Edinburgh’s community spirit during the “new normal”

We are living in a “new normal”. Social distancing, wearing masks, sanitizing hands, and along with that being “digital/online”. Considering that large public gatherings are not permitted, keeping in mind the current prevailing COVID-19 situations, SABASH (Scottish Association of Bengali Arts and Sanskritik Heritage) and the Scottish Indian Arts Forum (SIAF) organised online Durga Puja and digital Dusherra celebrations...

Kumartuli saga 2020: the hands that shape the Gods

The word ‘unprecedented times’ perhaps has found a new definition, since the Coronavirus pandemic hit different parts of the world since December last year. Among all the turmoil caused, the pandemic has changed the Durga Puja festival, the biggest celebrations for Hindu Bengalis around the world, where they gather for five days to seek the powerful matriarchal blessings of...

Open Oven: Baking it Even!

With the world witnessing a paradigm shift, food still holds fort as a constant source of relief. Entrepreneurial ventures stocking on comfort and utility food has become the need of the hour. One such immensely popular bakery in Kolkata, India is the Open Oven Bakery. Instituted by Reshma Sengupta, Open Oven has been supplying tasty and healthy baked food...

Parin Somani – a life dedicated to others

Parin Somani has been a busy woman. On the surface, she is an accomplished academician, educator, lecturer, author, and motivational speaker, but this is only a fraction of her achievements. Over her 31 years of professional experience, she has been a TV presenter at Ahmedabad Doordarshan, a radio presenter at All India Radio, author of multiple recipe books, and been...

Remembering Chiku, our squirrel child

This poem's been inspired by real events and has been written to make children understand the power of compassion towards animals. It is meant to encourage them to love them. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ I heard the crows scream out quite loud And ran outside to see, There lay on the grass in our Mumbai backyard Tiny balls of three! It was early hours, we were barely awake But...

Lockdown Diaries: The diary of a boy with an extraordinary disease

Robby Khullar will be writing a series of articles for us on Multiple Sclerosis, a condition that he has been suffering from for 35 years. Robby, with his positivity and wit, has been spreading awareness among the South Asian diasporas in the UK, actively taking part in MS research and helping provide answers that will prove critical for the generations...

Tales from the lockdown

From the minds of Samar and Ashish Hingorani come a collection of stories that follow three characters adapting to the new "normal" in these days of coronavirus. The illustrations are by Lakshmi Hingorani. Enjoy. NOTE: the controls to move back and forth through the pages are at the bottom of each page.

UK project Mission Shramik Sahyog reaches out to feed migrant workers in India

When lockdown hit India it didn't hit the whole population equally, there were those who were in a much more tenuous situation than others. Although millions around the world were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Indian migrant workers found themselves amongst the worst affected. Due to the lockdown, hundreds of thousands of Indian workers were unable to leave their workplace....

Dallas textiles firm supports US medical workers by pivoting into PPE

More than 35 million (and counting) pieces of personal protection equipment (PPE) have been shipped to hospitals, school districts, and government agencies around the country through Nextt Shield, a new division of Dallas-based textiles company Nextt Affiliated, created during the pandemic. Known worldwide for its sheets, bedding, and towels, Nextt -owned by Indian-born Arun Agarwalhas - has now pivoted to...

KASHISH 2020 to screen India’s first gay film ‘Badnam Basti’, lost and found after 49 years

Register for KASHISH 2020 at http://mumbaiqueerfest.com/attend/ Director Prem Kapoor's 'Badnam Basti', India's first gay film released in 1971, only to be lost to obscurity for around five decades, and found in a Berlin archive, will be screened at KASHISH 2020. Considered as one of first Indian films to explore same-sex relationship, Badnam Basti was made in 1971 and features a...