• A Blog by Kenneth Langer

    SEEDS

    In India philosophy, the word “vāsanā” denotes past mental impressions that are imprinted in the subconscious. Vāsanās are likened to seeds that sprout into thoughts, behavior, and personality traits.

    SEEDS

KEN’S INTRO TO BLOG

Vāsanās are also karmic imprints that determine future lives. While I’m not sure about reincarnation, I do feel as if vāsanās planted deep in the soil of my mind years ago in India sprung into the heads of my characters and gave them life. The blogs below consist of satirical essays, short stories, vignettes and, well, just about anything that comes to my mind–all personal and most sprouting from my time in India.

 

 

History in a Word

The history of the world can be found in an etymological dictionary. Take, for example, the entry for the word “cipher” (zero, code) from etymonline.com, given below. The word traces back to Europe, the Middle East, and all the way to India, where it existed as Sanskrit “shunyata,” meaning “zero” (as well as the Buddhist word […]

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The Cactus

This story appeared in Rumblefish Press (rumblefishpress.com) Winter 2017 Issue (Vol I, Issue II)   The doorbell rang twice. Tony took a final drag of his cigarette, blew a cloud of smoke, and lifted himself from the easy chair. He started toward the front door, but stopped suddenly. Jill? “Just a sec,” he yelled as […]

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In Defending Science, We Defend the Earth

This Op Ed appeared in the Vineyard Gazette of Martha’s Vineyard (July 6, 2017) On April 22, more than a million citizens marched in 600 cities across the United States and abroad in support of science — an impressive turnout. But if we are to defend the role of science in public policy, we must […]

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The Elegy

This story was published in the Taj Mahal Review (June 2017) Kesh marched into the living room, a glass of bourbon in hand. In the other, a pack of Gauloises, half crushed by his tight grip. He plopped down on the couch, set the drink on the coffee table, and ran a hand through his […]

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Trump Bans Non-European Words

This essay appeared in The Satirist, see: www.thesatirist.com 11 February 2017 WASHINGTON, D.C. Following massive protests in the United States and around the world, President Trump has rescinded his ban on immigrants from seven Muslim countries. In its place, he has issued a new Executive Order (EO) banning non Indo-European words. “From this day on,” […]

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How I Became a Hindu

I first travelled to India in 1970 as a participant in the University of Wisconsin’s Junior Year in India program. A propeller plane trudged across the Atlantic Ocean, Europe and the Middle East on it’s way to the Subcontinent. My ultimate destination: Varanasi (then Benares) in northern India, the holy city on the banks of […]

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The Cookie Monster and Me

Some years ago, The New Yorker ran a cartoon of a public sculpture in which a suited man is perched high on his mighty steed, the American flag fluttering behind him. Think Napoleon, poised on a white stallion overlooking the battlefield at Austerlitz. The caption read, Valedictorian, Senator, Five-Star General [or whatever, pick your attribute, […]

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