Subcontinental drift 

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

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

April 14, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation