|Dear you, |
I spilled iced tea on my laptop’s keyboard, & now the keys don’t work properly anymore. I’m trying to look for a metaphor in that, because finding metaphors in the mundane almost always changes the ordinary into the extraordinary. It makes you feel that everything happens for a reason, makes you believe that you are much more integral to this universe’s functioning than any of us actually are. But, all I have been able to convince myself of till now is that I need to take it to the service centre as soon as possible. I’ve always believed that the things that are broken can almost always be fixed; & throwing them out should be the last resort. Especially, when they cost so much.
Our world is slightly broken; & I had promised myself when I started owl post that it would be a way to flex my emotional strings, instead of going back to political discourses. But far too often the political is the personal, unless you’re privileged enough to not be impacted by it. In that scenario, you’re fortunate, and influential; & I hope you use that power for good.
They always ask you in college essays to explain why you want to study what you want to study. I want to study journalism & creative writing and the only answer I have to offer them is that I have been dreaming of seeking stories and words that are the sand between our toes since I was seven; I’m eighteen now. Today, I dream of finding words that are magnificently alive on the stage; and yet, utterly willing to make space for the voices that have been denied this right. In ancient Greece, Socrates was killed by the mob for his words; two years ago, journalist Gauri Lankesh suffered the same fate. They ask me why I choose to fight, when belonging to an upper-class Hindu family in India already offers me almost the best of everything on a silver platter. A millennia ago, a man was killed for claiming to be a Christian; a century later, another was killed for claiming to not be one. I fight (read: write) because the history of free speech could have ended and begun with ancient Greece; but it didn’t.
I’m privileged, and there are days when that privilege threatens to suffocate me. I belong to a community where I witness mere humans existing as so much more than the sum of their parts every single day. They fight against racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, fatphobia, & whatnot— even when the fight is not their own. They amplify voices, and create spaces for stories which are not allowed their rightful place in mainstream media. They are trying; & that’s all any of us can do.
We are living in times where we are regressing: democracies are transitioning into dictatorships, our ideals of secularism are deteriorating, women are being told that they can’t choose what to do with their own bodies; & that’s unacceptable. I’ve always believed that artists are warriors; & art is the greatest revolution. & so, all I will ask of you is to take away from this letter the remembrance of the fact that your political is someone’s personal. Choose wisely.