She Reads South Asia


Monday, December 04, 2006

The Anti-Child Labour Campaign

December 04, 2006
Rajen Nair

It was in the month of October, this year, that the Government of India, with much fanfare, enacted the law of banning child labour, in this country. It was welcomed by one and all.

The United Nations Children's Fund, popularly known as UNICEF, while lending support to the government decision of banning child labour, had come out with its own anti-child labour campaign.

Eight year old Choonam Kumari alias Chuniya, from Northern Indian state of Bihar and hailing from a poor family, was the lucky one to have been chosen to feature in UNICEF's awareness campaign against child labour. The UNICEF poster depicting Chuniya's innocent smiling face, which had received country wide publicity, created the desired impact and became an instant hit with the Indian masses.

Later, Chuniya once again hit the news in the Indian press, but this time for wrong reason.

Read the rest of the article

Thursday, November 23, 2006

From the talented members of Creative Majlis

Here is the first ever ePoster designed by Creative Majlis members on

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"The poster was created as a communication tool to promote paper recycling and advocate prudent paper usage, universally. It is an ePoster and not a printed one, only to 'practise what it preaches' - saving paper, and thereby the trees of the world. The excellent illustration in the poster was designed by our ace cartoonist Manoj Vijayan and the copy was written by Mayura Sandeep."

Quote from Mayura Sandeep & Farrukh Naeem - Moderators of Creative Majlis

To see the eComic, which this poster was based on, please go here.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Want to be an extra in a Bollywood film?

Well, if you live in Australia you can do just that! Shah Rukh Khan is filming for his new movie 'Chak De! India' and they need plenty of extras. Here are the particulars:




Crowds are invited to be part of the feature film Chak De! India (Go India!), shooting in Melbourne over the next couple of weeks. The film revolves around the Indian women’s hockey team coming to the World Cup Games in Australia, and stars India’s biggest star Shah Rukh Khan.

Come in national dress, wear your colours, paint your face and be ready to make some noise – the more you stand out, the more likely you will be featured! People of all ages welcome!

Prizes including a DVD player every day, signed posters, DVDs, film tickets, chocolates and more for the best-dressed – most imaginative national costume. EVERY HOUR ONE LUCKY WINNER WILL HAVE THEIR PHOTO TAKEN WITH SHAH RUKH KHAN!

Weekend shoots feature live entertainment and “open mic” sections during breaks so bring your instrument! Bring a picnic, bring your friends and family.

Games will be staged between India and teams representing Korea, Argentina, UK, New Zealand, Kenya, Germany, Spain and Australia.


WHERE: State Netball Hockey Centre, 10 Brens Drive, Royal Park Melbourne. (just near the Zoo)

Free Parking. TRAM: no 55. TRAIN: Upfield Line, Royal Park (Zoo) Station

TIME: Crowds are needed from 10am-2pm and from 2pm-7pm, or come all day!!


Saturday 18 November - 10am-2pm & 2pm-7pm, or come all day!!

Friday 24 November - 10am-2pm & 2pm-7pm, or come all day!!


WHERE: Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre, Sarah Durrack Ave, Sydney Olympic Park Homebush.


Tuesday 28 November
Wednesday 29 November
Thursday 30 November
Friday 1 December
Saturday 2 December
Monday 4 December
Tuesday 5 December
Wednesday 6 December

Please report to the Black Cat Films Crowd Controller, Bidyut, Nicci or Julia, Level 1, on the Grandstand.

Chak De! India is directed by Shimit Amin and produced by Yash Raj Films (the company behind Salaam Namaste) with Australian Line Producers Swish Black Cat Films. The film is supported by Hockey Victoria, Tourism Victoria and the Melbourne Film Office.

Please email with the dates and numbers that will attend. For any further queries please call Julia 0400173093

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

AW Blog Comment Chain #4

It's time for the Absolute Write Comment Chain #4. Starting November 15th, we have to leave a comment on each blog and do it within a week - that's 14 blogs, 7 days. Here are the participants:

Centre for Emotional Well-Being
Cobwebs of the Mind
The Secret Government Eggo Project
Marilyn's Royal Blog
Everything Indian that's me ;-)
Nancy's Baby Names
Just a Small Town Girl
The Road Less Traveled
Food History
A view from the Waterfront
D The Unagented Writer
Back Coffee-Red Pen
The Breast Blog

Please join us in visiting their pages and leaving a comment or two. See you there.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

South Indian Vegetable Curry With Lemon Rice

Want to try a great new recipe? Then hop on over to Ted Gross', Help! I have a Fire in My Kitchen for South Indian Vegetable Curry With Lemon Rice

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Great News For Bollywood Fans in NY and NJ USA



Time Warner Cable

[New York, NY, November 7, 2006] It has been a breakout year for Bollywood movies in America as a record number of Indian films have reached blockbuster status in 2006. Now, BODVOD and Time Warner Cable of New York and New Jersey celebrate the booming popularity of these films by bringing the newest hits to customers through Video On Demand.

After two years of steady growth, with monthly transactions jumping 150% from 2005, BODVOD has now signed content deals with two of Bollywood’s largest studios – UTV and Adlabs – and will be the exclusive video-on-demand supplier of their blockbuster hits across the United States. All films will be subtitled in English.

For the first time in history, Bollywood fans will be able to watch India’s official submission to the Academy Awards on-demand in their own homes even before Oscar members get a chance to vote on it. This year’s entry, UTV’s critically acclaimed smash Rang de Basanti, premieres on Time Warner Cable of New York and New Jersey in November.

“We are extremely delighted that Rang de Basanti will be available on VOD in the United States,” says the film’s director Rakeysh Mehra. “This means that people who might have missed it in theaters will have the chance to see the film at their convenience in the comfort of their own home. It significantly helps us with our Oscar campaign by reaching beyond the South Asian community.”

India’s highest-grossing film of 2006, the Adlabs sci-fi action thriller Krrish, will also make its on-demand premiere when it debuts on December 8. Shot in Singapore, the groundbreaking special effects in the Hrithik Roshan smash have made it Bollywood’s first super hero blockbuster.

Other hit titles include:

Bluffmaster starring Abhishek Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra in the story of a conman who risks losing the love of his life when his past catches up with him. Now available.

Swades starring Bollywood’s reigning box office sensation Shah Rukh Khan who teams up with the acclaimed director of the Oscar-nominated hit Lagaan. Premieres in November.

15 Park Ave starring Shabana Azmi, Konkona Sen Sharma, and Rahul Bose in a powerful Calcutta-set drama that played to critical acclaim at numerous international film festivals. Premieres in December.

Taxi No. 9211 starring John Abraham (Water) in a fast-paced comic thriller about a businessman and a taxi driver whose lives are turned upside down in a 24-hour period. Premieres in December.

The hits keep coming in early 2007 with the much-anticipated premieres of Shah Rukh Khan’s action blockbuster Don, the New York-set comedy Jaan-E-Mann, and the epic Moghul-era romance Umrao Jaan starring Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan.

“As of November 1st, we expanded our selection of Bollywood and South Asian movies as the audience has dramatically grown,” stated Harriet Novet, Vice President, Public Affairs, Time Warner Cable of New York & New Jersey. “We continue to lead the industry in product and service innovation. Creating a separate On Demand platform to showcase films from around the world is another means of connecting people more closely with their culture right from the comfort of home in the New York City metropolitan area.”

Time Warner Cable digital customers have the opportunity of choosing to view titles by simply tuning to International Movies On Demand (IMOD) Channel 500. Each title may be viewed at any time. Each order is just $3.95 for unlimited access within 24 hours. Viewers can pause, fast forward and rewind right from their remote controls for the ultimate in convenience. Films on IMOD can be accessed by categories including Bollywood, Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.

