SARAH AHMAD | 29 MAY, 2019
Letters to History
Letters to History
And I wrote a letter to a fifteen year old me, about all the wars that she would see, and how crumbling before her would be the living and democracy, she should thus fear for her life and stay where she is, away from what she would see – all these vile words, hateful grins, criminal kinds and brutal minds. I would stop her from leaving the northern sea, because see now life is not all merry, there are threats and baseless allegations, there is terror in the name of life and a helpless comrade, crying to be unchained. There is now an innocent child who had lost her father; edifices were broken, so were hearts, people lay shattered in decaying manors – now a dark parade moves to and fro, destroying anything spoken against the governments and burying friends and foes.
I would send this letter again and again, till she fathoms the situation she would be in; time is not by our side you see, time could be our biggest enemy – yet when you pack your things, you should know little girl, how defeated I stand today, and as selfish as I may sound, I’ll tell you to stay in a world which embraces your name, and all the kind words you say.
I would tell you to not be a mercenary, fighting many futile fights with life and society. You are twenty years away from becoming who you could be and living in the future world, but it would be nothing like you had dreamed of; all the lawbreakers, and heartbreakers would break your soul, and your child like spirit would become murky and old.
As our nation stands at the brink of change, there is an atmosphere of constant socio-political engagement among the masses – poignant debates and creative parodies through powerful and creative entities like film, theatre and conversation have become a significant part of the subject of arts and culture today.
Abhedya Artworks brings to the Delhi theatre scene at the Akshara Theatre, two stage productions as part of their Afsaaney Tour. The plays – Javeda and Resham talk about two different facets of life and society; while Javeda is about the power of love, Resham is a hilarious political satire featuring a rural village, with some delightfully sardonic commentary on the priorities of this nation's government. The two plays would travel through different cities in India too, like Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Gwalior, from May through June.
Another event – Negotiating Spaces: Films on Development and Gender, at the India International Centre in New Delhi, speaks about the importance of the many personal, political and organisational structures and foundations. The film Agar Woh Desh Banati (if she built a country) highlights how Rural, Adivasi women from the villages of Raigarh, Chhatisgarh critique the grand plan of development of the country. Many of these village women have been cheated of their land and compensation as soon as mines and power plants have appeared and grown in monstrous proportions around them. Their relationship with the forest and environment has been severed, leaving them surrounded by a toxic, polluted gutted earth. Another film part of the event is – Breathe, which weaves a personal tale of friendship, identity, sexuality, mental health and the many alleys through which women negotiate freedom and relationships.
This past that we lived and a present that we live has created the prospect of an undefined future. In these very turbulent and uncertain times, changemakers stand out as the epitome of transformation. She for Change is one such organisation, transforming and influencing mindsets, social stereotypes and creating pathways to encourage pathbreaking shifts. Through its event – She Talks, it celebrates stories of Women Changemakers who have been passionately working to solve social and environmental problems through their work. These women have braved all odds and have emerged as powerful changemakers. The event is an inspirational amalgamation of ideas on how to bring about a positive change in one’s community.
As we hope, think, listen – governments have fallen, wars have been lost, people and cities have perished, yet, the child in all of us stays – it grows, and moulds, adjusts and shifts. The child if kind and strong could battle a wind of violent change, it could challenge troubles, and foster love – when fallen, it would stand back once, and again, till its spirit broken and strength shrivelled by a constant struggle, an unknown beastly mind.
She Talks by She for Change, at 91 Springboard, E 3, Rani Jhansi Rd, Jhandelwalan, New Delhi, 21st May – 5pm to 7pm
The Afsaaney Tour by Abhedya – two Plays, Javeda and Resham, at The Akshara Theatre, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, New Delhi, 25th May 2019 – 4pm to 9:30 pm
Negotiating Spaces: Films on Development and Gender, at the India International Centre in New Delhi, 31st May 2019 – starts at 6:30pm