Browsing: Lifestyle

3 “Have Makeup Kit, Will Travel!”

Bali. Las Vegas. Hong Kong. Dubai. Miami. Mumbai. Singapore. And the list keeps growing! ‘Have Make-Up Kit, Will Travel!’ This could well be the mantra of Sanjana Vaswani, a traveling cosmetologist in New York who has flown to many cities and driven many miles to transform everyday women into dazzling brides at countless weddings.
It’s interesting how new careers can be created and willed into being, and now with the ever-burgeoning Indian-American community in the US, the business of beauty is a multi-million dollar industry, part of the Indian-American wedding industry. Along with wedding planners, caterers, decorators, and photographers, you have the make-up artistes…
For Sanjana, her car keys are crucial in the business, and she’s driven from Pennsylvania to Virgina. “Thank God for GPS!” she says. At any given time her car carries her makeover cases of cosmetics and accessories which are geared for any beauty emergency.

8 The Changing Indian-American Family

“An increasing number of young adults will be taking care of elderly parents in the next few years – and that is not going to be a simple process. Where will the senior members in the family live? Do they move in with the children? If the children have transferable jobs, what happens? Do they uproot themselves and start all over again, adjusting to a new climate, a new environment? Will the daughter-in-law/son in-law cope with long term illness?

Some parents insist on staying with the son. What happens to the wife’s parents? What if they do not have a son and wish to stay with the daughter? Is it possible for everyone to stay together? How do you take care of sick parents when you have a job and children? Aging – no matter how beautifully you age – can be fraught with frustration, bitterness, anger and resentment.”

5 Back to Roots: Environmental Superheroes

Imagine growing gourmet oyster mushrooms from discarded coffee grounds!

Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez , both students at UC Berkeley, were headed toward careers in investment banking and consultancy when they heard a professor talk about this little known fact. Intrigued they decided to put it to the test.

“The whole idea seemed so improbable – it’s really been a blast!,” says Nikhil. The gambit has succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, resulting in the reuse of 1 million pounds of used coffee grounds which would have been dumped in landfills. They have been invited to the White House as agents of change.

7 Remembering Sonia Rai

Some days just begin with news that delivers a powerful kick to your gut and the world seems to stop for a minute.
Sonia Rai, the young woman who gave a human face to the South Asian bone marrow drive, lost her fight against Acute Myelogenous Leukemia today.
You feel saddened and quite helpless.
So we pause and think of the beautiful life lost and what she would have liked us to do, what efforts she would like us to make.
The battle may have been lost but the war goes on.

1 Single Desi’s Tips for holiday parties

“Tis the Season to Be Fabulous fa la la la la…I love the holiday season. The shopping; the sales; the extravagant get-togethers; the holiday parties; the cookies; the gifts; the Secret Santas; the holiday cards; the holiday movies; the New Year’s eve parties and the chocolate. What a great way to say goodbye to a year and ring in the New Year with some great spirit and some awesome love.”

CyberCircles: For You!
2 Children’s Hope India: Lighting up Villages

Project Chirag began as a student-run organization in Free Enterprise at H.R. College of Commerce & Economics in Mumbai. Since its inception, the Project has purchased solar equipment, trained and hired paraplegic Indians to assemble the parts, and then installed the panels and lanterns in thousands of households across Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka.

30 Twitter Traumas: What If You Tweet and No One Listens?

“So I am relatively new to this 140 characters world. Been there for a bit but just can’t figure out what to tweet about.

When I do find something fun to tweet about, I spend 5 minutes trying to get rid of the negative character count .. aaah … how frustrating!! Do you know how hard it is get interesting thoughts across in less than 140 characters?

Imagine if Twitter existed in the Elizabethan era! I think I need to enroll in a ‘Twitter Short Form Writing’ class right after I get done with ‘What Do I Tweet About?’ ” – Ruchi Kalra

45 Are Facebook ‘Friends’ Really Friends?

“Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and Friendster have definitely made the world a smaller place but they’ve also made it more open for everyone to peek into our lives. Today we are defined by the number of friends we have on FB, by how many people follow us on Twitter, and how many people subscribe to our blog, rather than by the number of true friends that we can sit with and have a cup of chai.” GUEST BLOG

2 2011 Cricket World Cup – Three Men and a God

” Phew – Welcome to India, the land of colors, exaggeration, opportunism and couch patriotism.

I witnessed India’s second World Cup Cricket win last night very differently from the way I had done in 1983. In 1983, I was a kid who had fallen asleep out of exhaustion, in the middle of the night, in the living room of neighbors who were the proud owners of the only coveted Sony color TV in our whole apartment building.

Last night, 3/4ths of a Johnny Walker Black Label could not knock me out as I sat, eagle-eyed in front of my TV set. Biting my nails in anticipation, whistling in glee, trying to add my bit to my nation’s couch potato-ism, I gratefully witnessed that Midas Dhoni was up to his pranks yet again, and was steering his wobbly ship home yet again, as he has been doing for a number of times in the past five years.”
Guest Blogger Ayon Banerjee.

