A former journalist, Ananya specializes in marketing & communications. She worked with a diverse set of firms across the spectrum for six years before leaving the cobwebs of a metropolitan city for a quiet, slow life in the hills.
A depression survivor Ananya primarily writes about mental health, intersectional feminism and society.
When she is not working or traveling, she spends her days in a quaint little town of Northeast India with her husband and two cats, sipping red wine and writing poetry.
It’s important to remember that unlike what you might see in movies and porn, sex isn’t always effortless and mind-shattering. On top of it, women especially in India are often led to believe that sex is shameful, which makes it harder to achieve orgasm and sexual satisfaction, and even communicate about their likes and dislikes to their partner.
Recently I found myself in an unanticipated, serendipitous encounter with remnants of my past; it had a profound effect on me and for a few days, I found myself questioning my entire reality and foundation of love.
My lovely therapist asked me to do an exercise of redefining love. She asked me to take a pen and a paper and write down what does love mean for me. So, here I am taking a mediocre, confused, and chaotic stab at it and sharing it with you. Ideally, this should have remained in my diary, but well.
When I was younger, love for me was butterflies in my tummy and hot fiery sex that made my bones shatter. Love was the little tingling in my hands when his fingers touched mine and it was staying up till 5 am to talk to him because neither of us wanted to hang up.
When I was younger, I mistook romance and sex for love. When in reality, love is what remains when romance dies.
5th August would be remembered as the end of an epoch in Indian History, when the Hindu nationalist forces ‘won’ against the Islamic rule and oppression over the 16th & 17th centuries, and removed the blot from the glorious annals of the history of ‘Hindustan’. There has been a lot of criticism in the secular circles of the populace of how the BJP-led government has espoused the cause of the RSS led faction of the society over the years, touting for the return of India to the glorious days of Nehru, Indira, and Rao. The present state of order is not an outcome of a few years of political canvassing or just the demolition of Babri Masjid or the 1975 Emergency. The sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic of India, since its genesis in 1947, has been subjected to political ideologies, governance mechanisms, institutional lobbying, and capricious tendencies of various stakeholders. Continue reading “How Congress paved the way for communal politics & Modi’s Bharat”→
The Indian government has proposed amendments to the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 to decriminalize minor offenses including those relating to cheque bounce and repayment of loans, in as many as 19 legislations. The government has stated that such provisions ‘’impact investments from both domestic and foreign investors’’, which means that the proposal to amend laws is to provide an investor-friendly climate. Continue reading “Modi’s govt proposes amendments in RPwD Act & why should we care about it?”→
Yesterday a celebrated actor in the Indian Film Industry was found dead in his house. Preliminary reports suggest that he died by suicide.
Ever since then, my social media is full of people with long captions about mental health and how depression is real. Most of these statuses are either copy-pasted from each others’ feed or share suicide prevention helpline numbers from both unverifiable and vague sources alike. The fear of missing out is real. No one wants to let their followers think that they don’t care- after all, cinema is a religion here & I agree sometimes the loss feels personal.
Nestled in the corner of a busy street of Saigon, sitting in a quiet cafe that had a dozen bonsais, each one peculiarly different from the other, as I waited for my coffee and banana cake I had an unanticipated realization. Nothing was hurting anymore. My heart and soul didn’t ache for anything and anyone. It felt surreal.
Something that I hadn’t experienced in life as long as I remember it. And today, here I was, soaking in the sunlight and peace, at ease with the silence in the cafe and in my head. I had no rush. I did not want to be anywhere else. I did not worry about anything that I had to do later. I was there, in deep-dyed alignment with my body and mind.
The recent rape case of the Hyderabad doctor is deeply distressing. It has sparked a high voltage public outrage with people coming out on the roads to protest with slogans of “#SaveOurDaughters” and an Internet clamour to ‘hang’ the rapists. My entire social media feed is filled with gut-churning details of the crime, gory photos and an unequivocal demand to kill the rapists.
The same men who had canceled the #MeToo movement last week in view of the recent developments in the Utsav-Mahima case, are very, very angry. For them, this is a heinous crime. A rare, monstrous incident. The four men are being called animals and devils. Almost as if they were not brought up and raised in the same society as us, by us. Continue reading “India: No Country for women and our selective outrage”→
This is not a fun story, this is not a happy story with an inspirational quote at the end. So if you are looking for something to cheer you up, keep scrolling.
I write this in an attempt to accept, embrace my reality. For it took me a year to realize that not talking about my disease is not going to take it away.
Last year, when I was diagnosed with an auto-immune bone disease which has the potency to slowly erode my bones, and cause the bones of my spinal cord to fuse into each other, potentially leaving me disabled and in excruciating pain, I did not know what to do with that information. I remember feeling numb, absent, inert. I wanted to cry but I was smiling. I don’t know why, maybe because I wanted to upkeep my pretenses of a strong woman. Or maybe because I was in denial. I think it was the latter.
A woman’s virginity is one of the most praised idols of worship in all religious texts. Mother Mary was a ‘virgin’, in Hindu mythology we have ‘Panchkanyas’, Ahalya, Tara, Mandodari, Sita and Draupadi-group of five ideal women and chaste wives.
I was brought up in a world where my bed-time stories were supposed to be epic sagas of ‘Mahapurush Rama’ asking his wife Sita proves her chastity by undergoing a trial by fire. Even before I could spell the word, I was indoctrinated with all kinds of ideas about what big deal virginity was. Continue reading “Of sex and summer in small towns”→
When I was five years old, I was repeatedly assaulted by someone known to me. I did not understand it back then, but as I started growing up, I noticed remnants of my unhealed trauma in my adult personality. This is a chapter of my life that I still haven’t been able to come to terms with, this is a part of my life that doesn’t get to come out and live its truth even in my therapy sessions. The most I have ever talked about it is in a couple of lines during the introduction of a story, like I am doing right now. Continue reading “‘But someone out there has it worse’- Can we all stop belittling trauma?”→