For pain is real, oh so real

Because a wise man named Morrie once advised, delve deep into an emotion and then detach. I am experiencing an emotion I have always denied myself the privilege to truly acknowledge- pain, excruciating pain.

The pain of learning that it is not easy to continue to believe in the endlessness of time.

The pain of acknowledging that the world is not as nice as I dream it to be, that love is not as naive, that joy is not as unabashed, rather shy.

The pain of experiencing complex relationships, the pain of accepting change, impermanence of goodness.

The pain of being human. The pain of an endless endeavor to retain sanity and calm in a madness that engulfs all. The pain of giving with a hint of exchange, the pain of forgetting selflessness.

The pain of feeling homeless despite a house, the pain of feeling loss despite abundance. The pain of feeling hate in a world that yearns for love, the pain of choosing to be alone over togetherness with noise. The pain of no more meeting those who are long gone, the pain of not finding those who still do exist.

The pain in letting go, as the sand slips through nimble fingers.

The pain of experiencing desire but not expressing. The pain of learning that you are perhaps desired no more.At times I wonder, would my father read again the poem he would enthrall me with as a child? The pain of not being the same being, the pain of asking, is an adult not a child?

At times I do wonder, if pain is deliberate, a reason to nurture hope for love? For peace? For a better self, a better community, a better life?

As I slide down this slippery path, I do believe that I would reach a lake, where there would be a paper boat, and on it, I would sail again.

It is perhaps just fair to acknowledge and experience pain, it does not last forever. So said the clouds which flew above the window, and traveled thus far. So said the waves of the river, roaring with the winds. So said the setting sun, the watch that stopped, the cat staring from behind the glass. It is just fine. So says this little heart of mine.

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I will be back soon, and be with us

The past one year has been perhaps one of my most prolific years on this planet. It has also been my first time in a space, at great physical distance from home.

I could not have felt closer.

However, this time has not been as simple as it appears. I have had moments of complex introspection, have asked newer questions, and reflected on past concerns.

In the process though, I have been fortunate enough to meet beautiful people and to be able to share these thoughts with them, to listen to their perceptions, to admire honest feedback and to nurture collective dreams of better selves.

One of my friends in my new city, who has witnessed my journey here, met me a few weeks ago. Over lunch, as  I endlessly narrated my stories, she shared that she is happy for me-she is seeing me change. I wondered what was the change. She said, “earlier it was always about others, and what you would do for them, now its all about you! You come first!”

This feedback has been most worrisome, if not jarring.

I have been unable to stop thinking about it.

Where my friend is celebrating my embracing of individuality and self-love, my conditioning makes me look at it as self-centered existence, and if I be paranoid, as sheer selfishness.

I feel both of us have binary perceptions of a condition that is perhaps somewhere in between.

While walking to work, while cooking, while standing by the river, I have been engaging with this thought about what kind of a person I wish to be. Do I want to continue thinking about my own self, regardless of what others go through? Is this the self I would admire? Or do I want to go back to an existence, where I almost ignored myself?

Maybe , stay in between.

But this does make me want to reflect upon individuality, or perhaps freedom. What is freedom? I realize, in my naive contemplation,  that many a times we borrow an image of freedom or individuality from another completely different context, and try to apply it in ours. If it does not fit in, we try and change our context, or move to the other context and adopt it. I have no judgement over this, I do not know if this is the appropriate step or not.

I acknowledge that freedom is perceived and expressed differently by different people, and in my situation, I do not assume that thinking solely about my isolated future is a form of individuality or freedom.

My freedom would be to continue to value my core beliefs and work on my dreams, while ensuring the happiness of my loved ones. My freedom would be to not be fearful when advocating for art and culture in my context. My freedom would be to say a no to a man or woman who I believe does not deserve me, irrespective of what my context proclaims, and to unabashedly love the one with whom I share mutual respect. My freedom would be to feel and give love, to provide and enjoy a spiritual security, without losing myself in it. My freedom would be to voice my opinion where there is injustice in the garb of tradition or values. My freedom would be to not be rude or angry , to not let the pace and stress of spectacular society get to my calm. My freedom would be to deny greed in a world that dazzles, to save when I am told to spend, to sleep when tired and to wake up early to hear the birds sing.

I am far from being free.

My freedom is what my innermost being wants, my freedom is to be that individual, my freedom is to be that individual at a place I call home.

I am yet to be free, but I am in the process, perhaps a lifelong process.

