Welcome to the आईना newsletter

Hi there!

I’m Ila and this newsletter is an extension of my blog, आईना.

I started आईना in 2015. I was 25 years old and living and working in a small town in Uttar Pradesh. I loved my work and truly believed it gave my life purpose. At the same time, I was lonely, stressed, and having a hard time grappling with the politics of rural India. Blogging (albeit infrequently) helped me process my experiences better. I wrote about the good stuff (the inspiring women I worked with) and the bad (the everyday reality of caste and gender discrimination). 

Early morning scene in Sultanpur district, Uttar Pradesh

I eventually moved back to Delhi and आईना evolved into a travel blog of sorts, where I continue to share and reflect on my experiences as I explore the world.

When COVID-19 struck and travel went for a toss, so did my blog. I continued micro-blogging on Instagram but lost the drive to write long-form essays. Around the same time, friends and strangers repeatedly reached out to me with travel queries, requests for recipes and reading lists, and appreciation for my social media content. So I thought, why not start a newsletter? I ran a quick poll to assess interest and received an overwhelming response. A few hours later, this newsletter was born!

Exploring a Buddhist monastery in Panauti, Nepal

What’s in it for me?

It gives me a reason (and a safe space) to write more frequently, share personal stories, reflect on things I care about, and perhaps hear back from you? :) 

What’s in it for you?

Every fortnight or so, you’ll hear from me about offbeat travel experiences, culinary adventures, my favorite books and poems, and other interesting things. Subscribe, and if you like what you read, share this newsletter with your friends!

Share आईना

Subscribe to आईना

Reflections on my journey — within and without ✨


Wanderer 🤸🏾‍♀️