7 Sonia Rai, South Asians & the Bone Marrow Drive

Life can change in the blink of an eye. It happened to Sonia Rai, 24, a risk analyst in Boston, when a routine visit to a dentist turned into a nightmare scenario. She was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and is desperately seeking a match.
Did you know that if you are a South Asian and get Leukemia, your chances of survival can depend on a bone marrow match from another South Asian? While 30 % of patients will find a matching donor within their family, the remaining 70 % have to search for a match from unrelated donors.The hard fact is that only 1% of South Asians are registered with the National Marrow donor program.

0 AIF-Yale Summit – Challenges in India

What happens when you manage to gather critical thinkers like Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo’s Chairman and CEO, the many faceted Fareed Zakaria, Kapil Sibal, India’s Union Minister for Human Resource Development and Richard C. Levin, President of Yale University all in the same room?

You get some thought-provoking conversation about where India is going, and the challenges along the way.

What is India doing right – and what is it doing wrong? Can it beat China? And what about privatizing public works to fix the infrastructure? Will India have enough teachers? What about the health challenge?

So come be a fly on the wall and listen to where India is headed.

0 Asema Ahmed, Wizard of Weddings

For all those hankering for details about the Chelsea Clinton wedding – at least one cat is out of the bag! We can say with definite authority that the linens at the wedding of the year were designed by Asema Ahmed’s Magnolias Linens.

Indeed, Middle Eastern royals, Hollywood stars and blue blooded society princesses have all turned to Asema when they need some high drama in their lives, be it a glittering wedding or a black tie gala.

7 Ayurveda – an American Story

Will students be heading to American universities to get their degrees as Ayurvedic doctors? Will patients seek out practitioners of this 5000 year old system of medicine from India when next they have health problems? And will Ayurveda form the basis for new health and beauty products, even of restaurant menus, in the US?

4 Blurring of the American Dream

McMansions, hefty bank balances, unfettered success, Ivy League schools, a world embroidered with dollar signs.

For many Indian immigrants, that was the fabric of the American Dream. Add to that a Lexus and maybe a BMW in the double car garage, lots of travel, lots of dining out, and the ability to live a rich lifestyle.

For other Indian immigrants, the American Dream was much more modest—just the ability to survive, to consolidate some savings and send funds back home to family members still in the village.
Yet all these dreams, big and small, modest and immodest, have been gathered, whipped up and churned in the ruthless and noisy cement mixer of the economy—pummeled, pushed and battered by the worst crisis in memory as the global economy has taken a severe beating.

2 Finding their Place in the World

In the 1990’s, tens of thousands of ethnic Nepalis living in Bhutan were stripped of their Bhutanese citizenship. Born and brought up in Bhutan, they were ruthlessly expelled by the government, compelled to live in a wasted no-man’s land, in seven crowded refugee camps on the outskirts of Nepal.Difficult as their situation has been, the one silver lining has been the offer of the United States to resettle up to 60,000 of the 106,000 refugees. About 8,000 of them have arrived in the US and will be given government assistance to settle down. I checked out a Little Bhutan which is beginning to bloom in the Bronx.

1 Bhutanese Refugees Find Their Way in New York

As a writer, I often wonder what happens to the people one reports on. How do their stories pan out? Do they find happiness and their way in the world? Recently I had written about the influx of Bhutanese refugees into the US, spotlighting their lives in New York. I’m happy to provide a follow up and a happily ever after – several non-profit organizations have got involved in helping the newcomers get a foothold in America.

6 Breaking Bread with Barack Obama

When Bhairavi Desai met President Barack Obama on the receiving line at the Administration’s first State Dinner at the White House, she introduced herself as the director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance. Obama smiled his high voltage smile and bending down, confided: “I was an organizer too!”

“It was such a thrill to hear him say that – it was such a nice endorsement of my profession,” recalls Desai, who is a fearless advocate for the rights of New York cabbies. She and co-founder Javaid Tariq were both guests at the glittering dinner with celebs and politicos, a party which possibly America’s entire population wanted to attend but to which only 320 guests were invited, not counting the gate-crashers Michaele and Tareq Salahi.

2 A New Voice for an Old Religion

Whether it’s the California text books decision or the passage of the Congressional Diwali Resolution, these are not free gifts which have been dropped into the palms of Indian-Americans but rather hard-won victories by advocates, including a band of young second-generation Indian Americans of the Hindu American Foundation (HAF).

1 Telling the Diaspora Story

If all the world is a stage, then who better to tell the story of the ongoing drama of Indian immigration and Diaspora tales than playwrights? For years insightful writers from Africa to the UK to Canada have been documenting the stories of those who left the homeland for uncharted territories, and now some of them gathered in New York to share their experiences.