Un-Leaving India

So it’s official:  I am moving to Mumbai.   The visa has arrived, the medical clearance has cleared, the cat has a new home, and all that’s left to do is get an airline ticket and start packing.

(image from Meter Down, a friend’s award-winning blog of interviews with Mumbai taxi drivers:

http://meterdown.wordpress.com/about/ )


When are you leaving?

The first week of October 2010 if all goes smoothly (fingers crossed).

For how long?

9 months, or possibly longer.


To work on a new project for which I’ve received a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award.

What does that mean?

The Fulbright pays for my travel and living expenses for 9 months.  I’ll be based in Mumbai, affiliated with the English Department at the University of Mumbai-Kalina, and traveling to Gujarat and Rajasthan as well as other places.  This is a real gift of writing and research time, and I feel very lucky!

You must be excited!

That’s not a question. 🙂

Oh, ok. Are you excited?

Excited, scared, excited, scared, scared, excited …

Where will you live?

I’ll look at apartments when I get to Mumbai.  Ideally I’d like a place with a beach view, 1 or 2 bedrooms, at least one room with air-conditioning, and reasonably quiet since I’ll be writing there. If you have any leads, please get in touch!

What kind of writing will you be doing?

Forays into fiction. We’ll see where it leads. I do have a specific project in mind, and I’ll probably feel like chatting more about it once I get into the work.

Will you be teaching?

Not formally, but I will continue to work with selected coaching clients.  Click here for coaching info.

Can I see you before you leave?

Yes!  I’d love to see you. Please come to the INDIVISIBLE reading at 3pm Saturday, September 25, at the Oakland Public Library. There will be an afterparty and a chance to hang out; please check back at the same link for details.

Will you be blogging about your travels?

Yes, I hope to post here regularly.  Or at least, as irregularly as I have been.

Do you have family in India?

Not much; they left! (Thus the book.)  But yes, I will be in touch with some remaining relatives, as well as family friends and new friends/folks I met on the book tour last year.

How did you get a Fulbright? Can I get a Fulbright?

I applied! If you’re a US citizen, you can apply for the kind that I got, too.  Fulbright awards are given to almost every country, in almost every field of endeavor.  It’s probably easier than you think. If you’re a student, start here.  If you’re a working artist, professional, or faculty member, you’re a “scholar” in Fulbright terms; start here.

If you live outside the US, you might be eligible for a Fulbright to come to the US temporarily. Students, start here.  Faculty, professionals, working artists, start here.  If you could teach a foreign language to students in the United States, start here.

The main thing is to have a cohesive project for either research or teaching (or both), and to start early with your letters of recommendation.

Can you bring me a baby elephant when you come back?

Certainly.  Please provide your shipping address, credit card number, and preferred gender.


6 thoughts on “Un-Leaving India

  1. Minal, I am so behind in learning your exciting news – congratulations! great job snagging a Fulbright…..and i know you’ll make the most of it….many best wishes to you! and may you quickly find apartment of your dreams (the good kind)…when will you be accepting visitors? 🙂

  2. Hi Minal,

    I haven’t see you in ages — and now I’m sure I won’t for some time longer. But your Fulbright adventure sounds wonderful and I wanted to wish you happy travels.

  3. Female baby elephant, please! Just kidding. I can’t even handle a cat.

    I’m so excited for you and so pleased that you will have so much space and time to write.

    And thanks for the wonderful Fulbright resource links. You rock.

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