I've attempted to sketch certain characters that sometimes peep through my thoughts, but in vain. Never have I been able to do complete justice to them. They are so well formed inside my mind, with a mind and conscience of their own, but when I start typing about them, their life, their story, I always feel something is missing. The character feels incomplete.

I had always this image of a traditional Muslim girl with a 'hijab' covering her head. She lived in not-so-modern surroundings in an Arabic town, with small tombs and brick dwellings around her home. Belonging to a very conservative family and society, the only place where she could be herself was the terrace; free from the glare of her father and her aunt, free from the worldly affairs, with solely herself and the birds for company. Today I named her Qiana. Twenty three year old, beautiful woman- Qiana. Her image is not that developed in my mind, but occasionally I see her.

She has a younger brother, Qadr, who is thirteen year old and cares a lot for her. The sibling relationship is very close to my heart. I love it when he saves the extra helpings of rice for her, while she is locked in a room for the day by her aunt. I love the way she calls his name, ever so sweetly at first, to wake him up, and then screaming near his ears. I really hope to get my thoughts around her story soon. I so much want to write about her, her thoughts, in bits and pieces. :) :) :)


Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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