A Year in Writing (and Speaking/Reading) 2021

On the last day of November 2021- I guess it is a suitable time to chime in an annual ritual for my blog- the Year of Writing (and Reading) 2021.

This year started with an article on the Global Migrant Festival 2020 for The World of Apu (thanks to Ram and Anusha for numerous opportunities). Then, something significant happened that i moved back to Singapore for research during the pandemic which gives me many opportunities to write in terms of coursework assignments across 6 PhD level Human Geography modules (in total 40k words).

I wrote for the prestigious Russian-Qatari Platform – East East on Digital Emotionality (in a special issue on belonging) as a mode of belonging for the multigenerational migrant in the Khaleej. I participated in a panel discussion earlier in the year on a term I have conceptualized called as the ‘Desi Khaleeji’, a register for South Asian belonging in the Gulf, which I was critiqued and appreciated in equal measure (Shukran Jazeelan, Mira & Vani). I also got an opening to properly conceptualize the register in an essay, in a creative-critical book project on ‘Khaleeji-ness’ by Swalif Publishing House, from Abu Dhabi in September. Special thanks to the Swalif Collective Team for Aramex-ing me the hard copy to Singapore.

I wrote an Azaadi Day weekend short read for the Lokmaanya, a policy platform from Pune. I was also invited to contribute for a Foreign Policy Journal on a topic on ‘migrant space in Dubai as a site for diplomacy in the Khaleej’. Thank you very much Gauri for being so kind as always.

For the academic conference circuit, I spoke on the same weekend in late October for two conferences on Mobilities in Korea and an Indian Ocean History Workshop in Malaysia. The wonders of Zoom Conferencing where simultaneity is reality.

In November, I pitched in my two cents on bottom up ESG on a stakeholder consultation panel by a civil society organization in India. Thank you, Pradeep Sir for the invite.

I spent this year reading up on Human Geography and Gulf Studies, which is my research area. I also supported Migrant Worker Non-Profits in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore as an advisor in the interstitial voids of my schedule, which fill my heart as a migration scholar.


Too many new start-ups and initiatives around, that fail a dime a dozen as synergies are not mapped in the ecosystem, the focus is not on the pain points nor on grinding it out by boot strapping. Sabko Unicorn banna hain ? How about tinkerers and operators, optimizers, anyone?

Cleanse to Make Space.

Today morning, I did what is an audit of one’s life- on a periodic basis; the humble Facebook list clean up as a reminder that both people and places do not remain constant and that one must be remove cache for our social configurations to find space to flourish.
Allow for freshness to inhabit, as if it’s a new terrain for them and for us, an opportunity to pivot, and reinvent.
I am grateful for all the people who read and follow my posts.