Rain clouds have emptied themselves, returning the sky to a washed, bright blue hue. Dragonflies fill the air and the unmissable saffron of genda (marigold) flowers sitting in wicker baskets on roadside stalls beckon the most-awaited festival of autumn - Diwali.
As the moon wanes into amavasya in the night sky preparing for the luminous festival, the memory of my childhood Diwalis come to mind. As a little girl, after I’d bathed and dressed for the festivity, the first scene in the morning that welcomed me every year when I entered the kitchen was my father in his crisp, white kurta pyjama squatting in front of an old kerosene stove.
What does inclusion mean?
'It is the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure.'
Now I wonder who decides what the group or structure is?
Who decides what can be in or out?
Who decides there is a border separating the in and out?
Who decides what is normal and what is not?
Who decides what is special and what is not?
Ideally, we are all made up of the same compostion of oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus. We are all equals in death no matter how old, preferred sexuality, how big or small, how rich or poor. The same thing happens to all of us, and it can happen when we least expect it. And then we will be wormfood. And that goes on to say something about our journeys.
We are all the same yet so unique. What makes us same is our start and end point and what makes us unique is the journey we take from start to end. We will all have different needs at different points in time and unique ways of being and meeting our needs. So then how can we define what’s special here and what isn’t.
Today is Autism Awareness Day and I’m sure that you’re going to come across a lot of material about what is autism, how do you identity symptoms, how do you help, etc. And even if you don’t come across any of that, hopefully you should be curious enough to go find out for yourself. What I want to share with you today, is a question -