Essays

Coming to Terms with My Eating Disorder

March 16, 2018

I thought I was everything but bulimic. Gluten-intolerant. Carb-phobic. A sensitive soul with a sensitive stomach. But bulimia? Definitely not. That word and all other eating disorders were “white girl problems” to me. It was the 100 year old Chardonnay of shitty coping mechanisms that only grew more expensive and detrimental with age. I had … Read More

My Mother the Monk

January 30, 2018

During the first week of my recent family holiday to Sri Lanka, I was plagued by the unpleasant sensation of bile rising up in my throat. I wasn’t quite sure if I was reacting to the sudden stifling heat and one too many serves of sambol and coconut roti, or if it was the presence … Read More

Nachos: A Family History

January 21, 2018

I have a deep and abiding love for nachos. Tortilla chips. Cheddar Cheese. Black beans. Lettuce. Salsa. Guacamole. Sour Cream. All piled atop one another not haphazardly, but meticulously. I like to control all aspects of the production process—blocks of cheese shredded but in only one direction, tomatoes and onions finely diced, long, thin ribbons … Read More

The Suitable Girl: Consenting From a Place of Power

January 19, 2018

I have read many, many, many arguments online regarding the story that was released this weekend about a woman who goes by “Grace” and her date with a well-known comedian. Some say it’s a matter of assault others talk about the non-vocal nuances of sexal relationships, where anything short of a forceful “no” could be … Read More

How Fair & Lovely Bottled Up India’s Insecurities

January 10, 2018

Generations of young women were taught to live, love and be happy–just not in their brown skin. It was the plop sound of the goopy cream, its silken texture and slight luminescence that called out to me on the days I felt ugly: a thin, white veneer of televised fable to put between my brown … Read More

Banis and Black Magic with Achi

December 18, 2017

In Sri Lanka, hooniyan, or witchcraft, is a commonly accepted fact of life. Every Bhagya, Kasun and Tharushi has a story about being hexed by a vengeful nemesis, behaving regrettably while under the influence of a love potion, or watching on as a friend or family member writhed in the throes of possession by a … Read More

The Suitable Girl: Soft and Brown

December 11, 2017

To my untempered, half-grown adolescent brain there were two modes for sexuality: on and off. Either you were turned on or you were going about your day with the dial set firmly to “off.” The only thing in between was the small tingle that raised your skin and sent a shiver down your back. That … Read More

Love in Three Encounters

December 8, 2017

The half-life of love is forever. -Junot Diaz 1 11 pm. Whatever they’re having, you said, sweeping your arm our way. The bartender serves you and Julian whiskey sours. Julian goes off with my friend. I go off with you. In your bed, in spite of the sloshing in my stomach and my kaleidoscope vision, … Read More

Mistaken Facts

October 23, 2017

Sometime in the 1970s, my father shook hands with Indira Gandhi, and she told him and a whole cohort of restless young men like him that their services were needed for the greater good of Asian solidarity. Then she loaded them all onto a plane. I don’t bother anymore to ascertain the truth of this … Read More

Workplace Harassment Isn’t Just a Hollywood Thing

October 18, 2017

Over the past couple of weeks, the world has looked on, appalled but–if you’re a woman well-versed in the depravity of men–perhaps not entirely surprised, as a seemingly unending stream of “allegations” of sexual harassment and rape against influential Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein have erupted into the public conscious. From the New York Times’ commendable … Read More

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