Tag Archives: India

Sony TV shows wrong India map

Notice something wrong?

The state of Jammu & Kashmir appears to be broken up into 4 parts, with a distinctive border from the rest of India.

This appeared on Sony TV (you can see the logo in the top right corner). Ignore the Airtel logo though, that’s just because this program was being broadcast through an Airtel set-top box.

Maps are symbols and important ones at that. Consider the fact that every single major war in the world has been rooted in a territory dispute, right from the Mahabharata to our modern day Indo-Pak tensions. We can’t afford to make a mistake like this one.

What’s more, as a major media channel going out to a wide Indian populace, what message does this send out?

Ideart: Leaves

Mum has the kind of glowing golden skin that makes colours like yellow & orange look luminous rather than loud or tacky. Given her more demure style, she doesn’t usually wear a lot of bright colours. But occasionally, something like this slips through – a rich orange kurta by FabIndia with yellow-and-orange brocade sleeves. Typical to FabIndia, the style is subtle and shows in the superior cut as well as tiny details like darts near the collar and at the hem. I think it was a combination of the leaf skeleton pattern and the colour that gave me the idea for this piece.

My past Ideart posts have gone into great detail on technique but I haven’t seen any response to indicate that these interest anybody. If you do want me to elaborate, do leave a comment here or write to me. I’ll be happy to share what I did and how.

All I used was a set of brushes and the colour yellow (with a few highlights of gold). Here’s how it turned out:

And here’s the full garment:

*Cross-posted to Divadom.

Ek Anek By Films Division

If you grew up in India in the 80s, you’ll remember this short animated film that would show just before the Sunday morning specials and on occasion, before the Saturday evening movie.

“Hind desh ke nivaasi sabhi jann ek hain.
Rang roop, besh bhasha, jaati anek hain.”

Maths (1 to many), sociology (group formation), management (organized effort) and national integration – that’s a lot of ideas to pack into 7 minutes. We’re not in a day and age that values the last idea very much. Here’s remembering.

Social Networking-The Creation & Consumption Of Content

Earlier in the month, I began writing for Social Samosa. My brief was to recap the major events in social networking over the past few years in India. Given how vast this is, I broke it up into two parts. I started with an article titled, ‘Social Networking: How Communities Were Built’. In that post, I looked at the connections aspect of social networking.

Image via Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot,

The second part of that story is now online in a piece titled, ‘Social Networking: The Creation & Consumption Of Content‘ where I discuss the other harbingers of the social media revolution – blogs, commenting systems, bulletin boards, discussion groups and everyone’s favorite birdie – Twitter.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Online content creation began with a few individuals putting out text & images that could be consumed by other users of the internet. In the recent years, though, we’ve seen content creation get closer & closer to the space that we call social networking.  A content creator is not an artist working in isolation but the initiator & propagator of conversations.  The social networks are but channels to drive conversations, which need content.  Thus it was inevitable that social connectors and content holders should find themselves merging in a borderless space.

‘Content creation’ is a misnomer since, increasingly, we are all becoming both producers & consumers of content.  One person feeds into the network a piece of information or an insight or a personal account (a phenomenon now called ‘seeding’ if done with the intent to propagate).  Others read it and share it on their networks (the phenomenon now called ‘going viral’).  Along the way, comments are added and other bits of content spring up in response to the first piece.  These could take several forms – blog posts, tweets, comments, status updates, pictures and videos, to name a few.  The conversation now spans multiple users, data points, media and web locations. Every user in this process has now become both a consumer and a creator of content.”

Read the rest of the article here.

That’s Why Kolaveri Da!

A reader sent in a link to this YouTube clip that replies to this month’s net-rage. ‘Why this Kolaveri da‘ features a bespectacled girl accompanying herself on the guitar and singing a response to the song. It’s not as catchy as the original Kolaveri Di but it deserves a watch. I especially love-u the way the girl’s eyes go at 1:16 and at 1:40 in the video. Enjoy-u!

