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Introduction and some good news

Sanjana Ramachandran
Sanjana Ramachandran
Apparently I’m supposed to introduce myself. And be worth your time.

Hey there! Welcome to mad words, which is what I call anything I write and publish on my blog. mad words typically consists of longish essays on life that should really be in a diary instead.
Why should my essays really be in a diary instead? That phrasing is not meant to be taken literally; it is to say that I’m striving for a degree of honesty that’s perhaps best left in diaries. So if you don’t like something you read, I will just say, insufferably, that I told you so. “What you read should’ve been in someone’s diary,” you will hear me remind you, “and that is expected to disappoint.” By thus placing the blame squarely on you—well in advance—I’m hoping to absolve myself of the pressure that comes with writing for consumption, and also win brownie points for professionalism.
The last time I sent this out was a month ago. Most newsletters promise to be (more) frequent and also offer some subject matter expertise. I could too, but that’s not the point here. I do hope you’ll think about and learn from what I write, and that I’ll be frequent and consistent, but I can’t go around promising that. I’m a woman of my word, and my word is that you can’t count on me.
For example, I was supposed to introduce myself in the previous issue. After it went out, Revue sent me an email about its performance — half of nearly one hundred of you opened it, and a third went on to read my article. (Obviously, I’m rounding up. What were the rest of you doing? Do you think you’re better than the others? I hope you’ll try harder this time.) Revue also told me to introduce myself and tell you what this newsletter is about. Now you know. I think.
Here’s some good news. I’ve been selected for the 2022 Class of South Asia Speaks, a literary mentorship program for early-career writers living in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Nepal and Maldives. Mentors help polish a major project, such as a book or a series of reported pieces. I’m going to be working with Sanam Maher (!), who wrote A Woman Like Her, a non-fiction book about Pakistan’s first social media star.
My book, Famous Last Questions, will be a collection of essays on life in India in the last twenty-eight years, i.e. since I was born. I’m daunted but hoping for the best. This week, I’m working on a piece about the cultural impact of Shark Tank India and a blog post on cynicism. I expect to write back next week, and I hope you’ll enjoy it all.
Until next time,
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Sanjana Ramachandran
Sanjana Ramachandran @ramachandranesk

longish essays on life that should really be in a diary instead

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