By Hanan Majid
I run a Facebook page titled Souls of St.John’s. It grants an insight into the inner thoughts of my peers at St.John’s through brief stories.During my summer vacations in Kashmir, I was under incessant police curfew, which was mainly due to clashes between Kashmiris and Indian forces. To me, however, there was a bigger internal clash within the identities of Kashmiris. Confused if I was the only one with identity confusion, I sought my peers to share their inner conflicts. And thus the page was born.
My family made me a good listener. which I realize is an underrated skill. Some may even argue that it’s not even a skill, how disagreeable. In our family gatherings, discussions over tea were often the trend. Patient, critical listening is a skill that is on a decline today, which makes me a rather rare commodity in the market of academia obsessed with talented speaking.
I listen carefully to my subject while taking the interview and follow up on their answers. After they are finished talking, I spend a lot of time trying to link all of the things they told me and make it into a short story.
I always let my subject decide the place they want to get their picture clicked. This way, they feel confident. After I have the picture and the story, I show it to the person it belongs to and if they like it, I share it.
Check out Souls of St. John’s here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/soulsofstjohns/