Saturday, January 30, 2010

Vidya's story

When Kiran Keeshan sent me this picture of her mom Vidya, I knew I had a real badass mother on my hands. The first tip off was the creamy green pleated polyester dress affixed with a rope belt and over-sized goggle glasses.
The second and sure sign of winner: not only is she lying on a Pontiac Firebird, there is a guy in the driver's seat parking the freaking car! Risk life and limb for a killer picture? Yeah, Vidya's alright.

Says Kiran: "My mom was born in 1964 to wealthy Trinidadian-Indian business-owners. She was 8 out of 9 children and was raised with a strong Hindu upbringing. Due to her family being well-known temple socialites, she donned Indian saris most of the time at home."

By 1979, Vidya's teenage rebellion began to percolate. Here she is in her family living room, in a more Western-style dress holding a mutant two-headed stuffed animal. Don't ask, I didn't. Kiran points out the unintentional psychedelic furnishings. I love how a table fan photo bombs the picture.

In 1986, Vidya left Trinidad for the U.S.-- here she is with her family about an hour before she hit the road with her new husband who she met in grade school. The couple headed straight for the The Bronx (can I get a 'what what' for New York City? Even a 'what' will do). "They left simply because the style of life offered in America was by far richer than what they could have in the tiny, simple world of the southern Caribbean," says Kiran. That's saying a lot. The Bronx in the 80's was not always the easiest place to raise a kid. For pay, Vidya worked behind a jewelry counter. But a woman who poses for a picture on a moving car doesn't stay behind a counter. She became a cop who patrolled NYC's Triborough Bridge after she had Kiran in 1990.

Eventually she moved to Tampa with her family, including Kiran (below), who's 20 and currently on the hunt for a pair of oversized frames like her mom's.

Mom doesn't wear hers anymore. But that doesn't mean she's lost her edge.


jean said...

What a lady and what a story!
Luv that pic of Vidya on the car posing like a diva!

Eyeliah said...

wow, incredible story and iconic photo. :-)

LL said...

I just have to say, she's beautiful, and she looks very kind. What a gorgeous, loving daughter she raised.

Claire Cramer said...

Kiran, your mom rules!

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