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Aliya Usmani

YIF Class of 2021

B.A.(Honours) History
Sri Venkateshwara College, University of Delhi

Aliya Usmani was born in the old city of Lucknow where the past and present diverged and converged like an old married couple. The streets would whisper old tales of the nawabs during hushed mornings as the sun rose slowly to mark the arrival of yet another day. It is there that she grew up surrounded by books and paints. Lucknow had set the course of her life before she even knew it. On the other hand, The City of Djinns welcomed her with open arms and she got stuck in the past through the entirety of her graduation in Delhi University. Studying history made her acutely aware of the shortcomings of human civilisation because although the past was meant to teach us, we had learnt nothing. Modernity now became an illusion and so did the parameters to gauge it. She now needed to know more to comprehend the world around her and joined the Young India Fellowship with the sole purpose of learning. She knows soon that what she is writing will also become the past and a mere picture on a crowded web page with people that she will go on to call friends. She hopes that when she comes back to read this, she does so with only fondness in her heart and a smile on her face. “I don’t feel that it is necessary to know exactly what I am. The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning.”

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