Film reviews and Business Plans….


Slogging my way through a proper plan for a full year rather than just running to Mumbai … time to ditch the headless chicken business approach 🙂 The Dolls… its becoming a real thing..but more bout that later

Meanwhile Little Miss Mia was down for the weekend… spotted Ramleela as we were browsing the Asian channels (we all get a few of them free with our TV packages here in UK) , saw 5 minutes of Ramleela and didn’t move for another three hours..not bad for a 9 year old.

Its rated 12A and not entirely suitable but not brutal either… Its a very stylised film, post-modernist is I believe the correct term… and we both really enjoyed it. I watched it when it first came out but appreciated it more this time round…

Sunday morning she decided to make this video review 🙂 Abve all things she thought, and it is, really good fun… also beautiful, STUNNINGLY beautiful , witty ,funny..7

Definite #MustWatch



Here’s the trailer for the film….no subtitles on the trailer but you do get subtitles in the film…


Stolen from Facebook…Monsoon reflection… #Binaries

Found this on Facebook a couple of weeks ago…  apt considering the way the world is divided right now..  and a reminder of the effect of monsoon..movement is restricted, people stay at home, drink chai and eat pakora… when they can… quote below, and video below that..enjoy..


The world is raining binaries, isn’t it? Love or hate. You are with us, or against us. The best part about the rains that it drains away the boundaries. The worst part is that as well, alas! The boundaries of a shanty or a cottage diffuses into the muddy lanes outside. Privacy of the poor melts, the office returns washed of their formal make ups, and the privileged enjoying the boundaries of glass windows coining a few lines of poetry, reminiscing a few others.
Rain equalises the happiness of a naked child on street and a girl of four, condemned indoors, dying to get out to the terraced garden and get as much drenched. She is told, she has no experience though, that rains will make her sick, very sick.
I get mixed feelings in the rains. May be, I am destined to be the fence sitter all my life

From Tapan Mozumdar.(Facebok group #TellmeYourStory..) reprinted with Mr Mozumdar’s permission.. 


Just a few barbies escaped from the pilowcase currently swimming around my washer….given up chasing votes for VOOM…VirginMedia business competition….

Haven’t decided yet if I want to continue with crowdfunder…..

Just tired of stressing about it…and harder than I thought to get votes..

Hate pounding social media for votes…can feel the cringe…and goes against everything I know and taught about how to use social media

So I’m just.going ahead with collecting dolls..telling the idea how I’m going to get these dolls to Mumbai or put another workshop on….but going forward anyway…

In other news it’s saturday and for the first weekend this month I’m not in a major European city…shattered from the last fortnight…

A friend of mine died a few days before I went to Rome ..I found him..poor lad…32 heart attack…he was ill was unexpected but not shocking…long story …

I miss him …

Reminder to relax and enjoy…be grateful

Talk soon


Desi Sister Dolls & Cultural Appropriation

We might as well get it over with now…. a friend mentioned today that she thought that would be the first question for many of our American friends..its a very hot topic online at the moment… and looking at this definition from Wikipedia, which incidentally I think is spot on…I can see where they might be coming from, so I’m going to share that definition, and then explain why this is NOT cultural appropriation… but education, representation, creative expression…and I don’t keep the money..none of it. I’ll explain the business model in a later post , for now lets deal with the big CA debate

Cultural appropriation is a concept in sociology dealing with the adoption of the elements of a minority culture by members of the dominant culture. … Cultural elements which may have deep meaning to the original culture may be reduced to “exotic” fashion or toys by those from the dominant culture.

