I’ve noticed that many of my favorite writers have been compiling year in review blog posts over the past couple of days, so I thought that I’d join in on the fun. Reading many of these posts, I was immediately struck by how many writers and journalists said that 2014 was the year that things just clicked for them and that they achieved all sorts of things that they hadn’t thought were possible on this day in 2013.
That was certainly the case for me. I had spent a good chunk of 2013 temping for one of Long Island’s largest temp agencies while also freelancing, blogging for free and wondering if I should look at other career options. And while the first quarter of 2014 was fairly miserable, things just seemed to click sometime in May. In no particular order, here are my favorite articles of 2014.
Anti-Rape Clothes Fail to Address Culture Behind India’s Crisis (NBC Asian America): Amna Nawaz and I looked at the recent trend among young Indian entrepreneurs of creating clothing and other accessories that, they say, will help women ward off rapists. “I applaud the ingenuity [of these inventors]. People should do what they need to do to feel safe,” Indian journalist Sonia Faleiro told me. “But a pair of jeans does not reflect the experience of 70 percent of the population.”
The Ballad of Yoko Ono, on Her 45th Wedding Anniversary (The Toast): This March would have marked John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s 45th wedding anniversary. The Associated Press’s coverage of the event was… interesting.
Will Downton Abbey’s Season 5 Feature an Indian Character? (NBC Asian America): It’s always satisfying when an idea that’s been floating around your head for months finally becomes a reality. As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of British period dramas – but like many fans of color I do sometimes struggle with the lack of minority characters. This frustration grew even more when I learned that the real residents of Highclere Castle (the home where the show is filmed) were dear friends with the son of an Indian maharaja. My only regret? That I discovered the story of the Maharani of Indore months later:
— Lakshmi Gandhi (@LakshmiGandhi) November 9, 2014
Richard Branson on leadership, selling yourself and what’s wrong with corporate culture (Metro): This, by far, is the most high-profile interview I’ve ever done. I talked to billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson about his new book and how to know if you have a good business idea. Best of all, the interview was conducted inside Branson’s limo.
Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job rut (Metro): On the other side of the spectrum, I loved working on this piece because I knew it was an issue that would connect with many people. Plenty of young (and not-so-young) employees know what it’s like to feel stuck at work and I hope that they find articles like this helpful.
What Do Jay Z and Shakespeare Have in Common? Swagger (NPR CodeSwitch): I majored in history in college and I feel so lucky that I had the chance to write so many pieces for CodeSwitch’s Word Watch series. Learning and then writing about how Shakespeare’s original definition of swagger remains virtually unchanged today was fascinating. Added bonus: I also had the chance to discuss this piece with Alicia Menendez and her co-hosts during a segment that aired on Fusion.
A Conversation With Ritesh Batra, Director of ‘The Lunchbox’ (The Aerogram): Ritesh Batra’s ‘The Lunchbox’ was one of the most powerful films I saw this year. I talked to the director about how he brought the story to life and about the pain of seeing it lose out on an Oscar nomination.
This blogger let her mom write her OkCupid profile (Metro): One of the coolest parts about writing articles for Metro’s dating/relationships section is that I get to discover the interesting ways in which people look for love. I chatted with L. Jean Schwartz about her Post-Modern Matchmaker project, in which she lets those closest to her edit her dating profile.
Breaking up in the social media age is more complicated than you’d think (Metro): When you write about dating, you also sign up for writing about breakups. In her latest project, artist Sarah Hallacher examines the many our digital accounts remember our exes long after a relationship ends.
New Series Sets Out to Challenge Stigma of Adoptee Experience (NBC Asian America): Despite the fact that there are thousands of Korean adoptees living in the United States and Europe, relatively little has been written about them. Filmmaker (and adoptee) Zeke Anders attempts to change that with his new series ‘American Seoul.’
Remembering Hollywood’s First Interracial Pairing (The Toast): I thoroughly enjoyed every second I spent working on this piece – probably because it involved watching dozens of Bill Robinson’s classic tap dance performances on YouTube. It was also great to delve into Shirley Temple and Bill Robinson’s unlikely (but lovely) friendship.
Thank you so much for reading my work this year. Best wishes for 2015.
Follow Lakshmi Gandhi on Twitter @LakshmiGandhi.