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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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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 [...]

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AnishMajumdarPhoto56

Returning to Douglas Hospital

During a recent trip to Montreal I had the opportunity to visit Douglas Hospital, a psychiatric institution where my Mom spent over a decade being treated for schizophrenia. It’s a place that looms large in my imagination. When you watch a parent slowly get stripped of a malignant new personality and see flickers of the person [...]

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 [...]

tjblackwell2

Guest Post: For Keeps

During a recent visit home, I was given an ultimatum.  My bedroom was being reincarnated as a study for my dad so either I could box up the artifacts of my childhood or risk having them disposed of and lost to me forever.  My husband Om sweetly offered to help and I accepted, not realizing [...]

Shankar Uncle and Me

The Forgotten Family

Flying the 7775 miles from Boston to Kolkata with my wife, I kept thinking about the family members I’d be seeing for the first time in over 25 years. Who exactly were these Aunts and Uncles, these half-remembered faces gesticulating down at me and trying to make me laugh at 6 years of age? What [...]