A Motley Crew. It’s not everyday that a controversial Indian prime ministerial candidate shares headline space with a twerk-happy American idol, but such is the all-encompassing nature of Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” title. In addition to Narendra Modi and Miley Cyrus — she’s twice as popular, it seems — this year’s amalgam of a shortlist includes Malala Yousafzai, Prince George, and Edward Snowden. [Firstpost]
Dhoomed to Fail? Producers dished out a hefty Rs. 5 crore for an extra-splashy track in the upcoming Bollywood action flick, Dhoom 3, earning it the distinction of becoming Bollywood’s costliest song to date. We’re told the song, titled “Malang,” features 200 gymnasts who were flown in from the United States. And we thought outsourcing was cost-effective. [India Today]
Bridging the GAP — almost. Just a day after Arsalan Iftikhar, senior editor at the Islamic Monthly, tweeted an image of a vandalized GAP ad featuring Sikh model Waris Ahluwalia, the clothing giant swiftly responded by asking Iftikhar for the ad’s location and also proceeded to transform its own Twitter background to showcase the aforementioned image in a display of solidarity. That’s all well and good, but we can’t help but echo this Tweet from Arizona State University professor (and The Aerogram contributor), Nilanjana Bhattacharjya: “@GAP, thanks for protecting brown people like Mr. Ahluwalia. Why don’t you also look out for the folks who made that shirt he’s wearing?” [The Huffington Post]
The New Indian Ivy. In what seems to be a sincere effort to look beyond the doctor-lawyer-engineer triumvirate, a group of Indian entrepreneurs and professionals are laying the groundwork for a new educational institution, Ashoka University. It’s goal? To emphasize critical thinking, communications and teamwork, aka a “21st-century skill set” that scores of technically-trained Indian grads are often missing, according to one university trustee. Here’s to self-designed majors and activist professors. [The New York Times]
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.