer--Priya Venkatesan--is suing her class for discrimination, as she revealed in a series of regrettable and bizarre emails that promptly ended up all over Dartmouth blogs. The email, and so, so much more.

Carter: For Middle East peace, follow Nepal

(NYT) Jimmy Carter: I mediated in Nepal, which got Maoists to lay down their arms. So talking with Hamas is the right strategy.
Previously: nepal, jimmy carter, hamas

Pakistanis free Islamist

(NYT) In a move toward negotiation over fighting, Pakistan’s Awami National Party freed Maulana Sufi Muhammad, leader of a jihadi movement and father-in-law of Maulana Fazlullah.

Vinay on TV

(PBS) The documentary ‘The Truth About Cancer’ interviews Vinay Chakravarthy about his leukemia and marrow transplant. It plays nationally on PBS Wed., April 16, from 9-11pm ET. (ht: chickpea)

Peanut farmer in Nepal

(NYT Photo) Jimmy Carter observing Nepal election.
Previously: jimmy carter, nepal

Fruits of diaspora soil

(BusStd) Jai Arjun: To get a sense of the impression NRI’s have of Jhumpa Lahiri’s work, as immigrant cliche, see this cheekiness from the culture blog Ultrabrown. [I’m not saying she plays into curry cliches. I’m saying she plays into her own.]

Jhumpa is the anti-Kiran Desai

(Tehelka) Unlike Kiran Desai’s ‘The Inheritance of Loss,’ Lahiri’s immigrants are prosperous, middle-class, conventional. When she departs from her rigid script, her touch is unconvincing, formulaic, plangent. She’s America’s most conventional young writer.

Uneasy on earth

(Slate) Jhumpa Lahiri shows how 2nd genners know their elders succeeded against great odds. Even with accent-free English and freedom from arranged marriages, they feel adrift. A permanent exile has become the state of the world.

Like thief, Lahiri leaves no prints

(NYT) The boy plants Legos, a dinosaur and a star — int’l, prehistoric and celestial... ‘Bombay had made them more American than Cambridge had’... Lahiri leaves no fingerprints on her characters, who grow on their own like time-lapse plant videos.

Interpreter of families

(Startribune) Sprint to the bookstore — ‘Unaccustomed Earth’ is Jhumpa’s best yet. She has much in common with Chekhov and Munro, pitch-perfect short-story wizards, though the stories are grounded in familiar Boston territory.

‘Unaccustomed’ works despite limited style

(Rockymountainnews) Lahiri rarely uses plot twists, humor, or Indian locations. Most stories are set in suburbia, unlike the atmospheric Caribbean stories of Edwidge Danticat.

Tilling the dry ‘Earth’

(USA Today) A fairly dry excerpt from ‘Unaccustomed Earth’ which commits the cardinal sin of fiction by telling, not showing. Other passages are more promising.

Lahiri plans on repeating herself

(Hindu) ‘Unaccustomed’ is more complex, meandering. Doesn’t break new ground in subject or voice. Lahiri is a traditional miniaturist... -There are more stories to tell in this world, it’s not limiting. -Is the next novel of Indians and the diaspora? -Yes.

Sonic ‘Earth’

(NPR) ‘Fresh Air’ reviews ‘Unaccustomed Earth.’

Jhumpa the minimalist

(Atlantic) I want to to get my work less, plainer, as simple as I can. I’m not an effusive writer. My writing tends to contract. My novels will be more streamlined... My husband tosses out the book review section so I don’t see it.

Alienated earth

(Charlotte) Lahiri’s book: ‘Her father cultivated bitter melon, chili peppers, delicate strains of spinach. Oblivious to her mother’s needs in other ways, he toiled in unfriendly soil, coaxing things from the ground.’ ‘Only Goodness’ is the only false note.

Hema and Kaushik disappoint

(Star Telegram) One story is Updike-ian with unusual satiric bite. ‘Only Goodness’ is the strongest. Hema-Kaushik disappoint. Tsunami is cheap plot device. Lahiri’s milieu is limited, but the range is epic. There might not be better American fiction this year.

Reading ‘Unaccustomed’ for free

(Nounthatverbsyourworld) 3 of the best stories were already in the New Yorker. The linked stories feel unfinished. This book’s between ‘Namesake’ and the better ‘Maladies’ — good, not classic... I can’t get behind any best book list that has ‘The Kite Runner’ on it. [Yes.]

Kaushik Ganguli

(EW) Would the book work if the achaar in the fridge were plain old mayo? Try it while reading the book... Hema-Kaushik resembles Gogol’s bad marriage, irresistibly drawn to tradition.

