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The World of Indian Sweets Posted by on Feb 21, 2018

Although many Westerners complain that Indian sweets are “too sweet,” I have luckily never had that problem. With a sweet tooth stretching back generations in my family, when I discovered Indian sweets, my culinary world expanded tenfold! Below I’ve curated a list of five of my favorite sweets with short descriptions accompanying each. Enjoy! Peda…

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Tales from the Panchatantra Posted by on Feb 20, 2018

The Panchatantra   is an ancient collection of animal fables from India. Surviving works have been dated back to 300 BC although the stories themselves are believed to be much older. Currently, the Panchatantra is considered to be the most widely translated Indian text around the world, including Persian, Arabic, and European languages. Written in…

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HindiVAALE! Posted by on Feb 13, 2018

While learning Hindi, you may have noticed the ubiquitous presence of the vaala/vaale/vaali (वाला/वाले/वाली) suffixes––by the way, a suffix is any word or particle that comes AFTER another word and changes its meaning. From Merchant and Ivory’s film Shakespeare-Wallah (or “Vala”) to the chaivaala (चायवाला) on the street corner who brews up just what you…

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Finding your way … or an address Posted by on Feb 11, 2018

I’ve always admired the mailmen and women of India’s vast postal network. That they are able to navigate the country’s labyrinthine and often chaotic sprawl of addresses (pataa sing.), is nothing short of a feat. Many a times, rural addresses bear no more than the name of the person, with other landmarks like “next to…

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Padmavati Posted by on Feb 1, 2018

As many of you may be aware, the recently-released film, Padmaavat (पदमावत), by well-known director (निर्देशक/nirdeshak) Sanjay Leela Bhansali, has kicked up a bit of controversy (विवाद/vivaad, masc. noun). Without going too much into the controversy, I wanted to devote this blog to the text that inspired this film: the epic poem (महाकाव्य/mahaakaavya, fem. noun) Padmavat…

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