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India

Second Wave

This past February, I hired a cab for a pandemic-fatigued trip with a friend to the Himalayan hills in Himachal Pradesh, down the Old Manali road. It was a drowsy afternoon, the summer heat landing thick on the windows. My friend and I drifted in and out of sleep as our driver wound along circuitous roads. Listening to old Hindi songs, I started counting the Semal trees on the roadside, perched on the hills. Also called silk cotton trees, they blossom at the end of winter: leafless trees holding vibrant clutches of big red flowers.

The Math of Living

December 3, 2020

I’ve been working for the Chicago Tribune for about a year when it strikes me that I will go home in six months. The ticket has been booked, and I’m ready. My boss has reviewed the JavaScript code and made his updates for the day. The code is in production. 

Photo by Sonnet Mondal

In the Underwater World of 2050

December 3, 2020

 1.In Kolkata, on Banamali Sarkar Street, I am a bewildered and ignorant tourist, just as I have been throughout my life, eavesdropping on people’s lives and conversations, jotting down notes, folding thoughts into whatever pattern I can make [...]

Aanchal Malhotra’s Notes to Self

September 8, 2020

One of the undercurrents of the migration narrative is the story told by the objects of exodus, that economy of objects transformed by the trip itself—relics of a former life that are sold or hidden away; keepsakes that molder, heirlooms pored over ritually, a subtle history inherited. All of which raises the question: If forced to flee your country, what would you take with you?

Dagadu Parab’s Wedding Horse

The marriage procession turned from Mulund’s Lal Bahadur Shastri Road toward the railway station, wending its way through the main bazaar. Leading the procession were the men of the brass band in their glittering outfits, followed by the boys with their shiny teenage mustaches. In the middle were the middle-aged men in their tight T-shirts, bestowing proud glances on their wives and on the bazaar shops.

The Surrogacy Cycle

Promising an escape from poverty, transnational surrogacy has left many Indian women with little to show for their efforts. What went wrong?

Illustration by Gosia Herba

Efficient Breaches: A Romance

As he fished the curds into his mouth, they gushed with the holy taste of rosewater. When the curds were done, he let himself drink the buffalo milk left in the cup, and, for the rest of the ride, Narayan could taste the grease on his lips. 

 

 

 

Girls walking to school through the town center in rural Bihar, 2013. (All photographs by Allison Joyce/Redux)

India’s Golden Chance

January 6, 2014

Behind the headlines of sexual violence is a culture where girls are forced into marriage and early motherhood. How will the next generation break the cycle?

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