A brass plate or paraath, utilized in a large family orcommunity gathering was borrowed by people in the neighborhood. It is 18 inches in diameter and is about five pounds in weight. This particular plate belonged to my husband’s family and it was a token return gift at a wedding, and all the members of this particularwedding party, in 1911, received it. The inscriptionwritten is the name of the person who got married- a symbol of syncretism. It reads “Eknath Pershad, grandson of Nand Lal” and it is written in Urdu which was the medium of instruction and common parlance through the 1900s in Hyderabad, India.
I am a trained sociologist and an archival researcher. I am the principal investigator for an archival research project on the Brahma Kshatriyas of Hyderabad and also founder of choosingwellness.org. I also go by my other name Malini.
I am a translator of notes that remain in the margins to bring the user of technologies into sharper focus. I use the term community researcher, immersive researcher to talk about the work I do.
In the past, as a Director and user experience lead at Code for Princeton I worked with non-profits, community groups, users, and subject matter experts to identify areas of need. I translated this into conversations with brigade members, developers, potential users, and other stakeholders.
The applied ethnography and social research skills got me to meet with a diverse set of people across the broad middle class spectrum in Urban India. Living and working in New Jersey for the past several years has given me a breadth and width of understanding and engaging with people adding critical diversity to my bracket of "users" and experience all rolled in one.
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