The media today through Television shows talks about ‘ugly people’, they help circulate images on the internet and even have dating sites for them.

UGLY. The word it self gives me shivers. The moment you classify someone or something as ugly they automatically become repulsive to you, which incidentally is how Oxford dictionary defines the word. *Ugly is unpleasant or repulsive, especially in appearance.

I found a dating site especially for the ‘aesthetically challenged’ .The site in question is - It has been in the news in United kingdom because two of it members are now engaged. Definitely an achievement for any dating site.

Still, who decides who is ugly and who is beautiful?

There are two sides of this argument. Often, people have self esteem issues related to the way they look. When someone tells you that the place for you is with them because ‘you don’t like what you see in the mirror’ it only reinforces your belief that you are ugly and therefore only suited to looking for an ugly partner. Instead of helping them move on from their issues it certifies the fact that they are odd looking and therefore unappealing. Not to mention Ugly is an ugly and derogatory word.

However, in the pursuit of Journalistic interest I visited the site and had a look at the members . They are just regular looking people with nothing wrong with them except the fact that they might have low self esteem issues based on their physical appearance.

The other side of the coin is the fact that this forum gives dating challenged people hope to find someone with the same issues and the same interests. Yes they can find someone they get along with, someone who doesn’t give physical beauty much importance.

Discrimination exists in many forms. The whites discriminated against the blacks, Hitler meant to wipe out the Jews and in cultures all over the world people are discriminated against because of gender, race, caste and class. Is the world now going to be divided into Pretty and Ugly people? In the 21st century, divisions like these are only going to reinforce stereotypes of physical appearance and create a divide between people who think they’re beautiful and people who think they’re not.

Christina Aguilera’s song says it all ‘You are beautiful- no matter what they say.’

Watch this video –






*h ttp://

Published in: on October 30, 2010 at 9:07 am  Comments (7)  
Tags: , , , , ,


We all know what journalists do; they inform, educate and entertain the public. What we don’t know is how they do it.

Here is an insider’s guide.

I locate my target and start walking towards him. He senses me and quickens his pace but I am relentless and almost run to catch up with him. I feel like a stalker as passers by shoot glances at me pursuing this gentleman.

When I feel like the time is right I say: “Excuse me?”

He looks at me with wide eyes making me feel like I’m the ghost of Christmas past instead of just a journalism student pursuing a likely candidate for a story that she wants to write.

Needless to say he gives me a quick three second reply before running off. This was my first experience of journalism in real life as I walked around my University looking for people to interview for a news assignment.

I volunteered to work for a local news website, and from then on the student tag was gone, I was a journalist.

From then on, there emerged a pattern.

I cover events for the website about once a week. Talking to organisers of events is easy as they want all the media attention they can get.

When it comes to talking to important people like politicians or even mini celebrities one must have excellent spying abilities. Especially if you are a rookie.

They show up unpredictably and are gone before you know it. Once you have them in your line of vision you must surreptiously follow them, trying to look professional and non-stalkerish at the same time.

Then come, the people.

At a recent event I wanted to record audio clips of the spectators. As I approached them they literally fled in the opposite direction leaving me wondering if my breath really smelled or if it just the recorder that spooked them.

God forbid, I actually had a video camera!

To be a good journalist, one must be as smart as Sherlock Holmes, suave as 007 and as quick as lightning to be the first one with the right angles to a story . I only hope I acquire these skills and soon!

Published in: on October 28, 2010 at 7:48 pm  Comments (9)  
Tags: , , ,

Celebrities – Fame and the craziness that follows

Keith Richards confessed to snorting the ashes of his dead father while Britney Spears had a very public meltdown which involved her going in and out of rehab, shaving her head and losing custody of her children.

The King,Elvis Presley was known to have been addicted to drugs.It ultimately accelerated his untimely death. Paul John Gascoigne a retired professional footballer has gone bankrupt, been arrested for drug use and gotten into fights with the media.

What they all have in common? Money, Fame and public adulation. Elvis rose to fame and went down in history as one of the greatest singers of all time. He enjoyed the love and attention of crazy fans but as his career declined his personal life took a hit.

Britney Spears career took off right from the time she was a young girl and then like all good artists she peaked. What followed the peak was a sad struggle to get back on her feet.

