Showing posts with label Culture as War. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Culture as War. Show all posts

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Okay, this is new...

RH, an old student I've kept in touch with via FB, sent this screenshot for reference and wrote to say he's been contracted to write for a game called Wildsea and that he based an NPC (non playing character) on me. 

To say I'm grateful to be remembered is an understatement. 🥰 And then I was very moved that my character is a teacher/mentor. 😭

It was only when I attached the screenshot here and looked at the name again that I realized that the character Dorma Laspra's name is a composite made of the beginning syllables of each of my two first and two last names. 

🥰 😭 🥰 😭 🥰 😭 🥰 😭

I'm kinda crying now, in case you couldn't tell. 

Monday, August 15, 2022

India at 75

After a few writers shared it on FB, I've been reading this WONDERFUL collection of 75 writers on India's 75th birthday from PEN all day and bugging my cousins to read it too.

Each piece is so beautiful in its own way and every piece is so poignantly regretful about the way the promise of India--a secular, multicultural, pluralistic democracy--is sliding out of grasp. 

The slide towards authoritarianism and religious fundamentalism in my country of birth (and my country of residence) makes me sad on a daily basis. I nearly cried when one of my cousins said that since everything is only about Hindu values now, we wouldn't have the friends--Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Parsi, communist, atheist, etc.--we'd had if we were growing up in India today. 

I tried to share something from the PEN anthology, but how could I pick just one? 

Saturday, August 13, 2022

rakhi talk

I felt overtaken by the news yesterday, but it was a good day for my little family. 

At came over and the four of us headed to the movies (for the first time since the pandemic?). We saw Nope (I'm still processing). 

Back home, we had a nice puja for Rakhi. Traditionally, sisters tie rakhis on their brothers' wrists, but we've been bypassing gender and species rules for years now, so At, Nu, Scout, and Huck all promise to love and protect each other. I wish my sister and I had done this for each other instead of bemoaning the fact that we didn't have brothers all those years ago. We always did the love and protection--we should have gotten the bracelets too.

Pic: Nu's bracelets at breakfast this morning (I forgot to take photos yesterday). 

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Sir Salman

Really unsettled today by the stabbing suffered by Salman Rushdie, whose brilliant and provocative work is the basis for whole disciplines. I and hosts of others made academic articles/positions/reputations based on his work. And he was always so amiable and cordial every time I met him. 

I'm not a fan of his later work, recent politics, or aspects of his personal life (I stopped buying his books when he supported Roman Polanski), but I cannot forget how breathtaking and eye-opening Midnight's Children was when I first read it or how poignant Haroun and the Sea of Stories was when it came out ... I remember thinking I didn't know you're allowed to do this with language... I didn't know you were allowed to write about this... 

I hope he makes a full recovery. 

Back in 2006, I copied this extract from an article in The Telegraph:

It has not escaped his attention that living under a fundamentalist threat was once a solo occupation for him. Now we all are.

"That's true," he says cheerfully. "And I think we all are in the end making the same choice that I made all those years ago which was, you just have to get on with your life. You know, in the end, that is all you can do."

Monday, August 08, 2022

adult-child

In my head At may be a baby/toddler/kid/young adult... but in actuality, he's 23; an adult. And  relationally speaking, also my child. Navigating being loving and supportive without being intrusive has been something I've been conscious of working on for a while now. 

Parenthood's most persistent fear has been about losing my kids (to disaster/ill health). So it was horrifying to read about another take on this loss in the pull quote on this article about parent-child estrangement in The Atlantic: "you can be a conscientious parent and your kid may still want nothing to do with you when they’re older." 

The article then goes on to say that there are usually reasons for parent-child estrangement even if it has to do with how the parent and the child see the past differently. 

Very yikes. A cautionary tale, I guess, but what can anyone do about the past anyway?

Pic: Eyde Woods; The Red Cedar River muddy post rain.

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

(Work in) Progress

I was blown away when I saw this de-construction of progress, and am pinning this for myself and everyone I know. I hope I remember to refer to it when Nu feels he's backsliding or At feels he's stagnating or students feel overwhelmed.

[It fits perfectly with how I'm hating on civilization and our definitions of progress right now because I'm rereading Karen Joy Fowler's We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves.]