Here are the lyrics in the video: Why This Kolaveri Da (Reply cover-Female version)

Why this kolaveri, kolaveri da
Why this kolaveri, kolaveri da
Why this kolaveri, kolaveri da
Why this kolaveri…. ada

Once we’re married, hell is life-u
Life total out-u
Out-u out-u you say out-u
We stand here hurt-u

Why this kolaveri, kolaveri da
Why this kolaveri, kolaveri da

Dawn come-u we go work-u
U sit there smoke-u
Money come-u you take spend-u
How do I feed the kids-u

You say love-u love-u o my love-u

I showed you bou-u…
but love-u love-u
Here’s cow-u
It gives back more than you-u

Now you tell me who is right-u
Are you happy now-u

Why this kolaveri, kolaveri da

Ideamarked Nov2011: Window Gardens, Bookstores, PS3 & Kolaveri Di

I’ve always loved November. Diwali festivities, vacations to look forward to…as I’ve gotten older, I find the end of the year packing up. The weather is crisper, even in hot & humid Mumbai. Everyone starts to let their hair down and spends more time thinking about parties, picnics & get-togethers than work. The world takes a break next month & November is all about the planning and anticipation of just that.

It’s been a packed and enjoyable November for me. I attended the NH7 festival in Pune, in its second year. A story on women bloggers featured me in a prominent way. For the few of you who remember my long-winded adventure with NovelRace, I finally managed to complete it! Whether this ever comes out or not, I can now die happy knowing that I did write a full novel. 🙂

On that cheery note, here’s this month’s links. As you can see, there was a lot of link-love going around too!

  • DewarsIndia’s channel features music travelogues across India. (on Youtube, link courtesy Sangita Bhargavi)
  • Simi’s new show: India’s most botoxed, banal & brainless‘: Of course, I agree. (via FirstPost, link courtesy Lakshmi Shesadri)
  • MasterChef India: Guaranteed to cure you of any desire to cook‘: Sadly, I’m having to agree. MasterChef India has a long way to go before it can be in the same league as MasterChef Australia. (via FirstPost)
  • Window gardening for the urban-dweller longing for a touch of green – ‘Growing Organic Fruits & Vegetables at Home‘ (via Earthoholics, link courtesy Vishal Gadkari)
  • ‘Worklish’ is a way to cover up how much one doesn’t know. They why is it that we who don’t speak it, are left out in the cold?: ‘Buzzwords at office driving you crazy? 6 ways to cope‘ (via Huffington Post)
  • If your interest in astrology, tarot, dream interpretation & the predictive arts extends beyond mere curiosity, you should definitely visit Magick. The store  is currently looking for fulltime apprentices to initiate into the Wicca tradition. (via Swati Prakash)
  • If you ever wondered why the people you follow, don’t follow you back, here are some possible answers: ‘The Top 10 Reasons I Will Not Follow You On Twitter‘ (via Mashable)
  • Reviews, recipes and workshops, you have to stop by Tulleeho if you have a love of the drink.
  • India as the Indians see it – non PC humour (on Facebook, link courtesy Shweta Madan)
  • ‘5 Tips To Help You Decide How Much Of You Should Show Up On The Blog‘ (via SharingWithWriters)
  • Hail the motherland of idlis, software dreams & kitschy Kollywood songs! This month’s music craze – Kolaveri Di (via Youtube)
  • A 5-yr old post that’ll still interest Mumbai’s booklovers: ‘A Bibliophile’s Guide To Mumbai‘ (via The Idea-smithy)
  • A lovely gift from blogger to blogger – ‘It’s Not Just A Car‘ 55 word story by Manuscrypts!
  • Kitab Khana, a bookstore recommendation courtesy Anuradha Shankar.
  • A little thought on liking and love (via Slices of Time, link courtesy Rehab Chougle)
  • MICHEAL: PS3 Long Live Play‘: A fun advertisement for gamers (via Youtube, link courtesy Ashwini Mishra)

* Catch these links as they happen on The Idea-smithy Facebook Page. You can also post an interesting link of your own to the page and get featured on the Ideamarked post at the end of the month!

I Wear: Power Dressing

I had a day full of meetings and it felt like the perfect opportunity to bring back a look that I used to sport before I left the corporate world (and surprisingly found I’d been missing!) – the power dressing look. These photographs were shot in the night after I got back, indoors, so they aren’t as clear as I’d have liked.

