As the year draws to a close, we take a look back at the top 10 stories from our ‘Culture’ section in 2020.

The Good Life series

Jim Sarbh

How to live ‘the good life’ is an idea that is at the heart of what we do at Lifestyle Asia India. The best places to eat, labels to know, what to wear and how to wear it, where to travel, beauty trends, slick gadgets, and more – we tell people what’s the best out there, things they absolutely must experience. But the very core of what ‘the good life’ is, has changed over the past five months.

So we reached out to 10 millennial-cool men and women from different walks of life to get the answers. Actor Jim Sarbh told us ‘the good life’ for him now meant enjoying the little things; singer Raja Kumari said it was being at peace with yourself. For photographer Anushka Nadia Menon, it was a life lived with gratitude, while for Chef Kelvin Cheung, it was time spent with family. Artist Bahaar Dhawan Rohatgi, designers Nimish Shah and Rina Singh, fitness expert Namrata Purohit, model Diva Dhawan, and costume designer Niharika Bhasin Khan all weighed in with their thoughts.

Actress Sameera Reddy’s 10 rules to stay confident and authentic on social media

In 2020, personality and purpose are two things everyone’s looking for on social media. From influencers trying to become self-proclaimed wellness gurus and Bollywood stars selling one lipstick after another to YouTubers giving us expert advice on how to perfect Instagram-friendly content, our timelines are flooded with imagery, which half the time are not real. One star who has acquired much popularity for all the right reasons is Sameera Reddy. We chatted with Sameera and found out her tricks and tips that help her stay real on Instagram. 

With three smashing singles this year, Armaan Malik is taking India to the world

armaan malik
Image: Courtesy Azhar Khan/NurPhoto via Getty Images

With over 14.6 million views in one week, Armaan Malik’s ‘Zara Thehro’ is one of the biggest breakout singles of 2020. What makes this melody, which alludes to old-school romance, special? The song and video were conceptualised and executed during the lockdown in India. That means it is a no-frills video, with Armaan crooning in front of a black screen, though that has only made fans love the video more for its simplicity. His mic, delivered to Armaan’s home just two days before lockdown, was all the professional equipment they had for shooting. We chatted with Armaan about the difficulties of recording music in the middle of a pandemic.

Meet Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, the breakout star of Netflix’s ‘Never Have I Ever’

maitreyi ramakrishnan
Image: Courtesy Tommaso Boddi/WireImage

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan plays the lead, Devi, in ‘Never Have I Ever’, a high school romantic comedy created by Mindy Kaling, one of the biggest voices of Indian representation in Hollywood. We caught up with the rising star to find out what working on her debut series has been like.

Women’s Day Special: 23 inspiring women on Instagram giving us #lifegoals

If you, like us, wake up in the morning and start scrolling the ‘gram even before you stretch, there’s probably a little voice inside you that reprimands you for being such a social media slave. But, there’s hope thanks to people who fill your feed with positivity, knowledge, and good vibes every single day. On Women’s Day, we paid homage to the women who are winning.

Sushant Singh Rajput: Watch these 7 best films of the actor

dil bechara real story

In his short career, Rajput essayed a number of characters, including real-life hero MS Dhoni. He seamlessly made the transition from television acting to the silver screen and found instant success with his debut film ‘Kai Po Che’, an achievement not many newcomers can boast of. His repertoire is filled with great films, and here are some that we will always remember the young actor by. Here’s a list of the best movies of Sushant Singh Rajput– memorable roles that he acted in, in his short seven-year long career in Bollywood.

The 9 best Indian décor e-stores to give your home a makeover

The Good Earth. Image: Courtesy Instagram
The Good Earth. Image: Courtesy Instagram

Yes, there is a certain charm in hunting down curios in nondescript stores nestled in quaint by-lanes. But doing it from the comfort of your bed, in PJs with a side of ice cream, is another sort of joy altogether. Considering that the millennial homeowner orders everything from cloud paint to Sunday cheat meals online, that corner accent table shouldn’t have to be any different. Luckily, a cluster of homegrown online stores and independent brands are making sure that house-proud décor enthusiasts don’t need to do the heavy lifting on their own. Here are our favourite homegrown decor brands for 2020.

Keep an eye (and ear) out for these 5 female Indian stand-up comics

Image: Courtesy @supaarwoman on Instagram

From sporadic acts and a handful of names, the stand-up ‘scene’ in the country has evolved into a growing industry in the past few years. Now, a lush sector with ample platforms, opportunities, and new entrants, there’s a lot of talent out there to tickle our funny bone. And here are our top 5 female stand-up comedians in India for 2020.

10 web series actors who became breakout stars in India

web series actors

OTT platforms have changed the way we consume films and shows. And the change is also reflected in how an actor attains stardom. Here, we’ve rounded-up some of the most famous web series actors who shot to stardom with their digital productions of 2020.

Double Tap: How comedian Danish Sait made India laugh through the lockdown

danish sait

Witty, insightful, and unreservedly hilarious, Danish Sait’s Instagram videos on life in lockdown is just what the doctor ordered during the pandemic. If you have been on social media at any point during this lockdown (and who hasn’t?), then it’s likely you’ve seen a man using a toy gun, a box of tissue papers, and a plastic bottle among other things, as a phone to discuss lockdown issues. The same man dons different avatars through the course of one video — he might start off as an upper middle-class lady missing her salon, and move into a millennial bemoaning the lack of alcohol during the lockdown; the next second he’d be the house help everyone’s missing. Not only did he brighten up our lockdown, but here we chatted with him about how he survived his own lockdown.