Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Divine Right of Denim

A couple weeks ago, I was reading a fashion article which said that all denim outfits are no longer fashion faux pas. Instead, this look was apparently present on a lot of runway shows this year. High end designers like Ralph Lauren and Dolce and Gobbana are all doing denim on denim. So I checked out some pictures online and I kind of liked it.

Some denim looks from Chole, Ralph Lauren, D&G

I usually think of jeans as merely an necessity (you kind of need to wear pants) and sort of an after thought for an outfit. It was out of my comfort zone to go all denim but I decided to try out the look on my own. Here's what I came up with.

asymmetrical denim blazer: Charlotte Russe (10 bucks!)
cream tunic-Discreet
medium tone skinny jeans: Decree 
denim flats: No Boundaries
"N" initial necklace: 

I wanted to do this look by pairing different denim shades together--after all, wearing the same denim all across in everyday life may send a signal along the lines of "I suffer from an acute mental disorder." I also included the cream tunic underneath to give the eye a slight break from so much denim.

Lesson of the day: high end fantasy looks are not only reserved for the runway or glossy magazine covers. As long as you have an editing eye and tone things down for real life, you can take inspiration directly from the big designers.

Until next time,


Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Hipster

Name: Christian TV
Sounds Like:  New Kids on the Block, Justin Timberlake
Start With: "Love2Baby" click here 

Don't let the name fool you; this is not a faith based rock band like The Script, Red, or Family Force Five. Instead, Christian Berishaj better known as his stage name "Christian TV" integrates sultry techno beats with in-your-face-lyrics into creating his catchy songs that any DJ would be jealous of.  He was even featured on Britney Spear's twitter page last year.  And with good reason because there's only one word that comes to mind when you hear his music: cool. That's it. There's no much more left to say. He's just plain cool. And perhaps even a little chic (I love his hair).

So check out Christian TV on iTunes and let us know what you think. We're sure you'll be as hooked on him as we are!

Remember, you can convert any of his songs on Youtube to an mp3 file for your iPod, here.

With love,

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Threat to Everyone

On Thursday, September 21, 2011 at 11:08 p.m., Troy Davis was executed by lethal injection, according to a Reuters article that you can read here. I'm sure everyone's Twitter timelines and Facebook news feeds were, and probably still are, blowing up with the outrage, sadness and anger. If you didn't know who Troy Davis was before tonight, you probably know who he is now. But in case you still don't know, here's the background story.

Davis was convicted in 1989 for the crime of murdering a police officer in Savannah, Georgia. What's the big deal you may ask? I mean, it sounds like a criminal got what he deserved, right? So why the uproar and the protest? Well, Davis was an African American man who shot a Caucasian police officer in a southern state's city. Seven out of the nine witnesses changed their testimonies, saying that the police forced them to testify against Davis or that it was actually another man that committed the crime. Oh, and there was no physical evidence found against Davis.

Is this really justice? Now, I admit that I am not in any position to make a judgement. I honestly don't know what the circumstances were or what the full details of the case are. But when seven out of the nine witnesses used against Davis are changing their testimonies, does Davis not deserve a final appeal? Can the Supreme Court really not hear him out one more time? I mean this isn't just a prison sentence or fine. This is a matter of someone's LIFE.

It just really, really breaks my heart when someone that could have very much been innocent is killed like that. Is it really that easy to take a life away from someone? Everyone deserves one more chance to explain themselves. In Davis' case, it was very much possible that he was innocent. Maybe he was just a man in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Our justice system is flawed, and what sucks even more is that it can take 10 more Troy Davises before any flaw is even attempted to be fixed.

"I am innocent" were his last words.

Rest in peace, Troy Davis.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

did we really just meet Jason Castro?

Jason Castro visited our school for an I Am Second event. Not only did we get to attend the concert, we also got a chance to meet him and get pictures! Here is a little look into each of our experiences.

When Naz texted me Tuesday night that Jason Castro was coming to our school, I freaked out! I couldn't believe it. I assumed the concert would be later on since we were just now finding out about it, but later we found out that the concert was actually the next night! If we hadn't found out in time, we probably would've missed the whole thing and I would've been extremely angry. Excitement built up fast. I couldn't wait for it to be Wednesday night.

And then the moment finally came. It was Wednesday night and me, Alyssa and Naz head out to the concert on campus. When we entered the hall, we were kind of surprised by how there weren't that many people there. I guess not everyone is a crazy Jason Castro fan like us (but seriously people, don't you watch American Idol?). About an hour later, Jason Castro took the stage. He sang a variety of songs and let me just say, he sounded DIVINE. He is better live than he is recorded! He blushed when we all applauded after every song. He was just beyond cute.

