Browsing: Features

People
16 Cornelia Sorabji – India’s First Woman Lawyer

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
0 Shakespeare Wallah Comes to New York

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’.

Cinema
2 India Kaleidoscope Film Festival – A Feast for Film Lovers

Wouldn’t you want to have a seat at the U.S. premiere of The Brawler (Mukkabaaz) by acclaimed director Anurag Kashyap? How about Pahuna, a film produced by actress Priyanka Chopra? These are two of the eight films at the India Kaleidoscope Film Festival at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York

Faith
11 Diwali in India, in America

“Diwali is one holiday I sorely missed when I lived in the US. I remember visiting the Indian stores in the neighborhood to buy my earthen ‘diyas’ (lamps), calling my cleaning service to come and give our home a professionally cleaned look, buying sweetmeats from wherever it was possible.
But I also remember being alone while performing these rituals. I would sheepishly light the diyas on my deck, the window ledges, and the house entrance, guilty that it was against the rules for being a fire hazard!” Guest Blog – Chatty Divas

Faith
11 Diwali 101 – From Darkness to Light

The triumph of good over evil, light over darkness. This simple sentiment is at the heart of the great festival of Diwali which is celebrated in the Hindu Diaspora all across the world. This year it falls on November 11. In this Diwali 101, everything you ever wanted to know about Diwali – check out the videos.

Cinema
0 10 Minutes with Kumail Nanjiani, Star of ‘The Big Sick’

Ten ticking minutes which won’t ever come back are a valuable commodity.
You could spend them waiting for the subway train to arrive or watching your chicken biryani cook on the stove.
Or you could spend ten minutes having a most happening conversation with the very happening Kumail Nanjiani! Well, that’s what I was lucky enough to do – and I tried to squeeze an hour’s conversation into those ten minutes – and we really talked fast!

Lifestyle
0 The Diwali Chronicles

As a journalist, I’ve always been intrigued by the unique experiences, sights and sounds of individual lives, a billion stories waiting to be told. Immigrants who’ve traveled to a new country always have their idiosyncratic cache of memories, of a past which belongs only to themselves.

Cinema
2 ‘Victoria and Abdul’: How Ali Fazal Got a Makeover

ow does a 21st century, modern Indian transform himself into a 19th century British Raj clerk, a servant of Queen Victoria?

In ‘Victoria and Abdul’ the story of an unusual friendship between Queen Victoria and her Indian servant Abdul Karim, this was the challenge for Ali Fazal, boy from Lucknow, Bollywood actor from Mumbai who had done a cameo in ‘Fast and Furious’.

Faith
10 Getting Ready for Durga Puja

“It is almost criminal in Calcutta to start any discussion around this time without a reference to the shopping done for the upcoming festival ‘Dasherra’ or ‘Pujo’. This is a time not only of shopping for your wardrobe but for the entire battalion of extended family. It is a time to give and receive gifts. The markets thrive and throb during these months and when the festival is over it’s almost as if a war has just got over! And so our conversation began with my mother-in-law and Maashi exchanging notes on each other’s bargains, new styles and various other subjects associated with ‘Pujo’.

Anyone who is familiar with wearing or buying ‘sarees’ will know the challenges of finding an ace tailor to make a perfect blouse to go with the coveted piece of new garment. A blouse gone wrong could prove to be disastrous to the festive spirit of looking perfect; it could dampen the entire annual celebration and hence the rest of the year! A good blouse is an imperative for a Bengali wrapped in Tangail, Tant or other special saris.”
Guest Blog – Chatty Divas

Faith
1 Navratri – Goddess Power

They spin round and round, going faster and faster, but never breaking the sacred circle, as they clap their hands rhythmically, dancing around the Garba or earthen pot. They smile as they twirl around for in these nine nights they are celebrating the Goddess that is enshrined in all of us.

This hugely empowering dance is called the Garba and it is the centerpiece of the celebration of the Hindu festival of Navratri or Nine Nights.

Faith
4 Garba, Dandiya Raas and Navratri

With the upcoming holiday season begins the Indian community’s tryst with tradition in America. Both Garba and Dandiya Raas, folk dances, have found their way to America and everyone from heart surgeons to hip-hop kids are taking to the large dandiya raas arenas during the festival of Navrati which heralds a season of upcoming festivals from Dusshera to Diwali. How has the interaction with America changed Garba and Dandiya Raas?

Music
8 Chandrika Tandon’s Song of Beginnings

It seems wholly appropriate that Grammy-nominated artist Chandrika Tandon has released the first track of her new album Shivoham – the Quest, in August, the month of Ganesh Chaturthi, the birth of the beloved God of New Beginnings.

Lifestyle
8 In India, in the Kingdom of Clay Pots

The tea had a special earthy flavor in this cup and the fact that the clay container would once again become one with nature seemed a beautiful idea. After all, aren’t ancient civilizations traced out by the clay remains of their days?

Our civilization of course will probably be remembered by the piles of plastic containers and garbage stuffed landfills we will leave behind! So the idea of the reborn clay utensils really appealed to me.

Faith
3 Ganesh Chaturthi 2017 – Celebrating Ganapati Festival

This isn’t Kashi or Prayag but thousands of devotees clog the streets, dancing and chanting as Ganesha’s Ratha Yatra takes place – in Queens, New York. Yes, this pilgrimage spot happens to be in Flushing, Queens, and people came to celebrate Ganesha Chaturthi from as far as California, Florida, Texas, Atlanta – and even India!

It is Lord Ganesha’s birthday and everyone is invited to this giant block party. Over 50,000 lunches are prepared; there are hundreds of pounds of sweets and hundreds of gallons of rose milk. About 20,000 people turn up over the course of nine days at the Hindu Temple Society of North America. (Photo: Chirag D. Shah)

Lifestyle
24 Lifestyle: The New York Model Who Became a Buddhist Nun

Her transformation from an “It” Style Girl to a Buddhist nun is so complete that people who knew her earlier do a double-take. She admits, “It was hard at first because your sense of identity is tied to how you look and your look determines your self-worth. As a renunciate you shave your head, use no makeup, perfume or high heels – but the beauty of wisdom that adorns you is far more beautiful than any couture dress.”

Faith
13 Indian, Young & Spiritual in America

Would you be willing to give up your life, your family and your name? Would you renounce love, marriage and parenthood forever? Could you live with the prospect of never seeing your father and mother again?

Bhavesh Choksi, 27, has done exactly that.

This high-achieving young Indian-American, forsaking all, has taken ‘diksha’, monastic vows, and is on his way to becoming a swami in BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, a socio-spiritual Hindu organization. For those of us still embroiled in the trappings of the material world, this decision can be wrenching. Breaking all ties with his past life and giving up even the smallest of luxuries, he is turning his back on what most people fight tooth and nail for. Bhavesh is following his dream, walking into a joyous light which most of us cannot even comprehend. He is obtaining ‘moksha’ and guiding others to find it too.

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