I also attempted at reflecting on why I seem to have only thought about my well-being in the past few months. Because I am unable to feel a sense of security that comes when you are surrounded by people you love and those who love you back. Because I am in an alien environment where I worry about my sleep so that I have enough energy to cook my food, to clean my room, to walk long distances to my work and ensure I make the best utilization of my time, alone. This makes me compromise on spending as much time with others as I would have otherwise. This allows me an excuse to not think of others’ needs above mine. This lets me think of “me first”.

Let me be honest,  for as long as I can recall, I have advocated being alone. I have celebrated and honestly cherished every moment spent on my own in that world which I am much acquainted with. For the first time in my life, in my new environment, I realized what is loneliness, and how painful it is. Don’t take me wrong, I have thoroughly enjoyed my year and new bonds, and am thrilled at the prospect of another eventful year. But even though I still cherish my moments of reflection and quietude, I deeply crave for familiar smiles, sounds, wagging tails of street dogs, ants by the window on a rainy evening, the soft sound of my father’s humming, the joy in my mother’s laughter. I miss the touch of my niece’s fingers, I miss hugging my brother. I miss my neighbor who yearned for a conversation , I miss my friends who met me at odd hours. I miss  being alone when I was surrounded by those my own.

I don’t want to worry about my mere existence, I want to be occupied in thoughts and exchange with all these beings who form my community, who enrich my life with meaning and purpose. Like stories untold, their lives unfold and add color to mine, together we create narratives of a lifetime.

As if the universe heard my queries, the other day I received a message, that an elderly mentor of mine, has been thinking of me. Dear Bhagwan Das Ji, I have been thinking of you too, of the depth in your eyes that speak so much when we often sit in silence.

I would be back soon, for you do give me a reason to channelize my energy and life towards a constructive outcome. I would be back soon, because you and all my nodes back home,  cause me to write from my heart and soothe my soul. Your words and actions cause me to weep and smile, to laugh and fight. And in experiencing these plethora of emotions, you all make me alive.

I will be back soon, and be with us.

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Are you obsessed with my hair cut?

Are you obsessed with my hair cut?

Even if you are not, this post might be interesting.

Last month I cut my hair. And I cut them short.

(I am certain I am not the only human to have done this ever, but appears to be so by the amount of queries and comments that have traveled my way, some in the open, but most in personal or sheepish encounters.)

In public interest, no it was not an impulsive decision, it was well thought of, and in fact quite delayed. It has nothing to do with New York, and everything to do with me.

Kaise?

Janaab Aise-

I have usually had hair that fall on my shoulders and in the past one year had allowed them to grow longer, slow and steady. I did not care about their shape, their volume, their color, I just let them exist, in resonance with the pace and character of my life, moving with time, no pruning, no control.

It annoyed me. I deserve more attention from my own self.

When I would look in the mirror , I would feel that I am doing a disservice to myself by letting them be- I am doing a disservice to myself, by letting life be. I need more control. In order to live, I perhaps need to be like a gardener, to nurture and shape different segments of my life.

So I decided to begin with the most visually effective aspect of my being, my hair.

Not for anyone else, but to get my own attention.

Would that directly translate into a change in my entire way of life? No.

However!

I feel that these mornings ( post hair being cut)  when I look at myself, I find an imperfect self but alive. And that propels me to enjoy each day a little more- to break a few more self-installed barriers, to smile for no reason. I see possibility of experimentation, of taking a risky decision and facing the consequences- I see possibility of mischief and laughter, of dreaming and falling, of living. Was it not present before? Possibly yes. But I wasn’t seeing it.

I am thoroughly enjoying questioning a predominant expectation from me- that I should look and behave in a certain way. That I should be aligned with a certain image. No, I am not trying to rebel, I don’t need to do that through appearance or appearance alone, but I am also defying a sense of belonging to a forced identity. I don’t have long hair, I can still be respectful, have my set of self-defined values, and treat you well-as long as you respect me and are honest. Even if my haircut does not appease your sense of aesthetics, that does not bother me, because it pleases mine. I am learning to stay above  feedback from irritants and humbly accept appreciation. I am also learning to not immediately react to dissonance. And this, I do believe, would transcend to other activities in my daily existence, perhaps consciously or maybe silently without my apparent knowledge.

{I am wary of using terms such as “freedom” or “power” because I feel they are way too complex and I would not want to have their juvenile usage in a hurried expression. Maybe later? Until then, I would request you to not associate “feminism”, “journalism” or any other “ism” of your imagination with a petrified hair stylist’s tryst with scissors, and, my hair.}

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The Beginning of Unhappyness- Board Exams

There was one event in my life, actually occurring twice, hence two events, when the entire nation  seemed to have shared the burden of my grief.

