Have your desi cake and eat it too!

13th February 2009
Have your desi cake  and eat it too!

Send a video valentine with an Indian theme -- from Gita Govinda to a misty Taj Mahal; from honeymooning on the Kerala backwaters to Raja Ravi Varma's Hamsa Damayanti

Anand Parthasarathy suggests a way out of your St Valentine's Day "dharma sankat" this year: a video e-greeting that side steps any moral brigades and beats them at their own game! With themes rooted in desi culture

If the threat of roving bands of vigilantes in many Indian cities, threatening to 'protect Indian culture' , cramps your expression, this St Valentine's Day, there's help at hand. Thanks to the UNESCO-sponsored IndiVideo web resource, you can sidestep any embarrassment in shops or on the street on Feb 14 -- and still wear your heart on your e-sleeve!

The site ( www.indiavideo.org) has set up a special page with a selection of 9 seasonal greetings appropriate for Valentine's Day -- and each rooted in Indian themes. Three of them offer visuals and soothing music on the theme of Kerala as a honeymooners' destination. One pictures the Taj Mahal enshrouded in romantic mist. Another has visuals from Gita Govinda with a mellifluous flute back ground while yet another takes as its theme the immortal painting of Raja Ravi Varma of Hamsa Damayanti ( Damayanti gazing at the swan).

Says M.R. Hari, head of the Thiruvananthapuram-based Invis Multimedia which has created IndiaVideo: "There is such a cultural richness and variety in India that we can celebrate occasions that might seem rooted in Western traditions and still do it in a way that remains true to our own heritage".

The videos work with Flash and are 30 seconds to 70 seconds long. You can send as many as you like and append a personal message with each. The site to find this timely and seasonal resource is: