Saheli*: Musings and Observations
Monday, June 21, 2004
 
Rushdie & Lakshmi, New Magazines, Gala Dinner, Shazia Mirza

A note wrapping up the SAJA conference: Friday night we had a reception with Salman Rushdie and Padma Lakshmi. Beforehand I met a reporter who looks like he could be Rushdie's younger twin. I managed to park myself directly in front of the celebrity couple, so I could glance over to my right and compare the two. Lakshmi was wearing iridescent strappy stiletto sandals, and I finally understood why designers make shoes like that. She has a ballet dancer's legs and feet, even though she's probably too tall to be one, and the stiletto heel essentially put her en pointe, creating a straight line down from her knees to her toes. She rather amusingly shoved her shorter husband aside from the mike whenever she wanted to interject a point. They did not disappoint, though I find these free-for-all question and answer sessions less than profound. Ultracasual was there, and Seshu Badrinath of Tiffinbox took a photograph.

Saturday morning revealed that the South Asian community is simply churning with start ups and projects. Shruti Reddy was representing the Arizona based EW: East West Woman, a glossy magazine aimed at women with Asian roots. I also met Pamela Arora, the editor of AnokhiVibe, Radhika Singh from the upcoming Ego Magazine, and Navdeep Kathuria, the editor of ABCDLady (opens up a PDF of the cover). It will be interesting to see if the market can sustain four glossy women's magazines. I particularly liked EW's concept of trying to appeal to a broader range of cultures. There was a representative from an incipient digital tv company who spun his company's vision as aimed at South Asians--and anyone else interested in South Asia. That appeals to me much more. I prefer to focus less on simply writing for and about South Asians in America, and more on getting all kinds of Americans talking and learning about South Asia and South Asian culture--both there and here.

At the reception for the Gala dinner I was wandering around when one gentleman's nametag caught my eye--or rather the affiliation. "Springer-Verlag!" I gasped, "What are you doing here?" He was as mystified about my enthusiastic recognition as the man standing next to me, who had never heard of Springer-Verlag. Springer-Verlag is one of the premier publishers of math and physics books, though of course a Springer-Verlag author probably didn't expect to find one of their fans at a journalism conference. Sharing a room with my sister as a child, I was often surrounded by piles of yellow books with the Springer seal on the spine, and in college I actually used to look forward to the annual "Yellow Sale." Lior once relayed a tale to me (I don't know if it's an urban legend) of the Springer-Verlag truck being hijacked in Cambridge, MA--probably one of the few cities where a book truck might be considered more lucrative a target than a gasoline truck. Well, besides math and physics, they publish books on things like business and economics, and the gentleman I met,Mark Kobayashi-Hillary, has written a book on Outsourcing to India. The Gala featured a wonderful slideshow of SAJA members' photography set to music by Seshu Badrinath's Pipal Productions--keep an eye on his site for it to be posted. It made me hungry to travel.

Yesterday we got a performance by Shazia Mirza, Britain's premier Muslim Comedienne. Probably only Muslim Comedienne. I was amused, though her schtick about asking any man who spoke up if he was single, and then saying (if he answered yes) "I can see why," got old fast, and I had already heard many of the jokes on radio shows about her.

 


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Saheli Datta started this when she was a journalism student at Columbia in New York. Now she lives in the Bay Area. *Old people call me R. New people, call me Saheli. Thanks! My homepage. Specifically, my links. Email me: Saheli [AT] Gmail [dot] Com

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Blogs I Read (Or Try To)
113th Street
american footprints(Nadezhda & Praktike)
ANNA's Diary
Apartment Therapy
Armchair Generalist
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
Dave Barry
The Bellman
Mine's On The 45 (Brimful)
Campaign Desk (CJR)
ChennaiCentral
ClimateBoy
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Crooked Timber
Daily Dose of Imagery
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Dark Days Ahead
The Decembrist
Brad DeLong
Atanu Dey on India's Development (Deeshaa)
Daniel Drezner
Ennis
Ephemera
Cyrus Farivar
Finding My Voice
Forsv
Neil Gaiman
Ganesh Blog
Geeky Chic 2.0 (Echan)
Geomblog
Green Ink!
Heliolith
Alexandra Huddleston
Iddybud (Jude Nagurney Camwell)
Indeterminacy
India Uncut
InSpiteOfEverything
Intel Dump: Phillip Carter et al
The Intersection (Chris Mooney)
Jesus Politics
John and Belle Have a Blog
Mark A. R. Kleiman
KnowProse (Taran Rampersad)
1Locana
Maenad (Nori Heikkinen)
Scott McCloud
Mind Without Borders
Electrolite: Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Corey Pein
Political Animal(Kevin Drum, formerly Calpundit)
Kevin G. Powell
QuakeHelp (South Asian Quake)
Radiation Persuasion (Nick)
Reneebop
Rhinocrisy
Scott Rosenberg(Salon.com)
Rox Populi
Felix(&Rhian)Salmon
samVaad
Nick Schager
Idea Spout: Daniel Sanchez
Sepia Mutiny
Amardeep Singh
Snarkmarket (Robin Sloan & Matt Thompson)
South-East Asian Earthquake and Tsunami Blog
SreeTips: New To Sree
Steprous (Bear)
Robert Stribley
Subjunctive.net:klog
Talking Points Memo: Joshua Micah Marshall
Tech Policy
TiffinBox
A Tiny Revolution
To The Teeth
TreeHugger
Unfogged
VatulBlog
Venk@
Manish Vij
Vinod's Blog
War and Piece
Nollind Whachell
Wonkette
WorldChanging
Matthew Yglesias:Old
Yglesias:Tpmcafe
Zoo Station:Reuben Abraham
Ethan Zuckerman
Zwichenzug



Some Categories

Blogs focusing on policy, politics, and national security:
Armchair Generalist
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
The Decembrist
Brad DeLong
Daniel Drezner
Eschaton(Atrios)
Green Ink!
Iddybud (Jude Nagurney Camwell)
Idea Spout: Daniel Sanchez
Informed Comment: Juan Cole
Intel Dump: Phillip Carter
The Intersection (Chris Mooney)
Irregular Analyses
Jesus Politics
Mark A. R. Kleiman
Liberals Against Terrorism(Nadezhda & Praktike)
Political Animal(Kevin Drum, formerly Calpundit)
Talking Points Memo: Joshua Micah Marshall
War and Piece
Wonkette
Yglesias:Tpmcafe

Photo Blogs
Daily Dose of Imagery
Ephemera
Alexandra Huddleston
Radiation Persuasion (Nick)
TiffinBox

Columbia Journalism Folks
Apartment Therapy
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
Campaign Desk (CJR)
Ranajit Dam
Cyrus Farivar
Alexandra Huddleston
InSpiteOfEverything
Corey Pein
Nick Schager
Zoo Station:Reuben Abraham

Literature, Fiction and Entertainment
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Electrolite: Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Scott McCloud


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