Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Top 10 Desi Items of 2003

DESI Top 10

I know it was supposed to be 10, so I had to leave some stuff out. Anyway, my best Diasporic Desi items of 2003 in no particular order follows. Please feel free to add to them in the comments section.

1. Nasscom President Kiran Karnik being named Forbes "Face of the Year"
2. Bend it Like Beckham becoming an international hit.
3. Specifically, Panjabi MC breaking the top 5 in the UK, breaking into the top 40 in the U.S., and getting Jay-Z on a record, Rishi Rich remixing Britney Spears, and Raje Shwari getting all over American hip hop via the Neptunes and Timbaland. Generally, the overwhelming acceptance and use of South Asian sounds in American music.
4. Bombay Dreams doing it way big in the UK, being picked up to come to the US, and Bollywood going mainstream outside of South Asia (The Guru, Bride and Prejudice etc.)
5. Aishwarya Rai going West and making it. Look for her in the above-mentioned Bride and Prejudice, to costar with Merryl Streep in Chaos, and maybe (even though her agents deny it) popping up in the next James Bond Film. I think Ash is going to be the first Bollywood film star to make it big in Hollywood. I am talking posters on teenage boys' walls big. I would love to see her being interviewed by David Letterman. I can just see him drooling.
6. Parminder Nagra evolving off BILB and making it (and helping to save) ER.
7. The Indian call center worker/outsourcer making the world more efficient
8. AR Rahman finally being recognized on the World's Stage--can't wait to hear his Lord of the Rings-- the musical-- soundtrack.
9. Bobby Jindal proving that brown people can make it in politics (even if he did not truly represent the political views of many of his Desi brethren.)
10. Monica Ali's success with her novel Brick Lane and Jhumpa Lahiri's with The Namesake.

I am sure I missed some big things like Tunku Varadarajan being named editorial features editor at the Wall Street Journal, or Sanjay Gupta blowing up for the Desis on CNN, so... I would love to hear what you guys think. Maybe we can come up with some comprehensive list of cool Desi accomplishments of 2003 and post it later.


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