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Paper Tigers

The first moment when I saw things the way I’d see them as an adult occurred during a French class in Grade 5. Our teacher, a pot-bellied Frenchman named Guy, was the very definition of a bon vivant. Instead of teaching the ins and outs of verb conjugation, he much preferred to regale us with [...]


The Ghosts of Bandal House

I recently learnt that my mother’s ancestral home outside Kolkata, sold off about 15 years ago to pay outstanding debts, is haunted. And not just by anyone, but the ghost of my grandfather, who passed away in the late 80’s. Apparently the sprawling expanse of Bandal House as it’s called, three stories high, winding corridors [...]

Girl Playing Piano

Waking to a House Filled with Music

Living with a family member who has schizophrenia is like sitting atop a mountain high in the clouds; you can see normal people far below, but the prospect of joining them seems impossible. From age 10 onwards I’d witnessed my mother withdraw from the world, put on black clothing, answer to different names, and lend [...]


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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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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My name’s Anish Majumdar and I’m a writer of Bengali origin, raised in Canada, currently living with my Irish-German-Lithuanian wife and two mixed-breed cats in Rochester, NY. I started DashAmerican.com to answer a question: are there others like me? People who participate in the culture of their parents as well as the myriad joys, heartaches [...]

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Shahram Sharif

Adventures in Job Hopping

  For most Indian parents, sacrificing for your children is not only expected but desired. Spending money that could go to a nicer house or car on helping your offspring get the edge is the highest of callings (and provides ample bragging rights during parties). My Dad poured money into college savings accounts and sports [...]


Acting 101: How to Escape Eviction

When you’re trying to make a living as an actor, as I did for nearly 6 years, you will often find yourself applying performance skills in real life. Sometimes it’s to avoid uncomfortable social situations, like when the girl you’re out on a date with starts displaying stalker tendencies and you calmly order another round, [...]


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 [...]


The End of Halfhearted Holidays (And Why I Couldn’t Be Happier)

Growing up in Montreal as part of a 4-person Bengali family, I can best describe our Christmases together as pleasant but halfhearted. There would be a Saturday or Sunday devoted to decorating, a brief Christmas morning, and, for those things needed yet rarely asked for, Boxing Day on the 26th, a cacophony of cash registers [...]