Josna Rege

Archive for the ‘Notes’ Category

Anachronidioms

In Notes on March 8, 2021 at 11:33 am

We all speak—and think—in anachronisms, our language having arisen from a landscape that may have since changed out of all recognition. The idioms, sayings, proverbs, figures of speech we use are picked up from what we hear and later read as we are growing up. We pick them up from our families, friends, teachers, communities, and workplaces—from conversations, songs, and books—and they shape the way we see the world around us. Many of our sayings hark back to an era before we were born, others to our childhood or to the decade in which we came of age.

The landscape that shapes our daily speech is frequently multilingual as well. So many of the sayings that English speakers use every day have seeped into it from other languages, giving us glimpses of our collective as well as our family histories. Do we adopt new language as we grow older or do we cling to the language of a bygone age? Does that make us anachronisms or living treasures? I for one enjoy rolling words and phrases around on my tongue, using expressions that are becoming archaic. Why? For this year’s A to Z Blogging Challenge, starting on the first of April, I’ll reflect on these questions with a different saying or category of sayings every day. I’ve coined a word for them: anachronidioms.

I’m looking forward to reconnecting with old blogging friends and meeting new ones. This is the seventh year I’ve participated in the A to Z Challenge, the sixth year with a theme. Below are the links to my themes and post from all the previous years.

2013: Blogging from A to Z
2014: Traveling Light
2015: A Printer’s Alphabet
2016: Bringing Me Joy
2019: Migrants, Refugees, and Exiles
2020: Fifty Years in the United States

Tell Me Another (Contents to Date)

Chronological Table of Contents

 

On the 2020 A-to-Z Challenge: Fifty Years in the United States

In blogs and blogging, history, Immigration, Media, Notes, Politics, postcolonial, United States, writing on May 4, 2020 at 1:17 am

February 2020 marked the 50th anniversary of my arrival in the United States as a new immigrant. Fifty years seemed momentous, and prompted reflection. Encouraged by Kristin of Finding Eliza (whom I met way back in 2013 during our first Blogging from A to Z April Challenge), I decided to participate in the 2020 Challenge with a theme of the past fifty years in the United States from the perspective of an immigrant–at least, of this immigrant.

Here’s a hyperlinked and annotated list of the month’s posts, from A to Z. Fellow-bloggers, please scroll down for my reflections on the Challenge.

The Theme:
Fifty Years in the United States (an Immigrant’s Perspective)

America
Fifty years after arriving in this country, I try to speak truthfully about what “America” evokes in me, and why.

Bangladesh
In which I recount the terrible events in 1970 that led to the birth of Bangladesh, and the response of the United States

Cooperation
Prompted by recollections of my happy time in a co-op house as an undergraduate, I sing the praises of cooperation rather than competition.

Dual Identities
Back in the 1970s, before multiculturalism, you were one thing or another; I was both: what to do?

The Eighties
In which I reminisce and reflect on the nineteen eighties, the decade dominated by President Reagan but momentous for me for happier personal reasons.

Farming
Living on a small farm for nine years in the 1980s made us acutely aware of the state of American farming.

Graduate School
From the late eighties to the mid-nineties I was engrossed in graduate studies. What was that all about?

Householder
In which I think back on what it was to be a householder, as that stage in life is moving into the rearview mirror

Immigrants
Memories of being an immigrant in the Eighties

John Prine
In the aftermath of John Prine’s death by COVID-19, I play his songs and think of all he has meant to me over the years, including what he has meant to me as an immigrant.

The Kuwait Phenomenon
In which I remember the first Gulf War

Love, Longing, and Living in the Moment
Even when migrants choose to leave the countries of their birth, they cannot help longing for beloved people and places left behind. I reflect upon this love and longing, and its impact on the present.

Middle Age
As I move out of middle age, I remember moving into it and consider both external and internal perceptions of that stage in life, particularly for women.

New England and New Mexico
The two regions of the country in which I’ve lived are deeply shaped by Native American history, struggles, and continued presence.

Originals and Adaptations
In which I explore the cultural angst over lost originals as the new millennium approached.

