My name is Lita.
I hope to write about literature, art, and other issues of importance in our lives. I wrestled with this first entry for a while; explaining my positionality and background to new people has always made me embarrassed and overwhelmed. I don’t enjoy listing things; I also don’t enjoy the tendency of listeners to sear a single one of those things into their memory, thereby transforming me into a single-issue person.
That said, here’s my single-issue: I want people to look at me and see me as a person. To see me on the street, in class, anywhere, and afford me a pinch of humanity and complexity — to imagine, briefly, that I also can imagine, and engage with me in a way that reflects that. I come from a conservative, middle class Indian family that moves countries often for work. I was socialised as a woman but find, in my identity, no relevance or space for gender and its assorted performances. I cannot relate to any particular gender identity, or feel the need to; if asked, I use the terms non binary and queer. I feel my brownness acutely, and experience it as an integral part of my identity: it is perceived and reacted to differently, but does not change no matter what context I am thrown into. These and other facets of my identity have exposed me to a unique set of circumstances that inform the lenses of analysis I take today; I view my knowledge as situated and employ, wherever possible, intersectional and subaltern frameworks of understanding. I search endlessly for belonging and safety and love. Working on decolonising my environments seems like a good step in that direction, for the way this institution and country treat us is nothing if not out of pocket.