How India Fell In — and Out — of Love with Beauty Pageants
A 1992 Miss Universe loss would lead to over a decade of Indian domination at global beauty contests.
Opinion: Aryan Khan is Paying the Price for Being Muslim in India
Though they couldn’t find any drugs on him, officials arrested Shah Rukh Khan’s son during a drug raid and denied him bail — a reminder that being Muslim in India means living at the government’s mercy.
The Rise of Anti-Pakistan Bollywood
Patriotic movies used to evoke national unity. Today, films such as “BellBottom,” “Bhuj,” and “Shershaah” focus on settling scores with Pakistan.
How Nighties Became a Wardrobe Staple for South Asian Women
In a culture where women’s bodies are so heavily policed, the shapeless nighttime garment has become a daywear favorite and a symbol of freedom.
How Nykaa Built a Billion-Dollar Beauty and Fashion Empire
The female-led unicorn is set to make history as one of the few profitable Indian companies to IPO later this year.
The Enduring Love of Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu
The Bollywood superstars remained devoted to each other over five decades despite personal tragedy, jealousy, and a secret second marriage.
Why “Delhi Belly” Remains Bollywood’s Best Slacker Comedy
Ten years ago, Bollywood made a runaway hit about that period in your 20s when life goes to shit. No film has since come close to replicating it.
The Powerful Lens of Danish Siddiqui
The Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, who died amid Taliban crossfire, vividly humanized his subjects — a gaze that didn’t look down on people, but right at them.
What Zomato’s IPO Means for Indian Tech Startups
The first Indian IPO of the year, which raised $1.25 billion for the company, could herald a new era of exits for Indian tech startups.
How India Loved, Lost, and Returned to Coca-Cola
In India, a bottle of Coca-Cola is synonymous with celebration. But the country's love affair with the soda wasn't always smooth sailing — Coke was banned in India for nearly 20 years.
‘Lagaan’: The Blockbuster That Almost Didn’t Happen
This year marks 20 years since Ashutosh Gowariker and Aamir Khan’s iconic film took the world by storm, and changed Bollywood forever.
The Love, Life, and Legacy of Filmmakers Ismail Merchant and James Ivory
With “Maurice,” the duo changed how films depicted gay romance. Their production company would go on to win six Oscars, but their own love story remained a secret for 45 years.
Neena Gupta’s Time in the Sun
For decades, Bollywood relegated Neena Gupta’s talent to only supporting roles. Now, at 62, she’s finally getting her shot at stardom.
Streaming Wars: The Battle for Diaspora Viewers
As streaming behemoths like Netflix and Amazon fight to win the U.S. South Asian diaspora market, Indian streaming services are throwing their hats into the ring.
How Dream11 Became India’s First Gaming Unicorn
India's fantasy sports platform has captured the attention of the country's rabid cricket fandom. Now, it wants to be India’s only answer to sports.
Vir Das Blazed the Trail for Indian Stand-up Comedy — Now, He’s Going Global
The comedian — who stars in Judd Apatow's "The Bubble," out later this year — forged an industry for Indian comics.
Know Your Muses: The Queer Camp of Sridevi
The Brown queer community found camaraderie in Sridevi’s fun-loving but rebellious characters.
BYJU’s: From a Classroom to a $16.5-Billion Ed-Tech Giant
Byju Raveendran, a tutoring whiz and India’s youngest self-made billionaire, built India’s most valuable startup. But the story isn’t without controversy.
Explained: The Israel-Palestine Conflict and South Asian Diplomacy
South Asian countries have historically viewed the Israel-Palestine conflict as a symptom of British interference. More recently, they balance economic ties with Israel, while supporting the Palestinian cause.
Americans Shouldn’t Need Yoga or Chai to Care about India Right Now
What’s the most effective way to convince people to give when a country is in crisis?
“The Great Escape”: Sri Lanka and the Maldives Bear the Brunt of COVID Vacations
India’s elite continued to vacation in the island nations amid a raging pandemic.
To Be a Non-COVID Patient in India Right Now
With the country’s overburdened healthcare system focused on fighting COVID, non-COVID patients assume lowest priority.
Zohra Segal: Begum Ballerina
A dancer, actor, and revolution all packed into one, Segal embodied carefree womanhood on and off screen.
How Filmmaker Neeraj Ghaywan Weaves Nuance into Marginalized Identities
Whether it’s caste, gender, class, or sexual orientation, the director behind "Masaan" and "Geeli Pucchi" dissects every theme with refreshing sensitivity.
How the Mrs. Sri Lanka Incident Stirred the Pageant Pot
The uncrowning and recrowning of Pushpika De Silva is causing many to question why one’s marital status — and beauty pageants — matter in the first place.
Charles Sobhraj: The Serpent Who Charmed India
The BBC-Netflix co-production shows the serial killer for what he is: a cold-blooded escape artist and convicted international criminal.
“Bombay Begums” and the Missing Subtext
Billed as a feminist series, the Netflix show ends up serving standard Bollywood fare of wrongdoing and retribution.
Why Tillotama Shome Views Her Career as “Slow Cooking,” Not “Instant Noodles”
From playing the quiet Alice in “Monsoon Wedding” to the vibrant Ratna in “Sir,” the veteran actor has come into her own.
How “AK vs AK” Forged A New Bollywood Genre
Vikramaditya Motwane’s new Netflix thriller — also a black comedy, an indictment of Bollywood, and a 108-minute-long inside joke — was seven years in the making.
The Sexpert Uncle of India
Dr. Mahinder Watsa — who died on December 30, 2020 — became famous for answering his country's most taboo questions, from female pleasure to bestiality.
Opinion: Is Kangana Ranaut the Most Powerful Woman in Bollywood?
The actor has traded being crushed beneath Bollywood’s glass ceiling for a leading role in the witch hunts of the Hindu Right.
Opinion: Coping With Bollywood During a Pandemic
In a role reversal, the last thing on our minds is to be like celebrities but several Bollywood stars now want to prove that they’re just like us.
The Fault in India's Filmfare Awards
Once considered the Indian equivalent of the Oscars, the awards ceremony used to be equated with accomplishment. Today, not so much.