Monday, December 15, 2008

John Abraham voted Asia's sexiest man alive...really?

by Hilath Rasheed

I have nothing against Bollywood star John Abraham being voted as Asia's sexiest man alive. I guess beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.
But upon closer scrutiny of the news article (read the original article here from, so many questions have arisen in my mind. I tried finding out more details of this weekly magazine called "Eastern Eye" without success so I am raising my objections based on the article.
The Eastern Eye is described as a leading "British Asian" weekly and the judges of the 'top ten' men were said to be "Brianna Ragel, editor of Asian Woman Magazine, Che Kurrien, editor of GQ India and the former editor of FHM India, Farhad Dadyburjor."
"The top ten sexiest male includes, John Abraham, Hrithik Roshan, Shah Rukh Khan, Ali Zafar, Upen Patel, Ranbir Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Imran Khan (actor), Jay Sean and boxer Amir Khan."
This list looks more like an "Indian" list than an assortment of Asian handsomeness.
One of my friends on Facebook was right to comment, not derogatorily, why doesn't Bangladeshis ever make such a list?
Yeah, why not?
There are so many countries to choose from Asia and this Eastern Eye despite being a "British Asian" weekly chose judges with so many India links "GQ India", "FHM India", and apparently extremely India-centric ones at that if their 'top ten' choices speak for itself.
This India-centric attitude is not uncommon among some high profile Indians as well. Bollywood star Madhuri Dixit once sparked protests in Kathmandu after she commented during a visit that "I thought that Nepal was once part of India."
And during my own travels to India, I have come across many Indians who ask me where I am from and when I reply that I am from Maldives, they tend to say something to the effect that Maldives is some islands under Indian dominion!
Apparently, everything revolves around India, and perhaps we may need some sort of consciousness-raising to change this view just like we needed modern scientific evidence to change the ancient view that the Sun and the Universe itself revolved around the Earth! Obviously, our human-centric-ness and ego-centric-ness may be proving to be contributing to our xenophobia, and the perception of "others" as being "foreign" -- with "us" only the ones who matter, who are the only thing beautiful in our eyes.
Of course, one can always hide behind the claim that beauty is subjective, and therefore, it lies in the eyes of the beholder. But it's sad when one's vision, appreciation and taste are limited to only one's favored ethnicity or races, not the rest of the humanity at large. Where did our humanity go?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Karan Johar "rab"-ing Shah Rukh Khan the wrong way again?

The best reaction to "Rab Ne Banayi Jodi"'s opening came from film's director Aditya Chopra and leading man Shah Rukh Khan's best friend Karan Johar in New York:

"Rab... will prove once and for all that the Adi-Shah Rukh jodi is godsent."

Don't 'Rab' that combo the wrong way. Read full story from

Monday, December 1, 2008

"See what your friends have done"

Just because "Firaaq", my film, deals with how Muslims 'also' get affected by violence, the terrorists are supposed to be my friends! Today a common young Muslim man around town is probably the most vulnerable. I got many messages from my Muslim friends who feel the need to condemn it more than anyone else, who feel the need to prove their national allegiance in every possible way. They are begging to be not clubbed with the terrorists, a fear not unfounded. Read full story from Haveeru Daily