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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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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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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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Eric.Parker

Kolkata On 3 Wheels

After a few days in Kolkata being hosted by relatives, my wife and I decided to reciprocate by taking them out on the town. This is no small task. For starters, there’s a 40-year age difference separating us from the youngest of the 2 Aunties and 1 Uncle we’d be escorting: an entirely different generation [...]