First Comes Marriage is an important memoir for deconstructing and demystifying one Muslim community’s traditions around marriage, love, and sex, all of which are important services in our current Islamophobic political climate.
“It’s been almost a year since my ‘coming out’ as a survivor of rape and sexual assault. The changes I’ve experienced have been remarkable.” For Wear Your Voice Mag, April 2017.
“The thunder and lightning crash so hard around my home it knocks paintings from the wall and tchotchkes to the floor. A wall of rain smashes down so thick I can’t see the road just metres from my front door, nor the community pool out back. I wait for the inevitable sound of sirens that follow these epic peals of skyscape fury — the majority of my town’s residents are elderly retirees; someone once had a heart attack from the noise. As the wind wails, altering the direction of the wall of water this way and that, I imagine this is what it feels like to be in a meteor storm in outer space, frightened and alone. I wait for the power to cut out as it would in Asia, but it never does. This is America, after all. And while I might have experienced ferocious typhoons in Thailand and savage monsoons in Sri Lanka, all those storms combined pale when compared to Florida’s minor tropical furies. I wonder if I’ll ever get used to these terrifying and magnificent displays of nature.” For Panorama: The Journal of Intelligent Travel, December 2016.
“Piyali Bhattacharya’s Good Girls Marry Doctors: South Asian Daughters on Obedience and Rebellion was the book I had been waiting to read my entire life. Finally, a book about us. A book that represents us. Us South Asian American sisters who straddled multiple worlds and did our best to find a balance that most of the time was always going to be just out of reach.” For Wear Your Voice Mag, October 2016.
“For as long as I can remember, I wanted to get married. A huge part of this desire was most certainly Disney movies and romantic comedies, where a dorky bookworm like me takes off her glasses, becomes beautiful, and weds the hunk everyone else covets. Another part was that getting married felt like an escape from my own dysfunctional family, where I’d be whisked far away and have a chance to build a new life with someone who actually loved and respected me.” For Wear Your Voice Mag, August 2016.