In the 1970s, Salman Rushdie was an unknown writer living in London. He decided to return to the country of his birth and rough it across India on what he describes as "extraordinarily long 15-hour bus rides with chickens vomiting on our feet."
That trip inspired Midnight's Children, the Booker Prize-winning novel that many consider Rushdie's literary masterpiece. Now, more than 30 years after it was published, Midnight's Children arrives on the big screen in a glittering film adaptation from Oscar-nominated director Deepa Mehta.
It's been dubbed Guptagate. The real-life story reads like a Hollywood — or Bollywood — script, and it's dominating the national conversation in South Africa.
It starts with a high-society wedding in South Africa, organized by three wealthy, well-connected and influential brothers named Gupta from India. Then the scandal begins: A private jet flies in 200 guests — including Bollywood stars — from India, landing at a restricted air force security base in Pretoria, allegedly without the appropriate clearance.
A wild male tiger, which seems to be in search of some female companionship, has been lured into eastern India's Nandankanan Zoological Park after several frightening nights for those in nearby villages.
A young girl raped this month in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh has died, according to several news reports. The 4-year-old child had been lured with chocolate by her alleged attacker, who later dumped her at a farm, as NPR's Julie McCarthy has reported.
The New York Times' India Ink blog says the girl's parents found her April 18, the day after the attack, and that she had been in a coma since. She sustained extensive brain and vaginal injuries.
"What has changed?" That is the question echoing through Delhi on Sunday. Public frustration over sexual crimes against women is erupting again, this time over a gruesome sexual assault of a 5-year-old girl.
The protests are smaller than those that swept over the capital in December with the fatal gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman, but the incident has revived debate over the startling state of sexual violence in India.