Why I finally gave in to the dark side and started posting book reviews on Amazon

I hate Amazon’s review system. I consider it a trash fire sitting on top of another garbage fire lit by trolls and paid reviews. The reasons are numerous. I dislike the 5-star system. It’s too simplistic and doesn’t offer the user an option to rate the Amazon delivery experience separately from the product experience. Thus, … Continue reading Why I finally gave in to the dark side and started posting book reviews on Amazon

Hungry Live at the First Person Arts Festival

I love the Skyline Room at the Free Library of Philadelphia. The gold elevators you must take to get there and the spectacular view of Center City from the balcony are the hidden gems of the library. I have enjoyed every event I have attended in that space. From a One Book, One Philadelphia poetry … Continue reading Hungry Live at the First Person Arts Festival

Keshav Rajpurohit is a tharki asshat, and I hate him: Rage-reading in the age of #metoo

Room 602 somewhere in Philadelphia…12:05 am Eastern Time / 10:05 am India Standard Time I sit in my studio apartment. The dogs snore loudly in their beds. The backlight on my Amazon Kindle glows a light blue. Within moments, she materializes. The Girl in Room 105. She’s mysterious and barely visible on the cover. I … Continue reading Keshav Rajpurohit is a tharki asshat, and I hate him: Rage-reading in the age of #metoo

Of steps and story slams: Rebirths, Returns, and Comebacks Story Slam at Wolf Humanities Center

I had just signed the lease on my apartment. I was an adult now. Naturally, I did what every reasonable adult would do. I climbed the Rocky steps, sat on the topmost stair, and cried. That August afternoon was hot. People on the steps would have mistaken my tears for sweat. Fortunately, my emotions evaporated … Continue reading Of steps and story slams: Rebirths, Returns, and Comebacks Story Slam at Wolf Humanities Center

Overcogitation and the wrinkle of appropriation

I was in a literary fiction hellscape populated with unfocused ideas and disconnected connections. Saying too much and nothing at all. How the hell did I get here? Overcogitation, of course, dear reader. And appropriation. Wait. What? I hear you, dear reader. You thought this post was going to meander down the well-worn navel-gazing tunnels of writerly insecurity and doubt. Oh no. I’m sorry, dear reader. You’ve come to the wrong blog for that. This post is about culture and its appropriation.

Braving my wilderness: How I learned to stop hating the first person and my résumé

The essence of Brené Brown’s new book Braving the Wilderness lies in these words from an 8th grader: “If I get to be me, I belong. If I have to be like you, I fit in.” Where do I belong? I have struggled with this question many times while living overseas. Belonging will become the … Continue reading Braving my wilderness: How I learned to stop hating the first person and my résumé

Reading Rupi: Translating English across cultures

Reading Indian writing in English represents an act of translation every time I read. Yes, even when the book is written in English, every book represents a journey through and across culture.  It might seem strange to hear a native English speaker say that I read English in translation, but I do. Given the idiomatic … Continue reading Reading Rupi: Translating English across cultures