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There is a djinn for everything: every act of forgetting, every act of remembering. Every act of oppression, every act of protest. Every act of civil resistance, every arrest, every injury, every death. There is a selfish djinn, and a selfless djinn. There is a djinn for beauty, a djinn for zakhm, a djinn for kindness, a djinn for empathy. A djinn for absence, a djinn for inaction; a djinn for climate, a djinn for crisis, a djinn for war, a djinn for peace. What are words but djinns?

 

* A, a: Aama, Aadhar (March 11, 2016), Annihilation of Caste: The Annotated Critical Edition (1936 / February 16, 2016), Aśoka (c. 304-232 BCE), Atom Bomb (August 6/9, 1945)

B, b: Ballot (139 BC / 920 AD / 1629 AD),  Border, Buddhā (c. 563/480 – 483/400 BCE), Bullet (January 30, 1948), Burial (unmarked, mass-)

** C, c: Citizenship (Amendment) Act (2019), Coloureds, Computer Chips (1961), Curium (1944), Cryptocurrency (October 31, 2008)

D, d: Dashain / Dussehra, Dakṣiṇā, Delhi Sultanate (c. 1206–1526), Dulāhā-Dulahi, Dynasty (1947-2019)

E, e: Earth, Ecclesiastes (c. 450–330 BCE / c. 330–180 BCE), Economy, Electricity (1879), Entropy 

F, f: Faster Than Light, Fish & Chips, Frankenstein (January 1, 1818), Food Stamp, Fylfot

G, g: Ganges, Geodesic Dome (1922), Generational Ship, Gita (200? BCE), Gujarat Model (2001—2024?)

H, h: Hastināpura, House Arrest (1632-1642), Hollywood, Hunger, Hydrogen-Bomb (1952)

I, i: Identity Card (1414/1915/1985), Immigration Act (1882/1891), Immunosuppression, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), Information Warfare

J, j: Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (April 13, 1919), Jallad, Jogi, Jungle Raj, Justice League

K, k: Ka Kha Ga, Kalinga War (c. 261-262 BCE) Kathmandu (April 25, 2015), Koh-i-noor (1849/1851), Krypton (1939/1948)

L, l: Lagaan (2001), Lajja (1993), Leila (2019), London Bombings (2005), Lottery (1933)

M, m: Matri Bhoomi, Mithila, Momo, Mono No Aware, Mustard Gas (July 12, 1917)

N, n: Number Theory, Nepal Adhirajya (1768-2008), No Man’s Land, None of the Above (NOTA)

O, o: Obamacare (March 23, 2010), Obelisk, Opposition, Organ Transplant / Trade (1954), Oxygen Bar (1776)

P, p: Panchayat (1960-1990), Purab Aur Paschim (1970), People’s War (13 February 1996 – 21 November 2006), Propaganda (1928), The Purge Series (2013-)

Q, q: Qayamat, Queen (1970-2020s), Quantum Supremacy, Quasar, Queer (1894-)

R, r: Race Relations Act (1976), Radioactive Decay (1898/1903), Random Access Memory (RAM), Rebel for Life / Extinction Rebellion (2018-), Rendezvous With Rama (1973)

S, s: Scheherazade, Sita, Surrogacy, Sovereign, Swastika

T, t: Tāṇḍava, Taj Mahal, Tirhuta, Tiranga, Titanium

U, u: Umbilical Cord,  Urdu Education Board (August 17, 2017 / WP(C) No. 6578/2017 / CM No. 27254/2017), Upanishads (800 – 300 BC ), Ursula K. Le Guin ( October 21, 1929 – January 22, 2018), Utopia [Da Tong Shu (大同書) / The Book of Great Unity (1884 – 1935)]

V, v: V-2, Vivekananda, Vikram Sambat, Vitamin, Vox Humana

W, w: Wahhabi (1703 –), Watchmen (2019), Witch Trials (1692–1693), Wonder Woman (2017), Women’s Rights Movement (July 19–20, 1848 —), World War (1479 BCE —)

X, x: Xanadu, Xenoarchaeology, Xenon, X-Men, XXX

Y, y: Yarsagumba (Ophiocordyceps sinensis), Yeti, Yellow Journalism, Yudhisthirā, Yaśodharā

Z, z: Zakhm (1998), Zeitgeist, Zero Carbon Future, Zero-Sum Game, Ziggurat of Ur (c. 2030–1980 BC)

 

* First, a mother. Second, the land. Third, a bloody conquest — followed by a non-apology — total destruction. Annihilation.

 

** Cyanide is a toxic salt — used to extract gold, silver, wealth and power — causing unquenchable bloodlust. Among the rebels, who were once citizens (before they became stateless, refugees, criminals and terrorists  fighting the tyrannous governments and merciless corporations), it is the choicest of weapons — an honorable and even glamorous death, if there is honor or glamor in such a death. Surrounded by your enemies, drooling and foaming at their hydraulic feet.

 

 



Salik Shah is a writer, filmmaker, and the founding editor of Mithila Review, the journal of international science fiction and fantasy (2015-). His work has appeared on Asimov’s Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, Tor.com, and The Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction (Volume 2). Twitter: @salik. Website: salikshah.com.
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17 Jan 2022

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