Bajrang Punia.
Bajrang Punia.

Mood: How the Lounge team is feeling this week

From Bajrang Punia reaching the top of the world rankings to Michelle Obama's memoir, Lounge's take on the biggest updates of the week

Bajrang Punia is top of the pile

India’s Bajrang Punia is now the world’s best freestyle wrestler in the 65kg category as per the latest United World Wrestling rankings released late last week. With 96 points, Punia holds a healthy lead over Cuban grappler Alejandro Enrique Vlades Tobier, who is second at 66 points. The 24-year-old from Haryana has won an impressive 5 medals this season. These include gold medals at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games in Indonesia, and a silver at the recently concluded Wrestling World Championships in Budapest, where he was the only Indian wrestler to be seeded.—NS

Up, close, and personal

We have read about their love story in countless reports, seen scores of photographs of their picture-perfect marriage and the beautiful family they have raised. But Michelle Obama’s much-awaited memoir, Becoming, released on 13 November, also shows us the dents and cracks in the seemingly impeccable life of America’s former first couple. For the first time in public, Mrs Obama talks about the fertility treatments she underwent to conceive her children, the strain of suffering a miscarriage and the near-rupture of her marriage under the pressure of her husband’s political ambitions. Not one to mince too many words, she is scathing about the Trump administration and her experience of racism while her husband was in power. It’s the best ringside view of American politics you can hope for.—SG

Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

Tinder becomes inclusive

It’s not just “Man", “Woman" and “Other" any more. Popular dating app Tinder has become more inclusive in terms of gender orientation by adding 23 new genders to the list. This was made available on 13 November, to coincide with the beginning of the annual Transgender Awareness Week. Tinder took the help of The Humsafar Trust that works in the area of LGBTQ+ rights and health, as well as that of inclusion advocate Parmesh Shahani to guide the local development of the app. A wider range of genders have long been available in local versions of the app in countries like the US and UK. However, the Indian LGBTQ+ community has been asking for more inclusion for a while now. Tinder has finally swiped right.—BB

Lend it your ears

Dealing with screen fatigue? Audible, the world’s leading spoken audio platform, has landed in India with more than 200,000 full-length audiobooks and original programs, including 400 titles by Indian authors. The launch event, held earlier this week in Mumbai, laid focus on Mafia Queens of Mumbai, a 2011 crime thriller by S. Hussain Zaidi and Jane Borges, and was narrated by actors Rajkummar Rao, Radhika Apte and Kalki Koechlin. The new Indian catalogue is dominated by best-selling writers such as Rashmi Bansal, Shashi Tharoor, Ashwin Sanghi, Preeti Shenoy, Durjoy Datta and Ruskin Bond. Audible is accessible at a monthly subscription fee that starts from 199.—VC

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