Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Because it's funny!

Okay, I do not want to offend any actual desi's reading my blog. But we must all admit, melodrama in any color is funny, and if you have my sense of humor, it's funny when it's not supposed to be. That was the problem with Bride and Prejudice. How can you make a parody of something that's so pleasantly funny to begin with? It doesn't work. For the uninitiated, this is not to imply that ALL Bollywood-style films are unintentionally funny. (Khakee wasn't.) It is just to say that the following things are cause for humor:

  • It seems all the houses are excessively drafty. How else would the wind begin to blow indoors, causing two lovers’ hair to billow as they make eye contact?
  • Seemingly benign conversations burst into song. (Now, before you suggest that American musicals do the same thing, go watch My Fair Lady again! Typically, there is a slight transition, the character turns to the side, begins to reflect to himself, music begins softly in the background. Then, and only then, the song begins.)
  • Bollywood stars are obscenely talented actors, dancers and sometimes singers, HOWEVER, if your character is supposed to be a musician I need you to take some lessons!!! My friend Aaron who plays guitar, nearly burst into hysterical tears watching Hrithik not-even-pretend-to-play guitar during a song in K3G. Likewise, Mohabbatein made me want to burn something down because I played violin for years and could offer Sharukh Khan a few lessons on how to fake it. I couldn’t finish the movie because of it.
  • Black people are NOT the only ones who roll their necks. Okay, maybe the Indian version of this could better be described as a head bob, but it still makes me laugh. It’s that little movement used for emphasis when saying something cute like, “I don’t think so auntie!” This is probably not a source of amusement to everyone but the first time I saw it I was like, “No, she didn’t!” The cool thing is, if you’re Indian, even a guy can pull off this move and still be hot.

That’s all. If I think of any others, I'll let you know.

Note: I have decided to no longer dialogue about Hrithik's thumbs. Enough is enough. He will always be my Bollywood boyfriend numero uno and when he gets the extra thumb removed, we can get married. I know. I know. He’s already married. But you know how movie stars are, those relationships never last…

Monday, January 30, 2006

Rapping with Mr. T.

(How in the world did I miss this during the 80's?!?) As my Sister Liz would say, this "made me weak." I could hardly breathe. In fact, I had to close my eyes to catch my breath and believe me, the image will stay with you forever. Presenting, "Treat Your Mother Right," a rap song by Mr. T... (Press the triangle to begin.)

Please T, don't hurt 'em...

How to Keep Your Black Woman (for the white men who love them)

Guess Who was a film for the children. Something New is for grown folks.

I caught a sneak preview of Something New today courtesy of my girls Tia and Toya aka Black Girls Like Us. I REALLY liked this movie. It's very rare that anyone writes drama-free* love stories for the urban audience much less a story for educated black women. (*Please note the usage here. I don't mean the film didn't have a story, I just mean there was no cheating or fist fights.)

Furthermore, it's about time somebody wrote a manual for the white man on How to Keep your Black Woman. I suppose the caveat to this would be the appendix item: Black men, if, like Blair Underwood's character, you are successful, well-meaning and still get dissed for no appearant reason by a sister of equal status, please do not be offended and switch teams. There are other sistas out there who will drop everything to be with you.

The manual in a nutshell (everything else falls under the general "love" category):

  1. Try to make yourself known. (Work the room. Show you ain't skaird.)
  2. When a brotha steps to you about the relationship, come correct. (DO NOT miss this one or you are SO FIRED!) a.k.a. Stand up for your relationship at all costs.
  3. Don't whig out when it's time to talk about issues of race.
  4. Stay away from a sista's hair please! (Don't make her tell you twice.)

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Triple Thumb Hrithik

Yikes! One of the readers over at Sepia Mutiny brought this photo of Hrithik Roshan, my Bollywood boyfriend, to my attention.
I actually yelped out loud when I saw it up close...
(Click on the image to see it supersized.)

Where’s the BEliEFs?

Lest I leave any of my readers wondering, “Where’s the BEliEFs in this ‘Belief, Blackness & Bollywood thing?” I hereby introduce BEliEFs.

It is so easy to write about hobbies, interests, hot boys, cool movies and to make fun of celebrities, but it’s super difficult to put matters of faith into words. (I guess that’s why I always explain things in brief, Hemingway-like sentences and attempt to overcompensate by using analogies.)

