A Delhi-based writer and communications professional, Anandi has worked as a reporter for The Times Of India and The Hindu. She writes essays and poetry.
I write about unreasonable feelings, unapologetic musings and their place in my life. Sometimes you'll also read about books, essays, movies and music here.
Not Just Looking
Ana Kinsella’s debut Look Here: On the Pleasures of Observing the City is a collection of essays with painterly descriptions of London, involving a cast of protagonists she interviews, and contemplations from her time in Dublin and New York. These essays emerge from a Tiny Letter blog Kinsella started in 2017, ‘London Review of Looks’, to put down her fleeting encounters in London. Look Here has a lived-in feeling that is often found in online blogs, also making a larger conversation about he...
Keeping Things ‘Real’: Girl Online by Joanna Walsh, Reviewed
Attempting to ascribe something more vital to the site – and sites – of our woes
Written as a type of a manifesto, Joanna Walsh’s short book nevertheless retains the form of a conversational meditation. Walsh’s writing is acutely personal and raises questions that speak to the existence and agency of a woman negotiating cyberspace while juggling identities as a girl, mother, writer, etc in real life. Moreover,
it explores the nature of female identity online and the extent to which every onli...
Population Growth | Can the ghost of Malthus be exorcised?
In the absence of immediate action, India’s fast-growing population will further deplete resources on account of high dependence of the poor population on natural resources
Madhu Verma and Anandi Mishra
According to the recent United Nations report, India is expected to become the world's most populous country in 2023, surpassing China. Currently, both countries account for about 40 percent of the global population. Both have faced devastating famines, particularly under colonial rule, and fo...
Review of Olga Ravn's 'The Employees'
Inspired by Janet Malcolm’s title essay Forty-One False Starts that is made up of 41 attempts to begin an essay on David Salle, I review Olga Ravn’s The Employees. Translated from the Danish by Martin Aitken, the crisp novella is a disorienting experience to read. The book comprises of non-linear, non-chronological sets of observations made by the characters. These are not related to each other, so the book can be read arbitrarily fr...
‘Translating Myself and Others’ Looks at Unspoken Aspects of the Practice
Written in Italian, Jhumpa Lahiri’s 2016 book In Other Words was the first time the American author (the London-born daughter of first-generation Bengali immigrants, and brought up in Rhode Island) moved away from writing in English. Translated by Ann Goldstein, the book is a series of essays about writing in a new language; together they form a stirring meditation on the condition of departing from a long-known language or mother tongue and venturing into uncharted linguistic territory. In O...
Love is a Cutthroat Business
Review of Mirror Made of Rain by Naheed Phiroze Patel
Patel dares to write about unlikable women. Even the women Noomi meets socially are not exactly nice people: they are often possessive, negative, and bitchy. Fighting for love is a cutthroat business.
Leaving Home Meant Losing My Mother Tongue
As I spoke more English and less Hindi, I worried I was displacing my roots
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I was in the first grade, age five, when I was awarded a hamper for being the “Best English Language” student. During the subsequent parents’ meeting my class teacher complimented my parents for their hard work on my language skills. Ever so proud my parents beamed, “We talk in English at home.”
Born in a small north Indian to...
When My Indian Parents Went Online
I would say it started in 2017, when Yogi Adityanath, the head priest at a Hindu temple in Gorakhpur, took oath as chief minister in my home state, Uttar Pradesh. Social media was in its nascent stage for older adults in India. My mother got her first smartphone that year, as did my father. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter would follow shortly after, for them as for many of their generation.
My generation had made ourselves at home online long before; I enjoyed cinephile and literary accounts...
Heaven – Mieko Kawakami
[Europa Editions; 2021]
Trans. from the Japanese by Sam Bett and David Boyd
Do you remember what it felt like to be a 14-year-old girl? While reading Mieko Kawakami’s latest novel Heaven, I found myself going back to this question and being reminded of the misery of being young and overlooked. I was a deeply introverted and painfully quiet young woman who grew into an awkward adolescent beset with self-doubt. At school I was friendless, timid, and ignored for being below the average height, a...
#DesiBooksReview 2: Anees Salim’s Latest Takes Us Back in Time
#DesiBooksReview Issue 2
The Odd Book of Baby Names by Anees Salim | Penguin Hamish Hamilton | November 15, 2021
Reviewer: ANANDI MISHRA
As the pandemic enters its third year, a sense of tiredness pervades our collective consciousness. We are tired of writing that is too staunchly immersed in the present moment. It intrigued us at first but slowly wore us out. The Odd Book of Baby Names finds us at the corner of this acute juncture. We have lost too much, gone through more than we can express...
The Stories Women Tell of Loneliness
Emily Dickinson is American literature’s famed recluse. “Silence is Infinity,” she wrote—and her solitude was generative. Loneliness, as she figured it, was “the Maker of the soul.” But what about women today? Are they relishing their solitude? In May 2021, preliminary research findings were presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology, Prevention, Lifestyle, and Cardiometabolic Health Conference that suggested social isolation and loneliness were each associated with a higher r...
Delhi’s Educational Underbelly
Anandi Mishra on Mukherjee Nagar and her journey to writing
Disconnect and Dissuasion in Ella Baxter’s New Animal
In Ella Baxter’s debut novel, Amelia, who works as a mortuary makeup artist, thinks she knows death inside out—until she loses first her friend and then her mother, in quick succession. What happens next is an unraveling of her mind. She jumps from one bad sexual experience to another yet remains “untouched” by emotions; she feels that she’s being asked to comprehend and process too much, too soon. Unable to cope, she runs away.
On the pleasures of hand-writing letters you’ll never send
Anandi Mishrais a writer and communications professional, whose work has been published by the LA Review of Books and Electric Literature. She has also worked as a reporter for The Times of India and The Hindu. She lives in Delhi, India.
December 2016 found me alone in a new city for a job, 1,350 miles from home, renting a large two-bedroom flat whose endless emptiness reminded me how much I missed my mother, my best friend and my boyfriend. After switching off the various lights in the echoe...