Hello, and thanks for visiting my site.
I’m a journalist and audio producer. I report, write and make radio. My work has aired and published in numerous outlets, including NPR, PRI, KQED, Here & Now, The Atlantic, WIRED, Harper’s, The News York Times, Foreign Policy, and the podcasts 70 Million, Woven and The World in Words. I also appear on public radio programs and podcasts like PRI’s The World, Marketplace and The Takeaway to talk about my work and serve as an on-air correspondent.
My motivations lie in producing immersive, thought-provoking stories that illuminate the way the world works; challenge, validate, and expand peoples’ perspectives; inform policy; hold the powerful accountable; and empower communities. I am interested in collaborating on dynamic projects focused on achieving these results and more. I’ve been reporting and producing audio since 2007 and would like to move into a staff position, ideally to continue to do journalism, narrative non-fiction, and storytelling that bites.
These days, I most often report on religion, nationalism, diaspora and identity, and the power structures that enable and dismantle different narratives, particularly within the South Asian diaspora. And I’m attracted to avenues for stories that are offbeat, challenge assumptions, and link local and global consequences. From 2009 to 2011, I was based in Shizuoka, Japan, where I taught English on the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program and founded, produced and hosted Shizuoka Speaks, a podcast on racism, immigration and education in Japan. From 2013 to 2015, I was based in Lucknow, India, where I studied Urdu and reported on the world’s largest election, politics and social issues, primarily from Uttar Pradesh, an Indian state the size of Brazil. In 2016, after returning from freelancing in India, I was selected as an African Great Lakes reporting fellow with the International Women’s Media Foundation and reported on politics, press freedom and gender in Uganda. In 2017, I was honored to be named a “rising star” and a senior fellow with the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism.
Since then, I’ve continued to follow a longterm project in India and reported across the U.S. in states like Mississippi, Louisiana, New Jersey, Texas, and especially in California. My expertise in covering the South Asian diaspora leads me to work on special projects like this one with National Geographic; you can view my other work on the diaspora here.
My stories are used as educational materials in journalism, criminal justice and religious studies courses, and cited in books and research papers that discuss digital media in an international context, politics and economic growth, gendered violence and sexualized minorities. They’ve also broken ground for further reporting: my piece on accent bias in voice recognition technologies was picked up by Marketplace Tech and has inspired further reporting on the previously unexplored topic at other major news outlets. “Which version of Indian history do American school students learn?,” an audio documentary I reported about the fight within the South Asian diaspora in California to claim control of their history in American school textbooks, was a 2018 finalist for the Religion News Association’s annual awards for excellence in religion reporting. It was also a 2018 finalist for the South Asian Journalists Association’s outstanding enterprise reporting award. A story I reported in Mississippi about Indian migrants on skilled worker visas was a finalist in the same category at SAJA’s annual awards this year. An audio piece I produced for Studio 360 on a religious studies course and church celebration fusing Beyoncé and the Bible won in the radio and broadcast category at this year’s Religion News Association’s awards.
Over the years, I’ve also covered language politics, Hindu nationalism, a woman’s gun, the evolution of SantaCon, queer communities, an alleged state-sponsored murder of a “Facebook journalist,” sports betting, the sand mafia, vote polarization, bodybuilding, bail reform and caste. I’ve gone politicking with Uganda’s top female politician, spent a day with a lookalike of India’s prime minister, and immersed myself in the world of America’s longest-running Asian beauty pageant. I’ve also written about my friend Kim Wall.
My reporting and professional development has been generously supported by the Suruga International Institute in Japan, the Newswomen’s Club of New York, the International Women’s Media Foundation, the South Asian Journalists Association, the Asian American Journalists Association, the Religion News Association, the Association of Independents in Radio, the Fund for Investigative Journalism, the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, and Freelance Investigative Reporters & Editors. I regularly speak at conferences and in classrooms about writing for the ear, the particularities of covering South Asian politics and the diaspora, and working as a (female) freelance journalist.
I also write, host and produce Loitering: The Occasional, But Lovable, Traveling Minipod, named after the “Why Loiter” movement fighting for women’s right to safe space. Loitering’s current life form is as a newsletter podcast, which you can listen, read, learn about, and subscribe to here.
I’m currently based in Oakland, California, reporting and loitering in the places I grew up and beyond.