Cultural appropriation – Wikipedia

1 – The girls and women who dress the dolls, do so as they please. They are supplied with dolls, and some fabric or an allowance, for free. They are left to get on with it. This is their creative expression, how they want to dress the dolls.
2-The dolls aren’t sold simply as ‘barbieInASari’ or Bratz or whatever, but they adopt a new persona, that of the DesiSister..optimistic,enthusiastic,brave,clever,loving life and chasing their dreams, providing an education about cultural values not just pretty clothes.
3-Dolls are sold with an information sheet , who made her, what she is wearing, any info on style of dress and relevance to any particular religion,region or cultural practice. i.e Mehndi outfit,Salwar Kameez,Sari and type of fold…
4-The dolls are paid for,at the higher end of the going rate in line with FairTrade guidelines, in fact,everything we do is in line with FairTrade guidelines and we are planning to register.
5-The dolls are sold in the UK online, in collections for a price which will generate a reasonable profit. There’s the cost of the doll, packaging,postage both ways, and a healthy commission to affiliate sellers to take into account that still,potentially, leaves a reasonable profit. Potentially because some dolls may be damaged in transit,returns etc
That profit will be used to
a) fund development needs of women and girls involved on the project , whether craft/office/personal
b) to build an emergency fund, a resource they can tap into if they need to for emergencies, medical bills, education,weddings and
c) to fund more workshops
Once we get into the swing of things and start making a profit…
What it won’t be doing is going into my pocket.
I will be funding myself through sponsorship whilst I build affiliate sales from DesiSisters website, amongst other things. Chris G did it, and will be drawing heavily on his business model.
Also, dolls will be sourced as part of a schools programme where we will be talking about entrepreneurship, and recycling and sisterhood, and India. This isn;t just a doll, its a point off interest, a great talking point for kids to talk about dress and culture and different ways of life. And its inspiring…because India, and Desi Culture are ….
Zindagi Khubsoorat Hai
Myself, abolsutely exhausted and the lovely Ariadhana. at end of November 2016 workshop, at Nail Lounge , Bandra, funded and supported by Nail Lounge, Vaseem and Kavita Kader  #ThamkYOU !

ice-cream,parrots and cracked heels.. it was FAB #London

I’ve just got back from London…I feel like I accidentally joined the marines…steps,stairs,tube trains, broken suitcases, sweltering heat,extortionately priced ice-cream,parrots and cracked heels.. it was FAB

I took my grand-daughter, Mia, aged 9, to see Harry Potter World/Warner Bros Studios, via a two day stay in London… here’s an excerpt from my grovelling apology to Mia’s teacher will give you some idea of the weekend, no response so far..

sorry, I know Mia was late for school today, I’m amazed she managed to get up.
We went to London this weekend, to visit Harry Potter but I really didn’t think things through.
We were set to arrive back in Knaresborough for teatime but i underestimated how exhausting getting home would be , especially on the back of a very busy weekend, we visited Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, fed some parrots, had dinner in Covent Garden, and that was just the first day after a 4 hour train journey. Sunday we travelled two hours each way to visit Warner Bros Studios, Harry Potter which was very hit and very expensive, then had dinner in Piccadilly Circus with an old friend, which wasn’t a good idea at all.
Far too hot and busy.
 Monday we headed out for a visit to the science museum but gave up half way and spent a couple of hours in Hyde Park…collapsed on a bench 🙂
we were so exhausted 🙂 In my eagerness to show her London I almost killed the pair of us 🙂


Rubbish Pic…. There’s a parrot in the tree…. london2018_day1.jpg

Spent today recovering and organising a funeral… and getting back on track for Mumbai

Link and pitch video below.. 🙂

Off in search of toast…talk soon xxxxx

VIRGIN VOOM PITCH … 7 Days to Go..

There’s a link to vote in the comments….




I’ve been busy with this…. VOOM Pitch

WEEKS I’ve been talking about doing this… hours scribbling notes…and handling a million interruptions … including three days in Rome 🙂 tough life 🙂

Virgin VOOM are running a business competition,

First Round is public vote, top 80 go through to a panel selected by Richard Branson, who then select 8 businesses to go through and pitch directly to Sir Richard himself..

Prizes include lots of funding and support…

I’ll be running a Crowdfunder alongside it to get funds in for the next Mumbai workshop,

I spent yesterday trying to make a video, and Google Photos kindly created a compilation movie, which includes me pretending to be a unicorn.

For your amusement…

And today I gave up the recording idea, couldn;t be bothered to do the eye bags ,make up thing all over again and settled for good old Windows Movie makeer, with pics and slides..

Feel free to let me know what you think, any questions you might have. I have to write the pitch next and all feedback is useful




Its Friday.finally.

Another week comes to an end…

Not much different to the others…carcrashed my way through another interview…this time for the wrong job.. :))))

Gave it a shot anyway…

Temp.shot up to 70 day before interview ..totally destroyed my clothing plans..hurt my.back drive there wincing in pain..parked miles.away from interview place…just made it in time..

First part was a test .. now..I’d applied..or so I thought…for a job as a business intelligence developer but found myself looking at a series.of questions about C# .. some language I didn’t recognise ..a.question about MVC .. the.three part theory of web design apparently although didn’t know that at the time..and some Oracle SQL questions..

