You read about a Muslim woman being denied an apartment in Mumbai.
Hashtags such as #MisbahQadri, #ApartheidTruth lasted for about 72 hours on social media.
Raging, raging, gone…
You know you have been there; you have heard that; you have been asked to f*** off. Because you are a Muslim.
You also know social media outrage is incapable of devising a language of pain. Yes PAIN, which lies at the heart of such experiences.
Are our personal narratives just one way to grapple with that language of pain, you wonder.
You are at the University of Hyderabad. You have just completed a master’s and are brimming with idealism. The highs of university life have made you confident. You think you can take on the world. At least, that’s what the university community made you feel.
You have left the memories of 1992 behind. Somewhat.
You want to spend an additional year in Hyderabad. Because your girlfriend is still completing her master’s. You drive a hard bargain with your dad, who isn’t very keen on funding your stay in the city for an additional year. Hyderabad is not yet a booming tech city, where you could at least land a language trainer’s job at a call center. But you somehow manage to convince your dad. You tell him you are preparing for Ph.D. admissions. And, of course, the Ph.D. would have to be funded through a scholarship. Goes without saying.
Since you have completed the degree, you can’t live in the university hostel any longer. You go house-hunting in the city. Mostly you look for modest places. “We don’t rent our house to Muslims,” they say. You are young. You are full of hope. You are never bitter. You have made good friends at the university. They never considered your religion important. And, of course, you are dating a non-Muslim woman.