Big A is in town, so we did a "Books and Burritos" night, going to the bookstore and swinging by At's branch of Chipotle. It's At's Boss Day, so we'd planned it around surprising him... he was more like taken aback. Later he texted: "Sorry I looked bad and was so stressed." That very nearly broke my heart. Their NLRB election date is 8/25; we're all crossing fingers and holding our breath...

Sunday, July 31, 2022

something else


I know I don't need this 
poem at the end of the day
go ahead, tell me, I'll listen

frown/yawn/warn at this 
sorry summary of the day 
go ahead, tell me, I'll listen

say I should forget all this 
as I look away... every day
go ahead, tell me, I'll listen

hush-shout me, for you have
a wounded song of your own
go ahead... tell me... I'll listen



Pic: Fiesta Monarca at Casa de Rosada. Nu and his friends are on sitting on the grass f a r a w a y from the dancers.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

"a rocket of heavenly delight"

Last night just as I was falling asleep, the phrase "a rocket of heavenly delight" popped into my head and in those few seconds, I was SO CERTAIN that I'd discovered SUCH A brilliant creative phrase. THE MOST.

When I woke up for the day, I wasn't sure what I'd meant by it or what I would use it for. I know it was some tongue-in-cheek riff off of The Garden of Earthly Delights, but I wasn't sure of the how, why, or what. 

Nu thinks that I maybe meant it as a paean to the Spain trip where we got to see the triptych at the Prado? 

Or maybe this is just what happens when 2 am becomes the time you fall asleep.

Anyway, like Kanye, Nu didn't graduate from outpatient care, he just decided he was finished. So we're home with exercises and things to monitor and follow up on. We started a new show Heartstopper, which I find adorable. Nu critically noted that the show--about two gay teenagers--is written by a woman, but he appears to be charmed nevertheless. 

Having a somewhat normal day and knowing that we don't have to report to outpatient in the morning is like being on a rocket of heavenly delight nice. (Ok, I'll stop trying to make "a rocket of heavenly delight" happen... I can see it's not going to happen.😏)


Friday, July 08, 2022

Make some noise (rattles, anklets, and whistles! O my)

More of Nu's kandi-craft... These little (they fit in the palm of my hand) star-shaped rattles make such a happy sound. The beads inside the rattle are heart-shaped. They're not visible, but it's very important to Nu that there are tiny hearts inside.

It reminded me a bit of the anklet in Silapadikaram The Story of an Anklet  and I was gratified that Nu remembered the plot-point about how there were rubies inside the heroine's anklet and only pearls in the queen's.  

We picked up Big A from the train station yesterday--horrifyingly for me and Nu who tend to be very diligent about masking--he hadn't worn a mask on the Amtrak, so we made him test at home. Also, WTH. I mean he seemed suitably chastened, but I thought we were on the same page about this.

And I got my Bluey car back! A couple I met on a shuttle in an airport parking lot a while ago told me about "Save A Deer" whistles, so I'm putting some on this weekend. Please stay away from me on the highway, deer!

Wednesday, July 06, 2022

starting over

Once in a while, I'll come across a piece of art--even something Nu has decided to throw away like this piece...

And I'll be overcome with hope for Nu, all of us, the world...

And I begin to dream again.

Tuesday, July 05, 2022

"a more perfect union"

Today At watched as the local Teamsters served management at his workplace papers indicating that At and his fellow workers had signed union cards; the National Labor Review Board will now conduct an election. He sent us a picture and said management was "pissed." 

It has been exciting to see the slow build to At's organizing--first it was just conversations with a fellow nerd, then more scripted check-ins with other colleagues, vetting different unions, trying to get a super majority of his colleagues on board--even roping me in to talk to an older south-asian colleague in our shared mother tongue.

When he first said he wanted to unionize his fast food place, I have to admit I thought it was a bit of a pipe dream and definitely did not think he and the other young people would make this much progress in under a year. Shows how much I don't know. Fingers crossed for their NLRB election. 

Pic: At made this button a while ago; now that things are public, he can finally wear it. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

We're Back!

Relaxed, grateful, dusty, tired, frizzy, checked out, appreciative, super-tan, and worldly. Feeling all those things on this first night back from our week in Spain. 

It was exactly half the family (Nu, Big A, me) on the trip, while At stayed home with Scout and Huck. We (OBVIOUSLY!) invited At too, but he was kind of busy with organizing. We joked that At is afraid of being seen as the Bougie (not Boogey) Man. 

