By K. Singh
I was born in a country emancipated from slavery to the British, thirty-five years before my birth; the country’s concept of identity was already being questioned. I was birthed to a young woman, the age of eighteen. She was the daughter of an old film actress, popular in the 1940’s and perhaps 50’s—for our family, she will be popular for generations. My grandmother had a big hand in raising me while my mother went to college in her mid-twenties—herself coming first in academics throughout the Indian state of Maharashtra; a divorcé and a single mother in metro India during the 1980’s.
When I was born there was a celebration for me, and one hundred beggars were fed on the streets of Bombay—as today’s ‘Mumbai’ was called then. The hallway of the hospital was uproarious with my father and his friends drinking and celebrating while the hospital room was quiet with my mother and grandmother—the old actress—passed out in exhaustion.
My father himself was the bastard child of one of the most classical Indian film actors of the same era, with a considerably longer career, and his mistress, who was similarly an actress. I have never viewed her work, and am nearly wholly at a loss for any longevity of memories as concerned with my father’s mother. There are a few memories from my very young years, and then smatterings of years after when I would go off with my father for a few anxious days for my mother; but aside from this, my paternal grandmother represents more of a figure that was present in the house where the wallpaper on one large wall looked like a forest, and my first dog, Butchy, lived and died and let me ride his back to get over my fear of dogs.
I was raised on stories like this that helped engender my way of thinking, and that kind of thinking ignited as I grew through my teenage years in America. All the desire for identity, seen predominantly through material success—as would be expected from a recently emancipated colony—was brought to fruition in a land born of the previous oppressor’s brothers; a land where this mentality created an entire system of living, called Capitalism.
There is a long story in between, so for brevity: today I work as a salesman, learning the art of politics and communication; honing my skills of living, and setting my eyes on ever more dramatic goals matched with actionable, and measurable attempts at their fulfillment. All the churning molten history of my life in the cooker of modern day America combines with my circumstance (what I like to call, Blessing) and rumbles with tension as my Being begins breaking through the soil of the old world, and the soot of the new; ushering in the fire of both, and with it, the coming Age of Boldness.
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