Lahiri writes Austen in reverse

(Paste) Kaushik, the male object of desire, is handsome, aloof. It’s Austen in reverse: why arranged marriage with a man Hema cannot love? Unleavened by humor. All characters are upper-class and unaware of ethnicities other than white.

A doomy ‘Earth’

(Voice) Weightier, more nuanced tightness than neo-Chekhovian ‘Namesake.’ Goes deeper. Lahiri is old-fashioned, not a stylist. Characters are doomy, defeated, don’t have much fun. But you sit in between the beats of her characters’ heartaches.

Lahiri still focused on 1st gen

(CSM) Quiet precision, but familiar characters. When the parents disappear, the stories suffer.

Accustomed earth

(NY Sun) Disappointingly familiar. Unmemorable treacle, blandly sentimental. Little good dialogue or humor. Abstemious about pleasure. Soft-core for Park Slope moms. Ham-handed. Wooden, pedigree-centric. Lahiri needs to get out more.

Bobos in Jhumpadise

(TNR·L) ‘Maladies’ sold well, rare for stories; ‘Unaccustomed’ is getting a huge 300K printing. Her characters are not so much ethnic as pedigreed, bobos from the NYT weddings section.

Unaccustomed imagery

(Calendarlive) Lahiri is sparing in her use of metaphor and imagery, but Kaushik’s nine-day road trip to the Canadian border along a frigid and desolate coastline, resounds with loss. It’s a howl from the heart of a writer working at the height of her powers.

‘Unaccustomed’ packaging

(Telegraph) The first part of Jhumpa Lahiri’s ‘Unaccustomed Earth’ contains five stories. The second, ‘Hema and Kaushik,’ is a three-part story told from Hema’s POV, then from Kaushik’s, ending in a meeting between the characters in Rome.

Awami Party says stop backing militants

(NYT) Newly elected in Pakistan’s tribal areas, the Pashtun group Awami National Party has long accused Pakistani intelligence of ‘conniving’ with jihadis in Afghanistan and Kashmir. They want talks and fewer military operations.

The Clarke event

(Slashdot) Someone suggests naming a brilliant gamma ray burst visible on Earth just before Arthur C. Clarke’s death the ‘Clarke event.’
Previously: arthur c. clarke

Arthur C. Clarke laid to rest

(SMH) Clarke had asked for a secular funeral, but monks joined the mourners. Sri Lankans observed a minute of silence. Yellow roses were thrown onto the body, which lay on a white bed beneath curved elephant tusks.

TOI: Reporting wonly what should be reported

(Sartorialist) “the article is made up of bits and pieces of things I said, taken out of context,... when it is done in one of the biggest papers of Dehli and done so outrageously incorrect I get a little miffed". Thank you. Come again.
Previously: sartorialist, toi

Partition is underreported

(WaPo) While the Holocaust has been documented exhaustively, coverage of Partition has been limited within India and virtually nonexistent elsewhere. Yet a country spawned by Partition shelters a key global threat, Al Qaeda leadership.
Previously: partition

Sonia Gandhi endures

(Economist) Sonia Gandhi’s done all right in her decade in politics, but why force Rahul, yet another Gandhi? The kindest view is that other Indian parties are just as nepotistic.

Danish cartoonist still in hiding

(NYT) Kurt Westergaard, who drew the Danish toon of Muhammad with a bomb in his turban, has been in hiding ever since. At 72 he’s dressed in fire-engine red pants, a patterned red scarf and a Sgt. Pepper black coat like a stout Scandinavian sailor.

Jindal could rally base for McCain

(WSJ) Conservative argues making Bobby Jindal veep shores up McCain on conservative base. health care, youth. But also makes some daft extrapolations about the war on terror based on Jindal being Punjabi and the effects of Partition.

‘Nine Billion Names of God’

(Lucis) Arthur Clarke short story: Tibetan lamas hire engineers to churn out all 9 billion possible names of God. Once the computer prints the final name, they believe, she will wind up the universe.
Previously: arthur c. clarke

From the department of pre-crime

(Guardian) Shami Chakrabarti, director of the civil rights group Liberty, dismissed a Scotland Yard spokesman’s suggestion to start adding young children to criminal offender DNA databases on the assumption that kids begin offending between 10-13. [via]

Businessman prolif’d weapons to India

(WaPo) Parthasarathy Sudarshan, CEO of Cirrus Electronics, pleaded guilty to sending parts for missiles, space launch vehicles and fighter jets to India via Singapore, evading export control laws, with help from an Indian embassy employee.

