Tuesday, August 24, 2010

To Sisters, with Love

Today is Rakhi (or Raksha Bandhan), the Indian festival when sisters tie a bracelet (can range from a simple thread to a three-storey sponge morey bhaiya rakhi :P) on the wrists of their brothers, and get lifelong protection (and gifts) in return.

Now my elder brother and I are the only two kids my parents had, by thanks to all our cousins, we never had a dearth of sisters, and indeed, I am proud of the fact that we cousins are like siblings.

So, this day, dear sisters, have a great time, and know that I have some Parisian chocolates here for you -- come and get them :).

Love,
-A
P.S. Obligatory Rakhi song :-).

Saturday, August 21, 2010

[mobilePic] yup. This waterfall is also in Paris :)

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

[mobilePic] Want some me-made chicken curry?

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Happy 63, India!

63 years ago, India gained its freedom, and our first prime minister gave this speech



The country has still a long way to go before all its citizens have the basic roti-kapda-makaan (food, water, shelter), but there seems to have been decent progress.

I am still to figure out how exactly I am to contribute in all this. For the moment, I celebrated I-day at home, rain bound [reminded me of all the rain soaked I-day parades I did in school :)], and made some atta halwa for the first time. Came out pretty well :).

On a sidenote, today marks one year of the launch of Jay Hind, India's first full-time online stand-up and fake news comedy show. If you can understand Hindi, check it out. My dear friend Varun writes for it, and does a pretty good job at it :). He also acts in some segments, such as the gem here (LNN - Indo-Pak Talks Secrets Revealed). Check it out! I think good satire will go a long way in keeping the country on track.

Jai Hind!
-A
P.S. Happy I-day to my friends across the Punjab border too.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

[mobilePic] FSM, is that thou who thus shineth?

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Saturday, August 07, 2010

[mobilePic] And it is done! Time to eat. :)

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[mobilePic] The lamb roast is in progress. :)

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Thursday, August 05, 2010

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

(Re) Discovering awesome Pakistani Music

[Note: Feel free to click on the links in this post. They open in new tabs, and hide melodious treats :)]
I have been lucky to have been exposed to Pakistani singers and their music since my childhood. When I was a kid, dad used to play the songs of Reshma (who sung the song from which "yaara seeli seeli" was inspired). I loved her rustic voice, which I think is why I like Rekha Bharadwaj's songs today. In those days, it was just "folk song", and not "songs by a Pakistani singer" ... ah the innocent days :).

During my college days, the band Junoon, with its anthem "Sayyoni" rules the airwaves for a bit. Even now, I have the "Kabir by Abida (Parveen)" album, rendered wonderfully.

And yesterday, I was pointed by Yasser to the wonderful video below, at the CokeStudio channel on YouTube. A wonderful sufi kalaam, rendered as a melange of old and new styles. Be sure to read the captions. If they are not visible, hover on the triangle at the bottom-right corner, and click the "cc" button. If you still cannot see them (or want to see the interactive transcript), click this link to open the video in a new tab/window.



Feel free to browse the Coke Studio channel for other gems like the one above.

The melody in these songs, and the (mostly positive) comments on YouTube, both from Indian and Pakistani listeners, give one hope that someday, through cultural exchanges, there will be lasting peace between the neighbors.

Amen to that.