What is no more mangoes?

I’m Pranay Somayajula, a fiction writer and essayist based in London, and no more mangoes is my blog/newsletter/wannabe magazine, where I’ll be posting short essays on migration, diaspora, and immigrant identity, as well as South Asian culture, history and politics, from a critical left perspective. (I might also post more general musings/observations/cultural criticism every now and again, if I feel so inclined!)

The name of this blog comes from my frustration with the much-ridiculed trend of “mango diaspora poetry”—typically written by angsty second-generation South Asian immigrant kids (such as, regrettably, myself circa 2018), this genre of writing has an obnoxious tendency to repeat the same tired tropes (mangoes, “my grandmother’s hands”, the arrivals concourse at Indira Gandhi International Airport, etc.) in its “exploration” of immigrant and South Asian identity, without any critical analysis to back it up. This genre typically centers a very specific narrative of “Desi” identity rooted in caste and class privilege, and rarely if ever confronts difficult questions about what diasporic identity really means.

Note: for a brilliant takedown of mango diaspora poetry, check out this essay by Urvi Kumbhat.

As someone who, once upon a time, was an avid consumer and occasional producer of such writing, and who has since come to recognize its major shortcomings, I’ve created this blog as a space for me to engage with these themes in my own writing, hopefully without dabbling in the most annoying tropes of diaspora literature. To that end, this is my solemn promise to you, my dear reader: if I ever do invoke mangoes, my grandmother’s hands, or the arrivals concourse at Indira Gandhi International Airport in any context other than a purely ironic/critical one, you have my unconditional permission to smite me down by any means that you wish.

(To be clear: mangoes are my favorite fruit by a long shot. I just don’t think they need to be a metaphor for every minor inconvenience you’ve ever suffered as a brown kid.)

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a blog about migration, diaspora, immigrant identity, and a little bit of everything else