She Reads South Asia


Monday, June 26, 2006

Welfare of Mentally Retarded Children

There are over 30 million (3%) mentally retarded children in India, of whom hardly a fringe attend special schools or get vocational training. For vast majority there is no help because of the lack of resources.

The “Delhi Society for the Welfare of Mentally Retarded Children” was founded in 1964 to organize the efforts of parents, doctors, social workers and well-wishers for providing care, education, training and rehabilitation facilities for the mentally retarded. It has set up a Day School, Diagnostic and Child Guidance Clinic, Vocational Training Centre and Transport Service at OKHLA CENTRE, Okhla Marg, New Delhi. The cost of supporting the care for one child is $150 per year.

Delhi Society for the Welfare of Mentally Retarded Children
Okhla Centre, Okhla Marg, opposite Holy Family Hospital,
New Delhi-1 10025;
Phone: 26310979

Per your request

At the request of Matt and Laurie, I'll attempt to answer their questions on the name Simran.

Matt, I got the name Simran from the Hindi movie 'Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge', which in English means - The braveheart will get the bride. The movie stars Kajol, who plays Simran and Shah Rukh Khan who plays Raj. As a matter of fact, this film was Shah Rukh Khan's rocket to stardom, even though he had been in the industry for five years. It was his first "lover boy" role, since he was used to playing the "bad boy" and that's all it took. He went from a "middle-class brown boy from Delhi", as he says of himself to the superstar he is now.

DDLJ, produced by Yash Raj Films is the longest running film in Indian cinema. It released in October of 1995 and is still playing today in the cinemas of India. That'll be eleven years this Ocober! WOW! It is a great love story, which takes you from London to India in the course of the story. It's really a must see film. Don't worry you get used to the subtitles after awhile.

Now, although I simply love this film, it wasn't my introduction to Bollywood and all things Indian.

Laurie, the film that endeared me to these was none other than - Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham translated -Sometimes Happy, Sometimes Sad. It's produced by Dharma Productions.

K3G, as it is called in the world of celluloid opened up a whole new world for me. I had never even heard of Bollywood before that - imagine? After being whisked away to another country, cinematically of course, the colors, dancing, music and the culture I was "hooked" and wanted to know everything I could about India cinema (those in the industry don't really care for the name Bollywood, as it makes it seem like it's a imitation of Hollywood, which is about as far from the true as you can get. Hollywood with all its technology couldn't make films like these). This film too, ironically stars Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in the main leads, as they have done quite a few films together.

It was three years ago this past March that I watched K3G and I've since watched so many more that I've lost count. Until I found a Hindi theater, DVDs were the way to go. We went to see two of the films in the cinema about 60 miles from here before it was no more. :-( So now, I need to find another cinema, until then it will be back to the DVDs. I now have a collection of all of Shah Rukh Khan's films and some non-SRK films.

My research on Bollywood landed me a writing position with Bollyvista, an online portal for all things Bollywood. I also now have two Bollywood columns - one in New Zealand - The Global Indian and one in India - Paramount Airways in-flight magazine called Wings and Aisles. I have written other articles as well for Associated Content and Indian publications that have to do with other things Indian besides Bollywood too.

A co-written Bollywood script and adapted novel are also up for publication. Stay tuned for the news on those!

I've yet to visit India, as I mentioned but I'm working on it. My Indian friends here have shared so much of their culture (including their delicious spicy food) with me. My online Indian friends have offered so much as well, several of them are from the Absolute Write writer's forum. Listed in the links of the navigation column you will find so many more friends and their websites. If you go back to some of my previous posts, you'll find even more.

Thanks to Laurie and Matt for their questions, which prompted this post and as they say in the film world - that's a wrap.

Friday, June 23, 2006

AW Chain Round 2

This is my first post in the AW Chain. Before me there was Andrea. You can read her blog and from there follow the links back through the chain.

Names are a funny thing. We're all given one at birth, some have plain names, some unusual, some exotic but all set us on our way to who we eventually become in life. In trying to find our place in this world, we often feel lost, not knowing exactly where we fit in the whole scheme of things. Then someone or something comes into our live, changing it and us for the better.

My faith was the first thing that did this for me and set me on the right road to travel. For this gift, I am forever grateful. Cherishing it with life itself, I try everyday to live up to the decision I've made.

Something else entered my life too, something I knew nothing about at first and that was the culture found in Indian life. From one film I fell in love with the colorful clothes, the music, the food and most importantly the people. With this change, I felt like I had come home to a place I had never been before and still long to visit. I will get to India someday but in the meantime, I have immersed myself in as much of the culture as possible.

In doing so, taking on the name Simran was one more step in that direction. I will always cherish the name my parents gave me when I was born, but someday I want to legally take the name Simran for myself. For now I'll just be happy with using it as my pen name and hearing those who are close to me use it.

Round 3, stars with Incoherent blabbing from an incoherent person.


Thursday, June 15, 2006

My Exclusive Interview with Fuad Omar

Fuad Omar is one of the UK's most heralded writers on Indian Cinema today. He is also highly regarded in the industry for promoting Indian cinema on an international level. I caught up with Mr. Omar for a little one-on-one. Here is the interview in its entirety.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I won the wedding story contest!

Thanks to all the votes and comments, I won the wedding story contest on Associated Content. Thank you to all of you who participated! You're the best!

Winning Entry

The money won for charity will be going to The Delhi Society for the Welfare of Mentally Retarded Children Okhla Centre.

Today is International Webloggers Day!

Today is the day bloggers everywhere should have a new post written on them. We bloggers write sbout so many things, events and milestones in our lives, recipes, writing assistance, politics, sports, humor, religion, flowers, pets, trips and even moviestars.

So get out your vitual pens and paper today and show us your best. Join in the fun of being a part of International Bloggers Day and Write! Write! Write!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Another Bollywood Column

The new column that I'm referring to is the one that appears in Paramount Airways (domestic flights within India) new in-flight magazine called Wings and Aisles.

Four countries down {USA, Canada, New Zealand and India}, several hundred to be published in. Better get working on it.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


Speaking of Blogging - here is a site that may be of interest to those of you who are either from Asia or write about Asia in your blogs.


Aishwarya Rai

My article on Aishwarya Rai was published and is up for viewing.

Monday, June 05, 2006


Hi all,

I just entered a contest on Associated Content and would appreciate it
if you could help me out. I need as many people as possible to read
the story and/or comment on it. The stories with the most views will
be judged by AC for the win. The winner gets $100 and so does their
favorite charity. I've chosen one in India.

If you can help, that would be great. Thank you in advance. Enjoy the
story, let me know what you think and please pass the link on to

My Wedding Story