Archive for ‘Daily Musings & Ponderings’

March 18, 2017

CODE: Vineet Bahl Shows Real Winter Fashion

Vineet Bahl’s show at Amazon India Fashion Week was entitled Code and came with its own hashtags. The show notes said it was a collection for women who don’t dress to impress but are confident themselves.

Vineet Bahl Amazon india Fashion Week The Chatterjis

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March 12, 2017

Is International Women’s Day Patronising?

We’re women and we’re feminists. Bunty and I have always identified as feminists and we grew up in feminist households where the men were also feminists. What is International Women’s Day about?

Is it an annual appraisal of ‘women’s issues’ based on progress and regress of women’s rights? Is it about celebration and protest? It it

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May 18, 2016

Feminism & Film

Thelma and Louise

Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis starting the selfie craze in Thelma and Louise

What does it mean to be a celebrity feminist and do they help or hinder the cause? Can they even call themselves so?

In an article in The Guardian, a journalist forensically analyses the contribution of so-called Hollywood Feministas (my word) and whether they failed. Feminists such as Emma Watson are berated

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May 18, 2016

All Hail Mayor Sadiq Khan

Sadiq Khan The Chatterjis Blog

What an amazing city London is. Not only a world capital, a fashion capital, an art and architectural capital, but can it now claim to to be the most tolerant and integrated capital city?

After what everyone agrees was a racist, vicious campaign by the Tories and their candidate, Zac Goldsmith, the majority election of

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March 25, 2016

Attacking The Devil

Attacking The Devil

My sis and I went to watch Attacking The Devil: Harold Evans and the Last Nazi War Crime at the Picture House Cinema (Central London) on Tuesday this week and it was so worthwhile. It’s hard to describe a moving documentary on such an important subject matter with the usual ‘must-see, fantastic’ as the subject matter is so upsetting.

The documentary charts Sir Harold Evans’ rise to the top of newspaper editing which is very inspirational itself but the real gem

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March 6, 2016

Marvelous Manto: The Great Writer from Pakistan

mantoAn indie flick from Pakistan has been wowing critics and I found myself part of a 300 strong crowd at its premier in London last week.

Manto is the kind of literary figure that my mum becomes glaze eyed about and she’ll suddenly recite passages and look at me with an air of pride at how, clearly, all artists in Urdu are superior to any other.

Manto was a controversial writer whose career spans the 40s and

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February 3, 2016

The Danish Girl Isn’t My Kinda Girl

The Danish Girl

I sort of hobbled over to the Bloomsbury Curzon to catch The Danish Girl with Bunty as I had just knocked back a bottle of prosecco with another friend.

I arrived before Bunty and temporarily forgot what I was meant to be watching, asked the bar staff which screen The Danish Lady was in. I was duly informed that The Danish GIRL was upstairs and that the toilets were behind me. I was pissed and confused: But I never asked about the toilets. I clearly looked like I needed a mirror or something.

Bunty and two more girlfriends joined me, we got another bottle of prosecco, I spilled popcorn in the foyer (mortified!) and we finally sat down to watch the film.  What kind of pathetic girl does this character want to be??

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January 25, 2016

The World Goes Pop!

The World Goes Pop Tate Modern

Proving that pop art is more than Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, The World Goes Pop at the Tate Modern is an exhibition that tracks pop art through the ages and the world. We couldn’t recommend it enough. Rarely has such an amazing

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January 25, 2016

Joy

Jennifer Lawrence Joy

As we all know, amazing films come out in January and this month is definitely filled with excellent films to check out. If you’ve already seen the Danish Girl and the Hateful Eight is way too violent then we recommend Jennifer Lawrence’s new flick, Joy. The film is the true story about the rise of Joy Mangano from poor singe mom to global entrepreneur. Robert DeNiro is her dad, Isabella Rossellini plays his girlfriend. What is there not to like? 

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January 7, 2016

Getting Even With The Odds: Pollution in Delhi

odd even delhi pollution

There have been so many puns and word play opportunities with the Delhi government’s Odd/Even car policy to reduce pollution that every possible combination must have been exhausted.

I was in Delhi for the whole of November and December 2015. I partly live in Delhi and I have never experienced the pollution to be as bad as it was. I started coughing even during the drive from the airport.

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January 7, 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars The Force Awakens

My ONLY regret from last year was that on the 18th of December 2015, instead of joining the entire Western hemisphere at the cinema for the movie release of the decade, I was freezing my tits off in Delhi.

Oh, does Delhi get cold in Winter? Yes indeed. And there is no central heating or double glazing!!

