Opinion

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

What American Progressives Can Learn From the Indian Farmers’ Victory

January 5, 2022

About a dozen people are standing atop a green John Deere tractor, hoisting signs and waving flags with pro-farmer slogans. Many of them are turbaned Sikhs while others wear different of head coverings. The tractor crawls through throngs of people, many of them dancing in celebration. Cheers ring out throughout the crowd, and, in the … Read More

“It All Comes Back to You” Serves Up Wedding Intrigue

January 4, 2022

Farah Naz Rishi’s YA romance It All Comes Back To You is part Austenian marriage plot and part You Got Mail farce. Following the days before the much anticipated wedding of Amira and Faisal, the book focuses on their respective siblings, Kiran and Deen, as they scheme against each other to hide secrets and derail the wedding. … Read More

Life, Love, and HPV in Milan

December 2, 2021

I was 28 when I visited a gynecologist for the first time, as a scientist in a foreign country, nonetheless. Requesting the morning off from attending to my cell cultures was the easiest part. I had even made the effort to schedule an appointment at an expat-friendly, English-speaking women’s clinic in the heart of Milan … Read More

In My Silken Armor

July 9, 2021

My first Bharatanatyam costume was made of saffron yellow silk with fuschia borders, woven with golden zari thread that glimmered under the stage lights. A costume like this was usually custom-made for the dancer, but my mother bought this outfit secondhand for a fraction of its value. It was created for another girl, but destiny … Read More

Consuming Diaspora

June 24, 2021

This essay appeared in Kajal, Volume 4: Food. You can purchase a copy here. Growing up in a nearly all white small town, I remember spending so much time looking for myself. Decades removed from the motherland itself, my India was a tapestry of objects and symbols woven together: Ganesha watching over cereal boxes in … Read More

Caste Discrimination Protections Are a Feminist Issue

April 27, 2021

This article was written by a group of South Asian feminist activists and students coming from a position of caste privilege and allyship. On April 29, the Santa Clara County Human Rights Commission is holding a public forum on caste discrimination that could lead to Santa Clara County becoming the first jurisdiction in the United … Read More

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