Monday, September 19, 2011

Emmys Fashion Report

Red dominated the red carpet at the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards as it did the Academy Awards last year and most Indian weddings. Tell me of a bride who doesn't wear red, and I'll be at her doorstep tomorrow with a bouquet of black roses! OK digressing.....although many starlets opted to chili out in red and blend in with the red carpet, none of those dresses um stood out. Take Lea Michele for instance, for all her posing and preening - her red Marchesa dress was no stand out number. This is what it looks like, nice? kinda ordinary in my opinion.

So I wasn't loving the reds, but I found plenty of eye candy and fashion inspiration from these starlets. Here they are: *Drum Roll*!!

Sarah Hyland collaborated with Christian Siriano on this one-shouldered Grecian dress with the bejeweled belt. Such fashion savvy in one so young is to be admired!

Evan Rachel Wood channeled old Hollywood glamour in this Elie Saab gown. When in doubt, opt for the classic look.

Cobie Smulders stood out simply for wearing aquamarine. Don't recall seeing anyone else donning this shade. Why aren't we seeing more fresh colours like this on the red carpet?

Kaley Cuoco's was the only ballerina dress I saw at the Emmys. Her Romona Keveza tea-length dress stood out amongst a sea of slinky floor length gowns. I kinda like that she accessorised her black outfit with a red clutch and shoes. Nice!

I love this bright canary yellow vintage Helena Barbieri dress worn by Jennifer Westfeldt. Very feminine and summery.

Christina Hendricks amped up the glam factor in this shimmery Johana Johansson gown.

Martha Plimpton certainly got it right with this sequined dress the colour of berries!

Some loved it, some didn't. Either way Gwyneth Paltrow's two piece Pucci outfit certainly made an impression and got people talking. We'll be hearing more of this outfit in years to come I'm sure.

Julie Bowen wore Oscar de la Renta. I like the deep V-cut and metallic shimmer of her gown.
Amber Riley has been on my style radar for sometime now. This isn't her first outing on the red carpet, and she hasn't failed to dazzle each time. I like the colour and the jeweled detailing on the shoulders.
Cat Deeley was radiant in a gold and tulle Monique Lhuillier gown.
Claire Danes was glamorous and edgy in this sparkly geometric print Oscar de la Renta dress in blue and black hues.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Religion Is Not An Obligation

My motto has always been - "Do what you believe in and NOT that which you don't." This is something which I practise in every facet of my life, even religion and especially religion! Which brings me to the topic of today's rant.

Religion is about belief, you embrace it and practise it out of belief. And if you don't believe and can't bring yourself to embrace the beliefs of you religion, then you're a non-believer, a free thinker, an atheist etc. As far as my knowledge goes, not many people will come out right and make such a stand, and those who do, will usually be seen in an unfavourable light.

Because somewhere along the line, there arose this notion that believing in God makes you a good person, and those who don't are more likely to turn the Devil's way. Which of course is not true, because we only have to read the news to know that much evil has been perpetrated in the name of God and religion.

This post however is not in support of those who do not embrace a faith. It's about "blind followers" those who follow without understanding, and do things out of fear. Out of ignorance has risen strange rituals to appease the gods. But gods are not monsters or beasts to be appeased. God is to be approached, not appeased!

The Crux of the Matter

As a practising Hindu, many a time have I seen people perform rituals which they have no understanding of, simply because they felt it was better to do it then not. I have actually asked several people about this. Their reply was: " I wanna play safe!", "Better safe than sorry!" Are you kidding me? Are the divine powers going to rain down ill luck on you because you did not break several coconuts at the temple or perform costly Pujas (rituals). You think God works that way huh? Well God is not a corrupt politician or a government servant who can be greased with offerings.

 I'm a regular subscriber to Hindu Blog. I not only read the posts of the blogger, sometimes I peruse the comments as well. Once this guy wrote in asking if it was obligatory for him as a Hindu to perform this and that ritual on certain days. Call me weird, but I think its kinda sad when one views their religion as some sort of obligation to be performed.

In my opinion, when one approaches God out of sincerity, love and faith - all will be good. Even a little flower when offered by a genuine heart, will be accepted with love. In this age of materialism, one can buy the love of mortals, but not that of the cosmic powers.

The Ritual Factor

Now this does not mean that I'm downplaying the importance of ritual in Hinduism. There are reasons why  these rituals are performed and the inclusion of certain items also has significant value. For instance ghee is used in a lot of prayer ceremonies because of its purifying properties. Which is why Hindus are encouraged to light their prayer lamp with ghee instead of oil, because ghee purifies the air in the room.

However performing rituals which you don't understand head or tail of, will not yield the positive results you desire. If someone says you should perform some ceremonies to improve a certain area of your life, read up on it - the Internet is a fount of knowledge, or ask around.

No Obligation

A friend of mine visited Bali sometime ago, while touring the temples, her tour guide told her that many Balinese were becoming Muslims because practising Hinduism was becoming a toll on them - too many festivals to be observed and the rituals to be performed was taxing.

If someone wanted to convert because they believed in another religion, that's fine. But if one was converting because they felt that being a Hindu they are obligated to perform a myriad of rituals and ceremonies, that demonstrates a total ignorance of one's religion.

