I found humility, perspective, and hope

If nothing was random, and this had happened, what was it meant to teach the world? What were we all meant to understand?

When the pandemic broke out earlier this year, I was in Rome. News had filtered through before I left Delhi at the end of February that the north of Italy was under “lockdown”. What does that mean, I wondered? I left anyway, despite some misgiving—I was to be in Rome for new book research. I’d been granted funds. I needed access to specialist libraries, and museums, and reading rooms. I couldn’t not go. Same for a friend, Justine, who flew in from Berlin and joined me at Fiumicino airport. Justine is a playwright, and after several struggles on the personal …


Janice Pariat

Janice is the author of Boats on Land: A Collection of Short Stories and Seahorse: A Novel. She was awarded the Young Writer Award from the Sahitya Akademi and the Crossword Book Award for Fiction in 2013. Her most recent novel, The Nine-Chambered Heart, has been translated into ten languages. Her work has featured in a wide selection of national magazines and newspapers. She teaches at Ashoka University, and lives in Delhi with a cat of many names.