Patriarchy Across Cultures: Kung Fu Fighting

by Tapati Everybody was kung-fu fighting Those cats were fast as lightning In fact it was a little bit frightning But they fought with expert timing –Carl Douglas Wing Chun Characters When I returned from my trip to see my family, I was relieved to be away from all of their drama. Mahasraya was happy to see me and we had a honeymoon period. He had given up on growing psychedelic mushrooms and we had the use of the bedroom. He slept in there alone because otherwise Lakshmana’s crying would keep him awake. He was working for the temple, guarding at night, so we still had the same graveyard schedule as before, waking up in the early afternoon. Now that he had his own income from … [Read more...]

Patriarchy Across Cultures: Smiling Faces

Grandpa holding Lakshmana by Tapati Smiling faces show no traces of the evil that lurks within Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes They don't tell the truth Smiling faces, smiling faces Tell lies and I got proof --The Undisputed Truth, in Smiling Faces Sometimes Aunt Gin had a serious look on her face and I thought, “Uh oh. What now?” “I know your mom talked to you about your grandpa,” she began. Oh no. I knew where this was going. Mom had talked to me but I had tried to forget what she’d said. I just assumed it was more of her drama. It couldn't be true. “Maybe you didn’t believe her,” she continued. “I know you don’t always get along. But I can tell you that … [Read more...]

Patriarch Across Cultures: Cat’s In The Cradle

Lakshmana visiting Great Grandma’s House by Tapati Lakshmana and I had a long trip to reach our family. First we took TWA to St. Louis and then we had a two hour layover before we connected with a propeller jet that took us to Quincy, IL. Grandma met us at Quincy and drove us to Wayland where she and Grandpa had a log cabin behind their antique shop. Just down the street her sister, Dorothy, and brother-in-law, Wayne, had their own antique shop. On the sides of barns around the area one could see the sign “Two antique shops in Wayland.” Above my grandparents’ shop was a one bedroom apartment where my mother lived. When my mom came back from her trip to see me in L.A. she urgently … [Read more...]

Vegetarian for God

by Tapati     A typical Indian-inspired meal at our house I am often asked why I’m still a vegetarian if I left the Hare Krishna Movement. The only way some people can make sense of being a vegetarian for thirty five years is if religious conviction is involved. It is rare to find a vegetarian for health reasons abstaining as strictly. Don’t we all lapse from our commitment to do certain things for our health? Who avoids sugar all the time, even when they’ve made a promise or a New Year’s Resolution? My own vegetarianism came more from my upbringing on my grandparents’ farm than just from a rule given to me by ISKCON. While that helped me make the final commitment, I was … [Read more...]


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