Lindsay Lohan’s poverty tourism – a therapy ?

This has been sparked by a statement I read by m/s Lohan’s mother, that her trip to India where she saw the plight of the poor Indian children changed her and she is a different person now. Like it was the best therapy ?
Ok, enough of this. Enough of press and media attention gotten from celebrities visiting poverty stricken children in the world. Enough of media attention for celebrities adopting kids from materially deprived places all over the world. I think the attention should be on why, despite being the greatest consumers in the world, despite having every material choice they can imagine….
why does seeing someone else living in poverty make you feel better about yourself ?

Who does this planet belong to ?

View of the Church behind the Hotel in Innsbruck where I normally stay. Beautiful as the church is – this is the first time in years the locals recall there being no snow here on Christmas. It’s the same lament all over the Ski slopes too. There has been little snow, and of course the word on every persons lips this year is ‘Global Warming’. And everywhere the feeling in Europe is that the politicians have let us down.
Of course media is playing the blame game. Some blame the US and Obama for not following the Kyoto treaty – while others blame China (and India too) for playing a great game of one upmanship with the US and President Obama. Whatever happened it just showed that the current political system is completely inept at solving any global problem.
Who does the planet belong to ? Surely the fundamental resources belong equally to all beings on this planet – no one can argue that the air belongs to everyone. Every Chinese man woman and child has the same right to the fundamental resources necessary to keep life going as does every Western man woman and child. No more no less.
So why are we looking at Carbon footprints of nations as a whole ? It should be measured per capita, and if so, the whole equation changes. Will the West ever accept that ?

Kaveri with Bruno, her Ski Instructor in a snow storm in Innsbruck

Paani – can the making of fim be a community event ?

Why should a film be just one event ? Is it possible to share the evolution of a film – and create a community around it ? To share my thoughts and those of the others around it so the ultimate experience for the viewer is more personal and involved ?

Copenhagen talks are a complete sham : the wisdom of the prostitutes

In protest the prostitutes of Copenhagen offered free sex to the delegates of the Conference on Climate Change. They knew that nothing else would come off it, so just come and have fun u guys – and since your tax payers paid for all of you to fly down for a sojourn have a few drinks on us too.
What is Copenhagen about ? Posturing ? Politicking ? Individual political profiling ? The whole meaning of the climate conference is lost in meaningless and endless documents and words. The environmental cost of leaders of the world is stunning if nothing comes off it – and it seems nothing will. Meaningless stupidity.
I feel sorry and ashamed that I joined thousands of people around the world to encourage our Prime Minister to go. I did not realize it would have been so easy to subvert the process through such incredible complexity. It is so obvious that not one of the heads of state actually mean what they say.
The planet suffers from over consumption, period. 5 % of the populations consumes 80% of the worlds resources. So we HAVE to learn to live with less. We have to think about everything we do, right from simple things like how much water we expend in a shower, to the environmental cost of packaged food, even to number of clothes we buy, knowing that cotton growing is a hugely water consumptive activity,
We need to reevaluate the way we live.
And yet there is such a contradiction in what we call economic recovery- the so called Stimulus Plans all over the world ! They all work on getting the consumer to go back to consumption levels before the economic meltdown world – wide. The government of the United States is celebrating a a pre – Christmas shopping frenzy in the US as a sign of economic health –
But what about the health of our planet ?

Water Wars again ? Can we turn Bangladesh into a Desert ?

Sir , Now India making a Dam at the river of Barak …Which will cause the North-east part of Bangladesh to become a desert … Would love to know your views about this
For more >
The war Of Water Just been Started By India !!!
A Rahmaniac from Bangladesh

The light of love

let the light of love
shine through
even when
the darkness
of familiarity
begins to cast it’s shadows

From a Michael Jackson Fan

This is from Mariana : MJ was a non-literal artist. And the world has responded to him playing an irrelevant soap opera. There are many levels, messages and expressions of inner search in this gentle soul’s work, this soul from Gary, Indiana. He asked us to look in the mirror and the world turned the mirror around so he would be the only one looking at it. They “rationalized” him but true artists are pure heart and trying to explain this alchemy of artists is also irrelevant – they just are to be felt. I am so glad people are FEELING him now. I came back from Europe and oh, they get Michael!!!! They associate him with Marcel Marceau, the mime!!! We need to grow up and appreciate our artists.

