Birthday Thoughts

This was the year that no matter how hard our hearts are beating against the crates we store them in, we stayed put.

This was the year I discovered what actually makes me tired.

This was the year I wholly vowed to fully and unconditionally love my body. I will forget again. Then I will learn again.

This was the year I spent more days in Rajasthan than anywhere else.

This was the year I learned that everything is advocacy.

This was the year I tore five of the ribbons that wrap through me because I was running too fast…


A Letter to My Grandmother About Anti-Blackness & Asians

Dearest Nani,

The stories we’ve been told about this country have left entire stories out.

Nothing is accidental about the violence against Black bodies that we have just now begun to take note of, nor about the fact that you ask, “but why do they have to destroy property in their anger?” It is not a new phenomenon to consider the destruction of private property and the ending of Black lives equally condemnable acts.

Not so long ago, there was no distinction between property and Black bodies themselves. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, 12 million humans were shipped across…


(CW: violence, abuse)

As families around the world are quarantining together to stop the spread of Coronavirus, it’s crucial to remember that home is not a safe space for many folks. Measures such as lockdown are challenging for all of us — and for those experiencing violence at home, they can literally be a matter of life or death.

Rates of domestic violence have skyrocketed around the world since the announcement of lockdowns in some locations. India reported double the usual number of domestic abuse cases in the first week of nationwide movement restrictions, according to the country’s National Commission…


A Conversation with Ben Zehr, Co-Founder of Kisano

This hydroponic basil grows at Kisano. Image courtesy Ben Zehr.

“As we move toward a future with a shifting climate, increasingly scarce water, and less arable land, agriculture has to evolve,” says Ben Zehr, decked out in his company t-shirt complete with miniature doodles of kale and collard greens. This 25-year-old grew up shuttling between the midwestern United States and the Indian state of Maharashtra, and is the co-founder of Kisano, a vertical farm that supplies organic produce to some of Mumbai’s most frequented restaurants. “India’s food system is fractured — due to a poorly managed supply chain, the equivalent of $9 billion of harvested food is wasted before it…


A Conversation On the Eve of World Mental Health Day

You can’t find a decent stock photo on the internet of men or masc-identifying people in a close, platonic friendship. Trust me; I know because I’ve tried repeatedly as we create materials for The BoyTalk Project, and I end up using the one above. Every. Single. Time.

Our society hardly has a vocabulary for what deep male friendships look like. When I say “girltalk,” you’ve got a pretty good (gross) idea of what I mean — we’re giggling at a sleepover, painting our nails, reading fashion magazines, and talking about boys. …


You’ll Be Amazed To Know That Not Only Women Do These Things

In the last two weeks, we’ve seen Good Morning America’s host Lara Spencer ridicule Prince George for his especial love of ballet among the other subjects he’s pursuing outside of school. We’ve seen the public criticize ISRO Chairperson Kailasavadivoo Sivan for crying when Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram Lander failed to touch down on the Moon’s surface.

Among all of this highly visible public discourse, I’m wondering what message we are sending to young men about what is and is not acceptable, and whether it’s the message we want to be sending as we strive toward a more gender equitable world.

The three…


How Toxic Masculine Narratives Contribute to Adolescent Boys’ Harmful Suppression of Emotion

In the last two weeks, we’ve seen Good Morning America’s host Lara Spencer ridicule Prince George for his especial love of ballet among the other subjects he’s pursuing outside of school. We’ve seen the public criticize ISRO Chairperson Kailasavadivoo Sivan for crying when Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram Lander failed to touch down on the Moon’s surface.

Among all of this highly visible public discourse, I’m wondering what message we are sending to young men about what is and is not acceptable, and whether it’s the message we want to be sending as we strive toward a more gender equitable world.

These three…


A Conversation with Parth Gala, Social Entrepreneur

IFLI leads a financial literacy in Vile Parle. Image courtesy Aangan Trust.

While I’ve written in the past about avenues to dive into the social impact space after undergrad, some young people are committed and enterprising enough to work in the social sector alongside pursuing their degrees. One such group of fearless leaders is the team of students from colleges across India who have launched the Indian Financial Literacy Initiative (IFLI).

I had the opportunity to speak with Parth Gala, the founder of the organization, about what he’s learned by launching an initiative dedicated to improving financial literacy around the country.

What gave you the idea to start IFLI?

“The story behind starting IFLI is a very personal one. While…


Image courtesy Howard Chang.

In my senior speech at the end of high school, I said that I would never have the words to articulate the change that Howard Chang made in my life, but when I saw Thrive Global’s weekly prompt about “a teacher who lifted you up and taught you lessons that you still use today,” I decided to take a crack at it, knowing that I can barely scratch the surface in describing his selflessness as an educator.

Howard Chang was one of the most revered — and feared — teachers at Flint Hill. He was revered because his epic classes…


Remarks During A Panel Hosted by Womenite

On January 24th, Womenite organized a virtual panel to discuss gender equality on National Girl Child Day in India. Below, please find the five questions asked and a selection of my responses.

Q1. Do you still witness instances of disgusting/disappointing reactions on the birth of a girl child?

Q2. How do stereotyped gender roles dictate gender inequality from childhood itself?

Ratna Gill

Sister; writer; singer. @Harvard ’16. Working on child rights with @Aangan_Trust.

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