Anukriti Upadhyay
Harper Collins
January 13, 2023
Final Verdict

About the Author

Anukrti Upadhyay writes fiction and poetry in both English and Hindi. Her Hindi works include a collection of short stories titled Japani Sarai (2019) and the novel Neena Aunty (2021). Among her English works are the twin novellas, Daura and Bhaunri (2019), and her novel Kintsugi (2020); the latter won her the prestigious Sushila Devi Award 2021 for the best work of fiction written by a woman author. Her writings have also appeared in numerous literary journals such as The Bombay Review, The Bangalore Review and The Bilingual Window. Anukrti has post-graduate degrees in management and literature, and a graduate degree in law. She has previously worked for the global investment banks, Goldman Sachs and UBS, in Hong Kong and India, and currently works with Wildlife Conservation Trust, a conservation think tank. She divides her time between Mumbai and the rest of the world, and when not counting trees and birds, she can be found ingratiating herself with every cat and dog in the vicinity.
Other Works By Anukriti Upadhyay

Anukrti Upadhyay’s The Blue Women are full of love and magic!

The Blue Women by Anukrti Upadhyay navigates into lived lives of people, their inner demons, and perceived evil.

Life is not a victim of reason and logic. We tend to look for causality, we often do not succeed. We live, and we react. It does not make sense, so we try to find comfort in stories where there’s a beginning, middle, and end, in whatsoever order.

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These three acts relate to each other, they make sense, and they show causality – there was a reason for this to happen, and there was a cause for her to respond in such a way. There is clarity when words are strung along, a clarity that is defied by life. To replicate this defiance, to let it have a space, to allow it to breathe, is the work of a genius that Anukriti Upadhyay is. 

The Blue Women is a collection of short stories by Upadhyay that navigates into lived lives of people, their inner demons, and perceived evil. The stories have you sitting on the edge as in a thriller, sometimes a really good psychological thriller. They end with you heaving a loud sigh, an indication that you were holding your breath the whole time. 


The stories in The Blue Women are character-driven, sometimes in conversations between two people leading to a story within a story format. The reader is often the curious listener in the stories, someone who just flagged down a cab, is taking respite from the rain at a gas station, or simply enjoying masala dosa at an age-old eatery.

These third-person narrations bring in the larger world, be it a family or workplace, a celebration or a funeral, in scenes painted with vivid colours and phrases like, “a younger sun” or “a less tired earth.”

The first-person narration often depicts the inner psychology of characters that range from teenagers to older men and women, the sexualities and sexual transgressions are subtly described without being at the centre of the story. The characters are lonely, protective, fierce in loving their family, and most importantly, they are unlikeable for their flaws—flaws that make their stories so real! 

My personal favourite from the collection is ‘Sona’, a story in which a teenager grapples with the idea of being unloved and seeking attention, making an enemy out of her mother, to spend time with her step-father who spills her with flattery more often than not. The titular story, ‘The Blue Women’, brings in the elements of magic realism, already setting the tone of transgression in the stories to follow. 

Upadhyay’s detailing is so intricate, her phrases so creative, that I had to pause every now and then to appreciate the words, wondering what must it be like to be a writer. The Blue Women in its entirety has me waiting for Upadhyay’s next work, wondering which genre she will venture into next. 

Best passage from The Blue Women 

‘It is the promises winter makes that keep the heart warm, Bacchi, not your sweaters and shawls. The promise that everything will last longer, that flowers will hold their colours and fragrances longer, and days their freshness. Everything is experienced more sharply, more clearly in winters.’

From the story ‘Mauna’, The Blue Women by Anukrti Upadhyay
Akankshya Abismruta

Akankshya Abismruta

Akankshya Abismruta is a writer and an independent scholar. She's published articles, a short story, and an academic paper so far. Studying English Literature created a void in her heart that led her to Indian Literature and translations. She's curious about almost everything to the point that she's exhausted all the time.

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