Looking for — for what? — I found this, written December 1 2008, a month after my grandmother died. As I remember it, it was supposed to be a fragment of fiction.

In the house of dreaming, people would dream even in the eight nights after a death, when the dead one roamed, watchful, and the living stayed awake. They rolled dice and played cards, they laughed as though they themselves were the ghosts their wakefulness was meant to convince to go away. They slept in snatches, awaiting their turn at a game, or on their way back from the…

I had first known that there was a film adaptation of Shyam Selvadurai’s iconic novel Funny Boy when I had heard about closed screenings of it in Colombo sometime in mid-2020. The story is a bildungsroman about a queer, upper-class Tamil teenager, culminating in the Black July riots of 1983 that took place across Sri Lanka (Ilankai). Many Tamil families left the island that year, in search of asylum. Some, like the family in the book and novel, boarded flights to the West. Others travelled, sometimes by sea, to India, and then journeyed further or stayed, depending on their resources…

Sharanya Manivannan

Moon-coxswained. In flower. Writer and illustrator.

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