At seventeen I count backwards twenty-eight days
and then fourteen more before I begin boiling parsley
at the blue flame of my parents’ two-top stove.
I wait silently, sip the rank tea by tablespoon,
let something sticky turn away from itself
Her name is Lenore and she is the making
Of a leather-skinned mechanic's many hours
In a sticky Manila basement. Allen wrench in
Hand, he trues wheels and straights brakes as
My teenaged father watches in awe.
The films of the Indian movie industry have played a significant role in forming my hybrid identity. They allowed me to identify as Indian even when I was growing up in the United States. They make me feel at home as I study abroad in the United Kingdom. The Hindi language, the sounds and sights of India’s chaotic streets, the music -- these aspects of the movies touch me, they remind me of why I’m proud to be Indian. But when it comes to my gender, my identification with Bollywood films stops short.