Author Lavina Melwani

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!

Lifestyle Immigrants to America - Sarvinder and her mother

What can you, an immigrant who came with nothing but a battered suitcase filled with bits and pieces of a disappeared life, offer this new country? What gift can you give America on its Independence Day celebration? A Punjabi immigrant love story.

Little Black Book: Events Rekha and Meera Gandhi

eera Gandhi likes to do good – and always manages to have fun doing it.  Whether it’s a CD, a documentary or a coffee table book, she creates it and all funds go to the non-profit Giving Back Foundation which she founded in 2010 to help women and children.

Features On Valentine's Day interviews with choolatiers & pastry chefs. Here Divya Burman, creator of Guilt-free Chocolates with her husaband Amit Burman

On Valentine’s Day we share some of the fabulous chocolates and desserts created by Indian pastry chefs, culinary experts and entrepreneurs – and to add some extra sweetness, we also unearth their personal romance tales, from New Delhi to New York! Meet Divya Burman, Shefalee Patel, Monica Bhide, Surbhi Sahni and Aarti Mahtani Raman – taste their chocolates and hear what Valentine’s Day mean to them. We ran this story last year – and this year it’s twice as sweet!

Lifestyle Philip and Pratibha - celebrating two cultures

Intercultural Marriages are Becoming More Common – “I think the combination of two different backgrounds offers a unique insight in life, the hard working immigrant story mixed with the confidence of belonging.   I also think intercultural children are generally better looking!”

The Buzz Nawab Haider Yakut Mohommad Khan of Sachin {Source: collection of Kenneth and Joyce Robbins}

Do we even know our own history? Are we even aware, for instance, that African rulers, generals and nawabs once reigned in India? Many of them were former slaves who rose to the highest positions in India through skill and bravery, a meritocracy which was not color-based.

Cinema Deepika Padukone in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 'Padmaavat'

Can you be a film buff and not see ‘Padmaavat’? Like thousands, I too wound my way to Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s saga starring the luminaries Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor and Ranveer Singh. I donned 3-D glasses and entered into the surreal, far-off world of medieval India which has been brought kicking and shouting into the 2018 conflicted world of Karni Sena and today’s India.

The Buzz Ambassadors Maged Abdelaziz, Yuriy Sergeyev, Ion Botnaru, Nawaf Salam, Lakshmi Puri, and Matthew Rycroft.

Over the years, Indian immigrants have celebrated Diwali in their own fashion, in their own communities but it is only recently that American institutions and organizations have also started joining in celebrating this Hindu and Indian festival.

Food Articles Desserts with a Bengali touch

The instructions were simple – wear red, gold or white for a Bengali celebration! It was a party for the holiday season and a welcoming of the New Year. And yes, Jal Muri was absolutely on the menu. And since Nandini Mukherjee, once owner of the hugely popular Indian Bread Company, was the host, you could expect a great spin on Indian food.

Cinema Catch past hits with Madhuri Dixit and Salman Khan

What can $1.99 buy you?
In today’s day and age – not much. Not even a slice of pizza, not even a burger, not even a Metrocard!
But $1.99 can buy you romance, drama, comedy and magic, happiness and laughter, a trip to foreign lands for a full 30 days.
The secret is BigFlix.

Lifestyle Children try out the rugs created by Muslim artisans at 'America to Zanzibar' at CMOM

[dropcap]2017 [/dropcap]has been a rough year for everyone but in the changed insular political climate, it’s been particularly rough on immigrants and minorities, especially Muslims. And it’s been toughest on Muslim teens and children who have to defend who they are.

How can a Muslim parent explain to their child about Muslim-bans and terrorist-taunts, and still expect that child to feel validated and have a healthy self-esteem? At the same time, how can children of other faiths learn about the ‘mysterious’ Muslim culture and realize its richness and plus points?

Faith Madonna and Child by Roberto Custodio in 'A Matter of Faith' at RL Fine Arts in Manhattan

At Christmas, some beautiful images from Roberto Custodio, all created from recycled materials and old magazine images. What could be more meaningful than an article of faith regenerated from the embers of the old and the discarded?

Infant Jesus of Prague is a famous statue located in the Church of Our Lady Victorious in Mal Strana, Prague. Thousands of pilgrims pay homage to the Infant of Prague each year. Claims of blessings, favors and miraculous healings have been made by many who petitioned before the Infant Jesus.
We wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and peace in the New Year.

24/7 Talk is Cheap

What can be better than going home for Christmas, especially if home happens to be warm and sunny Goa? Chris and Beverly D’Souza with their young son Luke visited Goa, their hometown, far away from the cold of New York. This story is a Christmas tradition on Lassi with Lavina!

From Me to You

In my column, From Me to You, I share the tale of the last rose which battled the snowfall to tell us about optimism and beauty and how we can go out in a blaze of joy and color.


At Hanukkah, Indian-Jews remember the homeland which nurtured their faith. “India has been the only country in the world where Jews have never been oppressed or suppressed or discriminated against,” says Romiel Daniel, who is Jewish-Indian-American. Indeed, India has been nurturing home and haven for generations of Jews whose ancestors fled from persecution centuries ago. At its peak there were about 37,000 Jews living in India. “Discrimination is something that has never happened in India for 2000 years and that is something we are very proud of, and that is why we go back to India so often,” he says.

Faith Indian Christmas

While Christmas is important to Indian Christians as a celebration of faith, many non-Christians enjoy it as a secular holiday in ways small and big. Indeed, Christmas is such a huge, high voltage commercialized event in America that few can escape its allure, be they Christians or not.

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