I was born in Kolkata, India but grew up in Africa and various parts of the Middle East before returning to the homeland in my teens. I moved to Cincinnati, Ohio in the USA for a graduate degree in Geography that led to a 25 year career in GIS (Geographic Information Systems) for Environmental Management. Most of this has been for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR). I live in Waltham now with my husband and 14 year old son in a old house known as "Granny Malone's house" since it was in that family for 50 years. This connection with the city's history matters to me more than it reasonably should.
I have an imagination that has a hair-trigger and frequently works over-time. Stimuli range from overheard snippets of conversation through quotes from a book to art. I find myself wondering 'What if?' and allowing my thoughts to wander into fictional realities that I will myself, perhaps never know. I have never had any training in the craft of writing but have not let that prevent me from reaching for a pen or keyboard when my 'pen needs to glean my teeming brain' (thank you, Keats). I've written one-handed while hanging from a subway car strap as well as stirring mac'n'cheese for the toddler; on café napkins and in blank pages in notebooks leftover from my son's school year.
Over the years I have scratched this itch in organized ways too, befitting the thin slivers of free time that exist in the life of a working mother. This has taken the form of blogging, running flash fiction groups, curating a children’s magazine for my son, writing children’s stories (in verse and in prose) to bribe a kid to sleep, entering contests and public Storytelling (in the tradition of ‘The Moth’). I have recently waded into the waters of translation from Bengali and hope to improve my strokes.
'Incremental change' is my guiding thought, the idea that we can work towards the world we want in tiny, tiny steps which will one day, add up to something. This drives me to engage in community organizing though my life and schedule ensure that it's almost always on a small scale and local. I greatly value the easily-overlooked small moments that occur between noteworthy events as I think much joy unfolds in these interstitial places if only we know to look at them. This was the frequently focus of my Silver Linings blog and a strategy to combat the overwhelming despair resulting from my mis-calibrated empathy meter.
I hope to one day publish my short stories, flash fiction, children’s literature and memoirs. It's a dream whose outlines I can glimpse faintly through the inchoate fogs of my life and if any agent or publisher has read this far down my bio...make it happen, won't you? My tendency to be maniacally optimistic is at least good for this: my dreams are usually happy, even when I am not.
The map below shows places I had called 'home' by the time I was 18.