Tuesday, December 19, 2006

postheadericon Romance on the Road: Traveling Women Who Love Foreign Men by Jeanette Belliveau

# Paperback: 412 pages
# Publisher: Beau Monde Press; 1st edition (May 23, 2006)
# Language: English

From the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

It's a largely unspoken phenomenon. Women from wealthy nations who travel to tropical lands to indulge in sex and romance provided by willing local men. Though there aren't clear numbers about how many women pay for sex in foreign lands,it is believed the phenomenon is on the rise.

In Jamaica it's called "rent-a-dread" -- local men who cruise their country's beaches for wealthy, foreign sugar-mamas. And in case you wondered, the going rate for oral sex is about $100, according to research conducted by travel writer Jeannette Belliveau.

According to a review, journalist and world traveller Jeanette Belliveau, 51, is uniquely qualified to finally reveal the hidden behavior of traveling women. After a painful divorce, she spent 12 years in sexual exile, with only cheerful foreign men able to provide the no-strings intimacy that was all she could handle. Her book is based on the sexual experiences of those 12 years.

The idea of women going south for sex doesn't sit well with me at all - the chances of catching sexually transmitted diseases are high, also, I feel certain many of those men who ply that particular trade are married and these rich women tourists must cause their families a lot of heartache. What do you think? Are these holiday flings seedy or are they simply harmless?

I seem to recall however that psychologists been telling us for years that women like to feel an emotional connection with a man before they are intimate with him, so where is all this hedonistic sex coming from? Also, why do women travel south for these adventures, is it for anonymity? Economic reasons? Or is it just because they find it exciting to have a fling with men from cultures other than their own. As you will tell, I haven't read the book but the very fact that this is a growing phenomenon interested me enough to want to find out more.
Friday, December 15, 2006

postheadericon The Mahabharata and Epic India: Paintings by M.F. Husain

Reading the "The Penelopiad" from the Myth Series recently made me realize how much I enjoy reading a condensed and modern version of the great epics. It also got me thinking about which epics I might like to see as part of Canon Gate's "myth series".. There are many I would like to read but the one I really,really would like to see is the "Mahabharata" (although, as motorama has reminded me in the comments, this great epic holds core philosophical and religious concepts that are central to the Vedic traditions and I would not like to refer to it as myth). For those of you who might not know, the Mahabharata is one of the world's longest epics, ten times the length of the Iliad and Odyssey combined!

Over the course of nearly a thousand years the story was told and elaborated, until between 300 and 500 C.E. the immense text was compiled in the sacred language of Sanskrit. The overarching narrative relates a battles between the army of the five Pandava brothers and the army of their 100 cousins, the Kauravas. The Kauravas resort to deeds of malicious trickery in order to defeat the Pandavas and possess their kingdom which leads to a war of near-total destruction.

One of Hinduism's most important texts, the Bhagavad Gita, is presented as the guidance Lord Krishna gives to the Pandava hero Arjuna just before the battle begins. The characters and events of the Mahabharata expose the conflicts between desire and righteousness that confront everyone human and superhuman, challenging even heroes with the difficult decisions that must be made.
(from a write up at the Peabody Essex Museum online)

If you would like to see eminent artist MF Hussain's splendid paintings of the Mahabaratha, please visit The Peabody Essex Museum site where they have created a wonderful slide show of the exhibition currently on display.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006

postheadericon Tarot Cards

You are The Moon

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Moon is a card of magic and mystery - when prominent you know that nothing is as it seems, particularly when it concerns relationships. All logic is thrown out the window.

The Moon is all about visions and illusions, madness, genius and poetry. This is a card that has to do with sleep, and so with both dreams and nightmares. It is a scary card in that it warns that there might be hidden enemies, tricks and falsehoods. But it should also be remembered that this is a card of great creativity, of powerful magic, primal feelings and intuition. You may be going through a time of emotional and mental trial; if you have any past mental problems, you must be vigilant in taking your medication but avoid drugs or alcohol, as abuse of either will cause them irreparable damage. This time however, can also result in great creativity, psychic powers, visions and insight. You can and should trust your intuition.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find out.

I recently watched the movie "Rakht" in which the main character was a tarot reader and that got me interested in finding out more about the Tarot. So when I saw this quiz on Kimananda's blog, I couldn't resist. Kimananda says ,"I'm curious to know what you get as your card, and if you feel it represents the you which exists, or perhaps the you which you would like to become". The moon is the planet that rules my sun sign (Cancer) so I'm not at all surpised that it ended up being the card I got, but I'm so left-brained that I find it weird to believe that I could have dormant psychic powers and high levels of creativity.

Let me know how you fare, or if there is a more comprehensive Tarot quiz that you know of...
Wednesday, December 06, 2006

postheadericon Daaku by Ranj Dhaliwal

First off, an apology to those of you who read my book blog, for this post is pretty much a repeat of what I have there (yes, I know, I know, I have been meaning to merge my blogs, but I am having technical issues with the book blog, hence the delay).

Living in Toronto as I do, I don't often get to hear of the Indian diaspora on the West coast of Canada, but lately there have been murmors that many young men in Punjabi community are involved in gangs and gang warfare. I didn't pay the rumors too much attention until I heard Ranj Dhaliwal's interview on the CBC.

Ranj Dhaliwal, a first-time author, is himself an Indo-Canadian and lives in Surrey, BC which is home to a large chunk of the Indian disapora in Vancouver. He grew up seeing and hearing of boys involved with gangs, and 5 years ago he sat down to write a book about it, titled "Daaku" which I found to be a real eye-opener. You can see my review here.

You see, I've always been of the opinion that Desis lay great emphasis on academia or business skills, many times to the exclusion of other extra- curricular activities, so it came as a shock to me to discover that there were Indo-Canadian or Desi gangs dealing with drugs, exhortation, smuggling rings, collections and so on. The question I asked myself repeatedly was "why"? Not just that, why is this a phenomenon so peculiar to the Punjabi community and not so much to the other Desi communities ? Ofcourse, the book doesn't have the answers, it is just to make us aware of what is happening in certain communities and to tell us the story of a gangster.

I thought it was an excellent read, I hope you do, too.