grandmother power

Any take on Luke as just a normal kid whining about freedom should probably account for the fact that he lives on a lawless desert planet controlled by gangsters who kept his father and grandmother as slaves

9

See I doubt Ursa would like the idea of having a Jedi/Mando as a granddaughter… 


That is. 


Until she meets the smol Bean and realises how much she reminds her of Sabine. 

Maybe she wasn’t a good mother. But she’s sure as heck going to try to be a good grandmother. 

They Wanna Make Me Their Queen

( Prompt: princess diaries style “I grew up not knowing I was royal and suddenly my royal grandparent showed up out of nowhere and told me I was so now I guess I’m the heir to the throne and you’re my crush from my pre-royal days but I still have a crush on you” AU ) 

PART 2

A/N: Yeah, okay, I have had this fantasy playing out in my head. Picture it: me, a princess of some small and obscure island, and my long-lost grandmother tells me I’m a princess and I get married to Tom Holland AND WE ALL LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER. Okay, on a serious note - Princess diaries AU anyone? I watched the movie and it was great. 

Taglist: @mainspidey | @x-wing-starwriter | @tomsleftbrow | @tryn25 | @tanglefire | @midnight-memorial


You drop your backpack on the floor inside your front door. It’s the area that your mum not-so-fondly refers to as the ‘shoe graveyard’ where everyone who comes in leaves their coats, shoes, umbrellas, and in this case, a backpack and a soggy cherry-printed umbrella.

(Y/n)? That you?” Your mum calls from the kitchen.

That’s odd. Mum doesn’t usually get home from work until six o’clock. Shaking out your rain damp hair, you head down the shadowy hallway and into the sleek, modern kitchen of steel and chrome. What you see there makes you gasp.

Mum’s gotten out her best china, gold-rimmed and floral, the ones she’d gotten as a wedding gift. She’s sitting and having tea and fancy pastries with the strangest-looking woman you’ve ever seen. She has pale skin, ruby red lips and hair piled up on her head in an elaborate bun. Small and bird-like, with a stern expression on her wrinkled face, she’s sitting ramrod straight, staring and assessing your every move. She’s dressed in a black cashmere cardigan, and flowing jersey pants, her legs crossed delicately at the ankles. On her feet are black Chanel ballet slippers.

“This is her?”

“Yes,” Your mum answers, glancing up at you with a too-big smile. “This is my daughter, (Y/n).”

“Um,” You say intelligently, glancing at mum for help. You want to ask the woman, Who are you? But you think that might come across as being a little rude. “Um?”

“This is your Grandmother,” Your mother says, waving you forwards. “Your father’s mother.”

“I thought he died.”

“He did, but now his mother – your grandmother – wants to see you.”

“What, after years of total radio silence?” You snort, flinging yourself down into an empty chair. You grab a small finger sandwich, making a face when you realise you’ve grabbed a cucumber one. “What does she want from us? Money? My left kidney?”

Lips pursed, voice clipped, the old lady says, “I can assure you, I have no need for such frivolities.”

“Frivolities? Really? Who even says that anymore?”

(M/n), if you do not tell her, I shall,” Your grandmother says sharply, brandishing a butter knife and heaping a large dollop of clotted cream onto a scone. “There is much to be discussed.”

(Y/n), the thing is . . .” Your mum’s tripping over her words, and you tilt your head to the side as you always do, saying nothing but willing her to continue. “You’re a princess, (Y/n).”

And grandmother nods sombrely along to every word, as though she has to give up her left kidney.

As for you? You take the news remarkably well.

You faint dead away, right then and there.


The worst part about this whole ‘princess’ thing, you think grimly to yourself as you stomp down the hallway of Midtown High, is that you’ve been forbidden from telling anyone. Not Ned Leeds, not Michelle Gonzales, and most certainly not even your best friend, Peter Parker. You’ve just become princess of a small island called Serangoon, have a queen for a grandmother, basically have unlimited power and resources at your fingertips, and you’re not allowed to talk about it. Grandmother had explained – rather impatiently, in your opinion – that if you told your friends, the information would spread like wildfire. You could – and would – be compromised, assassinated like a character in Game of Thrones. This was for your safety, she’d assured you.

