Poem: Time Change

October 13, 2021

At 10 pm my mom got the call her eldest brother died. At 4 am she FaceTimed his face. At 6 am his smoke swirled clockwise into the smoke of strangers. 10 pm here is 7:30 am the next day there. 10 pm there is half past noon the same day here. At 10 pm … Read More

Sopan Deb Makes the Journey in “Missed Translations”

May 1, 2020

When Philip Larkin wrote his poem “This Be the Verse” in 1971 – which begins with the oft quoted line, “They fuck you up, your mum and dad,” he was staying with his mother in Loughborough, UK at the time. It begs the question: how much of what we inherit (both literally and figuratively) is … Read More

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

I Have My Grandfather’s Hands

May 11, 2018

I have my grandfather’s hands. They are square and hardy. They can hold a lot. Like him, I suppose. I used to hate my hands. I have always found them to be too masculine and bulky. Too much for me. I have spent years hiding them, or wanting to (how do you hide your hands?). … 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

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

Maalai: Chicago’s Sound Installation Exploring Intergenerational Trauma and the Untold Stories of South Asian Women

July 10, 2017

Maalai brings visibility to the trauma and untold stories of South Asian women through past and present. On July 21, Lakshmi Ramgopal’s sound installation, Maalai, will be displayed at Chicago’s DIY pop-up-show, Remembry. The installation uses Tamil and English recordings of women in Ramgopal’s family, written and photographic materials, and Hindu iconography to explore diaspora, … Read More

The Fruit They Bore

June 10, 2016

My father is not a particularly handy man, as my mother will not hesitate to explain, and he has never been one. He fixes my closet door when the hinges malfunction, and he taught me how to change light bulbs safely and mow the lawn evenly, but not much else. My mother has been pleading … Read More


July 6, 2015

  he is too old to raise his voice now. these days he won’t even look in the mirror, afraid of a withering reflection. the father spends most of his days in creaking chairs, the head of the table, an old desk chipping at the corners. what else can his old body do but sit or … Read More

A Sestina on Teacups, Marathons, and Overdone Cultural Clashes

May 15, 2015

The Breakfast Club resolved to meet every Sunday morning. During their allotted time and in their allotted space they would discuss the news: Troubling dreams, sabzi recipes, fashion, and what their children Weren’t doing with their lives. Tapping their teacups With the soft part of the spoon, clicking their tongues, And nodding concernedly, they would … Read More