Published Articles

America's moral verdict on ending DACA • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on September 7, 2017
It's been more than five years since President Barack Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration policy, which confers a work permit and provides temporary relief from deportation...


A Mother Loses Her Child: Fact and Fiction Coalesce • India Currents  • Published on 3 September 2017
LUCKY BOY by Shanthi Sekaran. G.P. Putnam's Sons, an imprint of Penguin Random House, New York. 472 pages. Hardcover. $27.00 With Lucky Boy, Shanthi Sekaran performs a literary cantata that is as dazzling as it is soul-searing....

Cuts to Medicaid will be felt most by children • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on August 24, 2017
Despite the failure of Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the battle over health care is not quite over. If the majority in Congress are intent...


The RAISE Act, an immigration bill that drags us down • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on August 10, 2017
Immigration reform is on our lips, yet no coherent idea is taking hold of our tongues. So far, all of the bills proposed have an insurmountable flaw. This latest one »


Motherhood, Sequence and Success... • India Currents  • Published on 6 August 2017
Have you heard of the success sequence? Even if you haven't, you might have unwittingly been adhering to the sequence. It's a social rationalization theory given new life...

Meet Laura Gomez, an undocumented immigrant who overcame the odds to become a tech leader • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on July 27, 2017
I met Laura Gomez on June 29 in the basement of the Laundry Cafe in the Mission District. I was at an immigrant pop-up experience...

Is America hand-picking the best refugees? • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on July 13, 2017
From January to May this year, San Francisco County didn't see a single refugee arriving from war-torn countries to make a home among us. Neighboring San Mateo County had four ...

Memories of a Forbidden Love Story • India Currents  • Published on 10 July 2017
My aunt passed away recently. She was 88 years old. She was born at a time when India was gestating her freedom from British occupation and Pakistan was...

LGBT refugee recounts escape from Uganda • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on June 28, 2017
‘My name is Anita Nambasa, and I'm from Uganda,” she said, her voice strong and sure. “I was in detention for five months and two weeks.” And so, this remarkable »

EB-5 visas: More skin in the game? • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on June 15, 2017
The EB-5 program has been extended through Sept. 30, 2017, in the latest spending bill, with no changes. This is a foreign investment scheme that is tied to immigration, which »

Eating Spaghetti With Your Hands • India Currents  • Published on 3 June 2017
When Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, visited America in September 2016, he made a point of remarking that he believes in “integration” and not “assimilation.” “People shouldn't

San Francisco, what do we do about the Davis-Oliver Act? • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on May 31, 2017
With the House Judiciary Committee's approval of House of Representatives Bill 2431 last week, a full-scale anti-immigration agenda has been launched. The bill cracks down on sanctuary cities, and strengthens...

Border patrol agents aren't all cruel and heartless • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on May 17, 2017
‘Look, I told [my mother], I spent four years in college studying the border. I'm tired of reading about it. I want to be on the ground, out in the ....

How the barbed wire fences of Japanese internment camps were snipped • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on May 3, 2017
In “Storied Lives,” Gary Y. Okihiro's book on Japanese-American students and World War II, there is a fascinating story about Roy Nakata and his parents who, while incarcerated, were willing...

DARE TO SPEAK UP? • India Currents  • Published on 2 May 2017
A REPORT ON HATE CRIMES AND HATE SPEECH NOW On March 19, 2017, Shivani Aggarwal decided to make a Costco run to pick up supplies for her son's birthday

What '60 Minutes' didn't say about H-1B visas • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on April 19, 2017
CBS's "60 Minutes" program recently did a segment on how IT jobs are disappearing to other countries and how H-1B workers are displacing American IT workers - some of whom...

The Forgotten Tale of Shikhandi • India Currents  • Published on 15 April 2017
The stories that inhabit the Vedas and epics are “whispers of God” says Devdutt Pattanaik as he opens his book Jaya, a retelling of the Mahabharata. It's true.

What's quality got to do with it? On tech shortage, H-1Bs and Stephen Curry • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on April 5, 2017
“What you have to realize is that all talent isn't created equal. Top programmers and engineers are many times more productive than the average....

Is there really a tech worker shortage? • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on March 22, 2017
Here's what we know about H-1B visas: The tech industry postulates a shortage of qualified talent as the basis for the H-1B program....

H-1Bs-The Best and the Bright... • India Currents  • Published on 14 March 2017
What is this notion of the best and brightest? For one, it is the most conflicted banality of the moment. The term is generously used by liberal politicians...

