Satya for Sale


Inspired by the world travels and spiritual explorations of founders/designers Satya and Beth, Satya Jewelry combines semi-precious stones with gold and sterling silver to create pieces with diverse elements and meanings. Satya is a Sanskrit word meaning “the inner Truth that permeates all.”

This weekend, 5/2–5/4, their jewelry is up to 80 percent off; the triple-charm necklaces were $128, but are now $35. 95. Christopher St., at Bleecker St. (212-243-7313); 5/2–5/4 (10–6). — NY

More: The Satya Foundation is a non-profit committed to bringing yoga and healthy living to kids. The foundation also donates 100% of the proceeds from one of its necklaces to the Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation (EBMRF), aiming to find a cure for this rare childhood skin disease.

Look for more details on Satya in an upcoming issue of !

Comments Off on Satya for Sale         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   May 2, 2008

Mukhtar Mai in Sacramento


Mukhtar Mai is scheduled to appear in Sacramento on December 11 for an event presented by the Sacramento Valley Chapter of the California Credit Union League (see site for event details) and the Pakistani American Association of Greater Sacramento Valley. “An Evening with Mukhtar Mai: Building Schools of Hope Fundraising Event” includes a private dinner, public reception and opportunities to ask questions of Mukhtar Mai. Proceeds of this event go to the Mukhtar Mai School Fund to support the expansion, staffing and ongoing education of her schools.

Sentenced by tribesmen in Pakistan to be gang-raped because of an infraction supposedly committed by her brother, Mai rose to international acclaim in the years following by fighting back and testifying against her attackers and using her compensation to open schools in her village. She travels internationally to speak on behalf of women and continues to expand her schools.

Related: Mohammed Naqvi’s documentary on Mai, Shame, illustrates the international reception Mukhtar Mai has received as a cause célèbre. In this interview, Naqvi takes questions about the implications this international attention has had for her personal privacy and safety, as well as her mission of educating children in rural Pakistan.

Comments Off on Mukhtar Mai in Sacramento         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   December 4, 2007

Views From Under the Dragon


Photojournalist Lonny Shavelson and co-author Fred Setterberg took notes and and photos over three years of exploring the Bay Area from San Francisco to Fremont and its community events, neighborhoods and religious centers. The result is Under the Dragon: California’s New Culture, an illustrated look at the complicated and changing ethnic experience in the Bay Area with a focus on individuals and stories—seven stories with accompanying images, and 80 photographs with detailed captions.

Andrew Lam writes in Dragon‘s foreword

Many of the photos and stories in this book are of what I call California moments, events in which something astonishing and marvelous in the experiment of cohabitation in California is revealed.

Examples abound: an African devotee of Krishna praying to the sky; a Filipina playing the role of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi; Jesse Graham, the white preacher at the African American Mount Zion Baptist Church in West Berkeley, whose preaching moves spirits; and my favorite story, the Iranian psychotherapist who finds roots in America by attending to Cambodian refugees—a novel in the making.

a cool interactive map of the photographs
more photographs from the book
SF Chronicle review

Comments Off on Views From Under the Dragon         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   December 3, 2007

Billion Dollar Babies: Top 20 Heiresses

Vanisha Mittal Bhatia (Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images)

Vanisha Mittal Bhatia, daughter of Indian-born, London-based steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, tops a list of heiresses compiled by Forbes of women under 40 ranked according to their father’s or mother’s most recent net worth. Vanisha is active in her father’s industrial empire, holding a seat on Mittal Steel’s board. Dad, whose net worth is estimated at $51 billion, threw his daughter what is believed to be the most expensive wedding in history, a $60 million, week-long extravaganza in 2005 for some 1,000 guests in Paris, including a performance by pop star Kylie Minogue.

