Opinion

Poem: Krishnochura

April 1, 2020

The dull, heavy, clouds of smoke block my fleeting glimpse of the fallen krishnochura flowers. When I was five – a cowering bundle in the backseat of Babu’s stuttering motorbike – He taught me how to tie my helmet and how to differentiate a krishnochura from a radhachura. I barely knew how to separate the … Read More

#AHoliAgainstHindutva is Not Anti-Hindu

March 11, 2020

On March 5th, a week before Holi, students across more than 15 American college campuses held protest rallies under the name #AHoliAgainstHindutva. These efforts were led by new organization Students Against Hindutva. Instead of wearing white and playing with colors, participants wore all black in protest against the political ideology of Hindutva, discriminatory policies introduced … Read More

Poem: Deconstruction

March 2, 2020

a conversation is two mouths made one by a knot of string, strung taut and fluoridated and hamstrung and tasting one singular voice. one mouth indentures of the other to concur with silence as an outturn pidgin emerges. its decreolization subverts the first’s imagery and dreams of deification. the sway of rasa is the theme … Read More

Adeeba Shahid Talukder Brings Urdu and Persian Verses out of Tradition

February 29, 2020

In a word, Adeeba Shahid Talukder’s Kundiman Poetry Prize-winning collection Shahr-e-jaanaan: The City of the Beloved is virtuosic. It sings, thrums with the force of centuries of Urdu and Persian verse. In doing so, it owns the strength of a woman’s voice. In the title poem, Talukder writes, “At December’s end Benazir died / in … Read More

Poem: Nani’s Letter

February 27, 2020

Granddaughter, When I was fourteen, I crossed fourteen rivers, walked to every village that fell under Big Mountain’s shadow, knocking on the door of every medicine woman that knew the mountain rock as her own altar—passing a message, trick of safety, ruse to rouge unmistakable into ordinariness.    They hid their medicine in the rocks of … Read More

Poem: Pushkar

February 14, 2020

She arcs an aural eclipse. Last night, the ashes swallowed us whole; a stream of rajgold bangles parting the brahma ghat, throat full of pink salt, ghazals spilling over the ornate moon’s boheme venture. I, milky meteors, trace your eye-lined courtyards slowly, ever so slowly. To remember the dead orphan who once named djinns after … Read More

2019 in Poems

December 18, 2019

As the year wraps up, I want to highlight five poems by South Asian poets I’ve loved and noted in 2019. I turn to these widely published, critically-acclaimed poets when I find my own budding poet-self stuck within the limitations of needing to write about South Asian identity. These five poems are pure and impassioned. … Read More

Poem: Sajda

December 16, 2019

like bugleweed, my unshaven hair is sprawling into sajda after all these years, these legs i’m still hauling into sajda when i went down on you i accidentally muttered a prayer my back turned to stars still feels like i’m falling into sajda i’m sorry i keep entangling broken verses in your curls it’s just … Read More

Pilgrimages, Pinnings, and Phulkari – 2019 in Review

December 13, 2019

It’s the end of the year and the end of a decade. And in the tradition of nearly every other media outlet, we like to do a little inventory of the stuff we did this year, like how we published so many pieces, started a podcast, and put out yet another issue of our print … Read More

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