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Scarecrow

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 [...]

iversonic

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 [...]

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 [...]

Featured Posts

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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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 [...]

Highly Discussed Posts

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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 [...]

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 [...]

ChildPic1

Guest Post: The Denial

“Last Name, now!” “What?” My mind raced… I thought quickly… No way this is happening right now… I couldn’t believe I was going to get the complete shit knocked out me, right then and there…. “Last Name, you dirty Jew, what’s your last name?” Shit…..He was so much bigger than me…. What the hell am [...]

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 [...]