Arpan Roy is an Indian expatriate based in Singapore. An experimental physicist, he is also the founder and illustrator of The Bong Sense, a popular online magazine.
Firework sale ban and foreign beggars: India's interesting week
Indians online have been amused and slightly angered by an Australian company's decision to sell "charpoys" -- traditional Indian beds -- for upwards of $990. Typically, a charpoy sells for less than $20 in India. The company claims that the beds are "100% Australian made" and "based on thousand-year-old Indian design."
A Delhi court has issued a city wide ban on the sale of fireworks, an essential feature in the Indian festival of Diwali. The excessive use of fireworks during the festival contributes to a spike in toxic smog, which in turn leads to closure of schools and construction sites.
That lighter skin is preferred over darker skin in India is no secret. How Indians achieve the highly desired lighter appearance is coming under greater scrutiny, however, after a string of high-profile medical incidents involving unsafe skin whitening methods.
A distressed Russian tourist was found begging outside a temple in the southern Indian city of Kancheepuram after reportedly losing all his money. Indian officials later took the man to the Russian embassy in Chennai where he received consular assistance.