Josie Ho Chiu Yi is another heiress on the list. Daughter of one of Hong Kong’s richest men Stanley Ho ($7 billion), she is known to fans of her indie rock music as Josie Ho. Two of the top heiresses, Georgina Bloomberg, daughter of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg ($11.5 billion), and Paige Johnson, daughter of Black Entertainment Television founders Robert and Sheila Johnson ($1 billion) will be competing against each other for a spot on the Olympic equestrian team.

Read “The 20 Most Intriguing Billionaire Heiresses” and view the slideshow for more details about the heiresses.

Comments Off on Billion Dollar Babies: Top 20 Heiresses         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   November 30, 2007

Sunkrish Swaddled on NFTUB Season Premiere

Sunkrish Bala (ABC/Bob D’Amico)

The second season of Notes from the Underbelly premiered this week, with a cast including Lisa Harris, Jennifer Westfeldt and Sunkrish Bala. (See “Life of a Bala” in for more on Sunkrish.) The bedroom scene in which he’s subjected to his wife’s efforts to unravel the secrets of their Burberry-clad French nanny’s swaddling technique is the highlight of Bala’s limited on-screen time in this episode.

Not sure what swaddling is or why it would strike fear into the hearts of new parents? Join the club. “How hard is a swaddle?” asks the show’s expecting mother. “It’s like giving an angry cat a bath when you’re drunk,” answers Melanie Paxson, who plays his wife.

In a recent interview, Bala talked about what he looks for in a girl, entertaining the babies on set, and his character Eric.

You’re way too young to be a dad in real life, but you play one on TV so well…

Yeah, Eric and Julie are just those obnoxious parents next door that you don’t want to talk to. Our world is about our baby – the “Mommy and Me” and “Music and Me” classes and waterbabies. It’s like we did this before we had our child, and now our life is consumed by it. It’s a little gross.

Everyone always asks me, what does Eric do for a living on your show?

You know, it’s such a mystery. No one knows and everyone speculates. I know he’s incredibly wealthy, so it’s something that pays a lot of money. That’s all that’s ever been made clear to me.

Any guesses?

He’s definitely like an I-banker or a finance guy. Eric’s so square and boring, but he’s richer than I will ever be in my life!

Maybe he’s a super spy?

You know what, I like that. Eric’s a super spy, and no one knows it, he’s that’s ultra smooth. (OK! Magazine)

Comments Off on Sunkrish Swaddled on NFTUB Season Premiere         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   November 28, 2007
Read more stuff

Close Relations

(Bob Hambly/New York Times)

Growing up, I remember the three-ring circus that ensued—on both ends—whenever my family placed a call to our relatives in India. My parents would ping around the house like unmoored marionettes, herding my brother and I into the kitchen, and we would take turns yelping greetings and endearments into the phone. It was always difficult to hear what was being said on the other line, located in the apartment of my grandparents’ downstairs neighbors. Crackly and halting, you could make out, if you really tried, what was being said, and occasionally, if you were extra lucky, who was saying it. Telling riddles, as I was often requested to do, was a totally doomed idea.

Now, of course, the world has gotten juiced up on instant communication. My grandmothers peck out emails in Tamil and are crazy for forwards, and if I log into Skype, my computer speakers explode with calls from my relatives, all of them crystal-clear and eerily similar to talking to them in person.

“Relative Distance,” Rishi Reddi’s piece in last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, deals with the same phenomenon. In it, Reddi chronicles her grandmother’s visit to her home in Boston, and how the visit brings the two of them closer together: she discusses how she, like many grown NRIs, has until now inhabited an amorphous middle ground with someone she loves intimately but rarely sees. She also touches towards the end on how the expanded abilities of communications technology have changed the preciousness of being able to contact distant family members, but notes that the limitations of geography remain.

has featured Reddi before, in Good Fortune, a profile that ran in our May issue, and in an April post on The Daily.

Comments Off on Close Relations         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   June 7, 2007

Spreading The Prakash

Sinha (Nature.Com)

Four years ago scientists discovered SRD, a 32-year-old Ahmedabadi woman born into blindness.

