Goodbye and Hello

With this issue we bid one goodbye and say two hellos.

Alex Maarten’s column Through Blue Eyes concludes with his story “By Invitation Only” (page 32). Maarten writes about a visit to a remote hilltop Hindu temple, where he received the unexpected honor of consecrating the murtis.

In this series Maarten has regaled us with anecdotes about the nuances of shopping in India, the tailor lady who never delivers on time, and his first visit to a crowded movie theater in India.

Maarten records the minutest details of everyday life in India, unfolding them just as he sees them. Most Indians would not even consciously observe the minutia of Indian customs and habits, and when Maarten recounts them in his inimitable style, they sound hilarious. His non-judgmental narration conveys sensitivity and respect for Indian traditions. He often weaves in his Indian wife’s opinions, which provide counterpoint to Maarten’s own fresh outsider’s perspective.

As your series comes to a close, I thank you, Alex, for your entertaining vignettes of India that always made me chuckle.

We are introducing two new columns this month: Personal Items by Ranjit Souri, and Single in San Francisco by Sanju C.

Souri teaches comedy writing in Chicago, but opens on a sober note with “Through a Child’s Eyes” (page 154) about the racial prejudice he encountered while growing up in Ohio. In the months to come we will learn about the night he spent in a homeless shelter in Cincinnati, and later how he found his voice as a minority actor. He will pay a tribute to his mother, and share the jitters he felt upon giving up a promising career in accounting.

In a lighter vein, Sanju C. chronicles the adventures and heartbreaks of an unattached Indian woman (page 24) in that foggy, hilly city by the bay, how she loses a boyfriend and finds a roommate. Resisting the well-meaning attempts of relatives to arrange a match for her, she will try her luck with online dating instead. She will agonize about phrasing her personal ad just right to find her Mr. Alright. Through her many dilemmas you will also get a peek into the affairs of other singles in the same boat.

I hope you enjoy these columns. Let us know what you think. Your comments are the best welcome you can give to our new columnists.



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