Posts Tagged With: Gandhi

Jesus, Gandhi and Mother Teresa act for UNICEF: Anybody can be a saint!


During a dinner given for the  people who dedicated their lives to goodness and peace, a Swedish average Joe finds himself among Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Jesus.
I particularly love Dandy JesusChrist delicately sipping his glass of vintage Bordeaux!

This is my favourite:

There are three videos you can see on Amigos de India

The UNICEF site

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Aamir Khan on cover of Time Magazine

Never expect to look good on a Time cover…

Many Indians have already been on the cover of Time Magazine, this well-known American weekly that most of us have bought to try to improve our English and to be more cultured but who have never managed to read the least article to the end because it was too difficult and too economically oriented.

Mahatma Gandhi is the champion, of course, since he has appeared three times but only before the date of his death.


Being named Gandhi (Rajiv Gandhi, Indira Gandhi) would have seemed to be the condition sine qua non to have your portrait on the cover of this magazine if Sachin Tendulkar and his gold cricket-bat hadn’t had this honour too. I find this picture really beautiful, which is unuasual for the Time!

Very few Bollywood actors have had this tremendous honour which means that you have some kind of power or influence in the international society. Only three. Who? Raj Kapoor? Nooooooo! Amitabh Bachchan? You’re freezing!  Shahrukh Khan?  Ah ah ah! Stop pulling my leg! It’s ticklish*!

No, the winners are:

In 2003, Aishwarya Rai (Between you and me, I don’t really know what she has done to be on this cover. Apart from acting in marvellous Devdas and in this stupid remake of Pride and Prejudice… I must have missed an episode…or I suppose she has been the best representative of this new generation of artists who managed to cross the Indian borders to make their mark worldwide. )

In 1976, Parveen Babi was also on the cover… everybody knows who Parveen Babi was, of course! So, if you already know her, I don’t need to tell you that she was a famous Bollywwood actress and  a model in the 70s and 80s and that according to Wikipedia, she had a little canari in her head as she accused Amitabh Bachchan of trying to kill her. She finally died alone at home, in 2005.


And in 2012, the third Bollywood star on the Time cover is Aamiiiir Khaaaan! (I know, there was no suspens, the picture is above and it is the title of my post!) He is not a starlet from Bollywood, he hasn’t slept with Danny Denzongpa and has never had the role of Elizabeth Bennet in the film adaptation of a Jane Austen’s novel. No, he is the hoster of Satyamev Jayate I have already written about here. I like the headline: Khan’s Quest which summarizes what I think of Aamir Khan, a man who just tries to go forwards, a man who wants to add a new piece to the jigsaw puzzle of the Indian society but who doesn’t seem to despair even if his piece is tiny.

The patient warrior…

Your intention please! I’ve just discovered that Shahrukh Khan had already featured on a Time-cover BUT… it was just for a 2004 Special Issue called Asia’s Heroes. Better than nothing…

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The Greatest Indian after Mahatma Gandhi…won’t be Amitabh Bachchan!

But why, why didn’t they vote for me? That’s unfair! Only my goldfish love me!

The 10 nominees left in this historical poll are (drum roll, drum roll…):

AB Vajpayee (Politician)

Indira Gandhi (Prime Minister)

APJ Abdul Kalam (Scientist and President of India)

Lata Mangeshkar ( Playback Singer)

Mother Teresa (Religious personnality)

Sachin Tendulkar (Cricket Player)

Jawaharlal Nerhu (Prime Minister)

JRD Tata (Businessman)

Dr BR Ambedkar (Politician)

Vallabhbhai Patel (A great figure in India independence and deputy Prime Minister)

Two of my three faves have remained in the list: Tata and Ambedkhar but Ray has disappeared.

A few names were expected: Mother Teresa and Jawaharlal Nerhu. It is interesting to notice that the only person representing the world of cinema and music is Lata Mangeshkar, a famous playback singer considered as the nightingale of India.

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Who is the Greatest Indian after Mahatma Gandhi?

Salman is everywhere!That is the terrible question you are asked on this site. This historical poll (they say it is historical, by the way, their slogan is: « Cast your vote, Make History! » Hou! Hou! What a responsability!), is organised by Reliance Mobile and TV channels CNN-IBN and History-TV18.

