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!

Food Articles Desserts with a Bengali touch
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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
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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
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[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
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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 Indian Christmas feast
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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 Between you and me - Rose - 1
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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.

Faith Lighting the lamps at an Indian Hanukkah celebration
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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
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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.

The Buzz Homai Vyarawalla
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This year on India’s Republic Day, we pay tribute to the wonderful Homai Vyarawalla, India’s first woman photojournalist (1913-2012) who captured the nation’s ups and downs in a series of remarkable photographs.

We are fortunate that the Rubin Museum of Art hosted a retrospective of her work right through January 2013, with free tours every day. Visitors could catch a glimpse of the India that was, and also see the work of a woman who captured history as it was being made. Her images include those on the historic meeting of Gandhi and the Congress Committee on the 1947 plan for partition, of a changing India as well as of many dignitaries who visited India including Queen Elizabeth, Ho Chi Minh, Zhou En-lai and Jacqueline Kennedy.

Cinema Shashi Kapoor in Shakespearewallah
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The passing of Shashi Kapoor has robbed the world of one of the most delightful smiles in the world, one of the most loved faces in the Hindi film industry. There may have been more dashing heroes, more powerful muscle-bound anti-heroes, more adept dancers but for his teenage fans he will always be the ‘Ingle Mingle Heartthrob’ a moniker given to him because of his toothy smile which only added to his adorable persona.

Dance Ramli Ibrahim and dancers ©Elsa Ruiz
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He has been Shiva and Krishna, countless mythical heroes and ordinary humans, and he has traveled the globe, telling all their wondrous tales through the magic of rhythm and dance. Datuk Ramli Ibrahim is a changemaker, an innovator with bells on his feet. For over 30 years, this Malaysian dance pioneer has nurtured both Indian classical dance and contemporary modern dance in Malaysia. He brings past, present and future on the lit up stage with audacity and shows that culture is meant to be shared, regardless of faith or nationality.

Events Indo-Jazz Festival
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SAMAA presents Indo-Jazz Festival at the Lincoln Center which connects two genres of music, bringing Indian musical memories and American jazz together in a New York state of mind.

Food Articles Thanksgiving - an all-American holiday
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Did you ever hear of the arrival of the turkey on to the Thanksgiving table being heralded as the arrival of the ‘dulhan’ or Indian bride? For Sunita Advaney’s family fixing the 30 lb bird was like preparing for an elaborate Indian wedding. Trust desis to bring their own take on this American holiday, imprinting it with their own special flavor!

Food Articles Thanksgiving appetizers
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A no-turkey Thanksgiving should make both vegetarians and the turkeys very happy!
As each successive wave of immigrants come to America, they introduce their own well-loved foods to the Thanksgiving table and in the process create new traditions.

Faith Thanksgiving
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If Thanksgiving is a festival of gratitude, then Indians have been preparing for it their whole lives.

In India, take a walk down the Mumbai waterfront in the early morning mist, and you see ordinary citizens quietly feeding the fish and the birds. Their daily day doesn’t really begin until the deities in their home shrine have been venerated with fresh flowers and offered prasadam.
It is only after eating a little of this blessed offering does the family sit down to their meals. Many remember to keep aside a portion of the food for a hungry person or the birds. It is all about sharing.

People Miss Cornelia Sorabji
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Today we have thousands of Indian women lawyers, both in India and the Diaspora. But how lonely and frustrating must it have been to be the first and to try and change society?
We pay tribute to the one who started it all, and won the right for women to stand up in court and argue a case. Cornelia Sorabji- India’s first woman lawyer.

Cinema Shashi Kapoor & Madhur Jaffrey in Shakespearewallah
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In the 60’s this bitter-sweet story about changing times and a changing India became a screenplay by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and was made into ‘Shakespearewallah’ – a winsome little gem of a film by the intrepid team of James Ivory and Ismail Merchant – just their second venture after ‘The Householder’.

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