You don’t even get a makeover like Taylor Swift in her You Belong With Me music video. You’re still the same old (Y/n), with your frizzy hair, less-than-ideal clothes and the acne scars on your face.

What you do get are princess classes – Mondays to Fridays, 3pm to 7pm. History classes, etiquette lessons, and basically whatever your grandmother saw fit to throw at you. You’d seen the disdainful way she’d looked at you. Because of course princesses had to be charming and graceful, with impeccable manners.

You’d tried to tell her that you had homework, a social life, but your pleas for mercy had fallen on deaf ears.

How is it that a freaking princess can be invisible, you think grouchily, slamming your locker with a little more force than is strictly necessary. The metal trembles violently, then stills, and you glower angrily at it.

Stupid locker, stupid grandmother, stupid, stupid, stupid!

“What did that locker ever do to you?” Peter demands laughingly, sidling up to you, a soft, sweet smile on his face.

Instantly, your mind goes fuzzy, a big useless snowstorm. Your mouth feels like it’s stuffed with cotton, and you gulp. That crush on Peter hasn’t disappeared at all, has it? It’s almost amazing to consider – you’re a princess, who will likely be married off to a prince/duke/king to provide heirs to both kingdoms ( or maybe this is your Game of Thrones obsession shining through ), but you still feel awkward and small around a boy you’ve known ( and liked ) since middle school.

Of course, the only way he’d ever notice you was if you became as gorgeous and as popular as Liz Allen.

If only you could tell the press …

But no.

“Earth to (Y/n)!” Peter’s laughing now, waving a hand in front of your face, his eyes bright and happy. “Did you hear what I said?”

“Um. Um?” You shake your head to clear away the fog. Your face feels far too warm for your liking. “I’m sorry, what?”

“Movie night? My place or yours? A new episode of Star Wars came out, and you agreed that we’d watch it tonight.”

“Thanks a lot, grandmother,” You mutter, cursing your grandmother out in your mind for scheduling princess classes on a Friday. “I can’t, Peter. Not tonight. I’m sorry.”

Peter’s face falls, and you’re kicking yourself for having to flake out on him and this time honoured tradition. For a moment, you think about just caving and telling him – but the resulting earful you’ll get from your grandmother is not worth it.

“I’ll make it up to you,” You say instead. “Promise.”

You glance anxiously at your watch. 3.12 pm. You’d asked Stanley – your chauffer cum body guard – to pick you up three blocks away from school, outside Hunan Kitchen, a dingy Chinese place, and you can practically picture his stern, youthful face as he waits, the engine of the Rolls Royce idling.

“Okay.” Peter’s smiling a little now, and that’s worth something, at least. “As long as you promise.”

I’m Ready

Request from: @kylosgenesis

Pairing: Reader x Bucky (hinted at) // Reader x Steve (platonic)
Word Count: 1.3K
Warnings: Death, sadness

A/N: This is set after the events of Civil War, but a few differences. Bucky didn’t lose his arm, Reader helped them both escape the airport and flew them to the Winter Soldier bunker, Steve was badly injured in the fight with Tony and Bucky got him back to the stolen quinjet.

I hope I did the request justice! I loved the idea and premise! 

“Y/N, you need to hurry, Steve isn’t doing too well,” Bucky’s voice spoke at you, but you hardly heard him. You could feel that something was wrong. You immediately switch the quinjet over to autopilot, knowing you weren’t going to be able to control it manually for much longer.

Suddenly a searing pain ripped through your head. You cry out in pain and clutch your skull. You knew you couldn’t stop it, not until you’d done what was needed.

The pain stops, and you slowly open your eyes, not wanting to see who the unfortunate soul was in front of you. Steve locks eyes with you, and your heart drops.

“No, no, not you,” you whisper more-so to yourself,

Steve’s eyebrows are furrowed in confusion and he quickly looks around the pristine white room that you were both in, “Is this-?” he trails off, having figured out the answer to his own question.

Tears start to flow from your eyes. This wasn’t the first time you’d had to help a soul over to the other side, it happened quite frequently. You were a sort of usher of sorts, making sure that souls made their way out of the physical world and into the Eternal. It always took a toll on you, but it hurt even more when it was someone you knew. You were just 12 when you had been confronted with your powers; your grandmother had explained that it wasn’t a curse, but a gift, that ran in the family.

