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Delhi Anew (Verve Magazine August 2010)

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Delhi’s makeover from bureaucratic backwater to dazzling metropolis has occurred in the blink of an eye. Jonathan Foreman looks at the country’s capital city with a fresh perspective No place I know has changed as much or as bewilderingly quickly as Delhi. It is not just that it looks and feels so different today than it [Read more…]

Talk of the Town – The Pictures – With the Islanders away, Bollywood invades the Nassau Coliseum On a normal Saturday night, the security detail at Nassau Coliseum has the arduous task of keeping thousands of heavymetal enthusiasts in line. Or the famously aggressive fans of the New York Islanders. But at the recent performance of [Read more…]

You don’t have to be a demographer to know that more and more New Yorkers these days come from the Indian subcontinent. Just hail a taxi in midtown: chances are, you’ll find a man named Sarabjit, Uday, or Ali behind the wheel. The legions of South Asian taxi drivers are the most visible sign of an [Read more…]

(Winner of the 2009 SAJA award for  outstanding editorial/commentary on South Asia, or South Asians in North America) Jan. 28       In the days since Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, much has been revealed, though little about the murder itself. Its culprits and even its means remain a mystery shrouded in rumor. What did become all too clear [Read more…]

Booby Prize Aravind Adiga was born in India but grew up in Australia and America; Rohinton Mistry was born in India but emigrated to Canada. Both have written novels that take a hard look at modern India. Mistry was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1991 for Such a Long Journey, in 1996 for A Fine [Read more…]

Mumbai: On the 'Slumdog' Trail (Standpoint March 2009)

The Mumbai slums where Danny Boyle shot Slumdog Millionaire are a world of surprises. There are the gaggles of uniformed schoolchildren running through unpaved streets, satchels bouncing on their skinny backs – they study only in the morning or afternoon so they can work for a living the rest of the day. There are the Dickensian [Read more…]

The wind has changed in India’s capital, though not in a way that might disperse the ever more noxious smog produced by the thousands of new cars that hit the streets each week. Since the November terrorist attack on Mumbai, India’s richest and most populous city, magazine and newspaper headlines have called for the country to [Read more…]

The last enclave of pagan tribespeople in remotest Pakistan might already have fallen to the combined ravages of modernity and militant Islam were it not for a redoubtable, eccentric Englishwoman. The journey to Birir in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan takes you along a terrifying jeep track of 11 hairpin miles. It winds so sharply [Read more…]

Four Days of Terror in Mumbai (Standpoint Jan 2009)

It is all too clear that the Mumbai terrorists were outstanding at their vocation. This was true in a purely technical military sense – after all, as few as ten of them were able to hold off the massed might of India’s security forces, including her best commandos, for more than three days. But it was [Read more…]

After a disastrous attempt to climb K2, former US Army medic Greg Mortenson had to be nursed back to health by the inhabitants of a remote and impoverished Pakistani village. He vowed to repay them by building a local school, and has now built more than 60 in similar areas across south Asia. Jonathan Foreman meets [Read more…]