Unsettling details that Netflix didn't show you

Shanann and Chris Watts sitting in a park smiling at each other.
Shanann and Chris Watts sitting in a park smiling at each other.
Shanann and Chris Watts | Facebook

I have watched and read several true crime stories. By now, I thought I would be too desensitized to have extreme reactions to murder cases.

But, this case shook me to my core. And it left an impact on me like no other.

Unlike a lot of people, the first time I heard about this was not when the Netflix documentary was released. I came across a random post about Shanann’s (and the kids’) disappearance on my timeline way back in August 2018.

And for some reason, this case intrigued me more than the usual news reports. As the twisted…


What really happened at the Cecil Hotel that night?

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Elisa Lam | Photo source

In February 2013, the guests at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles began to complain about their tap water. They said that the black water tasted repulsive and seemed to be highly contaminated. A hotel worker went up to the tanks on the roof to check what the issue was, and that’s when he found the body of a woman, floating facing upwards.

This woman was 22-year-old Elisa Lam, a Canadian tourist who had been in there for not 1 or 2, but almost 3 whole weeks. Elisa had gone missing since January 31st, and the perplexed LAPD released some…


Do I love them any less as I know more about them?

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Photo by Agung Pandit Wiguna from Pexels

If you’re like me, you grew up thinking your parents were amazing. My father was the biggest superhero ever. There was nothing he could be wrong about. Of course not! Just the thought was absurd. He was authoritative, highly skilled, and knowledgeable.

My mother? Only the most beautiful, most epic woman in the whole world. I trusted that she knew everything. She had it all figured out. She worked so hard at her full-time job, and she also took great care of me.

My parents still are intelligent and loving. But the level of adulation I had for them back…


When disturbing dreams are a window into the psyche

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Photo by David Gomes from Pexels

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been under a lot of stress. I don’t know if it’s just the pandemic fatigue, after-effects of Covid-19, or mental health struggles. It could actually be all three and more. But I kept trying to push through them, and be more productive. I was trying not to “let life get in the way”.

But truth be told, life does not work like that. I can’t just pretend like I’m not burnt out and burdened. I wanted to pen down these conflicts and show what I’m going through. …


Dissecting a royal love triangle and its “happy” ending

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Duchess Camilla and Prince Charles | Photo by Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

Whenever the official Instagram account of the British monarchy posts a picture of Duchess Camilla, you can always see a flood with comments like “Diana forever ❤”. Sometimes the comments are snide jokes or insults targeted at Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla.

As the Netflix series ‘The Crown’ refreshes people’s memories of Princess Diana’s pain, their feelings are being vented in the response sections of all media reports on Charles and Camilla. The world wants the Royals to know that they have not forgotten the gorgeous, sweet soul who was taken way before her time.

What is the reason for…


Dark royal secrets unveiled by the British High Court

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Sheikh Mohammed and Princess Haya at The Royal Ascot, England | Photo by Stuart C. Wilson via Getty Images

With stylish outfits, chic highlights, and a warm smile, Haya is not your ordinary Arab princess. Princess Haya bint Hussein was the sixth (and most popular) wife of Sheikh Mohammed, the ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister of the UAE (United Arab Emirates). She is the daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan. But this is not all she’s famous for.

Haya is the first Arab and first woman to become a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations World Food Program. She is an Oxford graduate and a highly reputed equestrian. …


My ethnicity need not make for a “comfortable” story

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Photo by Qazi Ikram Ul Haq from Pexels

I am an Indian woman. And the audience that I picture when I write a piece is mostly white. To be precise, I try to craft my stories so that the majority of people in developed countries are able to understand or relate to them.

Now, I’m not saying that I don’t have others in mind. And I do try to narrate my own authentic experience. But just the idea of not giving my piece a chance to make an impression on white people really unsettles me. …


A wild tale of adultery and vengeance that shook Madras.

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The Royapuram Beach where Alavandar’s head was washed ashore | Photo source

On August 29, 1952, the Indo-Ceylon Express steamed its way out of the Madras Railway Station, en route to Dhanushkodi. But the passengers in the third-class coach were in for an unpleasant shock that night. It started when they began to smell a foul odor coming from under a seat.

The source was a green steel trunk that had stains of a vile-smelling fluid all around it. Since the passengers found that the box had no claimants, they made a complaint to the railway police at Manamadurai and the train was detained. …


What made me realize this wasn’t my usual fever?

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

My parents and I got Covid-19 in October of 2020. And while my mother had raging symptoms, my viral load was moderate and I did not suffer as much as she did. I was in isolation and was unsure if my symptoms were those of plain fatigue or Covid-19. And here’s how I knew it was not normal.

I feel it essential to point out that this is just my experience. I am not a medical professional. …


A place where watching TV can get you killed

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Photo by Philip Justin Mamelic from Pexels

On January 2, 2016, Otto Warmbier, a 21-year-old American tourist was arrested at the airport just hours shy of what would have been a great escape. Otto, who was said to be a sweet scholarship student was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment with hard labor.

What was his crime? He stole a poster. Otto Warmbier stole a propaganda poster from his hotel, and the North Korean government decided to punish him for it.

In a televised news conference in Pyongyang, Otto pleaded to the regime saying “I have made the single worst decision of my life. But I am only…

Bertilla Niveda

Artist, engineer, and writer with a lot to say.

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