Author Lavina Melwani

The Buzz

9/11. The day the world stopped. It’s not often that you feel your heart has stopped and your blood run cold. This is the feeling many people had, especially in NY, on that fateful day in September 2001. There was the indescribable pain of loss, the sheer fear of the unknown, the helplessness of seeing the world teeter out of control.
The healing process is still very much a work in progress.

The Buzz Philip Lilienthal, Dr. Jeffrey Laurence and Nicole Hazard at Red Ribbon's Bollywood Gala

The sadness of 9/11 persists. Today morning watching the names being called on television, I remembered the sheer helplessness of that day, the surreal quality of the world. Today too I go to New Jersey for a memorial for the beloved son of dear friends whose life changed forever on this day. I share with you an earlier piece about 9/11 and how we must never forget.

24/7 Talk is Cheap - The Blog

One favorite ritual is a visit to the Union Square Greenmarket in Manhattan where some truths I learned in Kindergarten are finally getting a hammering. Carrots are orange. Well not true always – carrots are now also yellow and purple – and rainbow colored! Eggplant is purple – but now it can also be silvery white! Tomatoes aren’t always red – they can be brown and yellow and all shades in-between, thanks to the many innovations in horticulture. As for peppers, the market has so many flavors, colors and varieties that even the Devil’s ears would fume with the heat!

The Buzz

Lord Krishna is the Cosmic Cowherd, the mischievous deity that Hindus love the most for his pranks, for his butter-thievery, for his melodious flute, for his romantic interludes with Gopis, the milkmaids.
He fought demons, danced on the mighty serpent’s head and lifted Govardhana Hill with his little finger, using it as an umbrella to protect the people from torrential rains.
This year Janmashtami – the birth of Lord Krishna – falls on September 5, 2015.


The Meet Brothers, known for their catchy music from ‘Baby Doll’ to ‘Chittiyaan Kalaiyan’ were in Manhattan to record with singer Poonam Khubani, also known as Poonam Kay. So here we were at the Hudson Eatery chatting with the Meet Brothers about their collaboration with Poonam. whose song ‘Ek Look Ek Look’ was featured in the Bollywood movie Aryan, and who’s made several popular pop videos since then.

People Cure Sonia is a project to get South Asians registered for a bone marrow drive for Sonia Rai, who has Leukemia. here donors are gathered at the Gurdwara in Fremont, CA

The US has several Indian-Americans doing important work in academia. Meet Beheruz. N. Sethna, President of the University of West Georgia with a budget of $ 100 million and 100 programs of study through the doctoral level.

He’s a Parsi who’s got some important firsts affixed to his name: he is the first person of Indian origin to ever become the president of a university anywhere in the US. He’s also the first person from any ethnic minority to become president of a predominantly white or racially-integrated university or college in Georgia.

The Buzz

I’m not monkeying around! There really is an Onam feast for monkeys – the guests seem to be having a monkey of a time!
Of course, monkeys are especially beloved because of Lord Hanuman, the monkey god and diehard devotee of Sri Rama. In any Indian town or city, monkeys can do a lot of mischief but get away without punishment due to this divine connection.
During the festival season of Onam, there is a special feast for these honored guests. Watch the video!

24/7 Talk is Cheap - The Blog Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Sikander Kher & Vishaka Singh in Ashutosh Gowariker's 'Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey'

Hundreds had gathered near New York harbour to watch the Erasing Borders Outdoor Dance Festival but there was an Audience of One who must have truly appreciated the lively tableaux that passed before her eyes – Lady Liberty.

Indeed, the Statue of Liberty has seen it all, the abandoned, the political refugees, the dreamers, the wanna-bes, the huddled masses – but here was a joyous rainbow of colors, of bright-eyed dancers celebrating their ancient culture, their aspirations and the diversity of America.
If you missed this festival, check out the upcoming indoor festival of dance!

24/7 Talk is Cheap - The Blog Image of birds signifies the flocking together of people. What does 'desi community' mean? Is there such a thing as a desi connection asks Monica Marwah in her post 'Sex and the Single Desi' on Lassi with Lavina

One of the most anticipated festivals in the Hindu calendar is Rakhi or Raksha Bandhan, the Festival of Threads. This is the day when brothers and sisters renew their bonds and sisters receive money and gifts from their brothers. Now which little girl can argue with that? Lucky are the sisters who have several brothers!

Indeed, if you are Hindu and have a brother, no matter where you are, you will try to meet up with him on Raksha Bandhan which falls this year on August 29. This is an ancient Hindu festival which occurs in the month of shravan on the full moon. Sisters pray for their brothers health and well-being, tying the sacred Rakhi thread on their wrists, and brothers pledge to protect their sisters.

24/7 Talk is Cheap - The Blog

You probably will never meet two more unmatched people than the lead pair in ‘Learning to Drive’: Wendy (Patricia Clarkson), a frenetic Manhattan book critic whose relationships are falling apart and Darwan (Ben Kingsley), a gentle Sikh taxi driver and part-time driving instructor.

Both are from New York City but inhabit worlds apart.

Their lives intersect when Wendy, devastated by the fact that her husband Ted (Jake Weber) has left her for a younger woman, decides to take driving lessons to regain her independence. Darwan, who is about to be entering into an arranged marriage, sight unseen with Jasleen ( Sarita Choudhury) a woman from his village in India, has his own immigrant upheavals in a new world.

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