Border crossing, migrations, and desire are deeply interconnected. Using a Desi historiography, I trace the entanglement of migration and desire, examining both what is made possible through geopolitical, emotional, and ideological border crossings and what lies in the wreckage of certain crossings. Using the trope of fish doodles, I trace the intractability of desire and highlight how the distortions inherent in migratory experience shatter illusions and innocence, creating a sense of betrayal yet failing to mitigate desire. Drawing on a South Asian sensibility of communal and national insider and outsider positions, I explore the complicated terrain of Desi transnational existence.
Migratory Patterns of a Fish Doodle
Kakali Bhattacharya is Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at Kansas State University. I would like to acknowledge Paul Maxfield's considerable support during the development of this piece, Jia “Grace” Liang's insights as an Asian transnational on earlier drafts, and Diane Miller's eyes on everything I have written thus far. I am grateful to Devika Chawla for this invitation and her sharp reading of this piece that pushed my thinking deeper. It is rare that I am able to think this way and have the space to express myself, and for that I am grateful. Finally, much gratitude to my Maa for listening to the narrative and being hungry to learn more about the rest of the stories of those who are mentioned. Correspondence to: Kakali Bhattacharya, Department of Educational Leadership, Bluemont Hall 318, 1100 Mid-Campus Drive, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Kakali Bhattacharya; Migratory Patterns of a Fish Doodle. Departures in Critical Qualitative Research 1 March 2019; 8 (1): 31–41. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/dcqr.2019.8.1.31
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