BODVOD ( was created in 2004 to acquire, package, market and distribute "Bollywood" and other South Asian films, TV shows and music on all on-demand media platforms. BODVOD was the first video on demand (VOD) service offering Bollywood and South Asian content via a national footprint on cable, broadband and mobile through over 30 major distribution partners such as Time Warner, Cox, Google Video, Akimbo, Guba and others. The BODVOD team consists of media veterans with experience in content licensing, programming, retail products, marketing and distribution. BODVOD is headquartered in New York, NY and is a partnership of [212]MEDIA and Schramm Sports and Entertainment.

About Time Warner Cable of New York and New Jersey

Time Warner Cable of New York and New Jersey serves over 1.4 million customers in four NYC boroughs (Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and western Brooklyn), Mt. Vernon, Hudson Valley (Orange, Sullivan, Ulster Counties and parts of Dutchess, Greene and Delaware Counties) and Bergen and Hudson Counties, New Jersey.

Time Warner Cable of New York and New Jersey has led the telecommunications industry in bringing exciting, innovative services to customers including digital phone, high speed internet access through four ISPs, digital video recorders and Video On Demand. Visit

Our parent company, Time Warner Cable owns and manages cable systems serving 14.4 million subscribers in 33 states. Passing approximately 28 million homes, Time Warner Cable includes some of the most technologically advanced and best-clustered cable systems in the country, with nearly 85 percent of the Company's customers located in five geographic regions: New York, Texas, Ohio, the Carolinas and southern California. Leveraging its leadership in innovation and quality customer care, Time Warner Cable delivers advanced products and services such as video on demand, high definition television, digital video recorders, high-speed data and Digital Phone. Time Warner Cable is a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX).

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

And They're Off!!!!

It's eight minutes into the great NaNoWriMo event and I haven't typed my first word yet. But I had to stop in and leave the link to the article I just wrote about it on Associated Content.

If you don't hear much from me for the next month, you'll know why ... I'm off to the races to write a 50,000 word novel by November 30th.

Come visit me at NaNoWriMo if you can and I double dog dare you to join in on the fun and insanity!

See you soon!

My Article

My NaNoWriMo Page

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

It's NaNoWriMo Time Again

Hi all you writer folks out there! Yes, believe it or not, another year has gone by and it's time for NaNoWriMo once again. For those not familiar with what it is, let me give you a brief synopsis and then you can go to the main site for more info and to sign up yourself.

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month (November). Writers have the entire month of November to write a novel of 50,000 words. Are you up to the challenge? Think you can do it? Then please join us now as we start in 1 day - November 1st!

You can also join in with other writers from your area who have decided to take the challenge too. They'll be big kick-off parties, incentives, encouragement and buddy sign-ups to help you along the way.

You can get more info and sign up here at NaNoWriMo's Website.

You can find me in the India section of Elsewhere in India. If someone is interested in moderating an India forum for us, you'll find the infomation on doing so here.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Absolute Write Comment Chain #3

It's time for the Absolute Write Comment Chain #3. Starting November 1st, we have to leave a comment on each blog and do it within a week - that's 10 blogs, 7 days. Here are the participants:

Resources for Emotional Well-Being
Marilyn's Royal Blog
Karen Mary A Writer's Blog
West of Mars
Secret Government EGGO Project
A Fatman and His Dog
The Working Writer's Coach
The Road Less Travelled
Gillian's Food History
Everything Indian that's me ;-)
A View From The Waterfront

Please join us in visiting their pages and leaving a comment or two. See you there.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Writer Kiran Desai wins Man Booker Prize

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Indian writer Kiran Desai won Britain's prestigious Man Booker Prize Tuesday October 10th for "The Inheritance of Loss," a cross-continental saga that moves from the Himalayas to New York City.

Born in 1971 and educated in India, England and the United States, Desai
published her first novel, "Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard," in 1998.

It's ironic that the day before this news came out, I had just purchased one of her mother's (novelist Anita Desai) older books, "In Custody".

Thursday, October 12, 2006

SRK's 'Don' interview on Sabras Radio in the UK

Shah Rukh Khan's 'Don' interview with Faruk Razak will be broadcast on Sabras Radio during Faruk's show on Tuesday October 17th (just three days before the film's release) @10 A.M. (U.K. time). Don't miss it! But if you do, Raj Baddhan will replay it on either Thursday or Friday during his 'Drivetime Show'.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Countdown is On!

There are only 10 more days until the world-wide release of the Shah Rukh Khan starrer 'Don' on October 20th!

Yet, there is only 1 more day for the release of the most talked about book on the top Bollywood actor's life. It be finally be launched on 11 October in Mumbai's Hotel Grand Maratha Sheraton. 'Still Reading Khan' by Mushtaq Shiekh is priced at Rs 3,000 and is a pictorial journey on the King Khan from his days as a struggling actor in Delhi to his rise to fame as the "Badshah of Bollywood". Om Book International is the publisher of 'Still Reading Khan' and will be releasing 10,000 first edition copies.

So all you fellow SRK fans, it's the book that we've all been waiting for!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Room to Read Celebrates International Literacy Day

On September 8, 2006, Room to Read celebrated International Literacy Day across the six Asian countries where we work. Thousands of students, teachers, parents, and community members participated in a variety of activities that we organized in numerous schools and libraries. From story writing competitions to plays, from reading quizzes to games, the activities we hosted were designed to promote literacy and education. Here are some of the ways our local teams celebrated this special day.

In India, Room to Read held a number of activities including story-telling, poem recitation, drawing and writing competitions, and even a science exhibit. These events were attended by our local team and by representatives of DHL, one of our wonderful global and local partners. Our staff also reached out to children who are not currently in school and encouraged them to attend school so that they may get an education.

To learn more about Room to Reads efforts and how you can help, please go to their Website.


Room to Read has partnered with The South Asian International Film Festival (SAIFF) via a unique in-kind partnership in Manhattan, New York, USA. The SAIFF is a non-profit dedicated to supporting artists from South Asia. Room to Read will present a children's film as part of the festival and speak to the audience about our mission. Look for us on October 8th as part of their Children's Afternoon schedule. The Festival runs from October 4-8, 2006. For details, go to the SAIFF

Monday, October 02, 2006

To Write or Not To Write

Talia started Round #7 of our AW Chain. She asked a very good question that all writers should ask of themselves - when should we STOP writing?

As a writer, I hope that time never comes when my writing has to cease. What would become of me if I were not able to express myself through the written word? To me writing has always been a major part of my persona, a stabilizing force in my life. But if my work or my readers suffered from it, I would definitely have to rethink the way in which my thoughts/ideas were being translated onto paper (literal or virtual).

A friend and fellow journalist recently offered some advice on what to do when our writing just isn’t what it should be. She was in the midst of writing a “very important story for a very important magazine” and was fretting over every word. Her photographer boyfriend came to the rescue with the answer. As she began to flip out with panic, he simply told her to “relax, lie down, close my eyes and just listen.”

“He then read the story out loud to me, word by word, sentence by sentence, slowly, clearly, unrushed. Hearing my story through his voice, I could see where it stumbled. I could hear the structure, the highs and the lows. The long sentences. The words, the rhythms. I could see how some passages were stronger than I’d intended. I saw where things fell flat. But most of all, as he read, I could hear what I’d written with distance and clarity. And it was good. Great, even. I stopped panicking. A few minutes later, I was able to smooth out the rough edges and send off the story with confidence.”

To find out the results of this exercise and subsequent story, please see Mridu’s blog post

Without giving it away, we’ll just say that I have taken her suggestion under advisement.

Another thing to do when getting frustrated to the point of giving up, try switching to another assignment and then come back to it; provided you’re not working under the threat of a serious deadline. Or if the type of writing or genre you’re working with simply “isn’t working”, try another one. To spice things up, try a subject you’ve never attempted before. You may just find out that you excel at it.

