Latest from The Spokesman-Review
Kids are growing up faster and faster these days, especially when their parents encourage them to do so. Take Mohammed Nisham for example, who was arrested by Indian police this month and charged with endangering the life of a child and allowing a minor to drive.
The arrest was sparked by a video of his 9-year-old son driving the family Ferrari F430 on public roads with his 7-year-old brother riding shotgun. When the footage went viral and caused an outrage in India police intervened. Nisham’s wife doesn’t seem to understand what all the concern is about.
WASHINGTON — An Indian leader invited to the United States by U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and other lawmakers has previously been denied entry.
A U.S. Congressional delegation including McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, invited Indian government executive Narenda Modi to talk about economic development last week, The Washington Post reports. The three lawmakers visted Modi in India last week.
But Modi, chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat, has been denied a visa because of a religious clashes in 2002 that killed more than 1,000 Muslims and Hindus on his watch.
The visit to India by McMorris Rodgers, Reps. Aaron Shock, R-Ill., and Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., and several American businesspeople took place over 10 days and included accommodations in lavish hotels, according to records obtained by Hi India, a Chicago weekly newspaper covering South Asian politics abroad. McMorris Rodgers' office told the Post via email that the congresswoman only spent two days on the trip, which was funded by a Chicago-based political action committee.
Fifteen suicides an hour? That's the rate in India, according to an Associated Press story.
Financial difficulties and debts led to most of the male suicides while women were driven to take their lives because of domestic pressures and demands for dowry. A report released late Thursday says nearly 135,000 people committed suicide in the country of 1.2 billion last year. The report says the suicide rate increased to 11.4 per 100,000 people in 2010 from 10.9 the year before.
India suicides account for 20 percent of all suicides worldwide.
Just darn sad.
In India unwanted girls know they are unwanted, because they are named “unwanted.” Now, an effort to change a negative self-image begins with a new name.
A central Indian district held a renaming ceremony Saturday that it hopes will give the girls new dignity and help fight widespread gender discrimination that gives India a disproportionate gender ratio, more boys than girls.
The disproportion is due to the abortion of female fetuses or the profound neglect of girls, leading to their deaths. Boys will bring a dowry to a Hindi family, but girls are expensive - with that cost of a dowry.
Girls in the ceremony were happy with their new chosen names - such as Vaishali, which means prosperous, beautiful and good - and believe it will bring them the respect they deserve.
A bird attacks a kite designed like it during the International Kite Festival in Ahmadabad, India, Monday. Kite-flyers from 36 countries are participating in the festival which runs through Friday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)
- 1. Yea, you might have that whole “wind beneath my wings” thing going on…..but it comes with strings attached! — Formerly Sandpoint.
- 2. Come my dear, break the ties that bind and fly away with me! — Charlie.
- 3. These inflatable companions sure make finding a mate easier, thought Joe the Crow — Powder Farmer.
- HM: Gary D. Rhodes
An Indian mahout sits atop his elephant as it carries branches amidst heavy traffic on a road in New Delhi, India, Saturday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)
- 1. In an attempt to raise funds for needed road maintenance Butch Otter and the ITD began to allow megaloads to be transported on all Idaho, as long as you paid the fee. Said Otter, ‘We need to repair our roads, we don’t want travel in Idaho to resemble a third world country” — Phaedrus.
- 2. President Obama goes a little overboard as he uses the symbol of his party to extend an olive branch to Republicans on the tax cut issue — JohnA.
- 3. Get mahout of mahway — Nic.
- HM: Brent Andrews
President Obama hasn’t had much call to dance in the last week, but during a stop in Mumbai, India, earlier today he was invited to join a troupe of children dancers. So he did, and the video was very quickly cut and remixed with “In da Club” and hit the Internet.
Watching the video, it seems the president is using American steps for the Indian dance, and ending it with the politician’s handshake, which is a step unto itself.
