Make gifts for people

A couple of things-

My play ‘Monkey Love’ will have a reading (a 30 minute excerpt) as part of Ingenue Theatre’s Short Plays: South Asia festival in the exotic land of Brooklyn.

As part of the promos, they asked for a brief thing about what inspires me to write. So I wrote this.

Sometimes I fancy myself an invisible anthropologist.

I was born in San Jose, CA, and moved to Chennai, India when I was nine. I lived in India till I was 20, and currently live in Los Angeles, but even today, I can’t quite figure out what ‘home’ is, exactly.

I grew up in India always feeling a bit like an alien- but an invisible one. I looked like everyone else for the first time in my life, but somehow I couldn’t relate to the people around me. I was a stranger on the inside, and no one could tell.

Here, of course, I’m a minority, but in one of the most diverse cities in the country, a place where most people come to, not leave from. I’m different, but in Los Angeles, that lets me blend in.

And so I observe. Whether in India, hiding behind the way I look, or in LA, just another out-of-towner among many. I’m an invisible anthropologist. Always one step removed.

And so, I write.

And here’s what I discovered a few days ago through my friend Chitra on Facebook, that I absolutely love. I love this. This is everything.

MAKE GIFTS FOR PEOPLE

A Nice Indian Boy in particular was a labour of love. I wanted to gift the play to my parents. I wrote with them in mind, and with the excitement and anticipation of sharing it with them. It is my gift to them, in the only way I can make one. Through this play I hoped to show them that I not only loved them, but that I respected them, and that I understood them- and understood myself. It’s the best thing I’ve ever written, and it’s a gift to the two people I love most.

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