fifty-two. (2016)

fifty-two books I read in 2016.

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the Princess of America.

It is the first day of school, and I’m half an hour early. In Indian Standard Time, this means I am actually an hour early. A doormat sprawls across the floor in front of me, and I kick off my shoes, knowing that I will have to remove them before I enter the room. I sit outside Principal Ma’am’s office like I’m waiting for punishment. My sari rustles against the floor. I scissor my feet beneath it, unsticking the edge of my petticoat from my legs. The power was out for an hour this morning, for longer than the usual fifteen-minute rolling blackouts that occasionally grace our flat, which means my hair is half-curled in a sad attempt to retain my Texas roots, and also that every inch of silk is stuck to my body with sweat.
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Oh, where to start.

It’s still unreal to me that I’m even here. I grew up in a town of 18,000 people, surrounded by fields and fields of sunflowers (like the picture you see here.) This, to me, was a “small town.” My friends and I would grab a sweet tea from the drive-thru at Chicken Express, walk around the Wal Mart for fun, and if we were feeling particularly lucky, would try to beat all of the red lights down Main Street without getting stopped by the train. Chennai, my Indian friends told me, was a “small town.” Chennai has about five million people, about the size of (if not bigger than) Los Angeles.
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