Post-9/11”
In which I explain my objections to the term and describe the climate for Arab and Muslim Americans, South Asians, and Others in general in the aftermath of that tragic event.

Quagmire
This word was used in 2003 to describe the anticipated outcome if the United States were to invade and occupy Iraq, Sadly, those fears and much worse ones were borne out.

Return
In which I reflect on the real and imagined, voluntary or forced, temporary or permanent returns of immigrants to their countries of origin.

Social Media
I document, starting in the 1990s and exploding in the 2000s, how rapidly the internet and various forms of social media changed the way we spent our time and interacted with others.

T_*_*_*_*
A piece of doggerel about the 45th POTUS

Under Pressure
In which I remember the the 44th POTUS and the pressures under which he had to perform.

Violence
United States society is shaped by violence and becoming increasingly militarized.

Water Protectors
In which I document the shocking statistics on the availability and affordability of running water in the United States, and showcase those–often the hardest-hit–who have taken a stand to protect our water as a basic human right.

XR — Extinction Rebellion US
This new, largely youth-led organization demands a rapid and thoroughgoing response to the climate emergency, in the face of government and corporate denial. I discuss the apparent split in the US branch on the urgent issue of environmental justice.

Youth (and Age) in a Changing America
A reflection on the growing diversity of youth in the United States and the most productive and satisfying relationship between youth and age.

Zoom
After this panoramic sweep of the past half-century I zoom back in, back to myself in the present.

The Swift River (photo: Josna Rege)

A-to-Z Reflection: Since, as we well know, March 2020 was the month when the U.S., like the rest of the world, was under stay-at-home and social distancing orders due to COVID-19, the enforced solitude prompted further introspection, not only about my own life but about the condition of the country as a whole.

The disruption and general dis-ease meant that I had not decided in advance what my topics would be, so every day was a bit of a scramble and some of the posts reflect that lack of forethought. Looking back, my mood may well have influenced the gloomy tone that crept into some of them, but I think that the facts warranted it. There may not be as many personal reminiscences as I had initially thought there would be and there are definitely more hyperlinks to supporting documents than I had anticipated, but I hope that overall there’s enough of a balance between public and private, between documentation of events and reflection on them, and enough optimism to inspire first, tentative steps into the uncertain future.

This year I decided at the outset to visit a small group of fellow-participants regularly, and to reciprocate when people visited and comment on my posts. It turned out that technical difficulties prevented me from commenting on blogspot and some other platforms, a problem I solved eventually but by then it was the end of the month.

Thanks to the fellow-bloggers whose posts and comments informed, inspired, and delighted me throughout:
Finding Eliza (My family in the Twenties)
QP & Eye (adventures in the Coddiwomple)
The Curry Apple Orchard (Taking the Hard Road–serialized fiction. I was soon hooked!)
aliceinbloggingland (past, future, and present in time of corona)
Panorama of the Mountains (two challenges: reviews of documentares and favorite movies)
All Things Must Pass (personal and philosophical reflections)
Sharon Cathcart (Facts about Pompei)
United States Hypocrisy (examples of same)
To My Recollection (Haikus and other short poems)
365 Days (a daily photographs)

Apologies to Time and Tide (My Favorite Things to Counter COVID-19 Stress) The Old Shelter (Living the Twenties), and My Ordinary Moments (childhood and grandfather’s garden) for missing you due to difficulties posting comments. I hope to return and catch up in the weeks to come, as also with late-in-the-month finds: Discovering Mom (Remembering the author’s late mother) and Sonia’s Musings (Laugh in the Time of Corona: on Indian stand-up comedians and comedy channels).

Thanks to fellow-bloggers who visited despite not participating in the Challenge this year: Calmgrove (prolific and inspiring book reviews), and Epiphany (doing an A-Z of her own in May); to Anna and Marianne, dear friends who visited and commented faithfully; and to Andrew for his proofreading and forbearance. (All lapses, both in language and in judgement, are of course mine.) And Congratulations to J Lenni Dorner and the whole A-to-Z Challenge team for your hard work, good energy, and a great ride!

Stay safe, everyone, and keep writing!