Anyway, for the record I am a Christian. Not by birth but by choice. I am not Catholic. Not that I have anything against Catholics but I wanted to dispel the image of statues and rosary beads that was probably forming in your mind. I go to a church that is housed in a former two-story office building with a makeshift auditorium. Our meeting space is kind of symbolic of the faith relationship. The God of the Universe steps into strange, remarkably empty vessels and turns them into usuable spaces. He inhabits the hearts and minds of those who let Him, not because human beings are fabulously appealing to an infinite being but because He’s not into being fancy, He’s into function. We are His hands and feet on earth. That’s the theoretical side.

On a personal note, my faith is important to me. I’ve learned to value it because it serves as the magnetic force that rights the compass of my life. Even when I’m not going the direction I should be, I at least know I’m headed the wrong way. As for the personal nature of God, that is an ongoing discovery and discussion for another time…

Friday, January 27, 2006

Toby Keith and Anthony Anderson - brothas

Am I the only person in Nashville who thinks these two look like cousins?

Don't let this stop you from loving Bollywood (Brown Identity Issues)

So it's not just me! I read this post by amardeep on Sepia Mutiny and I quote:

But in terms of its attitude to skin complexion and actors' facial physiognomy, the recent wave of Anglo-looking actors and actresses suggests it's a no-contest. Or perhaps I should say, it's still a no-contest: Indian actors have always tended to be much lighter-skinned than ordinary Indians, and the projection of 'western lifestyle' has been a part of Indian movie mythology for at least 40 years. And it's always been somewhat troubling to me -- a sign of a lingering colonial mentality.

The difference now, in this era of hybridity-globalization, is that the simulacrum of whiteness is approaching perfection.

Aside from all dem big wurds, I agree completely. I've only watched about 25 Indian films but Mira Nair is the only desi director I've seen who uses brown actors. She lives in Africa. Nuf said.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


This post is courtesty of my Sister Liz. It is a sad, sad moment for anyone who was ever inspired to daaaance with someboddaaay. Say it ain't so...

They were taken at a convenience store in Alpharetta, Georgia and proves that Whitney Houston is back on crack or something. Jamal Mitchell of Marietta, Georgia is posing with the singer. "The once-stunning Grammy winner was photographed at an Atlanta gas station at 4 a.m. one morning last month, looking disheveled and bizarre in pajama bottoms, and a $50,000 fur coat and a messy wig.

Jamal: I was pumping gas and noticed her driving up in a Porsche Cheyenne SUV. She was alone as she pulled into the parking lot of the convenient store near GA 400 in Alpharetta. I told my partner, "Yo man, that's Whitney Houston! " She got out of the vehicle and purchased 5 or 6 packs of cigarettes. I approached her and asked if I could take a picture. She said, "Sure, Do you have a camera?" I ran to my car where my camera was and she took three pictures with me. She was nice, but she wasn't the Whitney Houston I was use to seeing on TV and in music videos. She was very thin too and her breath smelled like liquor and smoke.

Just because you have 3 THUMBS doesn't mean you're not HOT...

The question is not, "Is Hrithik hot?" The question is, "Would I scream in his face if he tried to shake my hand, or burst out crying?"

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

My Bollywood Boyfriend, Hrithik Roshan -- EXHIBIT A

Something told me not to watch LAKSHYA. The reviews were mediocre and it was about some guy (okay, my Bollywood boyfriend, Hrithik Roshan) going off to war and finding himself. Um, yeah. But since the not-so-friendly lady at the Indian market took the time to check the dvd for English subtitles, I felt obliged to check out not one but two movies. Lakshya being the last minute add on.

Regardless of how sucky I thought the movie was going to be, I was willing to try it out since my Bollywood boyfriend, Hrithik Roshan, is a wonderful dancer in the most Gene-Kelly-meets-Michael-Jackson sort of way and every film I’ve seen him in takes full advantage of this. I’ll spare the ragged details of the story line and get to this, one of the most unexpected moments of my life: Exhibit A.