After the concert, we rushed to the table where Jason was going to be meeting fans. As we got closer and closer, my heart beat faster and faster. And then....the moment was finally here...and Jason was literally less than a foot away from me. I gushed to him how he was my favorite Idol and how I tweeted to him a billion times. He was so gracious and nice and chatted like he actually cared. It was a wonderful moment. He is the most down to earth famous person I have ever met (you would be surprised by how many famous people I have met/talked to on twitter).

Here are a few snapshots of beautiful Jason and I:


All I have to say is....IT WAS AWESOME! That is all.

Here is THE photograph of Jason and I!

We took a billion photos during the concert and we gotta share them with someone, so enjoy! :D

Stay happy,
Naz and Hera

He was glowing like an angel!
and here comes the ukulele!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Star Stop: Sonam Kapoor

So if anyone knows me, they know that I am OBSESSED with Sonam Kapoor. I'm pretty much her biggest fan. For those of you who don't know who she is (and that's probably most of you), Sonam Kapoor is a Bollywood actress and fashionista. She is the daughter of Anil Kapoor, who starred in Slumdog Millionaire (he will also be in Mission Impossible 4 with Tom Cruise so check that out).

Sonam with her father, Anil Kapoor.
My "obsession" started when Sonam's debut movie, Saawariya came out. Sonam made her movie debut alongside her co-star Ranbir Kapoor. Usually, I could care less about a movie with two newcomers in it. But when I saw Sonam, for the first time in a really long time, I saw a beautiful Bollywood actress. After the era of Madhuri Dixit, I didn't really find anyone beautiful per say. Yeah, there were a lot of pretty actresses, but they just didn't have that same class as actresses before their time. With Sonam, I saw that class. She didn't have to wear tiny clothes in her first movie to portray her beauty. It was all in her face and eyes. 

Then I watched some television interviews with her. Unlike all other actresses, Sonam is blunt and says it like it is. She admits that she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth, but her parents always kept her grounded. When she talks, she doesn't think about what others will say or whose feelings she might hurt. She doesn't say anything with bad intentions. And the one thing I like the most about her is that she isn't diplomatic, which is my pet peeve when it comes to celebrities.

As Sonam made more public appearances, I noticed something else. She didn't dress like most Bollywood actresses. She actually had a sense of style. For the first time, I fell in love with the wardrobe of a Bollywood actress. I would say Sonam's style is classy vintage. Her style is inspiring and relatable. 

Sonam is only five movies old. Besides Saawariya, she starred in Delhi 6, I Hate Luv Storys, Aisha, and Thank You. Unfortunately, her movies haven't been the biggest blockbusters. But she doesn't let that get to her. She works purely because she wants to and always stands behind her choices. Her free will and confidence in herself is what inspires me.

I would suggest to you to check out one of her movies just to get a sense of who she is. And look out for her forthcoming movie, Mausam with Shahid Kapoor releasing on Friday, which I am sure will be a blockbuster because the two make a darn cute couple.

Is there any star or celebrity that inspires you? Anyone that you are obsessed with and claim to be their biggest fan?

Stay classy as always,

Friday, September 9, 2011

you can't teach teachers how to teach

We all have had that one teacher that you absolutely hate for whatever reason; maybe their tests were impossible, maybe they gave a lot of homework, or maybe they just "don't know how to teach." I could tell you many of stories of my frustrations with teacher that just didn't know how to teach. I have found myself in many situations teaching myself the materials of the class. When I don't get a grade that I'm satisfied with, I immediately blame it on the teacher.

But the other day I was reading an article on about the education system in America. According to the article, about 5,000 people participated in a Save Our Schools march, an organization mostly of teachers and parents protesting for more funding for schools, more local control over the curriculum, and an end to standardized tests. In this article (which you can check out here), teachers shared their stories about their fights with the school on the way they taught. The story that caught my attention was that of Sabrina Stevens Shupe. This 25 year old teacher taught students to find what was relevant to them in an active, engaging way. However, she was told to stop teaching that way and to focus more on skills that will help students on standardized state tests.

Uhhhh, seriously? You can't teach a teacher how to teach! No one knows how a student learns better than a teacher. Think about it, kids spend more time around their teachers than they do their parents in most cases. The relationship between the teacher and the student is essential for a student's success. No one, not even parents, know how a student learns best than a teacher.

Here is where I think the most problem lies. No one realizes that not everyone learns the same way. Parents, professors, government officials, etc. need to understand that you cannot force upon a student one way of learning. Just because your neighbor's kid has a photographic memory doesn't mean you can force your child to develop a photographic memory to do well. It doesn't work that way. If reading doesn't help your child learn the material, it doesn't matter how many times you make them read that same chapter over and over, he or she is NOT going to grasp that material. It's not because they're stupid, it's because that's not how they learn. But of course, after they get their unsatisfactory scores back, they're going definitely feel stupid. They are are going to feel like there's absolutely no way for them to do better because they can't grasp any material through reading the text book and that is what leads to our wonderful drop out rates.

