I Dream of Saree

Vintage sari ad. (Photo: Saree Dreams)

Can a saree be way too floral? Gangster? Would a polka-dot turtleneck work in place of a blouse? Would someone dare to wear her bra as a saree blouse? What kind of sarees do they wear in the navy? Inline skating while wearing a saree—can it be done? If you find these questions intriguing, are interested in saree history and sarees in art, or simply enjoy gazing at yards and yards of fabric worn with attitude, you’ll probably find items of interest at Saree Dreams, a blog showcasing the saree in all its splendor and occasional wrong turns. On Wordless Wednesdays they “let the saree do all the talking.” The blog’s contributors—Sunny, a designer, Rupa, a writer, Misty, a student, and Kamini, a model—are based in different cities around the world; Los Angeles, Delhi, and London.

3 Comments         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   September 9, 2008

Penning a Letter to Undeclared Superdelegates


Kal Penn sent an open letter to two undeclared superdelegates urging them to cast their votes for presidential candidate Barack Obama. Penn is not the first big name to contact law student Lauren Wolfe and college senior Awais Khaleel, who are the President and Vice President of the College Democrats of America. On their way to the dining hall or grocery store, student superdelegates field calls from the likes of Bill Clinton and John Kerry (JS). Milwaukee-born Khaleel, of Muslim Indian background, received the Sproul treatment in The Wall Street Journal and had coffee with Chelsea Clinton. He, like Wolfe, plans to stay neutral, working with the College Dems to improve voter turnout.

Penn, who has been campaigning for Obama since late last year, was respectful of their neutral stance, but urged the two undeclared superdelegates that now is the time to pledge their support. “Perhaps three weeks ago was not the right time to pledge. But neither is three weeks from now. Your failure to pledge now risks returning those passionate, first-time voters to a political landscape of the same old games that caused them to maintain such distance from the Democratic Party before.”

In the video clip below Khaleel and Wolfe ask college students to tell them how to cast their votes. “Guess who might decide the leader of the free world?” Khaleel asks. “Me!”

Comments Off on Penning a Letter to Undeclared Superdelegates         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   May 12, 2008

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

Pink Is The New Chai

Kashmiri chai from NY’s New Naimat Kada (traderjanki.wordpress.com)

According to The Gourmet Cartographer (a.k.a Janki Khatau), you should try Kashmiri chai. I wouldn’t mind trying any of the vegetarian delicacies described on her blog, which include foods from roadside stalls in India, homemade recreations of street food, and treats from various cities in the U.S. In fact, I went to Papalote for a great burrito after reading about it there. But it was this “very lickable” drink that caught my eye the other day, with its flash of color peeking through the cup’s white cover. It’s also salty. Who knew that salty chai could be tasty?

The Kashmiri Chai…is fantastic. It is a luxurious drink: coral-pink, lightly salty, and scented with ground pistachios, almonds, and cardamom. It’s always hot, thick, and delicious- and after the first cup, most people tend to get over their hesitation regarding salty tea.

More: all the food that’s fit to print; Food; Kashmir(i)

Comments Off on Pink Is The New Chai         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   September 27, 2007

New Media & NY Fashion Week

Naeem Khan
Naeem Khan Spring 2008

New York’s Fashion week wraps up this Wednesday and if you weren’t personally invited, blogs might be your best bet for coverage of what’s happening and who’s showing up under the tents in Bryant Park. According to Women’s Wear Daily new media still only accounts for 10% of the overall issued media credentials at New York’s Fashion Week. But there’s no doubting that it’s a whole lot easier for the average fashion-watching web surfer to click into the blogosphere than it is to get into a designer’s show.

WWD‘s list of blogging bigwigs (Sartorialist, GoFugYourself) and relative newcomers (Fashionista–“style like you mean it,” Fashionologie–“the musings of a twentysomething American girl who wishes she could have a Freaky Friday incident and switch bodies with Phoebe Philo”) includes writers with fashion industry experience and those offering a perspective for women of color, size or limited budget (The Fashion Bomb–“all urban fashion…all the time,” Too Fat for Fashion—“fashion beyond sample sizes,” The Budget Fashionista–“an Ivy League-educated epidemiologist who had a love of fashion and lack of cash”). See the full article for more blogs that got on the list this year.

Comments Off on New Media & NY Fashion Week         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   September 12, 2007
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Celeb Sari Spotting: Katherine Heigl

Katherine Heigl
Katherine Heigl (Just Jared).

Tipster M passes along this sighting of actress Katherine Heigl on hiatus from Grey’s Anatomy and wearing a sari for her upcoming film 27 Dresses, scripted by The Devil Wears Prada screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna and directed by Anne Fletcher. The romantic comedy is the story of a single woman who has served as a bridesmaid 27 times, and takes the part once again for her sister’s wedding to the man Heigl’s character is in love with.

A closer look at some of the photos on Just Jared, the premise of the movie and the often heard bridesmaid’s complaint about hideous gowns all suggest that the film’s costume designer was shooting for somewhere below the stunning/elegant benchmark. Sari experts Nika and Natasha from the site’s comments section weighed in with their critique: Read the rest of this entry »

8 Comments         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   July 18, 2007

Cultural Connect’s Sumaya Kazi on CNN

Sumaya Kazi and Nicole Lapin
Lapin and Kazi on Larry King’s set. (Courtesy CNN PR, Sumaya Kazi)

Young People Who Rock, CNN’s weekly interview series hosted by Nicole Lapin and focused on people under 30 recently interviewed Sumaya Kazi of The Cultural Connect, a media publishing company with a series of online magazines spotlighting young minority professionals. Watch the CNN Live Video interview.

Kazi took a few questions from Lapin, and if we didn’t hear it from Kazi herself—“Don’t laugh! it’s my first ever on-camera interview!”—we wouldn’t have guessed that this appearance marks her TV debut. Lapin, on the other hand, struck me as a tiny bit awkward, dropping the “Asian” from “Southeast Asian” (or perhaps she meant “South/East Asian”), resulting in the phrases “Southeast Trinity” and “Southeast background,” the latter referring to Kazi’s background. Maybe words like South Asian or South Asian American don’t exactly roll off the tongues of every news anchor. Or perhaps Lapin was nervous about interviewing someone who has been running with the new CNN show’s basic premise for two years now over at The Cultural Connect!

Previously: “Business Week Names Kazi to Top 25 Under 25”

1 Comment         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   July 17, 2007

Let’s Put It On

The Daily Desi suggests that we run out to see Thukral & Tagra’s exhibit “Put It On” at Bose Pascia in Chelsea, Manhattan, while it’s still hot. Hosting the show until June 9, and established in 1994, the gallery was the first in the West to specialize in and promote contemporary and avant-garde art from South Asia.

New Delhi-based Jiten Thukral and Sumir Tagra work collaboratively in a wide variety of media including painting, sculpture, installation, video, graphic and product design, websites, music and fashion.

In their latest exhibition, “Put It On,” they channel their collaborative artistry into “arriving at a range of probable solutions for HIV awareness and vigilance through the visual arts.” The resulting works include stylistic and creative placement of pictures of proper condom usage throughout large-scale canvas paintings and mixed-media installations with custom-designed underwear and flip-flops.

Photos of Thukral & Tagra’s Everyday BoseDK exhibit in New Delhi last month; BoseDK Designs, T&T’s consortium of graphic designers, illustrators, film-makers and design-inclined writers. With e-zines.

Comments Off on Let’s Put It On         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   May 29, 2007

Women 2.0 Napkin Business Challenge

Women 2.0 invites the public to join the finalists of their Napkin Business Challenge as they pitch their best business ideas to a judging panel of seasoned entrepreneurs, executives, and venture capitalists. Audience-member votes will factor into the decision-making of which teams will walk away with the two top prizes of $1000 each, a pitch coaching session from Guidewire Group, and 30 minute meetings with Tim Draper of Draper Fisher Jurvetson or Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital.

women 2.0

Date: Wednesday, April 25, 2007, starting at 6pm
Location: CNET, 235 2nd Street, San Francisco, CA (Directions)
Cost: $20 general admission, free for bloggers (Register here)

Founded last year by Shivani Sopory, Wen-Wen Lam, Shaherose Charania and Angie Chang, Women 2.0 promotes the collaboration and growth of women in entrepreneurship, technology and business in the Silicon Valley. The group “understands that half the battle in business lies in networking and since we’re not eligible for the old boys clubs, Women 2.0 events are the new way for emerging young women leaders to grow their networks.” Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off on Women 2.0 Napkin Business Challenge         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   April 21, 2007

Now You Too Can Blog in Hindi

Attention, bloggers who use, um, Blogger: Now you can impress your friends by sharing your thoughts in fancy Devanagari script. How is this possible? Well, the wonderful folks at the Google blog have introduced a feature that “allows you to type out Hindi words using phonetically equivalent English script, and see the words getting transformed into the corresponding Devanagari script.”

How well does it work? Well, I can barely read Urdu—what my family speaks at home—so I wasn’t able to test out the accuracy. But according to Google, Blogger’s transliteration feature will supposedly adapt to the way you spell Hindi and remember your writing style. So—those of you out there who can read Devanagari, let us know how well this works in the comments!

2 Comments         Facebook   RSS 2.0   Permalink   April 17, 2007