Barkha Sharma – Co-author, Out of My Box

Barkha Sharma was born to middle-class parents. Her father was a Homeopathy doctor, and her mother, a homemaker. Although a reader since a young age, she was especially obsessed with novels during the last two years of her high school. She would borrow two or three books from her school library at a time for a week. Then read them under the pretense of doing her homework (of course, her parents knew that).

She went on to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Honors from the University of Delhi, so she wouldn’t have to read novels in secret. She landed a job as a Content Writer even before completing her graduation. She did her masters in English literature on the side from IGNOU.

Currently, Barkha is a part-time writer while working full-time to become an editor. She aspires to become a full-time published writer and part-time traveler.

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Writing for FemmeFluenza was certainly intriguing. It gave me an opportunity to get published. I did not expect to win, but when I did, I was over the moon. Moreover, I loved writing on the topic – women’s survival in a phallus-centered society.

Barkha Sharma on her experience of writing for FemmeFluenza
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Here’s an excerpt from Barkha’s story The Strangely Familiar Stranger which is now published in Out of My Box

It was a pleasant summer morning. There was no school that day, so she was free to spend her morning the way she wanted. She decided to pass her time by sitting on her father’s scooter, which was parked just outside her house and let her mind wander. Her father, on the other hand, was busy working. He was seeing patients in a small clinic just inside the gates of the house. She could hear everything her father and his patients were talking about. She could even see them if she craned her neck just a bit.

Almost a teenager, she was hitting puberty. Her breasts were taking shape and were slowly getting more and more noticeable. She didn’t like them much because now she had to wear a bra. She hated bras. She was wearing her favourite sky blue top with a little silver butterfly printed on the left side and a matching brown checkered skirt. As she sat thinking about random things, she saw a man on a bicycle riding along the street. Just when he was past her house, he stopped and backtracked. He hoisted his bicycle onto the stand and came towards her. He put a hand on her knee and asked what her grandfather did for a living. That was an odd question as everybody knew her grandfather and father. Moreover, there were two boards on the wall behind her, which carried all the information about their respective jobs. However, she answered him anyway. “He’s an advocate.”

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