A for Always

I don’t know why I write but I think it’s because I keep returning to it. I return to hear myself when there is too much noise. To relocate my self-respect that is still childishly tied to things that it shouldn’t be tied to, snatched when I’m not looking & sometimes even when I am.Continue reading “A for Always”

N for Nuance

Image credits: @VMSonara via Twitter (Nuance defined as: noticing a very slight difference in meaning or someone’s feelings that is not usually very obvious) Bole toh, if a Savarna journalist accuses you, a Dalit writer – of not having nuance, it means that you are not smart enough to look beyond caste. It means thatContinue reading “N for Nuance”

Q for Qualification

   Art by EV Anil I’m thinking about what you were doing now, at this moment, in 1918. When you were teaching at Sydenham College, and students liked your classes but you weren’t allowed to drink water from the same jug as your colleagues. What did you do, Baba? I am haunted by which ofContinue reading “Q for Qualification”

Knowing and Unknowing

At some point in 2015, I became very comfortable with the idea that teaching is an autopilot thing. That it was enough if I had read a text/poem/short-story once – no matter how long ago it was – that it would be enough if I remembered it. Teaching was – more than anything else, remembering.Continue reading “Knowing and Unknowing”

Caste teaches us not only how to walk but also what to walk away from

After a student was told that Dalit women have a constitutionally protected act in workplaces and anybody choosing to attack such women teachers with an intention to malign them professionally would be reported to the cops; the light left his face, he touched his hair just so he could do something with his hands andContinue reading “Caste teaches us not only how to walk but also what to walk away from”

Wild Hair and Mad Dalit Women

The idea all along was to live castelessly. My father and mother did it well. The last time I saw them hassled was when we lived in an apartment in Basavanagudi and the man upstairs did jasoosi, found out we were Dalit and started making a fuss. First he had full respect for dad’s positionContinue reading “Wild Hair and Mad Dalit Women”

P for Political. A for Aadhar

Sometime in the month of October, I wondered if my blog was developing a certain direction. It’s because I read and wrote more about caste than I have about anything else this year. A lot of my posts and essays this year were attempts at making sense of my life, work, and relationships and IContinue reading “P for Political. A for Aadhar”

Story > History

I like stories more than histories. Sometimes I can’t be too sure of the difference between the two but I imagine story as the wrinkled old face of a grandmother with a soothing afternoon voice narrating, gesturing, singing, touching, and laughing. And I imagine history in the sturdy shape of a wooden foot ruler inContinue reading “Story > History”