Wednesday, November 29, 2006

procrastination as usual

You know one of the hardest things in the world? Trying to start a paper. You know you're supposed to do it, but you just keep trying to come up with distractions. For example, looking at videos on youtube. I've even told myself I'll write a little bit then as a reward I'll watch that awesome clip on youtube. What usually happens is I watch the clip but don't get much writing done. Go figure.

The paper topic is so cool I do not know why I cannot motivate myself. I'm supposed to be writing about the contributions and controversies of the devadasis. By far the most interesting thing that I have discovered in my research (and by research i mean googling) is a woman named Kama who is a devadasi in Britain. She has a blog too. My first impression was blogging 'prostitute' has potential to be well explicit and TMI. Surprisingly or not surprisingly, she is incredibly intelligent and a confident woman; Kama writes about current issues and whatever strikes her mind. She really makes me rethink the role of women and sexuality. Her strongest point is regulating prostitutes will not make a difference, but regulating the people who go to prostitutes. Basic rule of economics whenever there is a demand there will be a supply. I'm neither praising nor condoning what she does, but I admire her eloquence and guts to stand for what she believes in without sounding arrogant or superficial. American society tends to stigmatize sex as purely physical and X rated, but in fact it is something beautiful and spiritual. Creation is an amazing thing.

Sepiamutiny had a posting about it a while back. The comment section is compelling.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

one of those days

Today was not a good day. I went to work, quite boring. The highlight is if my boss comes by to visit, but no such luck. my job used to be really cool. but then the Center lost funding. i thought i had lost my job too this summer. i got it back, but i only work 2 hrs a week. they just needed someone to make sure it doesn't die. i'm like a deathbed nurse. in its last moments i'm to make sure it doesn't become a mess.

The weather sucked. Waded in the rain literally. usual umbrella flipping inside out because of the fucking wind.

Went to my dance class. Last class the teacher filmed us so we would know what we did wrong. so we watched the tape today. boy oh boy do i do a lot wrong. my arms go flying all over the place and i can't do leaps. undermined any kind of dance confidence i was slowly regaining. curse my spaghetti arms. embarrassed greatly.

my econ class fri was cancelled so i decided to go home today instead of tomorrow. b/c i was just wasting my time at school anyway, i have nothing to do. HSC used to take up a lot of time, but not much i can do anymore. that's another story. it's crazy i read some of the old things i wrote and i used to be busy. i'm envious of that.

i really wanted to do this service project spring break trip thing and i got rejected. wonderful. i even got rejected from the extra trips they made b/c so many people applied. fabulous. rejection is part of life yes i know. but getting rejected by everything doesn't do much for one's self esteem. ::bangs head against wall repeatedly:: and no i'm not basing my life on that one instance. i don't really want to give a list of my rejections and things i did not and should have done. that will just make me more depressed.

Friday, November 10, 2006

A Corner of A Foreign Field

As I mentioned earlier, I'm reading this book for my Modern South Asia history course. I felt like posting the question and my personal thoughts to flush out a decent thesis. Perhaps if you come across this you can help me out? Tell me if I'm making sense. The paper's only 5 pages though and due on Tues...

The question:

In this class, the text Modern South Asia provides you with one master narrative of South Asian history. Ramachandra Guha writes in the preface to A Corner of a Foreign Field that ‘the making of modern India’ is the theme of his book. How does A Corner enhance or transform the master narrative that you have accessed through lectures and Modern South Asia? Does cricket loftily taper over the fissures of colonial and post colonial India?

The answer:

This book is perfect for curious cricket enthusiasts and clueless people who wondered what all the fuss was about. Nonetheless, it should not be taken as the primary source, but rather inspire the reader to find out more about the events he mentions. The book does enhance the story of Modern India narrated thus far. In fact, because of the other viewpoints we have read, I am able to look at Guha's writing critically.

Guha tends to be biased and does not acknowledge criticisms of the famous figures he mentions in particular Mahatma Gandhi. Perhaps the most striking example is when Gandhi fasts to prevent separate electorates for Untouchables (Poona Pact). Guha does not mention Ambedkar's position. That was a most unfair decision on Gandhi's part because he placed Ambedkar in a bind. If one of the most worshipped leaders in the nation died, Ambedkar could not prevent mass lynchings of Untouchables, therefore he had to concede. It could not have been because Amdekar realized that Gandhi was right; it was a matter of saving people. How does that relate to cricket you ask? One of the greatest bowlers in perhaps the world is the Untouchable Palwankar Baloo, who inspired Ambedkar. Baloo ventured into politics (as all celebrities do) and was one of the main figures in asking Ambedkar to compromise for a few special seats for Untouchables instead. Baloo was a staunch Gandhian. It's ironic because Ambedkar believed no matter what anyone said, upper caste persons would not be able to treat Dalits as equals, so he chose to work out of Hinduism. But then here is a great Dalit idol who believes it is possible because it happend to him, but not everyone can be a great cricket player. Guha seems to deify Gandhi, but he was human and he made mistakes.

