Wednesday, 13 December 2017


As my life consistently steers towards the academe, I thought I have forgotten to write the personal. In the same way as I strive to replace my colonial English with American spellings - as colour becomes color, and defence becomes defense, writing the personal has often become words of loss, much like the runny 'u' from 'colour' I was so used to as a child.

But of late, teaching made me realize that the personal and the academe are together after all. I saw sentences born out of lack of confidence congeal into inconclusive excuses of conclusions - a common trait among women, persons of color and the marginalized. It reminded me of my own undergraduate days, when I thought a good conclusion to an essay was in a secure summary, or in hiding behind the quotes of someone established in the field. After all, it's already so tough to find one's voice, let alone assert that in print. But more than that, it is so tough to realize that we have our own voice to assert if we want, and our personal can comfortably, beautifully and almost lovingly get entangled with our professional.

As an undergrad, my desire to segregate the personal from what I studied was intentional. I thought I could not exist in the real world if I let too much of the academe (even as I began to increasingly focus upon power relations in our everyday practices) to bleed into my personal life. Turns out, it is so much more liberating to let them freely converse with each other, and become one. 

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Dear void,

This is all that I use you for, a message into nothingness because I am unable to converse with voids that masquerade as familiarity. The familiarity around one is often too similar, and too similarly unaware of what one does. Everyone has a story, everyone's story is different, but no one really reads anymore.

I hate it when the mass of this void tells me to be motivated. It takes immense motivation each single day, fighting against mortality and imminent end, for our our sheer existence to be. How much more motivation should I have left in me to aim for anything more than survival? It did not take me motivation to work towards a PhD. But how much motivation can it possibly take to feel relevant to anyone at all? How much motivation does it take to justify to the world every single day that you are not a leach on the society for not being in a professional course,  and even if you were it does not matter and everyone has the right to their choice of life? I guess writing to the void is all that I can, because everything else replies, and each of the replies are of echoes I have heard a thousand times over, never to work, never to mean. Ah the perks of polite society.


Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Last night I dreamt of Manderley

"Last night I dreamt of Manderley." No, I dreamt of reading Rebecca through the looking glass of retrospection. I felt the sinking feeling of the ship in which she died in my stomach as I realised how things were are not how things are now. Last night I also dreamt of my big bulky walkman with a cassette that had songs I used to record from the radio. I would play it on loop as I lay on the big bed with the mosquito net at Salt Lake's Srabani Abasan, as foxes howled beneath my window and caterpillars framed the mosquito net that divided our worlds. I dreamt of listening to the radio at night. I dreamt of listening to romantic songs and imagining my multiple crushes get won over by my charm that rested in the silent imaginations of a gawky kid who used sarcasm and humour as self-defence and to parse through life. I dreamt of reading novels in the sun kissed balcony on a jute mat in warm winters of Calcutta in the government quarters apartment where now a famous poet lives. That place deserves poets. I remember talking about philosophies of teenage with friends over the phone. The best philosophies of all. I remember thinking of end of school like the end of all. I now vaguely remember the feeling of belonging to Calcutta once, as I sit with my bulky archival materials and begin to write once again about the city.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Rants. Because rants are important.

Dear men who say pulling up the "gender card" in a debate is bad: I am sorry about all the rape threats and creepy molestation vibes you receive these days. I am sorry that I am being such a pain really for talking like a feminazi. Females talking about basic rights of safety is such a strong tool of distraction, really. I am sorry for hurting your sentiments by constantly reiterating that you as a fairly educated well earning man have certain privileges that every women and those who are dominated do not enjoy. My bad. I forget that you will also force me to tell the world you are a feminist, and you are only enlightening me by disagreeing with my thoughts. Or how I am utterly childish and ignorant to use the word feminism instead of equality. How I shamelessly argue without punctuating my sentences with my love for soldiers dying along the borders. I complain about people's awkward concern with my vagina while soldiers are dying? Such Impunity! My words must be hurting your ideas way more than the air of violence that threaten our bodies and our lives in every breath. Oh my sheer air-headed folly of femininity.

*Faints gracefully into the background, waits to be rescued for enlightenment*