Tuesday, 01 November 2011 11:57

The Last Dance

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By Awaaz Umadevi Hasslauer - the doyen of Indian classical dancing in Kenya. Actress, classical dancer and educationist, she arrived in Kenya in 1952 and immediately went on stage to act in feminine roles. Those were the days when acting was taboo for Indian women and the norm was for young men to dress up like girls and play female roles. She not only became a symbol of courage and inspiration for young girls but also shared her talents and cultural knowledge with them. As a dance teacher in the Duchess of Gloucester School (now Pangani Girls School), as a…
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 11:57

Namesake

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By Awaaz Is based on the Pulitzer Prizewinning novelist Jhumpa Lahiri's acclaimed novel. The book, explores the lives of an Indian-American family. The film grabs the audience from the first frame with the colourful titles -- the names of the cast and crew appearing in Bengali and then transforming into English. The movie remains faithful to Lahiri's novel, but stands strong by itself. Especially remarkable are the scenes showing the loneliness of Ashima (Tabu), the young bride from Calcutta, who makes her home in a gray and cold New York (Nair makes the departure from the book by setting it…
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 11:56

Kabul Express

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By Awaaz Kabul Express is not a documentary, but a tale to show the current scenario of Afghanistan post-9/11, post Pakistan abandoning them. John Abraham plays a journalist and Arshad Warsi is his cameraman. They land up in Afghanistan for a story and end up being taken hostage -- along with their Afghan driver and an American journalist - by an escaping Pakistani Colonel who was a Taliban member. Yash Raj Films decides to experiment with Kabul Express, a song-less film. Technically, every department is top notch. As an actor, Arshad steals the show. Salman Shahid and Hanif Humghum are…
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 11:56

RANG DE BASANTI

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By Azar Zaidi When the Delhi police decides to play recorded messages, which is almost all the time in this day and age of terrorism, warning the public to be vigilant and taking the good 'war on terror' to your local market, to the cinemas, into your backyard and your favoured malls, I'm guessing the idea is to thwart terrorism by slowly killing off our brain cells! The Delhi police has us dancing to its tune, literally. Its anti-terror warnings, played against the background of scratchy music has become something like a soundtrack of our everyday existence, filling into the…
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 11:55

Shameful Fleight

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By Arthur J Pais Historian Stanley Wolpert's new book , Shameful Flight, revisits Partition, and lays the blame for one of the most horrific episodes of the 20th century squarely on the shoulders of a Briton. Admiral Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas 'Dickie' Mountbatten, the favourite cousin of British King George VI, was famous for his charm. His sycophants in England called it irresistible. His admirers in the British government even thought of him as a statesman who could charm discontented nationalist leaders of the British Empire, and tease out of them agreements that seemed impossible for other British diplomats…
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 11:55

THE BLUE LIGHT

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By Victoria Allen A PUNGLISH novel has been published for the first time. The Blue Light fuses Punjabi words with an English sentence structure to create the hybrid language its author, Rupinderpal Dhillon, hears spoken all the time. Mr Dhillon, who lives in Horley with his family, said: "Indian people have been in this country for around 100 years now and most of my generation have been brought up here. We speak and think in English but communicate with our parents in Punjabi. This is the way we all speak and, according to some experts, it is the second most…
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 11:54

GLOBAL SOUTH ASIANS

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By Judith Brown By the end of the twentieth century some nine million people of South Asian descent had left India, Bangladesh or Pakistan and settled in different parts of the world, forming a diverse and significant modern diaspora. In the early nineteenth century, many left reluctantly to seek economic opportunities which were lacking at home. This is the story of their often painful experiences in the diaspora, how they constructed new social communities overseas and how they maintained connections with the countries and the families they had left behind. It is a story compellingly told by one of the…
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 11:53

OYSTER BAY AND OTHER SHORT STORIES

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By Jules S. Damji The title of this book gives no indication of its fascinating account of the realities experienced by a middle class South Asian community having settled in East Africa for several generations. The stories could have been played out anywhere in the region but the camaraderie between the African workers and their South Asian employers, the intellectual power house on the Hill, the empathy with the liberation struggle further south of the continent and the references to socialism, make it uniquely Tanzanian. The stories also encompass some universal truths which are the bedrock of an immigrant minority…
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 11:53

THE KARMA OF BROWN FOLK

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By Lily Grewal and Omme-Salma Rahemtullah "How does it feel to be the solution?" Vijay Prashad begins his book, The Karma of Brown Folk, with a clever reworking of the question that W.E.B. Du Bois had asked over a hundred years ago of Blacks living in the US in his seminal book, The Souls of Black Folk. Building on Du Bois' notion of race consciousness, Prashad presents an analysis of the construction of desis in the US throughout recent history. A cornerstone of his book is Prashad's critique of South Asians as the 'model minority' within the United States, stating…
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 11:52

NEVER BE SILENT

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By Shehina Fazal This book provides a comprehensive review of the press and publications in Kenya, from the beginning of the British colonial rule to independence in 1963. The book highlights the manipulation and misinformation practices that were in existence during this period that started from the Berlin conference of 1884 when the European nations carved out the continent of Africa for their imperialist objectives, to the Lancaster House conference in 1963 where independence for Kenya was discussed. The book starts with glowing introductions by Ngugi wa Thiong'o, and Marika Sherwood. Following these, the first chapter provides an overview of…
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