The Atlantic: My Own Private Bollywood
My latest essay, an ode to my love-hate relationship with Bollywood, ran in The Atlantic recently – check it out!
My Own Private Bollywood
“So, your last name’s Khan, huh?” a guy at work asked out of the blue one day. Though we’d always smiled and waved in the hallways, until that particular afternoon, our interactions hadn’t progressed far beyond perfunctory assessments of the weather. I nodded and got ready to give him my standard spiel, mastered through years of repetition: “Yes, but K-H-A-N like Genghis or Chaka, not K-A-H-N like the hot dog.”
“That’s Indian, right?” he continued before I opened my mouth. “Like Shah Rukh?”
Colin, a blond-haired, blue-eyed, rugby-shirt-clad, Nordic-god type—who’d fit in more at a polo match in the Hamptons than among comb-overed, potbellied uncles half his height in line for the latest from India’s movie-making industry—went on breathlessly to extol the musical merits of the chart-buster “Rock ‘n’ Roll Sohniye” and profess his love for sultry siren Rani Mukherjee.
The secret was out, I realized that morning. Bollywood is no longer just my cup of chai.
New York Times: All-American Eid
Eid Mubarak! Check out my latest essay in The New York Times (spelling of Id is NYT style, so it wasn’t my call).
**UPDATE** This essay was on the homepage of both nytimes.com and the global edition International Herald Tribune today.
When I think of Id, I think of doughnuts.
Some might expect more ethnic fare to be symbolic of this holy day—haleem, perhaps, or baklava. But growing up frequenting a mosque in suburban New England, my Id mornings involved leaping up as soon as prayers were over, dispensing the customary three hugs to everyone in my vicinity and racing with my friends to the social hall, where a smorgasbord of powdered and jelly-filled confections awaited. To this day, nothing says “Id Mubarak” to me quite like a chocolate-glazed doughnut.