Shiva: Transcending Social Constructs

By accident, I ran into the sensual image of ShivShakti, also known as Ardhanarishvara (meaning: the lord who is half woman) or Ardhanaranari (the half man, half woman), picturing the god Shiva and goddess Shakti as one entity. Amused by this image, I started to read more and more of the Hindu scriptures. The story of Shiva and Shakti in the Skanda Purana says that the Goddess Shakti asked Shiva if she could sit with him while embracing him firmly. She, jealous as she was, wanted to be with him continuously. Shiva agreed to her request and so Shiva and Shakti became two energy’s in one body.

Understanding the Linguistic Cognitive Dissonance of South Asian Americans

Recently, a college friend pointed out to me that I transform into a different person when I speak to my parents on the phone. My t’s become softer, my r’s become harder. My words end in alveopalatal fizzes, a musical Carnatic cadence I associate with India. She was right, although I hadn’t noticed this before; linguistically, this is called code-switching, a term that perfectly articulates a nebulous identity confusion I’ve always felt but have never quite been able to pinpoint before.

Overcoming Today’s Pakistani Desire to Look Arab

Some Pakistanis – at least in London where I am – pretend that they have Arab heritage. This is a fact that I’ve never really questioned until recent years when I became more curious, confident and knowledgeable of my own lineage. Why do some of us lie about our bloodline?

The 9to5 Misfits Learn Some Interesting Things from a Non-Immigrant

The secret’s out — we’re immigrants! Gaasp! Quelle horreur! In the last episode, we recounted our experiences of coming to America and navigating life in a new country. It was no cakewalk, but we eventually managed to become comfortable in our own skin and assimilate, while also staying true to our Indian roots.

‘Spread Your Legs’: A Poem on Sexual Harrassment

Spread your legs, man.
It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing pants,
a dhoti,
just your kacchi,
a thong
no underwear
who cares?
Spread your legs

Ramadan Brings Couples Closer Together —That’s What I’ve Always Thought

I’ve always thought the month of Ramadan, the time to worship and not indulge so much in worldly matters, would strengthen one’s bond, make hearts flutter with each other’s commitment to God.

The 9to5 Misfits Talk About Their Experience Immigrating to the U.S.

For Pavi and Nammy, being immigrants in a new country was rough — having to suddenly change their name, accent, dress, mannerisms, and even handwriting felt more like being spies on a covert mission than normal teenagers trying to fit in.

Dear Single Ladies: You Are a Brilliant Wonder Woman

For single desi women in their 30s and 40s, the comments from others just keep on coming and coming and coming. No matter how many times you hit them, they keep on coming, like tennis balls out of a machine. At some point, you just want to throw your racket away and run.

#WeDoBelongHere: Why I’m Still Proud to Be American, Despite Stereotypes

Every Fourth of July, when the Internet (or at least my corner) is abuzz about the hypocrisy of the United States celebrating a history of violence, war, and discrimination, I feel a little guilty for enjoying the day.

The Travel Ban Isn’t New: America’s History of Restrictive Immigrantion Legislation – Part II

Indians revel in their successes in America since the doors opened but completely gloss over the struggles and racism experienced by the first Indians who immigrated. Pioneers like Dalip Singh Saund, who lobbied and fought for citizenship rights for Asians and the struggles of the San Francisco-based Gadar party are all but unknown to the Indian American community.