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Showing posts from November, 2022

Language, Lost and Found

In France for a long spell earlier this year, everyone around me speaking in a language I didn’t speak or read, I began to think about the many streams of language I've swum in. My mother tongue, Bengali, was the language of home and of intimacy. Yet somewhere along those years, with a sigh drowned out by babel, the language had left me. I tried to find my way back to it through writers like Leela Majumdar and Bibhutibhushan. In "Language, Lost and Found" out now in Noema Magazine, I write of how I found it again, and of language in alien contexts. I'm not sure if this essay is travelogue or memoir or a bunch of stories. But here it is, and I hope you will read it.  It was a red paperback with a green, winking cat spread across its large front. Just a few taps pulls it up on my screen now, and I wonder if my mental image of the day my father came with it as a gift for my brother and me is the work of memory or imagination. He walks in as if he has a happy secret and l

The Goa Heritage Festival

  It must have been my lucky week. Laila Tyabji, who is somehow puckish, formidable, and beautiful all at the same time, was my housemate at the Goa Heritage Festival . I went to the festival with my mother, she with her daughter Urvashi. Our foursome began each morning with plans for the day and ended with a gossipy, raucous dinnertime postmortem. In between we went to the many fascinating talks and discussions. I came away with wisdom and gentleness from Damodar Mauzo, Gnanpith-awarded Konkani writer, who was the third occupant of the Surya Kiran Heritage Hotel bungalow, which was the venue of the events as well as our warm and pleasant temporary home. Laila gave an illustrated talk on saris and that evening there was a playful sari catwalk, showcasing Kunbi saris, at the enormous, carnivalesque mela spread across the park opposite the hotel, where there was food, drink, music, local produce every day. I was in conversation with Vivek Menezes , who was curating and conducting our bi