In a cough and cold haze where the furniture melts seamlessly into faces and coats, I attend seminars. Words are thrown at us and we are asked to say what they mean to us. As long as one word is hyphenated (ab-normal) or wears a quotation mark sehraa (departure from the “expected”), the teacher smiles and nods and says “good”. And then we dismantle the categories of sex and gender and sexuality, till we don’t know who is who and what is what anymore, and then suddenly nobody and everybody wants to appropriate this political position of dismantled identities.
There is an uncomfortable silence when we realize that nobody knows what feminism or queer theory is.
And then people start talking again, for silence and ignorance come in the way of acquiring degrees. And as women continue to be circumcised against their will in Africa, and girls commit suicide so that their parents do not have to arrange for their dowry in India, I wonder if I should see a doctor about the cold.