The Burgundy Book is a series of arts podcasts by Renu Arora, following a life-changing accident on March 29th 2017
'...that evening, a bus drove a hole through the whole of my world. And that life was left underneath the wheel. Perhaps the skin that I was destined to shed..'
On March 29th 2017, I was hit by a bus and dragged under the wheel.
During the 60 seconds or so that I was underneath the 10 tonne vehicle, I experienced what is known as an NDE (Near Death Experience), where the shock of impact and fear of death ejected me out of my body, and I experienced what experts call a 'life review'. Pages of memory, pages of possibility, and jewels that will live in my heart forever. It was the most peaceful and eternally loving space I will ever know.
The accident caused serious and life-changing injuries and has catalysed an extraordinary journey into the depths and edges of a trauma. In my travels through the abyss, I have asked myself many profound questions: What does trauma mean? What does it do to the psyche? How do we uncreate identity to find our true self? How does trauma impact the facets that make up our individual world? And how can we use trauma to explore our core, and find gold?
Since the accident, I have written hundreds of insights from this extra-ordinary space. A space that I have come to be grateful for.
This project - The Burgundy Book - will bring together these insights and weave them into a series of short podcasts. In a gently poetic and storytelling style that is honest, authentic and sometimes very raw, each episode will take the listener through a curious, graphic, yet tender journey into the furthermost corners of my experience. Episodes will comprise spoken word and original music.
Trauma and challenge are universal, and I believe that many people will feel able to resonate and connect to my experience, and find hope in my story.
Some comments on the work:
'Absolutely spellbinding!' Kristine Landon-Smith - KLS Associates and founder/former Artistic Director of Tamasha Theatre Co.
'We say it all the time, don't we? "You could get hit by a bus tomorrow." So there is something about Renu's story of her near death experience that immediately stops you in your tracks. It begins in a taxi, as she recounts a now well-rehearsed story to her driver about her accident. It's not only the story, but the quality of Renu's voice that captivates - calm and unhysterical. Would I be like that? I'm really looking forward to hearing more of The Burgundy Book. Rasheed Rahman - Freelance Arts Marketing
'Incredibly powerful and beautifully poetic. Renu uses her highly skilled storytelling style to portray the impact of the physical and emotional trauma from the accident itself, the profound and spiritual experience of the Near Death Experience, and the everyday - how life has changed for her. I can't wait to hear these narratives once they are combined with Renu's ethereal singing voice!' Cheryl Kempton - Holistic Health Coach
'It's an incredible journey that Renu has been on since having a N.D.E. in 2017. Renu's gentle voice is calming to the listener and the story of her life since the accident is truly inspiring. This episode is very touching and tells a story about human connection and understanding.' David M Naylor - Musician, Poet
'Amazing. I was immediately drawn in and the pictures came to my mind. It is very honest and I love the musicality of your voice' Corinne Gurvitz - Psychologist NHS
We would love to hear from you. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Please watch this recent podcast for alexhowardtv, in which I am interviewed by Alex Howard on the experience and how it has impacted my life: