Monday, March 07, 2011

un-koothu

Despite an increasingly adversarial situation in one of my classes that's psychically depleting me, I managed to send off my proposal for a chapter on Mangai this evening. Yay, me.

Mangai expertly uses traditional, low culture forms like koothu to interrogate feminist issues including female infanticide and feticide. Or so I say, and because I was writing about it, I guess my mind had been working hard to process these cruelties and make sense/contain them. And so...

***
Last night, I dreamt that I led my three-year-old daughter  on to a public bus in Tamizh Nadu crowded with standing grownups and gave her instructions on where to sit (in the middle--it's the safest) and where to get off the bus (after two stops).
She said, "ok mama," but bumbled around like the three-year-old she is. The sort of happy, carefree bumbling around that--especially in the mornings when our deadlines are tight as a noose--can make me want to cry and/or laugh helplessly.
The bus conductor was very helpful, promising to help, but as I walked away from the bus, I realized that he was following me around chatting away. And then I realized I'd left my baby on a bus where she didn't know anybody.

Nothing happened. But the possibility of disaster, the sense of menace was huge. I couldn't fall back asleep even after I'd checked that both kids were in their beds. And not on buses.

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