Return of the Blog

I’ve been telling my friends and family for a long time now how I want to blog again and I’ve been telling myself the same thing for even longer. It’s been a little less than two years since my last post, so please bare with me as I get back into the groove of things.

Last week I read an article in which the Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi says that women can’t have it all. As we enter our late twenties (gulp) this topic has come up amongst my group of friends a few times. And yet, none of us are married and we definitely don’t have kids. I think this goes to show just how much “having it all” is something that is on every young woman’s mind, no matter what stage they are in life.

While I do respect Nooyi’s candor, women are so often told that they can’t pursue certain careers, hold positions of power, or even worse, they grow up internalizing these same beliefs, that for her (especially as a South Asian woman) to state women can’t have it all does nothing to contribute to the conversation. Instead it makes us women believe that this is our fate and that nothing we can do will change that. I wouldn’t want Nooyi to lie and say that having it all is easy, but she should keep in mind that she is a role model for many and that her words have an impact.

It is also worth noting that these kinds of questions are asked to women only. You never hear of a male CEO getting asked how he balances his career and family life. It’s a shame that it’s 2014 and yet these same questions are being asked. The way that we portray gender and gender roles in the media is something that desperately needs fixing.

What do you think of Nooyi’s interview?

About these ads

The Mindy Project

I’ve long since been a fan of Mindy Kaling, from her work as Kelly Kapoor on The Office to her recent book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me. But what I’m most excited about is her newest venture, The Mindy Project, where she is the first Indian American to star AND write in her own show. That is a pretty huge deal!

I’ve been lucky enough to grow up in an area that is tolerant, liberal, and open-minded but that doesn’t mean I didn’t get asked some inane questions like “Do you speak Indian?” or my personal favorite “No, but like where are you really from?” after I mention that I was born in the US.

Even though it premiered last night, I caught the pilot online a few weeks ago. I loved it and I found it especially refreshing that it represented Indian Americans exactly as we are: just like everyone else. No we don’t have accents nor do we have arranged marriages.

Did you see the pilot? What did you think? If you haven’t seen it yet or read her book, I highly recommend that you do!

Mindy Kaling has made it in an industry where there are so few minorities and women, which is not an easy feat.

And because this video says it better than I ever could:

Book Review: The Secret Daughter

I remember the first Desi lit book I read – it was Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier. From then on I went to read books like The Namesake and Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri and Arranged Marriage by Chitra Divakaruni Banerjee.

Recently, I read The Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda which has been on my list to read for a while. I loved the book. It touched on many various and deep topics such as female infanticide, adoption, and cultural clashes. Despite that, the book felt like a very easy thanks to Gowda’s simple writing style. I also loved that part of the book was based in the Bay Area.

I would definitely recommend people to read The Secret Daughter. I finished it over the course of a few days because I was really drawn to the characters and the story line. It got a bit emotional at certain points, at which I had to stop reading while on the train unless I wanted to be that awkward person on BART (no thanks).

Have you read The Secret Daughter? What did you think? What are you currently reading?

This and That

It’s been ages since I last updated the blog. The main reason for my lack of posts is the fact that I recently started a new job. I’ve been busy adjusting to a new schedule, the commute, and of course the job itself. I just finished two weeks there and I’m happy to report that I’m loving every minute of it.

When I’m not at work, here are some things I’ve been watching, reading, and listening to.

Watching: Scandal, Thursdays at 10 PM on ABC: Created by Shonda Rhimes of Grey’s Anatomy fame this show is about a crisis management firm in DC. It is loosely based on George H.W. Bush’s crisis aide, Judy Smith, who also dealt with the Monica Lewinsky scandal. It’s a really fast-paced show and I’m loving the fact that the main character is a woman.

Reading: I finished reading Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity. I don’t normally enjoy non-fiction books, but this was an eye-opening look into life in a Mumbai slum. As I was reading it, I had to remind myself that this is not a fiction book and that everything Boo writes about is factual.

Currently I’m reading The Girl Who Played With Fire, the sequel to The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo. I’m only a few chapters in but I’ve already deemed it my commute book, rather than the one I read at night before I go to sleep. The subject matter is really dark and disturbing, although it promises to be an interesting mystery/thriller.

Listening: Here are some of my current favorite tracks, which I’ve been listening to on repeat. The beats are so catchy that I have to restrain myself from dancing while on the train or at work!

Justin Bieber’s Boyfriend (Don’t judge!)

Culture Shock ft Nindy Kaur – Save the World

What have you been reading, watching, listening to?

By the way, I recently wrote a guest post on the blog, Lipstick and Politics which you can read here.

Boston

I arrived in Boston yesterday. It was a last minute trip, but I’ve been having so much fun in the city! It’s my first time here and it’s pretty cold, but I’ve already done quite a bit of exploring.

Eating at Chutney, an Indian style Chipotle

The Harvard Library

Driving by the Cheers bar

So do you have any recommendations for things to do/places to eat in Boston and Cambridge? I’d love to hear them!

Movie Review: The Hunger Games

Via Google Images

Oh Hunger Games, you had me…until the very end.

Let me back up a bit. I tend to be really nitpicky when it comes to books-turned-movies. So before I saw The Hunger Games in theaters, I mentally prepared myself for all the changes that were likely to be made.

And of course, there were plenty of changes. Such as: the mockingjay pin was given to Katniss by her sister, Prim, rather than the mayor’s daughter, Madge, Katniss’ nails weren’t painted, Peeta’s leg wasn’t amputated, and so on. I was willing to overlook all of these little things because I really enjoyed the enhancements that were made to the film.

The book is told from the point of view of Katniss, but the film gives you a well-rounded look at the Games. You get to see President Snow and Seneca Crane talking, Haymitch convincing sponsors, Ceasar Flickman narrating the Games, and my favorite part, a behind the scenes look at how the Games are produced. I thought these additions were a brilliant idea to give the viewers insight into what is going on outside of the arena, while also making it easier to follow for those that were seeing the movie without reading the book.

My biggest issue with the movie came at the very end. Katniss’s affection for Peeta in the arena was mainly for show, and a way for them to get sponsors and ultimately stay alive. In the book, as they are on the train back to District 12, Peeta, who genuinely cares for Katniss, learns of this deception and betrayal. This was such a crucial part of the book and part of the reason why I quickly started reading Catching Fire. It would have made for an amazing finish to the movie as well, instead of the anti-climactic ending that we got.

As with all the other books-turned movies, The Hunger Games movie did not live up to the book. I liked seeing the Capitol, the ridiculous outfits that everyone wore, and the Games/arena itself. I just wish they had spent a bit more time developing Peeta and Katniss’s relationship as it is central to the trilogy, especially in Catching Fire and Mockingjay.

What did you think of the movie?