nineteen eighty-four

Sometimes, life is really funny and when I least expect it, something amazing falls into my lap.

I have a few really great advisors in Associated Students that I guess I somehow impressed (I don’t know – it definitely wasn’t from this year?! #confused) and one of them in particular has an Indian partner (we’ll call her P) that I had met a couple of times. I guess I must have left an impression because the other day, she messaged me with a job opportunity and not just any kind of job opportunity but one with an amazing Sikh organization: the 1984 Living Hxstory Project.

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The 1984 Living Hxstory Project’s mission is to record the critical year of 1984 through narratives and storytelling. It is beautiful – videos upon videos of folks relaying their experiences of the terror and trauma they faced in 1984. Upon discovering this project, thanks to P, I knew I either had to get involved or keep constant tabs on this organization. Though I’ve always struggled with my identity as a Sikh womxn (while unsure of the existence of a “higher being”), as I’ve grown older, I’ve become to identify closer and closer to Sikhism – even though I’m not quite religious, per se. I guess it’s just the beauty in Sikhism – the importance in community and emphasis in communal living, the abolition of the caste system and sati, the importance of the mother figure, and even the militancy. It’s funny how much I almost “resented” Sikhism when I was younger but it’s almost as if Sikhism just naturally aligns with my values now and who I’ve grown to be. Sikhism is radical as fuck, y’all. I encourage everyone to seriously learn about it. Why else is Sikhism still so heavily persecuted? And, like, fuck – who knew that Sikhs only make up 1.6% of India’s population? I didn’t even know that until my dad told me today! That’s right. One point six fucking percent! There ain’t a lot of us, y’all. I’m a minority here and I’m still a minority there. Weird to think about. It really makes me want to research numbers. How many Sikhs are still in prison from the 80s? How many Sikhs are incarcerated in comparison to others in India? Etc etc.

But, I digress.

Finding this project this summer is kind of perfect timing, though. It all falls in line with the goals I had for myself this summer, in terms of getting to know my own hxstory more as well as working on a few things about myself after a tough year of internalizing a lot of the shit people said about me. I think, if given the opportunity to work for this organization, it will be a humbling experience and I am so excited to just learn. Know hxstory, know self. Not to mention – what a really great way to hone my video editing and graphic design skills. This fellowship is literally made for me.

P has been so amazing, helping me literally every step of the way with my CV and cover letter. Sometimes, I am so taken aback when people show this unabashed faith in me. I really do not even feel worthy and I don’t even get where her faith in me comes from. We’ve literally talked like, twice. I’m so grateful for both P and her partner right now. I’m really blessed to find such great mentors, advisors, and role models in such surprising ways. And, a Desi womxn at that – for the first time, ever. It really is like everything just dropped into my lap at the perfect time.

I guess the universe doesn’t alwaaays hate me. I just hope I get this fellowship now (and lowkey that it pays well because I’m really broke and need to be saving up money).


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