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A journalist and brown immigrant woman’s take on life, work, identity and belonging.
Slowness and stillness

I have been one of those annoying over-achievers for as long as I can remember. During parent-teacher meetings at school, my friends avoided me like the plague to prevent their parents from finding out my near-perfect scores. And I would avoid taking time off from school even if a plague did hit me.

Once, when I was in the fifth grade, I underwent a minor dental surgery at the army hospital next to my school on the same day as my Math semester exam. The numbness in my mouth had not even worn off fully and I was back at…

Sweet homecoming

I recently decided to make the long trek back to India. It had been months and months of coping with the fallout of covid-19 as it ripped through New York. I had somehow managed to escape the virus, but I was overwhelmed by its emotional whiplash. I craved hugs, hot aloo paranthas, and the peaceful calm of being home.

Good things take time. Some 14 days and 15 hours, to be precise. I had to first survive the unpleasant, long haul air travel with my fellow countrymen. The pandemic managed to bring the world to a halt, but it failed…

My go-to shop on Des Veoux Road West, Hong Kong

I was days away from moving to New York when I watched the Amazon series adaptation of the popular New York Times ‘Modern Love’ column. The first episode ‘When Doorman is Your Main Man’ is an endearing account of a single woman’s unique friendship with the doorman of her Manhattan apartment.

My life in New York began with a similar love affair. The front desk manager at an unpretentious midtown hotel — my abode for a month — became my first confidant in a daunting, unfamiliar city. He was a soft-spoken Indian American man in his early 50s with streaks…

Image copyright: Arshiya Khullar

If someone gave me a dollar every time an online dating match claims I am the first journalist he’s spoken to in real life, I could end up becoming the first journalist to retire rich by 40. Something is fishy. The news industry is facing an existential crisis but journalists are everywhere. We can be found ranting in our echo chambers on Twitter during the day and happy hour bars at night. Almost all journalists I know are single; happily so until they get sick of attending weddings without a plus-one. …

Food has always been my favorite companion on anxious days. It was only after moving to New York I discovered its ability to cause anxiety.

Let’s start with bagels. I have consumed enough American pop culture while growing up to know what bagels mean to New Yorkers, but even if I was living under a rock, the devotion is evident within a few hours of strolling on the streets. …

Arshiya Khullar

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