November 26, 2005

Who's Your Inner European

I've been tagged by BD

My "Inner European" is Italian.

I am now tagging thethoughtless, pacze moj, Jaimie, Dr. Deborah Serani, and Pewzen.

November 19, 2005


No blurry eyed goodbyes or soul searching gaze
No extended hand holding either
Just a catch in my throat
the only giveaway
as the mute blue faded away to its haven.
It didn't beckon or cry
No hapless pleas of wanting to stay
or promises of an early return.
A clean break and a deep void.
A scooping out of memories good and bad
of challenges overcome
and times shared that tested mettle.
What a metal it was!
My blue Camry.

November 14, 2005

Memoirs of a Geisha

Arthur Golden's first novel, Memoirs of a Geisha, is definitely captivating in terms of its story telling and its setting. Japan, in the late 1930s, as seen through the grey blue eyes of a geisha has the reader asking for more.

Sayuri is the geisha of the blue eyes fame, who rises out of poverty and annonymity to bedazzle the province of Gion and become the most sought after woman among the rich and powerful. An oft used rags to riches storyline, but one that is spun with a newness because it touches two disparate chords in the readers mind simultaneously. The bone chilling undressing of the 15 year old Sayuri by the Baron is both repulsive and exciting; the jealous Hatsumomo being upstaged by the humble and deserving Sayuri who is now to inherit the Okiya (the Geisha dwelling) spells redemption and fear at the same time; Pumpkin's (Sayuri's good friend) revengeful act, though shocking also lends real life credibility to her; pangs of anxiety are hidden amid throes of excitement when the Baron, who is Mameha's lover, makes advances toward Sayuri who has been adopted by Mameha as her 'little sister'. It is this constant duplicity of emotion experienced by the reader that keeps him on edge. The reader, without realizing, becomes both an empathizer of, and a voyuer to Sayuri's predicament, experiencing a plethora of emotions that culminate in a cathartic release when the novel ends

Golden in one of his interviews said that while writing this novel he was confronted with, "three cultural divides--man to woman, American to Japanese, and present to past. Actually, I see a fourth divide as well, because geisha dwell in a sub-culture'. Whatever the divides may have been, his efforts at bridging them have paid off because Memoirs of a Geisha is most certainly a page turner.

November 11, 2005

Spelling's not that important

See if you can read and make sense of what's written below:

"I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg.
The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe."

The zero that your teacher gave you on the dictation should not worry you or the teacher anymore!

November 07, 2005

Women's fashion

I recently read about a special event "Interpreting Hot Trends for Veiled and Conservative Women," hosted by Nordstrom, a leading apparel designer brand, in McLean, Virginia. This event was indeed unique because it showcased the latest trends in 'hijabs' and 'scarves', and was perhaps the first high-fashion 'hijab' event sponsored by corporate America. It targeted the moneyed Muslim women living in the suburbs of Northern Virginia, where mansions and mosques are home to an affluent immigrant population. Obviously, the event generated a multitude of response, mostly critical, regarding its religious appropriateness and also because of it's low profitability at the end of the day.

However, it wasn't the vagaries of the show's religious appropriateness or its financial blundering that was bothering me. There was another chain of thought that was gathering momentum and sizzling in my mind. How come women's fashion seems to be driven by a predominantly male definition of what looks beautiful on the female form? Or else why would high fashion in a woman's world entail revealing a belly button, showing of leg, or flashing of cleavage. Why did female voluptousness in the '90s suddenly become unattractive, and bolemia induced emaciatedness become a benchmark to achieve.

Over the years the female body has had to endure extremes of makeover in order to be fashionable, to live up to every changed expectation of the male mind. This is no generalization; in fact a harsh truth, hard to palate and difficult to accept. An endurance test is what it is for the female of the species; pulling out body hair with hot wax to give a smooth appearance, adopting a 500 calorie diet to keep that girlish figure, injecting cortizone to defy the aging process, getting breast implants to generate oomph, and the list goes on. A list far more torturesome for the woman than donning a 'hijab', the mere mention of which generates feelings of outrage.

A thought: How much simpler it would be for a woman to live on her own terms!