Photo: Mint
Photo: Mint

The best reads of 2015: The Mint on Sunday edition

Mint on Sunday has been home to an eclectic content mixsome stirring reported profiles and interviews, travelogues, columns and data stories, among others

In June this year, we launched our weekend long-form offering—Mint on Sunday or MoS as we call it here. Since its launch, Mint on Sunday, a digital-only edition, has been home to an eclectic content mix—some stirring reported profiles and interviews, travelogues, columns and data stories, among others. Here’s our selection of some of the best Mint on Sunday stories to get your New Years’ weekend started.

The Dissent of All India Bakchod

In this, Ashish K. Mishra and Vishwanath Nair profiled the country’s popular, and indeed most talked about comedy collective, the All India Bakchod, featuring comedians Tanmay Bhat, Rohan Joshi, Ashish Shakya and Gursimran Khamba. The story looks back at their journey, how the members of the collective met, and how they have come to be immensely successful, and important. Read here

Anjula Ancharia-Bath: The angel investor propelling Priyanka Chopra’s American dream

Indian actress Priyanka Chopra debuted in an American television series Quantico earlier this year. Chopra’s much awaited debut was largely thanks to angel investor Anjula Ancharia-Bath, who first signed her up five years earlier in 2010. Ancharia-Bath’s goal was rather simple, as Megha Bahree writes, “to get a desi artist into mainstream America." Well, here’s how she did it. Read here

India’s net neutrality crusaders

Ashish K. Mishra offers a detailed, behind-the-scenes account of how some of India’s well-known Internet policy professionals (and volunteers alike) came together on a single platform, in a bid to preserve net neutrality in the country after Bharti Airtel Ltd, India’s largest telecom carrier by subscribers, announced that it would charge extra for use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services on its network. VoIP services include Skype, WhatsApp, Line and Viber—those that let users make free calls through the Internet.The issue is still among the most debated ones today, given Facebook’s proposed roll-out of its controversial ‘Free Basics’ venture. Read here

How Rakesh Gangwal became the king of the blue skies

The story of how Rakesh Gangwal, co-founder of India’s largest budget airline Indigo, disrupted the market, and in the process, took it to the very top of the industry. Indigo, as Tarun Shukla writes in this piece, has gone on to become India’s biggest domestic airline by passengers flown, with a market share of 37.4% and the most profitable airline with a record net profit of 1,304 crore for the year to 31 March—a fourfold jump over the previous year since it launched operations in 2006. It is worth recounting that the airline had a very successful initial public offering (IPO) recently. Read here

Piranhas in the Godavari

This story by Ananda Banerjee is about the biological invasion of alien species, with reference to the Red-bellied Piranha, which made headlines earlier this year, after it was caught by a fisherman in the Godavari in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh. Others include the Himayalan Tahr, the macaques, the Gulmohar tree and the eucalyptus. Read here

Poonam Pandey wants to break the Internet

The headline is an obvious reference to Kim Kardashian, whose famous bare-butt pose for the PAPER Magazine gave 2015 a phrase that would probably take a few years to recover from—“break the Internet". Poonam Pandey, as Vidhi Choudhary, writes, is closer to being Kardashian’s Indian counterpart, than farther, except she is yet to break the Internet, as it were. Here’s a closer look (no puns intended!) at Pandey, her life as a self-made social-media sensation, and the person behind those “Tweethearts" filled messages. Read here

Malli Mastan Babu: India’s Mountain Man

In this September piece, Shamik Bag pays tribute to late Hyderabad mountaineer Malli Mastan Babu, who went missing after a successful solo ascent of the 22,142 ft Tres Cruces Sur on the Chile-Argentina Border. During his descent, as Bag writes, “At around 20,000ft, he ran into a storm. A storm system had travelled to the far north of Chile and unleashed heavy rain on one of the driest places in the world, the Atacama region. That’s where they found Babu’s body 10 days later—dead in his tent, frozen inside his sleeping bag." Babu was 40. Read here

Chennai after the deluge: How social media came to the rescue

In this rather gripping piece, Krish Ashok, one of the brains behind, a crowd-sourced platform which came into existence during the recent deluge in the city, gives an insider account of how social media came to the rescue of the thousands (if not more) who were affected. The city and its people, as Ashok writes, “were haplessly unprepared" for the record deluge on 1 December (30 cm of rain over 24 hours), the heaviest the city experienced in a century. Read here

How Leena Rayer got her groove back

In the 11 October edition, Preeti Zachariah meets 45-year-old Leena Rayer, who currently heads Kindle Quality Content worldwide for Inc. Her story, Zachariah writes, is nothing short of inspiring, given that at the age of 18, she gave up her ambitions in medicine for a housewife’s life. Ten years and two kids later, owing to a financial crunch in her family, she enrolled herself as a student in Chennai’s Loyola Institute of Business Administration. What happened next, in a not so click-baity manner, would literally amaze you! Read here.