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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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darkmatter

The Second Promise

I’d been dating Erin for nearly 2 years before she finally met my parents. Truth be told, I’d done everything possible to delay it: intimations that they were too busy in Montreal to pay us a visit in Queens (not true), assurances that we’d set something up for an upcoming holiday or long weekend that [...]

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dropfocus

The City Block That Encompassed A Childhood

She was an Indian-American growing up on a block in Bayside, Queens that resembled Sesame Street. Only instead of muppets, she had imaginary friends that kept her company while she played in the dark, cavernous basement of her family home. To the left of her house were the Ongs, who gifted her family a box [...]

Anish Childhood Pics-2

Starting Over

I come awake suddenly on an August morning in 2006 in the basement of my parents’ home in Montreal. Bright sunlight slips through barred windows and caresses grey carpet. I’m wearing the previous day’s clothes, and my legs dangle over the edge of the sofa which has served as a makeshift bed for the past [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]