Sunday, March 27, 2005

Tragedy at Bhangra Blowout

This year's Bhangra Blowout festivities ended in tragedy, as 20 year-old Ranjit Singh was fatally stabbed outside an afterparty for the event, held at the Old Post Office Pavilion in downtown Washington, D.C. The stabbing occurred around 3 a.m., almost an hour after the sold-out party ended according to police.

According to the story from the Washington Post,

after a fight broke out, a 5-foot-8 man of either Hispanic or Indian ethnicity, wearing a white shirt and braces on his teeth, pulled out a knife and fatally stabbed Ranjit Singh, 20, of Phillipsburg, N.J., police said. Two friends of Singh's pursued the attacker until they were stabbed by him at 12th and Pennsylvania, police said. The assailant escaped in a green car, and Singh's two friends were taken to a local hospital.

According to the Post article, and an article in the GW University newspaper the organizers capped party entrance at 1250 people, half the amount from the previous year, and had more security than required by the Old Post Office Pavilion. Partygoers also needed to pass through a metal detector because the pavilion is part of a federal complex. I am not really sure what more the organizers could have done to prevent such a tragedy.

When I was at GW, part of the reason BB was so successful was that fights and other such nonsense was checked at the door so that all could revel in the weekend. It wasn't just about the show or the party, but about people coming together as a group, as one collective, as a sea of sepia youth. Maybe I am just being nostalgic, but we didn't have to worry about being killed.

GWU said it would conduct a full review of Bhangra Blowout and decide if the event should be run differently, or if it should even continue to be held at all.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Kollektiv comes to DC


For those of us often feeling a little jealous b/c our cities, specifically every city except New York and LA, don't get cool desi talent to come and perform can find salvation now that some of my favorite dj's spinning desi influenced drum-and-bass, breaks, and electronica, are bringing their New York night to DC's Bossa Lounge (Adams Morgan) this Friday. Kollektiv DC, headlined by Karsh Kale (Six Degrees), Zakhm (Mutiny), dk/bollygirl (avaaz), dimmsummer (, and DC's own Vishal Kanwar on the paint and canvas, is one night not to be missed. This also happens to be taking place on one of the best Desi weekends in DC, Bhangra Blowout weekend, so you have no excuse not to be there, I will be. The party starts at 10.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Salman and Padma

It was about a month ago that Padma Lakshmi, the supermodel-turned wife of Salman Rushdie was canned by Guy Trebay in the NYT regarding her posturing during New York fashion week, and it was a bit over a week ago when the New York Metro revealed that Rushdie defended his wife's honor by threatening Trebay by saying “If you ever write mean things about my wife again, I’ll come after you with a baseball bat.” As if these two can't get enough ink in the New York papers, Rush and Molloy are reporting in the New York Post that Rushdie will be writing his wife a screenplay.
Rushdie told Webster Hall's Baird Jones: "I am working on a script for Padma to direct. It starts as a comedy, then becomes tragedy and finally ends in horrendous violence."

This wouldn't be that unusual, but the thing is, Padma can't really act (Have you seen the Mariah Carey bomb Glitter or Kaizad Gustad's Boom?). What makes him, or anyone, think she can direct?

Anoop Dawg ... Drop it Like a FOB

Click here for the video and enjoy--
Remember to turn up your volume. For those of you who don't know, FOB is short for "Fresh off the Boat," which is how many in immigrant communities refer colloquially to newly arrived immigrants.

Some choice lyrics:

"I got the champals on my feet, when I'm walking down the street, and I make the best saag when I want something to eat. "

Monday, March 07, 2005

Shortcut to Nirvana--Kumbh Mela-at a theatre near you

Ever wonder what it would be like to join 70 million of your closest friends as they find their way to spiritual bliss? The new documentary, opening in limited release on a city-by-city tour, Shortcut to Nirvana tries to clue you in, just in case you couldn't be there. The documentary chronicles the 2001 Kumbh Mela festival, one of the oldest, largest, and most fascinating festivals on earth. Kumbh Melas are typically held every 12 years, and the mela held in 2001 was an extra special mela as it was technically a Maha Kumbh Mela, which only occurs every 144 years, where the Ganga and Yamuna rivers meet, in Allahabad, India.

The film, by Maurizio Benazzo and Nick Day, attempts to offer a snapshot of the festival, and I think to try and do more would be an impossible task for a documentary. To view the trailer, click here and for news and theatre listings, click here.

For all of my Washington D.C. people, the film opens this Friday at E Street Cinema, and director Maurizio Benazzo will be there on Friday and Saturday.

To find out more about Kumbh Mela's click here.