A Letter From Mumbai, Where Everyday Questions Carry New Weight

For Muslims in India, Lockdowns May Unleash Something More Dangerous and Discriminatory Than a Virus

On local trains, I used to overhear phone conversations. Fights, flirtations, and often the question: Khana khaya? Did you eat?

Mentally, I’d roll my eyes. If someone asked me, my answers would be monosyllabic. Food wasn’t something I liked to talk about, and the everydayness of the question diminished it in my view. That is, until last week. I get it now. The superficial—What are you eating? Is that all?—masks the essential (I’m thinking of you). If friends ask me now, I answer in all earnest: Khichdi. Bread. Potatoes, yes, …