Every year these events repeat for some truly unfortunate souls, and their paranoia is catalyzed by each faintly related person, not to forget the special mention in newspapers, radio and annoying social media messages.

This event is fearfully known as Board Exams, it could also be honestly called The Beginning of Unhappyness.

Let us consider the year 2004, since that was my first trial in class X of secondary school.

Two years prior to it, family friends, educators, astrologers and forecasters of all kinds and levels of experience,  had started remarking on how only two more years of enjoyment were left for me- as if the exam was not a useless test, but a monster that would suck the happiness out of my life.

Little did I know that it was precisely so.

In fact my entire nuclear family had to suffer, as I struggled to ensure I answer every question in neat handwriting, and manage not to have a nervous breakdown in the process. This scenario is applicable to many of my friends in nearly similar fashion.

To say the least, the last four years of my schooling were the worst years of my life (in comparison) mentally, physically and spiritually. If we call this education, then the society should rather not have education, because the only thing I learnt was to mug under pressure, to compete, and to live an unhealthy imbalanced life .

Those years marked the beginning of a lifestyle that has left a bitter aftertaste. A lifestyle encouraging paranoia, relentless achievement and isolation from realities other than myopic success. A lifestyle where compromising on that which is essential to me as an individual could be justified as long as I could prove my relative worth on paper. Some people continue with this pattern all their lives without even acknowledging they are doing so, it could become a normalized way of being.

If you have already noticed, none of this includes actual learning, and yes I am certain I did not learn anything through my board exams.

It is a miracle that I am sane.

The amount of stress one deals with in these exams is sheer systemic torture which better be STOPPED. I really did not want ministers to be sending good luck wishes through campaigns, I needed a break where I could be mindful of life beyond school books and extra tutorials. None of these well-wishers told me to relax, to not be worried, that I would be as worthy of love and affection despite my grades, rather my grades seemed to have become the deciding factor for my entire future-  I would be doomed if I do not perform well.

My grades tell nothing about the person I am, they tell nothing about the application of knowledge I might have gained, they just tell that I managed to not give too many incorrect answers.

On another note,  grades are also a matter of privilege. I was privileged enough to dedicate four complete years to just rote learning. I did not have much disturbance, was provided with a comfortable study table and appropriate nutrition. I could afford to take coaching where I was told what was enough to learn such that I score well. Please note, the purpose of this education was acing an exam, not learning for a lifetime- “ICSE Board waale aise hi sum solve karna, CBSE ka method alag hai”.

I was also  privileged because in the heat and in the cold, I had someone pick me up in a car, to drive me from school to coaching and then home. This person himself never got the four years to dedicate solely to scoring well, his children did. They would now be attempting at scoring enough to get through a revered institution.

To get through a revered institution might require an obnoxiously high percentage, humanly almost impossible. I was fortunate because I got the subjects of my choice through an entrance exam, but to clear many of the mainstream entrance exams is a huge challenge. Some of these institutions would be chosen only because they are branded so, they may not have the subjects of interest or affordable fees for several students who do join under pressure or lack of a better option or counseling. This  would require a loan and hard work to get a well-paying job. The job may not necessarily be satisfying, but to have a satisfying job is quite a privilege.

This entire process is filtering chances of young passionate people to follow their own pace, to pursue personal interests, take risks and innovate, rather this process runs on fear and pressure. Stress therefore  becomes a way of life for many, reflected in dissatisfaction and leading to poor patterns of consumption and health. These values get transferred to the next generation, and are encouraged through praise or ridicule as per context. 

Yes, I am painting a darker picture, that’s my hobby. But wait, why not? The purpose of education seems muddled in our current system and rather than panicking and giving in to it, we would need to question it. It has to be a pursuit of growth, not beginning of unhappyness. And if that requires a poorly written post at ungodly hours, so be it!

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Reflection after watching “Dum Laga Ke Haisha”

Having completed my finals and several other quotidian tasks, I finally decided to give myself a break through India’s most cherished form of entertainment- Cinema.  (Please forgive the exaggeration, if it appears so.)

Now that I am in the ever expensive new shahar of mine, where I would not want to spend on a visit to a movie hall, I managed to watch yesterday on a much smaller screen, the movie, “Dum Laga Ke Haisha”.