Tell Me Another (Contents to Date)

Chronological Table of Contents

Fifty Years in the United States (an Immigrant’s Perspective)

In Notes on March 16, 2020 at 10:47 am

In 2013 I participated in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the first time, with no theme at all. In 2014, while on sabbatical in Germany and England, my chosen theme was Traveling Light; in 2015, A Printer’s Alphabet; in 2016, Bringing Me Joy; I missed 2017 and 2018, but took up the challenge again in 2019 with a theme of Migrants, Refugees, and Exiles. This year my theme will be Fifty Years in the United States, from an immigrant’s perspective.

It was February 6th, 1970 when, at age 15, I arrived in the United States with my mother and sister to join my father who had arrived the previous fall. Now here I am at age 65, trying to make sense of the past fifty years. America has changed a great deal in that time, and as an immigrant I look at that change as an insider-outsider. That is what I propose to do during the month of April, in a series of personal recollections that I hope will both capture a little of the flavor of the changing times and help me take stock of a half-century of my own life.

I’m looking back on: the anti-(Vietnam) war movement that was raging when we first arrived, the Women’s Movement, that was beginning, the anti-nuclear movement that I was immersed in for seven years; life as a high-school, college, graduate student; as a householder, empty-nester, senior citizen; work and professional life; the changing climate on American college campuses; food cooperatives and experiments in group living; life in New England and, in an enchanted sojourn, New Mexico; family, close at hand and across the world; marriage, motherhood and beyond; nine U.S. presidents; too many interventions, occupations and wars to count; deaths, too many to count; my own aging. Love, Friendship, Hope.

I wish I could give you a little taste of what my posts will look like, but the theme has yet to take shape, even in my mind. The list of topics above suggests grand(iose) ambitions, but I’m not going to attempt anything on that scale. In this harrowing time of coronavirus, I’ll  be aiming for a series of snapshots—more of a family album than a set of encyclopedia entries.

All the best to my fellow-bloggers! I look forward to our sense of community, especially at a time when many of us worldwide are having to practice social distancing.

Tell Me Another (Contents to Date)

Chronological Table of Contents

Ten Years of Tell Me Another

In Notes on February 28, 2020 at 12:05 pm

Treasure (by Nikki McClure)

Ten years ago, thanks to my son Nikhil, Tell Me Another was born. I didn’t even know what a blog was, and the idea of its being public was terrifying. But the feedback from three generations of family, friends, and strangers from around the world started pouring in, and writing the next story quickly became an essential part of my life, an imperative.

Ten years. I’m not gonna lie (as Trevor Noah says), I’ve aged. Officially a senior citizen now, I’m continually being made aware of miserable things like my aching joints, my increasing deafness, and the fate of my retirement savings. I’m also learning to appreciate this new territory, though. My hair is all grey now and I no longer color it. I allow myself to enjoy things women of my age enjoy, like watching the birds at the newly-filled feeder and serving Darjeeling tea to friends in my favorite teacups. Small and insignificant things bring me inordinate pleasure, even as the world burns. In my classroom I rant and rave without compunction about the things that matter to me. Why not? I’m getting old.

But I ramble, as is my wont of late. Here I am, ten years and nearly four hundred and fifty stories later, not counting check-in posts like this one. I’ve had my human share of sorrows and losses over the past decade, and through it all Tell Me Another has been a comfort, even a prop. Far-flung family in India and England who may never meet in person have met each other through this blog; thanks to it, childhood friends and long-lost relations have reconnected with me; and I have been introduced to, inspired by, and become friends with like-minded bloggers around the world.

Craving your indulgence on this anniversary, I’ve selected one story out of every ten and hyperlinked to them below. The principle of selection was idiosyncratic, prompted only by how I felt as I reviewed my Contents to Date. I notice that I haven’t written nearly as much in the past four years, since my parents passed away, and that an increasing number of my posts have been eulogies. But I have a sabbatical coming up, and the urge to write has taken hold of me again. I hope that the next ten years, if it is granted to me, will see Tell Me Another engaging in new ways with the world and with what it feels like at this moment in time to be this human being in this particular human body.

Thanks again, Nikhil, for having got me started on this journey. And heartfelt thanks to everyone who has ever responded to a story on Tell Me Another: you have enriched my life.

