Welcome To Lassi With Lavina
The Buzz Indian Elections: The View from America

It is indeed telling that while the elections are being played out in India, some of the most avid watchers are thousands of miles away and separated by oceans and continents – in America. Indeed the Indian Diaspora from Africa to the Middle East to Europe are all deeply involved in the outcomes but nowhere is the connection so deep as in America. Men and women who left their homeland over 30 to 40 years ago, still are moved enough to catch all the details on television, Indian newspapers and by phone calls to the family in India. (Photo – Narendra Modi supporters in Silicon Valley hold a tea rally in California)

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24/7 Talk is Cheap – The Blog
KFC’s Paneer Zingers – Indian Vegetarian Love Story

When in India, do as the Indians do! Kentucky Fried Chicken, known globally as KFC is the latest American food chain to have undergone a transformation in India.

The chickens are still coming home to roost but it has introduced a substantial vegetarian menu with its ‘So Veg So Good’ campaign to reel in lots of new customers who eat neither egg nor chicken nor meat.

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Red Carpet: Padma Lakshmi brings East to West

East is increasingly meeting West on the red carpet. It’s great to see couture by an Indian designer showcased on New York red carpets – especially by the sizzling Padma Lakshmi.
The host of Bravo’s Top Chef and the must-click subject of every photographer in NY, Padma was seen at two NY events in Payal Singhal’s elegant yet fun outfits which debuted recently in the Lakme Fashion Week.

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Breaking into Hollywood – A story of three Indian Filmmakers

It’s the City of Dreams, of Make-believe.

The strivers, the strugglers keep coming but Hollywood’s gates are often closed. Can their stories ever be told, if they are a minority, an outsider? Writers of color are often underemployed in cinema.

Recently the Writers Guild of America, an influential Hollywood entity, set up the Features Access Project to rectify this by encouraging diversity in writing.

Among this year’s eight multicultural honorees, three trace their roots back to India – Radha Bharadwaj (Final Boarding), Nayan Padrai (Billion Dollar Raja) and Tianna Majumdar-Langham (Guns and Saris) who won the honor with her co-writer Chris Bessounian.

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2014 NYIFF – Eat, Drink, Live Cinema!

Dekh, cinema, dekh! In the old days, people in small towns and villages in India would wait anxiously for the traveling cinema to come to them with surprise offerings and entertainment.
In a way, the annual New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) does the same thing for New Yorkers who are a savvy lot. Yet the festival brings unexpected cinematic treats of found gems, lost stories and glimpses into lives lived.

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Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox – Can I Have More Please?

Update: Ritesh Batra’s award-winning drama THE LUNCHBOX has now become the highest-grossing Hindi film of 2014 in North America.

The Irrfan Khan hit has grossed $1.45 million to date surpassing the $1.3 million grossed by both Salman Khan’s latest action picture Jai Ho and the sleeper hit Queen to set a new record for this year.

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