That is the Gordian knot! Which man or woman in India can compete with Gandhi? The Mahatma has influenced so many great men like Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela! Which sportsman or artist can stand on the second step of the podium? Rabindranath Tagore, maybe? Oups! The Greatest Indian must have lived after the independence!

This vote was all the more difficult for me as, of course, I did not know most of the Great Indians from the list. Dev Anand, Kapil Dev, RK Laxman…who are those people? Sometimes, the names themselves did not ring a bell to me but once I read the short biographies provided by the site, it was like « Oh, yes, this guy! I see.. » So, my choices have been really subjective.

First of all, I won’t vote for yogis or gurus because, well, I am a Paris dweller, my only religion is shopping and my only practise of yoga is when I strech my arm to turn the TV on…to be short, these people may have many qualities, they are not my cup of chai.

Secondly, I will avoid voting for someone like Indira Gandhi. She is fascinating but she did so many controversial things! But, after all, does the greatest Indian have to be morally perfect? In that case, what should one think about Sainte Mother Teresa who has been highly criticized for refusing birth control and, still according to critics, providing inadequate treatment to her protégés?

I could have voted for painter Maqbool Fida Hussainwho was chased from India and who died in exile because he had personified her as a naked woman but I do not really like the paintings I have seen so far and which are a bit like a poor mixture of Matisse and Picasso to me. It is the same about MS Subbulakshmi, a carnatic singer who got the Bharat Ratna, but whose way of singing freaks me out.

I could have voted for Amithab Bachchan too, but could I seriously vote for a man who played the Genie in the film Aladin? Yes, I could. I love this classy actor!

But, I had to make three choices, like in Aladin ( Well, actually I didn’t have to but I did it!):

So, Marilay’s Greatest Indians are:

Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhai Tata: To me, he is the symbol of modern and wealthy India; he was one of the first Indian pilots and I like old pilots like Charles Lindbergh. He is the name you can see on lorries in traffic jams, he is Nano’s daddy and I want a pink one, and he has been praised for considerably improving his employees’ work conditions. In addition, he was born in Paris, and his mommy was French, I know, that is not a good argument but I indulge myself this shameful and chauvinistic little pleasure! Oh, yes, and I have read on Wiki he was buried at the Père Lachaise Cimetery! If one day I feel like having a walk among graves, I will go and take a few pictures to show them to you on the blog!

Satyajit Ray: This Bengali director is one of the most famous Indian artists ever. He is extremely admired in the cinema industry. In short, he is a Master. I have not seen all his films yet, since French TV programmers always prefer broadcasting The City of Joy and Slumdog Millionnaire again and again but I love the perfect beauty of The Chess Players and Hirak Rajar Deshe made me die laughing.

Bhimrao Ambedkar: He is not very popular outside India but he is the father of India constitution and Indian democracy. He himself was an « outcaste » and got over it thanks to education. He was against the Hindu Caste System and is often considered by Indian people to be even greater than Mahatma Gandhi.

Voilà! And you, who are you going to vote for?

Click on the photo to see where they are from.

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Shahrukh, Sachin, Gandhi…and me!

   I have just come back from a trip to London with my fifteen-year-old students. I India-love London because it is the kind of town where you can meet Sikhs driving expensive cars near Covent Garden, women in saris visiting the V&A museum, young Asian businessmen reading Hindi newspapers in the tube or elderly Hindus climbing step by step up to the top of Saint Paul’s Cathedral.

I may be silly, but I envy Londoners because part of their culture is Indian, part of their food is spicy and part of their people have an accent from over there.

This Indian presence is obvious when you visit places like Madame Tussaud’s Museum. Everybody knows this outstanding museum where wax models are displayed.

I was surprised to see that visitors were allowed to take pictures next to their favourite celebrities and even to touch them. It was fun! There, I saw different great « people » like the Royal Family, Margaret Thatcher, Nicolas Sarkozy (we had to hurry to take a picture, he will be replaced very soon, I guess!), Brad Pitt and Angelina Joly, Nelson Mandela or even Adolf Hitler!

But I also met…

Mohandas Gandhi

Shahrukh Khan

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