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, gender, and their intersections. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Kavita’s work has been published in WIRED, CNN, Teen Vogue, Catapult, Fast Company, Tin House, Longreads, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Review of Books, Kenyon Review, NBC News Asian America, Guernica, Electric Literature, Colorlines, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. Kavita’s second book Craft and Conscience: How to Write About Social Issues (Beacon Press, October 2022) is inspired by the Writing About Social Issues class she created and teaches. Her first book, Poignant Song: The Life and Music of Lakshmi Shankar, was published by Harper Collins India in 2019. She lives in New York with her husband, toddler, and hound. Find her on Twitter: @kavitamix and Instagram: @kavitadas.