I’m calling today news and views “Tapas style” because you are welcome to nibble at these drabs and dribbles. By the same token, you can skip over whatever looks unappetizing:
I start my new job on Sunday as a content writer for Khalifa University, which was founded in February 2007 by a decree from UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Even though I was occasionally frustrated by the wait for the work, the good news is that I’ve had a three-month break from working. Few get to enjoy that privilege. Also, Khalifa is a very well-respected institution with a very modern campus. I’m delighted to be a part of the place.
I received my first-ever request to “blurb” a forthcoming book! The author read “Brain in a Jar” and asked our mutual publisher to contact me about providing a quote for the book jacket of “Letters from an Indian Summer.” I was delighted to comply. In other India news, I booked a flight in late January to the Jaipur Literary Festival. Jaipur (a mere 3-hour flight away) is known as the pink city for its rose-colored architecture. I visited the city in 1989, but this will be my first time at the festival. People like Salman Rushdie and VS Naipaul often show up, in addition to other distinguished authors. I’ve been in email communication with Admiral Madhvendra Singh about staying at his fine hotel there. His correspondence is as colorful as the Pink City.
David, our self-described “nerd” son, has found a sport. Yes, ladies and gents, David’s got game. He likes basketball! A lot. And he’s pretty good at it. Of course, Allan and I have thrown ourselves into supporting this interest. David is now the proud of owner of basketball shoes and his own basketball. He doesn’t actually have a place to play basketball at home, though. And we’ve discovered that dribbling around the apartment may upset the people below us. I asked David if we could play on the back side of the building but he fears that the ball will go into the water. I suppose we can just put the basketball on a vase and stare at it. Or turn it into a vase. Fortunately, the shoes are a slam dunk.
Saw a superb film yesterday as part of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival. “In Her Place,” is a heart-wrenching Korean story of longing, motherhood, identity, landscape. Check out the blurb here. If you ever have the chance to see it, then GO. I was transfixed by the images and swept away by the story. Moreover, during the course of the film, I thought about my own transformation on the Peninsula. Before going back to Seoul in January 2014, I would never have gone to see a Korean film. But the country gave me a second chance, and vice versa. We are the best of friends now. I see humans where I once saw hate. And every day here in Abu Dhabi I meet people who are more like me than not. We may not share a motherland, but at some point in our lives we all share the same need for our mothers.
That’s the (dim) sum of my parts.
P.S. I love pomegranate as much as I love papaya.