Indhushree Rajan was born and raised in the United States. She has worked with physically and sexually abused children and adolescents, adult victims of rape and domestic violence, and at-risk youth and families with criminal, psychiatric, and substance abuse histories. In this interview, you will have the opportunity to learn more about her remarkable work.
Cendrine Marrouat: Hello Indhushree, it is great to have you. You contributed your own story to a collection titled “High on Life, Stories of Hope, Change, and Leadership.” I was at the book launch in Winnipeg, Canada and read the book. Your narrative, “The Gift of Voice,” is the story that moved me the most; it is very inspirational. How did you meet Nejeed Kassam, the editor, and why did you decide to take part in the “High on Life” project?
Indushree Rajan: Actually, about two and a half years ago my cousin met Nejeed at a student conference, introduced us via email, and Nejeed contacted me on Facebook. We started emailing, and sharing about our respective non-profit efforts and visions/hopes for change, and became friends. I quickly developed great respect and affection for Nejeed, because he is one of those rare individuals who dares to believe in and enact his dreams.
What I personally love about The High on Life project is that it honours humble, vulnerable beginnings. To me, the real daring of a project like this is that it highlights the choice to publicly believe in others who may not entirely see the beauty and power of their own dreams—the choice to celebrate potential, new beginnings, and future success. Getting behind organizations that are already established, that already have money or fame or political backing, that’s easy. But having faith in individuals who are daring to hope, dream, and act, to whatever degree, for a better world? That kind of choice requires risk, and taking that kind of risk compels real courage. It gives me great joy that Nejeed is my friend. I am also extremely honoured to share the pages of “The High on Life“ book with truly remarkable people, who have transcended immense personal pain and hardship, and have allowed those experiences to expand their capacity and desire to love this world towards healing and lasting change.
I am so pleased that you were inspired by my narrative. I was actually going through a very difficult, particularly uninspired time when I wrote it. In fact Nejeed had to be patient with me, because I was not keeping to his deadlines and kept asking him for more time to submit my chapter! The circumstances surrounding my actual writing process, in some sense, kind of echo the piece. I was being asked to use my voice to speak for others — speak to others, and I was allowing my own doubts, fears and overwhelm to silence me. Well more than that, I guess at some level, I was choosing not to speak. So, the opening of my narrative was written just as much for me as it was for the readers. I recollected some of the most severe and graphic incidents of abuse that children I have worked with in the past have endured. In part, I wanted to lay bare the desperation and utter darkness that too many children and adolescents worldwide are made to face every day, and, for at least a few seconds, make people see them and listen to them — to lift the veil of invisibility just a little. But I also made myself remember the details of their stories to give myself a sharp reminder of what really matters. For me, it is this: the truth of empowered choice.
End of part 1.
Do you like this article? Leave a comment and/or share it. You can also subscribe – by clicking the “subscribe” button above – to get alerts every time Cendrine Marrouat publishes a new article.
Cendrine Marrouat is a writer, published author and translator living in Canada. Official Website: http://www.cendrinemarrouat.com