Or you can do something way out there like I did - co-write a Bollywood script with my writing partner. We thoroughly researched the subject that we wanted to explore. The result was a tri-cultural, semi-historical script, covering three generations, complete with song and dance sequences written in (now you know why Indian films tend to run about 3 hours long), which we hope will be accepted by a director/producer in India.

It took us over a year to complete and we had so much fun doing it. Of course we’ve also chosen which actresses and actors we want to take on the roles too. Whether or not that part materializes remains to be seen but we’re hopeful.

So I guess that would bring me to ask the question - Have you ever switched subjects/genres or written something else totally out of the ordinary for you?

Let’s see what our next linker (is that politically correct?) in the chain Gillian has to say about it.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

AW Chain Round #7

The seventh round of the Absolute Write Chain is soon to begin. As usual the participates are listed here in this post. To follow the chain in order though, please go by the listing in the sidebar for accuracy. As soon as each person posts, the link to their blog will be added so that you can follow the chain through in either direction.

The first person will take something from the last poster in the AW Chain Round #6, which was Jennifer Sando and she/he will go from there. Have fun reading them all.







Atomic Bear


XThe NavigatorX







Monday, September 25, 2006


I haven't mentioned much on India's cinema Tollywood (Telugu language) only because I've only seen one film (more than once) from there, namely 'Aarya' starring Allu Arjun. It is in the Telugu language, so of course I needed the subtitles but it was a really great movie. As a matter of fact, it was the biggest and best blockbuster film for Tollywood in 2004!

I'll post the link to my review of 'Aarya' as soon as it goes online.

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Allu Arjun

It was Arjun's second film as the hero. His debut film was 'Gangotri', which marked his place in Tollywood. He has also starred in the films 'Happy' and 'Bunny'. His next ventures are Desa Muduru, which is in the shooting process now and 'Veera', which has just been announced.

His earlier (non-hero) films were 'Daddy' and 'Vijetha'

Arjun was the winner of the Santosham Best Young Performers Award and the Nandi Award for Special Jury Award for 'Aarya' and the Santosham Best Young Performers Award for 'Bunny'.

For more pics of Arjun, please go here.

For the filmi music tracks, please go here.

Also, please visit Arjun's Yahoo Group, Arjun's fan sites and Allu Arjun's News Blog for fans.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

English Lyrics for Hindi film (Bollywood) songs

Have you been searching for the English translations to Hindi film (Bollywood) songs? Want to know the detailed synopses and vocabulary for the various films? Then the answer is BollyWhat?: THE NEWCOMER'S GUIDE TO BOLLYWOOD.

Even get the lyrics for the fairly new films like 'Humko Deewane Kar Gaye'(Humko Deewane Kar Gaye, Fanah, Bhula Denge Tumko Sanam, For Your Eyes Only, Dekhte Dekhte and Mere Saath Chalte Chalte) and 'Fanaa'(Chand Sifarish, Mere Haath Mein, Des Rangila, Dekho Na and Chanda Chamke).


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Want a free new blog design?

To celebrate the beginning of the season, Susie at Bluebird Blogs is having a contest for 2 lucky people to win a totally free, completely customized blog design from Bluebird Blogs.

Information on how to enter:

- Send an email with your name and blog address to
- Entries will be accepted from 7:00pm EST on Thursday 9/14/06 until 11:59pm EST on Friday 9/22/06.

*Bonus* - Mention this contest in a post on your blog and receive 5 extra entries into the drawing!

The winner will be announced on her site - Saturday, September 23rd, 2006.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Kabul Express Press Conferences at TIFF

Did you miss out on seeing John Abraham and Arshad Warsi in Toronto for the press conference of Kabir Khan's Kabul Express? Well, now you can see the confrence free by clicking on the above link. Enjoy!

Bollywood Legends

Leading toy manufacturer and distributor Spin Master Toys UK have joined forces with entrepreneur Shameen Jivraj to launch the first-ever Bollywood dolls. The dolls will be sold in the UK under the brand name 'Bollywood Legends'. The first four 'Bollywood Legends' are Shahrukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Kajol and Priyanka Chopra.

Jivraj, who came up with the concept four years ago said: "I became intrigued by Bollywood a little while ago and was drawn into the movies with their mix of fun, fashion, music and dance. It's such a magical and emotive arena and I wanted to create something that would allow the audiences to be able to take some of that magic home to treasure and enjoy in a unique and new way."

The 12-inch dolls have been meticulously crafted, with attention paid to every detail, from their outfits and their expressions, right down to Shahrukh Khan's famous S-curved eyebrows.

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See the stills for the unveiling event with Bollywood star Kajol at the JW Marriott in Juhu, Mumbai, India.

On September 14th they also launched at Harrods in London. Hrithik Roshan and Kajol appeared in person on a horse drawn carriage. They visited Harrods' Toy Kingdom on the 4th floor where they met fans and signed the new dolls.


Are you looking for Bollywood films or their soundtracks? There is a HUGE SALE (almost 80% off) going on now at Yash Raj Films

Films(DVDs and VHS), Music(CDs and Cassettes) -

Hurry because it ends on September 30th!

Articles abount KANK at TIFF

The Mumbai Effect

Admirers lined up outside Roy Thomson Hall for hours and almost toppled steel barriers jostling for a glimpse of Bollywood icons Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan, as well as director Karan Johar, as they strolled the red carpet earlier this week. Their film, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (Never Say Goodbye), which had the biggest box-office opening in Bollywood history — was also the first such movie to have a gala screening at TIFF. more

Toronto Talkies: A taste of India
By Indira Kannan

"It's such an important part of world popular cinema, we felt we should have it. And we have a big audience here in Toronto that's already familiar with this cinema, which we wanted to bring into the mainstream of the festival. We were able to have a gala presentation with over two thousand screaming fans with Shah Rukh Khan and Mr Amitabh Bachchan in attendance. That's exactly the kind of event we want at the festival,” said Bailey. more

Friday, September 15, 2006

Another Favorite Bollywood Song

This song is called Main Yahaan Hoon from Veer Zaara (the names of the film is also the names of the two main characters) Enjoy Shah Rukh Khan (Veer) and Preity Zinta (Zaara) in this video.

jaanam dekh lo miT ga'ii.n duuriyaa.n...

mai.n yahaa.n huu.n yahaa.n huu.n yahaa.n huu.n yahaa.n

jaanam dekh lo miT ga'ii.n duuriyaa.n

mai.n yahaa.n huu.n yahaa.n huu.n yahaa.n huu.n yahaa.n

kaisii sarhade.n kaisii majbuuriyaa.n

mai.n yahaa.n huu.n yahaa.n huu.n yahaa.n huu.n yahaa.n

tum chupa na sakogii mai.n voh raaz huu.n

tum bhula na sakogii voh a.ndaaz huu.n

guu.njtaa huu.n jo dil me.n to hairaan ho kyo.n mai.n

tumhaare hii dil kii to aawaaz huu.n

sun sako to suno dhaRkano.n kii zubaan

mai.n yahaa.n huu.n yahaa.n huu.n yahaa.n huu.n yahaa.n

kaisii sarhade.n kaisii majbuuriyaa.n

mai.n yahaa.n huu.n yahaa.n huu.n yahaa.n huu.n yahaa.n

mai.n hii mai.n ab tumhaare khayaalo.n me.n huu.n mai.n

jawaabo.n me.n huu.n mai.n sawaalo.n me.n huu.n

mai.n tumhaare har ek khwaab me.n huu.n basaa

mai.n tumhaarii nazar ke ujaalo.n me.n huu.n

dekhtii ho mujhe dekhtii ho jahaa.n

mai.n yahaa.n huu.n yahaa.n huu.n yahaa.n huu.n yahaa.n

jaanam dekh lo miT ga'ii.n duuriyaa.n

mai.n yahaa.n huu.n yahaa.n huu.n yahaa.n huu.n yahaa.n

kaisii sarhade.n kaisii majbuuriyaa.n

mai.n yahaa.n huu.n yahaa.n huu.n yahaa.n huu.n yahaa.n...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna Press Conference @ TIFF

Here is the link to the pictures of Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Karan Johar at TIFF for the Making of a Bollywood Blockbuster from Radio Sargam and from Alikhan. You can also visit TIFF for the Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (NEVER SAY GOODBYE) Press Conference.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

My Favorite Bollywood Song

Suraj Hua Maddham from Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham is my favorite all-time filmi song.

Here are the lyrics from the movie, which has the English subtitles.

MALE (Shah Rukh Khan as Rahul)
Suraj Hua Maddham Chaand Jalne Laga
Aasmaan Yeh Haay Kyon Pighalne Laga
Suraj Hua Maddham Chaand Jalne Laga
Aasmaan Yeh Haay Kyon Pighalne Laga
Main Thehra Raha Zameen Chalne Lagi
Dhadka Yeh Dil Saas Thamne Lagi
Oh Kya Yeh Mera Pehla Pehla Pyaar Hai
Sajna Kya Yeh Mera Pehla Pehla Pyaar Hai

FEMALE (Kajol as Anjali)
Suraj Hua Maddham Chaand Jalne Laga
Aasmaan Yeh Haay Kyon Pighalne Laga
Suraj Hua Maddham Chaand Jalne Laga
Aasmaan Yeh Haay Kyon Pighalne Laga
Main Thehra Raha Zameen Chalne Lagi
Dhadka Yeh Dil Saas Thamne Lagi
Oh Kya Yeh Mera Pehla Pehla Pyaar Hai
Sajna Kya Yeh Mera Pehla Pehla Pyaar Hai

Hai Khoobsurat Yeh Pal Sab Kuch Raha Hai Badal
Sapne Haqeeqat Mein Jo Dhal Rahe Hain
Kya Sadiyon Se Purana Hai Rishta Yeh Hamara
Ke Jis Tarah Tum Se Hum Mil Rahe Hai

Yunhi Rahe Har Dam Pyaar Ka Mausam
Yunhi Milo Hum Se Tum Janam Janam

Main Thehra Raha Zameen Chalne Lagi
Dhadka Yeh Dil Saas Thamne Lagi

Kya Yeh Mera Pehla Pehla Pyaar Hai
Sajna Kya Yeh Mera Pehla Pehla Pyaar Hai

Tere Hi Rang Se Yun Mein To Rangi Hoon Sanam
Paake Tujhe Khud Se Hi Kho Rahin Hoon Sanam
Oh Mahiya Main Tere Ishq Mein Haan Doob Ke
Paar Mein Ho Rahi Hoon Sanam

Sagar Hua Pyaasa Raat Jagne Lagi
Shole Ke Dil Mein Bhi Aag Jalne Lagi

Main Thehra Raha Zameen Chalne Lagi
Dhadka Yeh Dil Saas Thamne Lagi

Kya Yeh Mera Pehla Pehla Pyaar Hai


Kya Yeh Mera Pehla Pehla Pyaar Hai

Suraj Hua Maddham

Chaand Jalne Laga

Aasmaan Yeh Haay

Kyon Pighalne Laga

For my review of Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, please go here.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Making of a Bollywood Blockbuster Event

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Did you get to go to this event at the Toronto International Film Festival? My friend Lotus did and here is her review:

TIFF Event - Making...

If anyone else wants me to add the links to their reviews on this event, please leave me a comment with the link to it. Thanks.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Can't get to every day and event of the TIFF? Don't miss any of the festival events with daily updates at

The Festival Daily and Photo Gallery

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Looking for last-minute tickets for the Toronto International Film Festival?

Check out our Best Bets and TIFFG Alerts to find out which screenings on the following day will have same-day tickets available.

Purchase tickets for any of these Best Bets beginning at 7:00 AM on the day of the screening; online, at the box office or by calling (416) 968 - FILM.

See Best Bets

All about Bangla (Bengali) Literature: Sukumar Ray: A versatile author

All about Bangla (Bengali) Literature: Sukumar Ray: A versatile author

Pagla Dashu (Crazy Dashu)

Would you like to read a translated story from Sukumar Ray? My friend Bhaswati has posted PAGLA DASHU (Crazy Dashu) for us. Here is Part I and then Part II. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Tomorrow's the BIG day!

Tomorrow, Thursday September 7, 2006 is the first day of the Toronto International Film Festival. The festival runs until Saturday the 16th. Are you going? Feel free to leave a comment on what day(s) you're going and what films or events you are planning to see. We'd love to hear from you after the fact too.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Rani Cancels TIFF Event

Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, Rani Mukherjee will not be attending TIFF's event - The Making of a Bollywood Blockbuster.

The event will continue with Karan Johar, Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan.

Tickets Go On Sale Tomorrow!

Don't forget tickets for the TIFF go on sale TOMORROW! Tickets to hundreds of individual screenings of great films go on sale Wednesday September 6, 2006!

Box Office Info

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Map for the Toronto International Film Festival 2006?

Are you going to the TIFF for the first time? Would you like a map to find your way around? Here's a city map from TIFF that can help! Have a great time!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Cinemas in Toronto running Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna


For Friday September 1st - Thursday September 7th

Albion Cinemas
1530 Albion Road Toronto, ON (416) 742-3456
Fri Sep 1st: 5:30 pm, 9:30 pm

Sat - Mon: 1:30 pm, 5:30 pm, 9:30 pm

Tues - Thurs: 4:00 pm, 8:30 pm

Woodside Cinema
1571 Sandhurst Circle Toronto, ON (416) 299-3456
Fri Sep 1st: 5:30 pm, 9:30 pm

Sat - Mon: 1:30 pm, 5:30 pm, 9:30 pm

Tues - Thurs: 4:00 pm, 8:30 pm

For Saturday September 2nd

AMC Interchange 30
30 Interchange Way, Concord, ON (905) 760-1911
12:45 4:45 8:45

AMC Winston Churchill 24
2081 Winston Park Drive, Oakville, ON (416) 335-5323
12:55 5:00 9:00

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Indian Curry for Headaches?

A friend of mine, will call him "Raj", has been having headaches lately and I've been trying to find him a good natural cure. Since he's already Indian, I'm sure he'll appreciate this post and hopefully it will help. I'll be trying it myself, but please feel free to let me know what you think and if it's worked for you.

I just came across this article about using Indian Curry for Headaches. Thanks to Lotus who had the link to Hindu Mommy. Of course I have to thank Bhaswati who had the link to my blog where Lotus found me in the first place. Thanks to all three of you.

Indian Idol

Have you seen Indian Idol?

If you haven't check it out today! If you have, relive the moments. It was a very close call between Karunya (1st pic) and Sandeep Acharya (2nd pic) but Sandeep went home the winner of Indian Idol II.

See Sandeep on Sabras Radio too.

The first series Indian Idol I winner was Abhijit Sawant.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Toronto International Film Festival

The Toronto International Film Festival(TIFF) presents one of the world’s largest showcases of Canadian film. The Festival has also helped launch the careers of prominent filmmakers such as Deepa Mehta. Recent past premieres include WATER.

The TIFF runs from September 7 to September 16, 2006. Twenty-three screens in downtown Toronto, offer a broad spectrum of theatre-going experiences using venues that combine elegance with state-of-the-art facilities.

The Festival is now in its 12th year at Roy Thomson Hall for Gala Presentations, including Opening Night and Closing Night.

The VISA Screening Room, located at the Elgin Theatre, once again hosts Special Presentations, among other screenings.

Returning cinemas in the Festival Village include: Alliance Atlantis Cumberland Cinemas; Cineplex Odeon Varsity Cinemas; Famous Players Paramount Theatre; Isabel Bader Theatre; The National Film Board Mediatheque; Royal Ontario Museum Theatre; and Ryerson Theatre.

