ASHES is a memoir by the first-born child of Bengali immigrants from Kolkata, India, which brings forth universal life lessons that transcend ethnicity. With raw honesty and simple prose, Mala Mukherji depicts her childhood of cultural confusion, schoolyard bullies, the demands of her brilliant, abusive father, and her mother’s stoic wisdom and consistent love. By her early twenties, Mala seeks clarity instead of pity, and details her search for herself through psychotherapy and spiritual studies. The result of that search costs her everything. 

The suicide of her mother leaves Mala in the thick darkness of grief and sorrow. Both emotions propel her into destructive yet illuminating choices. In time, she gathers her experiences and uses them to transform her life into the one she wants and the one she may claim in her mother’s absence. ASHES shows readers that they are not alone in their struggles and that they can look within themselves to survive and grow from life’s precious and painful surprises.

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SHARDS AND PRAYERS is a compilation of poems and art that reveal the center of Mala’s soul as she strives to find herself and deepen her connection to the Divine. Mala harmonizes East and West, as she weaves between her inner exploration and her passion to know the infinite heart within all existence.

Each poem and piece of art follows Mala’s life as she travels through emotional emancipation from her childhood, the early loss of her mother to suicide, forgiveness and her longing to strengthen her communion with the Divine. Written contemporaneously to her experiences, each poem is raw, unflinching, honest and committed to the discovery of truth. The themes and emotions that fill SHARDS AND PRAYERS are universal to anyone who strives to be free and fly higher, while tethered to the vast love found in true faith.