Tag Archives: identity

Shanghai Battle Scars

I begin to count the scars on my body as soon as I hail the only cab I spot from the hotel’s courtyard. Dadi, I hear myself say. The first word I learned in the Shanghai dialect. A cigarette burn … Continue reading

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Displaced in Delhi at 17

Sometimes I close my eyes and try to imagine the irregularly shaped rectangle of sky I encountered as I lay my soaked head back on the steps leading up to the roof.  The coolness of the painted concrete was the … Continue reading

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A Day at a Liberty Avenue Hair Salon

“Keep yuh head straight,” Natalie tells me after first straightening it herself in the sink she’s washing my hair in.  I wince.  Since I’m in town I decide to get my hair blown out straight, just because.  I like my … Continue reading

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History’s Hidden Quarters: A Review of Gaiutra Bahadur’s Coolie Woman

There are some books which infiltrate one’s skin, which burrow deep underneath layers of tissue and stay there.  Then there are others which rip the skin from your body and recreate that being which is you.  Gaiutra Bahadur’s Coolie Woman: … Continue reading

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Gyaffin in the Wake House

Guyanese wakes are the best part of dying.  Gyaffin galore.  To gyaff is the Guyanese-Creole English equivalent of chatting, storytelling, gossiping.  I come from a family of people who like fuh gyaff, storytellers.  Gyaffin at wake houses take on a … Continue reading

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The Mythologization of Guyana

It is a ritual to go to the airport with my father to collect and drop off our perpetual rotation of relatives.  It is an unspoken time to bond.  My father is the kind of man who will not say … Continue reading

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Threads of the Diaspora or the Importance of a Hammock

Sometimes if I try hard enough I can still smell the sharp scent of gasoline lacing the air, wrapping its jagged arms around my nose.  I can still feel the thin layers of dust envelop my body—like a thousand fireflies … Continue reading

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