You can access our first newsletter for the month of June here for some background on the process and the formation of Push up Daisies!
Read on below for the same newletter, if you'd prefer to read it here.
Don't forget to subscribe to our website for upcoming newsletters!
I am so thrilled to finally be writing this, and so happy I can now share Push up Daisies with you. This idea has meant a lot to me since the month of January– for days and weeks, it has been the only thing on my mind, and there are countless nights I have spent, impatiently waiting for it all to begin.
And that brings us here!
To the first of June– the day our first newsletter is sent out. On the day you receive this, it will have been 17 days since we made our first post, but in all honesty, it feels like forever has passed since then. We have received so much love, and so much beautiful work from writers, artists, photographers and other brilliant creatives in these few days, and in the end, it is this enthusiasm that makes everything worth it.
Since this is the first newsletter, though, there will be some rambling– a little bit of a backstory, a few behind-the-scenes instances, maybe a picture or two. It’s inevitable. I hope you’re ready.
I've always been afraid of death. I've feared it so much that I’ve spent long nights unable to sleep because one day, that’s all I'll do. I've burst into tears after glancing at a funeral procession on the street, I've spent afternoons lying on the sofa, feeling low, after hearing that a distant relative, someone I hardly knew, is no more.
In the last year, I lost four people I used to know. It all seemed unreal– here I was, just back from Mexico after eleven months, happy and ready to find my place in the world– and then everything took a turn for the worse. Just as I'd get around to processing one loss, something worse would happen. I was all over the place, uninterested in talking to anyone, having more sleepless nights than ever before.
In December, my grandfather was admitted to the hospital in critical condition. Every afternoon was spent with a friend comforting me over the phone, as I sobbed in disbelief at the thought of losing a grandparent for the first time. There was a moment, one moment in particular– as I lay on the sofa, crying to my best friend, Neeharika– when I realized that this is probably going to happen again.
I am nineteen, and growing older by the day, just like the people around me. I would lose more important people. I would cry more. And Neeharika would be there through it all– but for once, even that thought wasn’t comforting enough. That was the moment where it felt like nothing would ever be okay again.
In the weeks to come, I picked up ‘Many Lives, Many Masters’ by Brian Weiss– a book that made things infinitely better for me, and changed the way I see the world. I am not going to preach, or discuss my new beliefs at length, but this book has played a major role in the formation of Push up Daisies, and in where I am now.
The idea for Push up Daisies struck me out of nowhere. It was past ten in the night, and I had spent all day studying for my upcoming exams, when it suddenly hit me: I wanted to make a magazine about death, because there is so much to be said about it.
Neeharika was the first person I told.
Her answer, without any hesitation, was, “Let’s do it.”
And thus, a team of two was formed.
Ira joined us only four days later. I had met her in a programme just a few months ago, and when she texted me something, I suddenly realized that she was the perfect chief illustrator. Because not only is Ira insanely talented and innovative, she is also one of the most driven, hard-working people I know.
After this, things began to fall into place, and Push up Daisies slowly took over every part of my mind. There was research, meetings, endless drafts, tears as I studied for my exams, and two minor incidents of sleep paralysis.
Ira designed some beautiful rough logos, and we all ended up choosing the same one – number three.
We asked our friend Rahil to design our website, and he did the best job anyone could.
Here is a first draft of what the website was supposed to look like, by Rahil:
Our friend, Kanishka, agreed to do the animations, and it was amazing to see it all come together.
It took months for it all to happen– January to May– we had more plans, of course. Meetings and videos and photos and podcasts, fun and bonding. But that was before Covid19 entered.
All that was left, then, was reading, writing, editing, drawing, and then the same thing, all over again.
Finally, then, we had something to show for it all.
So, here we are now. Push up Daisies!
A fully independent, international magazine and online platform, collecting different perspectives on death, and making it easier to talk about, and accept. We're here, and we're fortunate to be able to talk about something that’s so hard, and we hope that we can help at least one more person to look at death differently.
In these last few months, our team has learnt and grown along with Push up Daisies. We’ve felt fear, awe, comfort, exhaustion, anger, and so many other emotions.
There is one thing, in particular, though, that I have learnt: when someone is gone, it may be true that nothing will ever be the same again. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that nothing will ever be okay again.
Founder & Co-editor, Push up Daisies!