The Indo Pak Express calls it quit

Tennis doubles partners Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi have decided to part ways.

Dubbing themselves the Indo Pak Express, the India-born Bopanna and his Pakistani counterpart Qureshi received lots of favorable attention during the 2010 tennis season as they declared themselves Champions for Peace and wore warmup jackets emblazoned with the slogan “Stop War, Start Tennis.” Doubles star Bob Bryan went so far as to tell the New York Times that the pairing was good for “world peace.”

The BBC has more details about the split:

The men, who met when they were 16 and are now 30, began playing as partners in 2003.

“As the season has ended now, I can confirm that I am playing with Mahesh [Bhupathi] in 2012,” Bopanna told Indian Express.

He declined to give a reason for the split.

“Who I want to play with is my decision… I did have a successful year with Aisam [Qureshi] but now I am starting a new year with Mahesh, and it’s as simple as that.”

While the pair did have some success this year, including a victory at the Stockholm Open, things had not been going well recently. The duo lost in straight sets at the ATP World Tour Finals in London last week.

Aziz wants you to give a spit

Check out this PSA Aziz Ansari and his Parks and Recreation co-star Chris Pratt just released encouraging young people to get their cheeks swabbed for the bone marrow registry.

DoSomething.org’s Give a Spit campaign is specifically targeting young people between the ages of 18-24. The campaign and its partners Be The Match and DKMS “need inspired young people like you to take the lead and register more committed college-age donors, especially minority donors. You can save lives by running a “Give a Spit” drive on your campus. Just sign up and we’ll get you everything you need to run a drive.”

And there’s more! The drive that gets the most donors signed up wins $2,000 for a celebratory party and everyone who enters the registry through a Give a Spit drive is eligible for a $500 college scholarship.

Readers who are curious about what donating entails should check out Taz’s recent interview with two donors. You should also check Amit Gupta Needs You for a list of drives across the country.

(Via Gawker)

Happy Thankgiving!

As Thanksgiving 2011 winds down, I thought I’d share this fun piece the playwright Wajahat Ali wrote for Salon about how his family embraced that “confounding bird”: the turkey:

Now, I don’t begrudge my parents their position toward turkey. It’s a confounding bird for most immigrants, who are generally more comfortable with the bleats of a goat or a lamb, the squawks of the simple-minded chicken. The turkey was an enigma: a heavy, feathered bird with its “gobbledygook” mutterings, freakish red wattle and vast supply of dry, juiceless meat.

“Do the Amreekans realize it is dry?” ask my still perplexed relatives living in Pakistan. “Where is the masala? The taste? The juices? Why do they eat this bird?”

What did you serve this Thanksgiving? Did you desi-fy your turkey? (Aarti Sequeira has a recipe for tandoori turkey here.) I’ve always grown up in a vegetarian household, so no turkey for me, but we did have pumpkin raita and cranberry chutney on the table as a nod to the holiday.

An interview with Kal Penn

I recently interviewed Kal Penn for Sepia Mutiny. An excerpt:

Tell us about the new film. This obviously isn’t your typical Christmas movie.

In a lot of ways it is a traditional Christmas movie. What was cool is that a lot of things you see are traditional. Santa Claus is in the film- Harold accidentally shoots him in the face. There’s family, friendship, and love [in the movie]. What’s different is that it’s in 3D, and it is vulgar.

This is your first film since leaving your job as an advisor to the White House. I just read this great quote of yours from an interview you did with the LA Times: “When you’re working there, you always think, ‘What is the best time to tell the president that you played a stoner who escaped from Guantanamo Bay?’ Did Harold and Kumar or any of your other roles ever come up in conversation while you were at the White House?

The nice thing about working in the White House is that almost everyone has put a private sector career on hold. There isn’t a lot of conversation about what people put on hold, it’s more about working together to push the president’s agenda.

Click here to read the full interview.