‘Adventuring in Datingland’: An Indian Woman’s Account of Toxic Masculinity, Fetishization While Dating in America - American Kahani
This article was originally posted as a "Ketki and the City" column piece on Par-desi.com, reviewing Preeti Roy's new book "Adventures in Datingland". The illustrated novel is a witty, satirical look into an Indian woman's experience with dating in America, delving into topics of toxic masculinity, fetishisation, and cultural appropriation.
This has been reposted to American Kahani.
"In 2015, S. S. Rajamouli’s “Baahubali: The Beginning” roared its way onto our screens—a whirl of weapons, war-cries, and waterfalls. It is fantasy epic at its best, embellished by romantic subplots of men climbing literal precipices to meet mysterious masked women, which by the way, literally sets the bar for courtship, 5000 feet up."
In this entertainment article for BuzzFeed, I asked my friend to watch 'Baahubali: The Beginning' and share his reactions. I encouraged him to ask all the obvious questions one thinks of when watching a classic action-romance Bollywood film.
"How many of you have ever felt personally victimised by a substitute teacher taking the class register? I see you raising your hands. During my time in school, I probably heard every possible variation of my name being uttered from the lips of teachers with good intentions."
In this column post, I reflect on one of the most common situations we deal with in the diaspora: altering or anglicising our name to make it 'easier' for our white peers.
The first post of my bi-monthly digital column for Pardesi, an online platform for Desi womxn to discuss, share, and uplift. Called "Ketki and the City", my column is focused on themes of Gen Z x diaspora, multi-cultural identity, relationships, and life in the city. The column grew from a desire to read savvy colloquial content that could tackle difficult conversations and unpack specific social conventions that were, and still are, undiscussed in youth cultural communities. This column is an exploration of our social landscape from my perspective, as a first generation immigrant.
"Tragedies involving police brutality, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of colour) targeted murder, and racial prejudice have the tendency to feel constant and unrelenting."
In the wake of the recent racial tragedies, I contemplated the concept of 'virtue signalling' and its damaging effects to communities and causes. The relationship between social media and activism can be fragile, but it can also be done right. There is a desperate need to be active in our activism. This is an essay discussing performative activism, and the moral dangers of virtue signalling without intention.
My lockdown experience (similar to the mass public’s) invited hours of inevitable scrolling through Instagram and Tik Tok. We witnessed a whirlwind of coffee-whipping, brush-passing, and dance challenges. Digital media became the new form of escapism allowing the rise of increasingly diverse content, from an array of international talents.
In this feature article, I interviewed Canadian-Indian artist Tesher about fusion music, cultural representation, and how modern artists' can 'hack' social media virality.
"I believe that the pantsuit is the sartorial equivalent of a power move – confident, effortless, and statement-making. It accentuates a structured figure whilst providing a modest approach to formal wear."
This article explores the creative combination of a power 'pant-suit' with traditional South-Asian bridal wear, with discussion on how brides can be mindful of sustainable 'slow' fashion when making their wedding sartorial choices.
"This long weekend, I spent five consecutive hours binging “Masaba Masaba,” Sonam Nair’s semi-autobiographical, but wholly dramatic account of fashion designer Masaba Gupta’s life. The six-episode Netflix series is infused with witty dialogue, punchy music, and eclectic fashion that is reminiscent of our “Sex and the City” sartorial obsession." This is my review of 'Masaba Masaba' and its complex relationship with social media. I discuss the interconnectedness of social media and our lives, as well as the dangers of living in a 'fabricated reality'.
"The student population in Basingstoke has exponentially surged as an effect of Covid-19 related university, secondary school, and college closures.This statistic certainly made itself known as a powerful body for change, on June 5th at Eastrop Park. A group of approximately 100 gathered by the large pond in the middle of the park to take part in a peaceful protest."
I covered the student-organised Black Lives Matter protest held in Basingstoke, May 2020. This article was published in The Basingstoke Gazette.
Monsoon Wedding has just released, and the world is enchanted by Mira Nair’s spun story of marriage, reunion, healing, and love. The wedding of Aditi Verma and Hemant Rai is magnetic: it brings together family from abroad, connects new lovers, and surfaces inevitable darkness that may reside in all family relationships.
I’m in the audience of the Roundhouse Theatre, London. We are miles away from Delhi but still amidst exuberant chaos and excitement. This is my interview with award-winning Filmmaker and Producer, Mira Nair.
During my work experience with the Basingstoke Gazette, I wrote an Op-Ed discussing my experiences as a new university student returning home again due to the Covid-19 related lockdown. The article was printed in the weekly paper on June 18th, 2020.
Craziest Thing Happened in Our Flat – An Interview with Ardhito Pramono about Global Impact, Film, and Jazz
This piece originally appeared in Strand Magazine's Summer 2020 Issue. We interviewed Indonesian musician Ardhito Pramono who is reinventing the 'jazz-pop' genre in the Indonesian youth music scene. The singer and song-writer shares his experience of starring in the hit movie "One Day We'll Talk About Today", and releasing his new EP, "Craziest Thing Happened In My Background". We discuss melancholic lyrics, a growing musical Indonesian scene, and the nuances of singing in Indonesian and English.
If you’re not aggressively whipping coffee, learning eclectic dances, or baking banana bread, social media raises the question: what are you really doing? In the face of a global pandemic, there arises a peculiar pressure to appear productive. This pressure is accompanied by our significant shift to documenting all our productivity online, perhaps to fulfil the deficit of human interaction. This is an essay discussing the influence of social media on productivity and ambition.
I was chosen to lead the first King College London's #MyFirst50 social media campaign. This involved me creating, planning, and managing content for the Arts and Humanities page on Instagram - @kingsartshums - for the first 50 days of my academic year. As a first year university student, I documented my new experiences with lectures, extracurriculars, social activities, and navigating life in London. The goal of the campaign was to give an honest look at the experiences of a new student and to increase social media engagement. This is a write-up of my experience in leading the campaign.
Alongside a group of fellow student poets, I wrote, edited, and published a complete anthology, called '6:45pm'. This project was part of the Winchester Poetry Festival and was organised by Hampshire Young Wordsmiths. I was part of the editorial team which curated and edited the poems to publish in our book. The anthology was sold in person and on Amazon, at https://www.amazon.in/6-45pm-2018-Poems-Hampshire-Wordsmiths/dp/099553764X.