My country cries over
the birth lore of gods,
not the bodies of desecrated dead girls;
My country says I am a Goddess.
This past year was an exercise in equanimity. Forced indoors under lockdown, quarantine or ‘shelter-in-place’ orders as governments scrambled to contain Covid-19, many of us eventually found ourselves on edge, listless and irascible. By the end of the year, we were spent. In such trying times, we turned to indulgences and sought comfort in that most maligned of disciplines – the arts.
These words echo Kunwar’s sadness at not being lucky enough to read queer stories, but with his memoir, he has paved the way, signaling to queer writers that their stories are equally valid. Kunwar sings a song for me, and for all those queer individuals who have been waiting like caged birds for someone to come along with a heartfelt lullaby.
“Jai Grihasti!” The couple and their teenaged daughter Shrijana chimed this cheerful and familiar greeting in unison, their palms joined in a namaste. They’d incorporated this practice into all their trainings to promote the most basic principle of permaculture – “The home is the heart of the farm, all hail to this engine!”
By the time Mita arrived at the tea-shop, a dozen of Bhairav’s ‘friends’ had already ‘liked’ his Facebook post. He enjoyed this virtual validation – he felt good, influencing his ‘friends’ with positive thoughts and energy.