Published: Great Writers and What They’re Reading (Interview with Hofstra Windmill Online)

Earlier this month, one of my stories, ‘Life Spring’, and an essay, ‘On Domestic Abuse and Saving Our Men’, were both published by Hofstra’s Windmill magazine, for which I am very grateful. Here’s an interview they also published, which focuses on what I read, why I read, what I recommend to others, and so on. Continue reading Published: Great Writers and What They’re Reading (Interview with Hofstra Windmill Online)

marginalia

Marginalia: The Decay of Lying — An Observation (essay)

This essay is from a collection titled ‘Intentions’. It is a Socratic dialogue between two (fictional) characters, Vivian and Cyril. Of course, it is written in Wilde’s trademark satiric style. As Wikipedia sums up rather nicely, it lays out four doctrines about art for art’s sake and aesthetics as below. It is important to keep in mind that Wilde was also defending the romanticism movement in art rather than the realist or post-modern movements that were going on also at the time. Though I am more a realist myself, I think there is plenty of room, even today, for understanding some of these tenets — particularly about how life imitates art more than art imitates life. Continue reading Marginalia: The Decay of Lying — An Observation (essay)

Booknotes: Writing Women’s Lives

Writing Women’s Lives is an anthology of autobiographical writing of fifty American women writers spanning the entire twentieth century — the first writer here was born in 1860 and the last in 1962. In introducing us to these writers, Susan Cahill, the editor/anthologist, described how their cultural and socio-economic diversity makes them a pleasure to read while also busting many myths around the phenomenon of “woman writer.” And I believe that we, women writers of today, need our models to turn to from time to time — if not to emulate, then to see how we are or could be different. Benchmarks, if you will, that show us whether we have managed to move beyond the traditions set by our predecessors. We also need to know and appreciate the powerful sisterhood to whom we owe so much. Continue reading Booknotes: Writing Women’s Lives

International Women’s Day 2017: #BeBoldforChange

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been highlighting an interesting, lesser-known woman on this particular day. Why? Mostly for the same reason that we mark this particular day: to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievement of women. The 2017 theme for IWD is #BeBoldForChange. So, this year, I’d like to share the story of Noor Inayat Khan — a bold, badass woman I read about last year. She was also featured on Public Radio International earlier this year as the “Indian spy princess who died fighting the Nazis.” She was a Muslim. A refugee. A princess. A guerrilla fighter, trained in bomb-making, sabotage and secret communications. But above all, she was a war hero. Continue reading International Women’s Day 2017: #BeBoldforChange

Booknotes: Mafia Queens of Mumbai: Stories of Women from the Ganglands

In Indian culture and society, a lot of the talk/news related to Mumbai mafia and gang violence/crime is mostly about the men–the ganglords, their aides, and their henchmen. Often, the only women we read of (or see in Bollywood movie versions) tend to be the virtuous, long-suffering wives or mothers, or the glamorous arm candy or objects of desire. Though Mumbai’s mafia men, the underworld, and organized crime have all been portrayed in movies over the decades, the cultural fascination truly took hold of the collective imagination with the 1998 movie, Satya, which was about a turf war between two Mumbai ganglords. So a book about the far lesser-known mafia women is irresistible for the primary reason that the authors offer in their introduction: “They are fascinating women because they push the boundaries of our dominant moral codes.” Continue reading Booknotes: Mafia Queens of Mumbai: Stories of Women from the Ganglands