The following Indian cinema films will be presented:

Gala Presentation at Roy Thomson Hall
Sunday September 10th at 1:30
NEVER SAY GOODBYE (Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna)
Director: Karan Johar

NEVER SAY GOODBYE is an irresistibly entertaining love story. An ideal choice for our first ever Bollywood gala, it’s filled with huge stars, sweeping romance, comedy, heartache and dazzling musical numbers – all in one epic package. Dev (Shah Rukh Khan) is a New York-based soccer player married to hotshot magazine editor Rhea (Preity Zinta). They appear to be the picture of success and happiness. So do Rishi (Abhishek Bachchan) and Maya (Rani Mukherji), although Maya’s inability to bear children does put some strain on the marriage. However, a chance meeting between Maya and Dev sets these two couples on a collision course.

For one billion fans in India to the South Asian diaspora communities in England, U.S. and Canada, to devoted fans in the Middle East, Russia and beyond, three-hour Hindi epics with extravagant musical numbers are the stuff dreams are made of. In recognition of this hugely popular genre, Mavericks presents THE MAKING OF A BOLLYWOOD BLOCKBUSTER, an event for Bollywood lovers and newcomers alike. From the astonishing all-star line-up of Indian film talent from NEVER SAY GOODBYE (which will screen as a Gala Presentation at this year's Festival), director Karan Johar, and actors Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukherji, and Amitabh Bachchan will engage in a lively discussion about the huge popularity of Bollywood. The discussion is moderated by writer Suketu Mehta, whose non-fiction book about the film capital of Mumbai, Maximum City, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

Mavericks presentations are held at the Elgin and Isabel Bader Theatres.

VISA Screening Room at the Elgin Theatre
Wednesday September 13th at 3:00 PM
Director: Mira Nair

VISA Screening Room at the Elgin Theatre
Friday September 15th at 6:00 PM
Director: Kabir Khan

Special Presentations


Chitra Palekar's ‘A Grave-keeper’s Tale’
Rajnesh Domalpalli's ‘Vanaja’

Real to Reel

Haobam Paban Kumar's 'Cry in the dark’

Monday, August 28, 2006

Indian Cinema and TIFF

The inception of Indian Cinema (a.k.a. Bollywood) came in 1913, when the father of the Indian film industry Dhundiraj Govind (Dadasaheb) Phalke releases the first feature length film Raja Saratchandra (King Harishchandra). The next year he showed that film and two others, Mohini Bhasmasur and Satyavan Savitri (all black and white silent films) in London, thus taking them abroad to the international world.

The Toronto International Film Festival, (originally known as “The Festivals of Festivals”) considered to be one of the top film festivals in the world (and the largest attendance-wise) found its beginnings in 1976.

More than 1200 movies in at least ten regional languages are made and released each year in India. Many of which have found themselves being presented in the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). This year is no different. The 31st Toronto International Film Festival is running from September 7 to 16, 2006 and Indian Cinema will be once again featured.

The Gala Presentation will be none other than Karan Johar’s Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna(Never Say Goodbye). It will take place at Roy Thomson Hall on Sunday September 10th at 1:30.

The screening of Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna will also a thrilling experience for Shah Rukh Khan who stars in the lead role as Dev . In 2001 his production Asoka, was supposed to be part of the Contemporary World Cinema premiere showing at TIFF. Unfortunately, the print of the film was lost in transit from New York to Toronto on 9/11. (Listing appeared as Asoka {Sun} 5pm Varsity 4 & 5)

In a 2006 TIFF press release Festival Co-Director Noah Cowan spoke about the world premieres reflecting the strength and range of contemporary Indian cinema.

"India is a nation of different cultures and languages, which makes its cinema diverse, dynamic and exciting. Films in Hindi, Marathi, Telugu and Manipuri will be here, along with several major world premieres from talented new filmmakers. These four films demonstrate the impressive range of Indian cinema, and we at the Festival are thrilled to be a part of its future."

Those four films will pe presented as follows:

The VISA Screening Room at the Elgin Theatre hosts the world premiere of Kabir Khan’s Kabul Express on Friday September 15th at 6:00 PM.

Special Presentation in Discovery include, A Grave-keeper’s Tale by Chitra Palekar and Vanaja by Rajnesh Domalpalli.

In Real to Reel, the special presentation will be Cry in the Dark by Haobam Paban Kumar.

What about in years past? Has Indian cinema been represented in TIFF? Here are some of the film listings from previous years that have appeared at TIFF.

2005 Deepa Mehta’s Water, S. Bose’s Amu , A. Ahluwalia’s John and Jane, B. Dasgupta’s Memories in the Mist

2004 Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s Chased by Dreams, Bharatbala’s Hari Om,

2003 Rituparno Ghosh's Chokher Bali, A Passion Play

2002 Buddhadeb Dasgupta's A Tale of a Naughty Girl (Mondo Meyer Upakhyan), Mani Ratnam’s A Peck on the Cheek (Kannathil Muthamittal), Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s Shadow Kill (Nizhalkkuthu)and a program called A Bow to Bollywood . . . And Beyond

2001 Digvijay Singh’s Maya, Ashutosh Gowariker’s Lagaan, Murali Nair’s Pattiyude Divasam (A Dog’s Day), - Scheduled but was not presented (see above) Santosh Sivan’s Asoka,

2000 Kamal Haasan’s Hey! Ram, Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s The Wrestlers, Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s Kalamandalam Gopi,

1999 Pankaj Butalia’s Shadows in the Dark (Karvaan), Santosh Sivan’s Malli, Murali Nair’s The tragedy of an Indian Farmer (Short- 6 min)

1998 Kaizad Gustad’s Bombay Boys, Santosh Sivan’s Theeviravaathi (The Terrorist), Satyajit Ray’s Charulata, Deepa Mehta’s Earth

1997 Mani Ratnam’s Iruvar (The Duo)

1996 Deepa Mehta’s Fire

1994 A retrospective of Mani Ratnam’s Tamil films was shown {Nayakan (Hero), Mouna Ragam: Alaipayuthey (Silent Symphony), Roja (Rose) and Thiruda, Thiruda (Thief, Thief)} along with a slew of commercial Indian movies with subtitles over a ten day span as part of “India NOW!”

I have not been able to find any other listings or information for Indian Cinema appearing in 1995 or prior to 1994. So, if anyone has any accurate information pertaining to this, please let me know. This way I can finish creating this listing.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Suketu Mehta at TIFF

Suketu Mehta, whose non-fiction book about the film capital of Mumbai, 'Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found', was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2005 and won the Kiriyama Prize.

He will be at TIFF this year to host the panel of Bollywood celebrities in a discussion on the 'Making of a Bollywood Blockbuster' on Sunday, September 10 - 5:00 PM at The ISABEL BADER THEATRE.

Writer Suketu Mehta (whose non-fiction book about the film capital of Mumbai, Maximum City, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize) will moderate a panel of Bollywood stars — Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukherji — as they join director Karan Johar to engage in a lively discussion about the huge popularity of Bollywood.

Jhumpa Lahiri whose Pulitzer Prize novel 'The Namesake', which has been transformed into a film by Mira Nair and is showcasing at TIFF this year, had this to say about Mehta and 'Maximum City'.

"Mehta writes with a Victorian novelist's genius for character, detail, and incident, but his voice is utterly modern. Like its subject, this is a sprawling banquet of a book, one of the most intimate and moving portraits of a place I have read."

National Geographic surprised the world with its introduction to Bollywood. Mr. Mehta contributed to that superb coverage with his article Welcome to Bollywood.

The New York Times published his article Bollywood Confidential

Mehta also cowrote 'Mission Kashmir', a Bollywood movie.

Friday, August 25, 2006

TIFF's past premieres of Indian cinema films

I mentioned in a previous post about TIFF's past premieres included Deepa Mehta's 'WATER'.

Interestingly, this Indian cinema film has still not been released in India itself because of the controversial subject matter, although back in April it was supposedly given the ok to do so. The film starring John Abraham has been cleared by the Indian censor board with a UA certificate and surprisingly, without a single cut.

