Ruminating on dreams and the purpose of life

 


I first read about Aanchal Malhotra in the newspaper or in an online magazine, on how she had dedicated half of her twenties to her project of documenting oral histories from the partition. Now it is almost a decade, she is still deeply absorbed and as dedicated to this project of collecting individual accounts and stories. She deals with the memories of the surviving few from the times of the partition of the subcontinent, in her book Remnants of a Separation. Her next book is already announced for 2021, Reading her is a joy. She is collecting next generation accounts of the times of partition, the ones that have been passed down orally to the sons and daughters of the migrants, the inherited memories and experiences. Partition has been experienced over the generations, through all these years, and still it is in our living memory – alive, not just a thing of the past.

I wonder, how does one dedicate a decade of one’s life and still continue doing so, for a cause the importance of which is not really understood by many. Aanchal Malhotra once expressed emotionally, she rarely does so in any of the interviews and discussions, but the research has taken such a toll on her personal life, not many people relate to how much it means to her personally.

How to dedicate wholeheartedly to a cause, make it your life’s mission, pursue it far and beyond the borders, till hearts content, justify its importance again and again to people, family, friends and bear the burden almost entirely oneself? How do they decide, that this is the thing that I would want to do for the rest of my life?

And how do you make sense of your life after the passion that you indulged in and fed to has completed it’s tenure, it’s purpose? What’s next? Would there be a void, would you be unable to fill in your present with other things?

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Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

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  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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