Hi! Thanks for looking at my site. I’m a writer, as the subtitle says up there. I was born in Dallas, Texas and started out my life telling stories to anyone who was in my path. Usually they were lies — there was one about a ticket I got on my tricycle that, in hindsight, I’m thinking I was graded on a curve for and have been belaboring under a delusion of greatness all these years over, rather than a sense of realism. Now I think of it, much of the wild response I got from the crowd of adults I told it to likely had more to do with me being a child than the skill I deployed.

ANYWAY. I was encouraged, by such experiences. Later came the story of the time I went temporarily blind because I refused to wear the sunglasses my mom so dutifully purchased for me on a ski trip — truly the story of an ungrateful and spoiled child (many stories I once thought revealed the missteps of others I now see mostly hinge on my own shortcomings), which led somewhat indirectly to the story of when my family wound up in the home of total strangers who happened to be Indian immigrants at midnight in a strange city all to watch a cricket match.

My parents immigrated to Texas from India somewhat at the front of a wave. They were on the mobile track of middle class, educated, peripatetic, dreamy, with visions of sophistication and self actualization out of their reach. Our situation as dispatched aliens from another frame of reference than most of the people around us informed my narrative sensibilities. As well, the outside world did not account for the microconditions that defined our secret one, that made sense of our fates — from circumstances of caste, to shade of skin tone. I aim to explore these ideas in my work, which can be found on various sites and in the pages of various magazines: Atlantic.com, Vulture.com, the Village Voice (rip), Believer magazine, Rumpus, VICE, the New York Times, newyorker.com, TOPIC magazine, Vogue India, Marie Claire, and Real Simple are some of the places where I’ve been lucky to find a home. I’ve collected my favorites out of these pieces on this site. I think they begin to tell a story I’m longing to fully get out but never quite can and I guess will keep putting pen to paper to sort of exorcise out of myself!

Oh also, I hold a masters in journalism from Northwestern University. In a previous media incarnation, I helped create the Culture section at the Huffington Post, where I was a staff editor and then reporter for four years. In the course of writing I’ve had the opportunity to report in Ghana and Pakistan. This spring, I had the chance to tour the coasts of the U.S. with Pop Up Magazine for a piece on Indian weddings due out this August on Vulture.com. And I won first place in the 2015 national LA Press Club contest, in the category of best industry feature, for a story I did on the Simpsons character Apu — which also partly anchors the documentary The Problem with Apu. Phew. THANKS FOR READING! If you’d like to contact me for professional inquiries, I’m at mallika.padma.rao@gmail.com.

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