A world apart, but connected forever. As a Thamizh kid that grew up in a westernized world, I don’t know if I have the right to speak to this as those who have been oppressed. Over generations, people of my community have been shut out. Pulled away from sharing our greatness with the world.
I come from a rich cultural background, yet over hundreds of years, our story has been stored into the darkness. It is time for us to provoke change, and part of that is me explaining why I will continue to write, and why I decided it was time to write again.
When I started to write it wasn’t about becoming the next best selling author. It wasn’t about making a ton of money. It was about creating the reality of a dream. A dream yet to be conquered, but the path to that journey has been a successful one. If you asked me a couple of months ago, I wouldn’t have said the same thing, and partially because I measured the success of my work on a paper value. Up in until I realized what my contribution meant for my community.
I had to give myself some credit. I don’t know many Tamizh writers, but I am sure there is a long and great list full of them. Some already out there getting the exposure they deserve. While others are crafting away to get themselves there.
You know what the greatest thing about having a physical copy of a published novel out in the world is? Imagine we wake up tomorrow, and 90% of the human population is gone forever. We will be forced to rebuild from the ground up. In a world that will be filled with such hardship, even if I am not there, even if my fellow Tamizhans are not there, a book written by a Thamizh writer has a chance of surviving. That means something to me, and to increase those odds, I need to continue writing.
Today I am 26 years old, and in all these years there have been numerous people who have asked me “What is Thamizh,” and to all those people I have tried many times over to explain my background. However, since writing a book, I have been able to tell people of various ethical background that I am a published writer. Now, there are a ton of people out in the world who can probably respond to that same question saying I know a guy he’s a Thamizh writer.
Am I good writer, maybe? Or, maybe not. Growing up, I heard stories about the burning of the Jaffna Public Library, A library that helmed many scripts of our history. We lost a part of our past, but it doesn’t mean we stop contributing towards the future. Storytelling will be my craft to give us a growing chance, and I encourage others to do the same.
This rant was about my community and how I want to contribute to it. If you come from an oppressed background. Let us not beg the world to recognize us and help us. Find a craft, build on it, and let the world realize on its own.