Other Outreach

LGBT Issues

Some notable publications in this category include my December 20, 2013 Op-Ed piece in The Washington PostCourt Ruling Ignores India’s Rich Heritage of Diversity, my July 1, 2013 Op-Ed piece in The New York TimesThe Court’s Global Message on DOMA, and my essay on growing up gay in India, which appeared in the June, 2013 issue of Granta Journal. I have also given interviews and written articles in the Indian media. Also, some more NYT op-eds can be found here.
I try to bring LGBT issues up as a natural part of my identity at school talks about myself (for example, the talk I gave at Park School, Baltimore, called “Six Cultures and Counting”). I conducted a workshop on LGBT issues for UMBC students (and those from area universities) as part of the Bmore Proud Leadership Summit at UMBC (Feb 18, 2012). Presented talk on LGBT issues for students from Indian/ third-world backgrounds to UMBC Counseling Center (May, 2012). I am a member of the UMBC Faculty/Staff LGBT group started in 2012.

Asian Studies

As an affiliate professor of UMBC’s Asian Studies program, I have presented talks on India at various venues (often related to my novels): Museum of Asian Art in Berlin (2006), Asia Society in New York City (2008), Smithsonian Institution in D.C. (2001, 2008), Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme in Paris (2009), India Studies program at University of Indiana, Bloomington, I.N. (2009, 2013), Global Perspectives program at University of Central Florida, Orlando (2011), Centre Pompidou in Paris (2011), among others.
I have written several short pieces on India. See, for example, The Silver Spring Laxmi (short story), The City: Mumbai (a reflection on Mumbai in The Daily Beast), and What Unites India?, an essay published in India Today Magazine to mark India’s 60th independence anniversary. Also, see my op-ed on nuclear terrorism in the Jan 12, 2014 issue of the Times of India, The Nuclear Nightmare and various NYT op-eds here. For a video interview of fellow Asian Studies professor Preminda Jacob on her book, “Celluloid Deities,” click here.

International Fiction Reading Group

This 2003 reading project, which I started with a grant from the PEN America Foundation, was for students at Montgomery College who were not native speakers in English.

Slow Food DC

I served on the board of this volunteer organization from January, 2010 through December, 2011. The goal of Slow Food is to support good, clean and fair food.