Ravi Shankar discusses the origins of his recent Brevity essay “Electricity“:
Though born in Washington DC, the son of Indian immigrants, I always have had a particular affinity to India, which I still consider my spiritual and ancestral homeland. I try to return to see family every few years and these experiences were utterly transformative when I was a young boy, a sort of existential suspension of the person—an American, an athlete, and cool (whatever that meant)—I was trying desperately to become. In India, I could eat with my hands off banana leafs, bathe in rivers, and have my head shaved at temples.
I was simultaneously an insider and an outsider there, someone who looked like the teeming others who surrounded me, but knew little of the language and none of the cultural idioms or social mores, a fact that became more and more apparent to me as I…
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