Testimonial from Dr. Anupama Mohan, the 2021 SRF Writer in Residence

Dr. Anupama Mohan

My stay at Samyukta was not just about a roof and a room (although one is always grateful for spaces that materially support creativity) but about finding a shared soul, a spirit of togetherness which is what this research foundation is all about. My days were spent in thinking, reading, and writing, punctuated always by company, tea, laughter, and camaraderie. Samyukta Centre is a beautiful home and library that serves as an office, meeting-space, and pit-stop for all things creative and intellectual. When I was not writing, I spent hours scouring the library, lovingly curated and maintained, and ended up reading books that shaped my own writing.

In Kiran, Varsha, Sonya, Kuku, Sreedevi, Jayasree, and Sreekala, I found not only kindred spirits, friends, but a team that was rooting for me and my work. I am grateful especially to Sonya, Sreedevi, Jayasree, Varsha, and Kuku for the patient ear and candour with which they read and heard early versions of the novel and provided constructive suggestions. It was humbling to feel so received and their engagement with my book has already made it better, and our comradeship brought me hours of joy and insight, nourishing my writing process.  

Finally, Samyukta is precious to me also for the non-human friends I made, like Pachupalli the cat, whom I may have named but who colonized my heart, Muthu the little brown snail who visited me every night, the flighty kingfisher with whom I shared my morning cuppa, the majestic eagle whose panoptical flight seemed godly in its own way, and several bats and butterflies, all of whom were a sentient force exerting their influence upon me in subtle and powerful ways. To all of us itinerants of this world, Samyukta offers refuge and love. May Samyukta’s nurturing spirit grow manifold in the coming years.