Thursday

Desi Drive

Desi Drive is a compilation of short stories based in Jackson Heights, NYC.  The stories are interlinked;  much like the lives of friends and neighbors.  Many of these have been published as standalones.  This book includes these, and also additional ones that tie into the various story lines of the people who live on Desi Drive, Jackson Heights, Queens, New York.  All the characters are completely fictitious, but what they do have in common with the real desis, is a certain pragmatism and humanity;  traits necessary to survive and thrive in foreign lands.


Nestled in the bustling borough of Queens, NY, is the enclave of Jackson Heights.  It is a hop and a bindi away from the glimmering firefly-skyline of Manhattan, just across the East River.  Most Manhattenites, if they are inclined to even think about it, may presume that the passing Indian (an obvious umbrella group for the “brown people”) must have taken the 7, E, F, M, or R train from Jackson Heights into Manhattan.  They would probably be correct, for Jackson Heights is indeed a ‘desi’ diaspora, synonymous with Indians/ Pakistanis/ Bangladeshis/ Sri Lankans, living in New York.  

Of-course ‘Desi Drive’ is really named Cromwell Crescent, but semantics are not particularly relevant to the mostly ‘desi’ families that reside here.  In fact it is not unheard of for the mailperson to find the occasional letter from abroad to “Khala’amma, Desi Drive, Jackson Heights, Queens, NY, United States of America, World.”  And that such a letter is actually delivered correctly, says as much about the mailperson, as it does about the mononymous Khala’amma.