Friday, March 30, 2012

Books I Have Been Reading: Sita's Ramayana, The Gift of Fear

I've read a couple of great books lately, and thought you'd like to know.

I read of Sita's Ramayana a few times, most notably on Women's Web. I was taken aback by this book: the beauty of the art and the feminism of the narrative. I plan to lend it to my mother and gift it to my niece when she's older.

For more about the book, read the review on Women's Web.

Another book I've read about many times before I finally bought it was the Gift of Fear. It's a book about protecting yourself from violence, and I've seen it especially recommended to women. One reason I put off buying it for so long was I was afraid it would be depressing. It is stark, yes, but I loved it and I agree that everyone should read it. It helps you understand what kind of behaviors are inappropriate, so that you can better judge the people who commit those.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mid-Week Reads: the (Mostly) Pop-Culture Edition

What happens to our brain when we read fiction? It turns out all my reading in solitude isn't turning me anti-social after all! 
Individuals who frequently read fiction seem to be better able to understand other people, empathize with them and see the world from their perspective.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Hunger Games: Movie Vs. Book

SPOILERS ahead: so if you haven't seen the movie or watched the books, go away now. (Unless you don't mean to. But you don't really mean that, do you?)

I loved the movie and was disappointed by it at the same time. I am resisting the urge to pick up the book again, because we all know I won't stop at one, and I shouldn't spend the next few days in a book-induced haze instead of, you know, concentrating on work and all. So this is from memory, and correct me if I'm wrong, but here's what I think the movie did differently from the book (and of course, I'm disappointed at each one):

Friday, March 23, 2012

Marketing Blog

After much dithering and procrastination and a little work, my marketing blog is now up. I'm going to write there on marketing issues, and won't be sharing those posts here, so sign up there if you want to hear what I have to say on marketing. I'll continue to link to other marketing blog posts on this page. 

And because it's the first (and rare, I promise!) link, let me tout this blog post if you are interested in a marketing career.

I like the look of the theme I'm using there, but it's making the text wonky: cutting up lines in weird ways. Any WordPress experts here? Or I may just have to change the theme, but it's such a nice balance of light and white and bits of color. (Also, WordPress adds ads, which I hate. Sorry about that.)

I'd be happy to hear from you in the comments (there, but also here, if you'd rather): feedback on the posts or the blog design, and suggestions on what I should write about. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Review of Behind the Beautiful Forevers

My review is up on Women's Web. Here's the short version: I loved it and you absolutely should read it. (Do buy it through Women's Web, if you're buying at all.)

It's a very good window into slums (and though she focuses on one specific slum, Annawadi near the Mumbai airport, I suspect you'd get similar stories in other slums in India) and it's a very depressing picture. It's also something everyone of us should know about, because we're all indirectly responsible. And it seems (read the quote below) that things are getting worse, not better.

I loved this interview of Katherine Boo, where she explained both her motivations as well as the process of researching the book.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Podcast on Relationships

In Women's Web's Modern Family series, I talk to Amrita in the latest podcast where we discuss marriage, feminist husbands (okay, one feminist Guy), and how money can play a part in relationships. Go listen.

And tell me what you think of it.

I'm thinking of doing a podcast or two with the Guy, where we discuss certain aspects of marriage: choosing a partner, housework, communication etc. Would you be interested? Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Quick Note... whoever searched for [sex site:]: I'm sorry to disappoint you.

Also, it might be easier looking in the labels and going here. You're still likely to be disappointed, but you prompted me to label some old posts correctly, so thank you.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

The Biggest Fear

It's the biggest fear you live with, living away from people you love. A fear so scary you don't acknowledge it, even to yourself. The fear that one day, a phone call will bring bad news.

There are other things you live with: not being there to watch your niece learn to walk. Not to see her playing with the toys you send her. Not being there when your mother is unwell and has to get up and cook and clean anyway. Not being the one taking her to the doctor.

I got a phone call today. It wasn't the phone call: it was a phone call, from my mother. My cousin, who was in hospital in Delhi, died.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Mid-Week Reads: I Can't Think of A Title for This Thing

Top ten benefits of being an atheist.

Seven things about being trans that are actually kind of awesome.

This reminds me that I have to buy Tina Fey's book.

Every day I blossom out of a pure pink rose in a shower of baby powder while singing “I Enjoy Being A Girl”. Then cartoon bluebirds brush my hair with 100 strokes, and dress me in ribbons. After that I set my vagina to stun, and head out for a long day of emasculating innocent men with my wiles. 

Friday, March 02, 2012

My Love for Jahnavi Barua's Writing

I picked up Next Door in a bookstore once and looked at the back curiously. I bought it because it had stories from Assam. I was totally unprepared for the beauty that hit me when I started reading.

Next Door is a collection of short stories, all set in Assam and most in Guwahati. And this biased me, I confess. Just seeing the familiar places mentioned, the almost-forgotten food, the sprinkled Assamese words... caused little stabs of nostalgia. I wanted to go back to Assam, go visit the places in the book, but that's impossible, for those places existed in a time as well as in a space.

Every character felt so familiar, like I had known them a long time ago. The one exception was a character who wasn't Indian and looked like a stereotype (the white woman who expects too much from her relationship and is therefore unhappy).