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Film

Bhogwan Singh: Hollywood's Longest-Serving 'Turban Wrapper'

Bhogwan Singh performed with snakes for a beach sideshow in Los Angeles before he got his chance with Universal Studios to fix Rudolf Valentino's turban.

Recent
Books

Bringing Forth the Male Gaze in 'Preeto & Other Stories'

The male writers in the anthology, Preeto & Other Stories, have been selected because each wrote extensively, if sometimes idealistically and sentimentally, about women.

Books

India’s 'Bos Indicus' Religion Is Explored in 'The Milk Lady of Bangalore'

Shoba Narayan's memoir of creating a new life in Bangalore after two decades in the US centers on an unlikely friendship with her milk lady and their quest to buy a cow.

Books

'Ants Among Elephants' Is a Riveting Account of Left-wing Politics and Casteism in India

Sujatha Gidla's memoir is an example of history as told from down below, by the people who were involved in the labour and caste protests and the women who did the reproductive labour for the revolutionaries.

Reviews

What Is the Line Between Cultural Respect and (Mis)appropriation?

The Goddess Pose is fascinating story of how an Eastern European woman became a global chameleon and the most recognizable face of yoga in the world.

Books

'Calcutta' Is a Vivid, Sensitive, and Perceptive Literary Portrait of the City

The author presents a balanced, if occasionally slow-paced, portrait of his birthplace, detailing his travels and memories of Calcutta over a two-year period.

Reviews

'Gangs of Wasseypur' Is a Bloody Good Gangster Epic

Gangs of Wasseypur is tumultuous, five hour gangster saga, stuffed with humor as bleak as the story is bloody.

Music

Jyotsna Srikanth: Call of Bangalore

Violin and percussion and some harmonium buzz-squelch, a structured and roaming outreach.

Film

Warrior Spirits and the Modern Indian Woman: 'The World Before Her'

Prachi's mother observes, "It’s a new culture, they're not going to follow our old ways, each generation chooses its own path."

Film

'Bitter Seeds': The Scourge of Globalization

Bitter Seeds points out that these multilayered crises evolved because of an illicit deal struck by the US and Monsanto with the World Trade organization “that forced India to open its doors to foreign seed companies.”

Politics

Waves of Grain: How World War II Created Our World

World War II changed the way we eat, live and work on such a fundamental scale that to those in the West it seems like there has never been anything other than the globalized world it created.

Music

The Bombay Royale: You Me Bullets Love

Sitar, tablas, dohl drums, scorching Indian vocals, funk, disco, surf and psychedelia. Just your everyday Indian film soundtrack, recreated by Aussie collective!

Music

Kiran Ahluwalia: Common Ground

India, by way of Africa, by way of Europe. And it works.

Music

Dharohar Project, Laura Marling and Mumford & Sons: EP

A British musician sings a line, an Indian picks up the line and shoots it off into a Sufi-esque corkscrew.

Books

'Dreaming in Hindi': Total Immersion, or Panicked Submersion?

Even at 45, Rich must defend her reputation. As she filters it through what would have been her acquired Hindi: “I have not been bringing men up to my room. I have not been throwing condoms onto people’s roofs.”

Music

Ravi Shankar: Nine Decades Vol. 1 1967-1968

An act of classical intricacy performed with athletic rigor.

Deanne Sole
Music

Paban Das Baul: Music of the Honey Gatherers

Noises occur and vibrate so that the implications of the sounds and the gradations of silence around them have a significance of their own.

Music

Bharat Karki & Party: International Music

A blithe mixture of Indian music and psychedelic funk recorded in Calcutta during the late 1970s.

Events

Tribeca Film Festival 2010: Road, Movie

Instead of plying song and dance like a traditional Bollywood film, Road, Movie beguiles a real life cinema audience with hair tonic. Yet when the movie is finally over, we're left with snake oil.

Sachyn Mital
Music

Red Baraat: Chaal Baby

Mainly instrumental tunes, at least two of which might be familiar even to listeners who have only a brief acquaintance with Indian music

Books

Power and Contestation: India since 1989 by Nivedita Menon and Aditya Nigam

Nigam and Menon remind us of the rich history non violent protest has had in subaltern India, and that the recourse to violence is a measure of desperation rather than entitlement.

Reviews

Monsoon Wedding (The Criterion Collection)

A family drama, as mosaic of modern, globalizing India, as a love story that sneaks up on you, and as a discourse on post-modernity and tradition.

Books

Marriage Bureau for Rich People by Farahad Zama

If writers want to ameliorate the public perception of India held by the vast majority of the planet, they should write realistic fiction and not continue to perpetuate either the notion of the Temple of Doom dystopia or the Jewel in the Crown utopia.

Books

India’s Immortal Comic Books: Gods, Kings and Other Heroes by Karline McLain

If Amar Chitra Katha provided a platform for Indian historical revisionism and religious nationalism, then the effects are even more pejorative when we see how comics have accompanied the Indian Diaspora.

Music

Monsoon Dance

Rain dancing in India's long awaited Monsoon to OthrSdeOf80's R&B tracks.

Film

India Shining?: America's Indian Moment

Perhaps Slumdog Millionaire is an elaborate, cinematic version of Bobby Jindal. Perhaps Western audiences have so deeply appreciated Boyle's film because it subtly reiterates a symbolic order that is as familiar as colonial conquest.

Derik Smith
Books

AIDS Sutra ed. by Negar Akhavi

The deepest and darkest secrets in India are those that even people who have lived there don’t talk about. To do so would admit that something was very, very wrong.

Music

Debashish Bhattacharya: Calcutta Chronicles

This is an excellent disc, one that rewards multiple visits.

Featured: Top of Home Page

The Clippings File: Pakistan

Books

The Elephanta Suite by Paul Theroux

In Paul Theroux’s brackish, world-weary new collection, India is inherently unknowable and inevitably dangerous, the result of such knowledge being disappointment at best and, at worst, rape, dissolution, or death.

Michael Antman
Music

Alejandro Franov: Khali

Alejandro Franov helps Juana Molina with her albums. On Khali he uses instruments that imitate the flowing sound of water, rain, or rivers.

Music

Various: Gypsy Caravan

The album is crammed. It’s a packed smorgasbord.

Music

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Bollywood Gold

The Rough Guide to Bollywood Gold manages to be a solid contribution to a swelling genre without ever feeling like an essential disc.

Film

Unbridled with Life: Interview with Mira Nair

With The Namesake, based on Jhumpa Lahiri's popular novel, Mira Nair has found an ideal subject -- a family full of complex characters who spend their lives traversing traditions and expectations.

Cynthia Fuchs
Film

The Namesake (2006)

Attentive to surfaces as well as nuances, Mira Nair's adaptation of Jhumpa Lahiri's novel, The Namesake, is about legacies and responsibilities, ambitions and dislocations.


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