You can read of the article by Sudhir Daruwala on the opening of 'Water' at the Toronto International film festival in 2005.

Since then, 'Water' has won the Golden Kinnaree award for best film at the Bangkok Film Festival and three of the nine Genie Awards that it was nominated for, along with the Valladolid International Film Festival Youth Jury Award and two Vancouver Film Critics Circle Awards - Best Actress - Canadian Film (Lisa Ray) and Best Director - Canadian Film (Deepa Mehta).

Watch the trailers of 'Water'.

TIFF World Premieres Reflect The Strength And Range Of Contemporary Indian Cinema

TIFF Press Release

"India is a nation of different cultures and languages, which makes its cinema diverse, dynamic and exciting," says Noah Cowan, Festival Co-Director. "Films in Hindi, Marathi, Telugu and Manipuri will be here, along with several major world premieres from talented new filmmakers. These four films demonstrate the impressive range of Indian cinema, and we at the Festival are thrilled to be a part of its future."

To read the rest of the release, which has information on the four films, please go here.

Making Paneer

Paneer (Cottage Cheese)

From Iena Kashyap


1 litre milk
lemon juice or vinegar


1. Bring milk to a boil. Add lemon juice or vinegar. Add salt.

2. Boil for 5 minutes. Milk will curdle. Milk solids (cottage cheeese or paneer) will float over the whey. Using a fine strainer, drain the whey.*

3. Put the cottage cheese in a muslin cloth, squeeze out excess liquid and put a heavy weight over it. Leave for 1-2 hrs till a solid cheese block is formed. Cut into cubes as required. This will yield about 225g paneer.

*What you have at this point is curds and whey. Sound familiar? It's what Little Miss Muffet (in the nursery rhyme)was eating when the spider scared her away (whey is the liquid portion and curds are the milk solids).

Fried paneer cubes are a great addition to rice or peas. Another popular item is to scramble this -- it can look like scrambled eggs and you can fool your meat-eater friends.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

More Indian Recipes per request

Here you go Nancy!

Gajar Halwa - Carrot dessert made with milk and sugar
Recipe by Cuisine Cuisine

1 pound or 6 medium Carrots, scrapped and grated
4 cups Milk, whole or 2%
3/4 th cup Heavy cream
3/4th cup Sugar
6 tablespoons Almonds, ground
1/2 teaspoon Cardamom powder
3 tablespoons Pistachio nuts, coarsely crushed
3 tablespoons Ghee (clarified butter), (optional )

1. Put the grated carrots, milk and heavy cream into a deep, large, heavy saucepan. Bring it to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture has reduced to about half its original volume and is thick enough to coat a spoon heavily.

2. Stir in the sugar and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add the almonds and the ghee and stir for a few minutes more.

3. The "halwa "is done when the mixture is thick enough to draw from the sides and bottom of the pan in a solid mass.

4. Remove the pan and stir in the cardamom. Remove the "halwa "into a decorative serving dish.

5. Decorate the top with the crushed pistachio nuts. Serve warm or at room temperature.

In India, it is very popular to serve warm "gajar halwa" with vanilla ice cream.

Saag Paneer

Recipe By : Shiva Indian Restaurant - Houston, Texas
Serving Size : 4

1 Lg Onion
6 Cloves garlic
1 Oz Fresh ginger
1 Lb Frozen spinach, thawed
1 C Plain yogurt
4 Oz Buttermilk
2 Ts Red chili powder
2 Ts Garam masala
1 C Half and half
6 Oz Paneer, cubed
Salt to taste

Grind the onion, garlic, and ginger into a fine paste. In a medium
saucepan, combine the paste, spinach, yogurt, buttermilk, chili
powder, and garam masala. Simmer at medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes.
Mash the ingredients with a potato masher. Add the half and half. Simmer
until the mixture has a creamy consistency, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the
cheese, simmer 5 minutes. Season with salt. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Sharon's Notes: I didn't bother to grind the onion, garlic & ginger
into a paste. I sauteed them in a little oil before adding the spinach,
etc. I also browned the paneer cubes in a little oil. I substituted
whole milk for the half & half.

Win 'Don' Memorabilia!

The countdown is on to the release of Shah Rukh Khan's 'Don' - October 20th!

To win 'Don' memorabilia - log into Sabras Radio and enter the competition! They will also be having exclusive interviews and other events for the extravaganza tied in with UTV.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

New Article on Associated Content

As some of my visitors already know, I write articles for Associated Content. My newest article is about my trip with three friends to "Little India" in New Jersey. If you would like to read the entire story of our great adventure, please go here.

If you would like to write for Associated Content and get paid, please click on the orange box in the side bar.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Recipes per request

Due to the last post, I have received requests for some Indian food recipes. So starting with the ones mentioned in the AW Chain post, here we go. For more delicious Indian recipes, please go to my favorite restaurant Kabob and Curry

Chicken Tikka Masala
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Part A:

2 lbs. boneless chicken breast
1/4 cup yogurt
3 t. minced ginger
3 t. crushed garlic
1/4 t. white pepper
1/4 t. cumin powder
1/4 t. mace
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. green cardamom powder
1/4 t. chili powder
1/4 t. turmeric
3 T. lemon juice
4 T. vegetable oil
Melted margarine (for basting)

Part B:
5 oz. tomato paste
10 oz. tomato puree
2 lbs. tomatoes, chopped
2 t. ginger paste
2 t. garlic paste
2 t. green chilies
1 T. red chili powder
2 t. cloves
8 green cardamoms
salt to taste
3 T. butter
2/3 cup cream
1 t. fenugreek
2 t. ginger, julienned
honey to taste

Whisk all of the ingredients in Part A together in a large bowl. Add the chicken breast, cut into 2 inch cubes. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Bake the chicken for 8 minutes, basting with margarine twice. Drain excess marinade and bake for another 2 minutes.
While doing this, make the sauce in Part B. Deseed and chop green chilies. Put tomatoes, tomato paste and tomato puree in a pot and add approximately 4-1/4 cups of water. Add ginger and garlic paste, green chilies, red chili powder, cloves, cardamoms, and salt. Cook over low heat until reduced to a thick sauce. Strain through a strainer and bring to a boil. Add butter and cream. Stir. If the sauce tastes sour, add honey to taste. Add fenugreek and ginger juliennes, stir, and serve with the chicken.

Vegetable Pakoras
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1 lb. mixed vegetables (potatoes, onions, eggplants, cauliflower)
4 oz. besan
1 t. salt
½ t. chili powder
Pinch baking soda
¾ t. ajwain
1 t. mango powder
¼ c. – ½ c. of water
vegetable oil for deep-frying

Method of preparation

Peel and slice potatoes, onions and eggplants into 1/3 inch thick round slices. Soak the potato and eggplant slices in water until ready to use. Cut cauliflower into small florets. Mix besan, salt, chili powder, baking soda, ajwain, mango powder and water and beat into a smooth batter of a thick, coating consistency.
Heat the oil in a deep fat fryer or work. When the oil is very hot, reduce heat to medium. Dip a few slices of the vegetables into the batter to coat them completely, and then deep-fry them, turning them once. Cook evenly until they are golden-brown or both sides. Remove oil and drain on paper towels. Serve with mint or sweet chutney.

Sweet Lassi with Rosewater and Cardamom
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Serves 2 to 3
2 cups plain organic yogurt, either low fat or whole milk
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
2 tsp rosewater
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
6 ice cubes

Combine the yogurt with the water, sugar, rosewater, and cardamom in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add the ice cubes and blend until they are completely incorporated.