This movie features as its protagonist Bhumi Pednekar, who plays the role of Sandhya, a newly wed bride in middle-class* North-Indian context, and through her brilliant portrayal of the predicament of a plus-size woman , I could reflect on prevalent issues that many of us face in our societies.

Let me be direct in approaching the subject, I am going to talk to you about shaming and how that has affected me and many of my friends, particularly women, but I think it is almost impossible to refrain from the larger structures of power that encourage such shaming.

I would provide some consciously selected context from the movie itself-

Sandhya was teased by her younger brother for her size, and publicly humiliated by her arranged husband, who chose not to love her due to his disapproval of her shape. She had to bear with undue taunting by her husband’s paternal aunt  along with her husband’s sense of regret, whose erratic and juvenile behavior was found justified by her own parents- they were surprised at her voicing her genuine concerns. In her divorce petition, Sandhya claims that her husband’s behavior caused her mental harassment, while he admits that he does not love her and married her under family pressure- her degree would enable her to teach and earn for the family.

There is lots more that I would like to recollect and share, but I would pause for now and write what I could relate these cinematic instances with. There are several intertwined and complex societal attitudes at play here, which would seem most obvious and apparent to many, yet we choose to mostly accept these in silence.

Calling names to people (plus-size or otherwise)- it’s acceptable

I have grown up being teased, being referred to as a “Buffalo/Bhains”, “Bull/Saand” and even “Haathi ka Baccha/Elephant’s child”. I do not have a tail, horns or a trunk. I do not even walk on all fours. These adjectives were showered upon me by my nearest and dearest, because I have never been skinny and because I eat food when I am hungry.

I have grown up believing that I am not good enough. I was called an elephant’s child by a much cherished person in my life when I was once running, I was teased for my evident puberty by a close friend when I was running on the school playground, I do not run.

Body or appearance shaming must have been experienced by a majority of people I know, it is not limited to current obsession with size-zero or white skin fairness creams- it has found its place in biases, racism and heinous injustice, in slapstick humor and cartoons, in stereotypical imagery and characterization across boundaries of space and time. While this harassment is much prevalent, its subtle implications on a day-to-day level might not always be discussed.

Just as Sandhya’s disapproval of her husband’s disrespect towards her body is considered strange by both families, I felt the same throughout my growing years when I could not muster the courage to initiate a dialogue with my acquaintances. Sandhya’s brother believes that her husband did no wrong by insulting her in front of his friends since she is indeed a “Saand”.

Many of us must have come across an over-hyped ideology of being strong and not being affected by such irritants in life, a logic that many of the perpetrators would themselves offer  as their justification for their thoughtless judgmental remarks and sadist tendency. Bullshit! What do you even mean by asking someone to not be “so sensitive“?

If you are told that you are a buffalo by someone who is  at a higher position in your family or societal power structure, chances are that you would not only be affected by it at that moment, rather  internalize it for a much longer period. This distorted self-perception would affect your confidence, your relationships, your sense of style and expression. At the cost of sounding paranoid, it is a damage for a lifetime, and most self-help books or advisers  that ask you to love yourself and accept your uniqueness, sound mild and serve as meek protestants, in front of the loudness of those obnoxious negative remarks.

I must admit, I have in the past accepted some strange people in my life, and had to bear with their completely avoidable presence, due to a lingering sense of shame on  how I must be perceived by others  or that I do not deserve any better . Funny that something so external, would have left me so weak internally, but it did, and I face its consequences even today.

It’s alright for males to tease females- the divine treatment for the male child

Sandhya’s brother reminds her that she always looks like a “Chudail/Witch” after her having spent time in grooming herself and hoping for a positive reaffirmation.

I have heard this before, and have often cringed at the sound of this word. Why would you call me a witch? Because I choose to wear a casual t-shirt and pajamas? Because I am loud? Because I do not fit into your ideal of innocence and nauseous cuteness? But then why do I seek your approval at all? So ingrained is this desire to get an approval in me, that even after 26 years with an awareness of my socially inflicted low self esteem, I am unable to fight it. I remember not grooming myself out of shyness, wondering if the very people who remind me of my shape, my dressing sense and my graying hair would make fun of it if they see me taking care of myself.

But many from the “practical” brigade would suggest that my claims here must be unfounded, why am  I blaming  relations so dear for a crime they certainly did not intend? I think I would blame the structure and an inhuman level of tolerance accepted out of women in this case. How dare someone tease a woman on her physical attributes and how dare the erratic behavior of the male child, whether husband, brother, or son, be acceptable? If my son would do that to my daughter or vice-versa, I would initiate a dialogue on accepting differences and nurturing empathy, on being aware and mindful of words and actions, on knowing the difference between playfulness and hurting. I would teach children how to love than how to silently accept pain. I would request my children to never allow such an irrelevant negative remark to have any significance in their lives, to question and raise their voice, if they ever find themselves unduly targeted.

