Kiran Bhat is a global citizen formed in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, to parents from Southern Karnataka, in India. An avid world traveller, polyglot, and digital nomad, he has travelled to over 130 countries, lived in 18 different places, and speaks 12 languages. His list of homes is vast, but his heart and spirit always remain in Mumbai, somehow. He currently lives in Melbourne.
Kiran is about to launch a new novel, Girar, which he will publish digitally from 2021 to 2030. The story, told from the perspectives of “Mother” and “Father”, whose nationalities change throughout, will take place over 365 locations. To join Kiran and follow as his epic story unfolds, click on through to: https://kiranbhat.substack.com/p/coming-soon.
in a hotel room
the sheets imprinted with flowers
cigarette smoke stamped into the walls
everything clean enough, but tensely so
– clearly this room was very well used –
my father was receiving a prize,
and that was what we were here for.
was putting on his tie
his black shoes, his blazer.
his cheeks were covered in cologne.
he was saying something in Kannada,
but neither Amma nor me were listening.
still in that flower dress,
black, speckled with roses,
trying to brush my hair.
I wasn’t ready to go to that convention hall.
my father also had something to say.
“It took us many years to become Gold Amway members.
Try to look nice.”
many years later we were staying at the Hilton
we would take yearly trips to India and visit Thailand or Spain on the way.
my mother started wearing golden jewelry she would buy in Bangalore
my father bought a BMW and got rid of the car he was renting
on that day my parents were still immigrants
Indian residents, not American citizens,
and they had to impress.
we all did.
I kept my hair combed.
I put on my strap tie.
I spent the whole night on that stage not saying a word.
not wanting to disappoint.
© Kiran Bhat, 2020