I wrote about Madame Tussaud's latest wax figure of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for The Economist's blog and what it tells about India and its place in the world today. The story was inspired by seeing family from India visiting London, whether 20something cousins or 60something aunties and uncles, making a beeline to the attraction.
Some of my words on words that travelled from South Asian into the Oxford English Dictionary. It's so fascinating to find out how, why and with whom these Hindi, Urdu, Malayalam and Tamil words travelled and then became part of the English language. I HEART this kind of story, where digging down into an everyday thing like words and language, can reveal so much detail and nuance.
A piece for Vice UK on the unveiling of a statue of Gandhi in Parliament Square on March 14, 2015 and why there's a stench of hypocrisy around it. Yes that's David Cameron at the unveiling so it's a very big deal particularly for businessmen, industrialists and corporate interests - the very people Gandhi stood up for in his battle for independent India, right?
Over the last few months I've been project managing and co-editing Time Out's Top 100 Bollywood film poll and project alongside film editor Dave Calhoun. I assembled a panel of 20 leading Bollywood experts and have to say so many people, who are very busy and high profile, were more than happy to get involved.
I wrote a guest piece for the excellent Mumbai-based platform for seriously interesting arts and cultural reportage, Homegrown about the banning of Leslee Udwin's documentary India's Daughter - focusing on the brutal gang rape and murder of a young woman in New Delhi December 2012 - by the Indian government.
It's been very heartening to find out that the people have been covertly sharing links to watch it online.
A piece on Youth Ki Awaaz (Voice of Youth), a youth-media initiative in India giving a platform and training to young people in India to express themselves. I've been following YKA for a while - it's a close to my heart after spending many years working at Live Magazine in Brixton - and it's brilliant to see YKA blossom. I'm chuffed to have been able to write about them for Red Bull's social enterprise platform, Amaphiko.
Why British Hindus occasionally use canals in lieu of India's sacred rivers, such as the Ganges, and make offerings of coconuts to these humble, often scruffy waterways. This is for the Canal & River Trust who are working with on point agency Smoke Creatives to bring stories of Britain's waterways to life.
I was lucky enough to interview director/actor/singer/producer Farhan Akhtar, who wrote and directed one of the biggest grossing films of all time, Dil Chata Hai (2001) when he was 27, about his lead role as Milkha Singh, India's greatest ever athlete, in Bollywood blockbuster Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013)