a letter to delhi

delhi, you are a ghost. I hear your voice — conversations I can’t tune out, the auto rickshaws’ whirring motor, songs on night time radio. and I feel your stare on my face, brazen, burning.

you see me, but I can’t see you.

your every turn is the same. you are strangers’ fingers on my shoulders, the push and pull of a tide of bodies driving me to the edge of myself. you are streets I can never know in the dark, where home is a hotel and an address I can’t remember.

your grey sky is oppressive, an ever-present hold against my throat. your heat is a slap in the face when I can only turn the other cheek, your constant scream of traffic a sound that never fades to the background.

the only you I grasp for is a you that no longer exists, stored away in the memory of a me that no longer exists. and as you go, you take parts of me with you.

the sleepy afternoons on the school bus home, the weekends spent riding my bicycle with training wheels on. the exhilaration of making the turn on the twisty slide at the playground, and the cool breeze in my face at the back of the auto rickshaw.

the only comfort remaining is the bitter trace you leave behind. while I can’t love you again, at least hatred is only a step away from the love I used to feel, back when you were my whole world.

with you, hate is as close as I’ll ever come to love.


Header image Aquib Akhter on Unsplash.

Sleepy Sunday: Sunshine Blogger Award

An embarrassingly long time ago, I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Elizabeth at Echo Edition. The aim of the award is to spread love and support in the blogging community. Thank you for nominating me, Elizabeth!

To do:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  • Notify the nominees about it on one of their own posts.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or your blog site.

Questions

What inspires you?
Inspiration is everywhere if I look hard enough: in passersby, in snippets of conversations, even sitting at my desk at work everyday (if I look really hard). That being said, books inspire me the most.

What is the last book you read?
Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick. I was mostly underwhelmed by it, and sometimes it was quite obvious that a man was behind the female protagonist’s voice. But overall, there were a few moments of clarity.

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What do you love that you rarely, if ever, mention on your blog?
K-pop. A while ago, I realised that English-language media has mostly been the default in my life. It’s nice to diversify and discover content that wouldn’t otherwise have been on my radar.

Continue reading “Sleepy Sunday: Sunshine Blogger Award”

Lessons I Learned Over a Decade

As 2020 starts off a brand new decade, people are taking the opportunity to reflect on the previous one. The idea of ten years feels like eternity. But when I think about myself ten years ago compared to myself now, the distance seems even more vast. To map the journey from 13 to 23, here are some of the most formative lessons I learned over the last decade.


When I was 13 years old, I learned that some friendships don’t fade; they’re broken to pieces. At the same time, I realised at 14 that new bonds can quietly materialise when you’re unaware.

Ultimately, most people in life come and go. That’s just how it is. And at 15, I learned that walking long distances isn’t as difficult if you’re walking with the right people.

At 16 years, I learned what it’s like being alone despite being surrounded by people. Still, there’s hope. Old places can be imbued with new memories. At 17, the same paths I once walked in exhaustion later led to new adventures.

Continue reading “Lessons I Learned Over a Decade”