Feels so good to have Scout and Huckie curled on my feet, Big A on the other sofa, and the human kids in their beds upstairs...

Tomorrow I will work on Nu's educational, health, and therapy care, drop At back to his apartment, get ready for Big A to start his new job in WI come July, and catch up with ALL the work stuff I put aside for a week. 

But... right now feels... so good. 

(I'll update the past week from my travel journal as #LaterPosts when I get a chance.)

Sunday, June 19, 2022

tiny celebrations

Loved this Louise Erdrich quote; I needed a reminder of sweetness and hope today. Life can be sweet even if it isn't so every minute. My reminders for today, yesterday, and tomorrow:

At UU today I learned that Opal Lee "the grandmother of Juneteenth" was 89 years old when she started the campaign to make Juneteenth (today!) a national holiday.

Last night when I called my dad to wish him for father's day, we talked for longer than usual, because he could hear me better than he has lately. That felt so lovely.

Big A will be back tomorrow, and we'll celebrate his Father's Day the day after that.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

"all for freedom and for pleasure/nothing ever lasts forever"

I sang so much Tears For Fears as a kid--I got hooked on "Everybody wants to Rule the World" like everyone else and then got pretty lost in the deep tracks of their discography.

So when KB invited me to go see them in concert, I said yes. It was wonderful! I got to sing along to all my favorites, and Garbage whose song "Stupid Girl" I was near addicted to, once upon a time, opened. 

What I couldn't shake was the surreal sense of time and age--all around me I could see people like myself and I could see us all as kids when the songs first came out. We still loved the same songs, but were different people with different lives all these decades later. Curt Smith looks like an older version of the boy in the video, but Roland Orzabal (whose name I had to look up because he was the one I didn't have a crush on) looks like a completely different person. 

Monday, June 13, 2022

"it ain't over till it's over"


The end of the night came in the early hours of this morning. We were so tired and sweaty from so much time on the dance floor in the LA heat. The playlist was both Indian and Mexican (like my cousin the bride) and very... energetic.

Memories of our silliness and shenanigans are making me smile on this very long flight back to Michigan where I will resume my very responsible parental persona on arrival.

Pic: Photo booth with my baby cousins


 

Sunday, June 12, 2022

fuzzy

So much talking: a mix of nostalgia, memories, and future plans. 

(This included an all family summit on how do we solve a problem like the Nu. In my book, there is no problem, but I know this came from a place of love, so I listened and made the right noises.)

My memory of this day is as fuzzy as this pic, but I remember feeling so loved.

#LaterPost

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Sari: this is special

An early pic from the Henna and Sangeet part of the wedding before we got our henna done and before the rehearsed and unrehearsed singing and dancing got underway. 

I managed my sari ok. Nicole, you asked--and it really is six yards of fabric wrapped, pleated, tucked into a petticoat, and held together by safety pins. I did make the rookie mistake of not putting my shoes on first, so my sari (I'm in the center by the pillar) is not 'floor level' unlike the other saris in the picture. 

My favoritest part of this is how my favoritest aunt is just holding my hand so close because we've missed each other so much these last couple of years and it felt so good to be reunited.

#LaterPost

Thursday, June 09, 2022

interview day

Nu interviewed for a job at the mall today. It amuses me no end that along with all the nineties fashions, hanging out at the mall has been coming back in vogue for this generation too. 

Nu thinks the interview went well, Big A took him to the mall as I had a couple of meetings. When we mock-interviewed yesterday, Nu was kinda amazing. I mean, I asked him the standard "why do you want to work here?" and he responded that he likes to help people and would like to be the small interaction that might light up a person's day. I wanted to hire him on the spot. 

Despite the 90s nostalgia, I think we're doing better as a society. I didn't worry even once about how Nu's quirky aesthetic would be received. This is so different from my SIL's experience when she used to wear a blue mohawk. 

Pic: Big A's portrait of pre-interview Nu.

Tuesday, June 07, 2022

"bookstores, beverages, and besties"


A slow, quiet (bit sad) day for me today. But I saw this post this morning and have been thinking of "bookstores, beverages, and besties" tours all day.

I'm craving travel and people I haven't seen in a while and don't know how much longer I can hold out.

Okay, this is new...

RH, an old student I've kept in touch with via FB, sent this screenshot for reference and wrote to say he's been contracted to write...