404: No Internet Service Found

Under the name of ‘smart electronics,’ I’ve connected everything to Wi-Fi. From laptops and mobiles to TV, everything is hopelessly dependent on Wi-Fi, and today, God tested us. Network loss from 10 am to 10 pm on Sunday! For my mother, Sunday is to watch a Marathi movie; for Yash, my brother, it’s an IPL day! If you ask me, I spend the day lying on the sofa, watching Mom and Yash decide what to watch & be a judge in case their argument goes to third umpire.

Read More »


Dear Ananya,

I know you live in a world of Snapchat, Instagram, Reddit, and whatever else you use, but I’m still stuck with old ways of communication. So please read the letter to the end.

I’ve been watching a lot of teenage movies, trying to understand your generation through them and I am finding the life of teens more and more difficult, complex, deceiving, and most of all frightening. People somehow gave ‘being a misfit’ both a bad name and a proud parade. But I know for a fact that only the misfits know the burden of being it. Lately, I feel that you’re also struggling to find yourself. I wish I had the answers to your questions. I wish I knew your questions let alone their answers. All I have is a story. I’m going to tell you that today.

Read More »
Sunset at Hampi

When in Hampi

“You should keep talking; it’s lovely to hear you.”

This is the first thing he said to me.

Our story started three years ago, and I hope it finds a good ending. I was backpacking across Karnataka and stayed at a beautiful historical place called Hampi. Every morning I would get dressed and cross the river of Tungabhadra to explore the city of ruins. Before this solo trip, I had just completed a 10-day course of Vipassana, a form of meditation where I had to strictly follow noble silence. After that, traveling solo was becoming somewhat lonely.

One evening, I was sitting on the stairs of the riverside ghat, waiting for the last ferry boat to get me back to my homestay. I met a few Indian travelers. Finally, my loneliness was going to find an end. We talked about Hampi, Hinduism, Indian culture, patriarchal society, politics, globalization, and so many topics that I can’t even remember now.

“See, after 10 days of Vipassana, this is the most I have talked to ‘humans’ this month,” I said to Raj, the traveler from Kerala.

“You should keep talking; it’s lovely to hear you,” spoke a guy who had been sitting behind me for God knew how long and listening to every word I said.

Read More »

Let’s Talk. About? Just Everything!

Humans have the ability to talk. It’s undervalued and underappreciated. Yet, overused. It’s also unused in a time of need.

Walk into a crowded market and ask a random person, were there any dark days in your life? The answer will be yes. How did you deal with it? That’s when things become interesting.

When the human brain is getting its software update in the teenage years, the person becomes extremely introverted or extroverted. Some live in their spiraling thoughts or some get themselves so busy that they won’t get any time to think. Either state is harmful. So harmful, that it could one day become so overwhelming that living another day means going to war against every living non-living thing on the earth.

Read More »
Cat on couch

This therapy ain’t working!

“No, I don’t think I’m delusional or filled with hatred.”

“Any hard feelings about the last relationship?” Dr. Avasthi asked me. Again. I somehow stopped myself from rolling my eyes.

“I don’t think so. Sometimes I feel like I should get a cat and name it Siddhanth, you know? I’ll be sitting on a sofa, curled up with a cozy blanket, watching a movie with a hot cup of coffee in my hand, and Siddhanth would come from under the sofa or somewhere, jump beside me, get on my lap, and sleep like a cute little thing. Then, I’ll look at it and I’ll get to say it again, “FUCK OFF Siddhanth!

Does that mean I still have some negative feelings about him, who’s to say?”

Why are you so overwhelming, January?

The first week of January is always bittersweet. Apart from the hangover and dehydration thanks to the YOLO attitude of the 31st party, the first day of the new year is a lot to handle. People wish me merrily for the new year and ask, “So what are your resolutions?” I reply with the same old list; I plan to read more, write more, invest wisely, and so on. In reality, my nostalgic head is still relishing in or may be suffering from the best days and worst nights of last year.

Read More »
Girl looking out of window

Cry of the Lonely Night

It’s the late nights that force me to ask questions. What are you gonna do about your career? Why aren’t you on good terms with your parents? Why are you still single? Why aren’t you happy, when everybody else is? Why when there are a billion men in your country, do you still think about that one?

I hate such nights. Especially the quiet ones. It’s that time when you can’t drink coffee for you don’t want to stay up but you think you are too old for drinking plain milk. On those nights, my brain gets its engine running and asks one simple question.

Why when there are a billion men in your country, do you still think about that one?

What was so special about him anyway? He looked all right. Black eyes, black hair, average height. No cute, one-sided dimple but a few pimples. Pick any face in the crowd, it was him.

Did I date any other guy after him? Yes. Many. Do I remember them all? Not really. Do I remember the smell of his shirt, the shape of wrinkles around his eyes, the food that he’s allergic to, or the way he likes his coffee? Absolutely.

I can ask myself thousand times over. Did I even love him? But I have no answer.

