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the cinnamon peeler's wife

4.26.2005 at 2:08:00 PM

another way to avoid studying

second rule of blogging: do not discuss blogging
gonna break it.

now that everyone and their mother has a blog, there is plenty of random stuff to read out there. really i am expecting a call from my mother: beta, maine bhi ek blog shuru kiya hai. and my dad replying: ye blogwog kya bakwas hai? (actually my mom should get an urdu blog and post shairi, hmmm maybe i shall suggest it).

well, now i have stumbled across my new favorite blogs: photo journals. not too many words, just amazing photographs. there are a lot of them out there. check out the photoblog resource page. also there is a great online magazine about photoblogs.

now what if i took two of my interests (south asia and photography) and combined them? well there are some really great south asian photoblogs out there. two of note include point & shoot and tasveer. check them out this picture is my fave.

i am supposed to be getting a digital slr camera for graduation. but i am not sure which one, do you all have any suggestions? here are some i am considering...

by the way if i did have a photoblog, i would start with this picture (not for its photographic quality but rather for its hilariousness):



p.s. i am in a really bad mood and i hate studying.

4.23.2005 at 11:44:00 PM

ditty(ies) discovered

the first rule of good blogging: don't post lyrics to songs.
i am breaking it. there were never any claims of being a good blog.
i owe you no duty, so sue someone else.



minor discovery: sometime in the late 90s, during undergrad, i had heard a song i really liked. but i never knew the name nor the band. i just remembered a random line like: "i wish i were an alien at home behind the sun". no one could help me (bastards). i searched and never found it. then randomly listening to the radio some 7 years later, i heard the song. it was pearl jam's wishlist (off the yield album). you do not understand what a relief this was to finally know the name of that song and all the lyrics. it was like having an annoying itch that you just couldn't get rid of. i know i am a loser. (how could i not have recognized eddie vedder?)


major discovery: my sis brought back tarkan's album, dudu, from turkey. it took a while to grow on me, but i love it. my fave is uzun ince bir yoldayim. she mentioned that this song was a traditional turkish folk song. i tried to bug her about the lyrics but she was not very helpful (what good is her knowledge of turkish if not to help me understand pop songs?). and thus my quest began...

Uzun ince bir yoldayım
Gidiyorum gündüz gece
Bilmiyorum ne haldeyim
Gidiyorum gündüz gece
Dünyaya geldiğim anda
Yürüdüm aynı zamanda
İki kapılı bir handa
Gidiyorum gündüz gece

Kırkdokuz yıl bu yollarda
Ovada dağlarda çöllerde
Düşmüşüm gurbet ellerde
Gidiyorum gündüz gece

Şaşar Veysel iş bu hale
Kah ağlaya kah güle
Yetişmek için MENZİLE
Gidiyorum gündüz gece


translation:
i'm on a long and narrow road
on my way morning and night
i don't know what state i'm in
i'm on my way morning and night

from the moment i came into this world
began walking at the same time
in a place with two doors
i'm on my way morning and night

if ever it is thought of in depth
it'll seem far away when it's seen
the path is worth one minute in quantity
i'm on my way morning and night

Veysel is confused at the state of this....
some laugh and some cry
to reach upto the place of object (the goal)
i'm on my way morning and night


in the traditional way, the maqta in the last stanza contains the poet's name. and so i was interested in asik veysel. from lala i got some vague troubadour stuff. there are tons of sites devoted to him on the web with some really trippy pictures (mostly in turkish and german). you can find out more on the wiki site for turkish music and there is one on tarkan. uzun ince bir yoldayim is sung by many, including latif bolat.


so who is asik veysel? Asik Veysel (1894-1973) was an influential Turkish folk musician. He is one of the most renowned representatives of the "asik" tradition in the 20th century, which dates back to the 15th century in Anatolia. The Asik (a kind of troubadour), singing poetry (mostly their own) and playing the saz, has become the voice of common people, expressing their relationship with their land; their loves, inner conflicts, and expectations--generally depicting all aspects of rural life. Veysel's poetry is metrical, using predominantly 8- and 11-syllable meters. much of asik music originates from northeast anatolia, with different variations ranging from political satire to religious devotion (especially around the city of kars). now i really want to go to turkey (lala, go there cuz i will be bunking at your place).



