Personal Essays

StoryQuarterly | “The First-Born” | Issue 51 (Summer 2018) | “All the while, he’s learned to be the son who hurt his parents.”

Catapult | "Out of Time" | A column on queer melancholy

"The Queer Gaze: How the Photography of William Gedney Taught Me to Look" | Gedney immortalizes the carefree embraces between bodies of men who lean into one another in gentle, carefree repose.

"Looking Backward: How Urdu Poetry Makes Queerness Historical" | For three centuries, the ghazal has been the most prestigious and popular genre of Urdu poetry.

"Strains of Melancholy: Thumri and the Indian Music of Waiting" | Thumri explores the dual sides of love: union as well as the pangs of separation.

"My Eyes Yearn for You: A Short History of Longing in NYC" | "They are happy who do not quit their homes."

The Offing  | "Dancing Queen" | "Sorrow made beauty more alluring. Melancholy made my own queerness beautiful."

Papercuts | "Buri Nazar Aur Pait Bhara | Evil Eye, Full Stomach" | A delicate exploration of want and satiety in the experience of one South Asian family in Boston.

"The Picture Beyond the Frame" | Moving Truth(s): Queer and Transgender Desi Writings on Family (New York: Flying Chickadee, 2015)


Essays and Reviews

Electric Literature | Avoiding Plagiarism Sometimes Requires a Leap of Faith” | Writers who don’t trust themselves may wind up trapped in other people’s ideas

Lapham's Quarterly | A Search for Piety in Pity | Tracing the evolution of an emotion through ancient literature.

Ploughshares Blog |

“Queerness in Everyday People: The Color of Life | Where it doesn’t seem possible for their characters to live inside their own skin, writers Norris, Taylor, and Chee illustrate the potentials—as well as the disappointments—of inhabiting other people’s experiences.

“The Queer Act of Reading” | As White writes, “Learning to be gay felt not unrelated to learning to be cultured.”

Frieze |

“Being ‘The Best’: Gillette and the Commodification of #MeToo” | The razor giant is asking its consumers to examine their supposed misogyny, without actually exploring where ideals of ‘best-ness’ arise

“The Privilege and Fragility in Melania Trump’s Colonial Cosplay” | Donning a pith helmet for a Kenyan safari, the First Lady revived an age-old symbol of colonial rule

The Millions | Books Out of Place | Do books ever wonder whether they’re going to better homes from the ones they came from?

LitHub | Why We Need Revolutionary Poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz more than ever | On the tangible power of political poetry

The Gay & Lesbian Review

"Wide Use of PrEP Raises Hopes—and Questions" | On the domestication of HIV

"How Genet Destabilizes Queer Theory" | "Disturbing Attachments: Genet, Modern Pederasty, and Queer History," by Kadji Amin

The Shanghai Literary Review | "Coming to America: Queerness and the Indian-American Experience in Rakesh Satyal's No One Can Pronounce My Name" | Satyal "challenges readers to consider queerness as a sentiment beyond same-sex desire."

The LSE Review of Books | "Fashioning Diaspora" | Instead of asking what beauty is, author Vanita Reddy asks what beauty does

Lambda Literary | 

No Other World | Rahul Mehta's debut novel "finds strength in the devastatingly brilliant notion that fate isn’t premodern, or of another time."

Red Lipstick: The Men in My Life | Pooja Pande collaborates with trans activist Laxmi Tripathi to open up the possibilities between journalist and informant.


Los Angeles Review of Books | "Identity and Recognition: A Conversation with Daniel Mendelsohn" | "I’m interested in knowledge: what is knowledge, how you get it, how much is knowable. It’s all a kind of archaeology."

The Aerogram | Telling New Stories Through Indie Media | Talking with three brown women, Sarbani Hazra, Aneesh Sheth, Janani Sreenivasan, on their latest pathbreaking film projects


Kajal |

"To Give us New Colors to See" | How La La Land reclaims the much-derided beauty of Bollywood

Ashish's "Bollywood Bloodbath" Rocked the Runway at LFW | He invoked the gods, cross gender barriers, and made political points at every turn.

Priyanka the Exotic | Not too ethnic, or too exotic, or too othered — just beige.

The Mujra and the Modern South Asian Imaginary | Succumbing to the spell the mujra casts on the South Asian cinematic imaginary

Living Room Bazaars, Arranged Marriage, and Rohin Guha | “I felt like they had put a price tag on my arm.”

Mastani Mastani | As debates about cultural appropriation proliferate, how can we expect one's own artistic borders to remain sacrosanct and impermeable?

The View from Afar | Beauty isn’t simply a form to behold, but a force — a vehicle that teleports us.

Hum Hain Ek Happy Band of Outsiders | Can a warm, feel-good togetherness be manufactured, exported, and brewed?

An Interview with Aroon Shivdasani | On the eve of IAAC's Second Annual Literary Festival.

Midnight's Furies | How Hajari's account of Partition fails to account for the hand of the British in today's legacy.

Why Not Me? | "Kaling makes herself hyper-visible by making hard work hyper-visible."


The Writing Cooperative | Contributor

With My Back toward the Future | Without WiFi aboard the bus, I’m free to wander the highways of my mind.

One Agendum after Another | A summary of the tasks that impinge on my writing time


Medium |

Whither the Right Parenthesis | My keyboard broke. I lost a key. I began to let my thoughts roam free.

Ragic Repose | I fell asleep during a Hindustani classical music concert and discovered a productive sort of boredom.