MODEL MINORITY

Frank Chin, playwright, said in 1974 something that might still apply today: “Whites love us because we’re not black.” There’s only one way to confront the term “Model Minority” in the United States, generally applied to Asians, including South Asians. That way is to understand it as the intentional and painstaking act of ‘modeling’ a minority in the image of the majority. That, Chin was saying, was what some Asians do or feel they must: stay as far away from blacks and hispanics as possible because then the white majority won’t get “spooked” by them. By the way, since the…

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Reader, she married him…

“Reader, I married him.” Sorry, no prizes for guessing, but that’s Jane Eyre in the novel of the same name published in 1847 by ‘Currer Bell,’ aka Charlotte Bronte, and one of the best-loved novels in English Literature. I can visualize Miss Bronte, the lonely parson’s daughter — few offers of marriage, almost none of work except as underpaid teacher or governess — gazing out over the bleak, frozen Yorkshire Moors out her frosted, weepy window and exulting when her heroine says “Reader, I married him” in that Neverland where Plain Jane governesses marry handsome dark horse playboys and live…

In praise of regional cuisine

In my next novel in progress, Homeland Blues, there’s a lot about food. Specifically Indian food. Exile from it. Diaspora marriages and communities built on it. Craving for it. Craving for regional soul food. For the pungency of flavors that make you temporarily stop breathing as they exact your love. And about perhaps nativist disdain among South Asians for the popular Indian restaurant brand “curry” foods palatable to Americans, and I’d say especially Americans, who tend to be adamant about the sanctity and primacy of American tastes (sorry Ameri ca but you can be tyrannical even outside politics). One of…

Blue Yonder

  Don’t know why but I’ve been writing and editing pieces of work and my head has suddenly filled with an image poem. Something I saw. Something I loved. Something I took a photograph so I can go back there any time. Vancouver, Coal Harbor, on a crystalline January evening. And wanting to share my joy in that image I created a dress and a skirt on redbubble from my memories. Holler if you like them!

Where's My Coffee???

I mostly write, but sometimes I make other things because making things is joyful! My kitty looked up at me this morning and said, “Isn’t coffee wonderful?” I had to agree. And then make her this cushion. You can find it at redbubble.com https://www.redbubble.com/people/gayatris2/works/43682933-wheres-my-coffee?p=throw-pillow&asc=u&fbclid=IwAR2xV31hhBZbr-_t2htJBOq5X8SfPH5ES_suOQW1CBhiZGaPNu0vYZJ3W4Q

The Bad News

The Very Bad News…. That the land of my birth is now a killing field where death’s ambassadors clad in colors of light scavenge every night for the remains of democracy, law and order, truth and justice, because of the BJP, the Modi dictatorship, the RSS, and Hindutva zombies. That all over this beautiful suffering world, the miasma of evil is spreading in the form of leadership that seems to be from an empire of evil. That Palpatine in The Rise of Skywalker has NOTHING, absolutely nothing, on what Modi, Trump and his ilk are doing to our beautiful world…

The Good News

No, that’s not the good news. The good news is that my dear, dear friend Tazim Jamal, or Dr. Tazim Jamal, Professor of the Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX, deep in the heart of Bush country, sounds the call to battle against environmental arsonists wherever she goes, as below. Think of that Starbucks latte you bought and felt so zen. Or that tall, thick plastic cup of ice-cold beverage you just got at the fast-food window, with that bright, warm smile from someone working there for $10/hour and no benefits….

From my novel Love’s Garden, forthcoming September 2020!

Dear Future Readers, I can’t wait to share the whole novel with you, but here’s a tidbit Chapter 3: Love is an enigma, but marriage is serious business. Girls can only leave home when they marry. This is well known. Any girl or young woman who does otherwise is, of course, ruined. Before marriage girls have to wait somewhere between bliss and hell. All girls. Prem and the raggedy girl who once loved her included. There hadn’t been many cozy spots for Prem between hell and bliss in the village in 1914, in the days before all the marrying started,…

Ghost forests on ghost planet?

The trees, says Kirwan, tell a story. https://time.com/5694648/ghost-forests-climate-change/?utm_source=pocket-newtab They will come to us one day, our descendants, and ask WHY. And thir lips will move but their voices will be whispers of agony and disbelief. WHY did you take away our planet before you left, mother, father, grandmother, grandfather? What will we say?

Climate Strike Day!!

Climate Strikers are the lovers and gardeners of our planet. Treat them as heroes, bring them water, flowers and love. #Love Your #Garden, the #Planet #Earth.

Jonathan Franzen — alarmist or prophet?

Scary smart? “Making New York City a green utopia will not avail if Texans keep pumping oil and driving pickup trucks.” Jonathan Franzen, The New Yorker I just read Jonathan Franzen’s fascinating essay on climate change in the New Yorker. For the first time, I’m actually scared. Franzen argues compellingly and mercilessly that climate change is INEVITABLE and what we need to do is not pretend we can avert it, but only prepare for it. Read this now https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/what-if-we-stopped-pretending?source=EDT_NYR_EDIT_NEWSLETTER_0_imagenewsletter_Daily_ZZ&utm_campaign=aud-dev&utm_source=nl&utm_brand=tny&utm_mailing=TNY_Daily_090819&utm_medium=email&bxid=5d4d7d14639ec8690b14704d&cndid=&esrc=&mbid=&utm_term=TNY_Daily I think Franzen is both clever and cautious. Clever in his tone and cautious in his pessimism. Of course this is…

#Toys for Big Boys

There is only one way I can see the refusal to regulate gun sales in America. You see, guns are toys. For Big Boys.Now, really would you take toys away from babies? They might cry!!! They might go to the NRA and say, “Daddy, Daddy, someone took my gun away!” #Toys #Boys #Guns

Right not to be shot fatally in public

Give Life a Chance? The other day a well-meaning person told me not to go to #Walmart. It was a day after another mindless, ghastly shooting in #ElPaso. Here’s where I would say we can’t go. We can’t go to schools. We can’t go to colleges. We can’t go to church or mosque or temple or synagogue. We can’t go to airports. We can’t go to bus stations. We can’t go to grocery stores. We can’t go to government offices. In truth, we can’t go anywhere. We might get shot anywhere we go. Because the #NRA will not let #guncontrol…

Hey #Americans, go home if you don’t like #DonaldTrump.

