Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sarah, have you considered Bollywood?

Pop quiz time - What politician is the following remark (scraped from a friend's Facebook page) about?
"I am so sick of that woman - have been for months now. What did she do now?"
OK, so you really should not gloat about getting that one right. (If you did not get that one, however, then ..ahem.. well, living under a rock is not for everyone, but more power to you). So of course, I'm talking bout Sarah Palin and yes, following in the footsteps of most national news magazines and cable channels, I am devoting an entire post on my blog to her.

Despite the amazing success of her book, there is the real danger that Palin is close to jumping the shark. Like the Gosselins and Octomom and Sanford, once the book is replaced on the bestseller list or the next lying/cheating politician/sports star is discovered, she could find herself looking for ways to prolong those 15 seconds of fickle fame.

And that, actually, is the purpose of this article. To suggest a plausible, lucrative avenue of fame and fortune for Sarah Palin, which, as we say in the corporate world, would be a great fit for her strengths and talents. The question is simple - "Sarah, have you considered Bollywood?" Yes, Bollywood - the Indian movie industry, for the benefit of the under-rock dwellers that are reading this. Even as I write this, I cannot believe that there is not a proposal to the same effect being considered in the Palin household right now. Remember you heard it here first - remember that because it is going to happen and when you hear the news, I want you to recall where you first heard the genius plan. In case you doubt the logic of the plan, let me lay out for you why this makes perfect sense.

1. Alternate reality, no problem! - The problem that most people (the ones I know, at least) have with poor Palin is the sheer ridiculousness of her statements and assertions. You know, the Bridge to Nowhere, the Troopergate explanations, blah, blah. All those issues where people demand a sane, reasoned explanation of facts, like that other guy - the President of the USA, likes to present. So just because she does not do that, people tend to dismiss her, call her ...well, names and mock her. None of this, NONE of this will be a problem in Bollywood. We Hindi movie watchers have grown used to a world where inconvenient realities are simply dismissed and replaced with fantastical notions. We suspend rational thought and objective questioning everytime we walk into a darkened theater for our next dose of dream sequences, song and dance routines, 40 year olds playing college students and our beloved heroes bashing a team of muscled bad guys - while having a few bullets in their bodies. All we ask of our lead actors is for them to look good (check), invoke mass hysteria (check) and stay in the news (check). So, does it not sound like the perfect situation for Ms Palin? She would fit right in - she could go right on being the star - swooping in and saving the masses from the cruel excesses of....well, I'm sure the script writers will find something to plagiarize and "adapt".

2. Irrelevant - no problem! - As Denise Richards, Kylie Minogue and Sylvester Stallone have discovered, when you become irrelevant in the Western world, you pack your bags and flash some white skin and your foreign accent on the desi scene - voila, instant moolah and adulation. The Indian movie industry will open its arms to any white "has-been" or "wants to be" and luckily for Sarah, she could be either or both!
Bearing out the truth of points 1 &2 above, here is a video of Kylie Minogue in a recent Bollywood production proclaiming she wants to "Chiggy Wiggy with you boy". Hey, I don't know what that means either - it's not going to stop me from watching the movie and buying the song on iTunes.
More logical reasoning in the Sarah for Bollywood campaign after the jump

3. International relations - President Obama just hosted the first state dinner for Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh. The entire world is scrambling to get in on a piece of India's rapid growth. Wouldn't this be a perfect opportunity for the possible future Presidential candidate to get some valuable experience on foreign shores? Ones that, in fact, she cannot see from her front porch? Think about it, she could also be inspiring her most rabid supporters to opening up their minds to other cultures. She could be building a bridge - this time it would lead somewhere. A bridge from Minnesota to Mumbai, from Kansas to Kolkata. The horizons that it would expand, the people it would connect! It could be a beautiful thing - you betcha! And as Barack has already proved, being an international rock star only helps political careers these days.

So there it is - it all makes perfect sense to me. I hope you are listening Sarah. And, no - its not a ploy to get you off the national news circuit here in America. This is an earnest appeal for you to expand your horizons and add to your list of blockbuster achievements - Going Rogue would make a good foundation for Bollywood's first female superhero thriller. Consider it, please!

In case you decide to pursue this, I'll leave you with a helpful guide to Bollywood, courtesy of

Monday, November 9, 2009

To New York and back.

Last week, I went on a business trip to New York. I was attending a conference there - and I think its fair to say that I have never awaited ANY conference as eagerly as I did this one. While I am excited and passionate about Digital Marketing, the prospect of heading to New York was equally (ok, a little more - oh all right, it was a lot more) exciting than the conference itself.

The day before I was supposed to leave though, I started to have this nasty sinking feeling I get anytime I am getting on a plane without my kids. "How," I wondered, "will they cope without me?" ignoring the fact that they would have the undivided attention of their Dadddy - unimaginable luxury!! "But I am the constant in their routines, with Dad travelling so much. It will be worse for me to be gone," I couldn't stop torturing myself.

I went - and sulked some more - at myself, for being so far away. But then, I was in Manhattan. I checked into the hotel and stepped outside. The hotel was a few blocks from Time & LIfe building - my former workplace. So there I was, back in my old neck of the woods. Very soon, I was part of the crowd, merrily jostling away - hurrying to get wherever it was I was going - even if, that particualr day, it was nowhere in particular. I crossed the street as soon as I spotted a gap in the traffic - never mind the stop hand sign - I squeezed in the narrowest opening between crowds of people and shook my head in loud impatience when the two ladies in front of me paused to admire Rockerfeller center. "Tourists" - I almost, just **almost** muttered under my breath.

The next few days were great. The kids did miss me and it was hard for me to hear thier voices and imagine them being home without me. But then, I figured, "I'm here - I better make it worth it." The conference was great - a new perspective on how the world is thinking about what I do, catching up with trends, listening to the experts and chatting with new people I met. It reaffirmed my faith in what I do, reassured me that my skills were current and reenergized me to shore up on the areas I wasn't too familiar with. In the evening, I went to dinner with friends or even by myself - choosing from the fabulous array of cuisines and styles that only New York has to offer. I walked everywhere - taking in the sights, the smells - I had forgotten the smell of street food and the undescribable blend of metal, trash and god knows what else that combines in the subway stations. I soaked in the sheer excitement and energy while also at times, watching from afar - I had been here a few years ago, running like the crowds now were, falling asleep on the train, exhausted from my crazy commute and insane schedule. I had been here and it took me about 30 minutes to get adjusted. How dramatic all this must seem to someone who came here as a tourist. I understtod, for the first time, all the things people always said when I told them I lived in New York and loved it. At times, I felt sorry I had left. I had broken from the constantly surging crowd - Now, I felt, I was out of the game - my life felt staid, composed and frankly, a little boring.

The morning when I was supposed to leave, I spent a tad too much time shopping with friends and was running behind as we ran to the subway. "Hey, just get on the next flight if you miss this one - more time in NY!" laughed a friend. The mere thought made me tense up. I made it on time - to the airport and to the plane. A long flight later, as we touched down in Seattle, I broke into a run as I exited the plane. I couldn't wait to see my family again.

So, of course, home is where the heart is. Amazing how profound these cliches feel when you arrive at the realization yourself. Good friends, a great job, a warm house and yes, no sprinkler for the lawn. Seattle is home for now - dont know how long. Permanent migrants is the term P has coined for us - always looking ahead to what's next. Maybe back to New York, maybe even further back to India, maybe we'll head forward somewhere completely new. Who knows - I thought as I spotted the two heads bobbing up and down in excitement as they saw me exiting the airport. "What did you get for us, Mommy? What did you get?" "I brought myself back," I grinned at them.