7th grade

My heart skips a beat and I grasp on to it by its coattails, firm and unyielding– do not run. Do not run where I cannot follow.
If you’ve got your mind set. Take me with you.
up and up and up until my feet forget they’ve ever known solid ground
I float and dart and weave in between clouds
you are so tiny from up here
so far from real
I don’t know why I was ever worried.



Hello Hello! I haven’t been around for a while, during which I’ve turned 19 (!), flown giant kites (well kite. flown giant kite. At the beach! The night before my birthday! Nothing to cure sad and self-pity like giant golden kites at night. It’s in my room right now!), passed my First Semester Exams (The 2nd sems are coming up in exactly 2 weeks), scrubbed off and regrown the skin over my hands 87000 times and collected 6 new cardboard boxes I swear I will find some use for. Also this blog turned four years old.



Maybe this year, I will stop writing in code.
perhaps I’ll tell you I’ve been in love for a long time
with things other than the morning air or the smell of drying paint
maybe I’ll name you
say that your words sting sharper than the knife I’ve fashioned out of things I should have let fade but instead press over burning skin

say maybe I’m only half joking
say grief is a familiar poison I pretend to have the antidote to
(I got it from my mother who got it from her mother who got it from her mother or maybe I got it from my father who got it from his father who got it from his father who—either way)
there are no pretty words to say I spend so much of my time blinking back tears—I don’t like writing tears,
‘tears’ is an ungraceful formulation.
I’ve seen it displayed in crystal vases, but all I have is this old plastic jar that used to hold Nani’s hair cream that she never used. It’s an okay jar as far as jars go.
I don’t think you’ll like it much.

But maybe this year I won’t worry about that.
here, this is the jar.
take it, open it, pour it over your roses or into your bio-compost for all I care
I don’t care.

It’s a new year, it’s too soon to care.
that imitation moonbeam I gave you last week was about sexual harassment.
this soft blue blanket is about going swimming with my sister
this hilarious gif is about crying over being so far away from my family
this china bowl is about being stressed all the time
this green tea is about thinking maybe nothing will really ever make me happy
(except maybe being exactly 11 years and 2 months old, in an air-conditioned room with one green wall, wanting to be a middle-aged house painter with a fridge full of impressionable penguins–which is code for: I frickin’ love Mr Popper’s Penguins)

The jar’s olive green and promises to banish hairfall


Yours Truly,
Simran Can’t Curse On Paper

happy new year

the picture is from my aunt’s garden which is currently flourishing so happy new year to the plants as well i suppose.

alternative to googling the opposite of heartbreak

A Step By Step Tutorial


Step One:

sync your breathing to mine
kneel down into the water
drown the way this bee attempts not to:
floating over yellow, dipping into blue until some hand from somewhere
wrinkly and pale and happy lifts you gently, places you on the safe tiled shore
nudges you away from your attempts to fall back into the water you cannot float on

we could trade our glasses, grin into yellow skies now pink now blue now grey
we could float and forget about our bodies, we are nothing more than lazy smiles and burning eyes, the occasional spluttering cough

Step Two:

kick your legs faster once you’ve been quiet for too long
pretend it scares away the sea monsters lurking in the depths of this hotel pool
hold your breath and sink underwater.
boys are dumb and girls are dumb and so is everybody in between and we’ve never been in love whatever

Step Three:

borrow my shampoo and we can complain about how tired we are
we haven’t done anything all day
sing a little louder so I can hear you over the shower



//mother sea//


I like water better than I’ve liked to exist.
Anger seems a faraway thing amidst the gentle coaxing of my baby blue basin
the cool of this liquid satin sliding across my wrists, running down my elbows
and I can’t even find it in myself to be annoyed at the now damp sleeves I lug around all evening.

I don’t like a soaked hem.

Until its pouring and almost night-time and my best friend’s taxi leaves without her
for the second time in 6 minutes
and we stand in the deluge–a little stunned–mostly trying not to laugh at ourselves
and the umbrella is useless anyway and the water has ascended up to my knees
and I’m cold and we’re laughing and I relive that moment every time my pants trail across a puddle.

