How would you describe your experience with the Covid-19 pandemic? How has that changed you as a writer?

When I caught the infection, I stopped having any feeling in both my upper and lower limbs. It was a really tough time, constantly shifting between home and hospital. Overcome with the enormity of it all and feeling a complete loss of control, I shed copious tears and found myself asking if this was it—the end of my journey as a writer, a singer, a painter, or a human being in general?

I longed to cook using my own hands, I wanted to touch my face, and I couldn’t wait to braid my daughter’s hair again. Fighting became a task, with my brain fogging every time I tried to do something. Life hit a pause. I couldn’t take decisions on my own. I was exhausted— physically and mentally.

But I came out of it, owing to the kindness of the people around me. Every nurse, doctor, and physiotherapist, my mother, my husband, and my staff at home constantly helped me operate the wheelchair with humility and care, making sure I was treated with respect and kindness.

Who is your inspiration when it comes to writing?
I am inspired by all the writers whose works I have read. To mention a few, I love the work of Sylvia Plath, Khaled Hosseini—especially The Kite Runner, and John Grisham. I loved reading “Fifty Shades of Grey”. Additionally, the biographies of people like Michelle Obama, and Sunanda Pushkar inspire me.

The Power of the Pen | The Story of Akanksha Agarwal
The Secret in My Blood – written by Akanksha Agarwal

If you were to express your journey as an artist and a painter in 3 words, what would those words be?
My journey as a writer was inspired by 3 things: my parents, my passion, and my love.

The Power of the Pen | The Story of Akanksha Agarwal

Is there a mantra or aphorism you live by?
I believe as humans, we all have a voice, a personality, and a vibe about us that is unique to every one of us. If you want to start living, you have got to stop hiding it. Only then you can lead a life truly driven by love and passion.

You were recently conferred with the Inspiring Women Award. How has your journey led you to inspire others like yourself?
My journey is one of overcoming the setbacks, obstacles, and challenges that life throws at you. My story is about the power of thought. I have believed in the power of choice and focus. If we pursue something that moves us even something like feeling paralyzed becomes insignificant. My story is the power of a metaphor. 

After encountering unbearable pains of emotional trauma, loss, and the inability to move, I found strength in my thoughts. I finally picked up my paintbrushes and made some beautiful paintings. One of them got chosen by the Corona Quilt Project in which I shared my life’s journey, which I believe might serve as hope for someone. I was awarded The Most inspiring Multifaceted Women Icon of the year award 2021 for the same.

The Power of the Pen | The Story of Akanksha Agarwal

What message would you give to other women out there?
To all the women I would say, claim your experiences. Don’t let them claim you. We all know that the way to cope with trauma, with loss, with any life-changing experience, is to find meaning. But here’s the thing: No one can tell us what our experience means. 

Also, speak up if you’re struggling. Being honest about how we feel does not make us weak, it makes us human.


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