Now that I think about it, 9 seems too little.

But hey, I'm going to try and sum it up.

Here goes nothing:

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Dear Anxiety: Here Are 13 Things I Want You To Know

You are a part of me, you are not me.

1. You were the reason I woke up crying, everyday for months when I was 17. The reason I saw hatred everywhere I went, my vision clouded with self-doubt. I'm still trying to forgive you (and myself) for that.

2. There are days I taste salt on my cheeks and feel my tears form little rivulets along my body. I fear it'll turn into an ocean and drown me.

3. I haven't had a 'bad day' in weeks. It scares me. I can almost feel you snaking through my mind, hissing over me, scaled skin bruising mine.

4. You're the unwanted appendage. Like an appendix, constantly aching but no doctor in the world can carve you out. I'd give anything to cut you away, and leave you rot as I prosper.

5. I've spent nights wishing you were a physical ailment. Something the world could see as they struggle to understand. If you were a physical ailment, however, I don't think you'd be the appendix. You'd be a slight limp, holding me back I try to march forward. But march forward I will, even if it is slow.

6. You sometimes creep up on me, making it through my doors of self-love with a carefully crafted key. Those days aren't that bad, I can work through those days. Other times, however, you appear with an army of paranoia, breaking that precious door away with a hammer, chipping away at me bit by bit. That's the only way I put my panic attacks into words.

7. I am surrounded by people who say they love and care for me. I am surrounded by positivity and affection, by rainbows and unicorns, and every happy thing that exists in this vast universe. They are reminders that while you burden me, you do not make me a burden.

8. I am afraid to fall in love again, not because of the pain that paints my past, or the rejection that haunts my future. I am afraid of falling in love with someone who deserves so much more than the limited happiness that flows through my heart.

After all, how do I love someone if I struggle to love myself?

9. I don't really hate you (surprisingly). You're the reason I'm so sensitive to the pain I cause, the reason I work as hard as I do. I don't think I'd be where I am today without you, and for that , I am grateful. But honestly, I'd rather be a lazy underacheiver than have you as my life long companion.

10. I used to distinguish between 'anxiety me' and 'normal me'. Like you were a relative I lived in constant shame of, uninvited and loud. But I've slowly learned to accept that you are not the uninvited relative, you're a dark corner in my favourite room, ugly and ever present. You're only a room though, you are not the home. You are a part of me. You are not me.

11. I learned that my sadness may have been passed down to me, generation after generation. I used to look at my family tree and try to trace the roots of this sad, this paranoia- the roots of you. But then I saw my face (my father's chin and mother's mouth), and I remember that you, my dear, are the least of my inheritance.

12. I am a natural disaster, yes. I am a troubling kaliedoscope of storms, waves, hurricanes.

But you are my city, and everytime try to pollute my air, I will destroy you.

13. You've turned smaller and smaller, like an invisible needle in my haystack. How does it feel to know that while you struggle, everyday to survive-

I will live?


No One Is Coming To Save You

You have to pick yourself up and keep going.

We have way too often been presented with this romanticised idea, maybe through popular culture, movies or just the way our society is - that someone will come with answers to all our questions, someone will help us understand life and will lift all the difficulties we face. From that day on, we won't feel empty anymore. Whether it's a prince charming, a mentor, a partner, a few pills, or honestly even a magic potion - we're always looking for someone or something to make us feel happy and complete.

It's easy to become dependent on someone to pick up your broken pieces and glue you back together. We think we need something outside of ourselves to be complete, or to be fine. But the only person who can truly complete you, is you. And honestly, you are enough.

When you depend on other people to make you happy, you're pushing yourself down a rabbit hole of misery. It leads to unfair expectations and constant disappointments. You might be lucky and have wonderful people in your life who are always there for you - and they will listen to all your problems, perhaps guide you, offer you a helping hand, maybe even momentarily make you feel good - but they can't solve your problems for you. The problems, the emptiness will keep coming back till you look inside yourself. If you are honest with yourself and are in touch with who you are, there is nothing that you can't overcome, nothing that you can't achieve.

Every single person is capable of being the master of their own lives. You can't hold someone else responsible for building the life of your dreams for you. You have to believe that you will do it yourself - because you can! No one can make you feel as good, as satisfied, as blissful as you can make yourself feel. Make it a conscious effort from this moment, to not be dependent on anyone else for your happiness and you will fall in love with the freedom you experience!



Our Success Stories Are Different, And So Is Our Journey

Take your own sweet time to make your dreams come true!