These celebrities among many others have the chance to live their dream. They do what they love and get loved for it .In the process many of them lose their sense of reality. Once you have been in the limelight it becomes difficult to stay out of it. They then turn to doing anything they possibly can to stay in the eyes of the public.

There are sad cases when this struggle turns ugly with drug abuse being common among celebrities as their resources and lifestyle gives them access to drugs. It can be seen as a plea for help, a cry for attention as they cope with no longer having the fame and lifestyle that they once had.

Paul Gascoigne in a 2005 BBC documentary titled Life After Football stated that retiring from football had ‘ripped his heart out’.Elvis in his later years was called ‘a garish pop crooner’ among other things.

Being referred to as a ‘has been’ to someone like that has disastrous effects.

Joaquin Phoenix bizarrely announced he was going to end his flourishing acting career and pursue rapping but this turned out to be for a “documentary” that chronicles what happens after one reaches his peak.

All good things must come to an end but does that mean celebrities must become victims of their own success? The media also has a part to play. It showers celebrities with praise then goes on to disregard them and finally ignore them. Celebrities must remember ’15 minutes of fame is all you get’ and if they can reconcile with that we’d have a lot fewer celebrity meltdowns!


Published in: on October 27, 2010 at 9:32 pm  Comments (4)  
Tags: , , , , ,

The fourth Estate

The media the world over is well known for different reasons. Some have been part of uprisings, rebellions; fights for justice while others are simply profit making enterprises. Citizens become journalists and journalists can go on and become celebrities. Journalism and journalists cannot be clearly defined.

However, the one quality they all have in common is the power to influence. Whether it is a government owned agency that only promotes the government, a privately owned one that is influenced by advertisers or just a credible journalist, their sphere of influence is immense. We all have favorite papers, news channels and public figures that we trust and look up to.

India guarantees freedom of speech and expression to its citizens but has one law that says no citizen or organization can incite the public against the government or the country. It is the law of sedition. Arundhati Roy, a novelist, an activist and journalist has come under fire for this same reason.

Kashmir, a widely disputed area in north India has been in the news for years as India and Pakistan both want to claim her for their own, while some citizens want to form an independent state.

Roy at a rally in Kashmir recently said,” Kashmir has never been an integral part of India”.

She also said India had ‘colonized’ Kashmir after the British left in 1947.This has created furor in the country with two groups up in arms, one that says charging her with sedition goes against the right to free speech while the other thinks her statement was far too provocative in already tense atmosphere.

She has been outspoken in her support for a number of causes including environmental issues in India. Most of her statements have been legitimate and supported by logical argument but this comment seems to have come from someone who is now so used to creating a sensation that she just needs more attention.

If you are a public figure and have the power to influence a large number of people it becomes doubly important to weigh the words you use and how you use them. As an aspiring journalist I can only say that if I had the power to impact so many people I would make sure I was doing it for the right reasons which at this point seems like the last thing on Roy’s mind.

Published in: on October 26, 2010 at 8:06 pm  Comments (7)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Home is where the heart is <3

The greatest journeys are the one’s that bring you home. A line from the book *The Namesake best describes our relationship with the places we call home.

Most of us are nomadic, it doesn’t mean we literally live on the road but in life we go from one place to another. The places we go to and the places we leave behind always stay in our hearts but the one place that is irreplaceable is the one we call home.

Home is not where you spend the most years or where your family is. It is what makes you who you are, the place that you ultimately and completely belong to. The place where you fit in, something we struggle to do throughout our lives.

It was a particular incident that got me thinking about this. London has a huge Indian and Pakistani community. The 2010 floods of Pakistan have prompted citizens living in a London area called Harrow to come together and raise money for the victims under the Harrow Mayors flood relief appeal.

One of the principal organisers of an event held yesterday was a man who hails from Pakistan. He left home decades ago but still made the effort of going back inspecting the flood ravaged area and raising money for the people that were affected. His life in London is far removed from a place he left behind but the pull we feel to home is like no other and this is proof enough.

Mr. R. Khanna left India for America 20 years ago and even had to take up U.S citizenship in order to end the problems he faced after 9/11. He maybe a US citizen by legality but in his heart, he will always be an Indian.

He says,” I have lived in this country for 20 years but I have never belonged. I still feel that I will return to my home – India, one Day. It may sound totally silly, but the best sleep I have ever had was always in India. I still remember waking up to the sound of koel in the distance.”

