Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
I think I want to write, to write about the new
Let’s call it the viewpoint of an onlooker, observing changes in the Indian urban landscape. Interestingly, I have reviewed three different types of building typologies, emerging in the globalized modern
The first was the shopping mall- yes; I’ve reviewed them so thoroughly that I can recite facts about Indian shopping malls in my sleep. I’ve written papers (okay, just one) on them. And I see the grasp of consumerism slowly expand its tentacles to get a hold inside the minds of the population. How consumerism has become the mark of status and existence. How where you shop is more important than what you buy and how you use it. How being in the mall makes you modern. The mall stocks western goods and commodities, which are bought by the new breed of Indian ‘transnationals’. The class that is transnational because they have been to that mysterious place that makes one more than human: abroad. The glitz, glass and chrome all shimmer invitingly. Yet, am I being too cynical? Is the mall really a sign of modernity?
After all, hum bhi ‘modern’ hain!!
Sunday, April 13, 2008
How I love it as it gradually melts on my tongue, soaking in the taste and texture,
chewing on the bits and pieces... sucking on as its tastes linger elusively on my palate...
And yet, not any ice-cream. I can only ever have chocolate ice-cream-
I have had ONLY the chocolate flavor for the last fifteen or so years (ever since I realized the pleasures of chocolate and the angst of teenage :)
However, this has rendered me completely incapable of eating any other flavor- I mean, anything else tastes sweet!!!!
For heaven's sake... sweet ice-cream..Ugghh. I just hate the taste of sweet ice-cream- unless it is tinged with the slight bitterness of chocolate, its not ice-cream.
The love affair started with Hot Chocolate Fudge (HCF) from Nirula's, Delhi. I just had to have it every time I visited Delhi. And continued, with HCF from Hot Millions, Chandigarh-here,
I usually had the standard Butterscotch replaced with Chocolate- and extra fudge.
It culminated with the Death by Chocolate- the ultimate chocolate fantasy, but available only at Corner House, Bangalore. Unfortunately, I've visited the city only once in my life.
(only five days of the world's best ice-cream, alas!)
Then I came to the US- and discovered the million or so flavors of chocolate ice-cream.
And also discovered Coldstone.
After a few experiments and trials- I have settled on Mud Pie Mojo.
Its just THE best (and this is coming from a connoisseur of chocolate ice-cream- its even better than the German ChocolateCake, and that is saying something).
It is not chocolate ice-cream, but coffee (obviously not sweet, thank god!).
With swirls of peanut butter and roasted almonds and Oreos and (lots of extra) fudge......
I think I am going into an orgiastic frenzy here.
(after all, they do say chocolate is a substitute for sex).
With my husband going out of town for a few months,
I think I'm going to have a lot of Mud Pie Mojo.
After all, that's the only Mojo of any kind I'll be getting ;)
Friday, April 04, 2008
That is exactly how I feel in my South Asia courses and classes. I have been taking a lot of South Asia (read India) related courses for the last year. Most of my classmates are either Americans (fascinated by India) or second generation Indians wanting to "study and learn" about India ( I am the only Indian- born and brought up in India in these classes). My reason, of course, was the same as Hermione's- to see India from the outside (so to speak).
There is tremendous amount of research/work done on India, right from the colonial times- both by Indians and non-Indians. And I have realized that the way of looking in from the outside is very different from being inside and experiencing it, growing up in it. I am NOT disassociated with these events. I am attached, and all this is part and parcel of my being Indian. Even of me being me. These are events that have shaped my thoughts, feelings and ideas.
It is often difficult for me to clinically analyze the issues being discussed, simply because I am not a bipartisan bystander. I am involved, things are not like this, you can't be so dispassionate- I feel like screaming.
But I am learning that there is a different point of view. For the people who have done such excellent research and work, have looked at both points of view. At the inside and outside.
Despite my attachment, my ideological motivations and even my inherent prejudices, I am glad that I got to study all this. That I can now see India from the outside.
That I have now seen the wizarding point of view!!