Two Sitas, Two Deepikas, and One Cross-Dresser

Two Sitas, Two Deepikas, and One Cross-Dresser

“Is it true there was cross-dressing in early Indian cinema?” The question came from a young Texan undergrad, and there was some muffled laughter in the audience. I paused for the room to be quiet. It was up to me to provide some cultural context. I had received some...
Calling Off The Wedding

Calling Off The Wedding

The Indian TV channel was playing Hum Aapke Hain Kaun (HAHK) when the phone call came to say that Aparna’s wedding had been called off.  “Is the wedding postponed or canceled?” my mother was asking on the phone. When she hung up, she shook her head. A single...
How Not to Spring Clean This Diwali

How Not to Spring Clean This Diwali

With the approach of Diwali, I tried to spring clean my house, as is customary. This year, some home repairs had been completed, and I was moving the contents back to my room. I smiled as I found a book that I had read many years ago. I remembered it with pleasure so...
Lovesick in San Jose: the Event

Lovesick in San Jose: the Event

On the screen, a couple was getting married. A North Indian bride and South Indian groom. But the match-makers were absent. Dr. Suniti Solomon explained how her presence would raise questions. People would be uncomfortable, and ask why an AIDS doctor was at the...