Calcutta and Bengal’s greatest contemporary export is intellectual (wo)manpower as a talent pipeline to western liberal arts university campuses and in turn to the progressive media worldwide. This is implicit and underrated. Just read through the surnames across the websites.
Miss the karak chai, in a pakistani or malbari paratha tea shop in Bur Dubai or in Ruwi on the red and white tiled tables, where ARY or Asianet would be showing a cricket game or news on full blast. I would be at the corner table soaking in the chatter. Soon, Inshallah.
There is a difference between a cultural insider and a ‘tourist-academic’. How can we contribute to our communities who are vulnerable, in a material sense which can remediate the sense of predatory mining of pathos ?
I personally abhor the notion of the access to the field site as extraction oriented one way street. For me the Khaleej is Bayt, and the stories are dialogic as these are my Sadiq- old and new whose pain and aspirations i feel as if my own. We are not data.
Growth always comes from the deep side of the pool, the sense of incomprehension, the chaos and the discomfort. There is a significant dark side to the positive toxicity cult. CV is always the best selection portfolio.
Re-watched Kahaani with fellow friends and colleagues from five countries and it remains a favorite after a decade, having watched it at Bombay Talkies here. Kolkata is a character in the film especially the cha and the street corner fare. Subtitles transcend language.
Good to meet my septuagenarian grand aunt after a decade and my uncle and niece for an elaborate bong lunch in Singapore today.Transnational families are hybrid spaces as my aunt joined in on a discussion on creative writing from Bombay on a call.My uncle not in the picture, is someone i have always met overseas, the last time at Burjuman in Bur Dubai couple of years back.