“No. No. I won’t do this. You’re coming back with me,” you sobbed out,

“We both know you can’t do that,” Steve’s voice was soft and full of sympathy,

“I don’t care!” you scream. You couldn’t do this, you had convinced yourself that Steve was going to be okay, that you’d make sure he lived.

“Y/N, look at me,” Steve places a comforting hand on your shoulder, “It’s okay. I’m okay,”

Keep reading

“My granddaughter, Tally, she’s not like girls her age. She’s…well, let’s just say this is the only place she could find help for her ‘special condition’.”

My Teen Titan OC, Tally’s first meeting with the Titans. Her grandmother, Gloria, notices her powers manifesting to the point where she can’t control them so not wanting higher ups to treat Tal as a science experiment, She goes to the Titans, asking them if they could train her to control her powers. 

Stardew Valley Headcanon of Mine

The farmer’s grandpa wasn’t all that magically talented, but their GRANDMA was.

No one ever mentions your grandmother, only ever your grandpa. It’s as though no one knew her or something. Which is strange, right? Your grandpa spent years of his life in Pelican Town. Lewis, the forever-mayor, knew him. George and Evelyn, who’ve lived in the valley since they were fairly young, knew him. Of people who’ve been in the valley long enough to have known the farmer’s grandpa, none mention anything about the person who was presumably your grandmother. (I mean, you could just say that he met her after he left the valley, but for the purposes of this headcanon I’m not going that route.)

The only people in town who the farmer can know and be friends with but most of the other townspeople rarely or never interact with are Dwarf, Krobus, and the wizard. And if your life in the valley is going similarly to how it went for your grandfather (adventuring with swords, meeting Junimo, connecting with people and nature, etc.) who’s to say he didn’t also have a few friends of that type? A fairy, maybe. Or a witch.

The farmer is the only person in the valley other than Rasmodius who can see the Junimo. Flower fairies and a cackling witch-classic intermittently visit their farm and perform “helpful” magic in the night. Krobus and Dwarf don’t befriend any other humans in town, just the farmer. It’s almost like the supernatural just kind of gravitate toward them. Maybe because the farm and the family have always been involved with the supernatural. Married into it, perhaps.

Idk I just really like the idea of the farmer’s grandmother being this extremely powerful sorceress who fell in love with this mostly mundane but very kind and painfully sincere farm-boy. I call it the “Rose-Greg Effect”.

(Bonus idea: your grandma is Rasmodius’ ex who went on a vengeful crusade hexing the countryside after he broke up with her. Your grandpa managed to calm her down since they were friends at the time, though he did get set on fire a little bit in the process.

Witches and wizards age slowly compared to normal humans. Your grandma is definitely still kickin’, but refuses to return to Stardew Valley to visit you because “that flashy asshat in the tower is still hanging about. Don’t talk to him, dear, he thinks purple mushrooms are good seasoning. He eats ROCKS. And he refuses to clean out his cauldron between potions! Don’t drink anything he gives you, understand? It’s unsanitary!” “Uh… yeah, about that, grandma…”)

3

Safiye Sultan (c. 1550 – 10 November 1605) was the favourite consort of Ottoman Sultan Murad III and Valide Sultan to her son Mehmed III, and exercised a strong influence on Ottoman affairs during the reigns of both sultans. Safiye, whose name means “pure one,” is said to have been a native of Rezi, a mountain town in Albania. Until the death in 1583 of Nurbanu, the Valide Sultan (mother of the sultan on the throne), Safiye’s influence was limited. Thereafter, as Haseki Sultan, and after 1595 as Valide Sultan, she wielded great influence at the Ottoman court. Safiye eventually enjoyed an enormous stipend of 3,000 aspers a day during the latter part of her son’s reign. When Mehmed III went on the Eger campaign in Hungary in 1596, he gave his mother great power over the empire, leaving her in charge of the treasury. Among those who enjoyed her favour was the thrice grand vizier (chief minister) Damat İbrahim Paşa. Mehmed III was succeeded by his son Ahmed I in 1603. One of his first major decisions was to deprive his grandmother of power—she was banished to the Old Palace in January 1604. All succeeding sultans descend from Safiye.

still-searching47  asked:

The Bond Between Us!Belle: Do you think Gideon has realized he doesn't need Emma's powers/isn't going to kill her because he can just ask for help? Because I was thinking, once the immediate danger is over and you guys are picking up the pieces, Emma is going to understand better than anyone about being an adult and meeting your parents for the first time, plus odd age differences etc. Do you think maybe tea at Granny's might help everyone?

I’ll be honest, but please don’t tell the Charmings I said this: I don’t think my son has fully given up on his plan to kill Emma. Even though he has started living with us (yes, I’m back into the mansion as well; I can’t and won’t spend another moment away from my son), and he’s learning how to accept our love, he’s still terribly afraid of his grandmother. You see, powers and magic can’t be simply summed like numbers; if Gideon took Emma’s magic, he’d become way more powerful than they could be while fighting together, and he’d feel certain to be strong enough to defeat the Black Fairy. Letting Emma live is costing him so much, because he lives in fear that the Black Fairy will kill me and Rumple, and it will be because of his choice. He thinks we don’t know that he’s tempted, that we don’t notice the way he still looks at the enchanted sword, but we do. It hurts so much to see him so torn and scared, but we’re also proud of how strong he is, of how hard he’s trying to do the right thing. 

I don’t quite feel like asking for the Charmings’ help either; I asked them to spare Gideon once, and I got nothing out of it. I had to watch helplessly as Emma put that sword to my son’s throat, and for a moment I though, I thought… I know she was protecting herself, but there was something in her eyes that sent shivers down my spine. She used to be different, to be someone who never thought of murder to solve a problem. I don’t like the look that she gave me when I tried to explain that Gideon would be staying with us, and that he’s not a threat right now, that he’s just a scared boy. I think she’s still convinced that he’s simply evil, and Snow seems to be of the same opinion.

I won’t push Gideon to ask for Emma’s help, both because I’m not sure he could resist the temptation of hurting her, and because I don’t trust Emma not to hurt him. 

If pain were power
every little boy who was called faggot
when he was picking flowers 
for the girl he loved 
would rule a kingdom of pastels
and steel-toed boots, 
where no one used slurs
and stereotypes withered 
under his gaze 

If pain were power
the single mother who works
70 hours a week,
abandoned by a broken king
who once called her Queen,
would be able to stop all time,
heal her wounds 
and provide for the flowers 
he planted but never tended
that have bloomed into more 
than their father’s image 


If pain were power 
the grandmother of 16 
who sits on her porch next to
a chair that should not be empty,
would be able to raise the dead,
bring her Golden lover back 
from the double plot 
that is only half filled,
and she would get another 50 years
of loving and being loved


If pain were power
the special forces vet who sits 
in a classroom of kids half his age
would be able to share wisdom
through his gentle touch,
the kind hand on a shoulder 
conveying to those
who don’t know bloodshed 
that all life is worth something,
that we are all human in death


If pain were power
that girl who could not scream
loud enough, who could not
lock her knees together,
would not flinch when alone 
with a man, instead,
she would have thighs of steel,
the kind of sex that bites back
and she would never 
let one of her sisters walk alone


If pain were power 
it would not be called suffering,
but healing is not linear 
and we all have to mend the cracks
that life has left on our glass hearts,
our crystal minds, 
before we gain the strength
to carry on
and to keep going 
is the greatest power of all.

—  If pain were power || O.L.

FAKE TV SHOW MEME - southern gothic

BONE HOLLOW

“In this family you don’t get nothin’ without paying in blood.”

Ophelia Adams has magic. For a hundred and fifty years her family has lived in the small Southern town of Bone Hollow, practising their craft and hiding their gifts from the close knit townspeople. But all magic has a price, and for the Adams it’s the curse that has haunted them for generations: every time a new child is born, someone else in the family must die.

Ophelia discovers the terrible truth of the curse when she falls pregnant at seventeen and the curse claims her grandmother, a powerful practitioner. In a desperate attempt to save her, Ophelia tries to use magic to avert the curse, and for her troubles is blessed with twins - inadvertently causing the death of her mother also.

