Friday, September 30, 2016

Pursuing Liberal Arts in Times of Disdain

Pursuing liberal arts education in India has always been a challenging enterprise for those interested in the subjects due to general public apathy for such education. This process becomes even more daunting in the light of new education policy reforms. Here, Preeti and I write about why some of us opt and pursue a liberal arts education, and do so in the Indian public universities even in the face of these challenges. We discuss public universities- what these spaces mean to us, the opportunities for collaborative learning that they offer vis a vis the challenges that we face and the changes we would like to see. We call for attitudinal shifts (both governmental and public) with regard to the significance of public universities and their autonomy.

Take a look! http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/saving-the-public-university/article9163856.ece

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Reinfusion

 A day of staring onto the screen unable to write a single sentence, I drag myself from the library back to my hostel room. I am a mess. I can feel the heat on my hands, my ears. Heat from everywhere, from the laptop which kept going back to sleep because all I did was to stare at it, from the metal surface of the library racks where I ran my fingers looking for something to miraculously wake my mind from its slumber. Not just the heat, the dust- a dying soul allures dust like a rusted tin roof. On the way back I think the weariness and confusion will kill me, if not the heat! Yet, I keep walking with droopy eyes, just trying to breathe, hoping that the storm inside would subside on its own and I would reach my room a sane person.
On my way I overhear someone mention her name, they say she is dark, that she is twisted, typical conversations in a university campus. While teaching ourselves to understand the dark and the grey, we keep passing judgments on them. That is how we feel less dark, less twisted, less deranged.
 My eyes open, I know I am not interested in their conversation. Someday I will join them in their conversation and agree with them, I might even tell them how right they are. But now, I run, as I finally know what I need. I need her. I need the darkness, the twistedness...So I run. I stumble on the doorstep, I pull myself in, throw the bags onto the bed and I rummage through my bookshelf to find her. There she is, in the green, in the brown, in the pale yellow—she likes the earthy colors, she tells her publishers so. I pick up the green and lie on the floor, my hair open. When your soul is dying, even a tight hair band can be a debilitating presence.
I breath her in, I feed myself with her soul, I wonder why she would sell it. May be selling is a way of staying alive. I am not selling mine, not yet. I am young when it comes to words, afraid that mine won’t be replenishing enough for the world around. For now, I gorge on hers and feel alive, again!

                                                                   ******

I am sitting on my bed.  The laptop is switched on. I have placed it on the foldable plastic table. There is a blank page staring at me. I stare back. The difference —I am not afraid anymore. Her blood is running through my veins. I have found my sanity in her darkness! I will survive.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Dargah Visit!

A journey without any prior planning led me and my friend to Baba Fakhruddin's Dargah located somewhere near Gachibowli in Hyderabad.









Friday, January 22, 2016

When a Campus Mourns....

A fellow research scholar, Rohith Vemmula, committed suicide on our University Campus a few days back. The events that followed have been deeply saddening and unnerving.

I along with my friend Sinjini Bhattacharya wrote a piece for countercurrents.org in our humble attempt to portray the changes in campus atmosphere in the last few days.

You can read us on http://www.countercurrents.org/avsb210116.htm

Thank You,

Aparna