...By Sarah Khan

Purposeless Ponderings from My Curly Head

Sarah Khan

Sarah Khan
New York City, New York,
December 31
Sarah Khan is an editor at Travel + Leisure magazine, and her writing has been published in The Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, Gotham, The New York Press, Fresh Yarn, The Metro, DailyCandy, and many other titles. Read more about her and by her at http://www.bysarahkhan.com. For her 140-character mini-me, follow her on Twitter: @bysarahkhan.


Sarah Khan's Links

MAY 22, 2012 9:14AM

Do We Amuse You?

In response to the recent Ashton Kutcher/Popchips/racist Indian ad controversy, I wrote this open letter to Pop Culture in the New York Times last week.

Dear Pop Culture,

I’m sorry, but do we amuse you?

We Indians, with our purportedly funny accents and bobbling heads, our
spicy food and pencha… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 8, 2012 9:13AM

Blame It on the Alcohol

This essay appeared in the Atlantic this week.

Blame It on the Alcohol: An Unintentional Bender in New Delhi

What happens when an abstainer, inspired by Islam and confirmed by palate, is accidentally served a daiquiri at a friend's wedding in India. 

After a quarter century of… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 11, 2012 9:08AM

Growing Up Is Hard to Do

This essay appeared in the Atlantic yesterday. Fittingly enough, today is my 31st birthday!

I approached my 30th birthday with the typical trepidation associated with the occasion: I lamented all I hadn't accomplished; I surveyed my face for crevices. Midnight was marked with friends and cupcakes.… Read full post »

DECEMBER 21, 2011 12:00PM

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town...NOT

This essay was on the front page of the Huffington Post on Tuesday. Happy holidays!

 Santa Claus Is Coming to Town...NOT

When I was a kid I, like millions of other children across America, ardently believed in Santa Claus.

The problem? That persnickety detail that I'm Muslim. Oh, and… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 30, 2011 9:14AM

My Own Private Bollywood

This essay ran in the Atlantic last week.


Bollywood at the Vatican
Having a Bollywood moment in the rain outside the Vatican

"So, your last name's Khan, huh?" a guy at work asked out of the blue one day. Though we'd always smiled and waved in the hallways, until… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 7, 2011 9:01AM

All-American Eid

This essay appeared in the New York Times today. Please note: Eid is the commonly used spelling, but Id is apparently NYT style.

 All American Id

When I think of Id, I think of doughnuts.

Some might expect more ethnic fare to be symbolic of this holy day—haleem, perhaps,… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 19, 2011 9:00AM

Ramadan Rumblings

A few years ago, I approached my desk after a morning meeting and was greeted by giant glossy color images of donuts, burgers, ice cream, and french fries plastered on the wall of my cubicle.

This was my then-boss's charming way of helping me ring in in… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 19, 2011 9:43AM

The Felons on the Bus Go Blah Blah Blah


I knew he was sketchy as soon I saw him clambering up the steps of the bus.

Slightly hunched over, the man slithered his way down the aisle, shifty eyes darting from seat to seat, pausing momentarily at my row to stare at the open spot across the way.… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 30, 2011 4:42PM

The Indian Thanksgiving

A naturalization test at an immigration office in Boston was the last hurdle standing between me and U.S. citizenship. But for me this journey had actually begun years before, on a rickety vessel you may have heard of—The Mayflower. Except in my adaptation, that leaky ship sailed… Read full post »

MAY 31, 2011 1:59PM

Spitting Distance in Jodhpur

This piece ran in the Wall Street Journal today.

  Me vs. Boy

There were countless other places where the boy could have spit.

The road we were on was certainly no stranger to all manner of human emissions. The walls and stoops nearby were already mired in… Read full post »

If I were ever to spiral down toward a life of crime, I'm pretty sure I'd be able to pinpoint the day it all began.

It was a nerd-eat-nerd world in Mr. Lane's third-grade class, and Sameer and I were at the top of… Read full post »

MAY 11, 2011 1:15PM

Curls Gone Wild


There remains a near-extinct species within the South Asian diaspora, one whose plight is rarely championed in the world forums of… wherever such plights are usually championed. Nary a petition, protest, or celebrity-heavy concert exists in its honor; social activists have long neg… Read full post »

MAY 6, 2011 8:01AM

Bottled-Up Resentment

Every species has its natural rival. Cats have mice. Wolves prey upon deer. Zebras are hunted by lions. Mailmen are weary of dogs.

Sarah Khan’s arch nemesis? The water bottle.

Possibly the result of a widespread conspiracy, water bottles strongly object to be opened by me. I twist, I turn, I gru… Read full post »

APRIL 26, 2011 4:29PM

When Coconuts Attack

My grandparents in India live on a tidy little estate called Palm Grove. It’s a whitewashed house with a red Spanish-style tiled roof, a marble courtyard with a swing, a pint-size pond and rose garden, and, of course, the soaring trees that give it its name. It was… Read full post »