Gen Zer from genre town bagged Grammy with an old soul

It's an impersonal setting - rooftop of a five-star hotel in the heart of Mumbai's business district - but Christone ' Kingfish ' Ingram doesn't seem to mind when you try and tease the 'personal' out of him.The 24-year-old is being hailed as 'the heir to the Delta blues crown'. But blues, they say, is a dialogue, songs of the soul in pain. Ingram was only 20 when he released his first album in 2019. How did he channel those emotional depths and social insights at such a young age, we press on.

Listened a lot to Zakir Hussain: Imagine Dragons bassist

Expect the unexpected from Imagine Dragons, the American pop-rock sensation that emerged on the global stage with its 2012 smash hit ‘Radioactive’. Looking past the cliches of dabbawala, rickshaw or the seminal vada-pav, their bassist Ben McKee says he’d like a serving of Indian vegetables when the four-piece band comes stomping Mumbai's Mahalaxmi Racecourse as headliners for Lollapalooza on January 28. Ahead of their maiden trip to India, TOI chatted with McKee about hitting the road again, a giant album in the time of singles, teaming up with President Volodymyr Zelensky and the mystery behind their name.

At a time when LGBTQ books face bans, I hope this offers kids a voice, says author Moulik Pancholy

Moulik Pancholy says he was heartbroken when a group of school parents protested against his debut novel for its portrayal of a gay Indian American boy. The book went on to be banned from US school districts. But Pancholy of ‘30 Rock’ fame found courage in that backlash and whipped up another poignant tale, about a 13-year-old’s struggles for queer rights.

How Bachchan’s empathy made KBC a big hit

It has been 22 years since a quiz show beamed into people’s living rooms and managed to touch and turn around lives ever since. If Kaun Banega Crorepati ( KBC ) was a game-changer for Indian television and the average viewer, it also changed the fortunes for its host, Amitabh Bachchan . Former producer-director of KBC Siddhartha Basu recounts Bachchan’s charisma, camaraderie and connect with the common man through 14 seasons of the show...

When Kal Penn made MILF jokes in the White House, and other funny stories

When Kal Penn, born Kalpen Modi, decided to split his first name and add an extra ‘n’, it wasn’t an actor’s obsession with numerology but a brown person in America taking a subtle jab at Hollywood’s fixation with hokey accents and turbans. “I joke that the ‘n’ stands for ‘not going to play a stereotypical cab driver.” Frank and refreshingly free of movie star airs, the 44-year-old Indian American actor spoke to Mohua Das about some honest and wildly funny stories that have gone into the making of his memoir You Can’t Be Serious

I am always going to speak up, even if I feel terrified inside: Disha Ravi

Perched outside her house in north Bengaluru, climate activist Disha Ravi is suddenly aware of just how many birds her neighbourhood has. “Their chirping gives me great pleasure. I enjoy watching mundane activities, there’s comfort and joy in that,” she says. Her world wasn’t as tranquil just four months ago when she was whisked away by a posse of police officers, slapped with charges of sedition and criminal conspiracy for editing and sharing a social media toolkit in support of the farmers’ movement.

Kerala is one of the most exciting culinary destinations, says chef Gordon Ramsay

Just weeks before the world was turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic, British chef and restaurateur Gordon Ramsay was in Coorg climbing trees of peppercorn and catching karimeen in Kannur’s backwaters. A chat with one of food television’s most recognised faces offered a glimpse of what keeps bringing him back to India, brain food, women’s place at the table and his friendly charm, a far cry from his barbed tongue. Excerpts...

Meet the Indian bat-man part of Canadian team of scientists that isolated Covid-19 virus

“I’d always told my friends, ‘When I grow up, I want to be a guy who gets called in if there’s an outbreak’.”Arinjay Banerjee, a Kolkata-born and Mumbai-bred virologist at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, had prophesied some years ago before he actually got called in last month to join the team of Canadian scientists that has managed to successfully isolate a strain of the coronavirus and grown samples in a lab to help study the pathogen responsible for the global outbreak of Covid-19.

Blues do live here, because Buddy the legend says so

Buddy Guy, pioneer and last living link to the storied history of the original Chicago blues, doesn’t seem to mind when you try and tease the personal out of him. As he returns at 83 to perform at the tenth edition of the Mahindra Blues Fest, the painfully shy legend — who was born George Guy to a sharecropper’s family in a small town near New Orleans and who fashioned his first guitar out of wood and his mother’s hairpins — lets TOI in on everything from his secret debutante tears to his prefered form of liquid courage.

Sadhguru brings rally for rivers back to Maharashtra with revival plan for Waghari

Every five minutes that he looks out of the window for a bird's perspective when flying across the country "a brown desert" is what the sprawl below looks like to , the modern-day spiritual guru whose 'Rally for Rivers' cry for a green cover around the country's depleting rivers drew nationwide attention a year ago and earned a Rs 415 crore cabinet approval for the revitalisation of Waghari River in Yavatmal district . spoke to the bike-riding mystic on his visit to Mumbai on Wednesday. Excerpts...

You’re always told you can’t be queer and a politician. That needs to change, say creators of Pink List

There’s a rainbow wave sweeping the electoral map this time with a record number of LGBT individuals in the poll fray. A young trio comprising Anish Gawande, a Columbia University graduate and director of the Dara Shikoh Fellowship, journalist Devina Buckshee and freelance designer Smriti Deora have banded together to create The Pink List, a guide to candidates who have publicly supported queer rights. Anish Gawande, 22 spoke to Mohua Das about their resolve to lead change by making queer issues a political imperative.

In this age of short-term memories, it’s important to keep oral storytelling alive, says Booker-winning writer Ben Okri

It was his mother’s style of reprimanding him as a child using metaphors and oblique references that Ben Okri credits for his craft. “It used to confuse me and stir my imagination. I still haven’t figured a lot of what she used to say without actually saying it!” he laughs. At 32, the London-based Nigerian poet and novelist became the youngest Booker Prize winner in 1991. Recently in India, he gave Sunday Times a peek into the inner workings of his creative activism as well as his half-tilted beret.

Science is male dominated. To shift culture, demographics need to shift, says astrophysicist Priyamvada Natarajan

Some 30 years ago, a wide-eyed member of an amateur astronomers club stood behind a telescope at the Nehru Planetarium and watched the Halley’s Comet zoom by. The fascinated teenager is now a 'Black Hole Hunter' and theoretical astrophysicist at the Yale University. Priyamvada Natarajan spoke to Mohua Das at the Jaipur Literature Festival about the importance of storytelling in science.

A chance encounter shot this once-rickshaw-puller to fame

There are writers and then there are Dalit writers who challenge and break down literary conventions. So, it made for charming disruption of social etiquette when Bengali Dalit writer strolled onto the Litfest stage with his jhola of books, a gamchha coiled around his neck and announced with candid ease: “People don’t usually like to listen to stories of pain, poverty and illness. So, if you don’t like what you hear from me and if you have rotten eggs and tomatoes, please raise your hand!”

Why does the MeToo buck stop at Bollywood, asks Priyanka Chopra

‘I think I’ve regressed!’ laughs Priyanka Chopra, sitting in a Juhu hotel. Startling for an actor at the top of her game. ‘I’ve become a bit more childlike... at a point where I’m really enjoying life,’ explains the 36-year-old who’s earned a spot under the Hollywood sun and just tied the knot with singer Nick Jonas. Piggy Chops talks to Mohua Das about turning star power into social good
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