TMA 1-100:

The Horn Player in the Cupboard

Songlines

Dolls I Have Loved (and Lost)

My Grandmother

My Ink-Smudged Youth

Sucking Lemons and Quoting Shaw

The Mango Room

October Rains

Bottled Sunshine

Sail On, Silver Girl

TMA 101-200:

Climb Over the Wall!

The Taste of Home

The Kurta Joke

Across the Miles

The Yogi of Beals Street

No Swaddling, Please!

In the Bleak Midwinter

Dashing Away with the Smoothing Iron

The Silver Hairpin

London, My London

TMA 201-300:

Tennessee Stud

A Moment in Time

Consider the Lilies of the Field

December 5th, 2013

Welcome Home

London Without Lily

Oh, to be in England

Doing it Themselves

It’s Only Temporary

Krishna’s Butterball

TMA 301-400:

Against the Grain

Out of Sorts

Whetstone Press

No Rush

Henion’s

Keeping Up with The Times

Slow Food from Way Back

Pre-Dawn Raga

Cousin Mischa

Buying Up the Whole Store

TMA 401-449:

Colo(u)rs

C is for Citizen(ship)

R is for Refugees

“I never died,” says he

Rest In Peace, Kumud Rege

 

Tell Me Another (Contents to Date)

Chronological Table of Contents

Reflections on A-to-Z 2019: Migrants, Refugees, and Exiles  

In Notes on May 6, 2019 at 10:46 am

Last month I participated in the Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge in its 10th Anniversary year, with the theme of Migrants, Refugees, and Exiles. I hadn’t joined the Challenge for the past couple of years, during which time I had hardly written at all, and had posted just a handful of pieces on Tell Me Another. When it came time to make the decision I took the plunge and managed to get through to Z, albeit a couple of days late.

The subject was grim, but it was the only one that presented itself to me, and once it had, there was absolutely no other subject out there. Not wanting to drive my readers to despair with the enormity of the problem, or send them to sleep out of sheer boredom, I tried to strike a balance between the often-horrible details, personal stories, righteous wrath, and resistance, and hoped that my own experience might disarm those with their antennae tuned to detect proselytizing, polemics, and political correctness. Not wanting to preach to the choir, I hoped that the interludes of music and literature between the ponderous lectures might bring some blessèd relief. Whether or not I succeeded is up to the readers.

Here is a hyperlinked list of all the posts I wrote in connection with Migrants, Refugees, and Exiles, starting with the announcement of the theme:

A-to-Z 2019: Migrants, Refugees, and Exiles

Yikes!

A is for Alien (also Arrival, Assimilation, and Asylum)

B is for Border

C is for Citizen[ship]

D: Detention and Deportation

E is for Emigrant, Expatriate, and Exile

F: Family Separation

G is for the Great Migration

H is for Homeland

I is for “Internment”/Incarceration

J is for Journey

Three Ks: Kamala Markandaya, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Kamila Shamsie

Leaving on a Jet Plane

M: Migrant Crisis

N is for Nationalists and Nationalisms

One Love

P is for Passport

Q is for Quarantine

R is for Refugees

S is for Stranger

T is for Temporary Status

Unalienable Rights

V is for Vigilante

Walls

Xenophobia

Y is for Youth

Zero-tolerance Policy

Tell Me Another had a big spike in readership from the moment I signed up for the A-to-Z Challenge back in March, after a two-year hiatus. The visits leveled off somewhat after the first week or so, as everybody got busier, but A-to-Z certainly jump-started my blog again after it had lain neglected for the past couple of years.

Besides my friends Anna, Sally, Marianne, Sarah, Norah, and Maureen (and several more whose loving presence I feel even if they don’t have time to comment), I received feedback and encouragement from longtime and loyal fellow-bloggers, some of whom who weren’t even doing the Challenge themselves this year, others who were and already had their hands more than full. I had first discovered Finding Eliza, Calmgrove, and Wangiwriter’s Blog back in 2013, the first year I had participated, and it was delightful to receive regular comments from writers who feel like old friends by now, as well as to follow Finding Eliza‘s absorbing theme. In addition there were the dozen or so bloggers encountered for the first time this year whose blogs I tried to visit more-or-less regularly throughout the month, chief among them Epiphany, Time and Tide, Panorama of the Mountains, QP and EyeThe Curry Apple Orchard, In the Eye of the Beholder, Jazzfeathers, and Sonia’s Musings. Their visits, energy, and example spurred me on when I was flagging, especially those in Australia who were regularly two days ahead of me in the alphabet.

