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CubaLibre

Cuba Libre

In the weeks leading up to the vacation, my father, younger brother and I called it by a variety of jovial-sounding names. A Guy’s Getaway. The Majumdar Men take Cuba. I was 25 years old and living in the basement, feverishly working on what I hoped would be a sellable first novel while ducking calls [...]

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WinterRoad

The Palace of Justice

During the winter of 2005, I watched my father battle Quebec’s Public Curator office for control of my mother’s future. It was a low point for us all- the financial and emotional strain, coupled with the challenges of trying to somehow stay connected as a family at the tail end of over a decade of [...]

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darkmatter

The Second Promise

I’d been dating Erin for nearly 2 years before she finally met my parents. Truth be told, I’d done everything possible to delay it: intimations that they were too busy in Montreal to pay us a visit in Queens (not true), assurances that we’d set something up for an upcoming holiday or long weekend that [...]

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Ambulance

The Ambulance

Ambulances arouse a strong reaction in me. During the years when my mother’s schizophrenia necessitated a series of forced hospital stays, the arrival of the boxy white transporter outside our home was proof that my father, younger brother and I had failed in our efforts to bring her back. Everything we’d done in support of [...]

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Indian Dogs Are Snobs

On the morning of our third day in Kolkata, my wife and I woke to the pitiful cries of a dog and her puppies in the alley adjacent to my Aunt’s apartment. While animals are everywhere in the city, the sheer alienness of seeing cows dozing on sidewalks and goats bleating alongside beeping cars on [...]

Gavel

The Witness

Seismic shifts in my life have occurred as result of the Quebec courts, where for over a decade my parents battled for, and sometimes against one another due to my mother’s schizophrenia. In elementary school, my father initiated divorce proceedings when her violent mood swings and blatant disregard for others jeopardized our family’s future. While [...]

Shoes2

The Shoe Hustlers

“Italo?” I could scarcely believe it was him. Pale, sickly skin and a haunted look in his eyes. Wearing a bright green workout shirt that’s tight around the belly. Flashy sneakers with trailing laces. As a kid, he’d been lean and handsome, with a smirk that proclaimed him to be untouchable. He nods without really seeming [...]