My disloyal family went to the cinema without me ‘oh but we will watch it for the second time with you’ thanks guys! One of my dear cousins even spoiled it for me by revealing a key part of the story.

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October 27, 2015

Brow Beating

cara delevingne strong eyebrows

Brow verdict: YES

In a cruel twist of fate, the mono brow that used to spread across our teenage faces now wakes up every morning in patches.

Brows have been big news for a while now and most women our age have over plucked at some stage so here is our opinion on some fillers out there at the moment:

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October 19, 2015

The Most Buzzing Saturday Night in Delhi!

jawane janeman

I’m going to Delhi for a couple of months soon and one of the things I look forward to is a Saturday night drink and a bit of dancing at my favourite bar, Buzz!  Buzz is the craziest and most amazing place not due to the decor, which is the average typical bar style, but due to the crowd it pulls and the music.

Buzz is in MGF Mall behind Select City Walk Mall and it will only get busy around 11pm. I’m quite lazy and lucky (a convenient

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October 19, 2015

Step This Way For Amazing Skin

Sex and the city Samantha chemical peel

Will I look like Samantha in that scene in Sex And The City? That was my only question when asked by the fantastic and patient clinician at the Sk:n Clinic during my consultation. No!

I don’t know quite what started my obsession reading about skin peels but the more I read the more I was convinced I needed one.

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October 18, 2015

The Chatterjis Nominated for Asian Media Award 2015

Asian Media Awards

Ooh fancy that, The Chatterjis Blog has been nominated Best Blog at this year’s Asian Media Awards! In its third year of recognising and rooting for Asian talent in the mainstream and online media, the awards are backed by some of the British media industry’s biggest players.

Other nominees for best blog include:

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October 18, 2015

House Swap Syria!

home swap

It seems as though almost every week a deluded Muslim family from the UK disappears to join Isis. They could at least add a note on Facebook or Gumtree that they’re looking for a home swap with a

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August 30, 2015

Understanding Islam and Muslims

Islam Carole Hillenbrand

Soft spoken, calm and a leading authority on Islam, Carole Hillenbrand is a Professor of Islamic History at both Edinburgh and St Andrews Universities. Her new book, Islam: A New Historical Introduction aims to allow readers to gain a sensitive understanding of the essential tenets of the religion and of the many ways in which the present is shaped by the past.

The author’s hour long event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival was the perfect split between highlights from her book and questions from the eager audience.  I thought this event would be too much of a niche interest but interestingly it sold out. We can’t

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August 20, 2015

Uphaar Cinema Tragedy

Uphaar cinema fire tragedy

It was just an ordinary evening one day in Delhi way back in 1997 when people went to their local cinema to catch the latest blockbuster. But ordinary soon turned into tragedy as a fire that started in the parking lot engulfed the cinema building itself.

Fire exits had been blocked and building safety norms were not followed by the owners of the cinema. As the fire struck, in the ensuing panic 59 men, women and children (some as young as 4 and 6 years old) lost their lives.

Eighteen years later and following an epic battle through the Indian legal system a verdict was passed by the Supreme Court that the

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May 20, 2015

My White Wrists

Emojis-Skin-Colors-Poster3232147654

My White Wrists (Chitiyan Kalayan) is  the translation of a chorus of a Bollywood song that has been in the top ten in the BBC Asian Radio Charts and on radio loops in India non-stop.

Songs like this make me want to scream: is there no hope of evolution in the South Asian community’s mentality about skin

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May 9, 2015

An Evening With Xue Xinran

xue xinran

The opening night of the Asia House Literature Festival started off tonight with a wonderful conversation with the acclaimed author and journalist, Xue Xinran, who has a new book, Buy Me the Sky, out now.

Xinran has an incredible talent of explaining Chinese culture through her many books and she spoke very frankly in conversation with

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April 11, 2015

Jihadi Brides

jihadi brides

BBC2 ran a programme rather late on Thursday night called Jihadi Brides. I happened to see it after reaching saturation point with Question Time on BBC1 so it was an accidental yet intriguing insight into these young girls and women as well as their ideology. I’m a Muslim woman (selectively practicing), too old/wild to be groomed but quite bemused by these holier than thou Muslims. These are some of the opinions raised from the programme:

1. Professional: These young women are not stupid, they are intelligent and educated.

2. Professional: The young women may lack an ability for critical thinking.

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January 14, 2015

Charlie, Muslims & Me

paris protests

Well, I hardly need to explain the title and the background news story. Shocking on so many levels for so many people.  24 hour rolling news, debates across current affairs programmes had almost every angle covered.

In homes and offices over the world the general public debated the meaning of freedom of speech. What does freedom of speech mean to you? The freedom to offend? Standing up for the rights of other people you disagree with to offend? Why should all Muslims apologise for the crimes of crazy people or reassure others that we are not terrorists?

