Youth

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...
“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....