(wow this was an extremely good way to avoid studying. by the way check out the additions to my blogroll: barely legal, sepia mutiny, sunshiney kittens, mrs. b to the rescue, and ho'dizzle fo'shizzle.)

edit: due to mrs. b, i had to go find this out, another useless piece of knowledge to stop me from remembering important things. you ask what is a fartlek? (well you didn't, but anyway) fartlek, developed in the 1930's, comes from the Swedish for 'Speed Play' and combines continuous and interval training. fartlek allows the athlete to run whatever distance and speed they wish, varying the intensity, and occasionally running at high intensity levels. this type of training stresses both the aerobic and anaerobic energy pathways. and all along we thought they were making it up!

4.22.2005 at 1:01:00 AM

it's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring



the air still with heat,
heavy in humidity- as if the atmosphere itself is holding its breath
the bright and scorching sun lording over the blue spring sky
and yet darkness, grayness, and impending clouds
stand poised to move in
to overwhelm the tense heat
the heat as if a drug, intoxicating pedestrians
making them languid and slothful in their movements

the break- one drop, then two
with a gasp
the torrent unleashes itself
glistening crystals and pooling wetness
soothe the anxious earth
the pink and lavender of early evening
is cool with the rain
the clouds now light- unburdened
of their responsibilities
dance with the sun's rays
shafts of late sunlight stream through the spring rain
the coolness reigns as the truant heat awaits the morning


he went to bed, bumped his head and couldn't get up in the morning.
rain, rain go away, come again some other day.

*randomness:
quarter red potatoes, rub with olive oil, sprinkle with italian seasoning/salt/crushed red pepper, bake covered 375 till soft, 400 uncovered till crisp, yummy.

i finally found a place to buy rabbi shergill's album (i should've bought it this summer in delhi for 150 rupees) online at shrimati's. the buzz about him is everywhere- all over the blogistan, but definitely watch his video. now i have to go home and find my mom's book of bulla shah poetry.

good friends are great to talk to when you are having doubts. thanks guys.

lala is trying to make me feel better or something. anyway some researchers said that it is okay to be fat or something like that. read while eating a donut (or half a dozen).

the cultural landscape, as well as the social and political ones, has changed in the last decade of the 20th century: people change their domicile and country much more easily, they have continuous access to information on a planetary scale, and they have powers of consumption that their fathers would never have dreamed of. Are they happier? hobsbawm submits the question and tries to discuss it in his book: on the edge of the new century. (try to answer his queries for yourself. warning: may cause introspection)

4.18.2005 at 10:49:00 PM

recent regalements

the last few weeks of law school are flying by! but before final exams are upon us, we are trying to have as much fun as possible. so there has been a lot of hanging out and staying up too late. i did get in some interesting things as well.


hotel rwanda: on wednesday, i finally saw the movie in a free showing at the union. it was a good movie, well at least as good as can be expected. i watched with a bunch of undergrads, which may not have been the best idea. what was the point of joaquin phoenix being in the movie? his journalist character was not well developed, nor crucial to the story. he served as a way to show the carnage? the movie in general could have used better writing, better editing, and better character development. it raised important issues and was definitely emotionally powerful. cheadle did a pretty good job. just as they said in the movie, as we walked out the reaction was primarily: oh that was so sad, let's go out and have fun now. plus as those who have actually worked in africa mentioned: it leaves us with a happy (come on- they escape to europe) hollywood ending, thus allowing us to be secure in our apathy that things turned out just fine.


rizwan-muazzam qawwali: on thursday, there was a live qawwali show at the mershon. brothers rizwan mujahid ali khan and muazzam mujahid ali khan have an impeccable musical pedigree - their grandfather personally taught nusrat fateh ali khan (they are his nephews) the art of qawwali singing. the pair comes from a family of 5 generations of qawwals. they did some traditional qawallis, some panjabi, some braj bhasha, and some newer interpretations. they are definitely rising stars. already the group is amazing, we can expect much more as they mature in their art. the audience was quite amusing as well. all the typical character were there: the traditional uncle/auntie types who loudly yell wah wah (and of course the crazy uncle who tries to dance in his seat), then there were the classy "sophisticated" asian types who come for all sorts of cultural arts (they are all dressed in black with a tasteful asian inspired shawl- which they picked up at nordstrom's), and of course my fave were the white hippy, desi-loving, patchouli-smelling kids who were grooving along to the qawwali. prior to the show, there was a lecture by professor ali akbar mahdi from ohio wesleyan. he spoke on tasawwuf and the traditions of muslim mystic music. it was fun to watch him persianize everything. afterward i picked up two cds: days of color and sacrifice to love. i am enjoying them quite a bit. also it was nice to run into a lot of people, including natasha's too cute parents.


