Everything I Wore For My First Diwali In The UK

Since childhood, I’ve been obsessed with looking at calendars, particularly because there are so many holidays in India. I remember one year we had more holidays than school days because of the number of festivals we celebrated. Indians honour a multitude of holidays, irrespective of the religion each one belongs to, but if there’s one that we celebrate with everything we’ve got, it’s Diwali

For me, Diwali (also known as the festival of lights) was the time when all my friends were home for the

Are dating apps in India designed to make us swipe right on privilege?

Bumble, Tinder, OkCupid, Happn, Hinge, TrulyMadly, Woo and Badoo are just a few of the many dating apps in India that have become all the rage in recent times. We all know the gist: Modern life leaves hardly any time for organic connections to grow, and apps are convenient to fight off the ephemeral feeling of loneliness. You have the information required to assess an individual and see whether you can connect with them at your fingertips. If you have been on the apps, you know it’s a split-seco

Bollywood item songs are being reclaimed by women to strip them of their sexism

At an all-girls college, sixty small groups of teenagers are scattered across the hallway. The teachers have all left, likely in search of some semblance of peace for a few hours, as the girls continue to sway to the beats vibrating throughout the auditorium. Presently, the music system is commandeered by a student body representative, and without warning, the thumping strains of Sheila Ki Jawaani are blasting through the hall. Everyone from the age of 15 to 18 is fervently singing along to this

“As a Muslim Indian woman, Ms Marvel makes me feel seen at last”

A Muslim South Asian girl as a superhero? In some multiverse, there’s a teenage me squealing with joy at Disney+’s newest Marvel show, Ms Marvel. As an Indian Muslim woman who has grown up watching Marvel movies, I’ve waited a long time for this representation, and in the character of Kamala Khan, it has been worthwhile.

As an Indian Muslim, my first reaction to watching the show was of scepticism; would a Western audience tolerate this much south Asian-ness? Yet at no point has it felt that th

Lucknow’s monuments bear witness to the hidden love stories of its many visitors

Residency, counted among the most popular of Lucknow’s monuments, famous for the Indian Rebellion of 1857, is a couples’ haven. It’s fascinating to see what once was a battleground for our country’s quest for freedom is now a place where the revolution of love takes place every day. Couples in Lucknow escape into many of Residency’s nooks to spend time with each other—a secret they believe their families are blissfully unaware of. In a world that defines privacy as closed doors and password-prot

#DesiBooksReview 2: Fateema’s House of Her Own

“We don’t want to sell this house to a Mohammadan.” My father was too shocked to respond and a sob escaped my mother. She kept repeating how this was not the India where she’d grown up. I sat there disappointed, but not surprised. My parents had found their dream house after five years of searching but, more than the loss of a house, this served as a painful reminder of a Muslim’s place in today’s India. It broke our hearts to be reminded that there is a huge population in our country that would

“Antiman” Takes Us on a Journey through Continents and Identities, Borders Be Damned

Rajiv Mohabir’s memoir, Antiman, takes us on a journey through the United States, India, Canada, and Guyana. While the author does not physically take us to Guyana, it would be unfair to not include it because we travel there through Aji’s songs. Aji, Rajiv’s paternal grandmother, is central to this memoir because Rajiv identifies strings that weave the narrative of his life into the songs she sings. Rajiv’s ancestors were Indians who were sent to Guyana by Britishers. During British rule, some

[App Fridays] This anti-cheating app lets you fund your foreign education, travel with just a simple test

After receiving another scholarship rejection, I fervently looked for opportunities to fund my education for a prestigious college abroad without taking out a loan.

At 24, the idea of being in debt made me uneasy. In an economy hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, funding higher education is a mammoth task that burdens the students.

I came across Bengaluru-headquartered Mokusei Intelligence and its founder Ashish Bohora. I visited the website, and two hours later — after falling down the rabbi

People called Lucknow (short story)

Popular definitions of Lucknow refer to its famed etiquette, refined culture and gastronomy. After all, for a long time, Lucknow has been one of those few cities in our country that have been a safe haven for great architecture, literature, music and food; where various forms of art and craft have blossomed. However, the newer times have opened up this Awadhi melting pot to fresh aspirations and negotiations. People called Lucknow characterises this rich multifaceted mosaic of the city, with 45 stories. And one of them is about a Prince residing in his castle in Lucknow and his deep connection with the language of the city and the world.