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Arshia Dhar
Articles by Arshia Dhar

Nolen gur, ker-sangri: Climate change is taking a toll on elements of culture

What does a country lose — and what does our country stand to lose — as a planet moves through a new epoch? See how dance forms, dishes and fabrics are fading.

(Image generated via Midjourney)
Updated on May 17, 2024 03:50 PM IST

YOLO, so don’t go solo: See why lone rangers have it worse on screen

Films and shows are overrun with lone wolves. One fighter against all odds. One hero doing it all. Be a team player, maybe?

Max, from Mad Max wouldn’t have been captured by the War Boys if he was part of a group.
Updated on May 03, 2024 03:38 PM IST

You got played: Why does English theatre lag behind in India?

We hum tunes in English, binge TV, spoken word acts and comedy in it. Why, pray tell, does theatre not have the same mass appeal?

Plays such as Dear Liar (starring Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak Shah) have run to critical and public acclaim. (NCPA, HT Archives)
Updated on Apr 19, 2024 04:40 PM IST

Off the eaten path: Chefs tell us about their best meals around the world

How far would you go for a good meal? Cool chefs recount their culinary pilgrimages to South Africa, Spain, Singapore and beyond. And why it was worth it

What’s the best meal you’ve had? Some culinary pilgrimages are worth it. (Azad Panwar)
Updated on Apr 12, 2024 06:18 PM IST

Throwing shades: How colours get their names

A new paint brand wanted its 2,400 shades to be rooted in everyday India. Here’s how Meera Ganapathi came up with the labels.

Swatch cards for the hues named Bombay Monsoon, Chilli Guava, and Dosa Chicken at Midnight.
Updated on Mar 30, 2024 01:45 PM IST

Listicle: 10 glow-ups that gave audiences a pleasant surprise

Growing up is no picnic. These 10 celebs, however, transformed right before our eyes, leaving us reeling

Ariel Winter went from bespectacled nerd who ratted out her siblings, to gorgeous slay queen who turned heads.
Updated on Mar 29, 2024 04:03 PM IST

Country Western fails: Can Hollywood move past desi stereotypes?

Indian talent wins Oscars. So why does Hollywood still see us through the same old clichés when it tells Asian stories?

In The Darjeeling Limited, the whole country is reduced to a backdrop for therapeutic effect.
Updated on Mar 29, 2024 03:55 PM IST

Catch of the day: Meet the man giving freshwater fish a starring role on YouTube

Beta Mahatvaraj’s channel, Meenkaran (Tamil for Fisherman), features cinematic footage of more than 100 native species, including some very rare ones.

The Jerdon’s mystus, a catfish endemic to the Western Ghats. (Beta Mahatvaraj)
Updated on Mar 11, 2024 03:32 PM IST

Listicle: 10 pop-culture aliens we’d love to hang out with

If these 10 aliens are anything to go by, we don’t mind a bit of an abduction or an intergalactic takeover

Steven Spielberg arguably gifted us the nicest on-screen alien with ET.
Updated on Mar 08, 2024 03:42 PM IST

Celebrating Kafka: A toast, to old Franz and new

A Kafka-themed orchestra, an AI experiment, and a game that takes players through The Trial. It’s a year of metamorphosis in the age of the metaverse.

At the Kafkaesque exhibition, the life-sized, animatronic Stag In Silico by British artist Mat Collishaw slips, slides, and falls on its platform, in response to the intensity of abuse directed at selected individuals on X.
Updated on Feb 23, 2024 04:49 PM IST

The lazy person’s workout: Put your gym on your screen

Flee zombies, fight a buddy remotely, pedal past dinos or hear about how pros train, while you work up a sweat. Here are some tech hacks for the exercise averse

Online cycling game Zwift lets you ride, train and compete in a virtual world. (Zwift)
Updated on Feb 23, 2024 05:03 PM IST

Fission icon: A Wknd interview with an award-winning science historian

Jahnavi Phalkey worked to contextualise India’s nuclear programme. Why did it evolve as it did? Next on her list: statistics. Why is India no longer a pioneer?

‘It is more important than ever to ask certain questions, because of how strongly our worlds are being shaped by engineering research and scientific research,’ Phalkey says
Updated on Feb 03, 2024 02:59 PM IST

The curated closet: The only 2024 style guide you need

High- and low-rise jeans. Breezy fits. Big bags. Sneakers with everything. More denim. Here’s how we’re playing it casual in 2024

Oversized shirts will continue to be a trend-setting choice. (Photographed by Ana Margarita Flores; styling and creative direction by Jahnavi Sharma)
Updated on Feb 02, 2024 04:06 PM IST

Paperback alleys: A new platform lists tales starring cities of the subcontinent

Could fiction be used as a teaching tool, to help explain cultures and peoples, demystify the periodic table? A web project’s crowdsourced list is a first step.

 (HT illustration: Malay Karmakar)
Updated on Jan 27, 2024 09:31 PM IST

Your guide to retiring young: Save early, keep at it, get set, GO!

Retiring at 40 is not a pipe dream. Begin early, maximise your privilege, save from the start and track how your money grows. Your golden yacht awaits

To retire at 40, you can’t start at 39. Get a smart financial advisor in your 20s and track your investments. (Adobe Stock)
Updated on Jan 26, 2024 03:48 PM IST

Tinker belle: A Wknd interview with structural engineer and author Roma Agrawal

She began writing books to help people connect, and fall in love with, the mechanics of their world. Her latest is about seven tiny objects that changed it all.