"Success!" It's a word that is closely associated with our decisions and dreams. For some, success is a milestone; a dream that glimmers tantalisingly in the distance. For others, success can be attained by living in the moment and reveling in everything that 'today' has to offer. Our perceptions of success are naturally different because we lead different lives. Every individual deals with unique circumstances and is bound to have a unique success story that defines their journey.

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This Spoken Word Poem About the Education System Is BANG ON

We don't need no education!

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Letter To A Possessive Partner

Being possessive is natural human behaviour.

Credit: Hina Yadav

Dear Possesive Partner,

How are you?

You are not relaxed. You are not comfortable.

You are scared, afraid and restless.

Is it okay or is it not?
I guess the answer would differ to who you love and care about.

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7 Ways to Show Your Ex You Want Them Back Instead of Just Saying It

Because actions matter more than words.

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Looking at a person and saying "I want you back" is the worst thing you could do to win them over.

It's like a baby learning about fire. If they burn themselves once, or even feel more heat than they can tolerate, chances are they may never go back near that source of pain, until they know how to maneuver around it without hurting themselves. You may have a fire covered in a glass jar and try to tell them its safe, but until they are sure it's safe - your words will mean nothing.

So why would someone, who has already been on the roller coaster with you want to return only because YOU want to get on it a second time? What security can you provide them with, before asking for something this risky from them?

How would you convince them that since you've been through it once, you know the areas where you need to be better prepared, the areas where you need to react differently and the areas where your partner needs you to be there for them?

Here's how:

1) Don't talk about them in public (at all!)

The whole point is to 'show' them your sincerity and not utter words that may sound like hollow promises.

Oh, and this includes the so called 'positive' things you would want to say because you think it may score you some brownie points. It's simple -

a) if you talk trash, it goes against your desires and

b) even if you try and say something positive, it may be construed as sarcasm or false pretenses.

The best thing to do is to maintain pin drop silence about the whole affair and only ever mention anything about the relationship in front of your ex, if and when you reconnect.

2) Don't play the victim. Don't be the victim either.

Life did not just 'happen' to you. It was a result of the decisions you made (or failed to make!) and the actions you took towards them. Take responsibility for it. Only then will you stand a chance of changing your future.

Plus, no one would want to return to someone whose life seems like a complete mess. Show your ex, that you are okay without them. That you can live without them if you must, but you as a choice, want them back in your life.

3) Understand boundaries!

You must make yourself understand that it is you who wants your ex back. You don't know if they want you back.

Essentially, you are on two different pages entirely in life and therefore, displays of affection, of desire, of apologies that may be okay for you, may be overly excessive for them. Making them feel pressured, stalked, disturbed, cornered or just weirded out is not going to serve your cause.

Instead, listen to you ex, stay within their comfort zone and not yours. Making them feel respected will be, without a doubt, a hell of a lot more useful!

4) Stay single (for a set period of time) even if they don't!

Again! YOU WANT THEM BACK. You don't know how they feel!

Maybe they need to explore the world a little bit. Maybe they need space. Maybe they need to see whether or not they can survive without you. Maybe they are just doing whatever they can to get over you. They don't owe it to you to wait.

However, when it comes to you, messing around with strangers is going to end up defeating your cause, if not entirely destroying it. So even if its hard, stay single. It's one of the best ways to show that you are waiting for them. and are willing to patiently wait till they are willing to decide whether or not you are right for them.

5) Be available when they need you, in whichever form they need you in.

There will be a time when they may call asking for a favor. Or when they simply want to talk. Just reconnect for the sake of nostalgia.

Whenever this time comes, be there for them. As an acquaintance. A friend. A human being. Be there without expecting anything in return. Be available so you are no more strangers. And when you do, make the awkwardness go away in a second. If your thoughts are sincere, your aura will be too.

This is when you can tell them you want them back, but also let them know that you don't want to ask them to return till you've done everything you can to make them want to come back on their own. And then leave it at that.

6) As a final attempt - Complete that one big gesture you had said you would for them

The 'big' here doesn't define the size or the quantity, but talks about an act of love that would mean the most to them. It may have been something they had been requesting you to do for a long time - a quality of yours they would have liked to see enhanced, a commitment towards a job / business / a life goal that they wished you'd made, giving up on an habit that was self detrimental to you - anything that would prove your dedication through action.

Your must be thinking that this sounds risky. What will come of this gesture that you may spend an insane amount of time / energy / money on, if your ex refuses to return?

Lets consider all scenario's:

a) +ve outcome: This may be the tipping point they need to get over their fears about failing at the love game with youagain.

b) -ve outcome: This warms their heart, but it's not what they want in life anymore. In this case, if its a material good - you can sell it/ donate it. And if its a quality, you've just built yourself into being a better human. At least now, when they think of you, they will think with fondness and not regret.

7) Most Importantly - Don't expect them to come back just because you've put in the efforts.

You've moved mountains of them before and now, despite the distance, you've reached to the stars and brought them the moon. But if your ex is looking for the sun, it's best in the long run if they don't return.

Please remember, you are doing this for you. Because you want them back. None of the above gestures are a 'favour' to them. These are for your peace of mind. So even if it doesn't work out, you know you did your best and then some.

These methods may not win you your ex back, but it'll be as sincere an effort as it can get.

And even if it doesn't work out, you'll move on in life as a dignified soul having gone above and beyond to make it work.


A Letter To My Younger Self

To letting go and forgiving yourself.

Hey, Kiddo!

Been long that I sat back, introspected and gave a thought about you, or the person I was earlier.Today, I happened to sit on the balcony with my usual cup of tea and suddenly, before I realized, I traveled back in time and nostalgia took over!

Whenever I've looked back and thought of the past, I've always blamed you and told myself that you were downright immature and silly. You know why I've always taken you for someone who's irresponsible and stupid, right? You did make quite a few mistakes and maybe, I regretted those way too much. I always felt as though your actions ruined many things for me. Earlier when glimpses of the past crossed my mind, I'd just wonder as to how you could have made such irreversible mistakes. In this whole blame game scenario, I almost forgot that to err is human and you were just being human, all this while.

Today, after all the time I spent thinking and over thinking about the past, I'm glad to let you know that I don't see the past as I used to. I'm not saying that you didn't make mistakes or that you were perfect. You were neither perfect nor angelic. You've made your share of blunders and today, I'd like to let you know that it's totally fine. Today, I'm who I'm only because of the lessons I learnt every time you made a mistake.

Yes! There were times in the past when I felt dejected and horrible but I also learnt a lot during those times. I've run from the past for quite some time now but no more! I think it's about time to accept the past and get over it. I've had my share of rough times and that's okay! I don't want to run away from who I was. Today, I'm glad that you made all of those horribly silly mistakes because, without them, I wouldn't be half as strong as I am now.

Thank you for teaching me that life's not perfect and it will never be. The whole point of it is to learn and to find perfection within imperfection. Your past might not have been fabulous but that's alright, you learnt and that's enough.

Thank you for every bit!

Much love,

Your Oldie!


I Am A Sweatpants And Over-Sized Tee Kinda Girl And I Am Beautiful

Beauty is not what you wear, but who you are.

I like folded sleeves. I like being dressed in a "L" sized t-shirt with boxers for company. My idea of a Saturday night dress-up is boyfriend jeans, a plaid shirt and my favorite sneakers.

I like my hair loose. I like letting it stay and tangle up the way it wants to through the day. I like coming home and taking off my bra to get into that super worn out tee which spells C-O-M-F-O-R-T.

I like wearing sweatpants on a Monday and adding a dash of eyeliner. I like not owning a pair of 6 inch heels but rather a couple of pairs of glittery flats (Hail all things sparkle!). I like walking in Kolhapuris on a bright, sunny day and swapping them for the rhythmic "tck, tck" of my flip-flops.

There are days I love putting on a dress and there are days I'd rather just head to work in my pajamas. There are days when I feel like putting on slim jeans and a nice floral shirt and there are days when I'd rather just wear my brother's football shorts.

And through all of these days, I am beautiful.

I am beautiful not for what I wear or what my face looks like. I am beautiful because I feel beautiful.

I've shed years of "Why don't you dress up like a girl?" and "Sit properly" and dumped them for what my skin feels good in. I've smiled and waved off the "Boys don't want to marry a girl like you" and "You should wear pink more". I've learned to trust my vibe and embrace clothing that spells out who I am, clearly.

And through all of this, I've learned that no matter what you decide to wear, let no one define you by your appearance. Be it that bright, red Scarlet Johansson lipstick or that Dolly Parton wig or even those gorgeous faux fur shoes you pride yourself on. Wear it. Wear whatever the fuck you feel like. Let your outfit spell QUEEN because like my homie, Cleo Wade says,

"You are gorgeous in your glory. You are gorgeous in your sweatpants too."

I've Been Raised By A Single Mother & My Life Turned Out Pretty Fine

You don't need a perfect story for a happy ending.

Life surprises you in mysterious ways and some of them change it for all the right reasons. People have always been a little skeptical about my upbringing because the definition of an ideal family in our country is completely different from what we usually think. For me, life always revolved around my mother as she was the one who supported in all the ups and downs. One way or the other, she understood my needs and never took a step back from her responsibilities.

