The Difficulty of Naming

The difficulty of naming a thing comes closest to what I thought I was going through over the last few months. Within days of my grand and rather haughty plan of writing for 100 days in a row, the curfew in Kashmir began. The fact that there were millions out there who were shut out of the lives of their loved ones by a government is a frightening thing. That it was happening again was even worse. So I stopped writing. It seemed too silly to be writing day in and day out and I knew that it would create a larger clout of me simply trying to make sense of the madness of our subcontinental politics.

Now that I write it out, it barely looks like a paragraph.

Perhaps that is what helplessness looks like: an inadequate paragraph at the end of a long silence. But here we are, many months hence. Autumn in Berlin. I have finished traveling for the summer. After 70 days, the Kashmir shutdown is also over. There is a Satyagraha happening right now. There needs to be more reportage on it but knowing the state of the world with impeachment proceedings in America, the Turkish siege in Syria and the other horrible things, I am no longer surprised that there is very little work being done on this.

My doctoral fellowship at the RTG Minor Cosmpolitanisms also started in October. The past few weeks have been spent in orientations and getting lost in the Neues Palais campus of Uni Potsdam. As I start my PhD, I want to become more mindful of my research. I am aware that the privilege I have in being paid for my research has to manifest itself in something more than a thesis that barely two people will read. Two weeks ago I was a part of a Postgraduate Forum in M√ľnster and one of the fabulous organizers of the forum said that you have to write the thesis imagining it as a book. Because a good book is always going to be a good thesis but a good thesis is not necessarily a good book. That was a great piece of advice. And I have been thinking my journey ahead more and more.

Apparently, one is supposed to write every day according to Get a Life, PhD. I am close to taking that advice these days. Just out of fear that I won’t do enough for my PhD life. But that is just my fear. Here is hoping that I am able to write more often. For the sake of my own academic career and whatever else I am about to write.


VAYAVYA published two of my poems recently in their autumn issue and I am still glowing about it.

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