Anoop Judge | Author · Writing Instructor · Former T.V. Host​

Why I Write?

I was raised in a middle-class family in New Delhi, India where education was key, fresh pomfret fish for dinner was a treat, and budget-conscious holidays in hill stations defined our summers. As a young girl, I was expected to apply myself at college, get a job that would allow me to be financially self-reliant, get married, and have kids—in that order.

Given this worldview, “writing” was a bourgeois activity, encouraged by my mom, who was an avid fan of Reader’s Digest and Harlequin romances.

If I could I would . . .

She squeezes her eyes tightly shut not to let the tears fall. “That day, that moment, if I could have that time back.”

The morning of September 22 had started out innocuously enough. Yes, Javed was crying at the top of his newborn lungs, wanting his early feeding. But that was normal for a two-month baby. She’d fed him, then walked him up and down the tiny apartment, rubbing his back so he’d burp, all the while practicing aloud the words of the scene for the movie she was auditioning for later in the day. She’d been so excited when her agent had called with the opportunity—so few and far between these days ever since she’d had baby Javed. Ninety seconds was all it took to make him, and it was going to take a lifetime to raise him.

Now Nominated for The Pushcart Prize . . .

I don’t know whether to cry or sing for joy!!

The following short story excerpted from the novel I have been working on for the past three years and, recently published in the annual 2019 issue of Green Hills Literary Lantern, has now been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

When the lights went out . . .

“Let’s play Dark Room, “ the cousin I’ve never met until today suggests with a wink. He’s fifteen, going on fifty—his greasy hair falling in untidy spirals over his glistening forehead, the sweat stains under his armpits visible under his cream polyester shirt, his fingernails colored yellow from the chicken curry he consumed at lunch.

I shudder delicately, turning away so that no one notices how I clench my palms together. How long are these relatives from Kanpur going to stay?

Anoop Judge is a blogger and an author, who’s lived in the San Francisco-Bay Area for the past 27 years. As an Indian-American writer, her goal is to discuss the diaspora of Indian people in the context of twenty-first century America.