Photo by Danijel Durkovic on Unsplash

My mother was sitting on a chair when I walked into the house. With the television turned on, she stared blankly into the empty wall. The house looked messier than I remembered. There were strips of pills, test reports that laid scattered on every table. Clothes, thrown haphazardly out of the closets as if everyone was living out of their suitcases. She invited me in like I wasn’t visiting but had been there all along. She didn’t say much after that. Those days she never did. I was just glad she knew it was me.

The tiles of the kitchen…

Photo by Valentin Balan on Unsplash

Found an old clip from when your words still made sense to me
Surreal, as if that part of you never existed
The smile that lit up your eyes
We could be twins, they’d say,
But my eyes don’t smile the way yours did.

Does it feel like that life was ever yours?
Without the repetition,
The angst and the cries
Time has been standing still like a photograph,
As I wait to choose between dream and reality.

Why is the past bittersweet?
Fluttering between extremities
In the tunnel of memory,
Perhaps a pendulum oscillates without purpose or meaning
Back and forth, back and forth.

Originally published at on April 20, 2021.

Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

Unbearable stillness fills up the vacuum that is my mind
Hesitant gestures loom for what seems like an eternity
My body, still here
My heart, still beating
Life is what I miss
The life I had, the life I never had

I tried to understand love through the silences
Some loves are different, I thought
I reached down your throat and pulled out your soul
A shriveled carcass is all that I found
Desire going up in smoke
Like the years I don’t remember

Do people mourn the dead or the part of them that dies
Is it the final blow or the culmination of prolonged decay
Through the rubble, can life remain?
Illusions are a funny thing,
It doesn’t spare the dead
Or the living.

Originally published at on April 5, 2021.

Photo by Hannah Troupe on Unsplash

“How do I trust you? How do I believe everything you’re saying is true? It’s been a year and a half since we’ve been apart,” Ram said, trying to sound convincing, pacing back and forth simultaneously. “It’s not that I don’t, but it’s been a while, and we’re only humans, you know. Things happen. People change,” he added, running his fingers through his hair as he continued to pace.

“It has been fourteen months to be precise”, Sita said looking up, and paused for a moment, “…and three months after that from the time we started seeing each other again”.

She felt something brush against her, pushing her, as if getting closer and closer, rubbing on her tiny little frame, engulfing her whole. It wasn’t something. It was someone. Trying to slide their hands underneath her cotton camisole, touching her soft, bare skin, lifting the only piece of clothing she had been wearing on that summer night to cope with the heat. A hand went up against her back as fingers slowly tried reaching the slight bulge on her chest from behind. She remained stiff and pretended to be asleep or dead, whatever would trick the man into getting away…

I had always been an awkward kid. A little nervous and eager to please, I could put on a show just to be liked a little more. I was the first to offer help when somebody needed a favor. I would go out of my way to fit someone else’s schedule. I could never say no — to anything. The temptation of being appreciated for my enthusiasm was far greater than feasibility. I was okay as long as I thought people liked me. It didn’t matter why — it only mattered that they did. Approval meant I wasn’t invisible. Since…

Photo by the blowup on Unsplash

A couple of weeks back after, two months of rejection emails, I finally got three interviews lined up. A technical test followed by three rounds of virtual interviews for two of the openings, and I didn’t make it through the first round for the third. Feeling pretty good about my options, I was almost sure I would land a job. It was only a matter of time. It has now been two weeks; I still haven’t heard back. A week of waiting, followed by another week of self-doubt and thinking in negative loops.

Was there a gap in the hiring…

Photo by 天成 褚 on Unsplash

It has been over a month since I lost my job. And while hearing about the massive amount of job losses and businesses shutting down all over the world did cause some anxiety, I couldn’t relate. Not until the moment I realized I didn’t know where my next paycheck was coming from. You can empathize, pray that it doesn’t happen to you, or plan if it does but, there’s no way to predict your actions when you find yourself out of a job amid a pandemic. Everything I had swept under the rug to keep functioning as a regular adult…

An Anthropologist on Mars by Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks, a neurologist, and author who suffered from face blindness (a condition that robs you of your ability to recognize faces including your own) has written several books on the unique disorders of his patients. The difference between other psychiatric cases and Dr. Sacks’s patients though is that he treats each of them as stories about real people leading paradoxical lives rather than case studies devoid of their humanness. People, who may be differently-abled but this absence of normalcy compensating for bigger gifts like a photographic memory or other heightened senses. ⁣⁣⁣

Photo: @tinymosquito at Unsplash

We are in an age where nothing is relevant unless it is socially acknowledged. Exhibiting is the new norm. Those of us who find it hard to express or even keep up, fall into the trap of seeking validation. Social approval can inflate one’s self-image, but it can also distort reality. People who are never too sure about themselves, to begin with, perhaps suffer the most. Overthinkers. Perfectionists. People prone to depression. There are a lot of us out there. While seeking validation may be necessary for progress, it can do more harm than good if…

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