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A Banana a Day Gives You a Bikini Body Right Away!

So I’m back to the morning NJ-NYC commute – waking up at ungodly hours, rushing out the door, applying make-up in the car, stumbling off the train half-awake. The smell of pastries, piss and sweat wake me up as I exit Penn Station. Ahh, brings back memories.

There’s a new addition to my morning routine, though. About a dozen obscenely cheerful, painfully beautiful women in bright colored bikinis and heels greet me every morning offering free bananas. WTF?! Trust me, I could not make this up even if I tried. Curiosity finally gets to me so I take a banana today. I am told they can help me get a bikini body. This must be some sort of nightmare. Allah, you have a cruel sense of humor.

The Ambassador wants to go for coffee soon after I get in. Not one to say no to free food, I oblige. We walk down to Au Bon Pain. Klutz that I am I spill my coffee.

“Nadia, you’re not supposed to say thank you. You’re Pakistani; don’t you know that in Pakistan the men do everything,” the Ambassador says, after I muster an embarrassed thank you as he cleans up the coffee I just spilled on the table.

I nearly drop my coffee again. What… why was I not notified of this? Where are these chivalrous Paki men? Evidently I’ve been hanging out with the wrong generation.

Chivalry is indeed, alive and well at the UN. Doors are opened for you. Meals and drinks are paid for you. Every man smiles at you. I think this may have something to do with the high ratio of old full-bellied men working with young supple-bodied women – just a theory. Even the Saudi interns are dressed in skirt-suits that would make Monica Lewinsky blush. I guess the application of the Saudi burqa law is relative to your geographic proximity to Mecca. The Desis, ironically enough, keep it conservative – the Pakistani women seem to have a strict shalwar kameez and chappal dress code, while the Indian women prefer their saris.

In the Security Council Chambers it’s easy to spot the US Ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, he is loud and overly cheerful. While all the others hunch over and (pretend to) study the Darfur documents in front of them, he leans back and stares directly at the speaker, a little smirk showing up on his face every now and then. Oh, the joy of representing a superpower.

The guy to my left isn’t even paying attention, he’s chatting away on AIM. Tsk. Tsk. Reminds me, I need to start bringing my macbook.

Proving that it is a small world after all, I run into a friend of a friend. He doesn’t remember my name, but remembers my Element. It’s OK I tell him, it was about 1am and he was a little inebriated when we met. He is working with the Pakistani mission. We agree to meet for coffee after 40th Anniversary of Palestinian Occupation session. Israel’s seat is conspicuously empty. The nation statements start to get repetitive. I turn to eavesdropping to keep myself from falling asleep. The bubbly redhead next to me is also a Nadia. She is Turkish and planning her wedding.

It turns out the dude at the Paki mission also has an Element. He confirms that the Pakistani women have an unwritten rule to wear only shalwar kameez. It is expected of them.

The cafe is full of smoke. My throat is killing me. This may have something to do with that fact that the UN is probably the only place left in NYC for smokers to smoke indoors.

I’m exhausted. I walk back to Penn instead of taking the subway, saves me a little spending money, it’s a beautiful day and, well, if I’m to get that bikini body I have a lot of catching up to do.

*A friend sent me this link… and I have to say it perfectly sums up my thoughts on the UN and diplomacy right now, lol: http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/end.php

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June 8, 2007 Posted by | perspectives, RandomDesi | 2 Comments

Telephone Pyar

Back in the day, before the internet, before the advent of caller ID, before people were so paranoid and suspicious of other people, we kids in Pakistan spent our free time *crank calling*… and *tauba tauba* we cranked called BOYS.

Generally, these calls consisted of dialing random numbers asking for some generic Paki boy name until we found one who would entertain us. That usually didn’t take too long. We’d then make up whole new identities in which we were older, smarter, more sophisticated and more beautiful then our pathetic teenage selves. The idea was to see if we could fool him into meeting us somewhere. (Of course, we’d never actually go, just get all giggly over the thought that he’d actually take us up on the offer. )

I being the shy and horrible liar that I am, I completely sucked at crank calling. I had no game, for which I got teased about endlessly. I still suck at crank calling and apparently, I still have no game. I guess somethings never change. But I digress…

While sitting in my car listening to Nazia Hassan’s *Telephone Pyar* (click here for video) the other day, I got to thinking to how this song holds no relevance anymore in the age of Facebook and Naseeb.com. I could never explain to my little sister the giddy excitement of crank calling while she and her friends peruse MySpace trying to fool guys into thinking they’re older, smarter, more sophisticated and more beautiful then their pathetic teen … wait, what? hmmmm.

So is this it? In the evolution of *Telephone Pyar* we now have *Naseeb.com Pyar*?

What would the new lyrics be –
(Salam Salam)
(Khoun Hai)
(Salam)

Anhaan..Anhaan Haan
Dekha Nahi Mein Ne Kabhi
Tujhko Ahaan
Kaisy Profile
Kaisa Hai Photo Ahaan Anhaan Haan
Tu Hai Khoun Yeh To Bata Itefaaq Se Tera Screenname Mila

P-A-K-I-MD
(P-A-K-I-MD)
Mujhko Ho Gaya Tujh Se Pyar
Teri Profile Mein Dekha Baar Baar
Mujhko Ho Gaya Naseeb.com Pyar

Anhaan..Anhaan Haan
Dil Ki Baatein
Tujh Se Kehdi
Mein Ne
Tu Bhi Mujhse Apni Dil Ki Kehday Anhaan Haan

Karo Kya Yeh To Bata
Jaanay Kyoun Tera Screenname Mila

On a side note: Yes, I bake, and I’m pretty damn good at it! 😉

*****

TELEPHONE PYAR lyrics:
(Hello Hello)
(Khoun Hai)
(Hello)

Anhaan..Anhaan Haan
Dekha Nahi Mein Ne Kabhi
Tujhko Ahaan
Kaisy Awaz
Kaisa Hai Raaz Ahaan Anhaan Haan
Tu Hai Kyoun Yeh To Bata Itefaaq Se Tera Number Mila

33-22-44
(33-22-44)
Mujhko Ho Gaya Tujh Se Pyar
Teri Awaz Mein Sunno Baar Baar
Mujhko Ho Gaya Telephone Pyar

Anhaan..Anhaan Haan
Dil Ki Baatein
Tujh Se Kehdi
Mein Ne
Tu Bhi Mujhse Apni Dil Ki Kehday Anhaan Haan

Karo Kya Yeh To Bata
Jaanay Kyoun Tera Number Mila

33-22-44
(33-22-44)
Mujhko Ho Gaya Tujh Se Pyar
Teri Awaz Mein Sunno Baar Baar
Mujhko Ho Gaya Telephone Pyar

(Hello Khoun Hai)
(Yeh 33-22-44 Hai)
(Wrong Number)

Telephone Pyar

33-22-44
(33-22-44)
Mujhko Ho Gaya Tujh Se Pyar
Teri Awaz Mein Sunno Baar Baar
Mujhko Ho Gaya Telephone Pyar

33-22-44
(33-22-44)
Mujhko Ho Gaya Tujh Se Pyar
Teri Awaz Mein Sunno Baar Baar
Mujhko Ho Gaya Telephone Pyar

(lalala)
(lalala)
(lala)

June 1, 2007 Posted by | RandomDesi | 1 Comment

Richard Gere and Shilpa Shetty Kissing Scandal?

From Time.com

By SIMON ROBINSON

How can the country that gave the world the Kama Sutra be so prudish? It’s a longstanding cliche to note that India has produced both the world’s most famous guide to love and erotic pleasure and some of the most conservative social rules this side of Saudi Arabia on such questions as kissing in public. That paradox was on display once again this week in the firestorm that swept India following a seemingly innocuous — and obviously staged — celebrity kiss on the cheek at an AIDS-awareness event.

The nationwide furor began when Hollywood actor Richard Gere and Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty appeared together at an AIDS-awareness function in New Delhi last Sunday. The event was supposed to highlight the risky sexual behavior of truck drivers, who have some of the highest rates of HIV infection in India. At one point in the proceedings, Gere embraced Shetty, bent her back in an exaggerated kind of dance hold and kissed her on the cheek. If it looked slightly awkward, Shetty said later, that’s because it was unexpected. “Richard does not understand Hindi,” she told a press conference. “All he knows is that Bollywood is all about song and dance. So, he decided to give a dance pose with me to entertain the crowd.”