(I like to add crushed pinapple to the mix. You can also add mango or another fruit)

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1 litre milk
1/4 cup rice, washed and soaked for 30 minutes.
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. cardamom powder
10-15 strands saffron, crushed, soaked in 1 tsp. warm milk
10 almonds
10 unsalted pistachios

Crush almonds, pistachios coarsely, keep aside.
Boil rice in plenty of water till half done.
Drain, spread on a plate, to cool grains.
Heat milk, bring to a boil.
Add rice, stirring continuously, till boiling resumes.
Simmer, stirring occasionally, to keep rice from sticking to bottom.
Allow rice to cook fully, but not get mushy.
Add sugar, cardamom, saffron, almonds and pistachios.
Stir, simmer for 2 minutes, serve piping hot.

Making time: 30 minutes
Makes: 5 servings
Shelflife: 1 day

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Indian Stuff

Well kindhearted Wendy has handed me the AW Chain baton and I've got my running shoes on, so let's get running with her thoughts on "stuff".

I didn't really want to title this post Indian "stuff", as somehow it makes it sound impersonal and that's not how I feel about all the Indian treasures I've bought over the last few years.

Without giving you a listing of all of them, which would seem impersonal, I'll try to describe them in their settings within my apartment in the form of a story. I'll put the meanings of any unknown items at the end for you.

Priya returned home from work, climbed the three flights of stairs and left her sandals in the entryway before entering her little apartment. The one good thing about her upstairs abode was the three windows in the first room always had a nice breeze flowing through. Sometimes the breeze was so intense though that her long, cotton, navy blue curtains with the gold design across the top had freed themselves from the gold tasseled tiebacks, which sought to retain them.

She fluffed the blue and green cushions on the couch on her way to the kitchen for the needed utensils to consume the chicken tikka masala, basmati rice, pakoras and naan that she had picked up from Kabob and Curry. The restaurant owner always knew to add a sweet lassi to the order before she even asked. Too tired to use one of her several Indian cookbooks and actually cook tonight, takeout was the answer.

Coming back into the living room, Priya flopped down to eat and finish reading Sharon Mass’ “Speech of Angels” for the second time. She still had several other books with decorative bookmarks in them, waiting to be “finished” again. Thankfully, she had completed the editing for Sattar Memon’s “The Ashram” and sent it for printing earlier in the day. Tonight’s book club discussion was on “The Untouchables” by Narendra Jadhav. It was going to be an emotional one for sure. When she returned home, she’d have the kheer she made the night before as a snack.

Now it was time to get ready for the meeting, or so she thought. Seema called to tell her that it was cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. Actually, Priya was kind of relieved as she was so tired and just wanted to relax and watch one of her many Bollywood films. Would it be one of Shah Rukh Khan’s, as she had all but one of his (besides the one that hadn’t been released yet of course) or maybe one of Amitabh Bachchan’s (‘Black’ or ‘Baghban’)? There would be time to decide later, right now she wanted to take a shower and change into a more comfortable salwar kameez.

All the rooms were soon filled with the soft sounds of classical music and the smell of sandalwood and chamomile, from the incense and the bath products she used in the palm tree decorated bathroom. In the living room the peacock feathers standing in the flowered, brass vase next to the elephant decorated incense box, swayed in the breeze. Looking at them, Priya noticed that the battery in the clock/candle holder combination had stopped working. She replace it and dusted off the matching picture holder, which held her only autographed photo of Shah Rukh that he had sent her two years before. “Might as well dust off the rest of the bookshelf (the top of which was filled with candles and other trinkets)”, she said to no one other than herself.

A soft rain started to fall straight down, so there was no need to shut the windows yet. Instead, Priya opened one of them and put her head out, enough to let the warm rain hit her face. She closed her eyes and imagined that she was in an open field in India dancing around the trees with her “Raj”, a Indian man she only knew in her imagination and wrote about in her journal.

As the rain started becoming heavier, the windows needed to be closed, especially the one right near her bed, as she didn’t want to get the red and beige bedspread with a camel and elephant border around the edges to get soaked. Moving the white mosquito net, which was over the bed out of the way and accidentally knocking the stuffed tiger cub and the teddy bear dressed in an orange sari off the gold pillows they were propped up on, Priya shut it down to an inch so the breeze still came in.

Hurrying to get out in the living room before the floor became wet, she tripped on the white ceramic elephant which served as a small nightstand and into the piano bench, which was covered with a throw blanket (in the same rich colors as the bedspread) and two square red and gold cushions. The pain in her leg throbbed as she hobbled out of the room. She hobbled back in after all the windows were closed and fell on the bed. While she sat there rubbing her foot, she looked around the room at the several pieces of artwork hanging on the walls.

There was the one of the Indian women sitting with the children while they worked on their crafts. That one hade been hand painted on cloth especially for her by a struggling artist in India that she contacted through a mutual friend. The black frame that she had it in didn’t do it justice though. She’d change it when she got a chance. On the opposite wall was the one she’d bought at IKEA. It was a framed poster showing a collage of brilliantly colored bags of dye that often appeared in pictures of India. The last one was a picture of four tiger cubs. The fourth wall wasn’t actually a wall. The landlord had made a doorway between the kitchen and this room so it could be used as a dining room with easy access back and forth. To avoid looking at the kitchen through her bedroom and visa versa, she bought a cotton shower curtain and hung it up to block the opening. It too had the reds and tans along with a palm tree, elephant and diamond shape motif.

Her foot was feeling better now and the rain had stopped. Priya decided she’d take her journal and Bollywood soundtracks outside and get lost in another world.

Indian Words

Naan - leavened flat bread
Pakoras - spicy vegetable fritters - yummy!
Lassi - yogurt drink (sweet, salty or mango flavored)
Salwar Kameez - long dress and pant outfit
Kheer - rice pudding typically made by boiling rice with milk and sugar. It is often flavored with cardamom and pistachios.

Ok now I'll hand the baton to Simon and ask him to forgive me for giving him this post to work with - after all he creates comic books about Hal the Space Jock. But I'm sure he'll manage somehow though. Hope so anyway.

See these items and more - at My Indian Treasures

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Pics of India

For more pictures of India like the one in Wordless Wednesday, please go to Steven Caudill's Web pages.

Wordless Wednesday

Credit goes to Steven Caudill

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Monday, August 14, 2006

I've Been Interviewed!

Hi Readers,

Just had to let you know the wonderful news. I was unexpectedly interviewed by Razib Ahmed of IndianRaj and SouthAsianBiz. What an honor! Here is the link to the interview, if you'd like to read it: Indian Cinema is Here to Stay!


Saturday, August 12, 2006

He's going places

A fellow writer at Absolute Write, Razib Ahmed, from Bangladesh is really going places these days. He not only runs two blogs - Indian Raj and South Asian Biz, but he's just won the prestigious Know More Media's Incredible Author Award for July 2006. The Times Online in the UK recognized him too.

He was also interviewed by Darren of The Blog Republic.

Hopefully I haven't forgotten anything. If I have, Razib please let me know.


A New Blog

Just thought I'd stop in and tell you about my new blog Writing From Within. There's not much there yet, as I just created it, but if you get a chance to stop by and say hello, that would be great. Hope to see you there.


Friday, August 11, 2006

AW Chain Round Four Begins

The fourth round of our AW (Absolute Write) chain has begun. As the participants put up their posts in turn, I'll be adding the permalinks on the sidebar (under AW Chain Round Four), so you can follow the chain through.

Please follow along with us and enjoy the ride!

Here are our participants websites, not necessarily in posting order, so make sure to follow the chain from the sidebar please.


Pass the Torch

The Road Less Travelled

Fireflies in the Cloud

Even in a Little Thing

The Secret Government Eggo Project

Curiouser and Curiouser

At Home, Writing

Mad Scientist Matt's Lair

I, Misanthrope - The Dairy of a Dyslexic Writer

Beyond the Great Chimney Production Log

Flying Shoes

Everything Indian

The Hal Spacejock Series

Organized Chaos

Of Chapters and Reels

Just a Small town girl

Midnight Muse

Kappa no He

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Indian Weddings

Here's a great blog post I just came across that explains quite a bit about Indian weddings, specifically a Punjabi wedding. I love the reference she makes to Bollywood films too. :-)

Sheetal Thakur

There is also a great section on Indian Traditions and Culture at Pardesi Fashions

They also have a 9 part section on Punjabi Weddings


Wordless Wednesday

Happy WW!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Does Anyone Know?

