Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Dear Somayya Kasani

I apologize for the delay in responding. It was necessary to wait until the atmosphere of the holiday season had passed so that I might answer your questions truthfully. Being alone during the holidays presents all sorts of challenges for me. One would think that after 10 years I would be accustomed to this solitary life I lead but Christmas and New Years are such 'family' oriented holidays that it is always difficult. Each year is better
but I still manage to get a bit unhinged through it all. Nevertheless it is now over and my next task is to look forward to the upcoming year with anticipation and optimism and your questions are providing a springboard.

First off, one's interpretation of the word 'significant' is of tantamount importance in responding to all of your questions. My own meaning differs slightly from the dictionary definition. To me it means people and things that 'matter', people and things of import, and those people and things that have the greatest influence on my thoughts and beliefs.

My family has been significant mostly in my formative years. They of course helped shape who I came to be. Now that I have my own mind the people of the greatest signifcance are those larger than life people who have made a contribution to the human condition.

John and Jacqueline Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Oprah Winfrey, Bono (of U2), Peter Gabriel, and people like Bessie Coleman, Madam CJ Walker, and Rosa Parks make me proud to be an African American female.

I invest most of my energy these days reading (which also includes numerous book groups), practicing lettering, making artist books, and attending concerts. The nonprofit organization Seattle Center for Book Arts and the Belltown Book Artists take a big chunk of time as well. It is all most pleasurable and satisfying.

The first 'significant' milestone in my life had to be getting my first library card. After that I think my choice of physical therapy as a profession and the decision ot work for the federal government were quite significant. I have lived several places within the US and each new place was a milestone in it's own way; Boston, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Seattle.

In my circle of family and friends, my favorites are my aunt, and women friends I have met along the journey which has been my life. My aunt raised me. My family history is complicated and some time I will tell you the story. But for now let it suffice that it is different from the norm but classic in African American culture.

I turn to my women friends for comfort and guidance. especially my friend in Aberdeen WA. We met at a year long calligraphy course in 1999 where we bonded from the first day and have grown closer since then. She is always understanding and manages to say the right thing. I have learned to chose carefully the people I open myself up to, and try very hard to maintain only satisfying relationships with people.

I feel most adventurous and exciting when I travel to new places. My trips to the UK have been fabulous. I love England, Ireland and Scotland! Once three friends and I had a rendezvous in Paris and that was especially exciting.

Things I wish: I would like to have a bigger circle of friends than I do. I long for my perfect mate to share this wonderful life with. Because of my family history, I don't have the examples of associations with the male population and I think it has left me rather clumsy and clueless. I would like to find a way to 'give back' to the community and I am still searching for the 'perfect literary' activity.

That is part of me, and you Somayya Kasani?


Dear Lillian, Good Morning, How are you?

Let us bring words to life everyday that bring us joy. Let us carve every word before we let it fall.

The best relationships are those that give us love, encouragement and constant support. The people who always do that for us are our three children Aparna, Ajay and Anupama. They married life-companions of their choice.

I married Vijayalakshmi in the year 1968. And we celebrated 38 years of our togetherness in last May 2006.

I worked as a teacher in government High Schools for 33 years in A P India and loved virtually every minute of it. I completed my middle School study in our village and High School study in near by town. However I did my collegiate study in Warangal, the district headquarters. I believe that simplicity, truthfulness and straight forwardness enhance the value of human life.

I have two sisters and two brothers elder to me. And I have one younger sister.
Our elder brother
K N was a freedom-fighter. He was a member of Legislative Assembly for a term. He died of heart-attack in the year 2005. My parents, Shri Ramaiah and Smt Devamma were agriculturists by profession.

I have friends from infants to senior citizens. But I would like to associate more with the young who are more enthusiastic, energetic and straight forward.

This is all about me, dear Lillian.

- Somayya Kasani