Gupchup - About the Blog

Gupchup or Pani Puri is a popular street food in North India. It consists of a round, hollow puri, filled with a mixture of flavored water (pani), chutney, chili, chaat masala, potato, and chickpeas. A running joke in my family is on the origin of the word “Gupchup”; it meant “Gup se kha lo, chup ho jao” or eat quickly (“gup”) and quiet down (“chup”). Essentially, these bite-sized snacks would keep everyone satisfied until a full meal. It also reminds me of "gupshup" which a colloquial term for chit chat in Hindi, a perfect complement to gupchup!

On this blog, I share some tidbits---stories from the field and in academia. This is a way for me to keep track of my thoughts and progress as a PhD student. It is also an outlet for me during field visits, a chance to record impressions and not get overwhelmed by the data I collect. These bite-sized posts are meant to provoke and provide the reader a taste of my work---a light snack, if you will :). A warning - my writing may cover controversial topics and each sentence may come with multiple caveats and parentheses. It ranges from academic to personal and often refers to topics about which I am passionate (and therefore biased). Nevertheless, I hope you gain a measure of joy and hope from my ramblings and some insight into the contexts I explore!

Sidenote: I refer to anonymized women in my posts as Saima. I am generally referring to a Muslim Indian woman from the middle or lower strata of society. However, I might also use the name in my posts to refer to any woman of South-Asian origin, rich or poor, young or old, Indian or American. I simply wish to emphasize the diverse experiences of women, even though they may live and operate in, or have strong ties to the two-thirds world.

Saima, is me challenging and expanding your stereotype of a South-Asian woman.