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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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AnishM.Teen

I Was Not Cool In High School

When I think, honestly, about my days as a high schooler, I experience an awful sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. My God, the embarrassments. Now, I’m proud to say that I’ve made an ass of myself THROUGHOUT my 32 years on this planet. But being a six-foot-plus Bengali bookworm with zero coordination and [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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 [...]

2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8

American Muscle, Mi Amor

The first new car my Dad ever purchased was a beige boat-on-wheels called a Pontiac Parisienne. You can see it in the background of countless family pictures: a gleaming metal grille and backend of Nicki Minaj-like proportions. It was an object of pride, a symbol of the new world we’d arrived in and our desire [...]