Watching Emily in Paris brought back memories of many years ago — the city with its inescapable charm and romance never fails to cut an impression on even the most jaded of souls. For me, it was always a special city for two lovers who had once wanted to meet there after a lifetime — between two worlds of the East and the West, it was the quintessential stopover where they could put aside all dissenting voices. I was flying back to New York and wanted a break before being flung headlong into the world of Manhattan’s stopwatch routine. …


Growing up in an Indian Bengali family, being good at Math was given. Growing up in the 90s, I was braving a new world of open markets, international brands and cinema at multiplexes. But, some things had remained unequivocally the same. The women from my mother’s generation were expected to be perfect mothers and wives with Masters degrees in tow, which they were not to put to any commercial use. Earning money was heavily frowned upon and while some jobs were getting acceptable for women, like bankers and teachers, in my family, the women were expected to be good-looking and…


I think the willfully unimaginative see more monsters.” J.K. Rowling

Last night I lay thinking, my overactive imagination going back decades, memories suddenly dredged up by a film I saw. It had been fifteen years since I had left my city, ensconced in history, myth and folklore, a repository of a thousand fairy-tales and their insidious antecedents. But my years of being a New York writer, teacher, women’s rights activist and now research scholar hadn’t been able to erase the power of those images deeply embedded in my unconscious. The new Netflix supernatural flick, Bulbbul set in Bengal Presidency in…


Madrid (Source: Getty Images)

Sometimes the country that you are born into is not that defines you. Like many of my students, often studying and working your way into another country becomes a more enduring identity that the one you were born with. That is the way I had often felt about New York, the city that I spent twelve years growing up and learning some lessons in tough love. When I was 19, I had decided to be a journalist; not with the aim of conducting celebrity interviews but writing from war zones. But of course, I ended up writing about celebrities and…


I recently returned from Europe and one of the first things I felt relieved at coming back home to New York is the diverse array of faces around me, as I walked out of the air-conditioned confines of JFK. A teacher, writer, activist, journalist, fashionista, my myriad roles require morphing myself and my ideas of race, class, culture, religion all the time. …


The Foreign Tongue

The first question that my international students ask me on their first day of class is how to go about losing their foreign accents and adapting to a more American one. To this I often ask them as to why would they want to change something that signifies who they are. The accent, like their name, and often their looks, is an integral part of their identity which if lost, implies losing a part of themselves. …


A city beautiful in its indulgences, with an indolent manner of life reflected in its ebullient speech, Madrid was filled with sconces of 16th century houses, ancient churches and vintage stores; we stayed in a quaint apartment where the voices of happy passers-by reached up with a gusto unheard of in New York. People were full of enthusiasm at all odd hours of the day and night, with a lazy arrogance that brushed their pretty features. The streets were narrow and the cobblestones reminded me of the romance of a forgotten past. …


Why having a Woman President isn’t about breaking gender stereotypes

We often ask why a woman has to become a man to succeed in a world of men? The U.S. political debate has grabbed the headlines for the last few months, and it has been an eye-opener for a New York woman like me, who felt almost felt let down watching Hilary Clinton’s slow rise to power.

While I am happy and feel that we need a woman president leading America, representative of the free world, it is saddening to see that a woman is often not respected as a…

Malabi Deb

New York-based Journalist, Writer and Women's Rights Advocate, currently am researching Postcolonial Migrant Connectivities at Utrecht University, Netherlands.

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