In the second grade, we learn about tributaries for the first time
and its strange to think that I’d never thought about where a river comes from or how that brook we caught tiny, tiny fish in with my father’s handkerchief could drown my entire father if he’d waded a little further or how each tributary pierced a different mountain, smoothened a different rock, watered a different country to then roll and dance and skip over and into each other into the great blue.

And now,
every time I see a girl tug down her shirt,
walk just a little bit quicker on the other side of the street
make herself impossibly smaller on the overcrowded bus
I think of broken nails;
of all of us rolling and stumbling and skipping over and into twigs and hard earth, chasing sunsets

until even the sun proves no reprieve–grabby hands don’t shy away from a silly thing as sunlight, or stupid words like ‘no’ or ‘stop’ or ‘please’ and how I’d like for this to be a lesson in a textbook.

Far away and neat,
or theoretical,
or past history.

Humans have gone to the moon and back, and I can’t go to class without my mother warning me against wandering hands on the bus.
A girl cannot be 12 years old without filth seeping into every dress she thought she liked
–or 8 years old or 18 or 59 or dying.

An eternity of trying to fit inside your ribs, in the hopes that we might go unnoticed,
fall through the cracks,
seep into the earth,
evaporate into the sky,
rain down over glittering blue. Far, far away from those sharp rocks
we spent entire lifetimes trying to smoothen.

settling deeper and deeper and farther and farther
dancing in every dress and jean jacket you made us despise,
lipstick darker than the blood on your hands,
skin adorned with only the darling bruises we acquire from living,
and waiting
for your corpses.



the kids are all right

double mint cold to soothe your mortal bones


I got a face potion on, hair potion on, hand cream giving my formaldehyde-abused hands some much-needed reprieve and I’m taking a little study break.

Adjusting to this sort of a study routine and this vast a coursework is difficult, and I didn’t do the best in the series of tests we have every week, but I did pass in all of them so I’m hanging on. By my fingertips, sure, but still.

I had some bad couple weeks a week ago; I got sick one Monday and missed a test and an entire day of class and that gave me a lot of anxiety and it was just a lot of ‘hey maybe I’m not cut out for this’ and I felt like everybody else wasn’t having as difficult a time keeping up, but friends are good. Friends make you realize that you’re not in this alone, and everybody feels like everybody else is doing much better than they are and it’s normal.

There’s a learning curve to this whole thing because school was mostly messing around and now I’m studying things I actually want to be studying which means I have to put in an effort now, which is something I’d forgotten how to do, and I’m allowed to take my time. When things seem like they might be getting too much, I remind myself that grades aren’t everything and I shouldn’t place my self-worth on my academic performance. I could be a terrible, boring, untalented, unkind person and still ace the exams.

Another thing about college is that you can’t help but feel a little insignificant–just because there’s just so many people and the professors are still only getting to know you and it’s very different from the sort of atmosphere high school had where everybody knew everyone and you felt like you were heard. Not that the teachers aren’t always available and willing to listen if you do approach them, but I did feel a little alienated. I’m going to college halfway across the country from where I grew up in, and the kids here are different, and while I have a solid group of friends, I still do sometimes feel like a stranger on the outside looking in. But I felt that way when we first moved in the 8th grade as well and then I made some of the best friends I’ve ever had and we’ve stayed together for 5 years so I’m guessing that feeling will pass.

Speaking of things that will pass, time is going by so fast. I haven’t painted or really written anything these past two months even though I keep telling myself I will on some weekend. I have classes 6 days a week, and then Sundays off, but I have a test on a different subject every Monday so the weekend feels more like a study leave but I’m managing. I pulled an all-nighter this week and then got maybe 3 hours of sleep for 3 consecutive days because I had an Anatomy part-completion examination on Friday and all the tests are held alongside regular workdays so you have to keep up with the daily portions while studying for these, and even though the test didn’t go very well, I’m okay with that because I did as much as I could and there’s always the next test to do better in.

