Monday, January 26, 2009

We'll Raise A Cup of Chai, My Dear...

Did I tell you how much I loved the movie "Slumdog Millionaire"?

I cannot say enough about how brilliant it was at showing a way of life that is completely foreign (no pun intended) to us Westerners.

And while I was blown away from the magnificence of this movie and its lovely acting?

Talk about your shameless jumping on the bandwagon.

I, for one, would be a little embarrassed to go to this extreme. But...

Hot on the tails of last night's Screen Actor's Guild award being presented to the ensemble cast of "Slumdog Millionaire", India has decreed today "India Republic Day".

At least that's the way I read it in the paper.

I could be wrong.

I'd only had 2 cups of coffee.

Nevertheless, here are some little-known facts about India (and before you even ask - no, I have not checked these - I am assuming that someone far superior to me in the newsroom did this)(fact-checking - what am I? A writer or something?):

1. Chess was invented in India (this is starting to make sense - some of those rooks actually look like the top of the Taj Mahal. Or is it the other way around?)

2. The 'place value system' and the decimal system were developed in India in 100 BC. (What? Where does Dewey fit into all of this? I'm confused - time to find a librarian)

3. The game of Snakes and Ladders was created by the 13th century poet Gyandev. (Again - think about it & it all starts to make sense - if a cobra slithered into your home, what's the first thing you would do? Of course. Climb the ladder in the middle of the room)(Forget about the fact that snakes can climb too)(This part was cleverly left out of the game)(As were the venomous stings and subsequent death)(kids aren't too crazy for this)

4. The largest employer in the world is the Indian Railways, employing more than a million people. (May he who ever again complains about North American government bureaucracy be forever condemned to try and find out when the next train to Goa is)

5. The world's first university was established in Takshila in 700 BC. More than 10,500 students from all over the world studied more than 60 subjects. The University of Nalanda, built in the 4th century, was one of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education. (Now when they say 'from all over the world' - do they mean 'world' or 'Pangea'? Because then it's not such a big deal. No oceans to cross. Just a little walk, that's all)(Did I mention that I suck at geography?)

6. Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to mankind. The father of medicine, Charaka, consolidated Ayurveda 2500 years ago. (Bet Charaka didn't have no stinkin' HMO)

7. The value of pi was first calculated by the Indian mathematician Budhayana, and he explained the concept of what is known as the Pythagoreum theorem. He discovered this in the 6th century, long before European mathematicians. (The Baroness also knows the value of pi. And it has nothing to do with math, but with blueberries and sugar. Mmmmmm.)(I will concede that I wasn't around until the 7th century)(at least my knees feel like this today)

8. India exports software to 90 countries. (And has call centers in Iowa to support them)

9. The oldest European church and synagogue in India are in the city of Cochin. They were built in 1503 and 1568 respectively. (500 + years old, and still no one shows up unless it's Easter or the High Holidays)

10. Martial Arts were first created in India and later spread to Asia by Buddist missionaries. (Another little known fact? Bruce Lee's first film was actually 'Enter the Pachaderm'. True story!)


Mental P Mama said...

A font you are.... A veritable font of information.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

I thought it was amazing how a movie about such harrowing subjects as "Slumdog Millionaire" could still retain a charm and uplifting quality. I mean when you think about it, it was one DEPRESSING movie with an optimism that carried it into something else. It's not often that works but somehow it did.

Baroness von B said...

Countess MPM: As long as I'm never considered "Times New Roman", I am more than happy to be a font.

Or a fountain. Or a fount.

Anything but Times New Roman.

Countess V-Killa: I could not have summed up the movie any more eloquently.

So I won't.

But I'm so glad I hauled my 16 y.o. & his friend along with us, to see the glory that is Mumbai. These visuals should shut him up for quite a while when he starts whining about his bathroom towels being "scratchy" and whatnot.

{i}Post said...

1. I must see that movie.

2. I love blueberry crumb pi.

3. I would *like* to blame India for HMO's.

4. What the hell is up with the Indian call centers? I mean, really?

Baroness von B said...

Countess iPost:
1. Yes, you really must.
2. Great. Now I want pi for breakfast.
3. Blame Canada. It's closer and we're too polite to argue.
4. See #1 - all will be revealed...

Lisa said...

Don't forget the sacred cow! The majority of Indians are vegetarians. I loves me some good Indian curry dishes (after all, isn't it all about the food?) .... babspeapod

Leon Basin said...

Hey, how are you doing? Hope all is well.

Sandi said...

Oh--I guess I should have read this before I posted about this movies.

You and my brother have changed my mind about this movie.

Baroness von B said...

Countess Babs: Girlfriend, it is ALWAYS about the food. Always.

Count Leon: I am very well. You? I've started to read your posts - they are thoughtful and highly intelligent - I hope to get the time to backtrack a bit more.

Countess Sandi: Yay! There is nothing like badgering from all angles to get a point across.

I completely get your aversion to bandwagon mentality. I, too, balk at being told "you must see/read/do this". No one wants to be a lemming. Unless you're a, well ya know.

I sincerely hope you enjoy it. You would have to be a statue not to LOVE the very last bit.

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