Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Denial and Courage

When I write here now, I won't explain contexts because there are less than maybe 10 of you who read this and the basic current happenings and context of my life you are all well aware of. So this blog I guess is me growing on my path of over sharing.

Calling life strange at the moment would't even begin to express how I have felt in the last few days. Years seem to have passed from Thursday to now. The night we found out we couldn't come back to JNU was confusing and sad. It was like we were all suddenly grasping for air. No one could stay in their rooms. Three of my friends and I decided to go for a walk around campus distracting yourselves with gossipy anecdotes and lapsing in silent tears when we thought the others weren't looking. Constantly asking each other "What do we do now? What?! Where do we go? What do we do?!' Constantly reminding each other to breath. Now I don't mean to sound dramatic but that is how we felt, even if it seems like an over reaction to some.

History is not an easy discipline and I'm sure to all of you reading, I have ranted, whined and complained many times over the last 4 and half years about it. It is thankless and requires countless hours and countless skills. I could spend many a post writing to you telling you just the stuff I've had to learn in the last few years and at some point I probably will. But sadly this is what I have chosen to love; this is what makes my brain light up, what makes heart agree to work hard at. Some of you may say I've been in this too deep, I need to step away, take a break maybe but you need to understand that it was only in the last year and half that I truly realised that I love this, that this is what I want to spend my time doing, this is what I feel is important in the world. Seeing the systematic destruction of the social sciences and distortion of history that is happening in the country, it certainly reaffirms my choice that this is in fact a worthy cause to defend and an important space to protect.

It hurts so much because for most of us, this dream of wanting to be a historian or to teach history was a newly realised one. I finally knew what it was that I truly wanted to do, I finally had goals, had ambitions. I know there are many ways to reach a goal, different perspectives and different paths are something I am well aware of and familiar with. What hurts is that you worked very hard and towards a goal, which now reaching closer to the finish line, you find out doesn't even exist. You were taught to come back, you were encouraged to study things you wanted to come back and research, work with people who you would come back and work with. Heck the first joke anyone cracked about JNU to me was how they would not see me now for another 4-5 years. That was the first thing even the professors told us, that was all I heard until a few months ago. How I would never leave and I'd become one of those JNU students who never left. It hurts so much now, because that joke now stinks, it reeks of a dream that has recently died. This dream was a baby but I had already charted its life in my head, the many ways it might grow, where all I would take this dream, what it would look like in another 5 years, another 10, another 15. Never was there even the stray thought that this dream might be taken from me. A day may come for another dream, but at the moment I am grieving and it hurts so much.

None of us wanted to study history because it was easy; no one wanted it because it would be easy money, hell everyone knows academics don't make money. This hurts so much because I can see that the repercussions of this are far reaching. Peoples entire lives were dependent on being able to stay here, live here, be independent and have agency. Everything hurts so much right now because there seems to be a crack in everything; everything seems to be crumbling from within. Everyday you check the news and you sink even lower, rock bottom being pushed further down. It hurt that when I was watching Lord of the Rings, dialogues seemed relatable and if I was crying it was for me and not for the characters. 

There is a dialogue between Samwise Gamgee and Frodo Baggins,  

"It's like in the great stories Mr. Frodo.
The ones that really mattered.
Full of darkness and danger they were,
and sometimes you didn't want to know the end.
Because how could the end be happy.
How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad happened?
But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow.
Even darkness must pass."

"Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t.
Because they were holding on to something."

"That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for."

My brain says that this is a fool's hope, that it is denial; it is me not coming to terms with the fact that this indeed is the darkest timeline and it's me not fully processing this darkness. But my heart says that if denial is giving you the courage to persist, is it all that bad? If having a fool's hope is helping you carry on, is that such a bad thing? 

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