Next in the Immortal Saga of #Dudewhatareyoudoing? on the inimitable, deathless, headless, shameless, ruthless and TRUTHLESS  #DonaldTrump who proclaims!! Go Home, Americans, if you don’t like #DonaldTrump, Aka “#TheDude Anyone remember the classic Leonard Cohen song below? Anyone remember what #TheDude #DonaldTrump said to the “Squad” a few days ago? https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/trump-pelosi-and-the-squad-are-fighting-over-who-belongs-in-government?utm_campaign=aud-dev&utm_source=nl&utm_brand=tny&utm_mailing=TNY_Daily_071619&utm_medium=email&bxid=5be9e2773f92a40469f757fe&cndid=38347331&esrc=&utm_term=TNY_Daily Anyone knows what tomorrow will bring? What pointless debate will be held about whether #DonaldTrump is a #racist, a #rapist, a #liar, and a #psychopath? Anyone knows how long we have to live like this? Anyone knows how someone can tell Americans to “go home” if they don’t like…

#AOC

Can you watch this through the entire way? If you can, kudos to you. #AOC is, as usual, calling the #BorderPatrol on its lies, #inhumanity, and #misogyny. Here’s what you get out of this: if you think the very worst of your fears cannot be true, be sure that they are. If you can’t imagine something happening because it is so bad, be sure its’s happening. #BorderPatrol agents are posting on facebook about violently raping and killing #AOC. #DonaldTrump, the #Dude is the #POTUS.   ‘You don’t think that having 10,000 officers in a violent, racist group sharing rape memes…

Moon Over Vermont

  Moon over Vermont. The other night. Mist on the fields and fireflies in the air. The dark sky suddenly burst into an unearthly luminescence and the dark earth winked back with a hearthfire. I saw, as if  for the first time, the beauty of dark nature. I saw the silver sea of light flooding sky and putting land to rest. I saw the sublime.      

To #Walt Disney

Out of school you dropped like genius apple on California soil deciding to bring to the land of gold and oil adam and eve, prop after prop. Paradise to you, though — palm trees, whitecaps at santa monica, and whatever made hollywood glow at night like dragonscales — was about stealing the world where real people lived and giving it to a den of thieves no less. How else explain burgling every other culture, all other peoples, of the scant coverings of their poetry and making them slaves of what America wanted to see and sing when it still thought…

One Planet, Only One

#WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE, NOT A DROP TO DRINK

#BLUE GOLD? Yes, I think so. Many people think water will be the oil of the future. Has anyone heard of a company called #Paramount Farms? Have you ever eaten pistachios, almonds, #POM juice? Well, Stuart Resnick’s Paramount Farms produces them all. And, do you know who he is? Well, he is the 4.2 billionaire (according to #Forbes) who owns most of California’s water because he made sure to buy up farmland to grow crops just as a cover for owning the water under and on the land. This while his workers don’t drink the water in their “workers’ paradise”…

#Presidential debates #1 and my superficial nature

I really want to know what other people thought because sometimes I’m so focused on eyes, smiles and tics that I forget to be truly focused on the verbiage. 1. #Beto O’Rourke: dead ringer for #Jimmy Stewart in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”? 2. #Cory Booker: #The Lion King? 3. #Julian Castro: Okay, long one here, but I really want to know. Does anyone think that this is a postcolonial moment for the South Americas? As in, as once Europe invaded and dominated South America — and I have never read anything about why they spared the indigenes up north…

Women hold up the wounded earth

#AOC in America, #MohuaMoitra in India — all hope is not over. This is a maiden filibuster by a member of the Indian Parliament but these issues are not unique to India. She is referring to India’s recent blockbuster win for #NarendraModi, aka #ButcherofGujarat, and his party, the #BharatiyaJanataParty. They represent neither Bharat (India), nor the Janata (public), only Party (Fascism). This is no rant. This is dissent. Sometimes we forget that no one in power gives it up without dissent. https://youtu.be/dnh-mpg_oF4 ;

I was once a #mother

No tears please. My son is alive and well. Put your handkerchiefs (or if the west, tissue) away. It’s just that when they grow up, they act like they’re “#grownups.” It’s so unreasonable. When I was in my thirties, if I went out with his Dad he bawled like I’d just killed his mother and was running away with the family jewels (pun). Now? If I stay home it’s to keep the light on for young Lord Lochinvar. What happens to us when our children grow up? Partly, it sets me free that I don’t constantly worry about his well-being….

DUDE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

TODAY I OFFICIALLY BEGIN THE “DUDE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING??” SERIES. WHO IS “DUDE?” I’M COMING TO IT. I once heard a mother ask her son who’d stumbled into her book club session: “Dude, what are you doing?” The boy was five, maybe. He gravely answered, “Come to get my ball, of course.” Our Dude in DC wouldn’t have the manners or the mind to do what that kid did. But I still have to ask: “Dude, what’re you doing”? ??????? So our Dude in DC, Donald Trump, said today that “We’re doing well.” He’s got Mexico sucking up to…