All Hail The Queen. Though little is revealed about actress Madhuri Dixit’s upcoming film, Dedh Ishqiya, slated for a January 2014 release, we do know it’s an edgy black comedy, fueled by crime — and kathak. Legendary dance maestro Pandit Birju Maharaj (who choreographed some of the awe-inspiring numbers for Dixit’s supposed swan song, Devdas) works his magic on a number of seductive performances. We wait with bated breath. [India Today]
Au Revoir. In a letter that went viral this week, 24-year-old Jay Harish Shah of Mumbai minced no words when accusing Air France of “racial discrimination and ill-treatment” (i.e.: refusing to re-book a young man en route to his father’s funeral; not providing wheelchairs to elderly passengers) towards 45 mostly Indian passengers stranded for over 12 hours in Charles de Gaulle Airport earlier this month. An all-time low for the phrase, “1 night in Paris” — and that’s saying a lot. [Times of India]
Green Card Fever. Despite being declared a “sex symbol” by novelist Shobhaa De, Raghuram Rajan, the newly-appointed governor of India’s central bank, continues to attract a fair share of angry, Donald Trump-esque skeptics who equate his green card (Rajan previously served as a chief economist for the International Monetary Fund and an economics professor at the University of Chicago) with American citizenship. “In some sense, it is to me shameful we spend so much time on such issues,” said an exasperated Rajan before clarifying that he does, in fact, hold an Indian passport. [WSJ India]
Diwali — Windy City Style. While we were less than impressed with the Los Angeles Times‘ lackluster piece on Navratri last week, we can’t say the same for cookbook author Anupy Singla’s heartfelt take on Diwali, featured in today’s Chicago Tribune. Singla, who expertly combines family anecdotes with nuggets on the festival’s cultural significance, gets our vote for thoughtfulness. And we love that her Diwali table is laden with traditional staples, including kaali dal, alongside avant-garde dishes like baked Brussels sprout chips, dusted with garam masala. [Chicago Tribune]
Aarti Virani is an arts and culture writer based in Hoboken, New Jersey. She has written for publications including Vogue India, The Wall Street Journal and Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @aartivirani.