Did You Know Your Patti? If Not, ‘Who Are we to Each Other?’

grandma patti

by Raji Ganesan

My grandmother passed away years before I was born.

“Who are we to each other,” is the start to our imagined conversation.

Her memory and her accomplishments exist to me entirely through my mother’s heartache.

“Amma, do we have any of Patti’s poetry around the house?”

According to my Amma, my Patti let herself wither.

“She never took care of herself. Because she was too busy taking care of her children.”

“Who are we to each other?”

My Amma looks through me, her face twisting between pride and disbelief.

“I see so much of her in you,” she trembles.

I think of my Patti’s hands, and her voice, and her cancered ovaries and uterus.

And then I embrace my Amma.

“Patti was amazing, Amma,” I speculate.

“Who are we to each other?”

Just living, breathing questions.

Raji Ganesan Raji Ganesan an undergraduate student, performer, teaching artist, and activist in Arizona. She is a grateful first-generation Indian-American woman, who looks to dance as her translator. In her artistic practice, she is fascinated by women, humor, myth, and diaspora communities. She is passionate about education, socially responsible uses of technology and creative placemaking. Raji believes safe creative spaces strengthen communities and unlock our capacity for compassion and personal transformation.

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