The taunting vamps and the woman’s fault

There is no dearth of taunting women in our lives. From our neighbor’s cleaning lady commenting on my eyebrows, to a stranger’s remark on my walk, from sisters worried about my lack of prospective boyfriends,to friends wondering when I would look more  “girly” (really, what do you mean by girly?), I have faced them all, at times with courage and at times with a broken heart (You are meeting me after a year, after my hard work on a cause I believe in, and all you want to discuss is my nail-paint, thanks!)

Sandhya’s husbands’ aunt is quite a sadist. Having suffered injustice as a woman herself, she leaves no stone unturned in snide comments on Sandhya’s size and appearance. Her nephew’s denial of sex to his wife  is also Sandhya’s fault.

Its always the woman’s fault right? I am aghast at how women themselves catalyze patriarchy and support its many conventions, the most prevalent being an uncanny silence, generations living in denial, or celebrating sacrifice as some form of divinity, only to be practiced by women.

Comparison

Sandhya’s husband compares her with his friend Nirmal’s much thinner wife and fails to appreciate her for herself. 

I feel that comparison is an absolute disregard of a person’s being. Why should I compare A with Z, they are different, they both exist, and have their particular character and place. I was once compared with my two year old niece, I thought that it was the death of sanity.

Intellect vs. Body

In the movie, Sandhya had power over her husband because she was educated, she could answer back because she felt confident in her future, she knew she could work.

At times, I have compensated for my negative impressions of myself thanks to body shaming, by performing well academically, in fact its almost an obsession, I always want to do well and try not to compromise on it for anything. Every other source of happiness could be secondary during a deadline or examination, because that gets me a different approval and respect, that makes me feel better about myself and feel a certain power, a certain liberation, a higher self-worth. As much as I respect education and would always advocate for it, I do not think that my sense of self-worth should be limited to it.  Just as denying myself respect due to my appearance is nonsensical, so is an undue significance to so-called accomplishments, both are over-rated.

I think I would want to think of myself in terms of the person I am or become, in terms of how much love I give and get, in terms of how much happiness I can spread, how many memories I can cherish, how many mountains I can kiss and how many stars I do count.  I know I have come a long way, and so do Sandhya and her husband in their understanding of the complexity which influenced their relationship, but there is still so much to talk about on this, maybe another post, or maybe over a cup of chai and parle-g biscuits?

* Middle Class in itself is organic, complex and most diverse
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Restoring Hindutva: Lift the Trident!

 

Imagine riotous groups of men, clad in the Hindu ritualistic color of saffron, carrying tridents in hands. Imagine their faces wrought with anger and a purpose fuelled by collective emotions as each individual assumes his role of Lord Shiva- the destroyer in Hindu Mythology.

 

Who are they? What are they trying to establish?

 

They are trying to address a deviation from and a potential threat to their heritage- their current ideology of Indian Culture. An ideology that is looked at solely through the “mnemonic lens” [1] of their latest reinterpretation of “Hindutva” , a Hindu way of life.

 

They could have been rushing to “return to their origin” [2] by demolishing the Babri Masjid- a mosque claimed by Hindu extremist leaders to have been built at a significant Hindu site; they could have been socialized [1] to avenge the loss of their brothers in a communal strife, or in this case, they could have been going to restore order,to cope with their “sentiment of loss and displacement” [2] by reclaiming Hindu women from their Muslim lovers, their attempt at going closer to their “lost home” [2].

 

These images were redrawn into my mind by a disturbing news article: ““Love jihad”—the Sangh Parivar’s sexual politics by another name” [3] The readings helped me articulate my thoughts as I tried to explore the reasoning behind political and religious manifestations of Nostalgia for Hinduism in India. I must confess, my thoughts are not mine alone, they are formed through personal experience but also result from an exposure to alternate forms of thinking through a variety of media inputs.

 

“Love Jihad”, a term coined in 2009 in the state of Karnataka [3], India, is a “conspiracy theory”  [2] claimed by the upholders and self proclaimed preservers of Hindutva in India. According to political parties such as the Shiv Sena (Lord Shiva’s force) or the Sangh Parivar (Hindu Nationalist Family) there is a new form of Jihad- coerced conversion being practised by followers of Islam, in the smaller towns of North and South India, through marrying and converting Hindu women to Islam.