Formalwear is something that’s still a new challenge for most Indian women. Our hot, dusty climate makes business suits quite impractical. A lot of women opt for the ubiquitous salwar-kameez instead and indeed, it is probably the best solution for everyday office wear. But once in a while,a real power dressing look may come in handy.

My power dressing look is a derivative of the dressing principles I watched dad follow over the years. First of all, everything in one of two colour families – blue/grey/white/black or cream/beige/red/brown. Belt & shoes must match. Absolutely no white socks for formalwear.

To this, I added my own individual aesthetic sensibilities. Silver/white gold jewellery with the first colour family and gold/pearls with the second. Scarves for colour. And high style through jewellery rather than shoes (sensible shoes only!).

Here’s what my comeback look was like:

The straight, no-nonsense lines of a cotton half-sleeved shirt in grey. I’m extra partial to shirts that can be tucked into the trousers. Sadly, most women’s shirts have short tails, which means they have to be worn hanging outside the trousers. While that look may be acceptable for daily office wear, for a extra polished look, I think nothing beats the shirt tucked in.

Predictably (or shall I say classically?), the trousers were black, straight fits. Pinstripes are another power-dressing staple. Besides on trousers, they have the additional benefit of making the legs look longer. Height adds an illusion of power, after all.

When the shirt is worn tucked in, it’s vital to wear a good belt. I’d have preferred to wear a regular sized belt but it wasn’t handy so I picked this slim black one with a rectangular buckle instead. Black faded into black and I don’t think the width difference showed at all.

I’ve had this bag for almost 8 years now. I bought it right at the start of my career, needing something other than the colourful, flashy stuff I’d use to tote my stuff around, in college. A trip to Dharavi’s leather market yielded this and would you believe, it’s stood me in great stead all these years, through job changes, monsoon, train travel et al! I’ve only needed to have a zipper fixed once. It’s pure leather so cleaning is no more than a swab with a dry cloth, once in awhile. The bag has two large compartments, a mobile phone holder within and a zipper side pouch on one side. It usually carries wallet, keys, mobile phone, diary, papers, sunglasses, headscarf, face towel, make-up, lunch, a small water bottle, a book and has room for more! Also, it doesn’t show any unsightly bulges, holds its shape and the handles are sturdy enough to carry the weight and withstand the rigours of daily travel. A great investment, indeed!

And now for the accessories – my trusty steel watch, a single ring on each hand, a silver heart charm bracelet and a silver square in each ear. This last is also years old but always felt too ‘old’ for my usual fun sense of dressing. But it added just the right degree of prim womanliness to this otherwise masculine outfit.


I’ve always had a thing for scarves (see Scarf It Up!). But a colleague once told me that I looked like a flight purser in this very outfit (quite aggravating if one is not employed in the airline industry). Colourful scarves worn like ties have come to be synonymous with the hospitality sector, so I had to junk that idea. the collar of this shirt was too high for me to wear the scarf knotted around the neck and it was too hot for a cravat tie. So I junked the scarf and looked for something else to break the severity of this look. This pretty blue stone dragonfly brooch did just that! Unconventional in such matters, I usually skip the over-the-heart location in favour of other places like a collar lapel, the belt loop or even a thigh. A spark of bling on the neck or a pop of colour against staid fabric really adds a dash of fun to this look. Who said power can’t be fun?! For this time, I positioned it right in the middle of the chest, between two shirt buttons (also avoiding any accidental opening).

Footwear was a basic, black leather pair of square-toed shoes. I know these look rather masculine but they’re comfortable and durable, both things that give me the kind of confidence needed to pull off power dressing. Indian women’s footwear has a long way to go before it can discover the notion of ‘comfort and beauty’.

Imagine my delight when I spotted these at Hush Puppies! Leather pumps with flexible PVC soles (heels part of the soles) and a suede stripe running across the top. They were comfortable, feminine and dignified. The pair is available in jet black, midnight grey and chocolate brown. After drooling over them for over an hour, I came home with the grey pair. Maybe I’ll nip back for the brown, later this week! This pair would go perfectly with a skirt or dress just as well as it does with these trousers!

I Wear:

  • Grey cotton half-sleeved work shirt:
  • Black pinstripe straight fit trousers: Stop
  • Black leather square-toed shoes: Bata
  • Black leather double-compartment bag: Dharavi market, Rs.900 (8 years ago)
  • Black leather belt with rectangular steel buckle: Shoppers Stop
  • Steel wristwatch: Casio
  • Silver rings: Local silver market
  • Silver heart charm bracelet: Estelle
  • Steel square eartop: Shoppers Stop, ~Rs.400 (10 years ago)
  • Blue stone dragonfly brooch: Alpha, Irla market, ~Rs.400 (6 years ago)
  • Grey leather pumps: Hush Puppies, Rs.2100

Ideamarked Sep2011: Cocktails, Dabbawallas & Wisdom

August was a busy month so I didn’t manage much link-love. But September started off on a good note and I’m hoping it’ll only get better.

My Style section is picking up. For a few reader/friends who asked, I Style! features whacky, fun clothing & accessories; Ideart showcases my fabric painting and I Wear tracks everyday style. This month, I add to the repertoire by featuring other people whose sense of style caught my eye. But don’t worry, I’m not turning into a fashionasta. Dressing & looking good are an important part of our daily lives. But The Idea-smithy will still have fiction, pop culture, reviews, general quips & wisdom (?). And here’s September’s features:

  • There’s enough being said about the best hairstyle for your face type but what about the
    Bellini Cocktail

    Image via Wikipedia

    one accessory that’s closest to your face? ‘Your Face Shape & Earrings‘ (via
    MillionLooks)

  • What’s a status update if not a way to rant? (via Facebook)
  • The art/book/style lover in you will LOVE this store that produces clothing with book art. (via OutOfPrintClothing, link courtesy HippyHollySimpleSally)
  • A handful of cocktail recipes from everyone’s favorite intelligent party-girl! ‘Cocktail recipes for people who really just like anything with a salt rim‘ (via TheCompulsiveConfessor)
    Osho („Rajneesh“ Chandra Mohan Jain)

    Image via Wikipedia

  • A book about language & whether it can be grown ‘artificially’. ‘In the land of invented languages‘ (link courtesy Time)
  • The dabbawalla has gone online! Find a tiffin service by cuisine, meal & location at IndiaTiffins.
  • Dabba Tiffins III

    Image by Meanest Indian via Flickr

    One from my Bookmarks from the 90s, this site has provided daily wisdom in my mailbox for over a decade. Ranging from the writings of Osho to Zen pearls to quotes by famous people, Deeshan is now available on Twitter & Facebook too.

  • A former colleague turns film director. His first film, Kshay is being screened at the Chicago International Film Festival. Congratulations, Shaan!
  • Shakti gives us India’s answer to the LBD! (via Twitter).
  • After I asked what Facebook’s look was doing for its users, this came up as an answer: ‘Does Facebook Really Care About You?’ (via CNN)
  • A hilarious email chain that’s been modified and edited from the original article, for sometime now: ‘London Times Obituary Of The Late Mr.Common Sense‘ (via MyBroadBand)
Little Black Dress

Image via Wikipedia

Lost Letters

An Asian woman wearing headphones and putting ...

Image via Wikipedia

One rant spawns a flood of others. And that’s how the phrase ‘Open Letter‘ was lost. And in the meantime, Ms.Shahana Nair Joshi becomes the next internet celeb.

I’m most alarmed by words like these. It reminds me of those anti-Islam and violence-inducing anti-Pak jokes that kept popping up during the World Cup match between India and Pakistan. At an individual level, a person may be somewhat silly, immature, uninformed and thoughtless. But passion can channel that into a rant. And the frenzy that follows, takes on the form of prejudice.

As the boy would say,

“That’s probably how those chaps called the Nazis worked too.”

The beauty of the internet, and indeed blogging means the ultimate democracy of expression. Starry eyes aside, we are yet to experience all the anarchy that comes from complete rulelessness.

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