Unfiltered Mindy. “Aren’t surgeons courageous?” Mindy Kaling quipped on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night, responding to well-meaning fans who used the aforementioned adjective to describe a midriff-showing ensemble she flaunted at a recent appearance. “People are like, ‘It’s so nice that Mindy Kaling doesn’t feel she needs to subscribe to the ideals of beauty that other people do’,” she added. “And I’m like, ‘I do subscribe!’ They’re like, ‘It’s so refreshing that Mindy feels comfortable to let herself go and be a fat sea monster.'” If you’re already giggling, be sure to catch the entire episode to get a better grasp of why the wildly talented Kaling never intended to be the national spokesperson for “curvy” gals — can we discuss her acting and writing chops already? [E! Online] [Instagram]
TharoorBackThursdays! A tumultuous history with social media didn’t deter Shashi Tharoor from launching an Instagram account this weekend. In just 48 hours, the infamous Indian politician uploaded a steady stream of “politician-with-a-purpose” images (read: baby-kissing galore), making it clear he’s partial to the Valencia filter. We love Iva Dixit‘s snarky review, which triggered a Tweet from Tharoor himself! [The FiveFortyFive]
So Long, New Delhi. While Nancy J. Powell, the U.S. ambassador to India, didn’t provide a clear reason for her seemingly sudden resignation from office yesterday (she’s ending a prolific 37-year career that included stints in Uganda and Nepal), we’re speculating it had at least a little to do with Khobragate. One of the names being considered as her replacement? Rajiv Shah, head of USAID. Because let’s face it — if Shah can steer the U.S. government’s response to an earthquake-ravaged Haiti, surely, he can handle the shaky relationship between America and India. [TIME]
Camel in the Room? American taxpayers will be funding a $400,000 sculpture (a “life-size white camel made of fiberglass staring at the eye of an oversize shiny needle”) at the new U.S. embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan — a country where the average national income hovers around $1,250. “Public art which will be presented in the new embassy should reflect the values of a predominantly Islamist country,” outlined a State Department document. Good on them for taking this opportunity to reach beyond tired stereotypes…NOT. [BuzzFeed]
A Stitch in Time…A group of female artisans from Mumbai’s largest slum are appliqueing and embroidering change. Their revolution comes in the form of recycled saris, on which they’re sewing provocative symbols and slogans, ranging from “Don’t Touch Me!” to “Lock Up The Rapist, Not The Woman!” in a response to the 2012 gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman in New Delhi. The nine vibrant saris will be on display in a showcase that serves as the much-anticipated lead-up to the very first Dharavi Biennale, slated for Feburary 2015. [Mumbai Boss]
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.