The people closest to me know that I have a terrible memory. I can remember the things I know I have to remember to survive. The bills. Rent. Tuition. Work deadlines. But a lot of other floss goes by the wayside with me. Perhaps that’s why I try so hard to document my year. I try to always take my camera with me. Because if I don’t have a picture, I forget it happened. And I usually have a little notebook with me that I write important things in. Usually I forget the notebook though and by the end of the semester, when I go to throw away my notes and class handouts, I’ll find a dozen little scribblings here and there where I wrote a phrase or two that tickled my fancy. For that reason, I’m writing this post, because otherwise I’ll probably forget this incredible year even happened. Heck, I already forgot most of last week.
But this week, when I started my annual tradition of trying to piece together what I could recall of this past year, I was lucky enough to be able to use 2010′s blog posts to figure out when I had done what. Here’s what I gathered. Continue reading
Photo Credit: Beat & Boom
When I was 19 years old, I listened to all the Hinglish UK pop music my older brother introduced me to. It included: Rishi Rich, Jay Sean and Raghav. Back then, I didn’t know anybody outside of my family circle who knew who these singers were. Imagine my delight then when my editor at MTV Desi invited me to a video shoot with Raghav, the Canadian-born singer who took the desi world by storm back in 2004 with the release of the UK desi chart-topper Storyteller, featuring the catchy “Angel Eyes.” Then he disappeared for a bit, only to release Identity in 2009 – but only in India. Now he’s back with The Phoenix and a new single, “So Much.”
The first time I heard about Raghav’s comeback was when a friend texted me from a Phillies game to tell me that the singer was performing there. I went on a complete Raghav memory trip, listening to his albums on repeat for days. Unlike Jay Sean, Raghav’s appeal for me lies not in his looks or dancing, but in his original Hindi songs. But that’s my personal preference. Can’t say I love all his songs, but the teen I was is crossing her fingers for Raghav’s success. Dude can sing. Continue reading
Photo Credit: For the Love of Food
Good things happen when I get bored. Two years ago, I found myself with too much spare time and a desire to learn more about the city I grew up in so I started writing on this blog. The results surprised me — I ended up finding a community of fascinating, like-minded people who became close friends. But as I moved away from this blog and to other projects, I found myself missing the conversations I had with the amazing Philadelphians I meet every day.
That’s why I decided last Thursday that I wanted to do a series of podcasts. Conversations with all the people I know (and some that I don’t know) who are changing this city in little, unnoticed ways. So my friend Gino and I came up with Talkadelphia. Every Monday, we’ll introduce you to somebody who intrigues us. We’re still working on our website, but until then follow our Twitter account to stay in touch with all the latest Talkadelphia news. Want to be interviewed? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about yourself!
Sunny Ali (L) with The Kid (R). Photo Credit: Jonathan Applebaum
The first time I met Hassan Ali Malik of Sunny Ali & The Kid was on Halloween when I attended a crazy house party in West Philadelphia with my friend Ali that started on the top floor and spilled out onto the rooftop. Dressed in a Pakistani topi (hat) with a glow-in-the-dark Frisbee around his neck, Hassan looked like the bastard child of Aladdin and Flavor Flav. (He was actually going for Bollywood star wins Oscar.) At that time I didn’t know it, but I was looking for Hassan. My friend and fellow Sepia Mutineer, Tanzila Ahmed
, had been after me to get an interview with Philadelphia-based band POPO
, comprised of three Pakistani-American brothers – Zeb, Hassan and Shoaib. A few days after Halloween, I sent out a Twitter appeal after a month of trying to get in touch with the band via email. My friend Ali immediately contacted me. “You already know POPO,” he said. “You met Hassan on Halloween.” It’s a small, small Philadelphia. Thankfully, Hassan, who’d just left POPO to start his own gig, agreed to an interview
and soon after, put me in touch with his musical partner, The Kid, who also wrote on the side as Pork Adventurer
. (You following me?) Now, almost a year later, I’m happy to report that Sunny Ali & The Kid is still going strong. Check out this video interview to learn more about the duo and their music.
And, for all you Philadelphians, listen to these two rancheros play live Saturday night at Tritone!
The edited version of this article is found over at Sepia Mutiny. This version, my first draft, is twice as long and twice as annoyed/unfunny. Also twice as ineffective, according to the people who read it over for me. But, what the heck, here’s the initial response, for your edification.
Dear Ms. Miller,
On June 1, you posted a piece in The Huffington Post’s Living section called “How to Date an Indian (Advice for the Non-Indian.”) or as I like to call it “How to Drive Away Dates with Your Unbelievable Combination of Desperation and Ignorance.” Apparently, as someone whose bio states that she has “lived in Mumbai for three years,” and who is in a relationship with a man of Indian descent, you consider yourself well-qualified to advise the rest of the world on the best means to bag a brown man/woman. Or as you write, “my husband… is from New Delhi, which, in addition to providing me with lots of Indian friends and in-laws, have given me a pretty good perspective on the desirability of the people from the world’s largest democracy — and how to woo them.” Given your ventures in dating/relationship-based businesses (including a magazine and a dating website), I have to say I was misled into believing you had something relevant to say. Instead, I ended up laying on the floor, guffawing hysterically.
Let’s break down what you told folks in your article. Before we begin, I want to applaud you for not exoticizing and fetishizing brown people in a manner that detracts from a basic understanding and appreciation of another’s culture. Continue reading
Join Brendan Skwire (of The Dill Pickles) this Saturday, April 24 as he slaps bass with the Super Devils at Murph’s Bar in Fishtown. This time he’s not playing bluegrass, he’s playing rockabilly. Yeah, I had to look that up too. Whatever it is, it’ll be guaranteed fun. Bring your dancing shoes. Doors open at 8PM, Brendan starts playing at 10. I saw Brendan play a number of times last summer. He always delivers a great show. If you thought bluegrass rockabilly in Philly was dead, think again.
I cannot for the life of me understand the whole boyfriend jean trend going on right now. Why, ladies, why? Why would anyone voluntarily wear a beaten-up, ill-fitting piece of denim? Clearly, I’m not cool enough to understand fashion trends. At least that’s what my sister told me this weekend when I turned to her, baffled by the two brand-new pairs of Express boyfriend jeans I found in her closet. Even though there is about a 20-pound difference between us, we tend to share the same clothes. Mostly because I wear clothes that are too tight while she prefers hers three sizes too large. It usually works out perfectly. But no matter how much I adjusted those boyfriend jeans, they still looked sloppy and unkempt. All I needed was a piece of twine and I could be any hobo anywhere in America. Continue reading
Some of you lawyerly folks may find this event interesting. And for you Twitter folks, follow Anil on Twitter!
The South Asian Bar Association of Philadelphia presents:
Featuring Professor Anil Kalhan, Associate Professor of Law at Earle Mack School of Law, Drexel University
“Rethinking Immigration Detention“
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
5:30 – 7Pm
at the offices of
Kolsby Gordon Robin Shore & Bezar LLP
2000 Market Street – 28th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Chai and other light refreshments will be served.
RSVPs to email@example.com by Friday, April 2, 2010
Yesterday one of your idiotic lawmakers stated, “We cannot allow someone to claim the right to look at others without being seen… It is necessary that the law forbids the wearing of clothes that totally mask and enclose an individual. Wearing the burqa in public is not compatible with an open, liberal, tolerant society.” May I suggest you find a dictionary, look up the words “open,” “liberal,” and “tolerant” and then use aforementioned dictionary to bash yourself in the face? Okay, thanks.
Oh yeah, and to respond to French President Sarkozy who said, “The all-body veil is contrary to the dignity of women…The answer is to ban it,” guess what? Violence is contrary to the dignity of women. The denial of basic human rights is contrary to the dignity of women. But having the freedom to define yourself through your clothing? That, my dear sir is not contrary to the dignity of women. (Frankly, I think your face is contrary to the dignity of women, but heck, if Carla Bruni can take it…)
In conclusion, how about you two go back to making your respective foodstuffs, and leave the ‘safeguarding’ of ‘women’s dignity’ to someone else. The world thanks you for leaving your curious schnozzes out of women’s closets.
If so, please contact the authorities. ‘Cause dude is bad news. Not like a never-calls-you-or-hangs-out-with-you kind of jerk, but more like a drains-your-bank-account kind of jerk.
Read my post at Sepia Mutiny for more information.