It’s midnight: An aspiring model cooks up a batch of Fem Bleaching Cream; an actor rehearses his dialogues to the sounds of manic laughter, “Oh tell them all it is I who is God,”; a fourteen year old feigns sleep as his father looks on, wondering what has prompted his son to abandon his studies and look for work; a woman throws her abusive husband to the floor and whips him with his belt.
In the morning, a young man will awaken at the crack of dawn and walk down to the slaughterhouse; an empty street shall bear witness to a middle aged woman’s defiant declaration, “I will work. I don’t care what you think! I don’t care what the world thinks.” The muezzin will call the faithful to prayer. A bulldozer will plow through the heart of this twenty five year old settlement: clearing space for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, altering these lives forever.
In February 2006, the residents of Nangla Maanchi, a working class settlement of migrants in Delhi, were confronted by a signboard: “This land is the property of the government. It should be vacated.” By August that year, Nangla was bulldozed to make way for an “athlete’s village” to house this year’s Commonwealth Games.
Trickster City, the English translation of Behrupiya Shahar, a collection of writings on Delhi by young writers was launched on the 12th of February at Sarai. During the event the writers performed segments from their new work which is excerpted below for those who missed the event, or those who simply want to read the texts. The details of Trickster city is also provided below the text.
Translation of the writers’ text
They say in Delhi, there are no red lights; there are only the hands of strangers.
We, along with all our co-writers of Trickster City, who are among the audience, welcome you all. We would like to thank Ankur and Sarai, along with whom we have made, through Cybermohalla, a generative space. A space where we pose and think through our most challenging questions. We thank all our co-travellers, who argued and debated with us, challenged us further as we wrote and questioned. Continue reading Trickster City