Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Desi Madonna

Google and Youtube do wonders for nostalgia. I typed Made in China (Foucauldian analysis of a factory in China) and they guided me to "Made in India", a song by Alisha Chinoi. You bet, I was more than happy! Who needs microphysics of power when you can get your own version of Madonna. I had completely forgot about this woman from the 80s. She was quite something and our only TV channel those days (DDII?) used to be flooded by her songs.

Made in India is Chenoy version of feminism/patriotism where an Indian princess is dreaming of a man who has a heart "Made in India". So she sits on her throne (cut to some shots of elephants and snakes... it's India after all!) and wrinkles up her nose daintily at a "Japanese" man (altho' I suspect he is Nepalese), an African American looking chappy (while she croons very politically correctedly that she doesn't care if his body is black or white ... he just has to love her like a Hindustaani!!) Heheheheheh. Wh needs John Lennon anymore. Ofcourse the best part is when the spooky looking saadhu looks into the magic pot of something and out pops a semi naked Milind Soman displaying all his triceps biceps and what nots. MMMMMMM. Took me back to good old days when the only man I LOVED was Milind Soman and Nandu gave me a pic of him to carry as a good luck charm fro my board exams..... HEEE HEEEE HAW HAW. I think I'll go back on google and search for that pic. who knows I might need it for my presentation tomorrow. Do you remember where you got it from Nandu? :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Loony toony

Do songs influence moods. Well, at least if you are as mental as I am, they do. Here I was, in a happy chirpy mood, working on my (not so happy) chapter on disciplining of surrogate mothers in clinics, when Ms Kim on the next chair decided to start squealing on her phone. The only option was for me to play my Youtube "favorites" at full volume. For whatever reason my favorites are these desperately melancholy songs.
First Mr whatshishname made me sombre with his brilliant rendition of "Bawra Mann", then Tracy Chapman made me sink lower in my seat with her "All that you have is your soul", then Joan Baez decided to kill me with her (suicide inducing) Prison Trilogy. When she started to croon "what have they done to the rain" I gave up.
I would have howled but decided that might just make Ms Kim squeal louder. So now I am now resorting to cheap tricks. Latest Bollywood Bhangra Hits... Bah.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sperm on a Rickshaw or WHY I HATE OPRAH

I feel less MAD about this so this post will probably be less vehement than I would want it to, but I swear I didn't have any time to pour out my REAL feelings right after seeing Oprah Winfrey's show on infertility in the U.S/surrogates in India.
In case you missed it (it was aired sometime in October 2007) here's my UNBIASED synopsis:

Oprah opened her show by promising to reveal “why they (childless couples) will stop at nothing to have a baby,” and asking her viewers in an ominous voiceover, “How far would you go?” Soon she revealed that the answer for one couple, Jennifer and Kendall, was “India”. Her reporter, Oprah promised, would travel to the clinic in Anand to figure out “why Jennifer and Kendall chose a developing country like this” (wrinkled nose from Lisa Ling), “to try and have a child of their own.”
Not surprisingly the next camera shots were of pigs, filth and open trash rotting in the streets of Anand. Reiterating how REALLY desperate one need become to resort to such madness .."travel to INDIA??" One of the classiest shots were of adventurous "international" journalist Lisa Ling daintily getting off the car outside a surrogate's house and whining ‘Oh it’s so muddy.’... AAAARGH. I swear she put even our Aishwarya Rai to shame.

Very obviously the brave couples ventured into the mad land of snakes, cows, monkeys and "ooh mud" cos of the massive cost savings (surrogacy in Anand costs a tenth that in America) and a whole host of other benefits (you want me to pour out my dissertation here??!) But for Lisa, these couples were nothing less than brave missionaries or cultural ambassadors, daring to bridge the gap between us and them. The surrogates were unambiguously portrayed as "women who just won a lottery". No mention of the things going on in their bodies, side effects of injections, medicines, the constant surveillance in hostels.. nope, that's too much to expect from Ms Oh so sensitive towards pains of Africa (don't even get me started on Oprah, actually. I could write a whole new BLOG).

No mention of the definite C-sections and what it means for women who do this two years in a row. Actually, no she does mention C-section. She cackles over her disgusting jokes about how the 4'6" surrogate would surely need a C-section to deliver the child of 6'5" Kendall. How FUNNY it is, right.. Funny that women have to get pregnant for someone else to make enough to feed their existing children. Funny that when they do it, it is called "winning a lottery". Funny that no one thinks they are doing anything big, arre, they are so used to popping out babies, why not a few for others to buy? No thought about repeated C-sections, blood loss, injections, hormone pills, and all that when a woman is already malnourished and anaemic. Why talk about that, when we can cackle over the white sperm that traveled in a rickshaw (GASP) to make it to the clinic on time.

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