Stories about Indian

Do you know where ‘chai’ came from?

The food we eat today is influenced by several cultures. I learned this after reading the highly informative book called Curry: A tale of Cooks and Conquerors by Lizzie Collingham. The historical references in this book are elaborate and provide an insight into our cuisine. Take spices for instance. Isn’t it almost impossible to fathom the idea of Pakistani and Indian cuisine without the use of different types of spices? But before the Portuguese entered Goa, our part of the world had never seen a chilli. And when the Europeans travelled to India, their aim was to increase trade, but as a result of this trade, new ...

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Tribal leaders order gang rape of Indian girl: When will the men stand up?

“We are living in a male dominated world.” This statement has never felt as humiliating as it does today, when I am reading the news of a village council ordering the gang rape of an Indian village woman, as a form of punishment, who was suspected of having a love affair with a Muslim from a neighbouring village.  Hurts, right? The incident which was reported to have happened on Tuesday was a result of the girl’s family’s inability to pay Rs25, 000 as a fine, for the said ‘crime’. The news numbed me and for the first time in many years, I am at an ...

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Indian elections 2014: It’s Kejriwal versus Modi, and I know who the winner is

The biggest victim of the Indo-Pak conflict has been the aam aadmi or the common man. In fact, he is considered nothing more than just a chess pawn by the ruling class on both sides, to be played off against the ‘enemies’. His life is cheap and can be sacrificed. His blood is of no worth and can be shed like water. Thousands of innocent lives have been lost in this mindless conflict since independence and yet, the insatiable craving for blood by these beasts of prey, on both sides, remains far from being gratified. First came the white man and divided us in the name of ...

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In the Indian diplomat’s case, does anyone care about the nanny?

Paying a maid roughly 200 Indian Rupees (INR) an hour may seem overly generous in places like India and Pakistan where the job market is flooded with excess manpower. But can an Indian diplomat play by the same rules on American soil? Devyani Khobragade had relied on her diplomatic immunity to be able to import her own slice of cheap Indian labour to New York, but the US law intruded her haven nonetheless. She was arrested not only for paying the housekeeper less than half the minimum wage, but also for lying about it on her visa documents. There have been ...

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India should lift the ban on Pakistani channels before attacking Pakistan for banning Indian content

I am not a TV buff, and only switch on the idiot box to watch news channels and occasionally cricket matches, even though there are as many as 906 channels available on my cable connection. But at the same time there are millions of Indians like my mother who spend most of their spare time switching from one channel to another, watching daily soap operas – Ekta Kapoor’s Saas-Bahu type serials being the most watched.  906 channels, that’s quite a number, isn’t it? Now I would like you to guess the number of Pakistani channels in them – 20, 15, 10, 5, anyone? The correct ...

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Aarushi Talwar: Turning murder into entertainment?

It took India’s top investigative agencies five years to figure out how 14-year-old Aarushi Talwar was murdered in 2008. Then, instead of giving the public all the evidence present, they shaped Aarushi’s killing according to their whim and fancy. Crucial findings were discarded while other evidence was tampered and moulded to tell the world that Aarushi was a victim of honour killing by her incensed parents, who clubbed her to death on seeing her in a compromising position with the male domestic help. On the night of May 15, 2008 Aarushi and her household’s domestic help, Hemraj were violently murdered. ...

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Can’t a Pakistani and Indian live in harmony? We used to…

Like most Pakistani’s, I too experienced an overload of nationalistic fervour when I left Pakistan and that too for India. India evoked a psychological barrier and conjured the dreaded feeling of being ‘the other’ even though I had spent my formative years away from the jingoistic identity formation of the Zia years and had been brought up with the tolerant outlook of my parents (although my Kashmiri father did have staunch nationalist ideals). In hindsight, it was a sad, instinctive conditioning. I remember our Indian neighbours in the UK, where I spent most of my childhood, and despite the exchange of formal pleasantries ...

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Pak-India journalism: Inciting hatred or promoting peace?

Yesterday, at a seminar titled ‘Pakistan-India relations: What can media do?’, Mumbai Press Club’s President Gurbir Singh reportedly urged the Indian as well as Pakistani media to stop airing Television Rating Point (TRP)-grossing talk shows that negatively affect peace prospects between the two nations. This statement comes as a remarkable affirmation of a commitment to peace that needs to be strengthened by the media fraternity on both sides of the border. It comes close on the heels with Kamal Siddiqi’s recent piece titled ‘Talk peace, be damned’, where he laments that war-mongering brings ratings but at the expense of the dividends that ...

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Once upon a time, there were two travellers – one Pakistani and one Indian

It was a late Friday evening in Chicago. After working the full day, I rushed to O’Hare International Airport, to catch a flight to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on my way to Delhi. It was a short impromptu trip to meet my parents and I intended to be back within five days. The past few days had been very hectic at work and I was half hoping that I would be able to catch some sleep in the 14 hours of the first leg of my travel. Of course, an empty middle seat next to mine would be even better, ...

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Google can envision Pakistan-India harmony in less than 4 minutes…can we?

Regarding India-Pakistan relations, Sir Walter Scott in his poem “Lochinvar” captured it the best: “Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide” Replace the river Solway with Indus or Ganges and one gets an idea of the ebb and flow of India-Pakistan relations. I first learnt of it through the most obvious of sources, Indian movies. We were watching a cliché with the usual “dushman mulk sazish” storyline when came the long advertisements and movie reviews that would be a permanent feature of the video cassettes. This was sometime after the Babri Mosque incident and relations between the two states were crumbling. Among the ...

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