Cover Photo: Photo collage of Lakshmi Shankar and Ella Fitzerald
Photographs by William P. Gottlieb/Library of Congress

Ellaji and Lakshmiji

If Lakshmiji’s voice was silk, then Ellaji’s was satin.

Heaven, I’m in heaven,

And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak,

And I seem to find the happiness I seek,

When we’re out together dancing, cheek to cheek.


Kavita Das writes about culture, race, feminism, and their intersections. Nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize, Kavita’s work has been published in Tin House, Longreads, The Atlantic, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Washington Post, Kenyon Review, NBC News Asian America, Guernica, Quartz, McSweeney’s, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. Her first book, Poignant Song: The Life and Music of Lakshmi Shankar (Harper Collins India) was published in June 2019. Kavita is also at work on a collection of personal essays. You can find her writing at and connect with her @kavitamix.