Ladies, I’m so excited to join you as the president of the board for VoiceCatcher! Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll post a couple of “mini-blogs” to introduce myself. For this first post, I’ll share four things about myself, and if you’re comfortable I’d love anyone who’s up for it to do the same. However, first a disclaimer: I’m a poet. A narrative poet. A confessional, narrative poet. In other words, in writing at least, I tend to be very transparent and forthcoming. In a post like this, I consider that a good thing! After all, who wants to know what my favorite book is when you can read about the time a bullet ant attacked me in a jungle five minutes before 108 sun salutations at sunrise?
(Btw, my favorite book is I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Just saying.)
- I once had a picnic with a dead man, and yes, it was as lovely as it sounds. Okay, that’s a few lines of one of my poems, but it’s true. I’ve lived in numerous countries (the UK, Costa Rica and South Korea) and traveled to many more, but my favorite (so far) was Prague in the Czech Republic. I think it’s because it was the first place overseas I traveled alone, and because the city looks like a fairy tale. Like any good writer/book nerd, I took a bus to the O Cemetery, picked up picnic supplies at a farmer’s market on the way, and had a picnic with Kafka. It remains one of my best memories of Europe. Oh, and my favorite Kafka like is the final sentence from The Trial: “Like a dog.” You can find out more about my books, publishing, etc. at jessicatynermehta.com.
- I love to karaoke. I mean, I really, really love to karaoke. But I can’t sing, so I rap. My favorites are Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, and Kanye West. I will say yes to karaoke anytime, anywhere, but I prefer big crowds. I’m in constant mourning for Boiler Room in downtown, which was my favorite karaoke joint for well over a decade. In fact, it was the first place I ever karaoked.
- I married the other kind of Indian. I’m half Cherokee and half white, and my husband is from Mumbai. My relationship with him is the foundation for my novel, The Wrong Kind of Indian, which I had to publish as fiction (uhm, it’s 100% true) and under a pen name. Although his family has accepted me, he’s Jain (the most conservative sect of Hinduism) and the first in his family to not have an arranged marriage. To make things even more interesting, he’s the eldest of his generation which comes with a slew of responsibilities—for both him and me. But who wants the easy stuff? I’ve included one of the photos from our wedding just for fun, and because it’s nearly our one-year anniversary.
- I never thought I’d be one of those people. I spent a year living in Costa Rica, and spent some of that time getting my yoga teaching certification. When I got back to the US, I founded the Get it Ohm! karmic yoga movement, offering free classes to those who don’t have access to traditional yoga studios and/or don’t feel comfortable in such environments. You can check out more at my yoga site, getitohm.com, where I also maintain a wellness blog. I’m also a former marathon runner, and now I’m working on hypertrophy via an intense weight training schedule, and I’m getting into outdoor cycling while gearing up for spring races. As a child, I couldn’t tell you what a calorie was and I put on 100 pounds in college. My interest in well-being and fitness was seriously delayed, but I’m making up for lost time.
That’s my four things. What are yours?