The unenviable phenomenon of being brown, over 30, and *gasp* unmarried.

By now, most of the world has binge watched the Netflix series Indian Matchmaking; a reality television style dating show which holds a mirror up to the South Asian marriage industry. For many Westerners this was their first real glimpse into the inner mechanics of the mystifying arranged marriage. It was equal parts fascinating and bizarre. Sure, they’d asked their Indian or Pakistani friends from childhood about it, but seeing it for oneself serialized on the telly is a whole other thing. How strange it must seem. Putting your…

A native New Yorker contemplates the city that now sleeps.

Grand Central Station- all but emptied out during peak hours. (From Author’s collection 2020).

If you are reading this in the near future, you might have heard stories of how bad the start of the decade was. The 2020s, were initially viewed with great excitement. There was unprecedented employment, cars were on the cusp of driving themselves, and party goers were eager to dress up like flappers a la The Great Gatsby for Halloween.

New York City too was in the throes of great change. Brooklyn was just about recolonized by condo developers and wealthy transplants who came seeking the tax abatement and cultural…

The War on Terror Turns 20 next year; far outliving many of its casualties. Will it ever end? Can it?

The remnants of an army, Jellalabad, 1879, by Elizabeth Thompson. It depicts William Brydon, assistant surgeon in the Bengal Army, arriving at the gates of Jalalabad in January 1842. The walls of Jalalabad loom over a desolate plain and riders from the garrison gallop from the gate to reach the solitary figure bringing the first word of the fate of the “Army of Afghanistan”.

The Global War on Terror, now approaching it’s twentieth year, has become the longest and, arguably, most fruitless military endeavor in modern American history. What began as a righteous crusade to bring rogue non-state actors to heel, has now become an enfeebled campaign spanning the entire globe and struggling to end with dignity.

The unpleasant truth we, as a nation, have to face is that what we’re doing in the GWOT no longer makes much sense. The presence we have…

Pollice Verso (1872), Jean-Leon Gérôme

The image above is known as Pollice Verso. Painted by French artist Jean-Léon Gérôme, you may have seen it before, or perhaps some version of it. It depicts a Murmillo, a type of gladiator favored during the Roman Imperial age, waiting to deliver a fatal blow. Above him, the crowd roils in a frenzy. The raw energy is palpable even through the canvas, or more accurately, our monitors.

One quirk that’s easy to see is that the onlookers have their hands balled into fists with their thumbs turned down; the eponymous gesture for which this artwork gets it name. Pollice…

One soldier’s reflections on his time in the service.

All the world ahead. Author and fellow cadets. West Point, NY, 2007. From the author’s collection.

As I write this, the clock winds down on my military career. I will have spent a little over 11 years in the United States Army. The sum total of my adult life. All of it, ending at midnight. These past few weeks I’ve been struggling to process what it means. I’ve run the gamut of emotions: guilt, relief, anxiety, happiness, and nostalgia. It’s also a lot to reconcile.

To give order to my thoughts, and this essay, I’ve tried to answer some of the most common questions people have asked…

by Hemanth Nalamothu

How do you answer this?

A recent conversation with a family member, who didn’t know that I use an “American” name, led to some self-reflection on names: the ones we use and the ones given to us. And what it all means.

I was on my way to a Super Bowl party this past weekend in Minneapolis. My cousin and his wife had driven up from Chicago to be around the festivities. We were desperately trying to get out of the cold; I was trying to call the host to get buzzed into the apartment building. Once the line connected, I quickly…

Hemanth Nalamothu

NYC based writer. Focused on topical issues in culture, defense, and politics. Please send all inquiries to

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