Jyotsna Singh, grand-daughter of the Maharaja of Patiala, recalls a bygone time: “Naniji was exceedingly beautiful and at a young age she was married to Maharaja Bhupinder Singh and had two daughters Elsie (my mother) and Angela (her younger sister). The English names were given by the English governesses who could not pronounce the Indian names of the children. And there were a lot – 52 siblings, a pack of cards my mother would tell me…..Though the mothers lived at the palace and spent time with the children, the children were really brought up by the governesses. My grandfather lived in the main Motibagh Palace with his wives and his older children.”
I came to the US in the 80’s, as an immigrant via India, Hong Kong and Africa, and landed in Astoria, a gritty Greek neighborhood in Queens. I fell in love with the prosaic neighborhood with its heart of gold, and it was here that I discovered my own private America.The part which never fails to amaze me is that when I take the N subway from Manhattan to Astoria – glancing at my fellow passengers I see a virtual United Nations – Latinos, Chinese, South Asians, Blacks, whites all wedged together, sitting side by side on the Great American Journey. If Lady Liberty was to see them, she would definitely shed a tear – because this is exactly what America is all about. And on this day after the Fourth of July, with the firecrackers still ringing in our ears – we can say amen to that.
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.
New immigrants in ethnic enclaves tend to have a stronger support system but once they fly the coop into the prestigious suburbs and into Americanization, there is a chasm of distances to overcome between friends. We are monetarily richer but are we poorer in friends?
A majestic decorated elephant lumbering down the streets of Washington DC, with an Indian bridegroom ensconced like a maharajah on top; scores of chanting, dancing wedding guests causing a traffic jam on New York streets as they accompany the bridegroom in the ‘baraat’ or wedding procession, dancing the bhangra to the beat of village drums. Hundreds of guests in a man-made Gujarati village in New Jersey especially set up for a wedding celebration, with stalls, carts and even mud huts!
Yes, all this has come to pass as Indian immigrants have brought their Big Fat Indian Wedding to America.
Some stories have so much power – and there’s such a need for them! I had done this in-depth story on adoption four years ago & I’m amazed readers who are looking to adopt come to it even today for information. So I thought I’d share it again and would love your input and personal experiences with the process of adopting children from India. I do intend to revisit this topic in the coming months and would love your insights.
Many couples are not aware of their options and that surrogacy is a possibility.This is an issue that a lot of South Asian couples need to be more open about in sharing their experiences. Komal sat down for a detailed Q and A with Lassi with Lavina as she feels it is an extremely tough process for couples and the more support they get the better.
In American culture, it’s becoming increasingly common for parents to be more like your friends than authority figures, but as a desi that can be an uncomfortable situation both for the parents as well as children.
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?
Sometimes ads do get it right such as this United Colors of Benetton one which touches upon equal rights for women. Sometimes images convey what words alone cannot, and sometimes commercials can sell more than clothes or jewelry – they can promote ideals and ideas.
“I wanted to have a story behind the dress, and the story to point to the environmental work that we were doing.” These dresses use sustainable and innovative material, constantly pushing boundaries.” – Suzy Amis Cameron, founder of Red Carpet Green Dress Eco-friendly initiative at the Oscars
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!
The scourge of cancer, the threat of a damaged environment, poverty and joblessness are some of the problems which endanger our world. However, instead of tales of gloom and despair, we share with you three wonderful stories of hope for our small planet.
Meet young entrepreneurs, all from California, who have come up with creative solutions to problems with their bold out-of-the-box thinking.
The dawn of 2017 – it’s the time for resolutions and advice from the experts! So here are New Year tips from Mumbai! No, not from the city but from the canine. This little bit of fluff, a Havenese, is as tiny as the megacity is big.
Mumbai’s philosophy of life is something we should all emulate – apart from chasing pigeons, that is. So usually you have Influencers and Movers and Shakers giving you their tips about living the perfect life in the new year. Well, let me tell you something – we all would be better individuals and have a better 2017 if we were all a lot more like Mumbai, the Philosopher-Dog.
Today we look at a darker side of the picture – aging parents. “As my father gets older and reaches an age where he needs more help and emotional support than ever before, I am confronted with a challenge that almost all young desis face today: how to juggle our responsibility towards our parents, which is an integral part of our culture, with the many demands of our hyperactive cosmopolitan lives and our focus on the realization of our own potential and dreams. Ultimately, we all find different solutions but the underlying emotional conflict is the same for everyone.
Guest Blog: Talkback with Sanjay Sanghoee
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.
Who are we as a people? Do we eye others simply through the prism of race, color and religion? Are we guarded or open? This video for a commercial venture shows that you can gain knowledge or goodness anywhere, even from an ad!
initial feeling when I spotted these very Indian hands laden with gorgeous red wedding bangles and mehndi was one of disorientation. I must be in a Bollywood movie or at some Big Fat Indian Wedding. Or at least in a street in Colaba or Kalbadevi! But no, I was not even in Jackson Heights or any ethnic enclave but in the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
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.