Ten years later, Ophelia attempts to balance raising her children alone, managing the family store, and fulfilling her duties as the only remaining elder of the Bone Creek coven, who congregate weekly as the Southern Literature Appreciation Book Club. Books are occasionally discussed. She is managing well until the arrival of a faith healer, who sets up his tent on the outskirts of town. The people of Bone Creek quickly begin to fall under the charismatic preacher’s spell, and soon after members of the coven start disappearing from their homes without a trace.

Convinced that he is sacrificing witches for their power, Ophelia confronts the healer, and is surprised to find that she is not unaffected by his near-violent preaching - and that he in return can sense her true nature. The two are quickly enmeshed in a psychological battle, the stakes of which are bound to have dire consequences for the town, their powers, and their lives.

But that is not all that goes bump in the night in Bone Creek. Darker forces pass unseen through the sleepy Southern streets, drawn to the growing powers of Ophelia’s young children….

What do grandmothers do in dramaland?

1. Blaming People

Grandmothers in dramaland likes blaming people if a tragedy happens to their family. They always point their fingers to others first. Especially if the female lead is there, she would be grandmother’s most favorite target to blame. 

2. Breaking Relationships

Grandmothers in dramaland have too much spare time, they really pay attention to their grandchildren love life. They run around leaving scars, collecting their jar of hearts. And no matter how pretty the male or female lead is, grandmothers will oppose them. Coz kind-hearted good looking people always make grandmothers mad for no reason. 

3. Trusting A Wrong Person

Grandmothers always end up trusting the wrong person for many years, either it’s their right-hand men or their beloved evil daughters-in-law. Luckily, they always finds out the truth in the end though. 

4. Getting Obsessed With Power 

Grandmothers often become the badass chairwomen of super big companies. Just like Voldemort they want to keep the family blood in their companies pure. They try everything to make their grandsons become the CEO/president or whatever they call it. 

5. About To Faint

Stress, tired, headache, low blood pressure, high blood pressure, you name it. Grandmothers in dramaland always have the reason to about to faint. Aigoooh yah~  

Are you tired of Harry Potter AUs? Then stop reading this post!

Triwizard Tournament AU time! P.S. The movies are dumb. There are people of all genders in both Durmstrang and Beauxbatons.

  • Eli is a student at Durmstrang. Her mother and grandmother were powerful witches back in Russia and the most popular students in their years at Koldovstoretz. Her Bulgarian father asked Eli’s grandmother to allow her to attend his alma mater Durmstrang. Eli’s mother didn’t mind, as travel from Bulgaria to Russia to attend school had been troublesome to her. Young and a daddy’s girl, Eli begged her family matriarch to allow it, and her grandmother conceded on the condition that she be top of her class with perfect scores on the O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.s. As academically ambitious as she is, her father’s love for Quidditch rubbed off on her. As a member of the Bulgarian National Quidditch Team, Eli made quite the name for herself and became the most popular student at her school. She misses Alisa―who attends Koldovstoretz―dearly. She speaks English fluently, though with a slight accent. She’s acquaintances with fellow students Umi and Honoka. [They’re all childhood friends in the manga so it works.] She puts her name in the Goblet of Fire in the hopes that she will be able to gain her grandmother’s full respect by winning for her school.
  • Nozomi is a student at Hogwarts. When she was younger, she moved around a lot with her parents, but as Hogwarts is a boarding school, she was able to have a home that truly felt like one during the school year. She’s a Slytherin, and since the Durmstrang delegation chose that table to use in the Great Hall, Nozomi sees quite a bit of the Quidditch star. However, the blonde’s popularity intimidates Nozomi, so she doesn’t make any attempts to talk to her. She’s friends with Gryffindor Rin and Ravenclaw Maki, making her a bit of an outcast in the Slytherin house. However, because the Slytherin house is full of people who are overly-ambitious, mean-spirited or both, Nozomi prefers the upbeat Rin who goes along with her pranks and tsundere Maki who is easy to rile up with her teasing. [They’re my version of Harry, Ron and Hermione, see?] Nozomi is convinced by Rin to put her name in the Goblet of Fire since Maki stated that the probability she would be picked is so low, and is shocked when she is actually picked. 
  • Nico attends Beauxbatons. She travels to southern France from Barcelona and is bilingual, plus a nearly conversational level of English. Living in poverty-stricken Spain with a single mother, Nico can only afford to attend Beauxbatons because of a scholarship―not an academic scholarship, of course, but a musical one, which she earned easily due to her quarter-Veela status. She greatly dislikes this, however, as she wants to believe her own personal charm and talent are the driving force behind her success. As a Beauxbaton student, she sits at the Ravenclaw table, where she meets Maki. It’s hard to argue with Maki when she is so intelligent and speaks fluent French. [She speaks English, French, German, Chinese and Japanese cause she’s rich] Nico is good friends with fellow students Hanayo and Kotori, who are nearly as popular as Nico. She’s a little jealous of how they manage to be popular through their own merits as kind, caring and cute girls, but she could never be resentful of her two biggest fans. Nico puts her name in the Goblet of Fire so she can prove she’s got more talent than what being quarter Veela lets people see.
  • Yule Ball! Nozomi gets teased a lot by Rin when her friends discover that Eli constantly stares at her. Her icy blue eyes may be glaring but the faint dusting of pink on her cheeks gives her away. Rin hits the teasing jackpot when her new friend Hanayo accidentally lets it slip that she thinks Nico will ask Maki to the ball. 
  • Nozomi is shocked when Eli stalks towards her with the harshest glare she’s ever seen on the girl. She stands there, staring Nozomi down for a long time. Finally, Eli speaks, and she stutters and darkly blushes as she asks Nozomi to the ball. Flabbergasted but delighted by the adorable sight of an awkward Eli, Nozomi does nothing more than nod vigorously. 
  • Nico discovers Maki playing the piano in the Muggle Music classroom. She has a long, insult-filled argument with Maki and sneaks in her proposal at the end, which Maki accepts thoughtlessly. Nico grins and walks away, leaving Maki gaping after her. Outsmarted for the first time in her life!

