About Lassi with Lavina


Lassi with Lavina, India on My Mind….

Hi, my name is Lavina Melwani and I’m a New York-based journalist. I’m here to tell you about Lassi with Lavina – and its ingredients!

I wonder how many of you remember that old Hindi film ‘Anand’ in which superstar Rajesh Khanna played Anand, who is dying but loves people so much that he wants to touch the life of every single person that he meets. He stops strangers on the street, involves himself in their dilemmas and tries to bring some joy or connectivity into their lives.

Well, I can relate to that urge to connect! I’ve been writing about people since I was ten (honestly – getting 10 bucks from the Statesman newspaper in Calcutta for my articles) and I’ve always been curious about human beings and intrigued by the stories of their lives.

Rajesh Khanna in 'Anand'

Rajesh Khanna in ‘Anand’

Byline:  Lavina Melwani

A history major in college in Delhi, I often pondered on what made people tick, and this led to experiments with fiction which appeared in Femina, The Illustrated Weekly of India and The Times of India. After living in India till the age of 23 I moved to Hong Kong where I won the  award for best  short story in the China Mail.

Gradually I moved to non-fiction and after living and writing in Hong Kong and Africa, I came to the US. As an immigrant in America who returns home often to India, to the Mothership, I am intrigued by There – and – Here, by people’s lives, and the journeys immigrants undertake as they remake themselves in a new world.

Over the years my work has appeared in 80 publications including India Today, Daily Mail,  The Hindu, Outlook, Newsday, WSJ, Hong Kong Standard, Asia Magazine, Asia Inc., Avenue, Bride’s, Art and Antiques, The Week, Worth, Beliefnet and The Indian Express.

I’ve done  columns in India Today and Hindustan Times about the immigrant life, over 70 stories in Newsday covering the South Asian community, and articles in several inflight and travel magazines, such as Winds, Namaskar and Jetwings.

It’s been fun to meet so many unique, wonderful people through my interviews – from gurus to celebs to cabbies – and introduce them to readers whom I’ve never met. Now, thanks to the Internet, it is possible to be a virtual Anand, to connect with so many more people and share their stories.

Lavina Melwani in the Lassi with Lavina avatar!

Lavina Melwani in the Lassi with Lavina avatar!

So welcome to Lassi with Lavina! There’s no koffee around, and I’m no Karan Johar, but it will be fun to create a kind of Delhi ‘chaat’ shop ambience where we can share some virtual lassis, analyze people and passions, and discuss what’s on our minds! Every month I will be posting live interviews with ordinary and extraordinary people, as well as my new work appearing in international publications.

I also invite you to add your voice to the daily blog, 24/7 – Talk is Cheap. I hope this will be a fun Tower of Babel, with many voices discussing many topics. In the beginning I tentatively bring one solitary voice – my own – and hope many others will join in. Be it Indian art, movies, books or spirituality – do bring in your point of view.

As you all know, our community in the US is mighty strong, and millions more globally are just a mouse click away.

We need no longer be strangers, ships which silently cross each other in the night, but Anand-like, wave out to each other as we pass, and sometimes even connect to each other…

– Lavina Melwani

Do join me on  Google + Lassi with Lavina

Facebook at Lassi with Lavina

Yes, follow me on Twitter too!

Related Post:

Lavina Melwani – Wordsmith


About Author

Lavina Melwani is a New York-based journalist who writes for several international publications. [email protected] & @lassiwithlavina Sign up for the free newsletter to get your dose of Lassi!


  1. I am glad to find your lovely space here and was surprised to see how beautiful it is with so much warmth.
    Internet has made this so much easier and it feels great to see wonderful people and know more about them ….

  2. Lavina Melwani on

    Thank you Rashmi, so glad you’re enjoying this space – I have certainly enjoyed building it up and get a great deal of pleasure from interacting with all of you, ships passing in the night! It will be wonderful to use the Internet to really make a difference somehow.

  3. Hi Lavina,

    It is nice to visit your website. I have known you for so long but other than doing interviews we hardly had a chance to connect. I like your website and hopefully will visit often. Congratulations (though quite delayed) on starting this.


  4. Lavina Melwani on

    Meenal, it’s so good to hear from you! You have always been such a rich resource on facts about the community and Indian culture – I do hope to tap you for Lassi with Lavina!

  5. Great job Lavina! So proud of you and admire your success. I like how you and my older sister have been on the same path in a way as she is one of the desi girls who graduated from UGA with a Bachelor’s in Journalism and I have a younger sister currently studying journalism in Michigan State.

  6. Lavina Melwani on

    Thank you Samar – always great to know there are lassi fans out there! Writing is such great fun and I’m sure your sisters enjoy it immensely.

  7. Lavina Melwani on

    Radhika, thank you! I’m just the messenger of all the great stories you all share with me!

  8. Lavina Melwani on

    Nivi – aw, you make me feel so grand! Truth is the mentoring is a two-way street as I learn so much from you too.

  9. Lavina, people’s person??? So am I! Maybe that’s why we connected in the first place… Love your Indian sensibilities, despite being a New York based journalist… Kudos to all that you do. Here’s raising a toast to wonderful times ahead: from your pen to our hearts, yes spreading ANAND, just the way you like it…

  10. Lavina Melwani on

    Thank you Hina – and super glad to have you here! Virtual lassis – for the time being till we meet up in the real world!

  11. Lavina Melwani on

    Roshni,love your note although in my distracted fashion I’m responding to it months later! I agree it’s great to be a people person because then you always find something new, something funny, something unique about just anybody and everybody. Great stories everywhere!