Art is the proper task of life

{September 20, 2007}   A Desire in the Bangles

By Gagan Gill

A desire is in the girl’s bangles:
first they will break on his bed
then on the threshold of his house.
But why on the threshold?
Because in the girl there is a woman
mourning – who is not yet
a widow
but a widow to be.
The girl’s fear throbs in her veins
as far as her bangles
The girl’s desire throbs in them
The girl’s mourning throbs in them
Where is the girl’s man
for whom mourning runs in her veins
for whom desire is in her bangles?
Her man is caught
in some other body
some other dream
sorrow, other tears
His every sorrow, dream, tear
is beyond the reach of the mourning girl…
But the girl is only a girl
in her is that primal innocence,
madness, death,
whose punishment
she will give to that man
one day
when she will break her bangles…

Translated from Hindi by Jane Duran


{September 10, 2007}   Spears, Spears, Dis-spears

Little miss Aliana goes to Yahoo News to find out what’s new in the world i.e., things of importance, things that matter to humanity but what is the top news? Scantly Clad, not really clad Britney Spears. Its gets even “better”, most people were concerned that she looked fat and un-hot (I know that’s not a work, Ok!). First of all why should one be concerned with Britney’s next move or how fat or how thin she looks and secondly can we please get a break from raunchville on television. Consider the following excerpt from a news story.

Stripping down to just her smalls, Britney performed a raunchy dance routine and lip-synched to her new song with a team of back-up dancers that ended in a mock-orgy.

A mock what? Did I read that correctly? There you have it people, apparently this is the most important story in the world these days, a mock orgy. It says something about the media doesn’t it. Or may be it also says something about ourselves, as a people!

{September 7, 2007}   Muslim Tees


A new discovery at ISNA (its Islamic Society of North America and not I am Single ‘N Available, mind it!) – Muslim Tees. Their designs are just awesome. Previously they had tees for only brothers but now they have rectified their ‘mistake.’ (Don’t forget that sisters are an important part of the economic demographic, perhaps even more important than the brothers!) Anyways the designs are pretty cool so I highly recommend it. So here is their website:

There are some stories which are sad and speak for themselves. This is one of those stories. Especially for people from South Asia, Philippines and even Indonesia who are poor and are working in KSA Muttawa can be a force to be feared not because they ‘enforce’ religious edicts but because of their harsh attitude and act as if they control everything. Here is an excerpt from a story at Yahoo!

A Bangladeshi man died of fright after being arrested by Saudi Arabia’s controversial religious police for washing a car instead of praying, a local newspaper reported on Sunday.

The unnamed man died last week in the holy city of Medina after being detained by members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, Al-Jazirah reported.

The Arabic daily said the man “convulsed in fear after he was arrested, leading to a drop in his blood pressure and causing his death.”

The man was arrested by members of the commission, commonly known as the Muttawa, for washing a car during a time of day when he should have been at prayer, the paper said.

Yes, you read it right. Appearently some self-appointed Mullahcrat thinks that “Only girls with bad character go to college.” This is yet another example of perversion of religion and shows that how self styled spokesmen (I can’t use the word spokesperson here since these people would certainly say that there is no such thing as a spokeswoman) lack the basic knowledge of Islam. Have they forgotten the hadiath about obtaining knowledge being obligatory on all Muslim men and women? May be I am being too kind when I say have they forgotten, may be they have not heard about it! Well, God knows best. Here is the excerpt about the absurdity.

The sisters allege their neighbour Mohammad Ali Nisar Ansari assaulted their parents and brother on May 11. Ansari allegedly asked the sisters’ father Yasheen Sheikh not to send them to college.

Ansari and other men in their locality believe that “only girls with bad character go to college” and did not want sisters to study after school. The family was told that Islam does not “permit” girls to study.

“They threatened me and abused my family. They beat up my father and brother so badly that there was blood all over the floor,” says Samina.

Samina alleges Nagpada police station officials refused to accept her complaint, the petition said.

Remember Logic 101, if not here is a primer.


  1. “Only girls with bad character go to college”
  2. Aliana goes to College.
  3. Aliana is a girl.


Therefore, Aliana is …. never mind. We all know that Logic is haraam.

What do I mean by this? FHM an the likes have arrived in the Middle Kingdom. As I have stated before women can wear what they want but promoting a highly sexualized image of women is just plain wrong.