I then slept for a solid 8 hours last night, so this past week has been good.

We have our first semester exams just before Christmas, and then I get 3 whole days off where I don’t have to study anything before we start with the second semester and I’m very excited for that. I’m also super excited for the 3 months long break we’ll get at the end of the first year after the university exams as well. Its only like 7 months away.

So, yeah I had a rough patch briefly and I’m kind of struggling with time management and someone gets yelled at, at least once every day, but there are also girls who swoop in and put your hair up before the teacher notices when it comes undone while you dissect, and frantic, collective, last minute gross anatomy diagram prep an hour before submission that makes you feel so good once it’s done on time and you can all laugh at all the silly panicking, and hanging out with people you don’t even really know post-exams on the top floor, laughing and bonding over shared sleep-deprivation, staring at the trees and blue rooftops and feeling like the only people in the entire world.

The only thing I’m really worried about is feeling like all my youth is going to be spent on tests and classes because and I’m not going to be drawing or painting or writing until I’m suddenly 32 and wondering where it all went. But I’m sure once things settle down, I will learn how to juggle academics with my more creative pursuits (which currently have been relegated to the occasional hurried verse at the back of a notebook between classes, and sub-par pencil sketches) and everything will be okay.

Getting all that out felt nice. I shall now go and shower and then prepare for the biochem exam I have tomorrow.



love letter #18

I took a bus for the first time by myself
and by myself I mean with a friend that I made a week ago
and I saved the ticket stub. Pressed it between pages behind other pages behind other pages behind other pages behind other pages at the back of the cupboard
except that doesn’t make sense so I just stuck it on the front page of a notebook I keep by the bed.

I took a bus for the first time by myself
and by myself, I mean with a friend I made a week ago and realised I’ve never felt so lonely.
Which is a strange background score to the sound of my friend’s laugh and the echoes of my own.

I miss you
are words I’ve never felt. Not like this, not this…what? Something that whips around my head slow and heavy until I have no words except
the constant litany of I’m happy I’m happy I’m happy I’m happy
which I am
because I took a bus for the first time by myself
with a friend I made a week ago and shared ice cream with

Ice cream that tasted like the future and I swear I was so happy I skipped my way back to class.
I’d never known the taste of missing you.

(it tastes like the glass of water I had at 4 am today)

sounds like every call to prayer I grew up hearing.

Feels a little like heartbreak.

Feels a lot like telling myself the hurricane’s really a zephyr,
like the string lights I don’t put up that have found their way around my lungs, tighter and tighter until all I have is copper bittersweet flowing into them and words can only help if you speak them, I once heard

And what I would give to have the words but all I can offer is the zephyr I’ve wound around copper wires,
and memories of stolen mornings I woke up early just to be able to lie in bed in. Trace the sunrise as it moved across my wall

I did that the day I took the bus for the first time by myself. It doesn’t feel the same, it feels a little like heartbreak.

I am happy
and I miss you.

in which I am homesick and tried to animate for the first time.



I started school today. By which I mean we had the orientation today and actual classes will start tomorrow.
I don’t exactly know how to deal? I spent my entire childhood saying I want to get into med school and now that I’m here I don’t know how to handle it not being a distant goal to work towards. I suppose becoming a good doctor could be the new, currently distant goal to work towards.

I also got my textbooks. And I bought gouache paints (which I’ve never tried), dip pens (which again, I’ve never tried) and an entire embroidery kit (also never been tried). All this in addition to my regular acrylic paints and watercolours. I don’t think there will be much time to dedicate studiously to these pursuits but I don’t want to let them go but also I don’t want to get behind on my academics either. We’ll see how it goes. Five pancakes, right?

Anyway, these sort of things aren’t very entertaining to read so there won’t be much of these, but there will still be tiny updates.

Do I call myself a med student now or do I wait a couple years?