H-1B visa: A policy of constrainment • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on March 8, 2017
Many immigrants have a story behind their longing for America, and most stories are about escape or opportunity. San Francisco resident Rishi Misra's story is about awe and perhaps a »

H-1B visa: Gateway to outsource San Francisco jobs • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on February 22, 2017
In my last column, I wrote about the H-1B visa system and its many issues, one of which is the lottery scheme to approve petitions....

Keep jobs in America by increasing the H-1B quota • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on February 8, 2017
One of the most arresting stories I've read about H-1B woes is that of Nikhil Aitharaju on FWD.us. Aitharaju came to the United States in 2010 to pursue a master's....

Go Back to Your Country! • India Currents  • Published on February 3, 2017
Lunchtime at the intersection of Third and Geary in downtown San Francisco is a concerto of movement. Cars, pedestrians, bicyclists, strollers, bags, carts, pets perform a score....

Silently marching in place • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on January 25, 2017
I experienced “Hidden Figures.” I watched the movie at a theater where the audience cheered every time a color or gender barrier was exposed and torn asunder....

Five verbs to get us through 2017 • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on January 11, 2017
I'm not a big believer in resolutions. Mostly, they've been a January obsession to be forgotten by the time March rolls around. Instead of resolutions, here are five verbs....

What a Pew poll says about our views on undocumented immigrants • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on December 28, 2016
A Pew Research Center national poll, conducted in August 2016 among 2,010 adults, revealed that 76 percent of Americans believe undocumented immigrants are “as hard-working and honest as U.S. citizens,”...

A Fake White World • India Currents  • Published on December 17, 2016
On November 9th, I was overwhelmed with despair, and I know I was not alone. Social media reflected the weight of our collective grief....

The cost of Deferred Action and cost of ending Deferred Action • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on December 14, 2016
Diana Wong, a 27-year-old San Francisco resident, came to America with her family when she was 5 years old and has lived here ever since. Wong's parents were originally from...

Modeled on Japanese internment, Muslim registry opens old wounds • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on November 30, 2016
Recently, I read Bay Area-born writer Julie Otsuko's exquisitely framed novel, “The Buddha in the Attic,” about Japanese “picture brides,” in a single sitting. (It's all of 144 pages.)...

Stories of Refugees, Part IV: Out of Syria • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on November 16, 2016
Mohanad Hussein, his young wife, Hadeel, and their toddler Nusreen arrived in San Francisco 22 days before I met them. “She is 18 months and two days,” Hadeel said smiling...

Stories of Refugees, Part III: Out of Syria • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on November 2, 2016
‘My mother is a very good cook,” 18-year-old Basima said, her smile illuminating her face as she exchanged an affectionate glance with her mother. ...

Stories of Refugees, Part II: Out of Burma • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on  October 19, 2016
The Burma-Karen conflict, one of the longest running civil wars in the world, started in 1949, soon after Burma gained independence from the British. The Karen people have been fighting...

Are You One of Those? • India Currents  • Published on October 14, 2016
We are republishing the editorial written by Jaya Padmanabhan in March of 2015. This piece won First Prize for editorial writing in the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club's annual awards luncheon held on October 1st, 2016. Congratulations, Jaya! Late one snowy evening, three girls and three boys were ...

Stories of Refugees, Part I: Out of Iraq • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on  October 5, 2016
In the next few fortnights, this column will focus on stories of refugees who have resettled in and around San Francisco.

Green card holders: Become citizens and vote • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on  September 21, 2016
The Portsmouth Square Club House, near Chinatown, was packed with Chinese immigrants who chanted phrases to memorize for their upcoming citizenship test: How many states are there?

Where's your pen, Gov. Brown? • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on  September 7, 2016
On Aug. 22, one of those deceptively cold San Francisco mornings, a group of people gathered outside 630 Sansome St. (the offices of the Department of Homeland Security) to protest...

Written in parenthesis • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on  August 24, 2016
Late in July, I watched a disturbing and wrenching play called “The Box” at the Z Space auditorium in the Mission. The play was written by Sarah Shourd...

Leaving family on the other side of the border • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on  August 10, 2016
A reader in San Francisco recently commented on how ironic it is that when parents leave their children behind in the care of family members ...

It's Not You, It's Me • Editorial, India Currents  • Published on August 2, 2016
“Bullshit is everywhere. There is very little that you will encounter in life that has not been, in some ways, infused with bullshit.” Those words formed the opening of Jon Stewart's Daily Show exit monologue. As breakup speeches go, Stewart's was delightfully wry and provocative. In his ...

Why aren't more applying for deportation exemption? • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on  July 27, 2016
The Supreme Court's nondecision in June, which effectively blocked President Barack Obama's immigration reform plan, is, as the president put it, “heartbreaking.” The plan was designed to keep families together.

