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 Chefs from Mathura create a vegetarian Holi feast
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The menu included everything from malpuras (sweet breads) to pakoras, vada pav and ragda pattis (snacks) to main courses including Paneer ki Khurchan and dessert of rich kulfis served in little clay pots. There were mounds of jalebis and multicolored mithai. Fresh puris made of green peas were being fried on the spot.

Lifestyle With Prodigy Arvind Mahankali at his win in Scripps National Bee
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He breaks into people’s homes. And if that’s not outrageous enough, he even opens their refrigerators and checks out the contents! He makes middle-aged Indian men remember their youth – and young Indian kids conquer the world.

So who is Rahul Walia and what does he really do?

Food Articles Jacques Torres at the opening of the Chocolate Museum in Soho
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Jacques Torres is certainly building up good karma! After all, what can be more life-affirming than making humanity happy by feeding it chocolate every day? Torres, who is affectionately known as New York’s Mr. Chocolate, creates a massive 200 tons of artisan high-end chocolate in his 40,000 square foot factory in Brooklyn.

Faith Hanuman shrine in a private garden
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Faith in a higher power infiltrates all of life in India. When things are tough or challenging, you see God is at every corner. There are countless ways spirituality merges into all aspects of life from small roadside shrines to massive temples; how nothing begins without the invocation to Ganesha, be it a new store, a new film or just a school examination.

Art Delhi, India Gandhi's funeral. 1948. Crowds gathered between Birla House and the cremation ground, throwing flowers.
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The gallery at the Rubin Museum in Manhattan is hushed with silent screams, copious tears, with catastrophic events as they happened, with real life receding into the realm of the past. Witnesses from the present watch as Mahatma Gandhi lies fasting, shrinking into himself with concerned followers all around him; they watch hundreds huddled on the refugee trains from Pakistan to India; they are at Gandhi’s funeral with inconsolable masses flooding the landscape.

The Buzz Mother's Day is a tribute also to the invisible women whom you see in Breakthrough's video
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Portrait of a mother – as this young artist, who is very close to me, has depicted in this art from the heart, may the flowers always bloom for you, the sun shine on you and your lives always be full of love. Roses, gifts, visits to the spa, jeweled baubles, lunches and dinners, lots of pampering – you deserve them all! A perennial post I love to share on Mother’s Day.

Yet today we pay tribute also to the other mothers – the invisible women all over the world who struggle to give their children a roof and sustenance, a future…Watch Breakthrough’s moving video about the nameless women whose lives get subsumed in making a livable life for their families.

Fashion Mac Duggal with models
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Who is Mac Duggal? You could say he’s the world-famous designer you don’t know anything about – although Americans from celebrities to prom queens swear by his creations.

Food Articles Vegetarian thali
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From birth to marriage to death, if you are Indian, there is no escaping dal, the humble lentil which signifies life itself. Dal is one of the first solid foods a baby is fed and it is part of the funeral rituals when life ends and the soul takes flight.

Events NYIFF - Lipstick under my burkha
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dmit it – sometimes you just want to run away from mundane real life!

Well, here’s the perfect antidote, the perfect escape route… you get to follow four feisty Indian women and their secret desires, meet a famous sibling pair of filmmakers, encounter the truth about the controversial politico Arvind Kejriwal, come face to face with Satyajit Ray’s fascinating detective Feluda and check out two of your favorite stars who are picking up the megaphone and turning director! You even get to see the life story of a porn star turned Bollywood actor!

Food Articles Saffron Kheer - Jainism
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India is the land of many cultures, many people – and many foods. Vikas Khanna’s ‘Utsav’ captures the many festivals of India and the unique dishes associated with each religion and region. Here’s a chance to experiment with different dishes and celebrate all the wonderful festivals of India!

Food Articles Vikas Khanna with President Barack Obama, VP Joe Biden, Pope Francis, The Dalai Lama, Secretary-General of the UN Ban Ki-Moon, President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Clinton, Queen Elizabeth 11, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lata Mangeshkar, Shahrukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg
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The Obamas have it. So do the Pope and the Dalai Lama. And Queen Elizabeth too. As does Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan. But unless you’re world-famous or have loads of moolah you probably won’t get your hands on ‘Utsav’ – Vikas Khanna’s book of festivals. That’s because he’s made only 12 customized editions and over 12 years has presented it to some of the world’s movers and shakers.

Fashion The Eidos Spring 2017 Collection
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“As creative people, I think we get tired of seeing the same thing over and over again. I’m a firm believer in the idea that excellence exists everywhere,’ says Antonio Ciongoli, director of Eidos, whose Spring 2017 menswear collection is inspired by Jaipur in India, and who used all Indian models in his NY collection.

Cinema Jim Broadbent with Ritesh Batra on the sets of The Sense of an Ending
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Ritesh Batra proves himself adept at distilling people’s lives, no matter what their background. He captures, as in his previous film ‘The Lunchbox’, the minutiae of ordinary lives superbly, the subtle touches, a glance, a gesture. He manages to convey the complexities of the novel in the short span of the movie

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