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
In our post-literate world, who will have the last word?
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
Last night, the University of Pennsylvania did something it hasn’t done in 50 years, something radical. A teach-in.
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.
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 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
The journey from Sikkim in the far north to Karnataka in the south isn’t just long; it’s arduous, entailing multiple long-haul trains. Such a journey would be difficult for a girl so young. I knew that. What I didn’t know is how to ask what I could not ask without asking.
When the news broke that Chetan Bhagat was being sued for plagiarism, I wasn’t so much shocked as incredulous. In all the reviews, including my own, no one had raised a red flag that One Indian Girl was not a Chetan Bhagat book. Until now. Bhagat’s own history with the film 3 Idiots, however, makes him … Continue reading Branding Bhagat: 5 points about Brand CB and 1 Indian Girl
There she was, at the back of the shop, leaning against VS Naipaul. She’d travelled so far from her native place to reach mine. That we should meet here in my hometown just as I was trying to decide where to settle felt like more than kismet or fate. It felt like my own homecoming. … Continue reading Where do you belong to?: Homecoming and belonging in The Better Man