Youth

A Personal Definition of Success

A Personal Definition of Success

Almost every time I meet another Indian American of my age, I see a story that we have both shared since birth. Trying to retain the traditions that my parents have continuously instilled into my brain ever since our rupees became dollars has created a confusing...
Embarassed by My Indianness

Embarassed by My Indianness

I was seated on the kitchen counter, my favorite perch as a four-year old. I watched my thatha, my maternal grandfather, draw a “U” shaped white figure on his forehead with what looked like a metal toothpick. Carefully, he placed a red substance with water on the heel...
The Veena Maker

The Veena Maker

Like most teenagers my age, I go to Google for answers. Several months ago when I turned to Google yet again, this time for information on veena makers, I realized that there is very little out there. While I found some YouTube videos on the art of veena making, there...
Why Is That White Girl Wearing a Bindi?

Why Is That White Girl Wearing a Bindi?

In the case of the bindi, cultural appropriation is when a white girl (my stand in for all non-Indians) wears a bindi at a music festival, someone who wasn’t invited to wear a bindi in the proper context but instead uses it as a fashion statement. There’s a picture of...
Gandhi Camp

Gandhi Camp

It’s the middle of summer and here I am, meditating with forty other kids in a retreat house. That was the first thought the ten year-old me had running through her head at seven o’clock that morning. Eight years later, and you can still find me in the meditation room...
The American

The American

Sometimes, when my mother and I are standing at a security checkpoint in middle America they’ll pull us over and search our luggage—digging through my underwear and that tatty shirt with the paint stains I should have probably thrown out three years ago, looking for...