I’m part of a Muslim family in Britain so what was our reaction?

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January 3, 2015

New Year, New You…Whatever!!

meditating pose

Happy New Year from The Chatterjis!! Wow, I can’t believe it’s 2015 already, blink and it will be gone.  Have you stopped over eating yet or are there still boxes of bread sticks and unopened chocolate boxes that need munched?

Undoubtedly many of us would have spent at least 60 seconds

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December 1, 2014

Baby Name Trends, What to Avoid

muppetbabies

Besides Christmas, December means endless lists summarising the year that was and we begin the reflection with a look at popular baby names.  Personally I’d want to know in order to avoid them, just like fashion trends sometimes it’s best to go off piste although perhaps not as much as Gwyneth Paltrow!

Reflecting the diversity of Britain, Muhammad shot to the number one spot as the most popular baby name, perhaps Wills and Kate can consider it for little No.2 next year? I’m a Muslim and this is the

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November 14, 2014

More or Less Asian?

more or less asian event

Earlier this week, Bunty and I had the pleasure of going along to a wonderful and lively discussion at Asia House about stereotypes in Asian literature.

The panel was formed of leading figures in the creative arts: Yasmeen Khan (writer and broadcaster and shoe-horned to unofficial BBC Representative for the evening!), Daniel York (actor, director and writer),  Anna Chen (first British Chinese comic to take a show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival), Niven Govinden (author) and Bidisha (author, journalist, broadcaster and Booker Prize Foundation trustee) who was the delightful chair for the evening’s enthralling discussion.

A capacity audience listened intently to the questions, answers and anecdotal experiences giving an insight into a world that many of us

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October 9, 2014

A Dream and an Ode to Master Artisans: Day 2 at WIFW

Samant chauhan 3

Samant Chauhan @ WIFW SS15

Continuing his Rajputana theme this season designer, Samant Chauhan was inspired by romance and illusion and thus ‘dream’.  Samant has a loyal band of followers and stockists sprawled across India and the Middle East and I’m sure they loved the intricate antique-look thread embroidery which is turning into a bit of a trend for next season.

Samant chauhan 1

Samant Chauhan @ WIFW SS15

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October 7, 2014

Film Review: Pride

pride

You have to watch this film while it’s currently on general release.

It has been several years since I came out of the cinema and felt this good about a film and it is even better that the story is true.

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September 15, 2014

Million Dollar Arm

Million Dollar Arm

A few weeks ago I had realised that there were no Hollywood in Bollywood films on the horizon. Could it be? Could the Slumdog Millionaire franchise actually fail to produce another saccharine feel-good Hollywood blockbuster? Are there no more Americans that need to travel to India and “find him/herself” and return a changed human being for the greater good?

And then just like buses, three films come at once. One I’ve forgotten about already. I couldn’t face the Helen Mirren cooking one. But the baseball one seemed palatable, not least because the hunk (haven’t said that for a while) from Mad Men was in it. Enter… Million Dollar Arm.

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September 15, 2014

Brown Girl

Dear Chatterattis, it is time to embrace bronzer.

A lot of you will instantly say OompaLoompa and a lot of you (tut tut) will say why would I want to look darker??

Bronzer will not make you darker. If applied correctly it will not make you look like you’re wearing war paint either. Apply in a Number Three over your face, i.e. across your forehead, under your cheeks and finish across your jawline. Use the biggest brush you can get to avoid stripes and never ever use the wee brush that may come with the powder. You will still need your usual blusher on the apples of cheeks.

My skin colour is described fair for an Asian (not so fair that I look Italian, I am definitely brown) but my undertones are yellow and that is not a good look.

I have started to experiment with bronzer and I do not look darker, I look healthy. And, quite frankly, I will not be dictated to about what level of colour is deemed beautiful by a backward culture in South Asia when I live in London. Give me a break.

Loadsa Money!!

estee lauder aerin beauty bronzer

If money is not an issue you need Estee Lauder’s Aerin Pretty Bronze Illuminating Powder (about £35).

So subtle, this just kisses the edge of your face to make you glow. Level 2 for Asians skin and darker, Level 1 for white.

Hmm, can I try something a little cheaper?

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September 15, 2014

Veggie Heaven in Primrose Hill

manna

Ok, so I am a veggie but I don’t like vegetarian restaurants, certainly not vegan ones. Lettuce munchers, allergic to good taste. It’s just something about the atmosphere in them that turns me off. A room full of veggies, a crazy night does not make.

Ah, Manna. Primrose Hill. Beautiful people. Warm evening. Ice cold prosecco.

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August 27, 2014

Get Lippy

bably lips maybelline

Maybelline’s lovely lip balm, Baby Lips, has been released with a lip tint, in both subtle and neon colours.  They are, simply, amazing and dirt cheap to boot.  My favourite is Pink Punch which will suit all Asian skin colours, especially if you’re a bit darker.

If you’re very pale, I suggest this colour might look a little chavvy but if that’s your look, then go for it.

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August 18, 2014

Fantasy Bobs

Bob Michelle-Pfeiffer-Scarface-bob-haircut

The 90s are still riding the trend wave and so now it is the turn of hair…the bob! Of course bob haircuts have regularly enjoyed a comeback as they are so cute but they are a hairstyle I fantasise about having but will never actually get as I am a chicken and love my long curly wurly princess hair.

Soooooooo……. here are my favourite bob haircuts to inspire you (including gorgeous Michelle Pfieffer’s Scarface bob above) if you are braver than me and can handle their high maintenance :

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August 18, 2014

Disobedient Objects

disobedient objects

One thing I have in common with my 2 year old nephew is a need to be constantly entertained. One thing I should learn from him is that I can do this by myself.

London is awash with free and cheap “things to do” and I am guilty of losing sight of this.

On a boring Sunday, a day I have recently resigned to a tube-free day, I broke that habit and headed to the V&A Museum in South Kensington. 

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August 17, 2014

The Honourable Woman

the honourable woman

Summer is fun but you are invariably saving up for a holiday or have recently spent over your budget on one. This is how my sister and I came to find ourselves one evening in London. Water water everywhere and not a drop to sip. (Change “water” to “champagne” and you will have our general mood).

“This looks a bit shit,” one of us murmurs “but shall we watch it?”. Yah, we have nothing better to do. Enter episode one of the Honourable Woman, which I have to admit did not really impress me. Yet I found myself returning week after week to watch it.  (I have not religiously watched a weekly series since Twin Peaks and I’m not exaggerating).  I believe it was because of the women.

When was the last time you saw a tv series filled with older women in strong roles with excellent dialogue?

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August 17, 2014

Nish Kumar at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

nish kumar

A few evenings ago my sister reluctantly dragged me to see Nish Kumar, the stand up comedian, performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  I’m not into stand up comedy but I laughed from beginning to end whilst sipping my delicious pear cider.

If you’ve never made it over to the Edinburgh Festival then put it on your bucket list it really lives up to its reputation as the biggest arts festival in the world. 

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July 31, 2014

The God Complex Delusion

Richard-Dawkins

Deluded

It is important to have crushes. A fantasy one (Hulk, Brazilian), a real life one (a new friend), an intellectual one (Richard Dawkins) and sometimes, I even fancy my husband!

But I’m here to talk about the sacking of my intellectual crush, Richard Dawkins, who turned from excellent biologist (superseded only by Stephen Jay Gould who wrote in a more “for dummies” way) to monster raving loony.

Since his book The God Delusion concluded that the reason my mother is religious is because she is intellectually inferior, he has continued to offend for

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July 31, 2014

Cubania

cubania carlos acota

It feels special when you see a living legend in real life.

I was front row for a Michael Jackson concert, went to two Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan concerts, saw Mo Farah win gold in London and I have even chatted to Pele.

Last night I saw Carlos Acosta at the Royal Opera House and was blown away. Cubania is his show, he curates and dances in it. Modern ballet and dance set to some live Cuban music.

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June 25, 2014

Passport Control

British_passportMurderers and drug smugglers can hold on to their British passports but the British government is considering revoking passports of Britsh born Muslim men/boys who have decided to go and fight in the Syrian war against the Assad regime and the creeping mission to other parts of the Middle East.

Does the British government represent the people or are we under its rule and at the mercy of its whims and disregard of human rights?

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June 24, 2014

World Cup Wonders 2014

Hulk-Brazil_Porto

The Hulk, Brazil

The world cup 2014 from the eyes of Bunty and Bubbly….

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June 13, 2014

Little Brazil in London

guanabara london
Have you noticed the World Cup started yesterday?
If you didn’t, then wow!
The magic of the World Cup has been lost for me. I haven’t been excited about it since when that crazy Cameroon goalie would run up the pitch and score a goaaaaaaaaaaaal!!!!!!!
Try this: my friends and I went to Guanabara last night for the opening night. It’s a Brazilian bar off Holborn/Covent Garden. Usually a bit studenty, we usually avoid it as it doesn’t stock one’s champagne, what what! But occasionally it is rather fun to hang out with 20-somethings during happy hour.

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