We all have a story to tell by the lives we live, the experiences we have, the lessons we learn, and the people we become as a result. Words can lessen the pain of some memories, elevate the joy of others. Words can change perspectives, help us understand ourselves better, find our place in the world. They can end wars, start revolutions, and change the world. It is knowing the power of words that inspires me to write, everyday.

This website has a range of my work, fiction and non-fiction, and a blog of my musings (which could fall in either category). I am trained as a science and medical journalist though, in my career as a reporter, I have covered everything from science to food, to travel and international issues.

For the last two years I have been working on my debut novel, When The River Rises, a story that shows the complexity of Indian society – its traditions, its divisions, its imperfections, and its perfections. Which brings me to the reason for writing it.

I was born in a landowning family in southern India and lived a reasonably sheltered life until, in my early twenties, I moved first to England and then the United States to attend university. Moving to a different country changed my perspective; I knew then that I had a story to tell.

The world has more than its share of poor people, but it was only when I went to the west that I really understood the wretchedness of Indian poverty. I wasn’t a stranger to the heartbreaking poverty in India – I had previously worked as a writer for a development news channel covering issues of poor and marginalized communities. I had met children who didn’t own a single pair of shoes. I had spoken with a man who was willing to sell his teenage daughter for less than $20 so he could feed his entire family for a month. And though I had been upset by what I had seen, I had also accepted it, just as I had accepted the decadence of the lives of the wealthy.

The idea of a book was borne from this insight – that extreme poverty and extreme wealth coexisted in India, in apparent harmony, and neither was questioned. I thought a story about the overlap of wealth and poverty would be fascinating, gripping even. I completed the first draft of my novel earlier this year and the first few pages are uploaded on this website. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

Comments, criticisms, and praise are welcome at sena_desai@yahoo.com.

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