July 9, 2019No Comments

Engineer-Turned-Filmmaker Nikita Hattangady Turned One Bad Day into Her Film Debut

Last month, I had the privilege of speaking with Nikita Hattangady after meeting her at the DFW South Asian Film Festival (SAFF) earlier in May. Hattangady, a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to everything related to engineering and filmmaking, is the writer and director of Falafel, a short film about a woman whose chance meeting with a man in a café changes her life. Situated at a wooden table right outside Mudsmith’s on a warm but breezy summer day, she and I discussed everything from the benefits of dabbling in multiple disciplines to Falafel’s British origin and how you can make even Dallas, Texas look like London.

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June 25, 2019No Comments

The Grand Re-Union: How a Physical Storefront Provides a Sense of Home

Oak Lawn has a new neighbor coming to town! At 3705 Cedar Springs Rd. now sits Union, a community-oriented coffeeshop that offers sweet Onyx beans and a mean Matcha Mint that'll give you a run for your money. I had the opportunity to sit down in this new space with Mike Baughman, who is the founding pastor and community curator who spearheaded the entire initiative, and we discussed his intentions with Union and the potential the newfound coffeeshop holds.

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June 12, 2019No Comments

What Do International Relations Have to Do with UX?

I really, really enjoy talking to people. So much so that I came up with a project that allowed me to converse with others about their careers and consume some of their time in exchange for a portrait taken by me. As soon as I found out that I was attending Strive, a user experience (UX) research conference based in Toronto, I knew I wanted to learn about research, design, and strategy through the process of interviewing other conference attendees.

Here is the first part of that series, in which I speak with Vivian C. about the relationship between public policy and UX, systems thinking, and the current challenges of designing for insurance. I hope you gain as much as I did from our conversation.

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May 15, 2019No Comments

Jitin Hingorani Looks Back on Five Years of South Asian Storytelling in DFW

Jitin Hingorani, a self-declared serial entrepreneur, began the Dallas-Fort Worth South Asian Film Festival (SAFF) five years ago after noticing a lack of South Asian storytelling in the Dallas media market. He's one of the people who made my interview with Vikas Khanna possible at the Dallas International Film Festival (DIFF), which is how he and I met. We reconnected nearly a month after DIFF to discuss his rise as a businessman and media mogul, SAFF's fifth anniversary, and why it's important to have a film festival centered around South Asians in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

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April 17, 2019No Comments

Michelin Chef Vikas Khanna’s “The Last Color” Paints the Town Pink

Many know Vikas Khanna as a Michelin star chef, a judge on MasterChef India, or for his work as a humanitarian. However, this well-known restaurateur is now making headlines with his directorial debut The Last Color, a powerful narrative about India's Supreme Court decision to overturn a law that prohibits widows from celebrating Holi. Drawing from his own life's experiences and driven by the need to tell honest stories, Khanna addresses misogyny, India's caste system, and the importance of advocacy in this touching film.

Jitin Hingorani, Khanna's PR manager for
The Last Color, invited me to join them on the eighth floor of the Canopy Hotel for a private reception. With the Dallas skyline as our backdrop, I asked Khanna about the similarities between the restaurant industry and the film industry, India's rich culture, and why The Last Color resonates with so many people.

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April 16, 2019No Comments

Alex Chi’s Return to Dallas Brings With Him a Glimpse of LA’s Koreatown

With the 2019 Dallas International Film Festival in full swing, I had the chance to sit down with Plano native Alex Chi to discuss his most recent film with Gook director Justin Chon. Chi produced Ms. Purple, a tender depiction of the reunion between two siblings at the height of their father's terminal illness. On a warm Sunday afternoon in the lobby of the Canopy Hotel, we discussed the film's heavy themes, the nuances of producing, and the importance of elevating Asian American stories.

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March 21, 20192 Comments

Has It Already Been Half a Year?

Disclaimer: this began as a "Tips and Tricks" type of post but soon became a dramatic chapter from my hypothetical autobiography. The informative post, which has to do with moving, settling in, finding your place, etc. is coming! Let's just pretend this is setting the scene for it.

A little more than six months ago—six months and eight days ago, actually—I loaded up the white Toyota Camry that my mom had graciously gifted me and left California, the place I had called home since immigrating to the states in 1999, indefinitely.

Let me backtrack: three months prior, Lexi and I had entertained the thought of moving to Dallas. This was a city I had no positive preconceived notions of purely because I had never once desired to live in the red, heavily armed state of Texas. Ever.

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