Youth

“Then Where You Are From?”

“Then Where You Are From?”

“Then where you are from?” I was asked this question on my second day with Etasha Society, as I observed a class on Spoken English at the Mori Gate center in North Delhi. Eight or nine trainees, probably around my own nineteen years, sat around the edges of the room...
Films, Femme Fatales and Feminism

Films, Femme Fatales and Feminism

From my limited access to my parents’ motherland, Bollywood has largely colored my perceptions of life in India. I am aware that the exaggerated actions and dialogues that take place during these films are far from realistic in a majority of cases. Still, it is...
Bedtime Stories

Bedtime Stories

“Tell me a story,” I pleaded, and she sat on one end of my bed as her hands sank into a gentle rhythm between my shoulders. In crisp Tamil, Anapati, my maternal grandmother, transported me to the land of gods, kings, and demons before I eventually settled into sleep....
Pickling Mangoes

Pickling Mangoes

I haven’t been to India in almost exactly a decade as of April, 2014. The hazy aspects of India have blended together in a warm, humid stew in my mind—the relentless sun, the powerful monsoons; the incessant honking of the rickshaws’ shrill horns into the small hours...
A New Bollywood Love Story

A New Bollywood Love Story

“Kunal, you better marry someone Indian.” I can hear the words of my Mumbai-born parents echoing in my ears over and over again. I’m not sure how serious this wish of theirs is, because I know they wouldn’t mind if I were to date someone not of Indian descent, but I...
A Cookbook of Memories

A Cookbook of Memories

In December 2013, my mother wrote an editorial on the recipe book given to her by her father. Her words made me think of my connection to the book and to her father. It was at the time that I was applying to colleges and I wrote an essay on the subject as part of my...