Friday, November 20, 2020
Friday, November 13, 2020
Tomorrow is Diwali and I want to get this down in the hope that I will be able to set it aside for a little bit. I've been carrying it around since yesterday when I read a thread on Mona Eltahawy's Twitter (since then, I've seen a few news outlets calling it the "Kashmore Tragedy"). The details are so horrific I can't say them out loud without choking and I don't really think I could pass it on to anyone else.
But the story keeps going around in a loop in my head, knotting now and then around the old nodes: the precarity of being a single mother; how difficult it is to love and grow a girl child in this fucking patriarchal world; the horror of captivity and unending rape; lives where people move across the country for a job that pays about 250 dollars; knowing people are out there victim-blaming--saying things like 'bad choices' and 'where is the father?'; what care and support are available to the mother and child; why support wasn't available to them previously; the courage it took for the mother to go to the police instead of prolonging the cycle; if the police treated her with respect; the bravery and compassion of the ASI (assistant sub inspector?) using his wife and daughter as decoys to catch the rapists; were the ASI's wife and daughter given a choice in the matter; worried for the ASI and his family now that his name and likeness are all over media; knowing there's so much more abuse I'll never even know from within safe spaces in families, communities, and professional + emergency services. Why are so many men/humans such trash?
On the Enby parenting group, one parent recently asked what our own lives might have looked like if we had the freedom of gender choice we support for our children. I know I've always wished for genderlessness, especially in professional settings. And in so many other settings, I'd have loved the possibility of having what Wanda Sykes calls a "detachable pussy."
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Yesterday's Vijaya Dashami offering was an almond and apricot honey cake. (All gone!)
Dussehra is one of the many opportunities to renew and reset in the Hindu annual calendar. And I spent yesterday hopeful for all kinds of pandemic and election magic.
Today I quietly panicked in the car on my way home from teaching and made a list of things we'll need to stock up on. (Not because I anticipate shortages, but I DO NOT WANT to be out there.)
Sunday, August 16, 2020
Here on the magic rock, is my little woodland Nu dappled in sunlight and lost in thought (they're very into plague doctor philosophy and aesthetics right now).
Another discovery: the story "Amma" by Sindya Bhanoo in Granta, not just set in my hometown of Chennai, but IN MY SCHOOL! OMG.
Saturday, August 15, 2020
It was Fall term prep all day over here. Also, locking down meetings next week in my calendar helped--instead of holding hazy, all-day items in my head, I now have specific times and that's doing wonders for my general sense of preparedness and well being.
I kept getting adorable texts all morning from bestie KB and mock called her out for procrastinating via text message. Then I went off on a tangent myself and did some editor-stuff for the current issue of Jaggery (needed to be done, but not right now). At least it got done? I did a ton of other more normal procrastination as well, putting stuff in various online shopping carts and re-watching a few eps of Veep.
Monday, August 10, 2020
so it's surprising she is here today, her words pleating
back and forth with mine
Wanting ghee-fried bakery bread topped with three sugars
Walking slow slow as though ready to change
her destination at any time
Thursday, June 04, 2020
The day began with what we thought looked like a sky smile (you can see it better if you kinda squint a little like we used to have to in the olden times with magic eye pictures).
Lots of work through the day including the hard work of discussing Robin DiAngelo's White Fragility with colleagues at my PWI.
I ended the day by making really, really pretty bowls of poke for dinner. It was my 'Boss Day' so the kids helped extra, and shelled all the edamame, grated the veggies, and shredded the nori. All this despite being tired (Nu) and stressed (At--from his thesis). So much love.
Saturday, May 30, 2020
Perhaps there was something portentous about the red lilies Nu planted this week... we celebrated with the red velvet cake they decided was appropriate. Big A made them a card with a "Congratulations" followed by a giant period and we all thought that was hilarious--that morning's laughter was definitely a celebration. But the South Indian in me needed to celebrate Nu more.
I googled "Indian Enby Menarche Celebration" and got nothing. My own menarche was marked by a wedding-level gala replete with catering and professional videographer--but it was too focused on "womanhood and fertility." (It wasn't as lavish as this video I found online, but quite close!)
So we did things our way. We got grandparents and aunts on video calls and read Nu a dedication that focused on their maturity, strength... their ability to reinvent themselves. We kept some elements of the traditional ceremony--anointing with turmeric but connecting its deep roots and healing capabilities with family; playing Carnatic music, but especially Bharati's song about his "kannama" hoping Nu would appreciate the fluidity with which he uses this feminine form of endearment for Lord Krishna. At brewed them a pot of spearmint from his own veggie plot, Grandma S made them a slideshow, the Bangalore grandparents and A Pinni beamed the whole time, N Pinni read her Maya Angelou's "Still I Rise."
Nu got the traditional trays of offerings (fruit, pampering products, books, and a ton of girlie presents), and we added rainbow-themed sandals, bag, visor, and sweetened the deal further with unlimited screen time for the rest of the day. I think the pictures do a good job of demonstrating my earnestness and Nu's own enjoyment in all the ceremonial love. 😍 😍
Thursday, May 28, 2020
Thursday, March 26, 2020
And I look at that small child (center, front) carrying the toddler nearly half her size, and I look at the instinctive half-smile of the child carrying the large sack on his head, and I don't even know what to do.
Where are they going? Where are we going? What can I do? Everything feels really *heavy* right now.
Sunday, March 22, 2020
Thursday, March 19, 2020
Tuesday, March 03, 2020
Wednesday, January 22, 2020
But my parents have told this story for decades,
in a haze of earnestness, claimed 'blessings
--love or beauty or children, or the hazy
necessity of whatever comes next.
Wednesday, January 08, 2020
Saturday, December 28, 2019
Sunday, November 24, 2019
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Monday, March 11, 2019
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