I blame this manner of thinking completely on standardized tests and the competition it has created between states to see who has the "smartest" kids. No, you don't have the most intelligent kids in your state, you have a bunch of well trained students turned robots. There is no way to measure a student's intelligence. You can't judge a student's capability with a number or letter grade.

I can't blame the teacher anymore. They try to teach the best way they can with the conditions and paycheck given to them. It's time to change our way of thinking and the way our education system works.

Don't give up,

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Two's Company

Name: Jupiter Rising
Sounds Like: Robyn, Nelly Furtado 
Start With: "Falling Away" click here

Anyone who knows my taste in music knows that I'm a sucker for male/female duets. I'm always on the hunt for new music (suggestions are welcome!) and when I find a band that has both female and male singers, I get very excited. There's just something about the combination of high/low voices that I like.  That's one of the main reason I love Jupiter Rising so much.

The best way to describe this L.A. natives' sound is by the name of one of their records, Electropop. It's definitely pop, but with more an edge so you don't get bored. Jessie Payo, the female part of our magnificent duo, is like a cooler version of Nelly Furtado; she's the type of girl that grabs you and draws you in, making you want to hear more of what she has to say. Her partner, Spencer Nezey, adds to the awesomeness by inserting his own vocals which, I think, are similar to the beloved Sean Kingston. So it's basically like having Nelly and Sean in a band together. What more could you want?
I highly recommend you check out their single "L.A. Girls" and their album, Electropop on iTunes. It's one of those records you put in your car for long trips because you don't have to skip any songs; they're all good. :)

And remember  you can convert any songs on Youtube to an mp3 file for your iPod, here.

Happy listening!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Home is Where the Heart is

A few words from our guest blogger, Thalib Razi.

Hi there, I'm a blog post! I can't see you, but I'm sure you are all wonderful, beautiful people. I wonder what it's like, being a person...Oh, sorry, I'm getting off topic. My creator doesn't approve of breaking the fourth wall.

First things first: Eid Mubarak! Another Ramadan come and gone, anticipated and then missed like the visit of an old school friend. It's amazing how stepping out of your routine and going out of your way to subdue your desires can elevate your spiritual awareness. And this Ramadan, I really stepped out of my routine: I moved in to college.

None of Umma's home cooking to last me through the long summer day: hot, hearty rice porridge, sweet fruit salads, steamy red rice and vegetables, soul-awakening soups, spicy meat curry. Well, a little bit of those, because I packed some for my dorm fridge, but it soon ran out. I survived on breakfast food and the local mosque's iftars after that. It sufficed, but something about waking up by myself before dawn and not having to wake up my mom or dad or sister, or make a pot of tea, or set the table, was a bit sad. As mundane as these chores were, they were my early-morning contribution to the household. Now, I've got my own 16x11 living space, swapping a family for a roommate, and of course, it’s nothing like home.

After all, "Home is where the heart is", right? With starting college, and moving out, and settling in to my (temporary) new home, I've been giving that phrase some thought. You can interpret it in two ways:

"I'm really sorry about this motel, honey, but it's our only option until we get a new apartment."

"Don't worry, dear, home's where the heart is."


"Wow, I feel just like that turkey, I'm so stuffed! Haha, you know, I've traveled for the past six years of my life but there’s nothing like the place where you’ve grown up."

"I know what you mean. Home's where the heart is, huh?"

In the first scenario, the place you call home comes from where your affections lie. In the second, your affections lie in the place you call home. A subtle difference, but one that differentiates the immigrant from the native. The immigrant follows his affections (wealth, religious freedom, opportunity) to a new life. The native develops his affections (culture, beliefs, art) from where he already lives.

Not to say the two definitions are mutually exclusive. Most immigrants consider themselves native to somewhere. They develop their values in another country and take them with them when they move. And for a while, this works. Inside the house, they live just as they had “back home” and also benefit from whatever the outside society has to offer. Unless the native community deems the immigrants “dangerous” or “subversive” (which, of course, often happen with belief systems like Islam or massive movements like Latinos), they usually leave the newcomers alone.

But then come the children. Second-generation immigrants grow up with two sets of values and experiences, essentially. And neither is less “real” than the other. People may think that their parents’ culture is simply imposed on them and they have nothing to do with it, but how are parents’ values any more imposed on a person than those of local surroundings? You didn’t pick either; you grew up with both of them. The natives grew up with parents too, and they imposed the very cultural ideas towards which you rebel against your immigrant parents.

