Monthly Archives: March 2014

April: CSAAM 2014

Dear Friends,

It is that time of the year again. To poke the dragon. That time of the year when we, a team of people, gear up and talk about that topic which is taboo but which should not be; that topic which is only whispered about, hastily, fearfully, but about which we should be making a loud, deafening din; that topic which many people believe to be an urban legend but is a frightening reality on a depressingly large scale . ‘That topic’ is Child Sexual Abuse.

April 2014 is around the corner, and we are ready to spread the word in our fourth year of CSAAM. Once again, just as we have been doing for the last three years, we talk across social media, via Facebook, twitter and blogs about the menace that is CSA . All through the month of April.

This menace must stop spreading. Children must be made to feel safe. Parents need to know how to talk to their children. Survivors must know that they are not alone. We cannot do all this alone and we count on your support and participation.

Partnering us in our efforts this year will be organisations working in this field like Arpan, Tulir, Human Rights Watch as well as online initiatives like Blogadda and Womens Web. You will see personal testimonials, expert advice, twitter chats, information sources, resources, workshops, an iPhone app and lots and lots of blog posts across the blogosphere.

We understand confronting this issue is quite uncomfortable. But we also know silence is not a solution. We need to talk our minds out. We need to act. We need to support.

If you would like to post on your blogs, do send us a tentative date, so that we can schedule your post. If you would like to participate in a twitterthon, do let us know. Even forwarding this email to anyone you think might be interested in participating and contributing would be very helpful.

If you would like to add to the discussion or know somebody else who would, please note that we welcome entries:

mailed to csa.awareness.april@gmail.com OR

posted as FB notes and linked to Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Month Page OR

posted on your own blog with the badge and linked to the main blog OR

posted on your own blog with the badge and linked to the main blog OR linked or posted on Twitter tagged twitter.com/CSAAwareness OR

linked or posted on Twitter tagged twitter.com/CSAAwareness OR

Anonymous contributions are accepted and requests for anonymity will of course be honoured.

You can also support us by simply adding our logo of the initiative to your blog’s sidebar. Grab the code below to do so http://csaawarenessmonth.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/batch-code-txt-2013.docx

Please remember to send a mail with all necessary links or just your input to csa.awareness.april@gmail.com so that we can track your contribution and make sure that it is not inadvertently lost or missed out.

Some guidelines

Please precede the title of your post with CSAAM April 2014. Then add a hyphen and your title.

Please insert the badge html in your post. If you carry it on your sidebar for the entire month of April too part from just within your post, we would be honoured.

If you refer to sources for information kindly italicise that part of your post which is taken from the source and provide the link to the original source in a bracket.

And finally please avoid graphic descriptions of the abuse. Stay as factual as possible if you’re doing first person accounts.

We need all your help to make this month a success, and are counting on your support.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Warm regards,

CSAAM Team

http://csaawarenessmonth.com/

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Two Kinds of Film Awads

I love the Oscars. Always have. Always will.

Actually, I shouldn’t say always. I used to love the Miss Universe competitions when I was a little girl and the Miss India ones while a teenager. I mean come on, mine was the generation that saw Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai put India on the global beauty map.

Now of course I loathe those competitions. And it has nothing to do with sour grapes and everything to do with the feelings of inadequacy they breed.

Anyway, here and right now, I just love the Oscars. I always set an alarm to get up at the crack of dawn and watch, but last night I forgot, so by the time I started watching, I’d already missed about an hour-and-a-half or so.

And I have to say. I was disappointed. I kept waiting to fall off my seat laughing at witticisms, sarcasms, in house jokes and great scripting and Ellenesque delivery; I kept waiting to brush away tears at well-rehearsed-in-front-of-the-mirror-then-brilliantly-emoted-and-executed-on-stage acceptance speeches; I kept waiting to have my fist-pumping moments in the comfort pf my pj’s and the privacy of my living room. None of that really happened… I switched on the TV to see a very confused Ellen fumbling over pizzas. I’ll catch the repeat to see if I missed anything because from where I was sitting, I didn’t find it too funny. And the subsequent collection hat to pay for the pizza? Over-kill.

And then there was Whoopie! The lady’s still got it! And them red shoes too!

Did NOT enjoy PINK’s version of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow.’ Don’t know why they didn’t just ask Liza Minelli to do it.

Loved the acceptance speech by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. Had me going yeah, wow and awww all in good proportions.

What blew my socks off was the Swarovski crystal stage settings. Those crystal curtains, especially during Idina Menzel’s extremely lack-luster performance of ‘Let It Go’ were jaw-droppingly exquisite. Of course, I couldn’t help but think that it had some megalomaniac Delhi businessman thinking, “Ooh! Ooh! I want that for my daughter’s wedding!”

So, that was about it as far as the 2014 installment of the Oscars goes. What will people take back with them? I don’t know…pizza and crystals?

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So. I’m back. After watching the whole thing.

So I’ve revised a few of my opinions, but not all.

PINK, still a ‘No’ in my books, despite the hullabaloo all over the Net. But I also understand why they probably didn’t ask Liza. She looked too Botoxed to be able to be able to hum a note out properly. Idina Menzel still disappointing after a second chance. Karen O’s ‘The Moon Song’ from ‘Her’ was beautiful and haunting. U2 was, well, U2, But the performance of the night was Pharrell William’s ‘Happy’ from ‘Despicable Me:2’…it was joyous, brilliant and sooooo, sooooooooo bloody great!

Ellen’s opening speech was funny. Not uproariously so. Not laugh-until-you-cry so. Not even side-splittingly, pee-in-my-pants so. It was a bit haa-haa-hee-hee and here-a-chuckle-there-a-chuckle so. I think the awards-night-opening-act of the Tina Fey-Amy Poehler combo at the Golden Globes has really become a tough act to follow.

The Supporting Actor & Actress gave better speeches than the Best Actor & Actress, although Cate Blanchett’s was wonderfulish too, but the supporting guys, Jared Leto and Lupita Nyong’o, yeah, they rocked. Yes, Leto had my eyes a-shimmering with tears unshed when he paid tribute to him mom and big bro. And yes, Leto is my new crush. Mmmhmmm…

A few gems:

Lupita Nyong’o: No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.

Cate Blanchett:  …(for) those of us in the industry who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films with women at the centre are niche experiences. They are not. Audiences want to see them and, in fact, they earn money.

and my personal favourite, the one which will become a mantra:

Robert deNiro: The mind of a writer can be a truly terrifying thing; isolated, neurotic, caffeine-addled, crippled by procrastination and consumed by feelings of panic, self-loathing and soul-crushing inadequacy. And that’s on a good day.

Ba-dum-dum-tish!!

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It must be some kind of karmic prophesy that right after I finish watching the Oscars I get a message from a friend, Mithila Hegde, studying direction at the SRFTI. They just celebrated the National Students Film Awards. In fact, I went on Friday to see her short film in which I had a short role. Very, very well made. I was very proud of her, but horrified to see myself! God, I felt like adding a “Smoking Kills” type disclaimer on the screen, “Actress Not So Horrifically Hideous.”

The nice surprise was that I also got to see the short film my younger son acted in and I had tears in my eyes and a huge smile on my face! Lovely story, lovely film! By a young man from Korea, Junghyun Kim.

So, back to karmic prophesysing and fortelling futures… Remember these two names, folks, because they are the stars of tomorrow. Milthila won an award for Best Documentary and Kim won for Best Short Fiction Film.

Who knows, a couple of years down the line, when I’m sitting in the privacy of my living room in the comfort of my pj’s, I’ll be fist-pumping and getting all dewey-eyed and sentimental when they announce a familiar name at the Oscars…

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