Is Wisdom eternal ?

For me no, it’s a daily battle. One cannot assume one has it and stay with it. The battle between the Ego and compassion is an ongoing, almost daily one. For there is no better way to describe Wisdom but the ability to live, exist and act in a compassionate way.
That was my thought for my birthday yesterday, and I thank everyone for their good wishes.

The ‘Wallah’s’ in my life or when Cate Blanchet kissed Suresh

machichi wali.jpg
I saw the woman in glasses (on the left) 25 years ago.. Early in the morning she was running on the Juhu beach in Mumbai, sari and all, balancing the basket of fresh fish on her head that was tilted at a slightly awkward angle – probably the best way to balance the uncertain load on her head. I was told by her later (as she would deliver fish to my doorstep), that she ran to be able to get the fish to her customer in the freshest state possible. But I guess also to beat the competition. Over the years every time I got to the beach in the morning at the right time – I would see her run with the catch that just came off the fishing boats. How does she keep that fit, I thought ? And then a couple of years ago, I would never see her again. I wondered if she now had a different beat. Or something had happened to her.
Then today I saw her again. I asked her why she did not run on the beach any more and she showed me her swollen foot and leg. I asked her what was wrong, and she laughed and said “Age, Baba” something you would not know about yet (as if !). The she introduced me to her daughter (in the picture) who now does the same run. Anyway I wished her well and left. Later this evening she and her daughter turned up at my apartment in Juhu fully dressed up. They had cooked for me ! The most delicious Soorma Fish Curry you could have. And enough to feed me and many of my friends in an impromptu dinner party I quickly arranged.
Pity that we are losing these friends to the Super markets. Over the 20 years I have visited Mumbai off and on, I have had the same Milkman ( who beat me at football on the beach and would drag me to his house every festival for his mother to feed me to extinction), the son of the same fruit seller who’s charming negotiating skills taught me a thing or two of how to negotiate with Studio heads in Hollywood. And the family of the same sabzi wallah. I even have the same Bai who comes searching for me always to see if I am back. She has a bad back so I tell her to stay at home and I pay her salary in any case. But she insists on coming and supervising the cleaning of the house by a new, younger Bai. “This is my house”, she says proudly” Your mother employed me and only she can ask me to stop”. Well, my mother passed away many years ago, so I guess the Bai is here to stay.
And then I have Suresh who follows me around the world insisting that I need someone to look after me. he has been doing that for almost 15 years now. When in London, his cooking skills made me the most popular person in London. Friday nights in my house in London would be famous as Fish Curry nights – where Suresh would cook up the most amazing food for 30/40 people. If you want Suresh to go into deep colours of red, ask him to show you his picture with ‘Cate Memsahib’, where Cate Blanchet has her arms around Suresh and planting a firm kiss on his cheek. As a thank you for all the meals he fed her during the Golden Age shoot.
The other day the son of the Fruit Seller heard I was in town and came to say hello. He told me his story of woe. The police will not let them put out stalls in the street anymore, the shops are too expensive and the supermarkets are eating into their business. But they are now hitting back back with technology. Mobile phones !
Now I have everyone’s mobile phones. And if I am flying back from New York, I can phone my Fish seller, My fruit seller, my Vegetable vendor and my Bai – all of them a day ahead and tell them exactly what I need delivered to my doorstep as I arrive.
I hope the supermarkets do not drive these people out of business. I grew up with them, as I am sure many of you did.