life rattle show no. 1338

Presented on tuesday, april 28, 2015


hosted by john currie



"Rain Dance"
by Natasha Hartono


by Nicholas Zahra



tonight's Show

Life Rattle No. 1338 features two special Earth Day stories by new writers Natasha Hartono and Nicholas Zahra.

This is the first program in a two-part Earth Day series this month. The featured writers write about a life experience grounded in an Earth experience. Too often in literature the Earth is presented as the backdrop for human activity. These pieces will remind us that all of what we do, with our families, in our home lives, and during our work and play time, happens within a deep bond with the planet. What these writers do well is not push this idea, for as simple and critical as it is, it is an idea that has been pushed at us. Through subtlety in their stories, this notion is just there, present but unadorned.

Natasha Hartono was born in the spring of 1992 in Mississauga, Ontario. Her parents, both born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia, moved to Mississauga in their mid-twenties, where they met at church, and got married. Ancestrally of Chinese-Indonesian descent, Natasha is regularly mistaken as Filipino. Her father is an accountant who commutes to downtown Toronto every day and her mother is a dental assistant.

As the older sister to two younger sisters, Natasha played teacher and wrote lessons for them and created dance performances with them for their parents. So far, she has worked at twelve paid jobs throughout her twenty three years of life. Natasha lived on her own for the first time in Chicoutimi, Québec, where she worked and played for four months, and lived in a house with eight other girls.

Now Natasha works as a program coordinator for a French exchange program. Natasha Hartono prefers the city or rural communities over the suburbs, extreme heat or cold over lukewarm, and a brilliantly sunny day or thunderstorm over measly drizzle..

"Rain Dance" is a travelogue. Through Natasha's superb detail, we learn of a place and meet the locals and the visitors, who all are touched by droplets from the sky. Water has sprung forth in the small Quebec town before, as Natasha casually reminds us. With her writing we feel what it is to go to somewhere new and find ourselves giving in.

Nicholas Zahra was born in 1989 in Mississauga, Ontario. He is the middle child between an older sister and a younger brother. Nicholas graduated from university with a degree in communications and professional writing at the age of twenty-two and, at the same time, obtained a college certificate in digital communications.

Apart from writing, Nick enjoys mountain biking and watching his favourite hockey team, the Montreal Canadiens. He is also an avid car enthusiast, participating in local car events and wrenching on cars to satisfy his horsepower cravings.

Nicholas Zahra currently lives in Caledon and works in the market research industry.

"Weeds" captures the nonchalance of a teenager. Through humour, vivid detail and crisp dialogue Nicholas reveals a teenager's perspective of wanting nothing to care about except more time on the PS/2. Yet we see by the end of his piece that there is more to his character than this, leaving us with a small yet unforgettable moment from those years.