Foreword: Volume 1: Issue 1

Maya is a name affectionately selected for the ease through which it conveys complexity. ‘Love’ in Nepali, ‘illusion’ in Sanskrit, and many more meanings that it holds within its two syllables. What do we attempt to do, here, with this queer magazine? What does Maya mean for us?

Maya as it is, provokes us to consider our shortcomings and contradictions. While for this issue that is a lack of articles in other languages, by a greater diversity of queer individuals, and a lack of intersectionality in the topics addressed, Maya hopes to be more with the coming years. As O.P. Jindal Global University’s queer magazine, it does not hope to merely limit itself to theorizing upon gender and sexuality, but rather document the lives of those individuals on campus and off. This includes the movies they watch, the songs they listen to, their interactions with people, their lived experiences, and the lebenswelt. In doing so, we uncover the harshest impulses of the spirit – envy, loneliness, resentment, fear, and the perception of cowardice. If there is perhaps a commonality between the universes of queer identity that exist, it is our acceptance of weakness and a redefinition of the word.

A poem by Perumal Murugan, titled ‘The Coward’s Song’, translated from Tamil by Aniruddhan Vasudevan reads,

“Misery befalls no one
because of a coward
Riots break out nowhere
because of a coward
Nothing gets destroyed
because of a coward

A coward
does not draw his sword
or aim it at a tree
to check its sharpness
Why, a coward has no sword
to begin with

A coward
causes no one to feel fear…”

In this, the first volume and the first issue of Maya, we celebrate weakness and cowardice. We celebrate the strength that it resonates, the reinvention of the concept, and the silent and unobserved struggle that occurs each day. We believe in the importance of good acts, acts in extremis, without witness and without reward, and in kindness. We believe that fear and pain can make us very kind people, and leave us with companionship, and a crowd where we can feel at home.

We hope for a kind year ahead.

Please see the About Us page to know about our Editorial Team.

Q (Srivatsan Manivannan)

[This post has been contributed by our Editor, Q (Srivatsan Manivannan). They is a student at Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities, Sonipat.]

On behalf of the LGBTQI Community, O.P. Jindal Global University.

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