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Most of us (withstanding assumption), like to plug in our headphones and tune into some music while we work. Most of us (again, withstanding assumption), are either exhausted or bored to the point of biting our nails come early evening. Most of us (and here I proudly say so), need a playlist of tracks that can bust some of that cheeky stress and get us back into our zen mode. And THIS is where the current playlist in proposition presents itself (*enter: a badass, soothing being*)

This compilation has been constructed out of pure empathy for my fellow working humans. With elements of Jazz, Blues, Indian Classical, Electro, House, Funk and more, these are sound tracks solely composed of musical instruments (my personal favorites being the piano and the flute).

If you need to work like a total boss and not lose an ounce of your shit, better start tripping on these 22.

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14 Reasons Why My Worst Breakup Was The Best Thing To Happen To Me

I now know exactly what I deserve.

Photo by Bart LaRue on Unsplash

I won't lie. I wouldn't want to relive the first half of 2016. It was the worst blow my heart's taken in a long time, but to be honest if I was given a choice to erase that year out of my existence, I wouldn't. Because no matter how messed up the first half of it had been, it was one of my favorite years in the almost-30 stint I am heading towards.

I am assuming we've all been through a breakup that's opened a gap within the center of our chests with constant pain spilling out. And mine was no different. It took me a month to let it soak in, to let it register. And from thereon, it felt like a constant battle to not give up on joy and happiness. But the worst breakup of my life has also been the most beautiful thing to have happened to me and these 14 reasons spell out why.

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9 Things To Remember If You Have Found Love For The Second Time

When you learn to love again.

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If you've found true love the second time around, the VERY FIRST THING you've gotta do, is to look yourself in the mirror and remind yourself about how incredibly lucky you are. The Universe has presented you with a gift - a gift of love that you got to give and receive, to experience, in all its pure, infinite glory, TWICE.

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I Am Just Not In Love With You Anymore

When you know it's time to move on.

I am just not in love with you anymore.

There I said it. I finally said it.

It's out there now. It's suddenly real. All this while it was a figment of my imagination. A stream of thought that popped up, that I dared not acknowledge. But now, this mouth you once kissed with fervent passion, these lips that smiled at the knowledge of your very existence, have spoken words that they believe will cause agony, and all with no remorse. All I'm hoping for now, is that you've heard what I've just said. Hoping, ever so desperately, just so I don't need to say it again. You just nod your head in denial. It seems to be more of an involuntary physical response. The reaction is so instantaneous that I'm agitated by what I know as your ability of selective hearing from the eons we spent together.

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Relationships And 'What Ifs'- Of Regrets, Love, And Lessons

A relationship of carelessness, an ending of 'what if'.

and i suppose

the most tragic relationships of all

are those that die

with a 'what if'

what if i hadn't let my demons

sear words designed to hurt you

across my tongue

and dance

as they flogged your skin

what if i had seen you for who you were

irreparable, proud, an unchanged

stagnant storm

that never needed fixing

what if

you had seen yourself for who you are

brilliance suffocated in self doubt

deep laughter, spreading across my body

like a tattoo that hurts

but holds too much of myself

to be forgotten

what if

we steered clear

from our broken bits

realizing that intimacy

was never meant to cut us

as we bled on each other's jagged edges

what if

we swallowed our pride

that bitter, knife-like pill

and let it act like medicine

balming the wounds we so lovingly gave

what if we saw our differences

and painted them with learning

what if we never turned our fights

into flames, consuming our fireworks

what if we never built a shrine of lies

worshiping them like the devoted blind

looking to each other for sight

what if we held each other's hands

instead of using them to tear ourselves apart

what if we saw our cuts

and filled them with lacquered love

but most of all

what if

we turned our happiness

into an ever after?


Poem: The Middle

Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash

We are all constantly changing, evolving, growing. And growth, more often that not, is tough. It is chaotic, messy, and it requires you to hold yourself gently when the winds get rough. This one is for the times when you're right in the middle of the storm, right at its center and when all you want is for it to get over. At the same time, the mere thought of giving up feels wrong for you can see your bloom coming.

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18 Fragrances Of The World That Need To Be Bottled Up As Perfumes

Because there are some things money can't buy...

So here's the thing. I don't really wear perfume. At best, I'll wear the cheapest Deo I can and hope that it wins the war against my BO. Perfumes are expensive, and one of the many things I hate doing is spending money. But then there are certain fragrances that I can't help but fall in love with, fragrances I'd pay through my nose for (hahahaha, geddit?) , and in all my 22 years, I haven't come across a single perfume quite as beautiful as these worldly fragrances.

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