Malathi de Alwis in Delhi, May 2014.
This is my Mala.
Every person touched by her friendship felt this sense of unique connection to Mala. To receive the gift of her attention was to forever feel the tug of a thread that attached you to a part of her heart. She would remember you at some point or the other even if you were not constantly in touch, with that fine-tuned sensitivity that brought to you the exact poem or thought or photograph or experience that linked the two of you.
It was nothing short of magical, her capacity to make very single person in her widespread community of friends across the globe, feel special to her, linked to her through one or the other of her passionate interests. A feminist activist and scholar committed to understanding and countering ethno-nationalism in Sri Lanka, she was part of the wider community of South Asian feminists who constantly struggle to transcend the barbed wire borders of our nation-states in solidarity and hope. Her friends and colleagues in Sri Lanka can speak more about her activism, but one of the feminist enterprises with which she was involved was the collective, anonymous column called Cat’s Eye, which began in the Lanka Guardian in the late 1970s, and through several incarnations, is now a blog. Continue reading Malathi de Alwis 1963- 2021 – beloved friend, feminist comrade