Opinion

Ramy Focuses on the Search for Balance in Islam

May 10, 2019

Ramy, streaming now on Hulu, follows the life of Ramy Hassan, a Muslim American man who lives in New Jersey with his family. It delves into the classic trials of being a first-generation immigrant Muslim. The show’s creator, 28 year old Ramy Youssef, is also an Egyptian-American Muslim from New Jersey. While the show isn’t … Read More

“Four More Shots Please” Gets Modern Indian Women Wrong

March 22, 2019

“I am not a girl, I am a storm with skin” reads one of the first shots in the title sequence of Four More Shots Please, Amazon India’s latest original “woman-centric” show. The phrase serves as a manifesto for the show, in which each character is less complex, layered individual and more vessel for a … Read More

Amrita Mahale’s Milk Teeth Dissects The Soul of Bombay

March 18, 2019

Amrita Mahale is an aeronautical engineer by profession. She studied as the lone woman in her engineering class in IIT and she even wrote about female students experiencing the “imposter syndrome” in classes that are dominated by men. Her first book Milk Teeth, like her, stands out in the publishing scene of India. The blurb … Read More

The Suitable Girl: Overweight for an Asian Woman

February 26, 2019

Back in February, I went to the doctor for a general checkup. “You should work on losing weight,” my doctor said, looking coolly over her notes. “Asian women are usually slim. You’re overweight for an Asian woman.” For most of my life, my body and I were friends. I didn’t have unreasonable expectations of it, … Read More

Jyoti Nisha Wants to Retell B.R. Ambedkar’s Story

February 12, 2019

Indian filmmaker Jyoti Nisha does not think anyone can claim B.R. Ambedkar’s image or politics. But with her upcoming film, B.R. Ambedkar: Now and Then, Jyoti weaves Ambedkar’s life and history as an opponent of Brahminical hegemony together with the current political climate and anti-caste movement, all from her own Bahujan feminist perspective. Kajal sat … Read More

“Asking for Elephants” Reminds Us to Travel Solo

January 9, 2019

Dove is a bestselling novel by Robin Lee Graham, a non-fiction narrative about sailing solo around the world at 16 years old, starting from San Pedro, California. It ends like a fairytale: he returns home with a wife and a daughter. I read it as part of my middle school curriculum and was so taken … Read More

Letter from the Editor: Kajal Turns 4!

December 14, 2018

Dear readers, Today Kajal Magazine turns four years old. I often rehash the origin story of this project – I started it in December 2014 when I was desperate to break into a very insulated, very white media landscape. I thought it could be a place for the stories I loved about a new generation … Read More

Bleach, Bollywood, and Beauty – 2018 in Review

December 10, 2018

Dear readers it’s been another whole year – a year of original articles, essays, poems, and art from and for the South Asian diaspora. We had the pleasure of publishing so many wonderful pieces this year that held a mirror up to our world. Our site got a beautiful redesign, and we’re hard at work … Read More

This Variety Show Pokes at the Edges of the First-Generation Experience

November 19, 2018

Getting to the inaugural Crazy Funny South Asians variety show at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater was a trek given the near-apocalyptic scale of this season’s first snow on November 15. But somewhere between the endless lines outside Penn Station mere blocks away, the unnecessary but – I’m calling it – quintessentially Indian queue skipping … Read More

“Demons in Paradise” Shifts Away From Prevailing Sri Lanka War Narratives

November 15, 2018

Jude Ratnam didn’t realize he would be telling his own story. Initially, Ratnam set out to make a film about the Sri Lankan Civil War, using the railway connecting the Sinhalese-dominated south and the Tamil-dominated north as a springboard for his explorations. “You can’t rationally understand the process of art-making,” Ratnam told Kajal. “But one … Read More

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