Reviews

Tanaïs Comes From the Earth

December 12, 2019

This piece was originally published in Kajal Volume 3: Plant Life. Find it here.  Tanaïs, née Tanwi Nandini Islam, is a polymath. She published her first novel Bright Lines, about a Bangladeshi-American family living in Brooklyn, New York in 2015. Since then she has launched her own cosmetics and perfume company, Hi Wildflower, which is … Read More

Rajiv Surendra is Redefining Failure

November 27, 2019

Rajiv Surendra is a Canadian actor, writer, painter, and chalk artist with Sri Lankan Tamil roots. After rising to fame for his role as Kevin G in the 2004 movie Mean Girls, he published The Elephants In My Backyard in 2016. The memoir explores successes and failures through a six year attempt at securing the … Read More

Keerat Kaur’s Pink Guava Is the Perfect Refreshment for This Hot Summer

August 19, 2019

In a time where nostalgia is at a high, there is no shortage of old Bollywood covers. The problem with most of these covers, however, is that many artists and producers fail to retain the integrity of the original songs. Keerat Kaur’s new EP Pink Guava doesn’t suffer from this problem. Kaur and producer Wisechild … Read More

Peter Cat Recording Co’s Bismillah is a Surreal Journey

August 9, 2019

Peter Cat Recording Co.’s (PCRC) new album, Bismillah, is meant to be heard in high definition. From the grand gestures of trumpets and keys to the subtle electronics and sound bites knitted into their music, the true intricacy to their sound can only be captured in HD. The chirping birds, distant car horns, and synthesized … Read More

Fatimah Asghar Is Making Art for the Lost

July 26, 2019

Following her debut book of poetry If They Come For Us, Chicago-based poet and screenwriter Fatimah Asghar is back with a new collection. Co-edited with Safia Elhillo, Halal If You Hear Me is an anthology of poetry from Muslim writers who identify as women, queer, genderqueer, nonbinary, or trans. Kajal caught up with Asghar shortly … Read More

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

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

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