actually I definitely got a lot of my 8 from my grandmother (ESFJ 8w9 sp/so). Probably the defining moment i can recall is when she went to a bank ATM to withdraw money on a goddamn Sunday afternoon. And someone tried to rob her, and seemed to be carrying a weapon. Now my grandmother dresses in a powerful way, she’s not crippled, and she’s 5'10. But she’s still old, and this (apparently, the police said, 22 at the time) guy probably thought she was an easy target.

Big mistake.

He began threatening her and was in the middle of pulling out a weapon (probably a knife) and she began to scream. At HIM. Not for help. She screamed,

“YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO ROB ME. THE NERVE OF YOU, THINKING YOU CAN ROB PEOPLE. ROBBER! ROBBER! GET AWAY FROM ME I WILL NOT ALLOW THIS. HOW DARE YOU.”

Now if you’re a robber expecting an easy target, like he was, having a tall ESFJ 8 screaming at your face with fe, you’re probably going to book it, which he did. But that fucking fe 8 man. “You’re not allowed to rob me”. Pinnacle of why I respect that woman so much, I learned from the best, though having two eight sp doms in the same house resulted in a couple wars.

5

Do you remember that evening when you had asked about the women of my family? Proud to have a story worth telling, I had talked about Sita, my mother’s mother, a freedom fighter and a trade unionist, loving mother to five children, and a thrifty homemaker. Sita when she died in 1974 was “Mata-ji”, respected Mother, to all in her town.

“Why are some women chosen to become mothers to many, and not others,” you had asked. “Is there a price that they have to pay in return?” Your questions had made me think some more. Someone once said that memories contain the map of identity. In this marble temple, the fractured memory of Sita, yet subsumed in the son-bearing, nurturing, and virtuous body of Bharat Mata–Mother India, the Hindu mother of Hindu sons. She is Sanskrit, and she is Hindi. She is the source, chaste and pure. 

Erased from her body are all markers of desire, passion, and longing that as a mortal woman Sita must have felt. Covered over are the wounds inflicted upon her for being born woman in an upper-caste Hindu family.

Turning to you I had asked curiously about your own grandmother. You had replied, “My grandmother was also called Mata-ji by some, yet she would find no place in this great temple.”

That same evening I had talked about my grandmother’s struggles to attend high school, the first for any girl in her family. The main hurdle was that the road to school led through the tawaifs’ quarters. Interrupting me with a sudden bitter tone in your voice, you had said, “How could the daughter of a respectable Hindu family be allowed to walk through an area where women wallowed in depravity, obscenity, and disease?”

