In a Soundbite, Indian Cultural Events

by Nitesh Arora

On describing the food at India Fest 2016 in a piece with The Virginian-Pilot I said.

“Indian cuisine is the Asian version of Southern food. It’s soul food with some spice,” said Nitesh Arora, general manager of Nawab Indian Cuisine. “If you want to try some comfort food that’s different, try Indian food. Our Samosa is like a giant french fry.”

My quote was edited, but it was a good PR soundbite. I think. Also a shout out for samosas in the newspaper. 

Also—I'm glad to still be in the career stage in which a self Google alert is a good thing.

Jukebox: Mirror Man, Ella Henderson

by Nitesh Arora

Mirror Man is the best song I've heard all January. And, yes, that includes that song from the 50 Shades of Grey movie. It's a vocal focused track with a great arrangement and backing. It has a nice old-school tinge to it with a tongue in cheek feel.

Chapter One is Ella Henderson's debut album. The X-Factor alum released her album in the UK in October 2014 to critical acclaim. She released it in the US in January 2015, preceded by 'Ghost', a single co-written and produced with Ryan Tedder.

Watch Mirror Man live here:

Meet 'Super Business Girl'

by Nitesh Arora

Super Business Girl isn't a 21st century comic-book vigilante. But, she may just be the superhero that America needs.

Put eleven-year old Asia Newsom against the average businessman and I would rather bet on Newsom. It's easy to find an entrepreneur that lacks the ability to pitch the product or that lacks the charisma to keep the audience's focus. Finding an eleven-year old that knows how to channel her energy into conviction for her pitch? That's a surprise.

I first heard about Newsom on NPR's 'Planet Money'. She comes to New York and makes a 300% profit on lollipops.

She was also recently featured on Ellen. Watch her share her three step plan: become a lawyer, the Mayor of Detroit, and the President of the United States.

How to Write a Cover Letter for Slate

by Nitesh Arora

Slate editorial director John Swansburg did an AMA on Reddit (Ask Me Anything) on Wednesday. The best Q&A for upcoming grads like me? How to write a cover letter for Slate. 

Rob_Saget: I'm about to graduate college with a double major in broadcast and journalism. Probably a stupid question, but since I don't have any actual job experience in the field, what can I do to make my resume and cover letter more appealing to media outlets like TV stations or newspapers?


Swansburg: I love a good cover letter and am always amazed at how many bad ones I see. I think there are a few really important things to do. Be concise; don't assume anyone is going to indulge your letter for very long. Use the right tone; I'm always charmed by cover letters written in the voice of someone who seems to get Slate. We're not a very buttoned-up magazine, as I think you can tell from reading it, and I like a letter that's not too formal. That said, don't assume your reader is an old buddy—too familiar isn't good either.

Most important, perhaps, is conveying that you know the place you're applying to. I like it when someone gets across that they read Slate, they like Slate, they really could imagine contributing to Slate. I suppose some part of that is falling prey to flattery, but I want to know you've done your homework and thought about the job and the employer. You'd be amazed how many letters we get from people who don't seem to have read the magazine. And we're a free Web magazine! It's not like you're applying to Notes & Queries ... ! On the resume, one thing: Lose the GPA. I don't care.

Undocumented Immigrants Are Not Illegal

by Nitesh Arora

"You, who are so-called illegal aliens, must know that no human being is illegal. That is a contradiction in terms. Human beings can be beautiful or more beautiful, they can be fat or skinny, they can be right or wrong, but illegal? How can a human being be illegal?"

Those words, by writer & Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, truly capture how wrong it is to call a person "illegal". Someone can be an undocumented resident, of course. That simply reflects legal status. Calling someone an "illegal" immigrant reduces them as a person. 

It's disappointing that John McCain would like to keep calling immigrants "illegal".

“You can call it whatever you want to, but it’s illegal,” he continued. “I think there’s a big difference between someone who does something that’s illegal and someone who’s undocumented. I’ll continue to call it illegal.”

Watch the trailer below. It shares the stories people raised in the US that happen to be undocumented immigrants (some did not know until they went to do things like get driver's licenses).

A Cuppa Coffee--and Half a Cup of Sugar

by Nitesh Arora

Today, I received a couple of samples of Nestle's Memento instant coffee. One cappuccino & the other mocha. Great timing--I was in a mood for coffee (when is one not in the mood for coffee? Oh, great--am I one of those people now?). First, I decided to obsessively clean my brewer in an attempt to rid it of any leftover smell of a tea that I hadn't quite loved & those few grains of coffee that can be leftover. It's a great single person brewer, until a crazy person goes crazy trying to clean it to get truly clean hot water. 

