In hopes of unsullying a grand, traditional expression of unbridled joy, we offer a hearty, thankful "Mission Accomplished!" to legendary hamster rescuer Martha Boden who, on July 12, 2008, fortified our hearts with four furry new friends. This event shall hereafter be known as Operation Hamstorm II, in commemoration of that great day in March of 2007, when Martha first hauled as many rescue hams as we could handle from Indianapolis, Indiana to Manhattan, New York City. Here, now...


Our hams are named after some of Bollywood's brightest stars, simply because we feel
they are all among the most beautiful things to walk upon the earth.


She's named for the great Madhuri Dixit, whose classic beauty graces dozens of the best-loved films in Indian cinema.

Her coat is blond and satiny and her manner is sweet. We tell people that she lost her family "in the war". It was actually more of an "ethnic cleansing", the aggressor being of another species, but let's leave it at that. She's a traumatized orphan, in short. As a result, when she first came to us she was constantly "packing her bags" — petrified that she'd have to suddenly make a run for it. She'd fill up her cheeks and position herself in the wheel. It took a while for her to realize she was home. .

One cannot underestimate the importance of thorough foot cleaning... .

...before venturing to step out. One never knows who one might meet..

Here's the real Madhuri Dixit. Ms. Dixit has won numerous awards over her career, but probably none more prestigious than the Padma Shri, the Indian government's fourth highest civilian award, in recognition of her brilliant contribution to Indian film.

Beneath her portrait you can watch her dance alongside the radiant Aishwarya Rai in a performance of "Dola Re Dola" (The Pulsing?) from the movie Devdas.

This video no longer permits embedding, but you can view it here.


Shahrukh's namesake is, of course, the man who embodied the eponymous main character of Devdas, the one and only Shahrukh Khan.

It's like he's seeing his twin, no?

BTW, we don't yet have pictures that do it justice, but our Shahrukh has one of the biggest, most luxurious "skirts" we've ever seen on a longhaired male Syrian. As captured in the photograph below, his fur is such that it actually makes the entire world around him fuzzier..

Shahrukh recently switched wireless carriers so that he could use the 3G iPhone. He requested that we get him two 16 gigabyte units, explaining that he's "gotta have [his] tunes, dude". And of course he insists on ripping lossless.

Because of his rugged good looks, Shahrukh Khan began his career playing heavies. He quickly broadened his appeal by appearing in lighter roles, and has since become one of the most popular faces in Hindi cinema, as well as a producer and television host.

In the clip below you can see him playing against type as a goofy but earnest bit player who dreams of catching the eye of leading lady Shantipriya, portrayed by the lovely Deepika Padukone. He does, but not before catching something else first.

The film is Om Shanti Om, and the music is its beautiful love theme "Ajab Si".


And what do you know? This pretty girl is named for Deepika Padukone. Deepika came from the world of modeling, and made a huge splash by winning several awards for her first film outing, the one you see above.

She spies one of her favorite treats, fresh string beans and...'s a nom fest.

Now she's ready for "out".

Deepika rebuffs Dr. Atkins with four words: "Bring on the basmati!"

She so loves to eat that it's a wonder she maintains her girlish figure.

Below, the actress Deepika gazes at her possible future co-star, the hamster Deepika. Wouldn't you love to see these two together?


It's obvious from the merest glance why we gave this young man the name Hrithik.

See what we mean?

Hrithik Roshan is a comparative newcomer to the Bollywood scene, and so there aren't that many great photos or clips out there of him and his work. Mr. Roshan bears a most unusual trademark, he has double thumbs on his right hand. This is apparently not as unusual on the Indian subcontinent as in the west, and is traditionally taken as a portent of good fortune. Maniform believes strongly in the preservation and furtherance of biodiversity, including intraspecies.

Like the actor, his namesake hamster had been a bit hard to spot at first. He was an uncannily timid boy, afraid of his own shadow. It took weeks until he came to enjoy "out time" with us, and seek it eagerly.

Recently he has been a bit more outgoing. Here he is digging some pie crust, his prize for besting me in our hairy paw competition.

Hrithik has an unusual habit that has earned him the cute and catchy nickname "Daniel Libeskind". He insists upon upending his milk carton "house" and going to sleep beneath it. Every day we replace it in its original position, and every night he "corrects" it.

One of the world's most recognized and accomplished architects, Daniel Libeskind's buildings often challenge staid notions of geometric balance and conventional perspective.

Note the similarity between Mr. Libeskind's addition to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto (2007), and Hrithik Hamster's design for his own residence.

Below, the architect in his studio.

Here Madhuri enjoys her favorite, Persian cucumber, bathed in the talismanic effulgence of the Maniform Hamster Miniatures Shrine.

No magic there, actually. If you'd like to learn more about the miniatures, check here.

The official Hamstorm II commemorative portraits. That's Martha on the right, bearer of fur, bringer of joy. Ham-pal 4 ever.

Hams We Have Known
We remember some of those who have crossed the bar...


Perri, though a dude, was named after the designer Charlotte Perriand, who began her career in the studio of
Le Corbusier. She made the surprising choice to finish some of his steel chairs in cowhide.
Her subsequent life of design, and her character, serve as an inspiration to all hamsters.

Mme. Ponyaku

We don't have many pictures of this lady, who was named after Mme. Polignac, Marie Antionette's companion at the court of Versailles. For short we called her Wani-chan (Lil' Gator), because she liked to sit at the entrance of her lair with her longish face gazing imperiously out toward theoretical passersby. Though we have few pictures of her, these express a bit of her waniness.


Kapu was rescued and adopted into a loving household, but unfortunately had to be given up for adoption again. She wouldn't have to roam any longer.


The color of cantaloupe, and fur the texture of satin. When we adopted her we were told she was very laid back. We must be charmed though – she wanted nothing more than to walk into our hands and go out for adventure (and pasta).

Manihams in the News!

I could say that the international press has flocked to learn more about the marvelous hams of the Maniform Hamsteria...but it's our column in our magazine. So, as in so many things, in gaining international stardom it's who you know. Or who cleans your cage in this case. For a look, click here:

The article is about the wonderful ham rescuer Jessica Wells and her New York Hamster House. That's where we adopted Kappu and Karo from.

This isn't the first time that Manihams have been in this feature. A few years ago we featured the late, beloved Stahn in our piece about artist Toland Grinnell. To see that, click here:


Movie 1

Movie 2


Movie 3

A comparison of pasta eating styles, starring Kapu and Karo,
and Shahrukh digs babka. Who knew?

My guess is that this dates from the forties. Thank goodness for the Hamancipation Proclamation, proposed by the United Nations in 1960 as part of the Hamsterdam Accords, under the leadership of UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld. The proclamation set a timetable for releasing hamsters from medical servitude, and granting them the right to freely pursue the full cuteness of their being. The effects of this are still playing out today, and we dedicate this page to those who have fallen in the name of the cause.

Many thanks to Jeff Scher for his gift of this historical artifact.

Ham fans can e-mail us here!