Migration, identity, displacement

I’m half Indian, half Swedish American, and have lived a life equally divided between the two border-obsessed countries of the United States and India. At this point I’m used to all the questions that my mixed appearance / experiences inspire, and I have any number of elevator pitches ready for the skeptical listener. But those tend to leave a lot of words out, and sometimes the remaining words get a bit pent up. When they do, I write. (Or I read people who see what I see, which is a world of people in continuous movement. And then I write about what I read.)


08_19_FestivalsFestivals: My Grandma’s Ganesha.” Khabar Magazine, memoir-type essay. I am sorting through the past, as Ganesh Chaturthi approaches and, once again, I am doing nothing to celebrate it. August 2019.

04_19_MusingsMusings: Unpacking.” Khabar Magazine, memoir-type essay. We live in an immigrant world but not a rootless one; across borders we carry objects, and the stories they hold. April 2019.

Native or InvasiveNative or Invasive.” Orion Magazine, creative non-fiction essay. On lantana, invasive species, and being multiracial in an increasingly walled-off world. March 2017.

milongaTracing the Argentine tango in India.” Forbes India, creative non-fiction essay. From Buenos Aires to Auroville, from Turin to Mumbai, strangers find common ground in a century-old dance of human displacement. June 2015.

SwensensPeering through the cracks in the California dream: Bangalore’s nostalgia for our manufactured past.Boom: A Journal of California, creative non-fiction essay. Article on the strange juxtaposition of American nostalgia marketing with the ever-changing face of Bangalore. Winter 2014.

ValparaiUntitled.” Tehelka, May 9 2009. Article under “personal histories,” on the experience of bridging the cultural and linguistic gap as an Indian-American ecologist in rural South India. 

Book reviews


Multilayered Maps of Modern India: Anjum Hasan’s Fiction.” The Los Angeles Review of Books. Overview of the novels and short stories of Anjum Hasan. August 2017.

flood-of-fier-ghosh.jpegThe Final Installment of the Ibis Trilogy.” The Los Angeles Review of Books. Review of Flood of Fire by Amitav Ghosh. August 2015.


ayya's.jpgThe Era of the Geographically Confused.” The Los Angeles Review of Books. Review of Ayya’s Accounts: A Ledger of Hope in Modern India by Anand Pandian and M. P. Mariappan. August 2014.