Paan is not only the bearer of stories but a medium through which these stories were told. And each ingredient that goes into the making of a paan has its own narrative.
Stories hold power. They shape how we understand the world, and if they are stories of distorted facts and falsehoods, they spread unease, discord and hatred. But stories also allow us to imagine other possibilities; they give us hope that we can overcome oppression and injustice.
There are different narratives where lie hidden worlds of codified feelings, justifications, a reason to buy or not buy into injustice, or othering.
When a literary canon is created and upheld, which are the voices that are amplified and which are the voices that are lost in the fray? Can marginalised bodies and experiences truly find representation in such a canon?
Kiran Bhat is an author and polyglot who speaks 12 languages, and has written in English, Kannada, Spanish, Portuguese, and Mandarin. His recently published book, We Of the Forsaken World, has been described as “the tales of not just sixteen strangers, but many different lives, who live on this planet, at every second, everywhere”.
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