I started this year on a promising note. At a houseparty overlooking my favorite place in the world — the sea. But in a small, intimate setting that was rife with warm conversations rather than awash with alcohol and escapism. There was music, there was laughter, there were hugs and there were promises. There was also good advice served up warm with upma, friendly digs spicing up gently offered perspective. And it allowed me to start the new year quite literally unencumbered by fear. I am a different person, a SuperMe when I feel cared for and seen and cherished.
And in the first week of the year I have already broken through fear that lay unseen but heavy on me, like ice. I’ve also fallen SPLATCH flat on my face but hey, even my blood stains make art.
And today, I’m in Pune. I’m here to heal. Pune doesn’t comfort me. It allows me the time and breathing space to heal, to collect thoughts that otherwise run like scared chickens through rush hour traffic. It’s cold but oh Pune makes it seem welcoming.
I’m still carrying a cold that first began plaguing me in early December. An ex-friend once told me that phlegm represents the pain inside our bodies. Oh boy, is this coming up in fits and jerks. But like The Fever (this is an experience disguised as a person, not the medical condition) told me last week, “Get it out, get it all out, it’s all good.”
I was also reminded today of something that I know but seems hard to remember in the microbattles I struggle against every day — I’m doing some excellent work with people I respect and like, work I believe in that challenges and stimulates me. And there are books. And music. And other people and experiences.
A couple of days ago someone started a protest against Islamophobic trolling with the novel idea of using the Urdu font for their Twitter handle. That idea brought me so many thoughts and feelings — the complex power/privilege structures implicit in language, the history that it carries, what language says about my identity and what a wonderful way to take a stand. This has gone viral as of now, with lots of people standing in solidarity by doing the same. i believe in the cause but do not want to echo the same action because of my own cultural/linguistic history struggling with Hindi-normativity. And I was able to discern all these thoughts and also communicate them without feeling attacked, defensive or worn down. This is such a fresh approach to standing for one’s belief and moving the world to a better place.
And we’re only a week in. Well done, 2019.