II. Part of the Family

The employees of the guesthouse became my adoptive Indian family during my week’s stay in Lucknow. “My name is Dasrath,” the small, wiry man said—the same servant who had opened my room and… Continue reading

I. The Guesthouse

I spent the first week of my Fulbright project living in Room No. 8 of the Lucknow University Guesthouse. The Indian Research VISA stipulates that one must check in with a special bureaucratic… Continue reading

On Writing

“The urge to write is a terrible affliction,” the U.S. foreign policy advisor said. “I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.” There were nearly thirty of us in the banquet hall of the Renaissance… Continue reading

Just a Small Tip

No matter where I am in the world, the people I have the most conversations with are inevitably taxi cab drivers. Maybe this is because talking is part of their job; they think… Continue reading


“America is nothing like my friends think,” Kumar said from the table beside me. We sat with our respective tacos in front of us at a restaurant called Tortas Frontera in Chicago International… Continue reading

Crazy Indian Uncles

Every family has it’s own crazy uncle. Indian families are much bigger and crazier than American families. It stands to reason, then, that now and again you will come across an especially crazy… Continue reading

The Town of Kakori: Prophecies and Mango Sex Jokes

The Sufis are a mystical sect of Islam. They believe that God exists within the human soul and that His perfection can be realized through practices of self-purification, asceticism, and the eradication of base… Continue reading

Letter from Lucknow #4: The Wild Wild East

I read in the paper the other morning that the recent chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, the first lower-caste woman ever elected to public office, Mayawati, has more than doubled her assets during… Continue reading

Letter from Lucknow #3: The Evening Street

Dear Friends, Now that I am in Lucknow, I suppose you would like a description. Much is how you might imagine it: there is overpopulation, pollution, and much poverty. But there is a… Continue reading