Opinion

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

“Gold Diggers” Explores Stolen Ambition and Going Off Script

April 21, 2021

Sanjena Sathian’s novel Gold Diggers is concerned with conventional paths to success, and the possibilities that arise when we break from them. We meet the narrator, Neil Narayan, at a high school dance, where he sees dancing as a prescribed activity, a script. “I depended on scripts,” he thinks, “in those days before anyone asked … Read More

Revisiting Joy Crookes’s Covers

March 9, 2021

When I sit at my desk most days, I try to convince myself that it’s not winter – that the sunlight I see scattered across my view would make me sweat if I went outside. I know that if I snuggled up to my window, my nose to the cold pane, and looked down, I’d … Read More

Sufism, Shrooms, and Seeking Connection

March 4, 2021

In 2019, Nigerian-American rapper Jidenna released a music video for his song, “Sufi Woman.” The song and video go beyond Islamic mysticism, with references to spiritual practices like brujería and tarot as well. Orientalizing lyrics aside – “Sufi woman / read me Rumī ‘til I fall asleep upon your bosom” – the music video, directed … Read More

Sharon Bala Warns Against Collective Amnesia in “The Boat People”

February 8, 2021

Sharon Bala’s The Boat People tells a nuanced tale of migration. Inspired by real events , the novel follows Mahindan, a Tamil asylum-seeker who flees persecution amidst civil war Sri Lanka, only to find himself facing deportation by the Canadian government for suspected ties to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). A multi-narrative work, … Read More

How The Democratic Party Hijacked Black Lives Matter

December 10, 2020

In The Autobiography of Malcolm X, human rights activist  Malcolm X voiced his deep-seated distrust of  what he referred to as a faction of the “white liberal”: “The liberal elements of whites are those who have perfected themselves to the Negro as a friend of the Negro. Getting sympathy of the Negro, getting the allegiance … Read More

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