Now her case, published recently in Psychological Science, is forcing scholars to reconsider their approach to the disability.

Neuroscience dogma says little can be done if a blind child isn’t operated on by age six.

But SRD’s case is turning that doctrine on its head–her sight was restored at age 12, and her brain, in strong defiance of theory, “learned to interpret visual information.” The findings provide hope that the brain can learn to see later on in life.

“There is a critical period for perfect acuity,” Pawan Sinha, the study’s primary investigator, and a neuroscientist at MIT tells Time Magazine. “But there is not a critical period of learning to do complex visual tasks.”

Sinha is the founder of Project Prakash, a humanitarian and research effort aimed at expanding access to proper eye care in India.

Project Prakash
Prakash featured in MIT news mag
The Sinha Lab at MIT
Pawan Sinha’s profile on Indian NGOs

Comments Off on Spreading The Prakash         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   March 7, 2007

The Little Black Dress That Could, Does.

Dominique in Kolkata. Bikas Das (AP)

When the ultimate little black dress was put up for auction last year, estimates suggested it would bring in about $150,000.

The dress, famously worn by Audrey Hepburn in the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, was designed by Hubert de Givenchy, and most recently modeled by Natalie Portman (“I was so nervous that I wasn’t going to fit. Everyone kept telling me how small it was”).

The frock brought in an astounding $800,000, and proceeds were donated to the City of Joy Foundation–a charitable organization working to better conditions in West Bengal.

Last week, thousands gathered around the City of Joy author and philanthropist Dominique Lapierre as he inaugurated a new school in Kolkata–a school that was built with with the auction-proceeds.

“I hope to build 15 schools with the money for destitute children of West Bengal,” he said. “I am very happy that my efforts are fructifying. Things are changing with more and more children going to school.”

Before her death in 1993, Hepburn visited South Asia (Bangladesh) as an ambassador for UNICEF.

Audrey Hepburn’s Children’s Fund
Tribute to Hepburn’s humanitarian work
City of Joy the book

Comments Off on The Little Black Dress That Could, Does.         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   March 6, 2007

Expectant South Asian Moms At Risk

Mother and Child
“Mother and Child” (RedKettle.Com)

A study out today suggests South Asian and black women generally have shorter-term pregnancies than their white counterparts.

The report, published in the British Medical Journal, considers 12 years-worth of data from 197,000 London births. Findings indicate that “for every stage of gestation, perinatal mortality (death before, during or shortly after birth) is highest in south Asian women.”

Dr. Imelda Balchin, who directed the research effort, suggests race is most likely an “indicator” of genetic deviation from normative gestational length.

“Whether differences in outcome were due to social disadvantage or biology, the implications for management are the same,” says Balchin who calls for increased care and rigor when it comes to screening South Asian and black expectant moms.

Comments Off on Expectant South Asian Moms At Risk         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   March 2, 2007

Saving India’s Girls

Indian Orphanage

Last Sunday police in Bhopal arrested a doctor and janitor after discovering 400 bones (from fetuses and newborns) buried behind a hospital. According to the Associated Press, the bones represent the remains of unwanted baby girls.

Selective abortion of female fetuses has led to a gender imbalance in India, where many districts report 800 girls are born for every 1,000 boys. International non-profit groups estimate that 10 million female fetuses have been killed over the past 20 years.

The government is now determined to take action through what it is calling the “cradle scheme”–essentially a plan to raise unwanted children in a series of yet-to-be-built orphanages.

“What we are saying to the people is have your children, don’t kill them. And if you don’t want a girl child, leave her to us,” says Renuka Chowdhury, the country’s minister of state for women and children.

“We will bring up the children. But don’t kill them because there really is a crisis situation. We will have cradles strategically placed all over the place so that people who don’t want their babies can leave them there.”

Comments Off on Saving India’s Girls         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   February 21, 2007