Posts Tagged ‘Janaki’

My Story Pt. 1

I’ve decided to write an extended ‘about me’, because there’s so much more to my story than a paragraph and a picture. I hope you enjoy it. This is part one.

young me

I was born on July 4th, 1982 and to my extended families dismay – my parents named me Janaki. See, I was supposed to be Jessica – my parents led everyone to believe that would be my name when in fact my parents were part of the Hare Krishna group at the time and felt that giving me a Hindi name would be appropriate. In case you were curious, it’s pronounced JOHN-UH-KEY and no, I don’t go by any nicknames. Now that I’m married my name looks incredibly exotic, when in fact I am white as white can be. And I have a heck of time with getting people to remember my name… or even pronounce it correctly.


As you can probably imagine, growing up in a Hare Krishna community was nothing like growing up in a Christian church. I don’t remember much – except that we couldn’t eat any meat and the services were incredibly boring. I’ve seen a few pictures and have some vague memories of the temple but that’s the extent of it. By the time I was old enough to really start shaping opinions and memories our family was out of the Hare Krishna movement. My siblings and I were being shuttled off to church with my mother’s parents (free babysitting). This would be the church that shaped my faith (for better and worse), where I learned how to play the guitar, and where I would eventually meet and marry my husband.


Outside of the sunday school I attended, I lived in a secular world. My parents abandoned all idea of organized religion, and partied all night, every night. I have memories of lying awake for hours at night listening to them and 70’s rock music blaring in the house. I was blissfully unaware that this was abnormal. It wasn’t until I was in 7th or 8th grade did I realize that most kids went to bed before midnight. Despite my tumultuous home life I did very well in school. I started playing clarinet when I was 7 years old, and much to my mother’s dismay I was completely tone deaf (more on that later).


Through my very youngest years my ideas of spirituality and morality were balanced on two opposite ideas. Those of the Christian church, and those from my parents who had a disregard for religion and even to some extent, the law.

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