I will certainly try to take up the A-to-Z Challenge again, although every year I ask myself why on earth I signed up for anything so time-consuming in the ridiculously-busy month of April. But I already know the answer to that question: it is because it makes me write, and writing makes me happier than just about anything else.

A sincere thank you to the hardworking co-hosts and to the community of bloggers who have never failed to be courteous, thoughtful, supportive, and oh, so creative! Most importantly, heartfelt thanks to migrants, refugees, and exiles everywhere and those who advocate tirelessly for them. Thank you for your courage and persistence in the face of so many odds. Please know that for every instance of hostility or bureaucratic nonsense that you encounter, you have many well-wishers. This is a particularly precarious time for immigrants, documented or otherwise. Anything we can do to help will make a difference, from keeping up to date on the issues, to educating ourselves and others, to getting involved with one of the many organizations that provide assistance to immigrants and refugees, to making phone calls to our political representatives, to joining public protests, to offering material support. One love!

Tell Me Another (Contents to Date)

Chronological Table of Contents

Yikes!

In Notes on March 30, 2019 at 4:52 pm

The month of April begins the day after tomorrow, and I don’t know what possessed me to sign up for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. To make matters worse, my announced theme of Migrants, Refugees, and Exiles has drawn a fair amount of interest, which means I’m under scrutiny: pressure drop! I know that my April workload, not to mention the March backlog, will not permit me to give the subject the time it needs without burning the midnight oil even later than usual—which I used to be able to do with impunity, but alas, no longer. I had hoped to be able to draft a few of the entries in advance but, again, no dice.

This is not an excuse, just an advance yawp of rising panic. But what can you expect from an Alien with a lifetime of criss-crossing Borders, a Citizen, or rather, a Dual Citizen-, an Emigrant, First-generation, who refuses to Get Back, wandering endlessly through Imaginary Homelands? At a time when “Illegals” are being Interned or worse, when Jingoism is the order of the day, read Kamila Shamsie for wisdom and suppress your Longing to  Leav[e] on a Jet Plane. At a time when Muslims and Migrants are threatened by lawless Militias and Nativism is on the rise, resist the tendency to Other, and instead practice One Love. In a world regulated by Passports and papers, too many people languish in the limbo of government Quarantine. Refugees roam alienating cityscapes and Racism and Scapegoating terrorize innocents. We are all Sojourners and Strangers here, with Temporary status. Bless the Undocumented, those who are declared Unassimilable, the Vagrants and the Vagabonds. Show the builders of Walls the folly of their ways, because walls, like empires, are bound to fall. Neither Xenophobes nor Yahoos nor Zero-tolerance border policies will deliver safe and sustainable societies, only justice and compassion for one’s fellow-human beings can do that.

April will surely come, as one day follows another. But for now, it’s high time I got down to commenting on drafts of student essays on nationalism and national identity; how fitting!

Tell Me Another(Contents to Date)

Chronological Table of Contents

A-to-Z 2019: Migrants, Refugees, and Exiles

In Notes on March 17, 2019 at 12:01 am

With some trepidation, I’ve signed up for the annual A-to-Z April blogging challenge for the first time in three years. My chosen theme is Migrants, Refugees, and Exiles, a subject I’ve been thinking about a lot recently and which, of course, is an urgent issue—perhaps the urgent issue—worldwide. Last year the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reported that by the end of 2017 a cumulative total of 68.5 million people had been forced to leave their homes. More than 25.4 million people became refugees that year alone, fleeing their countries to escape war and persecution.

In the current climate, these vulnerable displaced people have become the perfect scapegoats for unscrupulous politicians. We see it everywhere we look: immigrants and refugees characterized as alien invaders, a disease that must be vaccinated against, a problem that calls for a final solution. Nativist rhetoric fans the flames of hate and gives the nod to violent attacks like the massacre of Muslims at prayer in Christchurch, New Zealand and the posting of the military to the Southern border of the United States where families and children had undertaken a long, arduous trek to seek asylum. Their essential difference from “Us” is always invoked, as if they are a breed apart.

