Welcome To Lassi With Lavina
The Buzz My Own Private America

I came to the US in the 80’s, as an immigrant via India, Hong Kong and Africa, and landed in Astoria, a gritty Greek neighborhood in Queens. I fell in love with the prosaic neighborhood with its heart of gold, and it was here that I discovered my own private America.The part which never fails to amaze me is that when I take the N subway from Manhattan to Astoria – glancing at my fellow passengers I see a virtual United Nations – Latinos, Chinese, South Asians, Blacks, whites all wedged together, sitting side by side on the Great American Journey. If Lady Liberty was to see them, she would definitely shed a tear – because this is exactly what America is all about. And on this day after the Fourth of July, with the firecrackers still ringing in our ears – we can say amen to that.

24/7 Talk is Cheap – The Blog
Bobby & Nikki – Getting Indian-American Knickers into a Twist

“Most Indian-Americans are an infuriating, thin-skinned bunch, their runaway success in this country notwithstanding. Always on the alert for cultural slights, theirs is a largely mercenary attachment to American society…They are ‘drop in’ immigrants—like those drop-in cricket pitches so popular these days: situated on American soil, but not an organic part of it. ”
Tunku Varadrajan on Indian Americans and their reactions to Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley.


AIF Raises $2.85 Million, lighting a LAMP

Jashobanti Mahanand is the nineteen-year-old daughter of a migrant worker from Orissa, India. Since she was nine she has worked in a brick kiln, tossing bricks in the blazing sun. So what was she doing in New York at a glittering event with some of the city’s most powerful and influential people?

The answer is just one word: AIF.

The American India Foundation (AIF) is the development organization which connects the dots between the poorest of the poor and affluent society, where funds are raised for a better future for the children in the slums, the forgotten villages and small towns of India.


Yoga: The Art of Transformation – Yogis in America

Narasimha, the mighty God Vishnu in his half man-half lion avatar, sits with his frontal arms relaxed in meditation, his two rear arms bearing the chakra disc and the conch shell, which is now missing. Around his tautly crossed legs one is amazed to find a yogapatta – or yoga strap!
For many contemporary practitioners of yoga who consider the yoga strap to be a part of their daily routine in a studio, this brilliantly executed Chola period bronze sculpture is an eye-opener. It shows that not only did yoga originate in India but goes all the way back to the Hindu gods.


What’s in a Name?

Recently US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard got married in a Vedic ceremony in Hawaii. A Hindu, she has even taken her congressional oath on the Bhagavad Gita. Her name Tulsi means the Holy Basil which is so central to Hindu belief. Her mother Carol Gabbard was brought up in the Brahma Madhwa Gaudiya tradition and named her five children Bhakti (worship), Jai (a Hindu salutation), Aryan ( noble one), Tulsi (sacred plant) and Vrindavan ( Lord Krishna’s abode).

It got me thinking – what’s in a name and how can one use such a simple device to enhance the spiritual lives of one’s children? It certainly has deeper connotations than naming a child after candy or a jewelry store!


Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy – A Rebirth

Have you ever met Apu – Satyajit Ray’s Apu? If not, this is your chance to finally make his acquaintance – and he’s looking better than ever before. As film fans know, ‘The Apu Trilogy’ is master filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s seminal work, a story that is bound to touch whoever sees it, because it is our story. We may never have stepped into a Bengali village or lived in that simple yet hard world a century ago but this tale of family, struggle and aspirations speaks to something so universal, so human that it affects us all.