The park that you met your first boyfriend in, the library you used to get away when the world got to difficult to bear and the bread that you only get in the tiny shop near your home gives you warmth and  a feeling of familiarity. *Home is that place that remains unchanged letting you see the ways in which you have altered.

I left my home two months ago to come study at the University of Westminster. London maybe the most vibrant city in the world with the best desserts and the most beautiful parks but I know that no matter how much I fall in love with London the place in my heart that’s reserved for my home says Mumbai. And I’m pretty sure any one else who has ever left home agrees with me.

*Adaptation of a Nelson Mandela quote

*From The Namesake

Published in: on October 25, 2010 at 2:45 pm  Comments (6)  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

A trip to London Zoo

The prettiest and most calming sights at London Zoo-

Natural symmetry

The *owl* butterfly

"Animal" Instinct

The two flies.


Pig sty 🙂

The King and Queen

Published in: on October 23, 2010 at 1:33 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , ,

“Animal” Instinct

We kick, we scream, we bite, we throw food and we pick lice off each other. Who are we?

The answer to that is not monkeys. It is human beings. Charles Darwin talked about evolution, that human beings developed and got civilized while the rest of the animals including our Ape ancestors got left far behind.

A trip to the zoo necessitated a questioning of that belief. Human beings may have learnt how to walk straight, reach the moon and develop technology that can produce practically anything but when it comes to life it’s the basic instincts that take over.

Hunger, thirst, procreation and survival remain the most important aspects of human life. We are slaves to our most basic needs and we can go around thinking that we are the most civilized race around but the truth is far from that.

Even though we have evolved human behaviour is questionable. We fight wars even though our logical brains know that it causes destruction and despair.  We destroy the very earth we inhabit in order to modernise and make our lives easier. We walk the streets with our heads held high because we have control over the things we do.

According to the US department of Justice a woman is raped in the States every 2 minutes. US happens to be one of the most developed countries in the world. In which case, how much of our baser instincts have we really managed to overcome?

We have mastered the ability to speak but domestic physical abuse remains a pressing problem in many developing countries.

We call the human race superior but what makes us human is slowly fading away. We are slowly losing our humanity, in our race to succeed and move forward we are no longer civilized but we are getting more primal.

Watching the animals at the zoo you get the feeling that even though they’re the one’s behind the glass windows we’re the real entertainment. The joke is on us. Whether in the wild or in a zoo, the wise old animals probably look at us and think to themselves, “ These people may have evolved but we’re definitely more civilised”. And they just maybe right!!

Published in: on October 23, 2010 at 1:22 pm  Comments (4)  
Tags: , , , , , ,

“Rooney’s leaving United. What am I going to do”?

This is what many Manchester united fans must have running through their heads right now. Social networking sites have been abuzz with people dedicating their statuses to the sad news that Manchester United Star Rooney may well be on his way out once his contract ends.

Manager Alex Ferguson broke the news that Wayne Rooney does indeed want to leave the football club in early 2012, which is when his present contract ends. The question is while yes, football is a way of life for many individuals how does his leaving the club affect anyone personally?

The answer is, it does. For many of us, what we do in the little free time we have becomes a constant source of happiness… we begin to live vicariously through the people we watch on the television, whether they’re playing football or giving a concert to thousands of people.

We can feel the euphoria of scoring a goal against the team we always wanted to beat and almost feel the rush of performing for a crowd of screaming fans.

When your favorite author decides never to write a book again, when your soap opera star is killed off the soap he starred in for seven years you feel like the safe, secure part of your life, the part that has always been constant is taken away.

We choose what we do in our spare time and that becomes what we look forward to. “It’s what you do that defines who you are” which is why we get so attached to people we don’t know and sports we don’t even play.

That is why, if and when Wayne Rooney does ultimately leave Manchester United his fans will feel his heartbreak, they will feel his loss and will mourn. Life will go on. It does not really stop for anyone, not even for them to catch a breath.

The only thing we can do is to go on and hope for better and brighter things. In this case, that would be hoping Alex Ferguson and Rooney kiss and make up and give Man Utd fans another reason to smile!

Quote credit- Batman Begins (2005)

Published in: on October 19, 2010 at 12:25 pm  Comments (6)  
Tags: , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: