Staff Writer at The Huffington Post

"I'm a staff writer at the Huffington Post, where I investigate small stories that intrigue me, usually about people and art."

WHAT SHE DOES FOR LOVE: "I write on my own time, strum on the guitar (still learning), talk to my husband who is endlessly fascinating, try to make beautiful things happen with my hands: food, household items, the growth of plants immune to my black thumb."

HER 2015 GOAL: "I'm working on starting a network for Indian-Americans in the creative industry. It tends to happen that those of us who chose atypical paths don't have Indian friends -- we've sort of bowed out of ethnic tribalism -- but I think sometimes, especially professionally, those connections can be powerful."

A LADY SHE ADMIRES: "I admire my college friend Jen Percy, a fearless writer who goes to dangerous regions and comes back with luminous, scary prose. Also my mom, a former neurologist and all-around badass who I keep learning from even though she's gone."

Photo:  Damon Dahlen

NOMINATED BY: Rebecca Adams

WHY SHE'S A LADY GUN: "She's awesomely talented and a general badass. Exhibit A: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/06/beauty-tips-indian-women_n_4724357.html"


HER INITIAL REACTION TO HER LADY GUNS NOMINATION: "[I feel] like a million bucks. These women are smart, cool, and tough and now I get to hang in their virtual club with them."

ON CHALLENGES: "When I was in graduate school, my mom died. It was out of nowhere and devastating. As a result, I floundered in finding my way into the first steps of my career.

"I was lucky to have a solid support system -- my then boyfriend / now husband, my dad, brother, and a few incredible loved ones. They made me feel that it was okay to be a mess. They also helped me in material ways, letting me crash in their places, buying me dinner here and there while I tried to get my professional bearings.

"The best advice I got was from an old friend who lost her mom when we were kids. She told me that someday I would feel happy again. I held onto that promise and sort of plugged away with whatever I could get. Eventually, I started landing some offbeat freelance gigs. I was able to see a path forward. It took time and a lot of patience. Sometimes I still feel bad about just how much time...but that's the kind of thinking my family would tell me to stop!"

ON WHAT TO READ NOW: "Everyone who can read should use their skills on Molly Lambert's 2011 essay, In Which We Teach You How To Be A Woman In Any Boys Club. Its wisdom has been a touchstone for me. Biggest lesson of them all: Impressive women aren't threats, they're your sisters."

STORIES SHE'S PROUD OF: "Goodbye Marfa, Texas: an essay about the inevitable gentrification of the coolest outpost in Texas; and The Kids Are ALL-CAPS: part of a series I'm working on about the confluence of Internet culture, teens, and language."

Last winter, a group of us drove out to West Texas to see the land rise into mountains. It was one of the strangest trips of my life. An enormous, diabolical cloud followed us for days, obscuring pretty much everything in sight. Occasionally this shelf of cloud would part and we'd get a sudden glimpse of the beauty all around us. I'm from Texas originally and had never really seen anything beyond the cities. This was one of those trips that made the world seem big again. You don't have to go too far to feel transported. | Photo: Mallika Rao

Last winter, a group of us drove out to West Texas to see the land rise into mountains. It was one of the strangest trips of my life. An enormous, diabolical cloud followed us for days, obscuring pretty much everything in sight. Occasionally this shelf of cloud would part and we'd get a sudden glimpse of the beauty all around us. I'm from Texas originally and had never really seen anything beyond the cities. This was one of those trips that made the world seem big again. You don't have to go too far to feel transported. | Photo: Mallika Rao