“A former journalist and current columnist and illustrator, Shreya writes about everything women aren’t supposed to talk about – the female body, bodily fluids, sex, periods, relationships, and men. Sometimes funny and witty, sometimes sad and poignant, this book is sure to speak to every woman who reads it…”
“…This month (and every other in my long career as a woman), I have despaired over the widespread murder of women. As I lament the loss of London’s Sarah Everard, the six Asian women gunned down in Atlanta, and the rising tide of femicide of the past weeks in India, I am gripped by a terrible déjà vu. We’ve all been here before; reassured by our leaders that they’ll take firm steps to protect women, we watch history repeating as they blithely fail. And like a cracked record I find myself railing against our mistreatment again; fitfully hopeful that speaking up might make a tiny difference…”
Completing twenty years in Britain led to some introspection on borders, nationalities and the ties that bind us to different places, which I poured into my monthly column for top Asian newspapers Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle last month. Please click on the picture to read more. The photos are of me when I first arrived in the UK twenty years ago (on the left) and now (on the right).
EC: What draws you to the strange, the surreal, the ominous and the macabre?
SSH: ‘Strange’ ideas come to me quite naturally, I suppose, because I’m neuro-atypical. To think within the constraints of convention or ‘normality’ is a stretch because my brain is wired differently. But I also feel that the mainstream that seeks to exclude those they perceive as ‘different’ is secretly not that well-adjusted or ‘normal’ themselves. That all of us have quirks and angularities that we deny, or are unaware of. I sympathise with both the overt misfits and the secret ones. I have empathy for those who find that life, and their own nature, and the lack of understanding from the world around them, have derailed their plans of leading a contented, conventional life. A ‘normal’ life. But as we acknowledge differences more and more, whether in sexuality or culture, or anything else, perhaps we see that there is no such thing as ‘normal’. My imagination teems with those on the margins for reasons of genetics, ostracization, illness, economics, and more, and in my work they find a home.