The Commune: Children’s Experiences of COVID-19

Dear friends, In late November, my sister set up a small library in the building for all the kids that lived here. Ever since then, the children in the building would come to the library to sit and read; colour and paint; play board games or just chat in the safety of this new spaceContinue reading “The Commune: Children’s Experiences of COVID-19”

The Commune: Women On The Front Lines

Dear friends, On March 15, my grandmother celebrated her 94th birthday halfway across the world with my aunt and uncle in whose care she now lives. It’s been three years since we’ve seen each other in the flesh. To mark the day and tend to the strong urge to see and hold her again, IContinue reading “The Commune: Women On The Front Lines”

The Commune: ‘To never look away. And never to forget.’

Dear friends, Many years ago I came across a quote and it immediately reminded me of a very specific moment and the very specific faces of women and young girls standing in a long snaking line that seemed to extend till the horizon of my sight. It was maybe a week after the terrible floodsContinue reading “The Commune: ‘To never look away. And never to forget.’”

The Commune: Healthcare Inequalities

Dear friends, According to C. E. A. Winslow, well known for creating one of the most used definitions for public health said: “Public Health is the science and the art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting physical health and efficiency through organized community efforts (…)” With such a huge healthcare crisis looming over us,Continue reading “The Commune: Healthcare Inequalities”

The Commune: Inequality and a New Social Contract

Dear Friends, A few weeks ago, K who works as a domestic worker in two homes in my neighbourhood had a family emergency—her husband who had a stroke in 2019 had a relapse. Rushing to a hospital, she had to turn back as she did not have Rs. 7000 she was asked to pay forContinue reading “The Commune: Inequality and a New Social Contract”

The Commune: Embodying Change

Dear friends, Just recently Greta Thunberg, the 18 year old climate activist, shared the image below that rather poignantly asked some important questions on the nature of leadership and change she experienced at the One Planet Summit, she wrote – “Today they have the possibility to act. But they choose not to.” She went onContinue reading “The Commune: Embodying Change”

The Commune: Imaginings of Interdependence

Dear friends, 2020 was unprecedented. We lived through a year that was turbulent to say the least and heartbreaking at the worst. Lives were lost in a reckless and careless fashion; we turned to systems like healthcare that failed us. In this essay as an opening to Crisis Cities Symposium, Thomas J Sugrue professor of social andContinue reading “The Commune: Imaginings of Interdependence”

The Commune: Finding Resilience

Dear Friends, As 2020 winds to an end, I find myself immersed in readings about mangroves—their habitats, root networks, breathing systems. Odd, you might say, when so much is underfoot—farmer protests, the passage of laws that control who you can and cannot love or the de-notification of protected forest land. But as I think aboutContinue reading “The Commune: Finding Resilience”

The Commune: The Discomfort of Uncertainty

Dear Friends, I greet you this time with an image, the one below. It’s called ‘The Uncomfortable Watering Can‘ and its origins are in ‘a collection of deliberately inconvenient everyday objects‘ created by architect Katerina Kamprani and pulled together under the title of ‘The Uncomfortable‘. Her goal, she tells us, is ‘to deconstruct the invisibleContinue reading “The Commune: The Discomfort of Uncertainty”

The Commune: On Productivity and Presence

Dear Friends, Last week I received an SOS message from a friend. ‘Can we talk? I’m spiralling,’ it read. When we spoke later that afternoon, she said she’d missed a deadline for a fellowship application she’d been preparing for that she needed to support the last stage of her PhD. Following this was a withdrawalContinue reading “The Commune: On Productivity and Presence”