Othering Expectations

I wonder how many writers of some Indian extraction feel this pressure.
That as a brownie (wherever you may sit on the spectrum of pigmentation), one is expected to proffer prose rich and unctuous like the jalebi that must line the bottoms of our quotidian.
That as an Indian from anywhere, my life experience is always lyrical, bittersweet in uncertainties of belonging, caught as we are in a swinging net between here and there.
Perpetual immigrants, even three generations down, all of living is taut with the embroidery of vagabond merchants and labourers.
With saffron and turmeric auras, my characters are cast to wear clothes that hold fast the smell of fried onions and cardamom.
Everything is weeping and laughing.
If they have Muslim names, then the thread-counts of cloth must be declared; how much do they cover and what will happen if they are to reveal?
A call to prayer is the soundtrack to a sunset and the dilemmas of the modern believer; thinking eastern, acting western.
Rituals are extensive, arcane and shrouded.
Colours are never colours, they are a riotous mob of rainbows caught under a juggernaut.

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I am a writer and photographer (look up my work on www.shootcake.com) based in Johannesburg, South Africa. I have an MA in Creative Writing from the university currently known as Rhodes. My writing accolades include winning the 2014 Writivism Short Story Prize and the 2020 Ingrid Jonker Poetry Prize for my debut collection, Zikr.

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