America's culture of acceptance and our color crisis • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on  July13, 2016
New citizens of the United States of America are sworn in during a ceremony at the San Mateo library in June

Being the Best • Editorial, India Currents  • Published on July 2, 2016
I have lately been reading passages from Marcus Aurelius' book The Meditations. I have a third hand copy of this classic written by the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus who recorded, judged and analyzed his own motivations over the course of twenty years. It is a self-examination that was most ...

The Audacity of My Secularism • Editorial, India Currents • Published on  June 2, 2016
At a dinner recently, the conversation drifted to the politics of religion in India. A friend, who relocated to India about a decade ago, scoffed at the idea of secularism. He called it “appeasement politics,” a political creed that has resulted in the marginalization of the majority in India. Furthermore ...

Crime and Punishment: The Eddy Zheng story • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on  June 1, 2016
‘A good act does not wash out the bad, nor a bad act the good. Each should have its own reward,” said George R. R. Martin in his book “A Clash of Kings.”

Sanctuary City: Welcome victims of crime • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on  May 18, 2016
On KQED's “Forum” program on May 9, hosted by Michael Krasny, San Francisco's sanctuary city ordinance was put on the defensive. Supervisor John Avalos and San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra

An Infinite Series of Beautiful Patterns • Editorial, India Currents • Published on  May 5, 2016
Without analytical bearing, poetry is a mere collection of words set to meter. Without recognizing the exquisite skill it takes and the knowledge it exposes, math is a mere tedious process of proofs and calculations.

Why should we care about refugees? • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on  May 4, 2016
Common humanity. What a powerful phrase. And how it resonates. The refugee crisis is a problem that requires a collective as well as an individual consciousness.

Undocumented unaccompanied children face deportation court hearings • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on  April 20, 2016
What we need to figure out is how best, how expeditiously and how fairly can we repatriate or integrate undocumented unaccompanied children.

Should we be willing to speak more languages? • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on  April 6, 2016
Donald Trump recently said we have a country where to assimilate, we speak English. He wasn't wrong, as much as he wasn't right.

Get the Spelling of Gandhi Right, Please! • Editorial, India Currents • Published on  April 2, 2016
But, standing there in a dimly lit museum passageway in Berlin, peering at the English massacre of Gandhi's name, it seemed more than a sloppy error.

Border walls cause more human suffering • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on March 23, 2016
Haven't we seen from European history what walls do and how they divide us as people of one world?

Skilled visa holders insecure about life in the US • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on March 9, 2016
You can build your life where you choose to. The question is, and always will be this: Where do you think you belong? Where's home?”

It's the Race Card, People! • Editorial, India Currents • Published on  March 1, 2016
When Meryl Streep announced that after all, we're all from Africa, in response to the lack of color in the Oscar nominating panel, she was being completely accurate, but not entirely truthful. When it comes to questions of race, the best strategy often is to quibble, split hairs or...

Fear prevents green card holders from becoming citizens • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on February 24, 2016
The notion of a country inviting immigrants to become citizens is a riveting one. It's the idea of acceptance and inclusion.

Escape from battery • The San Francisco Examiner • Published on February 9, 2016
How often have we heard about our immigration system being broken? President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz and John Boehner have said it recently, and they're not the only ones. It's become a tired part of political speak.

Do You Believe in Ghosts? • Editorial, India Currents • Published on February 1, 2016
Last summer I encountered a ghost. It happened simply, unsuspectingly. Perhaps the stage had already been set. I had been invited to stay for a month at an artists' residency in a French town called Marnay-sur-Seine. The setting was a 17th century priory next door to a 12th century church ...

Yours, Hopefully • Editorial, India Currents • Published on January 6, 2016
Happy 2016! It seems to me that of all things we carry with us towards another year, nothing is more invigorating than the belief that life will be brighter on the other side of the New Year's Eve clock. And as soon as the small hand inches its way ...

Tackling ISIS: Use Social Media! • Editorial, India Currents • Published on December 1, 2015
Dealing with ISIS and lessons from history

The Biggest ISIS Threat is to Muslims Worldwide • Editorial, India Currents • Published on November 17, 2015
Mourning the lives lost

Modi's Invisible Suit • Editorial, India Currents • Published on November 3, 2015
He came to Santa Clara like an Indian messiah, rose up on stage, folded his hands in humble supplication, then stood straight and tall as he let his voice ring out exhorting the jubilant, worshipful crowd to repeat phrases after him at the SAP center on a hot, packed September ...

