Written by Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

A painfully dark story that lingers, not in the background, but right in your face even after you decide to close the pages and go back to life.

But that’s exactly what a well-written book does to its reader, does it not?

Even when you want to break away from the narrative to take a break, breathe and gather yourself for the next chapter, you just cannot. At least I couldn’t.

I believe that is also the reason why I finished the book in a couple of days as I didn’t want to feel the churning in the pit of my stomach for more days than that. …


When you’ve drowned once

You know well when you’re about to, again

The anticipation can be suffocating

However hard you may try to abstain

A day turns into a week

A week into two

But then you look in the mirror

And face the new You

Staring, confronting, comforting

The Self wants to take over

If only you would let it

You shall not go deeper or lower

What leads to this path

Find out what’s the trigger

Love yourself more that week

Don’t let the fears be any bigger

The mind will play all tricks

To make you dive more intensely

But when You take over this game

The same mind will reward you, immensely

Let’s connect at anoushkabhartia@gmail.com


Innocence, purity, warmth and love

You stand for all these and more

Fearless, undaunted, always determined

Let these be your absolute core

May compassion and kindness be your guide

But even at your lowest low

Never feel the need to please everyone

And never find it hard to say No

Be it that uncle who wants to hug you

Or that man who ask you to sit on his lap

Be bold and shout out the nay loud

Your inner strength is what you must tap

May valiance and courage be your virtues

Not beauty or capacity to endure

You fight with everyone, including me,

In order to make your future secure

Make your own plans and stick to them

Never let a man tell you he’ll take good care,

Of you, your desires and your dreams

Be cautious, when you decide to let that soul bare


The 13th-century Japanese monk Nichiren Daishonin said, “First of all, learn about death and then about other things.”

According to him, to build a truly happy life, one must face the inescapable question of death.

As someone practicing Nichiren Buddhism, I believe in the Mystic Law of Cause and Effect. I also believe in signs that the universe sends us, almost every moment of our life.

(This belief doesn’t have much to do with the book titled The Secret)

So I don’t think it’s a coincidence that after I studied about the interconnectedness of life and death as part of my Buddhist study group last weekend, I was asked by a dear friend to share my take on grief and death this week. …


Netflix’s latest docu-drama has put a lot of us in a dilemma, with technology and social media being called the modern-day Frankenstein’s monsters (though not for the first time!) by those who created their dangerous and dark features in the first place.

Woah!

Scary!

Depressing!

These are just three of the most common reactions I could gather for Netflix’s latest docu-drama, The Social Dilemma, released on September 9, 2020.

We already know how creepy social media can be, especially platforms like Facebook, Twitter and even Gmail, but to watch it for real how we are manipulated every single time we go online, is something that nobody seems to have been prepared for.

Not even my husband, who, up until now, believed that he wasn’t a “product” for social media as he stayed away from it as much as possible.

Unlike his wife, who’s online at least 5–6 times a day, he doesn’t upload pictures, doesn’t share his views on different subjects or even stalks people (ok he does that sometimes through my profile!) …


(Clockwise from top left) Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Mary Wollstonecraft, Betty Friedan and Simone de Beauvoir,. Source: Wikipedia

The word “feminism” has taken on different meanings for different people for many years now. The movement continues to baffle, empower, engage, and enrage women and men across the world equally.

Its history and the journey feminism took in the hands of powerful women writers is what this particular write-up is about.

In order to find out whether one identifies themselves as a feminist or not, it is important to first know its origin and how it has shaped the lives of women for more than 200 years now since it first started to appear in the public domain. …


I had never seen him. Just had a word with him once when he wanted me to visit him.

But I didn’t go. I had something more important to do. Also, I found it weird. Weird that a person, who personified loneliness, was calling me in the middle of the night. He had mentioned that he had heard about me and wanted to know me better.

But I did not understand his request. All I heard was his weirdness.

The first time we met, he was about to turn into ashes. We couldn’t talk. Rather, he couldn’t respond in the language I could understand. …


Masked in water

Pic credit: Anushka Bhartiya

Drowning in sorrow

Despair and uncertainty

Assam calls out to those

Alien to the nitty gritty

Masked in water

Life gets tougher

For the one who’s flooded

With grief, getting gruffer

They don’t get it

The ones in high rise buildings

Activists and scholars

What water can bring

The urbane

The ones in the urban jungles too

Blind to the plight of those

Residing in Bamboo

Can’t see, can’t hear

What tragedy water creates

Year after year

This one’s particularly hard

As it stands behind the masked

Virus they call it

Homes and careers…


It was almost a dream. The roads were deserted. The lights were low. She was right beside him. Walking slowly. Matching her steps with his. He wasn’t sure though. What if she wasn’t real? What if all that he could see was not there at all?

He wanted to touch her, just the fingers. No more. No less.

She was busy juggling between her thoughts. Why does it all look so unreal? She felt far away from her world. The world that was confusing. Here, it seemed to her that everything was almost perfect, Almost because there was something missing. …


“Aur kitna khaogi? You just had an apple. The remaining ones are for us,” he said.

She adored him. He was her favorite grandson.

Now, lying in her dingy room, she thought of the days when she used to hide apples, mangoes, and those luscious apricots for him. Everyone said she was biased and of course, she knew she was.

Amma had eight grandchildren. Out of them all, Kabir was the apple of her eyes.

An angry voice pulled her back to reality.

They had been telling her she was losing it. Her memory often failed her. She was too weak to get up from her bed now. Diabetes, arthritis and high blood pressure wouldn’t let her live with peace or dignity. …

About

Anushka Bhartiya

Writer. Buddhist. Feminist. Looking for freelance projects.

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