Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

For a country where fashion is almost non-existent, to have a fashion week for Men’s wear alone is quite a brave move. FDCI has taken up this challenge for the 3rd year (and season) and this time around they have managed to get a whole list of interesting designers participating for them. While it is rather dampening to see that my favorite men’s wear designer Mr Samant Chauhan is missing from the list, it is a pleasure that many other commercially sucessful bridal wear designers are trying their hand on men’s wear too. The event will be opened by Arjun Khanna who until now was famous only for his interesting website, more than anything else; followed by Tarun Tahiliani who will be the highlight tonight (perhaps with men dressed in severely embroidered attire from head to toe).

Here is the schedule for the three-day gala event:

02 Sep 2011

  • 07:00 PM : Arjun Khanna
  • 09:30 PM : Tarun Tahiliani
03 Sep 2011

  • 02:30 PM : Rajvi Mohan / Zubair Kirmani
  • 04:15 PM : Krishna Mehta
  • 06:00 PM : Anky by Ankita & Anjana Bhargav / Sanchita
  • 07:45 PM : Abraham & Thakore / Abhishek Gupta / Rohit Gandhi + Rahul Khanna / Rajesh Pratap Singh
  • 09:30 PM : Ashish N Soni
04 Sep 2011

  • 03:00 PM : Rohit & Abhishek / Troy Costa
  • 05:00 PM : Shantanu & Nikhil
  • 07:00 PM : Manoviraj Khosla
  • 09:30 PM : Karan Johar + Varun Bahl for Van Heusen

The best of the lot have all fallen under one slot (Abraham & Thakore / Abhishek Gupta / Rohit Gandhi + Rahul Khanna / Rajesh Pratap Singh at 7.45 pm on 2nd September 2011) which is both good and bad for us. The good part is that we will not have to waste any time trying to catch the rest of the shows missing our favourite Indian festivities in this season of Eid, Ganesha and the St.Mary’s feast. The disappointing part however, is that each of these designers could have given us good-quality shows for the whole day instead of just one show!

Besides the usual bridal wear suspects covering most part of the schedule, for those of you who have the time and enthusiasm, do check out Troy Costa’s tuxedos and perfectly-tailored suits on the finale morning.

Oh! I have to mention this- expect a lot of Bollywood crazy folks thronging the venue for the crowd-puller Karan Johar+ Varun Bahl show where we get a glimpse of what fashion really means to the common man (or the Mango people, with love) in India.

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Been a while since I wrote a blog post…Let us both blame and share credit for this with The great Indian Lollypop!

For those who have never been to India or tasted this lollypop- it is a colloquial way to describe the intention to give false assurances to a person instead of adhering to a given commitment. Simply put, to take someone for a ride. This is (unfortunately) a common practice in my beloved country- we are used to both-getting and giving these Lollypops to each other, every other day.

Since the time I reached India (May 2011), I have been chasing basic stuff that I cannot get easily without paying a bribe…This has taken me to the local consumer court on several occasions and have spent countless hours fighting, screaming and sometimes just helplessly laughing over phone conversations with various customer service associates.

While I have been busy collecting my share of these lollypops thanks to Airtel ( a broadband connection pending activation since 2 months), BP gas (a gas connection took 2 good months of chasing and pleading), a landlord ( chasing the return of a security deposit we paid for a temporary unit) and many more…One would think that corruption exists only in the government offices but my recent encunter with Airtel has proven the fact that this disease is now deep-rooted within all sectors of our society. But, the reason I am writing this post is the greatest Lollypop of the season- the one Team Anna received recently.

Although I am happy that the parliament did not fall on its knees to oblige Anna Hazare and his fast. I always thought that his “my way or highway attitude” in dealing with the Jan Lokpal bill and some of the provisions insisted upon by Annaji were rather risky and required great insight and expert debating. I fully agree with Shashi Taroor when he says that “If the current governmental bodies tasked with investigation, vigilance, and audit are deemed to be insufficiently impervious to corruption, it is worth asking what guarantee there is that the new institution of Jan Lok Pal could not be infected by the same virus — and if so, what could be done about it, since it would literally be a law unto itself.”

That said, I am alarmed by the fact that Anna was taken for a good ride by the UPA, promising a resolution and assuring him that his key demands will be met ended up with sending him a letter informing him about the “sense of the house” that his suggestions have been sent to a standing committee and will take the usual course of action… This was flashing as break-through and then breakdown, time and again on all the news channels. I would say that this is only fair but its not free from malice because it could very well be another Lollypop and the Team Anna could end up waiting for a really long time with only false assurances of a resolution.

I look forward to the Parliament bringing in a strong Lokpat bill considering all the options available. The problem of corruption runs far broader and deeper than what the headlines suggest. Every time a common man is forced to pay a bribe to get his everyday life moving smoothly, we know that the problem is more deep-rooted and has almost become a necessity for survival in the country. Our system has failed us, without any doubt but overcoming it requires a change in our society’s mindset, more than anything else..

Needless to say, it is important that this matter reaches an amicable end and I am sure that there will be light at the end of this tunnel.

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For someone like me who doesn’t accumulate many “things”, moving countries with a mere 30 kilos of luggage should not be difficult. But, it is! I have so many beautiful things at home that remind me of the beautiful people I have met during my 2 year stay here.

So, as I began to pack I realized that I will have to leave behind all my clothes, footwear or accessories or cosmetics if I really want to be able to carry my other favorite stuff. For most gals this might be the first horror but I guess it’s not going to be much of a hassle for me.

