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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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MickeyShot2Edited

Surfacing

In September my son Mickey was born. Oval head. Pink sausage link of a torso. The hands of a geriatric in miniature, lined and curled into themselves. The doctor placed him on Erin’s bare chest and gently turned his head to face mine. He opened his eyes, and with a shock I realized that we [...]

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Tango

Passing The Marriage Test

I woke up on the morning of May 10, 2009 in a luxury hotel suite next to a woman with warm blonde hair and a kind face and realized, in a way more felt than seen, that everything had changed. I was a husband, and although we’d exchanged the actual vows the day before, the [...]

christmastree

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 [...]

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 [...]

groupshot

The 5 Rules of a Bengali Party

One of the strangest side-effects of growing up and leaving the world of my parents behind is that, after countless bar crawls and mornings feeling like the Cryptkeeper, I find myself missing the rigid frivolity of a Bengali party. There’s something masochistic about this. Few occasions are as deeply rooted in secret rules of engagement (and [...]