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Subcontinental drift

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South Asians have been seeping into pop consciousness on this side of the globe. Here's a refresher of some Western-world "milestones" from the past decade:

 

•   In 2000, Jhumpa Lahiri's collection of short stories Interpretor of Maladies wins the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The poignant stories center on the culture shock of Indians and Indian-Americans.

 

•   In 2001, the low budget comedy American Desi is released, to mass approval among fellow "American-Born Confused Desis" (ABCDs).

 

•   In 2002, Tanuja Desai Hidier's coming-of-age novel Born Confused found its way into the eager hands of the culture-conflicted all across the country. Indian DJ culture was highlighted.

 

•   In 2003, artists like Truth Hurts, Craig David and Jay-Z had already started sampling desi beats — such songs as "Addicted" and "Beware of the Boys" remixed songs by Indian performers.

 

•   In 2004, Indian-Canadian comedian Russell Peters began gaining mass popularity, using race and culture as the crux of many of his jokes. The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Bombay Dreams was also performed in New York, following a successful 2002 run in London. And Indian-American actor Kal Penn's stoner comedy Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle was released, skyrocketing the National Lampoon actor to fame.

 

•   In 2005, British-Sri Lankan baile funk singer Maya Arulpragasam (aka M.I.A.) released the CD Arular, to mass appeal among indie critics. Her new one is called Kala. Writer and actress Mindy Kaling joins the cast of The Office.

Meghana Keshavan is Metro Times listing editor. Send comments to mkeshavan@metrotimes.com

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