Sujatha Bagal

Stories and essays on food, travel, culture.

Phelps, marijuana and the suddenly empty pedestal

My eight-year-old thinks Phelps is the coolest dude ever to walk the earth. With a devotion hitherto only accorded to cricket, soccer and football, he devoured the swim events at … Continue reading

February 22, 2009

Ajji (Grandmother)

By the time I was 30, I’d lost all four of my grandparents. I know my paternal grandparents as Avva and Thatha, but only by way of referring to them … Continue reading

December 11, 2008

Anatomy of a miscarriage

It hit me finally on the British Airways flight from London to Washington, D.C. Something was terribly wrong. I was six weeks pregnant and I was bleeding heavily. In the … Continue reading

August 22, 2006

The Streets of Philadelphia – Deccan Herald

This past 13th* marked 13 years since the day I arrived in the US – with two huge suitcases, one handbag and one really thick jacket my mom and I … Continue reading

October 10, 2005

Why are the first steps the most difficult?

I carried my son, cradled in my arms, out of the house and into the garage. I had his “diaper bag” (a backpack, really, because we were “cool parents” and … Continue reading

October 1, 2005


My memories of Pedda Chacha (a combination of Telugu and Hindi, literally meaning “big uncle”), my father’s oldest brother, range from extremely dim to non-existent. Even those dim recollections may … Continue reading

September 15, 2005

9/11 remembered

A generation ago, the question was, “Where were you when President Kennedy was shot?” For my generation, there are too many questions. Tragedies and calamities abound in our collective memories, … Continue reading

September 9, 2005