We met. Chatted over coffee breaks. Laughed over dinners. Danced together on Friday nights. Binged watched series over weekends. We did everything that everyone does in a new relationship.

Was I high on dopamine then? No. Was I heartbroken when I left him? No. So, did I love him? No. Or maybe yes. What is love anyway? But, do I want him here tonight?

This is it. This is the moment I hate the most. On those lonely nights, this is the question I hate asking myself. Rather, I hate the answer.

Yes, I do want him here tonight.

Being with him was the closest I had ever gotten to be comfortable in life. We liked the same movies, food, city, drinks, and sports, among many other trivial things. We could share a room without uttering a word. He could lick his dish after eating Maggi and it never grossed me out. He loved doing laundry. I loved cooking food. He loved grocery shopping. I loved gardening. We had a place on the 5th floor from where we could watch sunsets while sipping coffee. He didn’t much care about sunsets but he watched them for my sake. I liked reading and he watched TedTalks before going to bed. More often than not, I would sleep on the sofa with a book in my hand and spectacles on my head. He would grab the book, use my spectacles as a bookmark, kiss me on the forehead, and carry me to the bed. And I would sleep soundly in his arms.

Being with him felt like a routine. A routine that you neither loved nor hated. A routine that has no significance. Just a stale routine. We could have grown old like this and we wouldn’t even notice or complain. But we did. I did.

It was one of those rainy nights. When we couldn’t sleep. There was nothing good on TV. He brewed a coffee, sat beside me on the floor, grabbed my hand, and kissed it with woeful eyes. And I knew. Finally, we shattered the bubble that we were living in.

Two weeks later. We both found apartments for ourselves; neither of us could live in the same house anymore.

He is still here, in this city.

Sometimes I feel that the phone would ring and I would hear his voice. Sometimes I open my door, feeling sure that he is there. And he will walk in, put the grocery in the fridge, turn on the TV and complain about how the government ruined our lives.

Maybe one day he will ring the doorbell. How I hope for it! How I loathe myself for wishing it! How I regret ruining the very thing people search and crave for! How I resent myself for taking him for granted!

He was not just someone but the one in the crowd.

On the nights like this, I realize this all over again. I stare at the empty wall that lacks a photo of us. I relive some random memories, cry my eyes out, and sleep on the floor.

Such nights are not easy to get over. The next morning, I have to use all my strength to collect myself, pick up the pieces of my heart, and try to get on with my life.

But, thankfully, today is Monday. I’ll be too swamped with work to think about anything else. I only need to get myself out of the door, onto the streets, and into the rush of traffic. This city and people will help me get over last night, maybe it will help me get over him eventually.

I open my door to get the newspaper. He is there with a plastic bag of fruits in one hand and a photo frame of us in the other. The wall won’t be empty anymore. And we smile.

Justice must be served

Sanjay, a guy in his early twenties detested girls of his age. Their constant giggling irritated him and a company of a pretty girl hardly gave him joy. Getting drunk on Friday nights with his buddies felt like a juvenile routine and playing games with ladies just to get laid seemed an inhuman task. He was in his own opinion too old for his age. So, when he was introduced to Sunaina during the monthly meeting of his apartment, Vrindavan Complex, he found solace.

Sunaina was in her early thirties and recently divorced. Her parents never did support her marriage so when she filed for divorce, they disowned her completely and said the entire matter served her right. She has graduated almost a decade ago so joining corporate life felt intimidating. Instead, she decided to start a tiffin service. Sanjay was her first client and his tiffin soon became a highlight of the lunch break among his colleagues. Within two months, Sunaina was cooking lunch for 15 more people who worked in Sanjay’s company. However, even though her mornings were extremely busy, her afternoons and evenings were quite lonesome. When she would look outside from her kitchen window, she would see her neighbors being busy in their lives, feeding their kids, looking after their partner. She often thought no other soul in the big city of Mumbai was as lonely as hers.

One Friday evening, Sanjay tapped on her door and asked if she could share his birthday cake with him.

Read More »

via match.com

26 April, 2020: 11:03pm

I hate social media. Instagram is nothing but rats following the piper. YouTube is a black hole of unwanted recommendations, and Twitter is an outburst of rage and vulgar display of morons’ opinions. Sadly, social media is the main tool to find a man and I need a man in my life; not because I’m bored of ever-extending lockdown but I feel someone is out there, missing me as I’m missing him. So here I am, signing in on a dating site and tossing breadcrumbs for him so he can find me while I have some hope for us.

12 May 2020: 1:26 am via match.com

Do you hate when people click pictures not because they want to savor the moment but because they can finally put something on their WhatsApp stories? My entire neighborhood is posting and drinking Dalgona coffee, which as a matter of fact, looks and tastes like shit. To protest, I decided to drink black tea with honey in it. That my friend is the real deal.

There is this event organized by our PM to bang utensils and whatnot to support our medical team. I’m going to use wind charm and its music will travel across the country, border, mountains, and through time itself and find you. Hear for it, it’s on its way.

Read More »