It gives me great pleasure to let my dear readers know that my narrative nonfiction piece, a personal essay titled ‘Thwarted Escape’ has been published in the online journal, ‘Cafe Dissensus Everyday’. Written in late summer 2010, the idea of this piece came to me while waiting at the terminal of the Delhi international airport with my elder daughter, a toddler, for our next connecting flight to Chicago. Just a couple of hours back, I had bid goodbye to my parents, in-laws and relatives in the Kolkata airport, and was thinking how there is this complete switch of universes in the course of one flight to the next.
I was thinking of the meaning and essence of the words ‘home’, ‘homeland’, the edges of which seemed blurred now that I had two different homes, two different set of lives continents apart. My exile, six years back as the newly wed Bengali bride was self-chosen, I had already embraced new homes, landscapes in the most unlikely of places. My life had already been intertwined with the air and water of the unknown soil, amidst unknown lives, but each day, we were coming closer, like fingers kneading clay, leaving imprints on each other. I was thinking about the life, the bittersweet memories that I leave behind in every annual visit to my parents’ and in-laws’ place, the emotional, physical, spiritual upheavals that have been part of both my leaving the places and coming back to them. It was then that I realized that in this act of leaping between continents, in the act of adjusting to the various movements of my heart, there is a story yet to be told, even to myself. This piece is born out of such a quest, framed in my mind in between the transit stops, and is now a chapter from my first, yet unpublished memoir. It is also the stepping stone to some longer narratives where I dissect, deconstruct my pent up, calcified memories, revisit my past in Kolkata and look at my present while inching towards honesty, integrity and self-awareness. It is a personal voyage that is bruised and bleeding, yet marked with reassurance, vitality and the animated signs of life.
Do read the full personal essay published at Cafe Dissensus Everyday:
The piece has also very recently been accepted for publication by the 2014 River Poets Journal Special Edition “The Last Time I Ran Away.” It is a print literary journal published from Lilly Press, NJ. To know more about River Poets Journal, go to: