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A Chatterbox Compilation 

By: Gitanjali Joshua

Published: January 8, 2021

Gitanjali Joshua is a PhD student at the University of Hyderabad.


Vanamala, a chatterbox from Shalini Srinivasan's delightful children's book, 'Vanamala and the Cephalopod'

An extract from Shalini Srinivasan’s ‘Vanamala and the Cephalopod’:

‘Tell you what,’ said Vanamala. ‘I’ll come along. I’ll distract the Cephalopod with my letter. I’ll tell it Pingu must go free. I’ll argue and pester and refuse to shut up...’

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Little Ismat

Little Ismat, from a translation (by M. Asaduddin) of Ismat Chughtai's Lihaaf

An extract from Ismat Chughtai’s ‘Lihaaf’, translated by M.Asaduddin:

“It seems to me that the blanket, though less comfortable, does not cast shadows as terrifying as the quilt, dancing on the wall.
I was then a small girl and fought all day with my brothers and their friends.”


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Rahel from Arundhati Roy's 'God of small things'

Two extracts from Arundhati Roy’s, ‘God of small things':

‘Shall I tell you my list?’ Rahel asked Sophie Mol.

‘If you like,’ Sophie Mol said.
Rahel’s list was an attempt to order chaos. She revised it constantly, torn forever between love and duty. It was by no means a true guage of her feelings.
‘First Ammu and Chacko,’ Rahel said. ‘Then Mammachi-’
‘Our grandmother,’ Estha clarified.

‘More than your brother?’ Sophie Mol asked.
‘We don’t count,’ Rahel said. ‘And anyway he might change. Ammu says.’

‘How d’you mean? Change into what?’ Sophie Mol asked.
‘Into a Male Chauvinist Pig.’ Rahel said

* * * *

‘Where d’you think people are sent to Jolly Well Behave?’ Estha asked Rahel in a whisper.
‘To the Government,’ Rahel whispered back, because she knew.


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Licypriya Kangujam

Licypriya Kangujam is a young Indian climate activist. The quote is from her twitter feed as cited in The Wire:

“I’m rising my voice is not just for me, its’ for the millions of children of Delhi and the people of this country.”

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A Chatterbox Silenced

Inspired by the nameless Chatterboxes silenced for not fitting in to their assigned gender, for speaking out against abuse despite their caste, race, existence in militarized zones like Kashmir and so many other reasons... Alongside a quote from Maya Angelou's 'I know why the caged bird sings.'

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“Just my breath, carrying my words out might poison people and they’d curl up and die like the black fat slugs that only pretend.

I had to stop talking.”

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