Well, the week started with one of my co-workers going out for surgery meaning we were down a person, continued with a sewage backup in the basement, then on to the electricity flickering, plus general heat related exhaustion and misery. I’ve finally made it to the weekend and I think I need to focus on doing anything that will make me NOT spin out with anxiety. So, no watchalong (since almost no one could join anyway), instead we shall all think of nice things to do for ourselves this weekend.
Okay, here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
Drink fancy cooling summer drinks, either homemade or store bought
Sit in a cool breeze and read a book
Buy a new plant and plant it
Bring flowers inside and put them where I can see and admire them
Go sit in a park
Do something unproductive with my hands (embroidery, coloring, etc.)
Paint my fingernails
Hang pictures so my apartment looks slightly different and new
Cook something fun and easy
Okay, what are your weekend ideas? What are small things you can do to make your life lighter and happier?
I think the answer is just stare at pictures of SRK.
Tbh, I’ve been a little off over this week, one of those moods when you just want to sit in bed and watch SRK movies (preferably 90s ones), so I might just do that.
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Hey, I am always ready to help with SRK staring!
I sit and stare at my garden, it is almost as if I am watching the plants grow – it is my zone out. A bonus is when the lesser goldfinches start eating the sunflower leaves. They haven’t even bloomed yet and they are already bird feeders.
I do not find hanging pictures relaxing, BUT sitting in a room with newly hung pictures and a book is just about perfect.
And I love bubble baths, especially with music and books.
I bought an Indian top at a thrift store in the Bay Area this past week. It is very fancy with sparkles sewn in and sheer long sleeves, I don’t know what it is called because I haven’t remembered the names of clothing. I have no bottoms for it, and I live in California so I could never wear it outside anyway as that would be appropriating Indian culture for my white self. So I am going to put it on, at home (is it appropriation if no one knows?), and watch an Indian movie this weekend, one I haven’t seen yet.
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I want to laugh and cry at the appropriation part. I once wore a South Indian sari for a South Indian festival, gifted to me by a *South Indian* friend. And someone called me out for cultural appropriation. I just went speechless at that moment. Of course, every moment after, it makes me laugh when I remember it, so something good came out of it.
I’m not going to say “wear it!!”, because CA can be just plain weird at times, but wear it at home! It sounds beautiful.
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That reminds me, there was a post where I got yelled at sooooooooooooo bad for wrongly calling some specific outfits on the blog. So the next time I was really really careful and double checked all my terms, and I still got called out for calling a “half sari” a “half sari”. By the same person from before, who was north Indian, and assumed I was just making something up and being lazy but so far as I can tell that is the correct South Indian English term for a particular style of skirt-blouse-scarf. So, my point is, sometimes you just can’t win.
On Fri, Jun 17, 2022 at 8:20 PM dontcallitbollywood < email@example.com> wrote:
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The top is called a Kurta. Also, while I can’t speak to the broader Indian community, as an Indian who was born and raised in India, I would not find someone wearing a kurta to be cultural appropriation.
I married a white guy in a mixed ceremony and encouraged people of all colors and ethnicities to wear Indian clothing (if they felt comfortable) at my mehendi /henna event. My sister in law is going to a mixed wedding this weekend and one of the events is tagged as Indian cocktail for everyone. I used to throw parties for various Indian festivals all the time and the white men and women wore Indian clothing. If I see someone wearing a kurta randomly on the street, I want to know where they got it from and am not remotely offended. When I last traveled through India with a group, all of the white people wore kurtas and it was not found offensive at all.
All this to say, you should do what you are comfortable doing, and of course I can’t speak for anyone but myself. But, I personally would not find someone who is wearing a kurta (even a fancy sparkley one) to be culturally appropriating.
This does make me think, has Margaret ever done a thinky post on cultural appropriation? Might be interesting to get her perspective.
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Thank you! I really really want to do a thinky post on that now! Especially based on my experiences of the past 6 years publicly running this blog where sometimes I am called out for being a bad white person, and sometimes I am assumed to be desi, and it’s weird to figure out how to handle either situation.
The most fascinating cultural appropriation situation I ever had was a friend who did a performance using “Yeh Mere Dil” and a producer of one of her shows cut her act because they thought it was “racist”. And it was this weird, like, “no, this is a pop song not a cultural religious song. And it was originally used as a sexy dance number. AND it was originally performed by a non-Indian heritage dancer”. My friend knew all of that and that’s why she was using that particular song for her act, and she based the moves of her act on Helen’s original moves, and I’d seen her do it and seen desis in the audience get a kick out of recognizing the tribute. But this non-desi producer of a show assumed it was racist to take this song and “sexualize” it. Just so many levels there.
