The child of migrant parents, I grew up walking in two worlds, fitting comfortably into neither. In the 1980s beauty role models who looked like me were non-existent in the western society my family made their home. They were equally absent in the culture of my heritage.
The first flickering fingers of dawn stretched over the horizon. Flug held his gossamer wings stiff, as a zephyr whispered through the grasses and caught his weight.
He loved summer parties, but it had been a long night and he was tired. Coasting on a steady breeze instead of flapping his wings felt like sweet relief.
~ Deepam. Deepam. ~
My childhood Summers were spent mostly at my maternal grandmother’s home in Kerala. My Ammamma, my Mothermother, was brilliant, a self-educated soul who read without discrimination. Sharp-witted, insightful, funny, and loving, with little interest in cooking. She would delight in things of beauty, and my mother would secret away small presents that would thrill her. When Ammamma died, we found an almirah full of Avon hand-painted soaps with beautiful flowers on them. She had squirrelled them away, considering them too precious to ever use.
~ Deepam. Deepam. ~
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 for changing lanes illegally while driving, by Houston police, I’m searching for the humanity in human beings. In the aftermath of the Taliban attack today on a school in Pakistan killing 141 people, I am despondent.
“They’re offering me a job in the US,” he said. My wanderlust choir harmonised in the background.
And so began our jarringly brief consideration of the pros and cons of an international move. We have never been ones to allow the dust to settle on us, and we were in the seventh house, in the third city since we got married, when this came up. Just a year prior, we had toyed with the idea of selling our house, buying a boat and sailing around the world. We had seriously considered this a viable option. So, the possibility of an international move wasn’t as confronting as you might think. We’d talked about the potential for many years, but somehow, this time it was more immediate, more certain, more urgent.