I am a feminist anthropologist invested in mapping women's worlds in non-metropole South Asia and shifting the paradigm of knowledge production by invoking marginal voices. As a woman born and brought up in the provincial and sacred Hindu city of Banaras, India, I often observed and experienced discrimination and marginalisation. Majoritarian and privileged narratives were always dominant and discriminatory. When I entered college to pursue my bachelors in Political Science (hons) from Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi, India, I started to comprehend structural logics of violence, oppression, and exploitation. Feminism was both an analytical tool and a guide that enabled me in my pursuit of understanding inequalities and injustices in the everyday. My turn to feminism resulted in my specialisation in women and gender studies. I furthered this knowing of gendered worlds in my Master’s degree in Media and Cultural studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India. Here my encounter with cultural studies made me examine the very astute cultural and social ways in which gender gets ascribed, performed, and promogulated. I also had the opporunity to learn documentary filmmaking on societal issues.
Taking a brief hiatus from academics, I worked with women and feminist non-profit organisations, in India, to observe and experience the transferability and mutuality of theory and praxis. My strong allegiance to feminism and passion to contribute towards this discourse, motivated me to pursue a PhD where I focused on women’s gendered everyday worlds in the sacred city of Banaras. My journey came full circle when I decided to investigate and bring about the gendered realities of the sacred city that has been my home and the place where my gendered experiences were first realised. I positioned myself as a feminist anthropologist and examined the corporeal, urban, temporal and spatial lives of women in Banaras for my PhD. I continue to work on women’s and marginalised communities in non-metropole urban settings, specifically in South Asia. I am keen on the development and deployment of critical feminist pedagogy.
Presently, I am a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Communications and New Media, and Gender and Sexuality Research Cluster at the National University of Singapore. In my current project, I investigate the menacing rise of sexual violence and misconduct cases on university campuses in Singapore. I am also in the process of converting my PhD thesis into a monograph.