India urgently needs to break the chains of dependency that have for too long hobbled girls’ dreams from the day they enter school. When girls stay in primary school for just one extra year, it can boost their eventual wages by 10 to 20 per cent. A look at gender equality in India.
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!
Strolling through the Chocolate Show in Manhattan (and munching as I went) I thought I had seen it all – chocolates with a hundred different flavors, chili chocolates, chocolates mixed with bacon, even chocolate lotions, lip glosses and potions. – until I came to the most unexpected – camel milk chocolates!
We are a city of immigrants. It is woven into our DNA, into our history and into the very concrete that binds our buildings. When you look at the skyline, think about the people who built it: working people who came here from every corner of the earth and made this a better, stronger place.
No matter which part of the world Indian immigrants live in, they each carry with them their special memories of India filed away in their heads and hearts. For these diasporic Indians, many now with hyphenated identities, India’s Republic Day does bring in a whole lot of memories and a feeling of pride in being a part of India, and India being a part of their emotional DNA.
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.
For immigrants in New York, there’s a particular comfort in being in the multicultural capital of America under the glow of Lady Liberty’s lamp. The city and state government has come up in support of all immigrants. “If anyone feels that they are under attack, I want them to know that the state of New York – the state that has the Statue of Liberty in its harbor – is their refuge,” wrote NY Governor Andrew Cuomo in an open letter to all New Yorkers.
Disney’s ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ is produced by Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Juliet Blake and directed by Lasse Hallström; it has the music of maestro AR Rahman and the beauty of South of France; it’s a delightful comedy with enough gourmet food in it to get the mouths of all foodies watering, with Manish Dayal as the young culinary genius Hassan.
In this film Dayal gets to interact with topnotch stalwarts like the remarkable Helen Mirren – and the equally wonderful Om Puri, both embroiled in quite a rowdy Indo-French food fight. A report on the special tribute to Om Puri at the Museum of the Moving Image.
A law degree has been the avenue for a number of Indian-American women who have done very well in corporate America and private legal practice. It has also been the building block for a handful of strong women who have entered public life via this route as judges, attorney generals and lawyers in the public sphere, this having an impact on the lives of ordinary citizens.
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.
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.
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.
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!
We’ve all known and loved her – Meena Kumari, the tragic beauty who brought so many wonderful films to life. Many of us have seen her films in crowded theaters in India while another generation has experienced the power of her work via videos, catching on to her life after it was already over.
Most of us don’t know that she was a poet too, writing in Urdu. Now her words have been lovingly gathered into a book, ‘Meena Kumari, the Poet – A Life beyond Cinema’, and fans, poetry lovers and the merely curious will be able to see what made her tick, what were her innermost thoughts
For most Indian immigrants the two most mouth-watering words in the English language are “Indian Food”. Last summer I enjoyed a great culinary journey back to India: I visited Anjappar, a noted ‘military hotel’ in Chennai famous for its non-vegetarian Chettinad cooking , and also the iconic Sarvanna Bhavan beloved for its dosas, uttappams and other vegetarian delights. I next ate my favorite street foods at Kailash Parbhat, my family’s favorite Sindhi eatery in the by-lanes of South Mumbai. Final stop was of course the classic Moti Mahal in my hometown of Delhi where I’d first tasted the divine makhani murg or butter chicken in my childhood.
Yet you’ll be surprised to know that I visited all these treasure troves of regional cuisine without ever boarding a flight or stepping out of America!
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.”
For the last eight years we have seen President Barack Obama do this symbolic act of pardoning the turkey, though of course lots of turkeys are going to be eaten today! However, there is freedom and respite for these two lucky turkeys, Tater and Tot.
“We were the first Sikh family in Bamberg. It was a small town in South Carolina, a closed community at that time,” recalls Ajit Randhawa of the 70’s. “Our daughters Simmi and Nikki entered the Little Miss Bamberg contest but the school selected only a White Queen and a Black Queen. So Nikki and Simmi were not eligible as contestants. Nikki was five years old at that time and sang, ‘This land is your land, this land is my land, from California to New York Island’ and received a resounding applause.”
Fast forward to 2010 and Nikki Haley (nee Randhawa) is not only a contestant in the most powerful contest there is – US politics – but has won big time. Forget black and white, she has shown that an Indian-American can be a game changer where race and gender is concerned in the Deep South.