Opinion

Hulu’s “Foreigners Only” Is So Real It’s Scary

October 31, 2022

Fresh off the festival success of Moshari, filmmaker Nuhash Humayun is back with another horror short – Foreigners Only, part of the third season of Hulu’s Bite Size Halloween, zooms in on the micro injustices of neo-colonialism in the modern age. In Bangladesh, where Foreigners is set, there is a clear and deep preference for expats. Landlords … Read More

Fatimah Asghar’s “When We Were Sisters” Is About the Bonds That Tie

October 18, 2022

Poet, screenwriter, and now debut author Fatimah Asghar follows the release of their highly-acclaimed poetry collection If They Come For Us with their new novel When We Were Sisters, out this week. Focusing on the lives of three orphaned Muslim American sisters, and told from the perspective of the youngest Kausar, When We Were Sisters … Read More

Pulling the Veil Off Arranged Marriage in “The Newlyweds”

October 12, 2022

Arranged marriage casts a long shadow over South Asian culture. As a way to maintain religious barriers, caste affiliation, socioeconomic standing, and patriarchal standards, it seems like a vestige of history. We might like to think the tradition of arranged marriage, and its satellite concerns like dowry and honor killings, might simply die out with … Read More

Monstress

October 5, 2022

“I am Hidimba!” I roared like a beast and laughed, flailing my arms. My mom and I were watching an episode of The Mahabharata on a rented VHS tape from the Indian grocery store. The character Hidimba — dark-skinned, standing 20-feet tall, with long, scraggly hair — wore a Halloweenish costume: a brown fake leather … Read More

Beautiful Gowns Can’t Save Netflix’s “Wedding Season”

August 5, 2022

The reluctant wedding guest is a mainstay of the romcom genre. It’s a trope ripe for dramatic speechifying and dance montages. And in recent years we’ve seen it deployed successfully with films like Plus One and Palm Springs, proving that romcoms in the 2020s are still alive and still boldly asking if a woman can … Read More

“In Sensorium” Takes Readers on a Journey Through Scent

July 28, 2022

Perfume was a hallmark of the millennial teen magazine. Teen Vogue and Seventeen had us experimenting with scents that offered teasers of womanly sophistication. Playing dress-up with fragrance samples was enough–adulthood held the certainty of tasteful routine. And flipping through issues months or years later, long past “top ten nail polish shades to try now!” … Read More

Gifting and Globalization

June 13, 2022

I would get butterflies in my stomach every time our family visited from abroad. There would be the drive to the airport at those odd hours when the city would be inching towards sleep, the quiet excited expression tucked into extra-tight hugs and high-pitched how are yous, the coming home, a second welcoming by family … Read More

Dystopia Hits Close to Home in “The Immortal King Rao”

May 13, 2022

In the mid-1900s, a Dalit boy named King is born to coconut farmers in a rural Indian village; over a century later, his daughter is accused of his murder as a society built upon his inventions hurtles toward climate catastrophe. In The Immortal King Rao, author Vauhini Vara weaves a fascinating narrative filling in what … Read More

Ifti Nasim’s “Myrmecophile” Twenty Years Later

March 30, 2022

From simply looking at the cover photo of Myrmecophile, Ifti Nasim makes it clear that he is not here to hide any part of himself. The first image we have of him is a playful, subversive snapshot where he is decked out in full drag, donning a blonde wig, costume jewelry, pearls, and bangles. He … Read More

The “Tirukkural” and the Wisdom of Ancient Uncles

February 4, 2022

On a small island off the southernmost tip of India, a statue of the poet known only as Tiruvalluvar stands staring out at the confluence of two seas and one ocean. The statue is 133 feet high, symbolic of the 133 chapters that make up the 2000-year-old Tirukkural, a meditation on ethics, government, and the … Read More

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