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Like Being Alive Twice

Is there a moment, so pliant, that we can nudge it towards any future we desire?
Sometimes I believe that there is such a moment. In a lifetime, once.

In an unnamed nation that’s about to rupture, Priyamvada (Poppy), a Hindu and Tariq, a Muslim are in love. In a few hours, Tariq intends to propose; Poppy intends to say yes. Both assume that they’ll fend off political blowback. For, surely, their privilege will protect them.

But will it? Will Poppy and Tariq sustain a love so wholesome, so cossetted, that it remains impervious to a dystopian state? Or will the two be rent apart by chance and circumstance? What will their lives look like as they plunge into a brave new future, together or apart?

Written in alternating chapters, Like Being Alive Twice trails fact and possibility—the tale as-it-was and the tale as-it-could-have-been-if-only—arranging and rearranging, tweaking and nudging; hoping to find a lasting peace in one or the other story; hoping, above all else, that such peace will prevail over murderous times.

Politically urgent, stylistically intrepid, and relentless in its commitment to scrutinizing love, loss and the language of privilege, Like Being Alive Twice tells of the frantic pursuit of life piled upon life, even as a bloodied world closes in.


‘Dharini Bhaskar’s exploration of a love story amidst political turmoil is a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant addition to contemporary literature.’ — Monica Singh

Dharini Bhaskar was born in Bombay and has lived in the UK, Greece and Delhi. She was editorial director of...