Terrace View

Travel Log Nasreen from Kashmiri Gate tells us how rooftops play a double-edged role in a young girl’s life.

Photo Credit: Nasreen

Nasreen has participated in the Travel Log programme with The Third Eye for its City Edition. The Travel Log mentored 13 writers and image-makers from across India’s bylanes, who reimagine the idea of the city through a feminist lens.

Preparing for her twelfth standard examination, Nasreen aspires to be a doctor some days and a fashion designer on the others. Nasreen composed her two audio episodes from the terrace of Old Delhi and fields of Kolkata.

Nasreen’s mind map has been visualized and animated by illustrator, artist, poet and New Delhi’s soul secret Sutanu Panigrahi.

Excerpt from Nasreen’s Episode 1 (full link below), visualized by Sutanu Panigrahi.

In episode 1 of her audio episodes, Nasreen looks at the metropolis of Delhi from the terrace of her house in Kashmiri Gate, the only space where she can move freely. She takes us through her private and her public as she thinks about her friendships, her various rendezvous, and her desires standing at the top of her terrace. Other parts of the city are oblivious to her, but she can talk about her dreams under the shadow of Jama Masjid.

Space is one of her biggest negotiations; Nasreen often says that she looks at the gaps and starts creating herself from there. Maybe one such gap structurally and architecturally is her chhat.

Excerpt from Nasreen’s Episode 2 (full link below), visualized by Sutanu Panigrahi.

In the second part of her audio episodes, Nasreen revisits the days spent on her terrace in Kolkata, where she looks upon a city in which there is an impending marriage she wants nothing to do with. Feeling trapped, she goes to the terrace. There she witnesses something that changes the course of her life.

Listen to the entire audio to follow Nasreen on her chhat across cities and time.

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