Review: Upstarts

Tell me if you've seen this movie before....
There are these 3 college friends. When the movie opens, your first thought is, "Arre, yaar, these guys are idiots." Then you see the girl. Because there is always a girl, isn't there? Naturally, things don't go well, the lovers are thwarted, and the friends end up standing at a train station that's supposed to be in UP, but strongly resembles a Mumbai local station. All before the opening credits. That's when you realize that you've guessed the wrong movie name. This movie is Netflix India's latest release Upstarts.

What’s cooking with One Book, One Philadelphia this year?

One Book, One Philadelphia is my favorite Free Library of Philadelphia program. I love that the program builds community through reading. For two months every winter, Philly becomes one giant book club. The programming is as diverse as the city itself, ranging from traditional book discussions and author events to themed workshops and cooking classes. … Continue reading What’s cooking with One Book, One Philadelphia this year?

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

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