Friday, July 9, 2010


I've been wanting to write something based on my maternal grandmother’s life for many years. When I was a child, Nanna was the one I wanted to be like when I grew up. I’ve asked everyone who remembers something of her, to tell me as well. I continue to ask my mother. I’ve tapped my aunt before she passed away, five days after my father died. They were in the same hospital. On a day when he felt better, we wheeled him into her room to give her company. There will also be other things that other people will remember differently. And they can write their own version someday. But meanwhile, there are some of my own memories.
This summer I went on a grant from Aspen Writers Foundation (now affiliated with the Aspen Institute) to Aspen. The idea was to work out a structure for this new venture of mine, so that when I am ready to write it, that work will be already started. I studied with Bill Loizeaux and a group of other wonderful aspiring memoirists (more on that another time) in the pristine environs of Aspen Meadows.

July 8, 2010
reach toward a bowl of peaches that are going soft and wrinkly in the refrigerator. Because I’ve been thinking about her a lot lately, it occurs to me: the peach in my hand, has the exact texture of Nanna’s skin – soft, fuzzy, but still dense inside. I reach for a knife and begin to scoop the brown spots out of one. The knife is not the sharpest in the drawer, I find. But rather than find another, I continue, using pressure, rather than precision. There is still life inside this peach and I’m determined to save it. I cut it into half and carve out the brown. Then pry out the seed wedged within. More soft spots.
As I age too, the hands I admired in Nanna, are now my hands. Granted, the bones in my hand are finer. My hands, smaller, the wrists like a child’s I think sometimes. I get that from my paternal grandmother, perhaps. But the structure is similar. I have fewer veins that pump out of the skin. My mother has the veins too. Like Nanna, hers were blue. The skin, like oiled parchment. Mine are green under a tawnier skin. I wanted those veins, I was envious of those veins. For me, they were a hallmark mark of their combined beauty. It was lineage I was looking for. An intricate highway into those restless tips that keep their tune to that music in Nanna’s head. But it’s the bones that I see in my own hands. The structure. The bones that, in her old age, began to spread, pushed outwards from the joints that had become thicker, knottier, more stubborn.
I carve out the soft spots from the peach in my hand. They hide like a secret around the seed, still holding it to themselves. When I cut it all out, I have thin slices. I taste one. On account of being refrigerated, the peach is still a little sour. The sugars have been arrested in their development. And the meat, I find now, is too soft for the trouble I took. I eat it anyway. And then it hits me. For years I watched my grandmother do this. And still, I had forgotten – until now.
She would take bananas from a covered plate. Instead of picking the best of the bunch, she always took the one that was closest to being thrown away. Although I must say, there was little she ever threw away. Disturbed, tiny fruit flies would sigh outwards. She would wave them away. As if it made a difference. She would peal the soft brown skin as it limply fell away. Taking a breakfast knife from a small tray on the table, she too used more pressure than precision, like I did today, to carve out little concavities around the creamy fruit until it was notched like a totem pole, then cut it into chunks.
Just for the record. There are those who like their bananas on the raw side; without blemish, and very firm. With only a hint of the flavor to come. And then there are those that will not eat it until it has a generous sprinkling of brown spots and the sweetness is unbearable. By now you’ve guessed. My grandmother came from the latter category. I, the first.
I slip the pieces of the peach into my mouth. There is barely any substance. They go quickly. Peaches are the same, I like them firm and juicy, running down the sides of my inherited knuckles. I really should had taken one of the good ones and thrown away the one I ate. But I am too much my grandmother’s grand daughter. I finish the last slice and trash the brown remains. There are two nice ripe ones for anyone else who might come by.

The Color of Their Robes

Burma is not sexy.

Tibet has the Dalai Lama
He’s sexy.
He’s a great story.
The chosen one.
In exile.
Almost epic.
A macho freedom lover in a red muscle T-shirt,
on whispering terms with
Everybody on a throne,
A pain in the side of
A giant corporation
A giant bank,
A giant warehouse

I glimpse him with his manly stride,
On National news sometimes,
His stride of camouflaged purpose,

There are monks
Painting the flagrant streets of
Whispering into cell phones of unseen
Not on CNN,
Or on FOX, the sexy channels.
While they
Their blood just a hair darker than
The color of their maroon robes.

Why do Buddhist monks wear the color of blood?
They make it too easy.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Visit {Sangeeta Reddy at booth #12} The Summer Art Market

If you haven't been before this would be the year to come! The Summer Art Martket is a festival feauturing hundreds of artist, something for everyone, perhaps even Dad! I'll be displaying my work in booth 12, come chat and enjoy yourself.

June 12th and 13th 10-5
200 Grant St. Denver, Co.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Meet Aakash Mittal

Dileep and I went to listen to Aakash Mittal playing out on the patio of The St. Julien and we were delighted. He composes and plays (among other influences), Hindustani classical inspired jazz. Take a listen at his website, or better yet, attend one of his shows! Aakash Mittal upcoming performance at Dazzle in Denver, would be a great date night activity or just to meet up with some good friends for music, conversation and drinks!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

High Above the Valley {on the thirteenth day}

A year and a half ago I lost my father. More than that. A year and 7 months ago. No, I’m not going to get morbid on you. Trust me. A little reflective perhaps.
I happened to be in India at the time he took sick. Purely by chance. It makes me wonder, sometimes. The co-incidence I mean. I could go more into it but then I may lose you.
So, and this is a digression, but oh well. Emirates did me a favor on the way back. They thought. Maybe this was just an accident, but they did know the reason whey I postponed my trip twice before. So I give them the benefit of humanity. Somehow they assumed I wouldn’t be up to chatting up a stranger for the next 18 hours to Houston!
I got a row to myself in the middle of the plane. A row, you say excitedly! There. I knew I’d have your attention there. It was almost business class. But not quite. Come on, you knew there was a catch. The row was in the back. Fair enough, I thought. The plane was ready to take off when I realized my luck. I lay down immediately after the plane leveled, before anyone got any ideas about the open seats next to me and closed my eyes. (To be fair, there was barely any space to straighten your knees before they end up on the other side of the stomach of the passenger directly before me.) (Okay, I lied, before they poke through the rib of the mullah-like-passenger in the seat four inches to the side before me.)
Don’t make me justify this so much.
I’ll never finish the story.
Then where will you be?
In any case, I must have been exhausted. I fell asleep. On those three mis-aligned seats in that pinched waist of the tail of the plane where one feels every shudder of cross wind, where every passenger stops on the way to the toilets in the rear.
By the way I woke up feeling like a shrimp, curved in a not so attractive way, a crick to one side.

But back to the story, and here, I’ll alert anyone who’s beginning to nod off…we’re back to my story now, a little blurred perhaps, but do focus.
I came home to my husband, my son, and to my very inviting bed where I could actually stretch out, and slept for ten hours straight. The next morning I woke up early. As always when I return from India, for the first few days I always wake up in time to watch the last stars in rotation.
Awake, clear, alert.
I think, I write, I’m replete. (I must do the jet-lag thing in a weird way.)
I did my usual thing that morning. I took account of the changes that had occurred while I was gone:
In the three weeks I was away, the late exuberance of summer had turned to fall. My plants had clearly suffered from my absence. Everything seemed in remission.
The jet-propelled humming birds had vanished. Their feeders were drained and stuffed with miscellaneous insects. A thin frost lay on the skeleton deck.
From out of our expansive windows in our bedroom I tracked the upward movement of the sun. The view of the sunrise is always amazing whether I actually see the sun between the gap in the Hogback or not. I can imagine why the Vedic ancients worshipped that daily arrival.
The morning was glorious on that first day back.
I stood by the window, on the cold tile of the bathtub surround and watched the light change by fractal degrees. In micro-seconds on the clock, it went from that watery blue that gets distilled between midnight and dawn to the murky rouges of stirring dust, to flagrant reds that blaze behind the hulking hills and the towers of DTC blurring in the distance, to the gaudy pinks flashing steadily across the ocean sky. I waited until the sun cracked and spilled, dense and liquid in the haze.
By the time I made tea, the drama was over. The sky was normal again. I sipped my tea. Hot. Black. Sweet. Purely caffeine. Stepped carefully out on the deck, leaving footprints down the stairs to the unfinished pond. It was the one thing that hadn’t changed. Still without prospects of completion and filled with melting snow and an apron of animal tracks in the white dust.

