satvic food

Satvic Recipes for Spring

An old way of eating is gaining popularity among Indians. Taking a cue from Lord Krishna’s expostulations in the Hindu religious text, the Bhagavad Gita, its promises are great. Yoga teachers and alternative medicine practitioners claim that it can improve mental and physical health, boost immunity and promote longevity.

The foods that promote longevity, virtue, strength, health, happiness, and joy are juicy, smooth, substantial, and nutritious. Persons in the mode of goodness like such foods. (Bhagavad Gita 17:8)

Food that enhances longevity, mind, strength, health, happiness and joy, that which is juicy, oily, stable and pleasant, is dear to one who is satvic.”

— Bhagavad Gita

It follows a rigid set of rules and regulations that even strictly vegetarian grandmothers can find a little restrictive—but many of its followers are younger millennials. There are scores of people who swear that it has changed lives, led to jaw-dropping weight loss, and singlehandedly reversed diseases like diabetes, psoriasis, and thyroid disorders in just months.

While much of this evidence is anecdotal, satvic eating is light on the stomach. It promotes whole, fresh, seasonal, nutrient-dense, and fiber-rich foods, forbids fried foods, stimulants like caffeine, and white sugar — all great rules to follow. When followed diligently, it truly brings out the flavors and vibrance of vegetables — if only one is alright with skipping meat.

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Amudha on raising her star daughter, Samsara

As Samsara Yett’s character greets Kristen Bell’s for the first time in the satirical production, “The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window,” she puts on a big, beautiful, disarming smile, one that effectively camouflages her real intentions. As the story continues, she plays the sweet little girl next door until she finally reveals herself in the last episode to be the who in the whodunnit. And then comes a fight scene. It’s impressive when you learn that Samsara is all of 9, playing a double role and then a cold-blooded killer of grown adults.

“The Woman…” is a satire that mocks the often formulaic and clichéd tropes in several popular bestselling crime thrillers, so it’s not immediately funny unless one has seen others with the tropes it includes — not really children’s reading. Yet, Samsara’s delivery was spot on, and her acting prowess drew praise from costars and crew alike.

But Samsara’s largely unfazed by it. 

“When you’re a kid actor, you don’t know what you’re doing, and you don’t always understand the story,” she says. “When I act, I try to be natural. I act like I’m just talking, and pretend there are no cameras around. My job is to do what the character would do. Someday, I’ll watch the shows and get it.”

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Reading Samira Ahmed, you would expect her to be someone who’s always been a published writer, as if she’d tumbled out of the womb creating historic and phenomenal characters and storylines. But it turns out, she published her first book at 46, after a long and rewarding career involving teaching high school English, working for non-profits and even fighting for equitable funding in NY’s public schools as a lobbyist. “Love, Hate, & Other Filters” was an instant bestseller.

Ahmed is the first South Asian Muslim woman to voice Kamala Khan, Marvel’s first Muslim superheroine. Like Ms. Marvel, her signature characters have always been revolutionary girls. Her “revolutionary girls,” as she calls them, represent an archetype of strength, insight and compassion, are usually Muslim and often Indian American.

Revolutionary girls don’t necessarily take up arms…sometimes the revolutionary girl is just taking control when others are falling down. And sometimes it means standing up for yourself when others want to muffle you.

Samira Ahmed

Ahmed ‘s latest young adult novel, “Hollow Fires” (on sale May 10, 2022; ages 12+), taps into the current and timely conversation about racism and its dangers and the terrible costs of misinformation. A topic so delicate and polarizing blooms fully through an innovative storyline and lyrical prose.

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Independent South Asian Publishing Houses

We’d never have books and the publishers who stand by them. And with South Asian publishing, rife with economic troubles, a dwindling readership and sometimes violence, the obstacles are great.

In South Asia, the independent publishing world is a bloodbath — and for some the risks are more than just financial. To put out work that can truly change the world, publishers often have to stand up to authoritarian governments and violent religious factions, sometimes risking their lives along with the authors creating such work.

Take for example, “Naxalbari,” a comic created by cartoonist Sumit Kumar, which talks about the history of the Naxal movement in central India. While it was being published, Kumar was nervous that the book would be seen as propaganda and insisted that his publisher print it in the dead of the night so as to avoid an altercation with the police.

As you will see in the stories below, some publishers in the five South Asian countries below have reason to worry for their safety. It’s a career promising anxiety, stress and immense financial pressure — yet, they show up to work in spite of the myriad challenges involved.

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Dr Priti Parikh, founder of Engineering for International Development (EFID)

Priti Parikh wants to provide infrastructure to every person on this planet!

As a teenager in India, Priti Parikh would follow her father, also an engineer, into slums and informal settlements as he worked to improve sanitation and water access for the poor. Today, Parikh, who has a PhD from the University of Cambridge, is the founder of Engineering for International Development (EFID), at the University College in London, and is recognized by Apolitical as one of the 100 most influential academics for government and policy-making in climate and sustainability. EFID advises policymakers and charities on sustainable engineering solutions for human development and well-being, especially in low-and middle-income countries in South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.

We sat down to chat with Parikh about her life’s work and to learn from a woman at the forefront of technological innovations about where exactly we stand on climate change.

  1. Tell me a bit about yourself and your career. Where did you grow up, and what was your journey into the field of sustainable infrastructure and construction?

My parents moved from East Africa, to the UK, [then] to Gujarat in India where I did my schooling, undergraduate studies and early industry work. I then moved back to the UK 21 years ago. So in a way this journey instilled in me an interest in global challenges and the desire to explore why there are disparities in living conditions on this planet. 

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