One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul

Despite its short length, it takes only a few lines of Scaachi Koul's prose to feel like you're in her inner circle. This book quickly envelops you in Koul's experience of growing up first generation Indian Canadian, to parents she clearly loves and admires, but with whom she cannot always relate 100 percent, because even their native tongue is different. She has grown up certainly influenced by her heritage and shaped by the parents who raised her, but is also her own woman in a different world, one in which she cohabits with her white boyfriend well before marriage, for example.

In these personal essays, Koul discusses the fear of travel she now experiences, handed down by her parents who have become much more protective since they each lost their own parents to illnesses thousands of miles away. She grapples with race and her own light skin as a marker of where in North India she is from and what this means in India versus in the United States. She imagines what her niece's life will look like, given that her brother is Indian and her mother is white. She details the tiresome Indian wedding ceremonies, mocking the friends in Canada who envy her long trip home and the seven days of celebration she witnesses - sure, to foreigners, it is fun, but there's a loooooooot more to it than that (she posits, and I believe it).

If Indian weddings for Indian people are the furthest from ‘fun’, trips to India for Indian people are the furthest from ‘vacation’. When I told my friends about the upcoming trip, everyone purred about what a great time I’d have, told me to take a lot of photos, told me to eat everything. But if you’re going to India to see your family, you’re not going to relax, you’re not going to have a nice time. No, you’re going so you can touch the very last of your bloodline, to say hello to the new ones and goodbye to the older ones, since who knows when you’ll visit again. You are working.
— Scaachi Koul, One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter

Race and culture are not the only things she addresses. She tackles body image, rape culture, alcoholism and the dark and light edges to social media. She does this with cutting, quirky and sometimes laugh-out-loud language, all which remind you that she is, after all, a BuzzFeed writer known for her wit. This was an enjoyable read, and a wonderful reminder of the homes we leave and the homes we make. 

I like being present in spaces where I am not welcome because you do not deserve to feel comfortable just because you’re racist or sexist or small-minded.
— Scaachi Koul, One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter