Monday, November 2, 2015

The journey thus far - Aishwarya speaks

Aishwarya Vaishnav

"Aishwarya is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Development Studies from Ambedkar University Delhi. She is a graduate in English Literature from Lady Shri Ram College, DU and harbours immense passion for creative writing, travelling and reading."

Aishwarya is among the 20 fellows selected for the Pratiti journey in Delhi.
Read what she has to say about her experiences so far:


When I received the mail confirming the date and time for the Pratiti Closure Ceremony a while ago, it triggered two things - gave structure to the ghost I was trying not to acknowledge and made me look back on what the decision to apply to Pratiti turned out to be. The journey has been beautiful, the kind that makes it hard to let go. 

How I came to apply for Pratiti is the oddest memory. I was supposed to be working on field in Jharkhand, on an internship I had strived for months and gotten through. Ten days into the internship with my head bobbing like a light cloud, in love with the land and the people and life at the moment, I met with an accident and broke my leg and had to come back home. 

I was always a restless child, with a restless mind. Now I couldn’t walk and was wandering vicariously through TV and the internet. When I was supposed to be working, everything else felt like a waste of time and the foot inside the plaster cast was a foot trapped in hell. Haha! I see the exaggeration now, but I had a broken foot and a broken heart then. I think this incidence started a process of change and Pratiti came to be the first step. 

I came across the Pratiti application rummaging through my AUD mail, and decided to apply because of what the description suggested and because the dates fit perfectly – a week after my plaster gets off. A very extensive application form, which required a good deal of thinking. Gender issues were not my first agenda to apply for, yet somewhere through the application I realized what it meant to me; they were valid questions that I had not asked myself before. It was the first cue to ‘self discovery’ as the description had suggested. I have to admit, I wrapped the application around 4 in the morning and I don’t exactly remember what I wrote now. 

Launch event is another fond memory, I was struck by the positive energy of that one hall with several stalls, too many colours and activities happening simultaneously. Met Sapna there :) It gave a glimpse of what the journey could be, a walk through different activities and each could mean different things to me, that only I must realize for myself. 

The workshops were a shaking up experience. I felt like an old rug being beaten up to shake off the dust that had fogged up what I should look like and feel like to myself. The week after the two days' workshop, I was the most vulnerable. It was time to acknowledge the relationships that shaped me and accept things out of my control. Four years away from home and a long distance relationship of close to five years with no meeting place in sight, I was lost and the reality didn’t make sense. Pratiti fellows came to be a support system, our weekend sessions a respite and PfP office a safehouse. My beautiful team and our efforts together were something I could be proud of, in all the mess. Through all its phases Pratiti opened me to a potential I didn’t see and possibilities I couldn’t fathom. 

There is still a lot left to do. Our action project remains to be wrapped up and four months of Pratiti didn’t exactly feel that long. But I find hope in the notion that the journey doesn’t have to end with the closure ceremony..."

Follow the Pratiti blog for more beautiful updates from the fellows as they narrate their journeys of growth and transformation into gender leaders...

No comments:

Post a Comment