After I managed to settle on a batch of hot water (yes, we're calling it a batch), I mixed in the Nestle Memento cappuccino mix. Not bad. Maybe a dash of sugar. I decided to pour it directly from the box of sugar we had at my apartment. Instead of getting a dash of sugar in my coffee the sugar seemed to dash into my bright yellow mug. How do you stop a ton of sugar from dissolving in hot water? You don't. So, what may have been literally a half a cup of sugar (OK, maybe figuratively) was sweetening my coffee.

I did what any smart person would do-- heat up more water & make the other pack of instant coffee. There's nothing wrong with mixing over-sugared cappuccino flavored instant with mocha, right? Well, my mug was already in use, so my tumbler had to brave the task. And, when it was done I mixed them together in a 32 oz container--making sure they cycled through the mug of much too much sugar once more. OK. This seems like a lot of coffee. But, maybe it won't be too sugary & I can drink some of it now & save some of it until later? The coffee betrayed me. Or was it my old love sugar that betrayed me? I would power through it. For a few sips. I could do a mug.

Yeah, nope. Instant coffee isn't bitter enough to balance the sugar. And, I don't care for a ton of sugar in my coffee in the first place.

I did what any logical person would do because I wanted some coffee. Add ice. Make it iced coffee. Diluted iced coffee could be better tasting than what I had started with.

I lost. Diluted sugar and coffee flavored lukewarm drink is not my friend. I'll make real coffee tomorrow. Black.

Unending Love, Rabindranath Tagore

by Nitesh Arora

"Unending Love" is a poem by Rabindranath Tagore--an Indian author.

Apparently, Audrey Hepburn requested it to be read at her funeral. It's a lovely poem from an author that I've briefly studied.

Here it is, translated from Bengali:

I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times…
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs,
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
In life after life, in age after age, forever.

Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, it's age-old pain,
It's ancient tale of being apart or together.
As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge,
Clad in the light of a pole-star piercing the darkness of time:
You become an image of what is remembered forever.

You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount.
At the heart of time, love of one for another.
We have played along side millions of lovers, shared in the same 
Shy sweetness of meeting, the same distressful tears of farewell-
Old love but in shapes that renew and renew forever.

Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you
The love of all man’s days both past and forever:
Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life.
The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours – 
And the songs of every poet past and forever.


The new New York Times

by Nitesh Arora

The New York Times is launching a major redesign to its site. Here's a first look.

It's a more modern & web-native design. I like the current design--it's clean & feels like an e-newspaper. The new interface reflects a trend in online organizations: that a site should feel made especially for the internet. And the NYT did just that.

Read: Articles on Rape

by Nitesh Arora

These three articles on the subject of rape are worth reading. India especially gained a lot of news coverage and scrutiny recently with shock at the number of deaths, rapes, and gang rapes. With any important subject, awareness is important and it shouldn't come just when a major event occurs. There is hope in India as well as in the global community that recent events will cause actual change. But the way in which we approach rape is not a problem exclusive to India.

A Village Rape Shatters a Family & India's Traditional Silence

For Rape Survivors, Murdock's Remark Was Another Attack on Consent:

Purity Culture is Rape Culture

"Pitch Perfect", as told by Nitesh Arora

by Nitesh Arora

My very first Storify--oh boy!

New York Times's Washington Bureau Chief: Reddit IAmA

by Nitesh Arora

David Leonhardt, Washington Bureau Chief of the New York Times does an iAmA on Reddit. Here's an excerpt:

"You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts." -- Why in the name of balance does the Times and really most of the mainstream media continue to allow politicians and political talking heads a platform to state things that are objectively false?
    Great topic to start with. One of the tricky issues for mainstream journalism is the middle ground between undeniable fact and opinion. I won't spend too much time quoting my old articles, today but Lessons From the Malaise seems directly relevant to this question. In it, I wrote: "[Some] truths may not rise to the level of two plus two equals four, but they are not so different from the knowledge that the earth is round or that smoking causes cancer.
    The earth is not perfectly round, of course. Some smokers will never get cancer, while most cancer is not caused by smoking. Yet in the ways that matter most, the earth is still round, and smoking does cause cancer. Both of these facts are illustrative in another way, too: seemingly smart people spent decades denying them."
    It's easy for us to deal with 2+2. And it's fairly easy for us to deal with an opinion, like "This policy should pass Congress;" we also quote someone who says it shouldn't. But the gray area is harder. And yet I think we need to deal with it: we sometimes need to look for ways to say which side in a debate has more claim on the available evidence.
    A question for you (or another Redditor): which things that are "objectively false" do we not do a good enough job of explaining to be such?