edward said's last interview: early on friday evening, we caught the documentary by mike dibb of edward said's last interview. charles glass (abc's former chief mid east correspondent) spent a few hours with said in september 2003. edward said was quite passionate, articulate, and reflective in the interview. though long, it is definitely is worth watching. he commented on so many things, from american education (which he called a factory producing and brainwashing citizens, indoctrinating us with the state religion of patriotism) to his love of modernist literature (though difficult, read conrad!). sidenote: afterwards we had dinner at northstar, which i highly recommend. it has great tofu! as the reviews say, it is healthy food that you actually want to eat.


sin city: saturday night, we caught a late showing of the movie. i found it less violent or explicit than so many other movies. i loved the comic look and feel of the movie. done completely with blue screen, it had a beautifully surreal quality to it. i was amazed how many actors participated in the robert rodriguez film: bruce willis, benicio del toro, clive owen, jessica alba, rosario dawson, tobey macguire, brittany murphy, and even the gilmore girls kid (alexis bledel). tarantino guest directs a scene, with his usual kurosawa homages. it was definitely a fun movie! plus i don't mind clive owen ;)

some new music...


beck: guero, the new album, is good. very different from sea change- much faster and louder. i definitely like the first single off this album, e-pro. by the way did anyone see beck on snl? he didn't look too happy (but does he ever?) and what was up with the guy dancing in the flak suit? i want his job.


fischerspooner: i discovered this from music for robots. i really like their album: odyssey. listen to "just let go". if you like chemical bros., give them a try.


franz ferdinand: not the guy whose assassination led to WWI. i finally acquired the cd, because i have enjoyed it so much. the ffffire song is quite overplayed on the radio, but i really like "take me out". this is one of the few so-called "indie" bands that has not sacrificed quality in route to commercial success.

4.12.2005 at 10:30:00 AM

cardinal question: islam?



nyt focuses today on the cardinal conclave's consideration of islam. the article suggests that islam and relations with muslims are major issues which the cardinals will take into considerations as they pick a new pope. pope john paul II was the first pope to step inside a mosque (damascus) and also apologized for past attrocities (e.g. crusades). he maintained a strict policy of dialogue with muslims.

yet many within the vatican and amongst cardinals feel that this policy is too lenient. they argue that islam is hostile, violent, and evangelical. thus they feel that catholics need to try to convert them at the very least. it is interesting that the article can take such a tone, it would be laughable if done with any other major world religion. but islam is now open to all sorts of shots and accusations.

interestingly, cardinals that have the most interaction with muslims (cardinal francis arinze of nigeria) feel that muslims and catholics have a lot to learn from each other. other cardinals feel that people of all faiths need to stand together to fight secularism. interestingly, other cardinals feel that muslims need to become more secular. oh so less secularism for catholics and more for muslims (oh maybe he is on to something). another hot button issue for the cardinals is the future inclusion of turkey into the eu. some see constantinople as one of the oldest european cities and many see it as a nation of another continent (who made up these continents anyway?).

i for one feel that dialogue is the best avenue, but i guess i am not a fan of catholics trying to convert me. (though if i was going to be christian, i would go catholic all the way, the churches are prettier and i love all the pomp and ceremony) but it is definitely up to muslims to come to the dialogue table and quash those factions that make it okay for people to openly say that islam is a violent religion, etc. man i saw militant buddhists in sri lanka, still no one feels it is okay to say that buddhism is a violent religion. actually when most people hear that there are militant buddhists they are shocked (man we need to hire their pr folks). more to think about: evangelism. in the past muslims have prided themselves on not being "evangelical", not sending out missionaries, when did we decide that aggressive evangelism was a good thing?