Sadly, much like the last dating relationship I had, I noticed something strange and thought it was just a fluke. I had seen the strange thumb formation in another film (Koi Mil Gaya). It was a sci-fi. “Wow! I thought to myself, that extra thumb on my Bollywood boyfriend, Hrithik Roshan’s hand looks SO real! What an authentic touch to add to the film.” I’m really starting to think I’m a sucker…

My Bollywood Boyfriend, Hrithik Roshan -- EXHIBIT B

I think these speak for themselves, however, since I love to narrate, I will.

Image 1: Alien thinks, “What the *#@*?!?” as he sees my Bollywood boyfriend, Hrithik Roshan, extend his hand with extra thumb in greeting.

Image 2: Alien realizes the extra thumb is firmly attached and agrees to return the greeting.

Image 3: Bringing new meaning to the phrase, “reach out and touch somebody’s hand,” the alien stutters in a Darth Vader like tone, “I-I-I’m your father.”

Monday, January 23, 2006


This is cool. I’m glad that another black person out there found a good use for over-enunciating besides preaching and politics. Read how my man fooled the KKK of Kolorado here: African-American cop infiltrates the KKK.

Who knew the Klan was still alive and well in the Rockies?! I guess the South got too hot for ‘em or maybe they just found their potential recruitees too ignorant below the Mason-Dixon and east of the Mississippi


Hrithik Roshan is FAR too good looking. If the first movie I had seen had him in it, he probably would have been reason Number One.


I’ve been thinking an awful lot about marriage lately. I realized, not so long ago, that I’m finally ready to get married. I keep trying to figure out why. I never anticipated that this day would come. It’s not really my style. Or maybe, I never anticipated that this day would come and my prospects would be so bleak, to be more exact. Yes, I think that’s it. That’s the real problem. I’m 27 years old and I feel ridiculously old. This probably has something to do with the fact that I’ll be 28 in less than two months, marking the 10th anniversary of my release from the prison of my parents’ authority. I’m beginning to think I’ve quite wearied myself on independence. I really, REALLY, wouldn’t have believed it possible even five years ago. But then five years ago I was still coming to appreciate my release from the tyrannical prison that was Liberty University. So maybe that’s the essence of it, I’ve been out of college a full five years now, quickly closing in on six years and I have fully, firmly and completely established my independence. It’s almost like that moment in Cast Away when Tom Hanks’ character realizes no one is coming to get him…

I nearly did get married a year and a half ago. It was a precipitous climb to an unanticipated destination. At the time I became engaged, age 25 seemed golden and full of possibilities. The realism and cruelty of the march of time had not yet set in. I had not yet peeked into the valley into which I have currently descended. The valley is deep and wide. The engagement fell apart, not because I wasn’t ready (I wasn’t) but because he absolutely wasn’t right. And so I tumbled into the valley of aging and singleness all at once. I had absolutely no warning that either was about to befall me. Naturally I had anticipated the milestone of 30 but I had previously envisioned it as a brightly colored flag to wave wildly in brave allegiance to independence, childlessness and aging gracefully (no post-pregnancy bellies here, thank you). In my most liberal of envisionments, I allowed for the inclusion of a suave, metropolitan, punk/hardcore, suburbanite, creative, intellectual, spontaneous—yet responsible man at my side, loyally grasping the flag—this marker of my achievement, as I plunged it into the ground, commemorating my triumph…

So ladies and gentlemen, one might be tempted to ask, “Why the change of heart? Why grow so weary so quickly? Was the breakup so horrendous as to shift the entire matrix under which you had been existing?!?” Why yes, if you must know, it was. But that is not what brought the change of heart. Somewhere in the middle of, or toward the end of, that relationship, I discovered love. It was like a secret garden barren and dry brought to life. Like Santa Claus, love was an idea I had long abandoned in childhood. As it gained life anew, its roots expanded with unflinching tenacity. Suddenly, the world had a different hue…

It was around this time I discovered Bollywood. I suddenly found myself able to appreciate a movie like Dil Se. It is a story of heartbreak and a story of love. Melodrama aside, the film Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham impacted me deeply by the very idea that someone would ever go to such great lengths to bring their family back together. While I realize these are just films, they are based in an ideal, in a consciousness that organizes itself around love. In the words of India Arie, “I am ready for love.” At least for now I have Bollywood.