The iconic Rishikesh ashram the Beatles stayed in during their 1968 sojourn is in a sad state of disarray. Now owned by the Indian government, the grounds are overgrown with weeds and have been looted by local villagers.
The Washington Post reports that Maggie O’Hara, a former actress, has submitted plans to turn the ashram into a home for 2,500 street children. The plans have stalled as O’Hara navigates through many layers of bureaucracy.
Photos of the Beatles during their spiritual journey at Rishikesh can be found here.
Mahender and Varsha Sabhnani, the wealthy Long Island couple accused of enslaving and abusing their maids, were found guilty today on all 12 counts held against them.
Newsday describes quite a scene in the courtroom after the verdict was read. The entire Sabhnani family collectively lost it. Varsha and her daughter Dakshina fainted, daughter Pooja screamed for her Papa, and daughter Tina cried out, “We didn’t do anything to anybody. How could this happen to us?”
The Sabhnanis face up to forty years in prison.
Via ANNA at Sepia Mutiny: A link to the Sabhnanis’ fragrance company.
Lakshmi Tatma, the toddler born with eight limbs, was released from the hospital this weekend.
The Times of India begins their coverage with a cute, though awkwardly worded, anecdotal lede:
Ask Lakshmi where are her extra legs and hands and the two-year-old gives a bright smile. She gestures with her hands indicating they are ‘gone.’
Lakshmi’s future looks promising. Her doctors at Bangalore’s Sparsh Hospital believe that she will live a normal life.
There was another bit of happy news in the Times of India article. Lakshmi’s father Shambhu has promised to educate his daughter to the best of his ability. “Who knows, she might become a doctor or engineer tomorrow,” he said.
There were no wedding announcements featuring South Asians in today’s New York Times.
India’s Supreme Court has upheld a ruling that will allow women to become bartenders.
From the ruling (via The Hindu):
“Instead of prohibiting women’s employment in the bars altogether, the State should focus on factoring in ways through which unequal consequences of sex differences can be eliminated. It is [the] State’s duty to ensure circumstances of safety which inspire confidence in women to discharge the duty freely in accordance with the requirements of the profession they choose to follow,” said the Bench.
“It is to be borne in mind,” the Bench added, “that legislation with pronounced ‘protective discrimination’ aims, such as this one, potentially serves as double-edged swords. Strict scrutiny test should be employed while assessing the implications of this variety of legislation.”
Next up, a Bollywood version of Coyote Ugly?
The Washington Post looks at how an extended family of Indian doctors transformed the medical landscape of a rural Maryland County.
While much of the South Asian blogosphere is linking to and raving about the Barack Obama-‘Chori Chori Hum Gori Se Pyaar Karenge’ music video, I would like to draw your attention to the video below. I found it much more entertaining.