Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
I started revising a short story after a while. I have had it sitting there for a while, then I turned it in for the Spring workshop, and then felt like revising it based on the feedback I got from the class. Besides, it will also help break my fiction lull. I have very modest aims--to put in 4-6 pages every week of this workshop. That is, roughly a page a day. Right now, other than the teaching philosophy, that's all I can deal with. I am definitely leading a very wordy life.
Monday, June 27, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
A friend of mine, after reading the poem in Stonetelling, asked me, why I chose Kiranmala. Is it because she is a "Bong" heroine. There are lots of reasons why I am fascinated by Kiranmala, but I don't think her "Bongness" is one of them. This is something that I have been thinking about a lot these days: this question of identity in the way it often comes up in my discussions with friends and students who are second generation South Asians in this country. Bangla has never been about "identity" or "heritage" to me in the way American identity politics speaks about one's racial/cultural/ethnic identity. It was the first language that I learnt. My sense of music has been formed by Bangla words, the cadence of that language. I sing Bangla songs when I am alone without really thinking about it, because that's what I know, that's what there is in my sub-conscious mind. I didn't grow up in a social milieu where people were "post-colonial hybrids." English was a foreign language to them, a familiar foreign language, but a foreign language still. They were scared of it, in awe of its skilled users. Some people I know and have grown up with, managed to developed a functional knowledge of it. My father one amongst them. Most didn't. In India, how one uses English gives out one's economic and cultural class. The lower-middle class, suburban Kolkata milieu where I grew up, people spoke, read, wrote in Bangla. That's what they still do. And I know, if I have to make any attempt towards building up any thread of communication with them, I cannot give up writing in Bangla. So, Bangla is my identity in a certain way. But it's way more than that.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Friday, June 3, 2011
This week has been one of firsts-- the first visit to IKEA, the first installation of a table in my room, the two shelves, and a house-plant. Along with it comes the fear that am I growing up (read, am I becoming domesticated)? I keep telling myself, it's not me, it's the bugs. Yes, for the last six months, I have lived in a bug-infested apartment. So, the table, the shelves, and the visit to IKEA were more about creating the conditions for bug-removal, rather than about any desire to become anything else other than my scattered self. But, I must admit, I am enjoying the table so far. I am enjoying the fact that I can work in my room, and I haven't really visited a cafe ever since the tables have been installed.
The individual poems in my manuscript needs to get stronger. So, that's what I am doing now. That will also mean more research, more reading, more digging ...more...more...more.
I was thinking how my writing has changed in recently--earlier, I was more concerned with protest. Now I am more concerned with construction. Manuscript 2 is a combination of the two.
::Things I Have Cooked So Far::
--Tomato Shrimp Chowder Soup
-- Bengali Murgir Jhol
Will try to put up the recipes soon
1. The Hour of the Goddess--Chitrita Banerjee
2. Pitamahi-- Shanta Sen