In the middle of somewhere: Shadab’s journey with Festival of Voices

In the middle of somewhere: Shadab’s journey with Festival of Voices

I am going to narrate my journey being part of the beautiful project, Festival of Voices. I was in my own self, in my cocoon, in my life. Then I came to know about this project. I found the project interesting and finally got the opportunity to be part of it. But I never thought that it is going to impact me so deeply, that I might be in a sense of loss, confusion, and finding the reasons why the society is the way it is. Thinking about the people around me who…Read more
In Every Story – Deeksha’s journey with Festival of Voices

In Every Story – Deeksha’s journey with Festival of Voices

With my forgetful memory, I fail to recall the initial days of Festival of Voices. I remember when my mother had told me to take it easy and to not make this project – my own personal quest for fighting patriarchal oppression.  Festival of Voices started off as a ‘feminist hope’ for me. It was one of the mediums for re-claiming women’s voices, - something which my grandmother (who I lost last year) taught and practised while she struggled to be heard  by everyone in her life. To let ‘women’ speak for themselves…Read more
Permanent Ink, Fresh Perspectives – Sakshi

Permanent Ink, Fresh Perspectives – Sakshi

Sakshi Vij is a senior tattoo artist at Devil’z Tattoos, Gurgaon. Born in Delhi, Sakshi moved to Toronto with her mother after her parents’ separation while her father and sister remained in Delhi. From a young age, she wanted to study Cancer Biology but turmoil within the family meant Sakshi’s academics got little attention. Once back in India, Sakshi went to Bangalore for her graduation. Two years into it, she met with a terrible accident, which left her hospitalized for a long time. Having lost a chunk of flesh from her leg, it…Read more
A new shop, a new start – Ram Pyari

A new shop, a new start – Ram Pyari

“I still have a few days of my life left, and all I want is to spend them happily,” It has been about six years since Ram Pyari had decided to never go back to her husband. It has been that long since she had come away with her children from Lalatpur, a small village in the suburbs of Madhya Pradesh, to this big city. Her life today is in many ways, like her mother’s. She too was all by herself when she was raising her nine children. Ram Pyari was the youngest…Read more
Binota and her e-rickshaw

Binota and her e-rickshaw

Binota moved to Delhi from Kolkata with her husband shortly after they were married. That was 18 years ago. Proud of her Bengali roots, Binota is convinced that the ‘Kolkata’ love for food is what drove her to start working as a cook, and then as a housemaid. However, in June 2015, she injured her knee while riding her bicycle. The ligaments were damaged and the advice she received was to give up riding her bicycle; it would only make the injury worse. This was earth-shattering for Binota - her bicycle was her…Read more
‘Himmat se kaam lenge, ghabrana kesa’

‘Himmat se kaam lenge, ghabrana kesa’

In the last few weeks, Mittika along with Young Minds have performed at four different locations around Delhi (Gautam Buddha Nagar, Jheemar Pura, Civil Lines and Seema Puri). Through these performances we have been able to take the Festival of Voices to around 300 people across ages and cultures. Through drama, our performers stitched together five different stories of five different women from Delhi all of whom have been able to transform their lives against all odds. The hymn - ‘himmat se kaamlenge, ghabrana kesa’ inaugurated each of these performances.  The stories penetrated…Read more
Support in the City – Sudhanshu

Support in the City – Sudhanshu

Sudhanshu Grover is a 48 year old mother of two living in Ghaziabad. She has a Master’s in Biochemistry and worked with a reputed pharmaceutical company in Baroda, the place where she grew up, and eventually got married. Shortly after her marriage, Sudhanshu and her husband were elated to find that they were going to become parents of twins. In 1997 she gave birth to twin sons Drishaan and Sunny. But, when they were around 2 years old, she noticed her younger son banging his head on a pillow, and the crying incessantly…Read more
I Live My Gender – Debolina

I Live My Gender – Debolina

Debolina is a literature professor at Ramjas College, University of Delhi. The first person in her family to speak English and, more so, to teach the subject, she’s aware of her privilege. She hails from Siliguri, in Assam. Initially having come to the capital in 2001 to join a school near Chattarpur, she decided against it, ultimately returning to Siliguri. It was college that brought her back to the city. Debolina wanted to study English Literature in Kolkata. However, while waiting for the results of the West Bengal College entrances, she applied to…Read more
Delhi emerged like a magic box in my life: : FOV in colleges and communities

Delhi emerged like a magic box in my life: : FOV in colleges and communities

Last week, Mittika along with Humsaa performed at three different locations around Delhi, namely Mata Sundari College, and in two night shelters – one near Bangla Saheb, and another close to Nizamuddin. These events used theatre to present powerful stories of real women living in Delhi, and used these stories to spark discussions on important issues. The performances involved weaving together three different stories of struggle and resistance. They addressed the themes of gender-based violence, migration and caste. The theatre group used a black box in their performances, which symbolised the ills in…Read more
Sheetal, The Professional Clown

Sheetal, The Professional Clown

Sheetal always loved smiling and putting a smile on others' faces. She used to smile at people on the street just to see them smile back. It came to her naturally. So in 2016 when Sheetal heard about 'medical clowning' at a retreat in Ahmedabad, she was fascinated. A Delhi girl, she returned to the city looking to meet more people involved in the profession. Alas, there were none to be found. A medical clown rumoured to be working at AIIMS turned out to be a phantom and Sheetal had to come to…Read more
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