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On the Brain
October 2018

A Bowl of Oranges

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Now with Department of Health System Design and Global Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York
JAMA Neurol. 2018;75(10):1177-1178. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2018.2520

For the past 4 months, the wallpaper on my phone has been a drawing of oranges in a brightly colored turquoise and blue bowl. The image has depth and texture and light, although the edges are a bit shaky, and the color that fills the bowl has patches missing. The oranges recall a childhood song my father sang in Gujarati, “Round, round oranges! Mommy buys the oranges, Daddy cuts the oranges, Sheela eats the oranges!” (“Gol, gol, musambi! Mummy laave musambi, Daddy kaape musambi, Sheela khai musambi!”) My father, a lover of fruit, took time selecting pieces by scent and color for their ripeness, peeling, cutting, and feeding his family, before eating any juicy morsels himself.

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