Mr. Met Loves Indian Weddings

The groom Pinty & Mr. Met.

When my friend Amar told me what he was planning to do for his brother Pinty’s wedding, I just couldn’t believe it. Mets fans pretty much since birth, the Jhaveris definitely do not play around when it comes to their favorite team. As Pinty’s best man, Amar knew he had to do something memorable.

So as a total surprise to his brother, his new sister-in-law Pooja and a hall full of unsuspecting guests, Amar arranged for Mr. Met to run out to the dance floor in the middle of the wedding reception. Needless to say, the moment was absolutely priceless for Pinty. Mr. Met not only posed with guests, he also partied pretty hard. (And you better believe there is a YouTube clip of this.) Congratulations to Pinty & Pooja from all of us at Nirali Magazine. Watch Mr. Met balle balle his way on the dance floor after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   June 19, 2007

Muslim Women and Sports Don’t Mix? Nonsense.

Sunday’s Washington Post profile on Pakistani American high school tennis player Raheela Fazal left me both excited and disappointed. On the one hand, it’s so great to see South Asians in the mainstream press; on the other hand, the story seems to paint Islam and Muslims with one broad stroke. It opens with this:

Playing tennis makes no sense to most of Raheela Fazal’s Muslim friends. Is it for grades, they ask? No. Does the Potomac senior do it because of a punishment? No.

Raheela’s Muslim peers are baffled by why in the world she would play a sport! Then, the author gives credence to the notion that Raheela’s actions are, indeed, bizarre, by quoting a representative from CAIR:

“Many of the Muslims today are probably second- or third-generation,” said Rabiah Ahmed, a spokeswoman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “Their parents or aunts and uncles still have that mentality that Muslim women didn’t have those opportunities [to play sports], or maybe it was only the norm for the upper class. I think that is changing now.”

To be fair, the writer does also quote Maria Massi-Dakake, “an associate professor of religious studies at George Mason University and an authority on Islamic theology,” who says that “views about Muslim women participating in athletics vary within the culture. Taking part, she said, could be interpreted as a violation of modesty.”

I sort of wish that sentiment had been a bit more prominent in the piece, though I do see how, in this case, Raheela and her Muslim peers did come from a background that thought women and sports didn’t necessarily mix, and the modesty aspect is certainly an issue for many Muslims. But in plenty of Muslim countries and households—whether here in North America or “back home”—it does.

My mother, for example, grew up in a very conservative Muslim household in Pakistan, yet she played just about every sport she could: volleyball, basketball, even shot put (though the image of my mom participating in such an activity is even bizarre to me). She never lets us hear the end of how she was the “champion” in all these events in college. I, on the other hand, can’t walk two feet without tripping over myself, so sports were out for me, though not for lack of encouragement from my family (I can scream about basketball louder than any superfan, though). My younger sister seemed to inherit the athletic prowess in our clan and was quite the soccer star in her youth.

Still, it’s lovely to hear Raheela’s story—here’s wishing her continued success as a tennis star in high school and beyond.

2 Comments         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   May 8, 2007

Brett and Bhosle Bowl Over Fans

Cricketer Brett Lee has made quite a hit, but this time it’s off the field.

The Australian fast bowler’s duet with Indian legend Asha Bhosle, is currently number three on Indian music charts. Lee composed the song in just 30 minutes, while in India for the Champions Trophy matches recently.

“Other than cricket, music is my passion. When I was told I would be singing with a legend I was glad,” said Lee who has turned down multiple offers to be in Bollywood films.

The video for You’re the One for Me was filmed in under three hours:

Comments Off on Brett and Bhosle Bowl Over Fans         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   January 11, 2007

Swing Batter-Batter


You knew he could swing a racket, but a cricket bat?

Roger Federer spent yesterday 100 miles south of Chennai, playing a few rounds of cricket with the displaced children of the Pudupettai rehabilitation colony.

The children have been homeless since the tsunami hit on December 26, 2004.

The tsunami-death toll stands at just under 300,000 people (18,000 in India alone).

“In the beginning they threw the ball at me slowly, and then realized that I was not that bad after all,” said Federer of his fellow cricketers.

“In the end, they did get me out.”

The boys, of Tamil Nadu’s Cuddalore district, were said to be “delighted” with the visit. Roger Federer is a top-seeded tennis player and a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF.

For more on how you can help with tsunami recovery efforts, visit MercyCorps.Com or go to the UNDP’s relief site.

3 Comments         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   December 23, 2006

Gender Race

AP Photo

The good news is that Santhi Soudarajan, Indian runner and competitor in this month’s Asia Games, won the silver medal for her performance in the 800 meters.

The bad news? She is now being asked to give the medal back.

Earlier today, reports surfaced that Soudarajan had failed a gender test, after results determined the 25 year old had some “abnormal chromosomes” and “more Y chromosomes than allowed.”

The 25 year old Tamil Nadu resident is not known to have undergone a sex change operation. She is said to have been evaluated by a “gynecologist, endocrinologist, psychologist and internal medicine specialist.”

(Source: International Herald Tribune)

Comments Off on Gender Race         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   December 18, 2006
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K-O Khan

Amir Khan

British Asian athlete Amir Khan will fight for his first professional boxing title tomorrow.

Khan is to duke it out with Frenchman Rachid Drilzane for the chance to call himself the IBF inter-continental light welterweight champion.

The fight, Khan’s tenth as a pro, is to be his first over-ten-round match. It’s a step up in class and weight for the young boxer.

“I’ve trained hard for this fight and I’ve done 10 rounds in training so I’m ready,” says Khan, who celebrates his 20th birthday this weekend. “My trainer Oliver Harrison thinks I’m ready and I want to go for it. The fact that this fight is for my first title gives me extra motivation.”

In the 2004 Olympics, the Pakistani British boxer took home the silver medal.

Here he is in a BBC Breakfast Show segment from last year, talking about tomorrow’s fight:

**UPDATE 12/11: Oh baby–victory is sweet. It’s a happy birthday for Khan indeed.

Comments Off on K-O Khan         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   December 8, 2006