Advertisements

Monthly Archives: January 2017

First SNL Monologue of Trump Era is by Indian-American Comedian Aziz Ansari

The first Saturday Night Live episode of the Trump era aired on 1/21/17, and there couldn’t possibly be a better host for this particular episode than a Muslim-American comedian.  Aziz Ansari is both that and also an Indian-American, and he delivered an excellent monologue (above) that all Americans can appreciate.

Not surprisingly, it was Trump-centric, and Aziz nailed it.  “Pretty cool to know that he’s probably sitting at home watching a brown guy make fun of him though,” he said at the beginning.  Aziz also gave a shout-out to the Women’s March, and described a phenomenon all of us are now witnessing, the kkk (“with a small k”) racism that’s crept up in the last few years, emboldened by Trump’s rise.

Piercing through the laugh, Aziz also voices hope.  We applaud Aziz Ansari for a memorable monologue during a historic time.

Advertisements

VIDEO: Why Indians and Pakistanis Should Never Talk to Each Other, All India Bakchod

Mahanth S. Joishy is Editor of usindiamonitor

One of the great tragedies of our lifetimes is the continued enmity and hatred between India and Pakistan in modern times, despite their having so much in common.  When I went to Pakistan to see for myself what that country was about, I was so shocked by the truth that it changed my life.  Since then I have been on something of an obsessive messianic mission, despite outright impossible odds, to explain to both Indians and Pakistanis that closer friendship would be exceedingly easy and beneficial to both sides.  Too often the media would rather talk about terrorism or “surgical strikes” instead.  And the subcontinent has never recovered from the violence of 1947 and its aftermath.

freedom-tour-2012-988-pano

The Editor in Lahore.  He didn’t feel unsafe.  He found the ladies to be very nice.

In the above video, All India Bakchod (AIB) did something novel: a film crew in Pakistan and a film crew in India coordinated and had random people in one country talk on the phone with random people in the other country on independence day, which is the same for both nations.  “We found out why Indians and Pakistanis should never talk to each other,” says AIB.  This video pretty much made me laugh and cry at the same time.

Credits:

India Crew

Producers: AIB, Mansi Multani
Production Assistants: Aakash Mehta, Nikhil Pai, Vaibhav
DOPs: Soham Hundekar, Saiyam Wakchaure
Sound: Harish, Gopal
Line Producer: Vikram
Editor – Shashwata Dutta
Online – Mihir Lele

India Participants

Mazhar
Prabtej
Sharanya
Subramanian
Mitakshi
Aditi
Nidhi
Richa
Akash Zala
Sujit Yadav
Joyanto Mukherjee
Malti Naik

Pakistan Crew

Producer – Khaula Jamil (Humans of Karachi)
DOP – Zeest Shabbir
Sound – Huma Murad Shah

Pakistan Participants

(SZABIST & Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture)

Hasan
Gaity
Salman Noorani
Talha Khan
Amjad
Maaz
Fatima
Minza Sajjad
Anosha
Maha Minhaj
Aqil
Soonhal
Hafeez

Why do Indians Hate Root Beer?

th.jpegThere are several things that still separate an Indian-American from an Indian from India even in this globalized world: accents and educational systems come to mind, as do sports or movie preferences. These are real, but also amorphous. However, we can point to something much more tangible in nature.  Perhaps no single thing in the world is a more perfect epitome of the separation between Indian-Americans and their cousins from the motherland than a dark black, foamy-headed sweet and effervescent liquid drink called root beer.  In my lifetime, I’ve found that Indians categorically hate this drink, while most Americans of all types including Indian-Americans love this drink.

Having grown up in the American Midwest, where we’d call all manner of fizzy soft drinks “pop,” I have loved root beer for as long as I can remember and probably always will.  Widely available commerical brands include A&W, Barq’s, or IBC, and I could drink any of these happily.  What’s more, one can place a dollop of vanilla or other ice cream into a glass of root beer, and you get a magical dessert/drink hybrid like no other, known to most Americans as a root beer float.  And yet, as much as all-American flavors like french fries, ketchup, pizza, and even colas like Coke and Pepsi have exploded in popularity and affordability in India over the last few decades, root beer is hard to come by.   Even Indians who have settled in the United States for decades often won’t ever drink it.