Next stage was face to face interview..three interviewers..

Gave me job description..interview began.. going.through usual questions..glanced at job desc noticing more and more that it didn’t match what I thought I’d applied.for…eventually owned.up…much hilarity..

It was a developer role anyway.. and I really liked the people that were interviewing we.went ahead..

And I talked about the dolls possibly a mistake ..mentioning the fact that I would need to go to India soon

in any case I didn’t get the job …

Which makes my financial position even more precarious .. a fact that I’m ignoring. For the next few days whilst I work on an entry for a business competition..

Whoa…just realised it’s 2:15 in the morning seriously need to go to bed..

Catch up tomorrow I’ve got some video logs to share ::):

Oh my God…have I really not published a post since …

Oh my God…have I really not published a post since December ! Today’s not looking too good either..

had to vault out of bed early ..well early..ish… and immediately do last minute clean on kitchen before lino fitters arrive..

Had to have kitchen floor replaced after I fell through kitchen floor (just one leg, but still)…..

This comes on the back of moving all the furniture in the front room to the middle room whilst it was painted, then back again, then the floor had to be replaced so everything out of the kitchen  went into the middle room..and back into the kitchen,then the boiler went..more kitchen jiggery.. and now…everything back out of the kitchen into middle room again..oh and I got a new fridge freezer so there is fridge and freezer also in middle room … and to top it all its sunshining and every last speck of winter accumulated crap is now brightly illuminated

I live in a three bed terrace..its a converted two up two down so not the most spacious…with me claiming smallest room for my ‘office’ which I hardly ever go into,front room belongs sort of to the mancub who is at University, and currently have middle son staying here sharing mancub’s bedroom ..its also rented, the house, not the mancub,    so all of the above a pain but not a financial problem

AND.. my job finished… last day was Feb 28th and its already been a week and I haven’t done much with my ‘one month’ to sort EVERYTHING out

For ‘everything’ read – house:painting,cleaning, car: replace bits that have fallen off and clean before it becomes a health hazard ,Dolls: for the love of God finish the ‘business plan’ so that everyone else has some idea what I’m ‘planning’, plus a multitude of get Desisisters online setup properly, put dolls on sale on website..oh, wait a Desisisters website, and my website..and so on

you might have noticed I’ve been playing around with the theme..and now can’t have my old theme back 😦

Various family stuff took up most of last six months… and my idea of a months solitude and organising EVERYTHING.. isn’t materialising quite as I had hoped…

Blog post interrupted by screaming match .. cooker still in dining room and someone , who shall be nameless, is being rather vocal because he wants to eat sausages..

I’d send you a pic of middle room in all its glory at this moment in time but my phone , finally back from repair, doesn’t take photos anymore..another one for my ‘to-do- list ..just paid handsomely for that repair. Might have been kinder if they’d just told me that smashing my phone down on a counter-top (stressful 3 way phone argument in full swing two days before Christmas..what else could I do ?) had pretty much killed the phone.. and rejected the repair, because its really not looking good.

The six weeks without phone was pretty much bliss though. Had far more headspace than I have right now 😉

On the job front , I’m not actively looking for another job right this minute, I have some money, not much, but enough to keep me afloat for the next three months, and I do really need to work out where we are going with the dolls… getting plaintive messages from Shifa in Mumbai asking when I’m coming back..might be an idea to actually go find the dolls and see who I’ve got left…

and then there’s the ‘Declaration Of Desi’fication’, which needs to be written, the one where I /we declare war on cynicism and sadness everywhere whilst simultaneously demanding respect and recognition for all things apne .. Bollywood,Bhangra, People…

*apne = urdu/hindi ‘ south asia..people .. sort of means ‘homie’ ?

so I made a start not by creating a plan, because, I don’t have time to plan and I can’t make a ‘to-do’ list because there are so many things on it that by the time I am done writing the list there will be no time left to actually do anything 🙂

I can see already the fault in this and will be returning to David Allens Book/TED talk

so yeah, I made a start by fiddling around on Pinterest… because its obviously most important now to look at pretty things , and make sure everyone knows their Payal from their Panjha, Tikka from their Maathi Pathi and so on. You can see the results below should you wish..

Heading off to scrub things…. and start the Ted Allen thing..get everything down first…

Talk soon


Jen xx

Link to the board because I couldn’t figure out the embed code..