Race Category

New year blues

Happy new year! Which path are you taking for 2016? So here we are, at the end of the first week of the new year, and I’m already talking about depression. Unfathomable, right? Or is it really? After all, we have just come out the other side of effectively two months of US holidays.

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Are bindis the tip of the cultural appropriation iceberg?

I’m testing out Facebook’s revamped Notes feature and riffing on bindis and questions cultural appropriation. Apologies if you’re reading a duplicate version of this piece, but it’s a useful way for me to track traffic. I read this (linked) article this morning and it got me thinking about the wearing of bindis and other cultural […]

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The things I was never going to do…

When I was in my teens, I knew I never wanted to be a teacher.  My father was a teacher, many of my uncles were teachers, my cousins were teachers, there were teachers everywhere I looked.  I knew with the certainty of  teenagehood that the last profession on Earth I would ever enter would be […]

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Where’s Home?

About 18 months after I move anywhere new, I start getting itchy feet.  I magically forget the painful process of packing everything we own, of readying a house for sale, rent, or return to landlord, of organising schools, animals, and our own travel.  I put on my rose-tinted glasses and look around for the next […]

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Mother Emanuel

Today, the U.S. woke to the news of a terrorist attack in South Carolina.  A single white man was welcomed into a Bible study and prayer circle at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina, an historically black church.  He sat with the other churchgoers for an hour.  Then he deliberately, calculatedly shot those around […]

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Advance Australia Fair

The 26th of January is both Indian Independence Day and Australia Day.  As someone of Indian descent, and Australian nationality, I face no conflict there.  There is no tugging at my conscience to choose one country over the other, there is no struggle in embracing both celebrations equally.  Both celebrations are about nationhood, the forging […]

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Letter to My Sons

My Darling Sons, Today, in the aftermath of a violent, unhinged man holding people hostage in the Lindt chocolate cafe in Sydney, killing two, causing physical injuries to more, and unseen psychological damage to so many more, I am heartsore.  In the aftermath of a young, unarmed African American man being shot to death, ostensibly […]

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Paved With Good Intentions

A flash fiction piece I wrote this week elicited unexpected observations on the motivations of a character, and started me reflecting on comments made to me over the years, and the intentions behind them. When I was a very small child, I lived in a blissful world. As children do. Differences were barely noticed, and […]

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Rosetta Stone

When I was a child I lived in a multilingual house in Brunei. The siblings were overseas and far away at boarding school, and my mother was determined not to make the same linguistic mistakes with me. My parents spoke to me only in Malayalam, and the lady who helped with the housework spoke only […]

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Yes-Yes

Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1687537

We were gathered, a rag-tag group of kids, giggling and squealing. Engaged in the forbidden, we knew in the deepest recesses of our hearts, that our mothers would furrow their brows and waggle their index fingers. Cross-legged or legs folded under us, we sat on the floor of the walk-in robe of Ajita’s parents’ bedroom. […]

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