Reading the silences: unheard stories of a town

Retelling the neighbourhood

All cities and towns contain fragments of ecological and historic landscapes that are intimately linked to spaces of human residential and livelihood settlements. When the city or town is explored from the perspective of the people, a more humanistic understanding of the local emerges. The following articles are reflections from two ‘Humanities across Borders (HaB)’-supported projects – ‘Delhi Memory Archive’ and ‘From Forest to Town: Transformation of the Commons’ – both carried out by the Centre for Community Knowledge (CCK) at Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD). Although from two different perspectives, their shared attempt is to explore the various ways in which meanings and identities are associated with the neighbourhoods that make up a city or a town. These have been enriched by exchanges with other HaB projects. We warmly invite other scholars and practitioners to share with us their experience and understanding of ‘neighbourhood’ across all dynamic socio-cultural realities.


{Retelling the neighbourhood comprises of two articles written by Mesha Murali and Kumar Unnayan; and each is posted separately.}


Making a Place- People’s Story of a Town

Pipariya is a small town in Madhya Pradesh, India along the east-west cross country railway line at a wide point in the Narmada valley between the Satpura hills and the river. Located at the foot of the Pachmarhi Plateau, this place is remembered in many ways by many people. Among them, local residents from different castes and communities, remember when and how their ancestors came to settle here in the last three or four generations. This blog post focuses on one such narrative from the pool of conversations recorded with the long time residents of the town. In a brief excerpt (translated from Hindi), Mr. Haridas Panjwani (89) sheds light on the migration of his family and community members from Larkana, Sindh province (Pakistan) to Sindhi Colony, Pipariya, Madhya Pradesh (India) and how the town has changed over the decades.

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