outh Asians are supposed to be smart.

We all know the stereotype-the overachieving, one-dimensional desi who is either a doctor or an engineer. And while there are worse things that could be associated with South Asians, the label doesn’t always leave much room for negotiation.

Until now, that is. That’s because young South Asian Americans around the country are challenging that stereotype. They’re achieving extraordinary things—things that extend beyond the classroom or the laboratory. And this month’s issue of Nirali makes sure you know about a few of them.

There’s Julie Titus, the model and entrepreneur hopeful from Kent, Washington, who appeared on this season’s America’s Next Top Model. There’s Sandeep Sood, Nimesh Patel and Sanjay Shah, three hilarious guys from California who have merged to bring us the side-splitting Badmash comic strip every week. There’s Lucky and Sarada Ravindra, two tennis-playing law school grads who launched their own line of comfortable couture. And that’s just the beginning. South Asians around the country and around the world are blazing paths not only in engineering or medicine but also in music, law, arts and more.

I think you’ll be inspired by these extraordinary individuals who aren’t afraid to step outside the stereotype, and I hope their stories will encourage you to do the same.

Ismat Sarah Mangla

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