Photographs from the Partition

(BBC) Margaret Bourke-White’s photographs from the partition. [via]

Interviewing survivors of Partition

(WaPo) A 10-year, U.S.-funded oral history project records Partition survivors. People were ‘cut down like carrots and radishes.’ 26 women in one Sikh’s family committed suicide to avoid rape. ‘All I could hear was prayer and the swing of the sword.’
Previously: partition

And the Booker of Bookers goes to...

(Guardian) Excluding American writers restricts the Booker’s importance. Its £1m jackpot spawned the ‘Booker novel’, with bad prose from creative-writing groups. Frontrunners: Midnight’s Children, Inheritance of Loss, Life of Pi, Remains of the Day, Disgrace.

Kureishi slams Amis’ anti-Muslim views

(Herald) Hanif Kureishi made his ‘Something To Tell You’ sound poor, ‘shapeless and messy.’ On an anti-Muslim author: ‘I don’t think Martin Amis has met a Muslim in his life, except Salman Rushdie. His moral vanity is vile, vacuous and obnoxious.’

Godman vs. secret agent

(NYT) ‘The Love Guru’ will face off vs. Steve Carell’s ‘Get Smart’ Jun 20. Judd Apatow’s crack-like productivity spurt includes credits on ‘Drillbit Taylor,’ ‘Zohan,’ ‘Sarah Marshall,’ ‘Step Brothers’ and ‘Pineapple Express.’

Brown? You’re at risk

(TO Star) Researchers now believe that just being South Asian may be an independent risk factor for heart disease. Here’s a profile of a 39 year old, otherwise healthy desi, whose heart resembled that of a 75 yr old overweight white male. It’s a common pattern.
Previously: heart disease

Rushdie could repeat Booker of Bookers

(HT) UK bookies put ‘Midnight’s Children’ in the lead to win the 40th anniversary Booker of Bookers, with ‘Life of Pi’ and ‘The English Patient’ rounding out second and third. Perhaps the Brit public is currystruck.

Mumbai in Toronto

(CBC) Anjum Siddiqui, erstwhile Mumbaikar and Torontostar by marriage, is unique in that her coloringbooks were drawn by MF Hussain [Really!]. She now paints her memories of Mumbai in Toronto. Exhibition up at the Cedar Ridge Gallery.

Islam at the ballot box

(WSJ) Islamists in Pakistan got 3% of the vote, down from 11% in the last general election. The MMA lost control of the NWFP while the secular Awami Party won. The trend is the same throughout the Muslim world.

Keeping Wal-Mart out

(Google) Wal-Mart will open 10-15 50-100K sq ft stores in India over 7 years in a joint venture with Bharti. India only lets foreign retailers run wholesale and provide back-end support to Indian retailers.
Previously: wal-mart

Why we funded the Taliban

(Globalresearch) Zbigniew Brzezinski ’98: Jimmy Carter and I started funding the Taliban to give the Russians their Vietnam. What’s more important, some stirred-up Moslems or the collapse of the Soviets?

P-Canadian withdraws complaint against cartoons

(TO Globe) Pakistani Canadian man withdraws his complaint against Canadian publisher of Danish cartoons. Believes that the purpose was inflammatory, but the publication may be within the boundary of free speech.

Monica Cat-insky

(Discoverkate) ‘While the audience could not see what Rajah was doing, his growling made a hit.’ Tiger tamer Mabel Stark discarded her black-leather bodysuits for white, to hide the tiger’s... [Like a scene in Shanghvi’s ‘Last Song of Dusk.’] [via]

Rushdie-esque plot vs. Danish cartoonist foiled

(WaPo) A Moroccan Dane and two Tunisians were arrested over a plot to murder a 73-year-old cartoonist who did one of the Muhammad cartoons in the ‘Jyllands-Posten’ which created a controversy in ’06. [via]

Jihadis break cease-fire

(WaPo) Despite an elections cease-fire with jihadis, they bombed the Awami Party rally yesterday. The party is expected to win a majority and rule with the PPP. ‘We have condemned extremism and terrorism, so now we are under threat.’

Bomber rocks the vote

(AP) A suicide bomber killed at least 18 at an election rally of the Awami National Party in the NWFP.

Jaipur’s date with literati

(BusStd) Roster for this year’s Jaipur lit fest, end of Jan.: Anoushka Shankar, Gore Vidal, Ian McEwan, Christopher Hampton, Tishani Doshi, Siddharth Shanghvi, Indra Sinha.
Previously: siddharth shanghvi

Behold the fury of a babu

(Kitabkhana) Kitabkhana shreds that exoticized SF Chron review of Siddharth Shanghvi-- death by snarklink.
Previously: siddharth shanghvi