Wednesday, January 17, 2007


update (18/01): This is getting serious. Yesterday Danielle said Shilpa should 'fuck off home' (very BNP no?). She was immediately contrite when questioned about this in the dining room. Hopefully the wretched thing will grow a spine. Meanwhile, Jade the Awful (i'm too kind) continues behaving like head butch prisoner. Newsnight had the gorgeous Hari Kunzru and somebody else I can't remember talking about this. Kunzru appeared to think this wasn't racism. There's a difference between laws and norms, he said, and I'm increasingly concerned about the policing of norms (i.e. we shouldn't be policing norms). Quite right, but I fear his tolerance may be higher than mine. Perhaps you grow a thick skin when you've lived here all your life. I want to slap Jade.

Germaine Greer and Hari Kunzru reflect on what Shilpa's presence in the Big Brother house is doing to the others. I think she's behaving like a good convent-educated girl, maybe a bit of a prefect now and then, but she's much more beautiful and successful than anyone else there and they know it. And I don't care if I sound like a sentimental, flag-waving diasporic. Go Shewpa (as Jade would say)!!!

Allegations of racism from different parties. It turns out the Indian Foreign Ministry has even contacted the UK High Commission in Delhi to complain. From what I've seen myself so far (admittedly not much), I wouldn't use the 'r' word - although if she was called a Paki, I think the accusations of racism are warranted. But I do think there's a sort of ganging up going on with Jade and 2 other unmemorables getting together against her for every little thing. It's an over-determined situation though - can't tell whether it's because she's Indian or because she gives them an inferiority complex or because she is just plain irritating in some ways (cf Greer above).

More here, with a far too flattering photograph of the awful Jade (does anyone remember her from the 'ordinary' Big Brother series? I think you'd need to dig into the Heat magazine archive to learn just how awful she used to be..) Am I being reverse racist? Or maybe classist?

Monday, January 01, 2007


(right) Valley of Kings
(left) Temple of Philae

(above left) agarbattis from Chamarajpet, Bangalore, on sale in Aswan, Egypt
(above right) Karnak
(right) My parents (left) in Galabeyas, cruising down the Nile with friends from Madras (not Osama, despite appearances to the contrary)

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