Always on the margins of respectable society, the tawaif, now seen through the filters of Victorian morality, becomes a prostitute; bearer of everything foreign, including the Urdu language. The regeneration of Hindu society demanded that the tawaif be removed, physically from the proximity of respectable areas, and culturally from music itself. 

You tell me a story of a time and place far away, where a mission was launched to rescue music from the baneful influence of Muslim musicians and tawaifs. The respectable men of town began a very successful mission to put a stop to the practice of inviting courtesans on festive and other occasions to perform in Hindu homes. From the uncharacteristic sharpness of your tone, I had a sense there is more to this tale than what you have just shared. But I am almost hesitant to ask. The history that has made me the woman I am, stands confronted by the histories you relentlessly unravel now. 

You talk about you grandmother, the once powerful Chaudrahin or leader of the now beleaguered tawaif community in Benaras. Attracted by Gandhi’s inclusive call to Hindus and Muslims, men and women, to join the national movement, she had organized a very unusual meeting of courtesans in 1921. Presided by a framed photograph of Gandhi, the meeting passed a resolution to weed out obscenity in music and to promote nationalism by singing patriotic songs at all occasions.

The irony of this meeting is not lost to you. You are aware of Gandhi’s outburst against what he termed ‘the obscene manifesto of a group of tawaifs in Barisal’. Their crime: they had organized to help the poor, nurse the sick, and support the cause of Gandhi's Satyagraha. Gandhi declined to recognize them as Congress workers, or even accept their donations unless they gave up their unworthy profession which made them worse than thieves. While thieves merely stole material possessions, these women stole virtue.

Worst however was yet to come. Barred from performing on the radio till Nehru intervened, many tawaifs like your grandmother immersed their instruments into the Ganga and stopped singing altogether. Others got married in a desperate bid for social acceptance. 

And so, as a nation marched towards freedom, a group of women whose private lives became public scandal, fell off the map. You tell me about the day your grandmother was summoned to the local police station when a zealous young Indian state decided to suppress immoral trafficking by cleansing entire localities of their original inhabitants: prostitutes and tawaifs. 

That day, your grandmother decided to leave forever, the city that had been home. 

Review - Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

A lot of dystopian YA novels try to get away from having too much science in their science fiction, but don’t be fooled by The Scorpion Rules.  This is hard core sci-fi and the result is delightful.  

It’s premise is that the world overlord is a smart-ass cyborg artificial intelligence called Tallus who keeps peace on earth by holding the children of world leaders hostage.  If a war breaks out, he kills the children of the warring nations.  This ensures peace (mostly) and the hostages live in a rural-monastery for most of the year where they have to press their own apples and make their own butter and stuff.  When a tempestuous boy named Elián joins their cohort after his grandmother seizes power in a revolt, the main character Greta re-evaluates her previously docile life.  

And the neatest thing is that both the main character Greta and her roommate/best friend Xie are pretty clearly bisexual.  

Xie was in love with another hostage boy at age 15 and forced to miscarry their child.  But now she is clearly in love with Greta.  I would actually say Greta is more of a demisexual or maybe a biromantic ace, since her interest in both Xie and Elián doesn’t follow a predictable sexual pattern.  Also there isn’t a lot of jealousy between the three so it doesn’t play out like a conventional love triangle.  Between being taken doubly hostage, confronting the megalomaniac AI that controls the planet, and some pretty extreme scenes of violence and torture, romance isn’t really the top of anyone’s priority list.  Which was refreshing actually.  This is mostly a tense science fiction political thriller with some love and romance, not a romance set in a sci-fi setting.  

I listened to this one on audiobook and it was a very well done recording.  The narrator was spot on and the pacing was great.  The voice of Tallus came through exceptionally well, both for the humor and the horror.  

I won’t spoil the ending, except to say that it very easily could be setting up a V model of polyamory much like the end of Malinda Lo’s Adaptation.  The book wraps up a lot of the loose ends of the story, but I believe there is a sequel coming so this is certainly one to keep your eye on.  

- Sarah

trigger warning for: violence, blood, torture, miscarriage, death