My family and I are immigrants too, though not refugees, so all this is very close to home. My posts will be as personal as they are political, and I will try hard not to preach, though I can’t help having strong opinions. The A-to-Z entries on words and terms related to my theme will be punctuated with links to some of my favorite novels and songs on the subject.

Although I’m returning after a two-year break, this will be my fifth time participating in the April blogging challenge. For anyone interested, here are my post-Challenge Reflections posts for the first four years, each with a list of hyperlinks to each of the A-Z entries:

2013: Blogging from A to Z (no theme)
2014: Traveling Light 
2015: A Printer’s Alphabet (my favorite)
2016: Bringing Me Joy

April is a cruel month for academics, so sometimes it will be a struggle for me to post my daily entry on time. Wish me luck and All the best to my fellow-bloggers!

Tell Me Another (Contents to Date)

Chronological Table of Contents

For You, Mum

In Notes on April 8, 2018 at 9:45 pm

My mother has passed away. It was her time and it was a peaceful passing, so I must be glad. There is nothing more I can say just now, but as I did when my father died, just 18 months ago, I am sharing some of the many stories in the Tell Me Another Archives from her, about her, or inspired by her, interspersed with songs which she loved or which remind me of her.

My Grandmother

When Irish Eyes are Smiling  One of my grandmother’s favorite songs, so Mum told me (see story above). 

Chickens on the Pot

Molly Malone One of Mum’s aunts had a barrow, and we have a photograph of her and her family standing straight and proud in front of it—their livelihood. 

A Nice Bit of Spanish

Annie Laurie Mum didn’t sing this one very often, but when she did, it struck deep into your heart. 

Party Pieces

     The Old Bull and Bush

Strawberry-Picking Camp

 Killing Me Softly This song was released by Roberta Flack in 1973, just three years after we immigrated to the United States. Mum loved it, and I didn’t know why at the time. I preferred rock-‘n-roll and reggae, and thought it rather schmaltzy. Not any more. 

Sucking Lemons and Quoting Shaw 

Hound Dog My cousin Bill remembers Mum teaching him to jive to Elvis’ Hound Dog. If this was in 1956, when it was released, Mum would have been twenty-nine, and Bill just thirteen. 

My Uncrowned Queens

  Avanti Popolo One day, some years into her Alzheimer’s, Mum mentioned that she had a song running through her head, but she couldn’t remember more than a few fleeting lines. She sang them for me, but they didn’t ring a bell, and I thought I’d heard every song she’d ever known. Furthermore, it was in another language, and one I knew she didn’t know—Italian. I went home, did some searching on the Internet, and came back with this, and the lyrics printed out for her. Mum took to the Italian like a duck to water, and soon we were roaring out this rousing workers’ march at the top of our lungs. It must have been stored away in her memory banks from her Leftist youth. What a terrific song!

Servants, or Cleaning My Own D*** House

     With a Little Bit of Luck

His Master’s Voice

     Jamaica Farewell

Learning to Swim

     Island in the Sun

British TV, Fall of ‘63

 Twist and Shout (at the Beatles’ Royal Command performance)   Read “British TV, Fall of ’63” for the back story.

Frittered!

 The Ash Grove Mum would say that, in secondary school, while their music teacher waxed all sentimental about this song, the students would change the words to: “My teacher has a bunion/a face like a pickled onion/a nose like a squashed tomato/ and legs like matchsticks.” In transports of delight, the teacher was oblivious to it all, “Beautiful, Class, beautiful,” she would murmur. 

Top of the Pops, 1968-69

Those Were the Days   When this song started climbing the British pop charts in 1968, it was a song the oldsters liked as well. We didn’t know then that it was a Russian romance from the 1920s. but Mum and Uncle Ted probably did. 

