Open Mic Friday! featuring anna Saini

Welcome, gorgeous readers, to Open Mic Friday!

Today I am so excited to share the photography of anna Saini. I met her during VONA last summer, when we were both in the USF computer lab one afternoon trying to get words written before day’s end. anna traveled to India in February and March of this year, after waiting 15 years to return to her homeland.

Photos of India, anna Saini


The Amber Fort of Jaipur


The tailors daughters

At the palace ruins of Sikh raj Bhupinder Singh a baba ji does paart around the clock
A local family shows me their new calf
The Ropar Court House has no computer in sight
Bees pollinate the Chandigarh park called Shanti Kunj

Adorable children peek through the crevices of the crowd
Sunset at the mandir for Krishna in Jaipur built by the city’s wealthy benefactor
Mama Mudge hated me, Daughter Mudge didn’t trust me and Baby Mudge didn’t care for me
Women dance and perform the wedding Jago ceremony
A majority of the world’s gems are polished on the streets of Jaipur
India’s McDonald’s menu included a Chicken Maharaja Mac, Big Spicy Paneer Wrap and the McSpicy Paneer
Sculpture at Chandigarh’s rock garden, which is composed entirely of waste material including ceramics from old toilets and discarded bangles
The holy city of Pushkar where the only mandir for Brahma in the whole world resides. Brahma was banished from the heavens by his wife after getting “hypnotized” by another goddess. He lived in Pushkar until he was forgiven and allowed to return.
The palace of former Sikh ruler Bhupinder Singh
A street festival breaks out in the narrow streets of Ropar
In India, as in much of the world, street-food is so plentiful, cheap and delicious that it’s not necessary to cook at home
The sun sets on the Sikh Raj. This river and the gurudwara on it marks the end of the Sikh Raj as was negotiated by legendary Sikh ruler Ranjeet Singh. He met with the British at this point and negotiated a settlement where the Sikh kingdom would span from Lahore to Ropar without interference from the British.
The legend of the Taj Mahal says that after it was built the thousands of workers who constructed it had their hands cut off by the Moghul Emperor to ensure they would never build anything as beautiful again.
A multiple exposure that shows the variety of transportation options in India: Walking, oxen, three-wheeler, rickshaw, car, bike…



anna Saini

anna Saini has lived many lives as a political scientist, radical activist and multi-media artist based in Detroit and Toronto. She completed a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Toronto and an M.A. in Public Policy from McMaster University. She works as a community organizer on issues of equality in higher education, prison abolition, gender based violence and labor rights. She blogs at and Her writing appears in Bitch Magazine, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Two-Bit Magazine, VOCES and in the anthology Colored Girls. An interview with her appears in the book Feminism for Real. Find out more and receive updates at

Thank you so much, Anna!