4.08.2005 at 11:39:00 AM

totus tuus ego sum

i am completely in your hands.



pope john paul II was laid to rest today in rome. my sleep schedule has been quite off and thus i was awake near 4 am when the live broadcast of the funeral mass began. i only managed to stay awake through the first hour or so. but truly it was quite a wondrous event. the death, life, and the funeral mass of the late pope have so many lessons for us. it was spectacular to hear the thunderous applause of the crowds celebrating the life of the pope. it may seem incongruous with a funeral, but somehow the reverent applause seemed appropriate for such a man. as my mom said: why should we be sad; he was good and is going to meet his lord and the poor man won't have to watch all the pain and evil in the world.

st. peter's square was filled with pilgrims, over 2 million people descended upon rome for this event. nearly 1 million of these were poles. it was said that half of krakow was there. polish flags could be seen waving everywhere. but this pope was the pope of many peoples, having traveled so widely. people from every continent attended. additionally, many non-catholics attended as well. i didn't actually expect to see so many muslim leaders in attendance. i was pleasantly surprised. kings, queens, and heads of state from all over the world were in attendance. but faces that i didn't expect included president khatami from iran, president bashar al-assad of syria, and prime minister erdogan from turkey. a lot of other arab and asian countries sent representatives. i recognized prime minister rajapakse from sri lanka and few other faces. due to the french alphabetical seating the bushes were next to the chiracs (Etats-Unis d'Amérique, France). it was interesting to watch khatami and afghanistan's hamid karzai hobnob with (or at least greet) the israeli delegation. in addition to heads of state there were many religious leaders of almost every christian denomination. very impressively, many leaders of the eastern rite were in attendance including the ecumenical patriarch of constantinople (bartholomew II) and the greek orthodox archbishop christodoulos. (these people have pretty cool websites!). i was impressed by albania, who as their religious delegation sent selim muca of the (sunni) muslim community, rrok mirdita, the catholic archbishop, haxhi dede reshat bardhi of the (shi'ite) bektashi muslim sect and orthodox archbishop anastasios. now that is one diverse (and might i say awesomely dressed) delegation.

some notable absences include the patriarch of moscow, jimmy carter, and any reps from china. patriarch alexiy II of moscow was not in attendance. though constantinople is assumed as the historical center of the eastern rite, the real power lies in moscow. the patriarch did not like the pope and repeatedly refused to meet him. but he did send the head of external relations for the moscow patriarchate.
rumors swirl around carter's absence, since he was the first us president to invite the pope to the white house. some say the bush administration snubbed him due to his criticism of them, others say he was invited and declined to go. though he commented that the us delegation was a strong one (w, his daddy, laura, clinton, and condi).
lastly, china refused to send anyone because the vatican granted the taiwanese president chen shui-bian a visa to attend. anyway you can check out the complete list of attendees.

take some time and read the pope's last will and testament. such men who affect the world (both positively and negatively) don't come around very often. also the homily by german cardinal joseph ratzinger is worthy of reading. in these last documents and the comments by pope and his biographers one idea continues to surface. he urged against the virulent materialism and consumerism that is enveloping us. he urged us to look towards spirituality and to stand firm against cruelty. being lost in this world and forgetting the weak around us he warned us against. as he himself began, he urged us to allow ourselves to be completely in His hands.

(sidenotes: i apologize for the lack of posting. school is whooping me. i have 30 odds days till graduation. my symposium went off without a hitch (okay without any big ones). the days are too pretty to spend inside at a computer. this look is temporary, working on something new. looks like chapati mystery has become group blog, and natasha is crying. lala is looking murderous and all the while being elected to positions of authority (scary!). i have a penchant for roaming, i have been locked in c-bus too long. i will be hitting up different cities shortly (as soon as i get pesky exams out of the way). lululee has turned into a lizard (it was bound to happen when the clock struck midnight) and the azman's drug supply has run dry and thus he had decided to become a librarian. my room is a mess, my life is a mess, and generally things are back to normal. ooh plus it is sandal season! just a word of advice, if you ever have to fill out a sf86 form, never lose it.)