Published: Disappointment (Jet Fuel Review)

‘Disappointment’ is a piece of flash fiction published in Issue #14 of Jet Fuel Review, a terrific literary journal run out of Lewis University in Illinois. A man and woman run into each other decades after their college years in Chicago, when they were briefly a couple. With this story, I wanted to explore, within the context of race and gender dynamics, how disappointment is a layered, complex emotion and how, often and without sufficient awareness, we tend to disappoint ourselves a whole lot more than anyone else possibly can. Of course, some of us are also often skilled in externalizing/projecting such disappointment onto others around us, especially our loved ones. Continue reading Published: Disappointment (Jet Fuel Review)

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Published: Each of Us Killers (Kweli Journal)

Set in Gujarat, India around the time of the 2016 Dalit protests, ‘Each of Us Killers’ explores the present-day politics of Hindu cow worship — a highly-charged issue. It is also the story of a minority low-caste community struggling to reconcile their position in society with their need for personal agency. This struggle is, of course, universal wherever there is oppression of the minority by the majority. I also wanted to explore crowd psychology here. The actual main events of my story are entirely fictional. In fact, the village itself is fictional. However, like the Una, Gujarat flogging incident described in the story, I have also referenced a few other real-life acts of caste-related violence that have been reported or revisited in the last couple of years in Gujarat. While I am very interested in the religious and socio-political constructs that still drive casteism in present-day India, I have focused here on the aspects of human nature that allow us, collectively, to turn away in silence when witnessing injustice, violence, or murder — and what that might mean for us as communities/societies. Continue reading Published: Each of Us Killers (Kweli Journal)

Movie Review: Sonata (2017)

Some movies roil things up inside of us for the wrong reasons. Sonata, an Indian movie in English, was one such for me. Yet, I watched it to the end and here I am writing about it too. Let me say at the outset that I recommend it to all women everywhere of all ages. When I saw the trailer, despite not having watched more than a handful of movies this year (focusing on writing projects), I knew I had to make time to watch the entire thing. The aspects that drew me in were as follows: Continue reading Movie Review: Sonata (2017)

Published: Booknotes: The Good Immigrant (The Aerogram)

One of the finest essay collections I have read this year is ‘The Good Immigrant’. Edited by writer Nikesh Shukla, the collection has essays from 21 Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) creatives from across the UK. These are writers, actors, comedians, and more, writing about their experiences growing up as immigrants or children of immigrants. A review by me was just published over at The Aerogram — a US-based South Asian art, literature, life and news site. Funded by, among others, J K Rowling, and blurbed by, among others, Zadie Smith, it came out after the Brexit vote and during the peak madness of the US presidential election. Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) creatives (writers, actors, comedians, and more) from across the UK came together to write and share their experiences as immigrants or children of immigrants. Their themes, however, are universal and, having been an immigrant across various countries myself, I found much to identify with and ponder. Continue reading Published: Booknotes: The Good Immigrant (The Aerogram)

Published: After ‘Dunkirk’, a Starter List of Books (Scroll.in)

When the movie, ‘Dunkirk’, was released in India, despite the “whitewashing” controversy and to the surprise of many of India’s movie industry experts, it drew large crowds. And these same experts spoke out more than usual about the lack of Indians in the narrative, given India’s critical role in both the Great Wars. Before we go about censuring or educating the world on why India should not have been shortchanged, it would behoove us — Indians everywhere — to understand India’s role in these Great Wars better for ourselves. Continue reading Published: After ‘Dunkirk’, a Starter List of Books (Scroll.in)