What will fit into my 30 kilos:

Some memorable magazines- All the editions of Peppermint and few newspapers that are worth treasuring. (5 kilos)

Stationery- With a fetish for stationery- I have a good 10 kilos of pens, pencils, notebooks, bookmarks.

Documents- Love it or hate it, there are heaps of documents that will need to go with me everywhere I travel in the world. I hope with the advent of technology, we should be able to get rid of this and digital copies must start being as acceptable as these sheets of paper! (A good 5 kilos here)

The coffee mug I use every morning, a bottle of my favorite wine, gifts from dear friends who have been the most kind to me, souvenirs from this beautiful country, my diary and some valuables (things that were a part of my wedding trousseau- a couple of Sarees and some jewelery)

What am I really left with?  Just my hand luggage where I can carry another 6-7 kilos. Here, I will have to fit in all my gadgets- 2 phones, 2 laptops, 1 Flip camera and an iPod.

What will I miss about Melbourne?

The people.
More than anything else, it’s the people that make Melbourne the wonderful place that it is. Always happy to help, friendly and hospitable, you people are simply ACE! The community spirit in this country has made me realize that we Indians have a long way to go and a lot to learn before we can catch up. People like Lou, Roger and J have changed my life forever. Although I have not been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with them, just knowing them is loving them.

The space.
Being home away from home is quite a feeling. Having to do everything yourself and getting to live your life just the way you want it without any pressure from the “society” has been wonderful. I have lived away from home for many years before but being in a foreign land where NO ONE knows you is just “wow!”

The learning.
I have been able to understand myself better and the past 2 years have changed me in many ways. For one, I have realized my true calling in life- to be able to give without expecting a thing in return. Then again, I have realized that there are all sorts of people in the world and each one reacts to a situation differently. To respect each one as they are is a learning I will be ever-so-thankful for. Most importantly, Melbourne has changed the very core characteristic in me- I am not the judgmental person I once used to be. Live and let live is the new mantra for me.

What I’m glad I’m getting rid of…

The feeling of being a foreigner.
No matter what, there is no place like home. Although, I have had a pleasant stay in the past 2 years, there was always the feeling of being a foreigner. The sense of belonging here never occurred to me and I’m glad I will be getting rid of that blank space forever. After this, I will never consider making a home anywhere outside the motherland. India has its share of pros and cons (with the cons weighing over the pros) but I belong there I shall live to die there.

Before I bid farewell, Thank you and Sorry

I take this opportunity to thank each one of you I met while in Melbourne. You have been very kind and may God bless you with all the happiness you deserve. I also take this chance to sincerely apologize to the people that I may have hurt. There have been unpleasant memories and I hope you will be able to forgive and forget, like I have.

I fly out of Melbourne at 6 am tomorrow morning and shall not get HOME until a month later. Meanwhile, I will keep you posted about my 4 weeks in other parts of Australia. I will come back to Melbourne for a few days before I leave the country, to take a final look at our favorite places and carry pictures of them so that I can smile whenever I think of memorable Melbourne. My first Melbourne home and the one I am now parting from; Rebecca Walk (where So Ethic once existed) Fed square, NGV, Docklands, Melbourne central, Albert Park, South Yarra and Chapel street would be the places that my Melbourne was made of.

Until we meet again, Stay blessed. YOU are special.

Love and peace xo

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In a world where I believe arms and ammunitions should be totally abolished (perhaps highly unrealistic), I cant believe I came across folks like them who believe that each and every individual should have the right to own guns! Yes, you may own a gun- but why would you have a problem with proving that you are educated and worthy enough to keep one?

Here’s the video a friend shared on my Facbook wall today: Presenting the “Guns for peace”  by GunownersIndia, in India

Misquoting each and every line by Gandhi will not get you any support. Use your common sense and understand the importance of discouraging arms. Apparently Gandhi believed that the true meaning of freedom is when a woman can leave home at midnight all alone. Surely, Gandhi didnt imagine she would carry a gun in her purse when she stepped out of her home! Shocking.

I agree that there is no evidence that gun laws have ever actually reduced crime rates, In fact the crime rates in India are alarming without even allowing easy access to arms. That said, can you imagine walking around knowing each person around you has a gun (even if concealed) and can fire it if agravated? Scary!

As shocking as their support and values are, the most depressing line by them is that “There should be no restriction on the quantity of ammunition.”  How often would you need ammunition if you own a gun for self-defence?

Here’s how they introduce themselves:

During colonial times the British rulers had disarmed the entire Indian nation, to further their own agenda. However, 63 years after independence, the rights of our citizens are once again being trampled over – this time by our own democratically elected government!

All citizens have the natural god given right to self-defence, which is also recognised by the Constitution as well as the Indian Penal Code, however this right is meaningless without the right tools of self-defence! By denying citizens access to these tools, while doing nothing to curb crime, the government seeks to make India into a nation of sheep.

Practical evidence shows that restrictions on arms disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent crime, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.

In favour of anyone wanting to own a gun, I must say that A LAW ABIDING citizen with a gun is no more dangerous than a good driver with a 4.5 ton SUV. Just as you don’t prevent drunk driving by outlawing cars, you should not prevent crime by punishing legal gun owners. And just as it makes no sense to have a fear of Ferraris because they could be used to kill or maim you in the wrong hands, it makes no sense to fear guns because of their potential for misuse. Guns dont kill people, people kill people!

I am yet to make up my mind if guns should be made easily available. I have seen and heard stories of women getting raped, everyday. I have always wished they had a gun to defend themselves. But, I cant deny the fact that in my mind- I am thankful guns are not easily available and that anyone can be shot at randomly,walking down the streets…

I’d love to know what you think of it.

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