Anatomy of a project abandoned: How I failed to navigate personal relationships for oral history research: Piyusha Chatterjee

This is the story of a research project that was abandoned. It’s also the story of my love-hate relationship with my first research project and, for lack of a better word, the failure to execute it. After living with this project for the first two years of my doctoral program, when I realised that IContinue reading “Anatomy of a project abandoned: How I failed to navigate personal relationships for oral history research: Piyusha Chatterjee”

A story with no ending: Meeting Vincent Stone

On pleasant November day in 2017, Sandro and I set out to meet Vincent Stone. We are in Shillong – the beautiful capital of the scenic state of Meghalaya [literally, “the place where the clouds dwell”] in north east India . Alessandro Portelli (Sandro) and I had just finished teaching at the Winter School inContinue reading “A story with no ending: Meeting Vincent Stone”

Memories, Memorabilia and Memorable interviews: Talking to Mithoo Coorlawala

I hear Mithoo Coorlawala’s voice before I actually see her. It was 26 March 2009 and I had just finished giving a talk hosted by the Mohile Parikh Centre  at the National Centre for Performing Arts in Mumbai. My talk titled, “Collective Memory, Institutional Archives and the Writing of Contemporary History” was based on theContinue reading “Memories, Memorabilia and Memorable interviews: Talking to Mithoo Coorlawala”

Traversing Geographies of Memory: Interviewing family members

Interviewing family members is messy. The interview does not stay confined to the questions one asks. Indeed, it spills into stories that the person wants to share, inviting you to look through surfaces you thought were opaque, provoking you to stare hard until your surprised eye comes to rest on shapes whose unrecognisable contours changeContinue reading “Traversing Geographies of Memory: Interviewing family members”