Take this moment to click on this link and learn more about a documentary film to air on PBS, on April 16, 2008 at 9 pm EST. It's a must-see.
Shivani Vora writes in The New York Times about a new trend in dining among us desis – having home-cooked meals delivered to us at our work desks. “Dubba-wallahs” are nothing new to folks living and working in Mumbai where the art and science and business of delivering food has been perfected that the enterprise is often considered a case-study in some of the top US business schools.
What's happening here is this – we want our sabzi and paraatas just the way mom used to make 'em. The demand is definitely there because we have little time to cook and Indian restaurants tend to shovel out the same stuff at us with little or no regard to quality. Quite frankly, Indian restaurants are really only targeted towards non-Indians.
Services like Annadaata are a terrific niche market but it is also a lot of hard work. And you sure don't want to get your orders mixed up. Imagine an irate vegetarian staring down some mutton koorma. It could get very ugly, very quickly.
Thanks to Sendhil Revuluri for sending me a link to this story. If you find desi-oriented articles on the web, please feel free to email me at tiffinbox [at] pipalproductions [dot] com.
Angélique who won one of the copies of The Space Between Us that I was giving away has written in with a short review here. For the longer review visit her terrific site. I have one more copy of the book left. If you want it, follow these instructions. I'll randomly choose one lucky person to receive the book.
A truly beautiful, but haunting, story about two women in India. One of them, Sera Dubash, is a well-to-do Parsi lady and mistress of a household; the other is her servant Bhima who is a poor Hindu woman who has been in Sera's employment for 20 years. These are two women from vastly differing lifestyles whose lives become intertwined.
Although this book can at times read like a social commentary on the haves and the have-nots of Bombay, the caste system and the power that wealth and education can wield in a country where so many people are poor and illiterate, it would be unfair to limit it to that because it is so much more! It's a poignant and touching book about relationships and relating – master to servant; daughters and mothers; husbands with wives and, best of all – friendships between women (despite hailing from different worlds, the two main characters, Sera and Bhima, developed a friendship based not only on their gender but also on a familiarity that enabled them to share a lot of secrets and tragedies)
The characters are just wonderful – flawed but endearing all the same. I loved both Bhima and Sera and while it might be tempting to love (or maybe at least pity) Bhima more for being poor, one sees that even the poor are not exempt from heaping their own prejudices on their fellow men.
While this story may have been set in the big bad city of Bombay, the city famous for its slums and equally famous for its flamboyant Bollywood stars and its filthy rich industrialists, the questions it raises in no way limit it to any one geographical setting because they are universal in nature. It asks: in a situation of conflict, what must come first, blood (family) or friendship? Is loyalty a more valued virtue or is truthfulness? Must the rich always win? Must the poor always lose?
Besides writing a beautiful story, Thrity Umrigar has also given us some wonderful glimpses into the city of Bombay and its people. The scenes depicting the daily struggles of Bombay’s poor – the queue for the communal toilet in the slums and the dismal government hospitals, as well as the atmospheric Chowpathy beach scenes – are by far the strongest. I also love her insights into the fascinating and endearing Parsi community of Bombay and the way she incorporates Indian speech patterns when her characters, especially Bhima, have something to say. I would dearly love to listen to an audio version of this book when they have one.
Not since Rohinton Mistry's “A Fine Balance” have I read such a wonderful novel set in the sub-continent. Highly recommended!
Ok, it's not really television. But if you are a photographer this is must-see television on the Internet. David Snider's The Photography Channel is truly amazing. The quality of the videos and slide shows are stunning. Our ability to listen to photographers talk about their work make it an inspiring experience.
If I had to be critical it's that right now there are 31 photographers profiled. What is obviously missing is, of course, any representation from the majority world (to borrow a phrase from Shahidul Alam).
I also wish Snider offered a RSS feed or some other option to update us when new photographers are added to the site.
Via Sree Sreenivasan
ABC News, 20/20 is looking to profile individuals or couples who've had or are considering the modern-day version of arranged marriages in the South Asian community in the U.S. We plan to take a fresh look at this topic with an insightful perspective – taking the time to profile thoughtful individuals and couples who can lend a balanced view on this often-generalized and mischaracterized subject. We also aim to depict the many new forms this old tradition has taken on.
In order to tell this story effectively, we are looking for professional, articulate recently or about-to-be engaged couples who have gone to various sources to find each other for the specific purpose of getting married. It could have been through a set-up by mutual friends or family, a South Asian event for the purpose of meeting people for marriage, a matchmaker, or a newspaper / internet ad, or some other medium which produced a meeting for the specific purpose of determining if they were suitable for getting married. The ideal couple will have had only a brief period to get to know one another before making their decision to marry. And they would still be in the process of planning their wedding, ideally, with a wedding date before the end of 2006.
We are also interested in talking to singles who are looking to go one of the modern-day arranged marriage routes – or recently married couples who found their mates through one of these methods so as to get their perspectives and represent people in various stages of the process and from multiple perspectives.
The people we profile would have to be willing to be taped interacting with their partner or potential partners – and would eventually be interviewed by the correspondent.
If you or someone you know fits the bill, we'd like to hear your story. Since one of the production team is a South Asian, we are sensitive to telling this story in a way that conveys the accurate picture of how
this old tradition has taken on a new spin and which is true to life. Feel free to contact us if you are interested in being profiled or have any questions in general.
E-mail us at: Marriages@abcnews.go.com