I think in the early 20th century cricket did not play such a major role in the history, but after 1947 Independence its importance is astounding. I never realized how tied to nationalism the sport was or any sport for that matter. Guha tells mini stories of how all hell would break loose if India lost to Pakistan. People would say Bharat Mata ki jai if India won! The most entertaining example is when India beat Pakistan, the people who worked at the LOC only heard a few happy shots of gunfire, but if they lost... oh boy.

ok this is getting too long. Any tips appreciated!!!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

just too funny - actual test answers

I got this from a friend. It's just too funny =).

The following excerpts are actual answers given on history tests and in Sunday school quizzes by children between 5th and 6th grade, in Ohio.
Solomon had three hundred wives and seven hundred porcupines. He was an actual hysterical figure as well as being in the bible. It sounds like he was sort of busy too.

The Greeks were a highly sculptured people, and without them we wouldn't have history. The Greeks also had myths. A myth is a young female moth.

Socrates was a famous old Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. He later died from an overdose of wedlock which is apparently poisonous. After his death, his career suffered a
dramatic decline.

In the first Olympic games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled biscuits, and threw the java. The games were messier then than they show on TV now.

Queen Elizabeth was the Virgin Queen. As a queen she was a success. When she exposed herself before her troops they all shouted hurrah! and that was the end of the fighting for a long while.

It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenberg invented removable type and the Bible. Another important invention was the circulation of blood.

Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100 foot clipper which was very dangerous to all his men.

The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare. He was born in the year 1564, supposedly on his birthday. He never made much money and is famous only because of his plays. He wrote tragedies, comics, and hysterectomies, all in Islamic pentameter.

Writing at the same time as Shakespeare was Miguel Cervantes. He wrote Donkey Hote. The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote Paradise Lost.
Since then no one ever found it.

Abraham Lincoln became America's greatest Precedent. Lincoln's Mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his
own hands. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves by signing the Emasculation Proclamation.

Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf that he wrote loud music and became the father of rock and roll. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this.

The nineteenth century was a time of a great many inventions. People stopped reproducing by hand and started reproducing by machine. The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to spring

Cyrus McCormick invented the McCormick raper, which did the work of a hundred men.

Charles Darwin was a naturalist. He wrote the Organ of the Species. It was very long and people got upset about it and had trials to see if it was really true. He sort of said God's days were not just 24 hours but
without watches who knew anyhow? I don't get it.

Karl Marx was one of the Marx Brothers. The other three were in the three were in the movies. Karl made speeches and started revolutions. Someone in the family had to have a job, I guess.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Book on India and Memento

Some people get on my nerves. Just thinking about it makes my head hurt, so I'm not.

On Friday, I went to a discussion about the Gita 12th chapter on bhakti. It was most interesting. The 12th chapter gives a prescription to achieve a peaceful state of mind (ALWAYS open to interpretation). We just talked about how hard that can be and how to focus on God when going through motions of the day. Someone brought up a good point that we always blame God when we are angry or hurt, but when something good happens we always congratulate ourselves. Another person related a story of his father who always thinks about God when he eats ice cream - he offers it to God first. Anyway, it's a reminder to think of Him when positive things happen too. That is so true, so each of us decided to pick an object, something positive to help us remember God. I'm going to try that from now on.

I also watched the film Memento. I liked it, I was in complete suspense till the end. Although I was disappointed with the ending. I always like to have a rationale for everything and that's not the ending they gave. I don't want to give away the story, but people should watch it! Really good directing and cinematography.

I don't know much about Cricket, but for my modern South Asia class, she asked us to read a book called Corner of A Foreign Field. It's a history of cricket in India. The book is really very good, but you know how something can lose its appeal if it becomes a homework assignment? Anyway, I like that he talks about a little known AMAZING bowler named Baloo. He was an untouchable. But cricket seems to have been a path for him to overcome the oppression that comes along with being a Dalit. That's pretty cool.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


classes going remarkably better than before. that's miraculous. the job hunting still scary but i'm used to the idea now. but now all I do is listen to music currently it's Telugu since I went to India over the summer and stocked up.

People should listen to all the songs from Bommarilu!!!! I can't decide which one i like the most. I really love 2 songs from Pournami - Muvvala Navakalla and Evaro Chudali. They're haunting. And the songs from Pokiri. So much fun! I think Telugu music is in some kind of economic boom right now. Hindi music hasn't been that super lately. Devi Sri Prasad is just AMAZING as a music director. He really thinks about lyrics too. And they're just beautiful and poetic =). A lot of the songs now in Telugu are so trashy. You know what song cracks me up? That song from Pokiri:
Ippatikinka naa vayasu ninda padahare, cheetiki maatiki cheyesthu chuttu kurralle