When our in-house Australian-Indian writer Nandita Chakraborty launches the inspiring new book- Dirty Little Secrets, it calls for us to talk about it.
In a tale spanning the continents, Australian-Indian writer Nandita Chakraborty, just launched her new memoir, Dirty Little Secrets. Taking her readers on a journey through the past ten years of her life, Chakraborty leads us through the online love scandal that nearly tore her life apart and writes about how through loving and losing, she finds a deeper meaning in her life.
Like many migrants staking out their hybrid cultural identity, Nandita’s life path takes her between her birth country of India and her country of settlement, Australia.
Already, reviewers are calling the book a must-read, enthralling, moving, and captivating – an unmissable journey of extraordinary raw emotion.
“Everybody’s life story is unique in their own right. We all live different lives and go through different episodes and experiences in our lives, so we are all unique, and yet somehow, we are all the same. This is the magic of the human race that entwines and connects us,” Chakraborty said.
When she first started writing Dirty Little Secrets, she intended to write it just for herself, but the more she transcribed her diary, the more she realised that this story is more than her and needed to be shared. In seeking love, she had come across some of the ugliest truth about love, which is no fairy tale show; and keeping that in mind she thought this book will seek someone who needed the most.
Unfortunately, in this era of the internet, people are fishing to scam preying on the vulnerable. As we know scamming in the name of love has been going on for centuries and what Chakraborty went through has happened to others as well. “I hope that by sharing my story, that others will be more cautious in the future and avoid experiencing the torment that I have endured.”
Turning point in her life
For Chakraborty, one of the biggest turning points in her life came very unexpectedly, with a horrific rock-climbing accident. In 2011, she was out on a rock-climbing expedition in Mount Cathedral. Situated on the northern face of the Cathedral Mountain Range in Central Victoria, what should have been an exhilarating day of glorious views of nature took a turn for the worse when she fell 40 metres.
In 2016 she was left with a permanent disability and having cognitive issues and impaired concentration; she experiences chronic migraines which adds to chronic fatigue. The road to recovery after any major accident is long and comes with twists and turns. “It is not just your body that has to recover but it’s your mental wellbeing that needs time to adjust too,” says Chakraborty.
Turning therapy into Books and books into success
It was during Chakraborty’s second stint at rehab that she started writing as a form of therapy. She wrote two novellas, Meera Rising (2017) and Rosemary’s Retribution (2018). The two novellas were both finalists at the American Best Book Awards. She did not stop there to master her craft she wrote short films and one of them was a semi-finalist at the New York Screenplay and LA International Screenplay Awards.
These days, Chakraborty carries her craft not only through books but also as an advocate for migrant authors as a small community that stands together to challenge preconceived prejudices against authors from other backgrounds and cultures.
“Dirty Little Secrets is different to her previous works because this time she has written about her own life story and what happened in the past decade of her life. She speaks about searching for love and the dangers of searching for it online, and she also writes about her accident and how it changed her fundamentally and how it has become part of her identity now.
She thinks that in many ways, readers can relate to her story because no matter what walk of life one comes from, we are all making our way through this world of ours, searching and building on our identities; constantly searching for and building on relationships with friends and family; and searching, and hopefully, finding a love to build the rest of our lives on.
We all have learnings to share and experiences that define us and her book is a look into her life and her ‘how ‘she has navigated her way through some fairly challenging and dark situations – something everyone can relate to but hope not to endure themselves.
Life is a non-linear journey, sometimes mapping a life path challenges in displacement in one’s identity, and Dirty Little Secrets just does that. One can find themselves walking with Chakraborty on the streets of Melbourne, or sometimes crying on the steps of a temple in Delhi.
The book is available for purchase from Amazon, Readings, Good Reads and Flipkart in India.