“We have all, as children, built and broken things. That’s engineering, I want to show people that we are all engineers at heart,” Agrawal says. (Steve Ullathorne)
Updated on Jan 05, 2024 06:34 PM IST

Listicle: 10 book trends that will fire up your reading in 2024

Ebooks, non-fiction books, AI-generated audiobooks, zines and more. Here's what the new year will bring for readers everywhere.

People are enjoying book clubs, swaps, talks and silent reading groups.
Updated on Jan 05, 2024 06:22 PM IST

Cover Story: Look back and laugh

We got Saloni Gaur, everyone’s fav funny girl to recap 2023’s top moments. Hits, losses, wows, livers, Jhandeya. Did we really live through it all?

Comedian, mimicry artist and digital creator Saloni Gaur made it to Forbes India’s Top 100 Digital Stars list this year. She won an award for her funny videos at Creators United, India’s first experiential festival for creators. She hit 5 million followers on YouTube.
Updated on Dec 29, 2023 03:42 PM IST

What’s for desert? A Wknd interview with camel activist Dr Ilse Köhler-Rollefson

The one-time vet works with nomadic camel herders, to find new paths forward. Her latest book flips the script. Could they point to a way forward for us all?

Köhler-Rollefson, 70, has won a prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Award, for exemplary writing on international food culture, for her book, Hoofprints on the Land: How Traditional Herding and Grazing Can Restore the Soil and Bring Animal Agriculture Back in Balance with the Earth. The book contains lessons from her life with nomadic tribes in Jordan, Sudan and India.
Updated on Dec 22, 2023 11:19 PM IST

Listicle: 10 comedies that prove that women can make you laugh the hardest

Girl, you’re cracking me up! These female-fronted are changing the idea of how women appear on screen

Joy Ride (2023) celebrates friendship, belonging, and what it truly means to find and love oneself.
Updated on Dec 15, 2023 04:17 PM IST

Free radical: A Wknd interview with immigrant-rights warrior Saket Soni

Soni spent years as an undocumented immigrant, then became a labour organiser. He is now the author of a taut true-life thriller about a human-trafficking scam.

Soni’s book, The Great Escape, is about a racket he busted, helping 500 Indians escape from a labour camp in the US that was ringed by barbed wire, overseen by guards.
Updated on Dec 08, 2023 06:54 PM IST

Good snide: How to shut down a bitchy comment

... aka, how to shut down a bitchy comment, and stop random meanness in its tracks

In 2023, Hailey Bieber limited the comments on her Insta post after fans of Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez trolled her for a video of Bieber’s where she allegedly mocked Swift.
Updated on Dec 08, 2023 04:01 PM IST

A thing of beauty: How to score a freebie

Brands are big on handing out skin and make-up samples. You just need to ask. Plan it well and you could even be welcomed back for more

Big beauty stores often hand out little goodies with a purchase. This is one way to try out a new shade, different formula or fragrance. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Dec 01, 2023 03:49 PM IST

Leave no manga behind

Big eyes, spiky hair, crazy plots and characters that refuse to die. Get a start into great manga books here

If you liked the TV series, The Boys, you may like My Hero Academia.
Updated on Nov 24, 2023 03:43 PM IST

Listicle: 10 tropes that make medical dramas our happy pill

It’s never lupus. But medical dramas love tumours, sudden deaths, even zombies. Here are their favourites

Medical sitcom Scrubs both made fun of and used the same tropes as every other medical drama.
Updated on Nov 17, 2023 03:41 PM IST

The art of the unwind: Holiday hacks and memories with Shivan & Narresh

The designers have shown Indian women how to holiday in style. Their own vacays are epic, gathering inspiration at every destination

Shivan Bhatiya and Narresh Kukreja’s resortwear label, Shivan & Narresh, has set vacation goals for Indian women. (Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times)
Updated on Nov 10, 2023 03:28 PM IST

Don’t pack light! More is more. The case for lugging a big suitcase

If you can afford it, if airlines allow it, why not carry everything you want? Holidays are about indulgence, not making do with less

Minimalism is a trap. You don’t know when you’ll need an extra pair of sunnies or heels. (Adobe Stock)
Updated on Nov 03, 2023 07:45 PM IST

A nosedive into the past: Secrets from the non-fiction book The Perfume Project

Divrina Dhingra's debut work traces India’s affection for certain aromas through millennia. Highlights include intricate myths, links to ancient Greece and Rome

(Clockwise) Lady Making A Garland by Raja Ravi Varma, 1895. A Roman fresco of a port city from the 1st century CE. A double-pot distillery used to extract essential oils from flowers, as depicted in the late-15th-century book of recipes Ni’matnama, by the Sultan of Mandu. (Wikimedia Commons; Sahapedia)
Updated on Oct 20, 2023 10:36 PM IST

Talk nerdy to me! Shreya Dhanwanthary on the roles of her dreams

Shreya Dhanwanthary has played real-life heroines and make-believe molls. But underneath it all, she’s just a geek, hoping to inherit the Earth

Shreya Dhanwanthary says that she’s still a geek at heart. (Photographer: Abhishek Verma; Hair & make-up: Ankita Manwani)
Updated on Oct 13, 2023 03:49 PM IST

Listicle: 10 global décor trends showing up in Indian design

Get your house in order. From Brutalism and terrazzo to Japandi and fluting, these styles are trending now

Being a maximalist means going big on colours, prints and textures.
Updated on Sep 22, 2023 03:48 PM IST
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