Don't feel obliged to do something out of fear. If you find you are unable to perform some act of worship or another, just don't do it. There is no need to feel obliged. No divine power is going to rain down calamity into your life for that, and it doesn't make you any less of a devotee.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

When Boy & Dog Don't Meld

Most kids would love to have pets, that is the general notion isn't it? But how many of these children can actually be trusted with domestic animals - cats, dogs, hamsters, birds, etc. I have heard of instances where children have caused trauma to animals by the innocent act of playing with them.

For the children involved it was fun, but for the poor creatures in question, it resulted in being blinded in one eye for a dog, a bad limp for one poor cat, and being frightened to death for an unfortunate hamster who was just brought home from the pet shop.

Hearing about cases like these where irresponsible  children were left to handle animals is one thing, having to witness it is another thing altogether, and this is where my story starts...........

A few days ago, we had some visitors who came with kids in tow. Usually when people come visiting, Lexie our nine month old German Shepherd  is leashed to the fence, so there is no fear of her jumping on anyone.
Lexie gets excited when she sees new people - so she might jump. After this particular visit however, I was left wondering whether we leashed the right one!

This is what transpired. After the adults entered the house, two boys aged about 8 years old remained outside in the porch, reason being - they wanted to play with Lexie. My brother had removed her leash, so did Lexie advance towards the boys? No. But they did, they kept touching her, putting their hands on any part of her body that they could reach, and poor Lexie kept running towards my brother each time this happened. 

Even when she went to her water bowl to drink, the molestation continued, at this point she turned towards the boys and barred her teeth. But as soon as my brother told her: "NO!" she stopped. But the boys did not.

When I came to the front door to see what all the commotion was about, Lexie ran to me and stood up, holding the grill gate for support. As I was stroking her head, one of the boys came up and started tugging at her, urging her to get down. The poor dog jumped down and ran to my brother.

Irritated at what was happening, I went out to put a stop to the menace. Oh but just as I was stepping out, I heard the mother of the boy who was tugging at Lexie, proudly say that her son was a master of dogs! When my mum remarked that dogs might bite when you keep putting your hands in front of their mouth the way he kept doing.

My very frazzled brother then decided to take Lexie for grooming (to keep her out of harm's way). But alas the fates were not kind to Lexie that day. For shortly later, my brother called to say that the pet shop could not do any grooming that day.

You wanna know what the mothers of those two boys said when they heard this? They laughed and said God must have answered their sons' prayers! I was quite aghast that they actually thought it was okay for their sons to treat a dog like that! What if she was a fierce dog? What if she had bit their kids for molesting her? Dogs do that you know........have they not heard stories of people who have knowingly or not irritated dogs and got bitten for it.

Lexie's Ordeal Continues...........

My brother brings her back and ties her to the fence near the front gate, the kids run out in glee, swarming all over her. My brother who has to go out, calls me aside and tells me to keep a watch, as he fears they might hurt her in someway.

As I make my way back to Lexie, I see that the poor dear is curled up in a ball, trying to hide her head, as the boys keep at her. I know Lexie, I've known her since she was a little pup, I've never seen her so afraid of people before. She's a friendly dog, loves people, loves attention.

Naturally I'm pissed off, very pissed off at this point. So I tell the boys: "No touching, she's afraid!" Do they listen? Nope, they still try to get around me to touch her. So I keep shielding her while trying to swat the boys off, my sister who notices what is happening from inside, comes out and tries to get them away from Lexie too.

Then to my horror I notice that Lexie is shivering uncontrollably! I hollered for my mother who was in the midst of entertaining, telling her that Lexie was traumatised. Now if you were a parent, and you heard that your kid traumatised someone's pet, what would you do? At the very least you would go get your kid and admonish them right?

Oh no, not these parents, they were happy to sit and my mum came out and chased the kids in and closed the door. For fear that they might traumatise Lexie again, my sister and I sat out with her until they left.

As we sat next to her, stroked her head and spoke to her soothingly, she gradually became better. Lexie was so afraid, that each time I even tried to move a little, she would quickly wrap her head and body around my leg, fearing that I might leave her, that's how frightened she was.

As much as Lexie a canine can understand the word "No", these boys obviously can't. Even when leaving, they ran towards her and tried to put their hands on her face and body once more. So once again I had to fend them off!

At one point I noticed that one of the boys was putting his hands over her eyes, so I lifted his hands off her and told him: "No!!" he ran off. It should have been his mum doing that, where was she? Is a dog so low down on the scale of existence that you think there is no need to discipline your child for such behaviour?

Education is Crucial

Who do I blame for how Lexie was treated? I blame the parents. Those boys are not toddlers. At their age, they should know that doing that could frighten her, and they should have been able to recognise her fear and stop.

But judging by their behaviour, it's obvious that they have not been taught to respect and care for other life forms. These boys clearly lacked humane education. I know that sometimes children get overly excited when seeing animals, but when the situation gets out of hand, it is the responsibility of the parents to intervene. When you don't, your kids are not learning the valuable lesson from the situation that they should be. So they are very likely to repeat such acts in future.

From my observation, many parents out there are so caught up with getting their kids to ace exams, that they forget that there are other aspects that need to be developed as well. Like emotional intelligence. IQ is not above EQ. You need both to be a well balanced human being.

Food for Thought

Many people seemed to think this was soo.... cute. I didn't.
Do you know that some dogs have become crippled because of this. Read the story here:

Friday, September 2, 2011


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