Does anyone out there in cyberspace know the name of this song and who sings it? I've put the English translation, but it is actually a song written and sung in Portuguese. I hope someone out there knows and can tell me. Thanks.

The lyrics are very deep in English, I can only imagine how much more so in their original language.

For seven years you fooled me and left me in darkness. I’ll tell the sun to tell the moon that I will never, never give you my forgiveness.

If someday by chance you end up at my door with a sack in hand. I would give you bread just as I would any other beggar. But I will never, never give you my forgiveness.

If someday by chance you end up behind iron bars, I would visit you just like any other prisoner. But I will never, never give you my forgiveness.

If someday by chance, I see you dead and stretched out in your coffin, I’d give you a kiss and then and only then will I give you my forgiveness.

Go to Goa

If you want to see some AWESOME pictures of Goa, India's west coast, which is blessed with the finest beaches in the world - Then please go here and take a look.

The article was written and the pictures were taken by Rajen Nair. ENJOY! Wish I was there!

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Sixth Night

For all you Goans out there and for anyone interested in Goa and/or India, here's a book that you should have on your reading list.

By Silviano C. Barbosa
Published: 2004
Publisher: Goa Raj Books, Toronto, Canada
Cover Art: Venantius J. Pinto (New York)
314 pages
ISBN 0-9736200-0-5

The SIXTH NIGHT was released on December 21, 2005, at Clube Vasco da Gama, Panjim, Goa, by noted novelist Margaret Mascarenhas.

This novel portrays the travails of a Catholic girl growing up in traditional Goa of the 1950s during the last decade of the Portuguese rule.

Linda Cardoso quickly loses the illusion that she lives in a close-knit community as she battles the evil of caste discrimination. She falls hopelessly in love with a foreigner, only to lose him abruptly during the Indo-Portuguese conflict of 1961.

Left alone, ostracised, helpless and pregnant, she has to leave her child for an unknown future in the West and to a new land--Canada.

A story of love, hate, jealousy and intrigue -- great insights into Goan life, traditions and customs.

This unique and popular novel is a compendium of Goan culture, arts, history, geography, traditions, food, faith, psyche and Goan pride. All you need to know about Goa is in this novel.

The author touches the inner core of the reader's conscience with his caustic social commentary to the point that it almost sounds controversial.

No one has to pay for the sins of their forefathers. But they can at least read about them in this novel!

More details at Goa Raj

Thursday, August 03, 2006

My NEW Website is online!

It's a new website so we're at a basic stage. But I just wanted to announce it and invite you to stop by. Hope you like it.

Dark Horse Adaptations

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Wordless Wednesday

Happy Wordless Wednesday folks!

Indian Puppetry

Written by Mridu Khullar Storytelling as Art in Indian Puppetry is a wonderful journey into the world of puppetry. Please stop by and read her informative article. You'll be pleasantly surprised, as I was, how much is being accomplished these days through this medium.

UPDATE on Fuad Omar

Sometime back I conducted an interview with UK's famous Bollywood interviewer, Fuad Omar. In it, Mr. Omar mentioned his book that was soon to be released. He wrote today telling me that 'Bollywood: An Insider's Guide' has indeed been released and where it can be purchased.

Mr Omar says, "If anyone has ever had even an inkling of interest in Indian cinema/Bollywood - I hope you'll enjoy this book. It's a collection of my interviews with Bollywood stars, reviews, features and behind the scenes articles that capture a unique time period in Bollywood history. A new heartthrob was created overnight, a hardworking and talented actor was venturing into producing and a former Miss World was struggling with convincing an industry there was more to her than good looks.

To those who know Bollywood, you'll find Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai, Sushmita Sen, Arjun Rampal and many, many more in here, so I hope you enjoy reading about the industry that's made a mark on film forever."

In promoting his new book, Omar will be traveling to India on a three-week book tour, thanks to Mayhem Publishing.

You can buy Bollywood: An Insider's Guide by clicking on the link, which will take you directly to Amazon.

Thanks and happy reading!

Saturday, July 29, 2006


Konkani is the official language of Goa, India. Stop in and have a listen to the only online Konkani Music Station on the Internet. Also, please check out Goa World.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Triumph over adversity...

This article was circulated over Goanet by Prof George Pinto of San Jose, with the comment: "I first learnt of Joseph through Goa Sudharop ( His courage is inspiring. Rather than allow a challenge (sight) get him down, he makes it a point to triumph over adversity. He is what is good and noble about Goa, a real-life hero in our midst. His story below.

by Valerie Rodrigues
valerie_goa at

The sturdy bags made of thick coloured paper and with neat handles look so professionally done, that it is a surprise to hear that they are handmade. And the surprise turns to astonishment when one learns that Joseph Pereira, the young man who makes these bags, is totally blind.

Joseph lives in Orlim, South Goa. As a little boy, he had perfect eyesight till the age of ten. His loss of vision was sudden, when he suffered a retinal detachment in his left eye.

Ophthalmologists were unable to save his vision, nor could they pinpoint the reason for the detachment. Joseph, then studying in Std V, could still see with his right eye, and therefore continued his studies.

Unfortunately, soon after, he also suffered a retinal detachment in the right eye. Operated upon at Mumbai, he regained sight temporarily. The detachment however occurred again, and this time nothing more could be done. Just twelve years old, Joseph was totally blind.

Says Joseph, "That was a difficult time. Suddenly everything changed. I was not able to go out and play with my friends, not able to go to school."

Through the National Association of the Blind (NAB) at Santa Cruz, Goa, Joseph joined the St. Xavier's Centre for the Visually Handicapped at Old Goa where he learned Braille. He also learned to cane chairs and to make jute bags.

An uncle from Pune brought him a machine to make chalk sticks, and Joseph decided to try this. It took a lot of effort but with some innovations of his own, he ultimately mastered the technique and began supplying chalk to a few schools in Margao. Joseph was always interested in studying further and with help from NAB, he continued with his studies and passed his SSCE.

Through NAB, Joseph also learned to make paper bags and his first break came when Lorenz Photo Studio at Margao gave him a big order.

Today, Joseph makes and supplies different sized bags of excellent quality, with printing as per the customer's requirements. His satisfied customers include Lorenz Photo Studio, Costa's, Sula Wines, D-Link, designer Philu Martins, Verma Bridal Studio, Acron Arcade and others.

Joseph has faced many major setbacks in his life, but has managed to draw on his inner resilience to overcome each and every hurdle that he has encountered. Not only is he able to manage all household tasks, but he is also very active in local village activities.

Amazingly, even though he once fell and fractured an arm, Joseph still climbs up to replace the roof tiles of his house, whenever required.

It was joyous occasion a couple of years back when he married Albertina, a perfectly sighted girl from Cortalim, who is very appreciative of her talented husband. Joseph's elderly mother also resides with the couple.

In 2005, a documentary by an amateur filmmaker focussing on a day in the life of this ingenious young man, was screened at the Kala Academy at Panjim, Goa.

Early in 2006, the USA-based NGO, Goa Sudharop, employed Joseph as a resource person to provide training in the making of paper bags to the mentally-challenged residents of Peace Haven, Caranzalem. In appreciation of the excellent paper bags that he makes, Joseph recently received an award from NAB, Mumbai for the most successful cottage industry.

Joseph's determination and grit are evident as he says, "If one has the willpower, nothing is impossible. When people see what a handicapped person is capable of doing, they are surprised."

Truly, Joseph has succeeded in carving his own niche in spite of all odds and his life is an inspiration to us all.

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