However, some critics say what it proved most successfully was that sex and sexuality sell in China just as they do in other countries. In fact, the magazine puts pictures of scantily clad models on the cover and, of course, a lot more inside.

And when they talk about content, they really do not mean text or articles they mean pictures and not just pictures but that kind of pictures.

“We offer content that will interest men,” said Wang Xiaofeng, the executive editor. “Most of the staff are men. And they know too well what content they want.”

Regarding my last comment about the articles well I take it back, consider this.

With pictures that are considered quite “bold” by Chinese standards and with such topics as “having sex while standing up”, the magazine’s editors know too well that they ought to be careful.
“We censor ourselves in terms of how far we can go,” said Jin.

Censor ourselves? Excuse me but that’s not what it looked like?

Pan Suiming, a sociologist at Renmin University in Beijing, says the magazine reflects the overall trend in Chinese magazines toward sexual explicitness. He said the trend has been noticeably evolving and intensifying over the past five years. While acknowledging that Chinese women are more confident today in displaying their physical beauty, the trend is predominantly driven by commercialism, he said.

Commercialism, of course what else. Sometimes it feels as if commodification of the consumer will be the ultimate height of commercialism and consumerism. Rest assurred, all is not lost.

Another cover girl, Shao Yuhan, received much media attention because her mother became very indignant about the magazine after seeing her daughter’s pictures and wrote an open protest letter, criticizing the magazine for leading a promising singer like her daughter in the wrong direction. That protest eventually earned an apology from the magazine, which said it was not like Playboy magazine.

Just read another example of pomo (Postmodernism) gone wrong. There is a limit to the use of euphemisms after which it starts to sound absurd. Yes one can analyze everything in terms of power structures but after a certain limit it starts to sound redundant, detrimental and even counter productive. Criticism for the sake of criticism and for sounding erudite is detrimental. I do not think that this is what Foucault had in mind when he was talking about power structures. Reading this article was like reading 1984. Consider the following excerpts.

At the beginning of his 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language,” George Orwell made clear that he thought the language had become disheveled and decadent. Intending shock, Orwell offered five examples of subliterate prose by known writers. But these selections don’t look as ghastly to us as they did to Orwell, because language is so much worse today. Consider some recent usages.

In plain English, what does it mean when students “achieve a deficiency” or reach a “suboptimal outcome?” It means they failed. A “suboptimal outcome” is even worse in a hospital. It means the patient died. The airline industry sometimes speaks of a “hull loss.” What it means is that a plane just crashed. Here’s more twisted language: your doorman is now known as an “access controller,” and a receptionist is a “director of first impressions.” Hospital bills can be filled with such language. How about a “thermal therapy unit”—an ice bag—or a “disposable mucus recovery unit,” also known as a box of Kleenex?

But the institution that wins the coveted convoluted-language award is the government—any government, in any country. A U.S. document speaks of “ground-mounted confirmatory route markers.” Translation: road signs. In Oxford, England, city officials decided to “examine the feasibility of creating a structure in Hinksey Park from indigenous vegetation.” They were talking about planting a tree to get some shade. Joyce Kilmer’s famously awful non-poem reads: “Poems are made by fools like me/But only God can make a tree.” Today, Kilmer might have to write: “Versified and rhythmic non-prose verbal arrangements are fashioned by people of alternative intelligence such as myself, but only the divine entity, should he or she actually exist, can create a solar-shielding park structure from low-rise indigenous vegetative material.”

I would recommend reading the whole article. It offers a good short primer on the abuse of language. Since language is the primary construct through which we create our worlds, manipulating language may be the best way to manipulate people. Imagine if people that out. Wait, they already have!

This gave me an idea, from now onwards I will be doing a postmodern analysis of some of my blogging friends. Lets see if you people can figure out what I am trying to say. 🙂

James Bond is an unrealistic misogynist good for nothing chauvanistic pig! That’s right, that’s what he is- A Misogynist Pig! A Misogynist Pig! A Misogynist Pig! A Misogynist Pig! A Misogynist Pig!

I am glad I got that out of my system. Now back to grading.

{March 28, 2007}   Versace

Donatella Versace’s stick-figure 20-year-old daughter, has anorexoa. Should we be surprised?

{March 20, 2007}   Work Areas Blog

Check it out at

I would put mine up but I haven’t organized it since 2005!

et cetera