Two at a Time

     Loch Lomond

Simply Paying Attention

You Can Get It if You Really Want This was Mum’s favorite song from the Reggae soundtrack of the classic 1972 movie, The Harder They Come, starring Jimmy Cliff. I realize now that it probably spoke to her of the struggles of her own life: . . .”but you must try, try and try, try and try: you’ll succeed at last.”

Just Empty Your Mind

Shelter from the Storm  This was Mum’s favorite song on Bob Dylan’s 1975 Blood on the Tracks Album. She particularly liked it when he sang, “Come in,” she said “I’ll give ya” (and she, like Dylan, emphasize the ya) “shelter from the storm.”

London, My London

     Maybe It’s Because I’m a Londoner

London without Lily

     Old Man River

Doing It Themselves

Mera Juta Hai Japani  A hit song from the 1955 Hindi film Shree 420, starring Raj Kapoor and Nargis which  exemplified the spirit of early post-Independence India. My cousin Meena remembers Mum singing it on a trip to Ratnagiri. 1955 was the year she arrived in India for the first time, with me as a babe in arms. 

A Chip off the Old Block? If Only.

     Day-O

Babysitting

     O Danny Boy

    Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child

     Ti geli tevha rimjhim

Tell Me Another (Contents to Date)

Chronological Table of Contents

 

Gloomy Thoughts in Late Winter

In Notes on February 18, 2017 at 9:48 am

img_6930

Pre-dawn (photo: Josna Rege)

Still another month to go before Spring, though goodness knows I’m not wishing time away. There doesn’t seem to be the time or the leisure for Tell Me Another these days, with so many other pressing tasks taking precedence.

Perhaps, after nearly seven years, I’m done with TMA. Perhaps, come Summer, stories will begin to present themselves again; but just now everything seems stale. Perhaps, with nearly 400 stories set down in black and white, it’s time to stop looking backward and start living life more fully again. Then if, inshallah, I live to be an old woman, there will be new stories to tell.

Just now, the springs of renewal are buried deep. But there is not the luxury of simply waiting for Spring. The Earth is under attack, and all that we hold dear. If we fail to fight for them now, those life-giving waters may never return.

Of course looking backward has value; it reminds one of what is important, what one has learned, and what one must pass on. But with that pivot point, the Vernal Equinox, approaching, it is incumbent upon me to recover the balance I once had between action and repose. It’s both too late and much too soon to rest.

Tell Me Another (Contents to Date)

Chronological Table of Contents

To Dad, with Love

In Notes on October 3, 2016 at 2:24 pm

My father has passed away. It is much too soon for me to write about him; I can’t find the words. But over the years he has figured in many Tell Me Another stories. Taken collectively, I think they convey something of his character, personality, and presence. Here is a hyperlinked list of these stories (with favorites in bold), interspersed with some songs Dad loved and some of mine.

To Dad, with Love

The Yogi of Beals Street

Kaun Gali Gayo Shyam

The Kurta Joke

Hai Apna Dil to Awara

Sucking Lemons and Quoting Shaw

Dhitang Dhitang Bole

So Many Things Have Disappeared

Yeh Raatein Yeh Mausam

Flash

Mandoubala

Jaggery Coconut, Nectar of the Gods

Mexican Home

The Bay of Biscay and the Gully Gully Man

Ichak Dana Bichak Dana 

Dolls I Have Loved (and Lost)

Aa Jao Tadapte Hain Armaan

The Long Journey

Can’t Buy Me Love

From a Railway Carriage

Lady Madonna

Greece in the 60s: Expats and Other Animals

O Ymittos

Learning to Swim

`    Synnefiasmeni Kyriaki

Cookbooks, Immigrants, and Improvisation

Mera Joota Hai Japani

Avoiding the Plague

Aaj Jyotsna Raate

Untangling

Lively Up Yourself

Riding Like the Wind

Pre-dawn Adventures

Utha Utha Sakala Jana

Waste Not, Want Not

On Not Knowing the Signs

“Heuch, Heuch!” (and other family lingo)

The Silver Hairpin

What’s in a Name?

An Immigrant’s Reflections on Independence Day

The Mango Room

Across the Miles

The Taste of Home

Doing it Themselves

Inscriptions

Slow Food from Way Back

Tell Me Another (Contents to Date)

Chronological Table of Contents

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