Debotri Dhar

On forgiveness, and a flower

“You are a prisoner in a concentration camp. A dying Nazi soldier asks for your forgiveness. What would you do?”...

The hardest journeys

This summer brings me the delightful opportunity to host a literary event for book-lovers in Ann Arbor featuring local, national...

When home is a song

In Questions of Travel, Elizabeth Bishop asks: “Continent, city, country, society, the choice is never wide and never free/and here...

The importance of resilience

“Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving. Ours is not a caravan of despair.” It was surreal...

Difficult pleasures: Art, ideology, essay

Much has been written this month about well-crafted novels and poetry collections, from the past year’s literary bounties, but there...

Susheela’s Garden

As the New Year approaches, and with it new hopes and resolutions, magazines and websites are brimming with “how-to” articles...

The fairy doors of Ann Arbor

The fairy doors of Ann Arbor

The books in your library will tell you that these miniature doors found all over Ann Arbor in Michigan are...

The writer as a hummingbird

“There is nothing to writing,” said Ernest Hemingway. “All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Rowing...

The politics of love and marriage

The politics of love and marriage

Some time ago, on a subway ride in New York, I met a newly married interracial couple. He was white,...

An Indian Summer

An intriguing aspect of the Non-Resident Indian experience is a holiday reversal of sorts. While privileged Indians head to the...

Travel diaries: Of pickled identities

Travel diaries: Of pickled identities

Yesterday, an Indian-American couple seated beside me at the airport in Amsterdam was having an intriguing argument. His mother’s lemon...

In Memoriam: Portrait of a Woman

In Memoriam: Portrait of a Woman

A dash of red lipstick, a dab of Chanel No. 5, some Johnny Walker Red—and she was ready to take...

Anklets, airports  and identity

Anklets, airports and identity

This time in India, my sister gifted me a pretty pair of payals. These payals, or traditional anklets, are a...

Women and transnational politics of bromance

Women and transnational politics of bromance

Earlier this month, America’s satirical newspaper, The Onion published an article with an entirely naked picture of Hillary Clinton. “Hillary...

Women’s education and a love story

Women’s education and a love story

My grandmother, whom we call Didi, has one lingering sorrow: she got married at eighteen and could not go to...

Michigan diaries: Songs of the snow

Michigan diaries: Songs of the snow

“I am younger each year at the first snow. When I see it, suddenly, in the air, all white and...

Dear Sir, I’m a woman, now may I speak?

Dear Sir, I’m a woman, now may I speak?

Earlier this month, the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan hosted my talk on women and the...

The Politician  and the Pope

The Politician and the Pope

She was the choice for many, until he came along. We’re talking about Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Senator with the...

Delhi Diaries: Anatomy of a Holiday

Delhi Diaries: Anatomy of a Holiday

This time it rained a lot. It had started raining the very day the dates for the India trip were...

Diaspora literature is changing

During the Kolkata launch of my new book, the knowledgeable Nirmal Kanti Bhattacharjee (ex-director of the National Book Trust) posed...

Diaspora literature is changing

During the Kolkata launch of my new book, the knowledgeable Nirmal Kanti Bhattacharjee (ex-director of the National Book Trust) posed...

Confessions of a Storyteller

Confessions of a Storyteller

“Why fiction?” sternly asks an academic friend when I tell her about my new novel, causing a serious moment of...