Why???  On the face of it, Indians should love root beer.  It’s spicier than most other American colas or soft drinks (with a notable exception in Dr Pepper).  Root beer’s traditional historic roots are in the delicious extract of the sassafras tree root or sarsaparilla vine root.  As a kid at summer camp, I remember tasting a fresh and hot tea made of sassafras root, an original root beer formula- and it was divine.  Root beer is aromatic and has a number of spicy and subtle hints, much like Indian food itself which draws on fraternal spices like cardamom, anise, and cinnamon.  I have a theory that Indians typically hate root beer for one simple reason: it reminds them too much of medical products, including a soothing balm called Iodex, a common household item in India.  Throughout my life whenever I drank or even mentioned root beer, my Indian-born mother would make a disgusted face, hold her nose and say, “I can’t stand it, smells like Iodex!”  I’ve heard similar sentiments over and over by people born and raised in India.  Which led me to look into this recently.

Indeed there’s a basis for it.  Iodex utilizes methyl salicylate, made of oil extracted from a group of plants __57called wintergreens or their synthetic equivalent.  Commercially produced root beers also use extracts of wintergreens, or very similar plants.  Interestingly, just like Coca-Cola, the modern form of root beer was invented in the United States in the 1800’s for medicinal purposes.  So, we have come full circle here.

It’s too bad that Iodex has ruined root beer for potentially millions of people in India and other parts of the world.  Now you know why.  So you say, this isn’t a scientific analysis after all?  You must be forgetting that this is Trump’s America now.

Mahanth S. Joishy is Editor of usindiamonitor

 

 

 

VIDEO: Dr. Anuj Shrivastava’s Batshit-Crazy Conspiracy Theories

I saw this video making the rounds on WhatsApp, and the premise of this gentleman Dr. Anuj Srivastava’s little lecture is intriguing: why are Indian media outlets so derogatory?  That they spew lots of hatred is certainly true.  And the video starts out with a calm and intelligent tone that led me to believe this might be an interesting few minutes and I might even learn something.

However, the good doctor’s explanations are absolutely batshit crazy!  To take just one example that really caught my attention, he claims without any evidence that CNN-News18, the CNN India partnership formerly known as CNN-IBN, is funded by the “Southern Baptist Church,” and that is why the channel is anti-Indian, anti-Hindu, liberal, and leftist.  One by one, he claims that all of India’s major news outlets, including NDTV, the Times group, the Hindu, and India Today are all totally compromised by foreign governments or religious groups.  Just a tiny bit of research would show that the Southern Baptist Church has nothing to do with CNN-News18.  Why in God’s name would they want to sponsor that news channel?  Also, this doctor does not practice in the US though the video would have you believe he is based there.  I am not doubting his medical abilities here.

You must watch this video, and not just for a good laugh.  There is no doubting Dr. Srivastava’s sincerity.  There is no better example of the Indian society’s biggest faults on display: a penchant for batshit crazy conspiracy theories, whining, and blaming anyone else except themselves for India’s massive problems 70 years after the British abandoned India.

Mahanth S. Joishy is Editor of usindiamonitor

VIDEO: Donald Trump Promises that the U.S. & India will be Best Friends

Just before the election in October, Trump said something remarkable.  He promised a large group of Indian-Americans at a Republican Hindu Coalition concert in New Jersey that the United States and India are “going to be best friends.”  He even said “I am a big fan of Hindu and I am a big fan of India” during this speech and called Narendra Modi a great man, all after lighting a traditional Hindu “diva” lamp.

We shall soon find out if the promise comes true.

You can find the full speech, the diva lighting, and the introduction by RHC chairman Shalabh Kumar, below:

Mahanth S. Joishy is Editor of usindiamonitor

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: