South Asian American History Lessons

Saturday, December 29, 2012

"These personal accounts allow us to glimpse an alternate picture of South Asian American history, one in which migrants from the subcontinent built lives with and among people who had come to New York City--and to Harlem--from different parts of the country and the world and who shared class circumstances, living conditions, parallel experiences of racialization, and eventually neighborhoods and families, once they settled in the city. The stories of this hidden life of Harlem also make one thing certain: it is impossible to find the 'South Asian America' of the pre-1965 era as if it were a neatly delineated ethnic neighborhood, with clear borders and clearly marked signs; this South Asian America was and continues to be embedded within other Americas, within Puerto Rican America, Afro-Caribbean America, and African America."
-- Vivek Bald, Bengali Harlem

Please obtain this amazing book as soon as possible.

When I Can't Write, I Draw

Friday, December 28, 2012

Working on some new visual material.

I have a cinematic brain - as I write, I'll see snippets of scenes and hear the dialogue. And when I can't pick out just the right words, it flows out in other ways.

For some things, I can't really imagine it any other way.

The Cat Returns

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pages and pages and pages.

That's what's characterized my life in the last few weeks - having produced my final theses for senior year of college, comprising of 90+ pages of creative non-fiction and academic analysis, with a little bit of environmental science thrown in there somewhere. Hence, writing (and also reading) for myself have really given way to the requirements of my college performance. But really, what's so new about that?

I've been pursuing a majorly offline life for the past month or so, from reading my fiction pieces to working on my fellowship project to just plain buckling down on school. It's brought me to reassess where I'm going with my online life in comparison: is this blog a reflection of my work? A place to store memories? To test out ideas? Probably, it's a bit of all these things. But I have figured out what it is not: it is certainly not an obligation.

This is more a reminder to myself, I believe. I've had several posts in reserve that I wanted to put up when I am too busy to produce new content, but they haven't been calling to me. And that's ok. There are ways to not feel tugged at to produce, to be silent and not have to fill it with endless little nothings. Not until they're ready, that is.

What surprised me when I was done with my pages of writing and my college closed for winter break was that I was still hungry to keep on reading and writing. This isn't really a period of burnout as I've experienced in other days when you'd have to scrape me off the couch after a week for lack of energy. Instead, I've been delving (slowly) into new projects and new books, catching up on old TV shows and reading new blogs. I've also grown more confident about editing my work and figuring out where I'll be after college.

But more on that later.

For now, my plans are to turn this blog inward on itself - as a space for public experimentation in between the lines of my offline life. What does that look like, you ask? Well, that's something you'll just have to wait and see.