October at Outspoken-ish

Festive complexities taking over!

It’s that time of the year.

The official beginning of the ending, that last quarter of another year, is here. 

October’s akin to a flag post for all that this encompasses, isn’t it? With Christmas and New Year beckoning, and Dussehra, Diwali, marking milestones on the desi calendar, there is something unmistakably festive about the month. 

Not even a pandemic can change the feeling that October brings, laced as it is with the heady fragrance of the devil’s tree the Delhi breeze embraces and that unmistakable spike in air pollution. The unparalleled celebratory spirit of Durga Puja that courses through Bengali expat communities in the U.S. (Second only to their existence as ripe breeding grounds for exclusionary politics).

Best of times, worst of times? 

Given the peculiar complexities of celebrating ethnic identity (perfect Outspoken-ish material, we think!), the October dispatch of our newsletter, titled The Color of Joy, is a reflection on festivals and their distinctly political overtones. 

T takes the lead this month, mapping these nuances, sharing personal life arcs spanning the Durga puja pandals of Calcutta and the “community engagement initiatives” of her present-day university life in California. Sifting nostalgia from deja vu, diving into the experience of minority reclamations and such, and above all navigating the twin peaks of identity and belonging, we’re thrilled to bring you this month’s Outspoken-ish.

The Color of Joy. 

In your inbox very soon.


T & P

(Durga Puja idol photo Tanuj Handa/Pixabay).

(T at Sindur Khela, Pujo 2021, Sacramento, California)

(Sindur Khela, Maddox Square, Calcutta, 2010; the last time T celebrated Durga Puja in Calcutta)