 

Whether or not these marriages were through adult consent, and irrespective of the lack of evidence for such exaggerated claims and myths, the Shiv Sena has decided to introduce a special force of its men called “Love Trishul” (Love Trident) [4] for bringing these women back to their households and shaming or punishing the Muslim men who dared to practice this form of love or invasion.

 

This reminds me of the abduction of Lord Rama’s wife Sita by the demon King Ravana and the deployment of a force for her retrieval to her rightful place in Hindu patriarchy. Time and again, select concepts (unfortunately strongly conservative and newly ritualized [1]) and symbols of Hindutva have been appropriated by religious and political leaders as well as families and individuals for restoring their perception of the true Indian culture, reducing their “memorial signs to a single plot” [2], the plot to defend Hindutva, to defend family’s honour through their women’s honour (read sexuality), to defend superiority and so on.

Needless to say, deploying such rhetoric has often led to loss of rationale and violence. It is true indeed, “unreflected nostalgia breeds monsters” [2]. Be it the painful demolition of Babri Masjid and the riots that followed, or be it breaking of glass and furniture in cafes on Valentine’s Day (mythologised to be against Hindu tradition in the 21st century), the extremist preservers of Hindutva, use creative reconstruction [1] of their knowledge and hearsay to develop newer theories of “elsewhere, another time, a better life” [2]. In this case, of women who do not fall in love or marry outside of their community. As it is in Hindu tradition the woman is also a site that reflects ownership, be it the sexual symbols in the Mangalsutra (a neckpiece that the man places around her neck during marriage) or the Kamarbandh (a piece of jewellery worn around the waist) both are symbolic of his ownership of her sexuality, of the woman assuring continuity of his family. The idea of “Love Jihad” is perhaps then easier to propagate as a collective threat to continuity of Hindu lineage.

 

This apparent risk is not in isolation, different “impersonal sites” [1] are being currently focused on to instill the spirit of Hindutva. As the BJP came to power this election, India’s political scenario was one of heated debates over return to “Hindi” as official language. There have been efforts at introducing ancient Indian (read Hindu) wisdom in school text-books and further promotion of religious tourism.

 

But who agrees with these acts of intangible or tangible “heritagisation”  ? People who belong to the Hindu community, and fall prey to mnemonic devices such as popular Hindu imagery used in political campaigns or great oratory skills with references drawn from Hindu mythology. Some of these public speeches are choice lessons in how to familiarize “members with its past” as “an important part of a community’s effort to incorporate them.” [1] They could be compared with the mouse in the experiment, whose memory of the tone and associated danger was corrupted [5] A false memory is often implanted in such invocations to religious belief that leads to an ‘integration of various individual pasts into a single common past that all members of particular community come to remember collectively” [5] They might then forget the reality of their own experiences which could contradict the claims made by their leaders ascribing heritage value [5] to practices not necessarily healthy or in tune with times.

Bibliography

 

  1. B. Zerubavel, ‘Social Memories: Steps to a Sociology of the Past’ (1996) 19(3) Qualitative Sociology.

2. S. Boym, The Future of Nostalgia 2002, pp 1-56

3. Mody,Anjali.“Love jihad”—the Sangh Parivar’s sexual politics by another name  Caravanmagazine.in. Caravan magazine, 13 Sep,2014 <http://www.caravanmagazine.in/vantage/love-jihad-sangh-parivar-sexual-politics-another-name#sthash.IvKZgoJH.dpuf&gt;

4. Yadav,Ankit. “Shiv Sena forms ‘love trishul’ to counter ‘love jihad’” Timesofindia.indiatimes.com.TNN ,8 Sep,2014 <http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bareilly/Shiv-Sena-forms-love-trishul-to-counter-love-jihad/articleshow/42050534.cms?intenttarget=no&utm_source=TOI_AShow_OBWidget&utm_medium=Int_Ref&utm_campaign=TOI_AShow&gt;

5. R. Harrison, ‘Heritage and the Problem of Memory’ in Heritage: Critical Approaches Routledge Press: London 2013.

6. “Memory and Forgetting” Radiolab Podcast 2007. 12 Sep, 2014. <http://www.radiolab.org/2007/jun/07/&gt;

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new blog

Well, for time being I am in foreign land and I felt that it is a fair enough excuse to have a separate blog for stories with a newer lens perhaps 🙂

Check out my latest posts here: https://mixedpakodastalesfromamreeka.wordpress.com/

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