“आख़री ख़त” is a three way conversation between me, my inner child and my mother who passed away in 2019. Through the use of text alongside the objects of chalk powder and shards of mirror, I have imagined my inner prison turn into a garden. 

It is both an act of submission, where I am “forcefully decoration my grief” in accordance with the gendered narratives that were fed to me while growing up as a girl child in India. Yet at the same time, this work is also an act of defiance in the sense that it dares to textualise for the first time, my personal memoir of child sexual abuse. 

I have here, used the “boundless curiosity of my inner child” to imagine the myriad possibilities that come with the query “what if?” 

What if instead of being subject to the everydayness… the mundaneness of being made invisible, my cultural upbringing taught me that women too can be “visible” ? What if the scars of abuse and violence did not exist within me? What would I be if I wasn’t a sum-total of my lived experiences? This letter concludes with a promise for me to work towards a new identity. One which is neither a leftover from my past, nor a desperation of my present. 

Thank you so very much to my @werestart residency that provided me with the tools and space to create this work.

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