I watched a different sunrise everyday that I was back.

On the thirteenth morning of my father’s passing low lying clouds settle in. While I slept, back home in India, there had been a gathering of family and friends, a large meal, food packets distributed to the home for the aged. An observance of my father’s life. My night, their day. The house, silent, emptied of a singular presence beyond all others.

I look out from my window at the valley below. The horizon is close. The DTC towers are nowhere in sight. In thirteen days, snow has fallen and melted several times already. Rooftops hunker down for the coming winter. Now the valley is filled with the tops of trees filtered by smoke, by mist. From my window in my valley full of shadows and stubbly evergreens, some 6000 feet above sea level, I observe too.
The sun has come up somewhere. I am sure of it.
The clouds register its passage.
I wait with bare feet on the four inch square standard beige tile, until the light shifts.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Arches-Series II

Monotype with Inks 30x22 Arches- Series II
Monotype with Inks 30x22 Arches- Series II

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Deadlines and Plumes

I’ve been working on deadlines all week

Before midnight on the 10th of May

At midnight all writers and artists

Become Cinderellas to a

God-like wizard

Hiding in the nether regions of this vast other planet

Called the internet.

Cycling pitilessly close

I was once stopped mid-way

Through my application

A persistent hiccup to

A stopped clock.

That’s it, I have no sympathy for you,

A friend told me.




But why?

You’re a procrastinator

She said.

My magic inflatable pumpkin


You should step into my shoes

My world of deadlines

For a week

I thought to myself,

Could this blog be my revenge.


I’ve been thinking of it

For a year.

Two years.

Could it be three?

Who would want to read my

Brain farts?




I ask

They want to get a sense of your


Get a load of that!

I say

(shaking a fist)

At you.

Did you know that?

Well, you asked for it.


I was told.

I told you so.

Just now.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Meet Sangeeta Reddy - The Artist In Our Midst Arts & Culture Stories Denver

Check out this article about me on!
Meet Sangeeta Reddy - The Artist In Our Midst Arts & Culture Stories Denver

Art Shown- Abstract Calligraphy in chartreuse and chrome green-64x54- charcoal cement rice paper acrylic mediums.

Fine Art {F.Art}

Ever noticed how when you have a good morning’s sleep you wake up with some brilliant and satisfying brain farts?

But a person of my age and respectability cannot call them that, so I’ll refer to them henceforth as brain plumes.

Ever noticed how they come like zip files, perfectly compressed and inaccessible once they’re thought?

Sometimes, a stealth campaign, they sneak up on you as you’re asleep, your body warmed enough to throw off the covers.

At others they are an entire conversation or chapter of thought

Of their own volition

making perfect and brilliant sense

For one entire minute.


fine art


OK one second.

On that one

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ellipse Series

Ellipse #1 printing inks, acrylic and charcoal on 22x30 Arches Paper- 2010
Ellipse #2 printing inks, acrylic and charcoal on 22x30 Arches Paper- 2010
Ellipse #3 printing inks, acrylic and charcoal on 22x30 Arches Paper- 2010
Ellipse #4 printing inks, acrylic and charcoal on 22x30 Arches Paper- 2010