In this class we were assigned a person and we were supposed to review each other’s work.
I reviewed Sannidhi’s work. She had written well composed, descriptive stories where she had laid emphasis on the structures and small details that she had picked. For example, in one of her stories she mentioned a city where art flourished on every inch, where walls are actually canvases to paint on. This made me feel like she is a keen observer. Although, I felt like the stories could have been a little more clear since I was finding it difficult to connect to it at some points. I gave her a 9/10.
In the latter half of the class, we continued working on our remaining stories since we were told to try and complete all 6 stories this week and keep the next week for corrections, elaboration, headings of the story and title of the book.
First I finished final drafts of the second and third story–
2. When I see kali being carved on walls, Saraswati being worshipped in temples, Durga being valued on flimsy thin coloured paper. Why do I see Lakshmi being respected only on the day, she is dressed in a red saree and heavy jewellery?
In this city, in this society, when she walks by in a skirt and a crop top, the lady having her evening tea in the balcony or the post man on the cycle or even the bunch of boys playing cricket do not stop by to look at her, do not make her feel uncomfortable, do not make her feel as if she is doing something illegal.
This society stretches from open mindedness to acceptance. A piece of garment she is wearing or her tone does not define her personality. She is not restricted from going out alone after six. She does not tremble, hold onto her purse tightly or pretend to be on the call when she is walking alone on the street. She feels safe and confident. This feeling matters because it is not about her being somebody’s sister, mother or daughter, it is about her being somebody.
When I carve these goddesses, I will give them the ability to shower courage on those who worship them to respect “her”, even when her white salwar resembles sacrifice at a war field, even when she is trying to be comfortable in her own skin, and every time “she” is put down by the society and all those times when she is trying to fit in when she does not need to-fit in.
One day when I hear someone say that she stands up for herself like a goddess. I will sit back and marvel at my own creation, the same way Vishnu probably does.
That day, she, Lakshmi will be much more than just a few thin flimsy coloured notes.
3. A city without reflecting windows on skyscrapers, mirrors hanging on walls, broken, charred pieces of glasses lying along the street, gadgets and cameras with clear screens and all those objects that are considered to reflect our appearance. A city where the only lens is our eyes.
A world enveloped in equality and satisfaction, lacking insecurities related to demeanour and the false definition of beauty.
Waking up to see mountains weaving across the horizon, an ocean far away yet near, this blue bay surrounded by beaches. Embracing the white clouds rolling by on clear days and the sun setting behind the mountains, leaving a blending palette that is art in itself.
A city where people step away from narcissism and tend to embrace each other. How ironic would it be to look alike, to see yourself reflect in people, both physically and emotionally, instead of mere objects? How beautiful would a city pf doppelgangers be!
Reflection– I have always wondered how reviewing somebody else’s work helps us get better. When I reviewed the work today, I realised that it tested my understanding of the project so far. It gave me a fair understanding that about keeping the criteria related to the project in mind while doing it as that acts like a guideline for the project. For example, I understood that I need to keep aspects like clarity, relevance, imagination, grammar in mind while doing this project. The writing style that I reviewed gave me reference for my stories as well. Therefore, it is important to review to gain a better understanding and inspiration in some cases.