Sunday, May 21, 2023

Sad Stories You are Old Enough to Hear

Eight years ago, I had my first essay accepted in the Griffith Review. 'Embodying Venus' was a meditation on women's bodies and (un)covering and the politics around it. There were a few more pieces in the journal since: 'Golden Girls' about the rise of young female wrestlers in India, 'Dangerous Little Things' about the significance of student politics, and a short story about ideological wars on Twitter, 'Cows Come Home'.

This year, again, I have a piece in their newest edition, Creation Stories. It is written in the form of a letter to a beloved young person who is growing up in fraught times: Sad Stories You are Old Enough to Hear

Dear A, 

The other day, I told you to stay out of it when two adults were talking about something serious. I saw your face, startled perhaps that this should come from me. I regretted it at once, partly because you are not a child. You are what we call ‘young adult’ in the world of literary endeavour and a young adult must be allowed into adult conversations. I know that my concerns may not be yours and perhaps even your sense of identity is not the same as mine. Perhaps you will be content to define yourself through pronouns or talent and no other struggle will be necessary. Still, we share blood, history and a love of stories, and I want to tell you some true stories today. Destabilising stories that offer neither resolution nor catharsis. Stories that go on, like an underground railroad loop inside your head. Stories that may explain the prickly, fragmented being you sometimes catch a glimpse of, before I clumsily gather myself. You will not remember it, but there’s a fragment of me permanently embedded on a railway platform in Mumbai...

The whole piece is behind a paywall but do read it here: 

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