Essay / Creative Nonfiction / May 2016

Economy Class

“Imagine you have a rich millionaire boyfriend, and he is whisking you off to Paris for a long weekend,” my husband says from the beat-up couch we got via Brooklyn Freecycle. He is filling in my French visa application form. It’s a prettyOctober day, and I am four months pregnant… Subscribe to read more» more

Essay / The Guardian / April 28, 2016

The Vegetarian Traveller

In India, where I grew up, I was never considered vegetarian enough. I do not eat fish or meat, but I do eat eggs, which meant outing myself as a “non-vegetarian” when someone asked if I am “pure veg”. After all, this is a country where states have passed laws banning beef.» more

Essay / Brevity / September 2015

Hospitality

…and now you pour her and you a cup of mint tea and sit at her table and she drops a word into the conversation that you seize with impatience, your eyes glistening in the glare of the harsh overhead light, and the word is colonialism and now you do not have enough time to tell her everything, you tell her about studying in Paris and you imitate the cop with the frozen voice at the corner of every street asking you for your ID, how you learnt, early and automatically, to go all over the world and live in every corner as if you were invisible… more» more

Essay / The Guardian / August 19, 2015

Skipping the Iconic

A lot of travel can be about pretending. I should know – for years, I have been pretending to enjoy monuments in various countries. I have spent perfectly sunny mornings in museums that I did not care for and I have sat in cute trolley cars and I have thrown coins into wishing wells.» more

Essay / Afar Magazine / January 31, 2014

Sadya: Kerala’s Slow Food

I wrote the to-do list on the plane from New York: Show husband the river we played in during summer holidays. Walk in the rubber orchards with our 2-year-old daughter. Eat sadya…
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Profile / The Caravan - October 2013

Blue Like Her: What Identity Means to Siona Benjamin

When I asked Benjamin about the influences on her work, she sighed and gave me a long, breathless list that included Islamic calligraphy, Buddhist thangkas, calendar art, Amar Chitra Katha, Andy Warhol, Persian miniatures, Bollywood posters, and feminism. “I like ornate.» more

Personal Essay / Harvard Divinity Bulletin - Spring 2010

Inside Outside

I hunt down prayer rooms in airports. It began a few years ago, at Kennedy International Airport in New York. After seeing a friend off and feeling at loose ends, I tracked down the airport’s prayer spaces—a synagogue, a church, a mosque, and an interfaith space, wall-to-wall next to each other in Terminal Four.» more

Personal Essay / The Guardian Online - July 2, 2008

How IKEA ruined my slice of New York

I was, of course, one of the new people who had nothing to do with the maritime history of Brooklyn, yet today that does not stop me from shuddering at the thought of “new people”. Red Hook has been my home for two years now.» more

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