Awanthi Vardaraj

In Her Own Words

I don’t believe you.

I don't believe you:

I open my eyes in the cold, dark, still water, and my arms fly out from my sides as the weights in my chest expand and balloon; I tread water as I look around, frantic, turning this way and that, struggling to understand why, where, what, how, when, who. I open my mouth to suck […]

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Good job, Hillary Clinton.


“Always aim high, work hard, and care deeply about what you believe in. And, when you stumble, keep faith. And, when you’re knocked down, get right back up and never listen to anyone who says you can’t or you shouldn’t go on.”  — Hillary Rodham Clinton   On election day, in the middle of an […]

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Welcome Home


“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.” ― Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children   I stepped into the empty house, and stood in the hallway for a second, trying to gauge how the house […]

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Darling Wellington,


Mama misses you so much.   I’ve wanted to write this letter to you ever since you died so suddenly and unexpectedly on the fourteenth of August, but it’s been incredibly impossible to come to terms with your abrupt ending. You were torn away from me and I could not save you; I heard you […]

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Grief is a many-feathered thing.

Grief is a many-feathered thing.

There’s nothing straightforward about grief. There’s no set rule for you to follow. Past experiences are useless, because each loss is different. Pain is unique, and it is a million times worse when you don’t understand why you have to experience it. Grief is a many-feathered thing. — Remember the first time you smile after a […]

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Lost in the Woods

There are moments you never see coming. Not because they don’t exist in the realm of possibility but because they couldn’t possibly happen to you; they couldn’t possibly happen in your world. Like, you could be skipping along the sidewalk as happy as you can be and suddenly two men step out of an alley […]

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Today I Am Not

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Melancholia by Awanthi Vardaraj

  It is easy, when one is stupendously happy, to forget about the rest of the world, but from time to time the world has a tendency to intrude upon one’s happiness; a gentle but persistent reminder that there is a lot happening to everybody, and some of those everybodies are mine. The moon is […]

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Wonderful You

Wonderful You by Awanthi Vardaraj

People are noticing; they are talking about how I am becoming, evolving, growing, into myself; finding things I lost; remembering the person I used to be before I was gone, before I slipped into the abyss. Before I broke. When I would giggle too much and for no reason about everything and nothing, and when my eyes were […]

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Not Just Pretty

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be told I was pretty. I think it came from a place of not being quite sure; it came from a place of wanting to be told that I was more than I was, somehow. I’ve spoken in the past about growing up with a beautiful mother, and […]

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