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Native Narratives

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

Hardened by Life

Sundaralingam is new to the neighborhood but brings the freshest jasmine buds to every doorstep. He says if he knew this is what he would eventually do in life, he wouldn’t have tried his hand at thirteen different odd jobs as a laborer. “Rolling beedis have made my fingers such that even flowers shy away from me.”

Non-existential Freedom

Banu Latha made her mind at the tender age of ten, to cut her long tresses the first chance she gets. To her, too much femininity was a weakness. “They tell me to be whatever I want to be when I grow up, but to always choose family first.” I'd rather be the girl who lost her sense of responsibility than the girl who lost who she could be in life.

Nothing Short of Sheer Will

Pandian after attending the village thiruvizha ran home to his aachi and told her he was three rupees short and hence couldn’t buy a samosa. She kept her eyes low, on her toe rings rather than face disappointment from her grandson. A grin lined his face in contrast. “But I snuck into the kitchen and found out the recipe so that we won’t have to wait all year to eat a samosa.”

The Bias for Survival

Kavita takes ten minutes to make ginger tea, but takes ten minutes longer if she’s making it for her mother-in-law. It is after all the only house she can belong to now. “After my marriage, it is almost like I have only one mother, and she likes her tea done just right - with freshly crushed ginger.”

Coming of Age

Padmini couldn’t grasp the concept of herself as a woman at the age of twelve. This meant she had to build a wall between herself and the men in her family otherwise she would be looked upon as a person without virtues. “How is playing kabaddi with my cousin ill-mannered? I can;t just sit pretty at home and seek blessings from elders for a future I need to build.”

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Oct 02, 2023


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