Ananya Kumar-Banerjee is a Ethnicity, Race & Migration major at Yale University. Her work has appeared in Paper Darts, the Yale Literary Magazine, the Indiana Review Online, Autostraddle, and Teen Vogue, among others. An associate editor at Broad Recognition, Ananya has work forthcoming in PANK. In her off hours, you can find her drinking black coffee and listening to the radio. Someday, she hopes to acquire an alarm clock radio. She looks forward to that day.
[Warning: this piece contains spoilers] Megha Majumdar’s debut novel, A Burning, follows three intertwined lives in Kolkata: the protagonist Jivan, a young Muslim woman who lives in a slum; Lovely, a hijra (a third recognized gender in South Asia), who learns English from Jivan; and PT Sir, a teacher at Jivan’s girls’ school. The plot of the novel revolves around the police accusing Jivan of being involved a train bombing.
On an unsettlingly warm February night in New Haven, my friend Sohum invites me over for dinner. They had promised to make pasta with pesto, a comfort food for us both. And yet, when I arrive at their house, I am greeted by the toasted smell of browning butter: Sohum’s roommate has invited her own friend over, and the two of them are making aloo parathas.