publishing my childhood journals

by Rasika Mathur

When I was younger, I had a chance to read “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

Though I was not close to the caliber of peril she found herself in, I became inspired to someday publish my own childhood journals.

Then, in 2017, those journals ended up burning alongside everything else in my residence in Ojai, CA during The Thomas Wildfire.

Then, 5 months ago, I came back to Louisiana to purge my aging parents’ house, and just this past weekend, have recovered stacks of journals, notebooks and diaries, kept unharmed inside of a Winnie-The-Pooh and Tigger Toy Box.

These are my stories.


Dear Diary was so adorable, so used up, so SUPER private. Check out that lock. I wouldn’t realize until decades later that these tiny fakey locks can be opened by many a generic key.

I wonder if that trip to California was powerful enough to plant a seed in this Houston girl.

Now, right away, it’s quite easy to spot that there is an adversary to my heroine.

Ruchi is my older sister. She’s written about quite a bit.

As you can see, all of this anger is completely justified. Cohesive arguments are documented.

I will refrain from providing circumstantial evidence of New Kids on the Block merchandise.

Of course, let the record also show that today, this woman is a Saint to me, and to so many others. In fact, on the day I dug up these journals, this was my iPhone’s reminder photo to me, taken the Christmas after the Thomas Fire.

The difference between us is that she STILL goes to New Kids on the Block concerts as an adult woman.

I also found the entry where I describe my very first nervous breakdown at age 11…

…followed by my very first major defeat. Spelling Bees were serious business. Of course, decades later I would break all this down in therapy. The way I describe it here is so innocent. I only remember that the incident changed my life, and that that crippling anxiety followed me everywhere. I had no understanding of it’s enormity here. Did I? I know that I say I hit my head. But, I actually pulled my hair out, and my parents walked in on my freak out, and had no idea what was wrong with me, or how to console or help me. So much pressure on a poor sweet kid.

That’s the poor sweet kid. With my first dog.
I earned him by learning how to take care of him. Mr. Nolan Ryan Mathur.

And of course, because Anne Frank was such a huge influence to me in my memoir writing, I wanted to include these pages, the last ones in this particular diary. Remember how we get to watch Anne grow up and go through changes as the pages go on? I do, too.

Spoiler alert: I go on to write many more journals, plays, scripts and blogs.

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