But it may be more than than the Hindi language that Gere did not understand: His dance move and smooch on the cheek went way beyond what is acceptable, at least according to India’s Hindu nationalists who claim that Shetty has dishonored her culture. Protestors burned Gere and Shetty in effigy, and now plan to lodge a complaint against Shetty with the police. “How much can you degrade yourself because you are being paid money to make an appearance?” asked Sumit Mishra, of the youth wing of the Hindu nationalist BJP party in the state of Bhopal. As a foreigner, said Mishra, Gere could be excused. “We are not bothered about how many times he kisses how many women in Hollywood. We are troubled with Shilpa’s behavior. When the man was being outrageously indecent before a large gathering, why did she keep giggling?” Mishra railed to the Times of India newspaper. “That encouraged him more. Why didn’t she protest?”

But were the protests generated by real indignation or were they just a ploy by the BJP and other nationalist parties to bolster their support. Sudhir Kakar, who has written a novel based on the Karma Sutra and one of dozens of new translations of the ancient text, says the answer is both. “The people who protest want the masses to be offended by [the kiss],” says Kakar, a psychoanalyst and a former senior fellow at the Center for Study of World Religions at Harvard. “They want people not to go down the road towards erotic freedom. There’s a struggle going on for their votes actually.”

This Indian version of America’s “culture wars” is at a much earlier stage than its U.S. equivalent. The upper middle class that Kakar says is finally becoming “free from the sexual conservatism of the past” is still quite small, especially in comparison with the hundreds of millions who remain culturally conservative, if markedly less strident than the Hindu hardliners Indian newspapers dub “the moral brigade.”

It’s this silent majority, says Kakar, whose anger the extremists are trying to arouse. “The main thing is family, so they see any kind of sexuality as a threat to the family,” he says.

Shetty believes those protesting the incident are missing the point. “It is such a small issue,” she told reporters after the Gere brouhaha exploded. “Actually, I think it is not even an issue. There are bigger issues like AIDS in our country, which no one seems to be interested in talking about.” As politicians around the world know, though, it’s always easier to exploit controversy than tackle the difficult stuff.

April 18, 2007 Posted by | RandomDesi, Relationships | 10 Comments

The Desi OC?

An interesting perspective off of Sepia Mutiny I think most of us can relate to:

“Sepia Destiny Part II: Dating while Desi”


**RaisingDesi production –

February 22, 2007 Posted by | RandomDesi, Relationships | 7 Comments

jackson heights – it’s not just about king king kebab king

jackson heightsFinally, some non-anti-immigrant press!

On my way to work today the cover of AM New York caught my eye.

“Immigrant neighborhoods are…The Engine of NYC”

On jackson heights: “”We’ve put 74th Street on the map,” said Dass, a former president of the Jackson Heights Merchant Association. “This area was not known before. But now, it is known all around the world. Last year, Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg visited here three times.”

February 7, 2007 Posted by | Make Chai Not War, RandomDesi, Shopaholic | 3 Comments

Stephen Colbert’s Bhangra-Meter Knows Best

Paris-Nicole? So yesterday. Jennifer-Angelina? Who cares anymore.
Looks like we’re so starved for juicy celebrity spats here in the US that Stephen Colbert had to poke around Bollywood to find a good one. Amitabh vs. Shah Rukh: Whose side are YOU on? After analyzing all the facts, Colbert finally picked one.

AB vs SRK

If you want to skip the rest of Colbert’s insightful, thought-provoking commentary and get right to the (hilarious) masala, jump ahead to the point where there’s 1:51 left in the clip.

January 11, 2007 Posted by | Film, perspectives, RandomDesi | 1 Comment

Sub-continental Sex

ash and hritik kiss

Um…some interesting scientific data on condoms being too big for Indian men? Also, Ash is busted for an onscreen kiss!

1) “A survey of more than 1,000 men in India has concluded that condoms made according to international sizes are too large for a majority of Indian men.” What do our guys have to say about that? Read more on bbc.

2) Who knew there is a law against kissing in public in India? Apparently it’s considered to be an obscenity.

“Bollywood megastar Aishwarya Rai, described by Julia Roberts as ‘the world’s most beautiful woman,’ committed the egregious sin of kissing her leading man, Hrithik Roshan, in her latest Bollywood movie, ‘Dhoom 2.'”

Ash gets cited in criminal case.

December 8, 2006 Posted by | RandomDesi, Relationships | 3 Comments

Clooney Goes Bollywood?

clooney goes bollywood

Be still, my beating dil.

Looks like the sexiest man in the world has his eye set on conquering Mumbai. Yes, ladies (and gents who might be interested for whatever reason), it seems George Clooney has been bitten by the Bollywood Bug.

http://movies.msn.com/movies/article.aspx?news=244178&GT1=7701

Could we someday see the sexiest man alive shaking a leg for an hour or four in “Jab Kabhi Kabhi Kuch Kuch Ho Na Ho to Dhoom Machake Alvida Na Kehna Munnabhai” (JKKKKHNHTDMANKM for short) or some other such spectacle? Watch out, Shah Rukh.

December 7, 2006 Posted by | Film, RandomDesi | 2 Comments

Dum Dum Dee Dee

Nazia Hassan

All was quiet. I peeked down the hall. All clear. I peeked in the kitchen. No one there. Quietly I tiptoed over to my father’s massive stereo. Forbidden for my little hands to touch, I had to stretch to reach the tape player. I took a quick look around, hit play and took my position. It was my very own Desi Star Search in my living room:

Aankhen milaanae waalay
Dil ko churaanae waalay
Mujhko bhulaana nahin…

Me jawaan, me haseen
Mere paas kiya nahein…

Girl Power before I even knew the term. Eat your heart out Geri Halliwell.

I was five years old when I found it. Somewhere in the midst of my father’s vast collection of Lata Mangeshkar and Mohd. Rafi there it was – the magenta EMI cassette tape. Her face on the cover was simply stunning, her voice equally as beautiful, AND her name was NaZia – that couldn’t be a coincidence, right? I Dum-Dum-Dee-Deed all over the house with my little purple tape player, and thus, began my desification by Nazia Hassan.

I played that tape over and over for at least two years. I played it at home. I played it in the car. On the weekends I would watch her perform when the local networks showed the *Desi Channel*. High up on my father’s shoulders I saw her when we went to Pakistan’s Independence Day parade in the city. *Aap Jaisa Koi* was the staple background track to every Desi party. I think it’s safe to say that the little Urdu I know today was because of the Queen of Paki Pop.

Years past, my life changed; I grew up. I lost the magenta EMI tape and with that most of the memories of my carefree days of Nazia impersonations. I was sixteen when I learned of her battle with cancer and death. That moment officially ended my childhood. One day, soon after I graduated college, I was wandering around the Desi bazaars of Iselin, NJ contemplating what had become of my life, when I saw it – Nazia Hassan: The Best of Collection!

Sitting in my car playing the CD (digitally remastered so she sounds even better!) those days of blissful innocence came rushing back – the cheesy tunes, the nonsensical lyrics (*Ahha Ohho*, *Ooooee Oooee*, *Dum Dum Dee Dee*). I laughed at *Telephone Pyar* and wondered if Nazia were alive today would the song have become *Naseeb.com Pyar* (doesn’t quite have the same ring). Her sweet voice took me back to when I was young, to when my parents were still together and not fighting, to when going to a Desi function was a grand affair, to when Eid was an occasion to dress up for and celebrate.

I have played that CD over and over for the last two years. I still play it at home. I play it in the car. I don’t dance in the living room as much, but perhaps one day I’ll meet The-e One who I can turn to and coyly say:

Aankhen milaanae waalay
Dil ko churaanae waalay
Mujhko bhulaana nahin…

Me jawaan, me haseen
Mere paas kiya nahein…

*************************************************************************

DID YOU KNOW?

Nazia Hassan was a qualified lawyer with a law degree from the University of London.

Nazia Hassan worked with UNICEF on various child welfare projects in Pakistan.

Nazia Hassan was only 15 when she sang *Aap Jaisa Koi*, 16 when she sang *Disco Deewane* and 18 when she recorded *Boom Boom*.

*Disco Deewane* was a number 1 on the Brazilian Charts.

Nazia Hassan Foundation: http://www.naziahassan.co.uk/

November 10, 2006 Posted by | perspectives, RandomDesi, Uncategorized | 10 Comments

karate hijab

karate hijab

Yesterday’s breaking news on cnn.com: ‘Britney files for divorce’
Breaking news on cnn.com today: ‘Rumsfield resigns’

But the most interesting point for the week is…
How can you karate without your hijab falling off?
First Women’s Olympics of Afghanistan

-Miral

November 8, 2006 Posted by | perspectives, RandomDesi | 5 Comments