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  • Writer's pictureManasvini Supraja

Stepping into Volatility

On new beginnings

Photographer: Manas Daxini

As the freshly initiated fellows touch down in Kashmir, they arrive amidst the state-mandated board exams personified through identities reduced to serial numbers and invigilation schedules. 

Kashmir, in the general imagination, is synonymous with volatility. In our area of focus- the lives of those entangled in the undergrowth of the education system there- the volatility manifests in the powerlessness of school systems and educators alike in the face of the state board and ruling bodies. 

Textbooks banned, private schools targeted through calculated policies, the shape-shifting form of unpredictability has a new face as the armed resistance begins to share the spotlight with varying challenges from just as many spheres. 

How does our internal construction of the world make space for all the things we can't control in our external environments?

For the arriving fellows, who might not be privy to the traditions and rituals of Ramzaan, a time of fasting in the Islamic tradition, the air is heavy with the energies of the community's resilience to their hunger, questions, and environment.

How will this cohort, in its celebration of diversity, sprout its roots in the fertile earth of its curriculum as they each barrel towards their mission as ELICIT fellows in Kashmir- to build themselves as active facilitators of resilience?

Perhaps the dichotomy of change lies in the wisdom of letting things unfold as you secretly pray for a fresh start. 

Not to say that the latter is dysfunctional, but to point to the fact that in the closeted hope for a fresh start lies the pressure of rewriting every story, fixing every perceived flaw, doing and being better than ever before.


 the secret is to watch with curiosity.

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