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By Neema Avashia

Baby writhes on the changing table, furious at this momentary loss of bodily control, until she catches sight of the bangles glimmering on my wrists–three on each, two thin, one thick, solid gold engraved with thin filigree, made from my mother’s melted-down wedding jewelry–and grabs hold of a bangle that I then slip off my wrist, slip off a second, hand them to her as distraction while I change her diaper, connected in this instant both to my own mother, and to generations of desi mothers who have worn bangles not just as adornment, but also as entertainment, as announcement, as omnipresence, the glint and jangle offering this sharp jolt of intergenerational synapse, babies and Ammis and bangles past, babies and Ammis and bangles present, babies and Ammis and bangles yet to come.

Neema Avashia is the author of Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place (WVU Press, 2022), and lives in Boston with her partner, Laura, and her daughter, Kahani.

Photo by Neema Avashia.


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