My relationship with India Currents goes back to 1992. In April of that year, my first published short story appeared on the pages of the magazine, which was of course print-only in those days. “The Peacock’s Mirrored Eyes” was an autobiographical tale of an awkward Indian American high schooler trying to fit in at a new school. A few years later, the story was included in an anthology, Living in America: Poetry and Fiction by South Asian American Writers, edited by Roshni Rustomji-Kerns.
When I first found out about India Currents, I immediately subscribed, even though I lived in Washington, DC—a whole country away from California. India Currents was different from the staid India Abroad newspaper that my parents subscribed to throughout my childhood. In India Currents, readers could find articles about such radical subjects as feminism and gay rights.
I felt like India Currents spoke to me as a second-generation immigrant. Since I grew up in Ohio at a time when there were not many other Indian families, and even fewer kids of my age, I didn’t feel like I had an Indian American community. India Currents gave me a sense of community. I was able to see myself in the articles I read, and I was also able to learn about the wide range of Indian American experiences and opinions. I even wrote several articles for India Currents as a freelance writer.
That very first published short story eventually led me to write more fiction about the Indian American experience, including my children’s chapter book Aruna’s Journeys (a chapter of which was excerpted in India Currents); my novel And Laughter Fell from the Sky; and my new short story collection, These Americans, which came out in May of 2021. One of the stories in this collection, “Perfect Sunday,” was originally published in India Currents. I was thrilled when These Americans was very favorably reviewed in India Currents by professor Lopamudra Basu.
When someone in my community sees value in my work, that makes it all worthwhile. So thank you, India Currents, for giving voice and space to the variety of Indian American experiences for 35 years, and for helping to create a community, not just in California, but across the United States.
Jyotsna Sreenivasan’s new book, ‘These Americans’, has stories about Indian Americans. She received an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council for 2022 and was selected as a Fiction Fellow for the 2021 Sewanee Writers’ Conference. For more information, please see www.SecondGenStories.com.