Essentially, until you grow up and start making decisions, your identity is out of your control. Afterwards, you must choose, but by then some things are almost set in stone. Take language: some second-gen immigrants retain their parents’ language, and some don’t. I lost so much of it by high school that, when I developed an interest to learn it, my attempts mostly failed. However, my parents make enough money that I went to Sri Lanka for summer break every two years since birth. Sri Lankan climate and culture (barring language) is literally second-nature to me, thanks to my parents. And English is so commonplace there that if I wanted to, I really could call Sri Lanka my home.

But I don’t.

There’s a great poem by Antonio Machado that goes:

Caminante, son tus huellas
el camino, y nada más;
caminante, no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar.

“Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more; wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking.” If you don’t walk the road, you can’t say you walk it. If you don’t live in your home, you can’t call it home. If I don’t live in Sri Lanka, and don’t plan on it in the near future, I’m not a Sri Lankan. I’m a Sri Lankan American. For me, Sri Lankan is an adjective; American is a noun.

And here we come to the third reading of the cliché that is the title of this post. Like Machado’s poem, it is a literal reading of a term people take far too figuratively.

“Home is where the heart – your physical, beating heart – is.”

It sleeps in the bed of your chest, nestled between lungs, supported by a bedframe of ribs. Through myriad corridors of blood vessels, you can visit the office space of the brain, the kitchen of the stomach, the gym of the arms and legs. You have to be at home with your body, with the air that you displace, if you ever want to feel at home in a certain place. Think about it; your power in the world ends with your fingertips. Even your facebook, your blog, your e-mail was created with your hands. So, wherever you physically are, why not make that your home?

I have no problem with immigration or immigrants preserving their cultural identity. To me, it’s like moving in to your first apartment after college; why wouldn’t I put a big Purdue poster on the wall? Why not bring my guitar, or my books, or my adorable stuffed white tiger? I’m an adult, and I belong here, so I get to decide what that means. Similarly, I’m an American, and I belong here, so I get to decide that for me, American means “Midwest nice” and “basketball” but also “Islam” and “cricket” and “desi food.”

I’ve been rambling, and if you’re still reading this, I’m glad. I think you get my message by now. I’ll end with a few quotes.

First, the Qur’an:

O mankind! We created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may come to know one another. Truly, the most honored of you in God's sight is the greatest of you in piety. God is All-Knowing, All-Aware. -- 49:13

This is basically a summary of all I believe with regards to race and culture. Come to know one another, marry outside of your ethnicity. Live outside of your hometown. This is not to bastardize the cultures of the world, so we end up with one human race with no distinguishing characteristics, but rather to come to understand different cultures. People need to understand just how varied the human experience is, and if nobody ever moved, there would never be a concrete person to connect with what you learn in your Social Studies classes. I’ve been saved so much explanation because of this sentence: “Oh, I had a Muslim friend who prayed/fasted/etc, I get that.” (Imagine if instead, my non-Muslim friend would say, “Oh, I read about that in AP World History class…” It’s not quite the same.) Similarly, no Asian needs to explain to me why he or she doesn’t like milk, thanks to a school friend in the lunch line so many years ago.

So again, move. Live elsewhere. As the Sufis say, “Go! You will return.” But when you move, do so deliberately and carefully. Know that this is your new home; you can furnish it with your old belongings, but it will never be the old place. If you wanted it to be, why did you move? And when you furnish your new home with your belongings, be prudent. Don’t take your grand piano with you if you’re moving into an apartment. (Read: don’t hold desi parties until 2 a.m. in an apartment, assaulting your neighbors with the bizarre sounds and smells that give you such nostalgia, and expect them to hold you in high regard.) Re-evaluate yourself constantly. Are you here, or there? Why? What do you call yourself? Why? It’s a painful process, but in the end you can rest easy with yourself.

Finally, a quote from author Scott Russell Sanders, a man who advocates Staying Put in his book, titled the same:

"'The man who is often thinking that it is better to be somewhere else than where he is excommunicates himself,' we are cautioned by Thoreau, that notorious stay-at-home. The metaphor is religious: to withhold yourself from where you are is to be cut off from communion with the source. It has taken me half a lifetime of searching to realize that the likeliest path to the ultimate ground leads through my local ground. I mean the land itself, with its creeks and rivers, its weather, seasons, stone outcroppings, and all the plants and animals that share it. I cannot have a spiritual center without having a geographical one; I cannot live a grounded life without being grounded in a place.” 

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
You seemed to have stumbled upon our blog.

We're Hera and Naz. Both of us are full time biology majors at the lovely University of Southern Indiana. When we're not out doing nerdy school stuff, we enjoy shopping, drinking slushies, and of course, writing on this awesome blog.

'What Makes the World Go Round' was started in August of 2011 to be a catch-all for our thoughts. We try and update as much as we can, depending on how hectic our lives. So bear with us. :) Please feel free to browse (by clicking on the cloud tabs above), comment and/or subscribe. We love hearing what you have to say!

Oh, and also remember to visit often. Happy browsing!
Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...