Opposite of Opposite of Loneliness

Yesterday, I was asked to write a graduation post for the campus magazine. If you know me, you know I am good at making lists and spreadsheets, so now I have an average word limit, recurrent themes, and a list of what might be redundant. This series is about the individual experiences of college campus life and of life after graduation. (There is some cruelty in irony, but not so much that you cannot laugh about it.) The question now is what to include. This is a different degree of writer’s anxiety than writing in this space, one that stems from losing the ability to edit or delete. Is it better to be safe? What do I write of? Where do I start? Who am I writing for? Is this just an excuse for nostalgia? It is at these times, having this blog calms me. I can construct multiple, parallel narratives – like multiple jigsaw puzzle pieces for one spot, and it’s okay if they’re crudely cut and there’s always some gap left. Continue reading “Opposite of Opposite of Loneliness”


Paying attention

Writing is a tedious process for me. I make multiple outlines – mind maps and bulleted lists – before I get all my thoughts in some order. Even then, I usually get stuck halfway through my first draft. It’s around the same time I start thinking about The Audience. Now, contrary to what you may believe, the more diverse The Audience are, the easier it is to write for them. You decide how much is enough. But don’t you always have that power?

That’s a question for another time. Continue reading “Paying attention”

Are we that different?

(Before you read: ‘Poor’ in this post carry multiple definitions. It has been defined however the authors referred in that sentence have defined it. For want of space, I have not elaborated on it. Poor Economics considers multidimensional poverty while there is insufficient information whether the other two books do.)

As part of my ongoing “StayingBusy” project, I’ve been reading books on themes similar to my own research interests but written from a perspective of a different discipline. This is a short post for one question I had on reading an issue common in both Pooja Parmar’s ‘Indigeneity and Legal Pluralism in India’ and Vandana Vasudevan’s ‘Urban Villager: Life in an Indian Satellite Town’ – and, I had to record it somewhere before I forgot it. Continue reading “Are we that different?”

Hanging out in Twitter-land

Continuing the theme of doing and writing ethnography, here’s a short account that has been languishing in my drafts for a while. About three months ago, I reactivated my Twitter account after a full six years. It has been eventful, to say the least. The ground is familiar yet changed, some old acquaintances and many new, but most importantly, I realised that there could be more to Twitter than simply being a stage for my horrible puns. I’ll let you decide if this post counts as an auto-ethnography.

Continue reading “Hanging out in Twitter-land”

thoughts on Pandya’s “Andamanese cartography”

I have a guilty confession – I am in love with the Andaman islands and I have never been there. My introduction to them was with the thinly fictionalised The Island Wave’ by Pankaj Sekhsaria, which spoke to me on different issues pertaining to territory, governance, and research, but most importantly it was my entry into reading about Indian tribes. (I am still not entirely convinced whether ‘indigenous’ is a good term, considering haven’t we all been grouped as “indigenous” at some point? I liked Pooja Parmar’s elaboration of ‘Adi-vasi’, meaning “original resident”, but that also is in a different context, and set in mainland India.) I am now reading ‘New Histories of the Andaman Islands: Landscape, Place and Identity in the Bay of Bengal, 1790 – 2012’, an edited volume of articles that lie at the intersection of history, geography, and  anthropology. While browsing through the bibliography, I found an article with an interesting title on “movement and space: Andamanese cartography”, by Vishwajit Pandya published in 1990. Continue reading “thoughts on Pandya’s “Andamanese cartography””