Poet of colour

I’ve always thought of myself in these terms (in no particular order): writer, artist, educator, editor, and so forth.

At most, I’ve included the adjective “Singaporean” in front of the first two nouns, or “based in Singapore” behind the latter two to provide a sense of context.

But never in a million years have I thought of myself and my work in terms of race.

So I was pleasantly surprised – and very amused – to find myself being described as a “poet of colour”, as seen from one of the hashtags on this post:

Apparently, I'm a poet of colour 😂
Apparently, I’m a poet of colour 😂

It’s one of the few times – beyond form-filling and direct or indirect racist comments made in my presence, because people are occasionally unable to grasp my ethnic makeup – that I’m forced to confront the fact that race matters a lot more to other people than it does for me.

Dreams

Nani has begun dreaming again.Since she began recounting her life, she’s been having dreams of her youth.She dreams…

Posted by Laremy Lee on Saturday, 11 July 2015

 
Nani has begun dreaming again.

Since she began recounting her life, she’s been having dreams of her youth.

She dreams about 1930s Sindh, in what was still India, and not yet Pakistan.

In them, she recalls the freedom of childhood and being a child: how she and her friends ran races, played games like dog and bone, how they roamed the streets of Hyderabad – courageously, in all their urchin-like temerity.

She remembers fearlessness: her father never scolded her so she was very brave; her mother would back down whenever Nani stood up to her – which was often.

There were neither borders nor obligations; no boundaries to be afraid of crossing.

Most of all, she remembers the freedom.

Were you happy, Nani, we ask.

“Khush,” she says, spreading her gnarled fingers in an expanse of expression. Happy.

“Ma free has; ma sochandas ma free aayah.”

“I was free,” she said. “I would think then, ‘I am free.'”

Chindian New Year 2014 to be celebrated over 12 Jun and 13 Jun

Tue, 8 Apr 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CHINDIAN NEW YEAR 2014 TO BE CELEBRATED OVER 22 JUN AND 23 JUN

  1. The Ministry of Manpower has confirmed that Diwali 2014 will fall on Wed, 22 Oct 2014.
  2. Chindian New Year will thus be celebrated on 1.5 days – from Thu, 12 Jun 2014 till noon on Fri, 13 Jun 2014.
  3. Chindian Chap Goh Meh will be celebrated on Thu, 26 Jun 2014.

MINISTRY OF CHINDIAN AFFAIRS