Hi there! Today is February 26th, 2017, and I just thought I'd put up a link to a clip of Dances of India's 39th Anniversary Production of The Music of Water--Tales of Adventure, Love, & Magic Along India's Sacred Rivers. I wrote and narrated the script and my mom's good friend Theckla (who's like a second mom to me) choreographed the piece. It's at the end of this post.
And here follows an intro to my work for those of you who are visiting for the first time:
I just put up a new updated excerpt of my most recent novel, The Palace of the Seven Stories. It's a whimsical, philosophical, tale, where a 12-year old French-Afghani girl and a 12-year old American boy find themselves in an adventure where they have to bring an end to the age of darkness in which we find ourselves. Other characters include a French archaeologist, Buddhist historian, quantum physicist, and philosophical terrier named Jacques. Oh--there are also historical Chinese Buddhist monks (Fa Hsien & Hsuan Tsang, for those of you interested in these incredible men who walked their way from China to India in the 5th & 7th centuries A.D.) a French concierge and her monstrous cat, a sarcastic contemporary young Chinese-French Buddhist monk, three Hindu goddesses who have incarnated into some drop-dead gorgeous brilliant ladies... Please click above! I will add more of my other work soon.
Hi everyone! Well, I am officially launching my website today, December 20th, 2015--exactly one year since the death of my father. As you will see in the page Poems on Loss & Magic, 2014 was a year of almost incessant loss for me---family friends and relatives passed, and then in swift, unexpected order, my grandmother, my dad, and a beloved professor of mine.
I have been writing for years, and dancing--classical & folk dances of India--since the age of 5. I was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and grew up at a time when being "Indian" meant being "Cherokee" as in, "You're Indian, really? I'm a quarter Cherokee!" We heard that for years, up until the software boom of the mid-'90's, when Indians started arriving in St. Louis in greater numbers. Please click on About to learn more about me.
I grew up in a very special sliver of time--when I was just 'me', not Indian, Indian-American, or any of these group identifications we use. I love the following quotes by Albert Einstein on individuality:
“It is important to foster individuality, for only the individual can produce the new ideas.”
“The life of the individual has meaning only insofar as it aids in making the life of every living thing nobler and more beautiful. Life is sacred, that is to say, it is the supreme value, to which all other values are subordinate.”
I love reading about physics---no matter how much I read, there is so much more to read, because no matter how much I understand about the universe (which is so incredibly little!), there is so much more to understand. I am fascinated by science---so much intrigues me, from the microbes in our cells to the incomprehensibly ancient rocks of this earth, to, of course, the chimerical, magical, dancing cataracts of light which color each and every one of our days.
I am also fascinated by art---where do I begin? Music enchants me--from ancient Sanskrit slokas, to Rimsky-Korsikov's Scheherazade and Gershwin's gorgeous Rhapsody in Blue (among many, many, other classical pieces), the intoxicating beats of quawwali, bhangra, classical Carnatic rhythms which are as familiar to me as water. (And, as I have discovered when I lived away from home, as necessary). Of course there is also homegrown jazz, bossa nova, flamenco....and then there is painting from around the world, whether Odilon Redon, the pre-Raphaelites (whom I just adore), absolutely dreamy Japanese prints...literature...too many books to mention right here, I will create a separate page for that in a little while...sculpture...Rodin's creations, the phenomenal statue of Nataraja ---Shiva as the dancing deity par excellence--which never fails to elicit within me pure awe at the pristine uncontrollable power of his dance---(and to think, we will never know the names of the anonymous sculptors who rendered this dance into a figure which still staggers us with its dynamic movement thousands of years after its creation--)...poetry...from Rilke to e.e. cummings (whose somewhere i have never traveled is the more gorgeous love-poem in the world, I think) to the exquisite writings of local poet Marjorie Stelmach (from whom I was fortunate enough to learn writing in junior high and high school).
This world is an absolute wonder!!! And that is what I write about.
Please, enjoy, I appreciate any feedback at all.