Originally published on Motherland in November 2013. Co-authored with Janice Pariat.

On an evening like many others, we are at my aunt’s home for dinner with the family. It’s a large house in an increasingly wealthy neighbourhood in Shillong, the hill-station capital of Meghalaya. The living room is a shrine to upper-middle-class aspirations. Wood-panelled and warmed by a fire, it’s fitted with plush, upholstered sofas, a Raj-era upright piano from H. Hobbs & Co., souvenirs from trips abroad, as well as bric-a-brac bought from various stalls at the International Shillong Trade Fair that comes to town every year. Read more