The Big, Fat Indian American Stereotype • Editorial, India Currents • Published on October 1, 2015
Can only Indian American writers plumb the depths of the Indian American psyche?

It's a Dog's Life • Editorial, India Currents • Published on September 3, 2015
We name animals, ascribe human like qualities to them and scarcely mask the outrage when they are relegated to animal status, hunted or mistreated.

To Kill a Finch • Editorial, India Currents  • Published on August 2, 2015
On the way our biases determine how we process information

Why a Software Engineer Becam... • Editorial, India Currents  • Published on July 7, 2015
My name is Jaya Padmanabhan. Twenty-four out of every million people may know who I am on this planet. (That number is based on the factoid that there...

Are You One of Those? • Editorial, India Currents • Published on  March 2, 2015
This situation gave rise to many questions in my mind. How do young men and women experience gender? How much has changed since the advent of women's rights? How should we navigate the complex currents of other, them and those, words of distance and disregard?

Freedom to Walk Away • Editorial, India Currents • Published on  February 1, 2015
So, it's really not about eastern sensitivities or western liberalism. It is about how, as a global society, we know how to self-correct, without resorting to violence. It's about having the confidence to walk away from the bullies on our playground.

When Do You Stop Parenting? • Editorial, India Currents • Published on  December 2, 2014
It took that moment of consideration in my daughter's response to underscore my own resistance to their liberation.

Little Known Laureate • Editorial, India Currents • Published on  November 2, 2014
It is people like Kailash Satyarthi, however, those silent strivers who are empowered by their own passion and persist in the face of staggering odds that too often remain a forgotten footnote in the human struggle for justice and fairness.

Who Am I? • Editorial, India Currents • Published on  October 2, 2014
As we individualize our group memberships, are we, in fact, disapproving of those excluded? 

Wave of Sadness • Editorial, India Currents • Published on September 2, 2014
Robin Williams' death showed us, again, that we are all vulnerable.

The Heart of India • Editorial, India Currents • Published on August 2, 2014
It is not the conditions of India that define the country. It is its people.

Teachers - The Best Of Us? • Editorial, India Currents • Published on July 2, 2014
Lee Iacocca once said: “In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something less.”  If teacher tenure is struck off the list, we are increasing the likelihood of a shrinking pool of talented educators.

How Jay-Z Trumped Modi • Editorial, India Currents • Published on June 3, 2014
Television news arbiters have extrapolated that an  “in-depth” discussion of a kick aimed at Jay-Z's nether parts is so much more relevant than the coverage of the “world's biggest” peaceful democratic exercise. It's time to change that channel, America!

Bock's Analysis • Editorial, India Currents • Published on May 2, 2014
The barrier to success in creative disciplines is much higher and it may be that that's what Bock is getting at.

Are Anti-Tech Protests in San... • Editorial, India Currents • Published on April 15, 2014
No, the protests are not justified San Francisco, long known as a liberal bastion that embraces people and cultures from around the world, has unfortunately had trouble accepting the

Passion and Paranoia • Editorial, India Currents • Published on April 2, 2014
How do you write?

Freedom Subtracted • Editorial, India Currents • Published on March 3, 2014
Freedom should not be a commodity that is easily subtracted from the equation when the economics don't add up.

A Fly in the Government Ointment • Editorial • Published on February 2, 2014

Auntie, Have I Met You Before? • Commentary • Published on December 10, 2013
Why is it necessary to address women older than you as auntie?

Nelson Mandela • Editorial, India Currents • Published on December 6, 2013
A man who belonged to the world (1918-2013)

My Recipe Book • Editorial, India Currents • Published on December 2, 2013
Story of a recipe book

Compromise: The Dirty Word in Marriage and Politics • Editorial, India Currents • Published on November 3, 2013
The truth about compromise is that it rarely works

I Am Beautiful, No Matter What They Say • Editorial, India Currents • Published on October 29, 2013

Her Red Lipstick • Editorial, India Currents • Published on September 2, 2013
Huma Abedin's red lipstick

Way Too Low • Editorial, India Currents • Published on August 5, 2013
How we deal with the common practice of mis-pronunciation

Reading Pleasures • India Currents • Published on August 4, 2013 0
AND THE MOUNTAINS ECHOED by Khalid Hosseini. Published by Riverhead Hardcover.  May 2013. $13.38. 416 pages. Hardcover and Kindle editions available. An emotionally complex story about the chain of...

The Risky Road
Jaya Padmanabhan, Vidya Pradhan • Cover story • Published on August 1, 2013
Small business challenges

Chicken Little Intervention • Editorial, India Currents • Published on July 1, 2013
U.S. intervention in Syria could complicate politics in the Middle-East

Trust with Limits • Editorial, India Currents • Published on May 2, 2013
How much should we trust our children to do the right thing?

