The serpent demon Rahu swallows Soma, desperately trying to find eternal life. Vishnu attacks, decapitating the monster before a drop falls down its throat. Surya’s solar heat is but a memory in the night. Agni’s fire burns with desire, and finally Soma gives himself willingly.
When does our family’s expectations and history fade and become fused with us? What part of their culture do we take when they are gone and all we’ve known is the new world?
My latest short fiction, Useless Things, follows themes I began with my feature documentary, My Cultural Divide. You could say I am seeking a better sense of place, of where I am as a Canadian and where my family finds its roots. This is divided, as I am half Bangali and half Trinidadian, and then morso since I am half Muslim and half Presbyterian (disregarding my father’s somewhat insincere conversion before getting married to my mother). Further still, he was a Hindu at birth; his family two generations past originating from India. It isn’t certain from which state my paternal lineage originates, but I am sure this could be another film entirely.
Useless Things is not an autobiography. The character Shashin is not me, although physically I inhabit his space. I think in some ways the Hindu subtext is more real, the larger than life gods and demons that I identified with in some way and wrote about.