Soniah Kamal

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'Islam is not Pakistan's religion; Marriage is'

Friday, March 28, 2008

India versus America: diversity in the political sphere

Myth or fact: in America opportunity is equal and color, gender and religion no cause for a brouhaha? Here's a refreshing op-ed in The Hindu by Vidya Subrahmaniam about the biases in the Melting Pot's media circus, as well as why India trumps the US.

'The point is: Why should a Muslim connection be treated as an offense? Mr. Obama’s supporters ought to have been proud of his middle name, holding that up as a symbol of American multiculturalism. Instead, they have cringed at the thought that he could be mistaken for a Muslim. Perhaps this is the truth of a country that is still grappling with race, continues to be squeamish about gender and goes ballistic at the mention of Islam.' read rest here


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Review of Indian Movie 'Jab We Met'


‘Jab We Met’ (2007) is a prime example of an Indian movie meshing traditional and modern India in its characters but coming off confused. Poor little rich boy Aditya (played perfectly by Shahid Kapoor) and madcap Geet (Kareena Kapoor) meet on a train, the singular motif in the movie and, as such, one which hinges on all the usual cliches: life equals train tracks, decisions equal getting on or off trains and, most banal, because Geet keeps missing her trains she and Aditya are thrown together on a journey which will eventually lead to their…but let me not spoil the hackneyed ending. Kareena plays quite well the scatterbrained, chatterbox if slightly irritating Geet, a girl so full of life her words bubble over, her laugh is a nervous titter, and she sees good in everything and everyone even a stranger yelling at her to shut up, which is what Aditya does the first time he and Geet meet. Soon, however, Geet realizes that there are some lemons even she cannot make lemonade out of, and suddenly Geet goes from bubbly to morose, an emotional condition which is tritely symbolized by her dress. A bubbly Geet wears short sleeve shirts and tight jeans (in fact her old world grandfather wonders aloud that if Geet can dress like this at home then in Mumbai she’s probably roaming around naked), while a depressed Geet appears in shalwars and long sleeved shapeless kurtas draped with dupattas, her hair tied back and her gaze always turned down. So a happy girl dresses Western (Indian-modern?) and an unhappy girl dresses Eastern (Indian-traditional)?

read rest here

archived under 'shame' because the inclusion of the rape repartee is shameful


Monday, March 17, 2008

little mo

i don't like to write about my children, ...today was my due date. march 17th.
she will never forget you (who you would have been with her, with us, within this world). she will never forget the sharp-soft features of your small small face. the second it took for you to birth into her hands. the dread of what had happened coupled-overcome by the love she felt. never forget everything you and she went through even as she hopes she never goes through it again. your mother loved you...loves you. she will miss you, and the other two, who never came home either, but live in her heart. every day. death is negative space-- here, and everywhere and yet nowhere.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz


What Diaz does is writing; what the rest do is waste ink and paper.

(o.k. not all the rest)

A novel about a fat boy looking to get un-virgined. Read this novel. today. sad, un-sad, real, un-real. with an energy writhing off the damn page. in an english that is english!

here's an excerpt
and here's Diaz answering questions
and here's Diaz and Danticat in conversation