Portraits: The Women of my Family

by f

I thought that this might make a good Monday Tuesday series. Yes, I know that I’m infamous for starting series and never finishing them. I hope you believe that 1) I have this entire series already finished and 2) July was a pretty sad month for me, so August 1st 2nd 3rd will mark the beginning of my getting back on my feet again.

My family has a long, strange history. Our personal records date back to 1100 AD — and through related families we can trace community back even centuries before that. But this record is patrilineal, as was the norm in not-quite Tamil not-quite Telugu orthodox Brahmin families like ours. In 2007, I visited my great-uncle. He proudly showed off his copy of the family tree to me. I was very fascinated, but I was forced to ask him the awkward question: What happened to the women?

He didn’t have to answer. We both knew that they were lost to us forever.

Since then, I knew I would have to write about the women I could remember. Because if I didn’t write things down, there would be a forgotten generation wiped cleanly from the world. It’s bad enough to die once. I can’t let them die again.

(Some of them aren’t even dead yet. I reserve the right to write about living women!)

In posting these portraits, I’m carving out a permanent place for the women  I’m sure my family won’t remember after they’ve gone.

2 Comments to “Portraits: The Women of my Family”

  1. I think that this is a splendid idea! 🙂 I’m looking forward to this!

  2. Now THAT is motivation.

    I can’t wait to see the fleshed-out portraits.

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