When I was a little girl I loved to read fairy tales. I spent hours with my nose buried in beautifully illustrated books and my favorites were the classic stories of strong-willed maidens and castles far, far away.
To overcome whatever obstacle bound them, each woman used her wits, called on magic (there was always some kind of magic) and then fell for the handsome prince who came riding into each story just in the nick of time.
And each, by the end of the story, walked away with the keys to the castle.
The first time I opened the pages of Eat, Pray, Love I recognized a familiar landscape.
In it, author Elizabeth Gilbert writes about her failed marriage and combative divorce, her depression and tendency to repeat old patterns and, ultimately, her search for authentic self. That search, in case you’ve been on Mars and haven’t heard, took her to Italy for the food and language, India for spiritual solace and Bali for personal direction. At the end of the year, thanks to the magic of good food, a guru and a medicine man, and - the most magical thing of all - a lucrative book contract to write about experiences she had not yet had, she was whole again. And, coincidentally, in love with a hunk who’d come riding in and fallen head-over-heels for her.
That would be, by any middle-class, overworked, underpaid and under-appreciated woman’s standards, a fairy tale ending to a really bad year.
I’m not bashing the book. I read it and enjoyed it well enough when I actually finished it. (It took me two tries.) But at no time did I ever lose my head and believe that I can do what Gilbert did. Because, as it turns out, I am a middle-class, overworked, underpaid and occasionally under-appreciated woman. I may be able to get out of town for a week or two, when the budget and schedule allow, and if I organize things around the house and call home every night, but how on earth can I run away for a year to simply sit and think? I can’t. I have to take my peace and inspiration where I find them.
Now there’s a movie and Julia Roberts has made Gilbert’s story even prettier. Entertainment and enlightenment in 2 hours and 13 minutes. Another fairy tale ending.
The tourism industry is rushing to make Eat,Pray,Love packages available to women who want to retrace Gilbert’s journey. What do you want to bet well-heeled participants don’t have to scrub floors at the Asham.
Virginia Woolfe told us we need a room of our own and a little money. Those two things on their own are often hard enough to come by. Now, we need even more money and a trip around the world?
The thing I find most fascinating about the whole EPL phenomenon is that Gilbert, in true modern day princess fashion, has become a brand. You may not be able to book a flight away from the kids (children were a complication Gilbert didn’t have to work around) but thanks to the Home Shopping Network and Cost Plus World Market you can buy genuine Eat,Pray,Love merchandise to give your home that journey-of-personal-discovery look for less. Not to mention the jewelry, tea, candles and journals and perfume. All without a passport.
I guess the world hasn’t changed all that much since I read old fairy tales and my daughters watched spunky Disney princesses live happily ever after.
Can “Eat, Pray, Love” panties and Band-Aids be far behind?
Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance columnist for The Spokesman-Review. Her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at email@example.com
A person dressed as a giant condom walks past visitors standing in a queue to visit the Red Ribbon express train, background, at a railway station in Hyderabad, India, Thursday. The Red Ribbon express train is traveling across the country as part of a campaign to spread awareness on HIV and AIDS. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)
- 1. Letters read: object may may be smaller than it appears — Pecky Cox.
- 2. Bollywood discovers that “Dickzilla” is not as frightening as its Japanese counterpart — Mavis.
- 3. (tie) Clearly, this is where the rubber hits the road — Kevin Taylor, and: Apparently, in India size does matter — CindyH.
- HM: Gary D. Rhodes
“Boxers and wrestlers are being recruited by an Indian train company to intimidate thousands of ticketless travellers into paying up or getting off.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/6538362/Indian-trains-recruit-boxers-and-wrestlers-in-fight-against-ticketless-passengers.html
I love this final paragraph: “A spokesman for the Northern Railways denied the boxers and wrestlers were being deployed to intimidate passengers. “The boxers and wrestlers are Railway employees and are expected to function like any other ticker-checkers. There is absolutely no intimidation involved,” he said.”
What’s the most miserable commute you’ve had to endure?