On Sat, Jun 18, 2022 at 7:26 AM dontcallitbollywood < firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
I also find the white woke sources of criticism the hardest to navigate, I think because they’re not speaking for themselves so there’s nowhere for the conversation to go, no way into deeper understanding.
In all honesty, wearing a fancy Kurta with jeans that I bought at a thrift store just walking around outside – I can see how some people might find that offensive. But the only people who would call me out on it are white people – there are two Indian families in town, the ones that own the hotel & subway won’t say anything, and my doctor would think it was cute.
Oh, P.S. I don’t like hanging pictures either but love to sit in a room that’s nicely done. And I love love love bubble baths, no matter how hot it is outside.
Now that I have a fence in front, Albie and I hang out there all the time, it’s very zen, watching the dog run around and chew things and stuff. Of course, I can’t do that today because instead I am watching a plumber snake our drain. Sigh.
I’m trying to psych myself up to hang pictures, because it would be very nice and zen to sit and look at the new art on the wall. Maybe after the plumber shows me a video of our broken pipe. Which is not zen.
I think you can wear the sparkly top with a non-Indian bottom and it would look totally fine. Not like you are dressing up as though you are desi, but like you are doing your own thing. On the other hand, I also suspect the sparkly top is super hot and non-breathable. So I’d save it for a fun night out, and not use it for sitting in the garden time!
On Fri, Jun 17, 2022 at 7:14 PM dontcallitbollywood < email@example.com> wrote:
I watched Raanjhanaa in my fancy (scratchy according to the 7 year old) kurta. A good, maybe great movie, but with an ending I wish was different, even though I will probably dwell on it forever because I wish it was different and thus it will stick with me longer than any happy ending could. But yeah, I might stay up and watch something light hearted now.
Definitely watch something happy. I have never seen Raanjhanaa just because I knew it was a thinker sad one.
There is a long article in the NYTimes about Sabyasachi and at the very end of the article it touches on appropriation. He called it appreciation, but oh, the line between is shakey and I don’t personally understand it. Here is a link to a photo of me in my Kurta and in the photo post there is a link to the article.
I have a draft of my appropriation post ready and I will finish it and put it up if my co-workers ever stop having medical emergencies (one just came back from a lung biopsy surgery in time for another one to get a severe case of COVID).
On Wed, Jun 22, 2022 at 3:07 PM dontcallitbollywood < firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
😦 Fingers crossed for speedy recoveries for your coworkers! Medical issues are the biggest bummers.
That’s a pretty kurta and you look great in it!
As an Indian, I’m always happy to see people from other cultures wearing Indian clothes. I would hazard that holds true for most people in India. But I certainly won’t speak for everyone. I can understand if a desi person living in a western country, who has been mocked or discriminated against for wearing desi clothes, feels angry seeing a white person wearing the same clothes without facing any such thing.
I’m sorry to hear there won’t be a watchalong this weekend but still like this post the long list of pictures of SRK. I’m definitely painting my nails this weekend! Plenty of napping, too. Regrettably, plants hate me, so that’s very much not an option!
Enjoy your weekend!
Thank you! Enjoy your nails! I think I will do that later today too.
On Sat, Jun 18, 2022 at 11:08 AM dontcallitbollywood < email@example.com> wrote:
Things I would like to do this weekend:
– Curl up and watch TV/read a book.
Things I am doing instead:
– Buy teacher gifts
– Buy birthday gifts
– Scold children into writing thank you notes
– Finish sorting summer and winter clothes
– Soccer game
– Attend kid birthday party 1
– Cook for guests
– Ferry kid to kid birthday party 2
– Drink with friends
Not bad stuff but sometimes doing nothing sounds so much more appealing. Hope your pipes get fixed and the rest of your weekend is restful.
Don’t forget father’s day! You also have to get that in hand, unless the kids have handled it all on their own (ha-ha-ha, of course they haven’t!)
On Sat, Jun 18, 2022 at 2:15 PM dontcallitbollywood < firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
That’s the drinking with friends part 😁. Who needs kids for Father’s Day?
I am so terrible at thank you notes! for myself, but also my children. You are a better person.
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