Flying into the glass wall

7 05 2008

By Karuna D’Souza

The idea that you are never aware of the fact that your culture can be knowledge till you hit a boundary, was something of a revelation for me, something like the fly which flew into a glass wall. When you meet a foreigner, suddenly the things that you thought were completely normal become knowledge for them, problematising again what one thought ‘knowledge’ was in the first place. Maybe all knowledge is the difference between ‘knowing’ and ‘not knowing’. Thus, you suddenly realise you ‘know’, like the fly which comes to ‘know’ the glass wall, in spite of its invisibility. Read the rest of this entry »


with a lower case t

7 05 2008

By Pooja Das Sarkar

‘If you do not tell the truth about yourself, you cannot tell it about other people.’

– Virginia Woolf

Writing: a means of expression closest to my state of mind and being. When did writing become synonymous with my identity? I don’t know. I don’t even recall the time when I first started stringing words into sentences and sentences into paragraphs and from there, suddenly sometime in early adolescence, the form of the essay started taking shape more consciously in my head. The act of producing an essay seems so seamless now; I can almost refer to it as something which comes “naturally” to me, but I admit that I have no vivid memory of learning the craft. This is not an attempt to create an aura of mystery around the process, but just another illustration of my infinitely poor memory! Read the rest of this entry »

Lessons from Tribes

7 05 2008

By Nandita Mary Thomas

While writing an essay on nationalism for our Cultural Studies class, I was disturbed by the fact that I could only write about the civil unrest that is so widespread in our society. This made me pose a question: Do problems like communal riots, ethnic violence and racism, which are omnipresent, need to be dealt with at different levels? Do they all come from a common or central route because, essentially, they’re problems created by people and for people?

Read the rest of this entry »