Dressing Different

Thank you for writing such a wonderful article. (When in Rome?, April ’12) I respect your choice to wear Indian clothes to work, but I feel I have to be a “Roman when in Rome.” I am a second generation US born/US raised Indian American from the NYC tri-state area.

Despite my education (medical degree, Yale postdoc fellowship), I feel that there is a glass ceiling in the health care field for women of Indian descent. In order to climb the career ladder, my colleagues need to feel that they can relate to me. Wearing Indian ethnic clothes to work is not appropriate and will isolate me socially and professionally. I do not want to stand out in any way especially when it could jeopardize my career aspirations. Indian clothes are reserved for my personal life (family pujas, parties and functions and maybe a work party). Ultimately each person has to do what is best, but lets face it, would Indra Nooyi have become CEO of Pepsi if she had worn saris to work?

Leena, online

Have You Eaten?

I could totally relate to Ranjani Iyer Mohanty’s article. (The Food of Love, April ’12)
Like her, whenever I called my mother in India, no matter what time it was, one of the first things she would ask me was whether I had eaten. On those rare occasions when I said no, she would worriedly ask me if I was ok.

Throughout my growing up years in India, one of the constants in my life was my mother’s delicious food. At the risk of sounding biased, I must say my mom was a fabulous cook, and few things pleased her more than my showing how much I appreciated her culinary skills—and I did this often. The rest of the world told her how much they admired her guts at learning to fly when she was barely out of her teens and going on to become India’s first female pilot. But to me, my mom was an awesome parent and an awesome cook.

Even as she lay dying in hospital two years ago, drifting in and out of coma for almost three weeks, a feeding tube running down her throat, she would ask me on those rare times when she was lucid if I had eaten. And once, she even asked me what I ate, and I responded: idli and sambhar. Was it my imagination, or did I see a satisfied smile light up her face?

Viji Sundaram, California.

Layered Fiction

This is such a brilliant story (Dhatura, March ’12) with heart-touching imagery. It beautifully brings out the futility of war and the devastation that it can wreak. There seem to be so many shades of meaning to the retelling of this incident from the Ramayana. Most of us carry memories of a vile and menacing Soorpanaka. Monideepa’s story seems to want to set the gender imbalance right by looking at Soorpanaka sympathetically and humanizing her, rather than just labeling her a rakshasi and damning her because of her race. I could go on and on with trying to read meaning into this wonderful piece of narration but will stop with wishing the author all the best for her writing. Judging by the standard of this story, she should be doing very well in her chosen field.

Melanie, online

Of Monsters in Hallways

The Dharun Ravi case is also a testament of how the morals and values that we instill in our children must keep pace with the changes in our society. I agree with your editorial (Conscience Calls, April ’12) that it is no longer enough to teach our kids about truth and lies. It is equally important to teach them about social etiquette and privacy in the new age.

Shivam Khullar, online

As a parent who has seen one child in college and is about to send yet another out, I know all too well the monsters–the social, emotional, and academic–that await our kids in those hallways. We merely hope and pray that the values we gave our kids–the principles, the morals, the ethics in work as well as in life–will kick in at the critical times.

Kalpana Mohan, California

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Dharun Ravi and turning it into a parental lesson. It is indeed tragic that Tyler Clementi took his life. Blaming Dharun for this is wrong—just as it is wrong to “blame” social media sites for providing “unfettered” access for Dharun’s reprehensible actions.

Prakash Narayan, California

A Mature Connection

Really appreciated the funny, candid article (Growing Older By the Golden Gate, March ’12). I admire your honesty, Kalpana. I could totally relate to everything you say, and I’m sure many other “hyphenated” Indian American women could, too.

I remember being thrilled when Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan gave me my first break at India Currents. Since I’m from Portland, OR, I haven’t enjoyed the long history that you’ve had with the magazine. But I do share your birth year along with Arundhati Roy, Barack Obama and I don’t know who else, and I’m discovering it ain’t so bad!
Lakshmi Jagannathan, online

An Untimely Death

I would like to bring the matter of my sister’s death to the notice of this community. Vijaya L. Natarajan of Berkeley, California, died, allegedly, from an overdose of prescription medicine. Berkeley Police are investigating the events that led to her demise and are not ruling out homicide.

It is with great distress that I must add that my sister and her husband, had a troubled marriage. On several occasions he harassed, humiliated and assaulted her.
This indicates to me that her death was not suicide. Our ultimate goal is that whoever was responsible for my sister’s cruel death should be brought to justice. Please help.

006 010 509 8812
email: rajasekaran@yahoo.co.in

Silvered Lining

Kudos on reaching this 25th anniversary milestone. It has been the our pleasure to see India Currents remain attuned to its readers’ pulse for all these years.

Dr. Sharvari Dixit, San Jose State University,
Indian Diaspora Project

I would like to congratulate on the 25th anniversary. The magazine has become a window to the nation by providing a platform to the arts, culture, business and political community. I enjoy reading the editorials, IC forum articles, insights on current events and recipes. Thank you for supporting the Indian diaspora and wishing you and the team many more years of success.

Asha Ramesh, Artistic Director
Ragamalika School of Music, San Jose

Vandana Kumar is a publishing executive with a 35-year track record in the industry. She leads the India Currents Foundation as President and CEO. As a new immigrant, she co-founded India Currents magazine...