In Japan there is a legend that anyone who folds one thousand paper cranes will have their wishes realized. But folding cranes, and the meditative, solemn care that it involves, has come to mean more than just an exercise in wish making. Origami cranes have become a symbol of renewal, atonement and warning. Their symbolism may have emerged out of Japan’s particular mythology and history, but they do not belong to any one nation. The crane is a migratory bird that crosses borders and makes its home with scant regard to the blood-soaked lines that humans have drawn on maps. This anthology uses origami cranes as a way for some of India’s best-known writers and poets to form a shared civic space for a conversation about the fault lines in India at a time of darkness. The twenty-three pieces collected here encompass reportage, stories, poems, memoir and polemic—the kind of complex and enriching diversity that India demands and deserves. The paper crane becomes a motif of connection, beauty and reclamation in an otherwise degraded country, enabling those who fight with words to become the best army they can be.