Sandberged and Prototyped • Editorial, India Currents • Published on April 2, 2013
A letter to Sheryl Sandberg

Private Access, Public Domain • Editorial, India Currents • Published March 2013
Do Google and Facebook have the right to surreptitiously access our private lists?

The Shadows of Twelve Million • Editorial, India Currents • Published February 2013
A commentary on Immigration Reform

How Amma Got Mommied, Mommed, Mothered and Ammaed Again • Editorial, India Currents • Published December 2012
The names we give ourselves and what they mean to us
   
My Father and his Sixty Books • Editorial, India Currents • Published December 1, 2012
My father was known to be careful with money. Yet I recall his one thrilling, flamboyant gesture of extravagance. It was the time he walked into College Street

Sweet Are the Uses of Adversity • Editorial, India Currents • Published November 2012
Adversity is a great teacher

Under the Guise of Art • Editorial, India Currents • Published October 2012
About the video that was initially purported to cause American deaths in Libya

The Hero in Us • Editorial, India Currents • Published September 2012
Is there a pervasive stereotype associated with guns?

By Reason of Insanity • Editorial, India Currents • Published August 2012
Is James Holmes, the Colorado shooter, going to get away by reason of insanity?

The Niceness Index • Editorial, India Currents • Published July 2012
Is the niceness factor linked to the food we eat?

Unchecked • Editorial, India Currents • Published June 2012
Is Race and Ethnicity really an optional box to check when college admissions counselors are expected to manage the diversity of their classrooms?

Do You Work? • Editorial, India Currents • Published May 2012
An awkward question at best

Conscience Calls • Editorial, India Currents • Published April 2012
The Dharun Ravi case deconstructed

The Year of the People • India Currents • Cover story • Published on December 2, 2011
On October 17, 2011, at a Palo Alto residence, a few executives, industrialists and entrepreneurs-turned-volunteers met with Prashanth Bhushan, the lawyer/activist member of Team Anna. Bhushan, a slight figure with an air of intensity, sat in the middle of the room and was quiet for the first half hour ...

Publicly Private • India Currents • Feature • Published October 2011
Deciding on a public vs private school is like choosing between a Prius and a Porsche - a parent makes a tricky choice

Mustard Seeds • India Currents • Published September 8, 2011
Fire is like a Fibonacci sequence. It spirals into infinity, if left unchecked. It's a function of fate, a sequence of life. F(n) = F(n-1) + F(n-2)…

The American Dream? • India Currents • Cover story • Published September 2011
Four out of every 1,000 homes in California face foreclosure. Despite its status as a "model minority," the India American community has its share of victims in this housing crisis

Banning Books • India Currents • Cover story • Published June 2011
Books have been banned for a variety of reasons: politics, religion, ideology, and even prurience. Does it ever work?

The State of The World • India Currents • Feature • Published February 2011
Where is the leader who will step and deliver the right message for these troubled times?

Khan Academy • India Currents • Feature • Published January 2011
Driven by a passion for education, Salman Khan tackles inequalities in the education system

A Heavy Load • India Currents • Feature • Published December 2010
Diesel regulations and their effect on the South Asian trucking industry

Mango Tree • India Currents • Published October 18, 2010
I am like a mango tree!” Da exclaims. His arms spread wide and his fingers extend out. I look down for that familiar crooked jagged line at the...

Autumn Blues • India Currents • Cover story • Published August 2010
Indian seniors immigrating to the United States face the challenge of acculturation while dealing with issues of aging

Sign Before You Speak • India Currents • Feature • Published April 2010
Can babies learn sign language?

Play Time • India Currents • Feature • Published April 2010
Drama and Role-play help special needs kids with social skills

Par for the Mid-Life Course • India Currents • Feature • Published January 2010
Is golf the answer to your mid-life crisis?

Telling Your Tale • India Currents • Feature • Published September 2009
Sushmita Mazumdar revives the lost art of handmade books

Nerkle, Nerd and a Seersucker Too • India Currents • Feature • Published August 2009
Does Indian = Nerd?

Put Your Heart into It • India Currents • Published March 1, 2009
“Mr. Mahal, you've just had a heart attack.” Manmohan S. Mahal was just 34 years old when he heard those dire words....

Neyyappams • India Currents • Published September 8, 2008
"Sankar, wake up, wake up.” The boy woke up blearily and stared at the face of his oldest brother, Kannan. “You have to go and tell Father that....




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