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India

The Surrogacy Cycle

Promising an escape from poverty, transnational surrogacy has left many Indian women with little to show for their efforts. What went wrong?

Illustration by Gosia Herba

Efficient Breaches: A Romance

As he fished the curds into his mouth, they gushed with the holy taste of rosewater. When the curds were done, he let himself drink the buffalo milk left in the cup, and, for the rest of the ride, Narayan could taste the grease on his lips. 

 

 

 

Girls walking to school through the town center in rural Bihar, 2013. (All photographs by Allison Joyce/Redux)

India’s Golden Chance

January 6, 2014

Behind the headlines of sexual violence is a culture where girls are forced into marriage and early motherhood. How will the next generation break the cycle?

Sonakshi Sinha, star of Dabangg (her debut film with Salman Khan), rehearses for the Stardust Awards, one of many awards shows in Mumbai. (Mark Bennington)

Inside Bollywood



Bollywood holds a major key to India’s cultural identity, reinforced by over a billion devoted masala fans within and outside the country, including in neighboring Pakistan. Bollywood not only captures the social fabric of India; through its archetypal stories of valor and romance, it becomes the visual incubation and celebration of hope. 

Coolie Women Are in Demand Here

Our journey took us past endless fields of flowering yellow along the northern banks of the Ganges. When we pulled into towns, we asked for directions, from children balancing loads three times their size on their heads, from crouching women tending baskets of cauliflower and eggplant by the roadside, from men in the stores that stared open-faced onto the street, framing a tailor at his sewing machine or a man pumping air into bicycle tires. We sought the guidance of random people on the route, turning to them as to a massive human compass. And they obliged. They pointed us along bumpy roads bracketed by tiny pastel altars made to worship the sun, until one man finally indicated a rocky path. "That way," he said.

 

The Devil’s Tail: Reading From the Lives of Authors

I spent a day with V. S. Naipaul in the fall of 1980. He was teaching undergraduates that semester at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, and he’d agreed to be interviewed for a projected special issue of Salmagundi magazine. My companions on this visit were the novelist Bharati Mukherjee and my wife Peg Boyers. From the first, in our preliminary phone conversations, Naipaul had expressed objections about my friend Bharati. “Why bring an Indian with you?” he asked.

Jharia Burning

At the center of Dhanbad City, in the Jharia region of northeastern India, amid a handful of concrete buildings, stands the enormous bronze statue of a coal miner. He is shirtless, muscular, and handsome. He strides doggedly forward, a mining helmet on his head, a pickax slung over his shoulder. The message is clear: Coal is my life.

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