20th October, 2018

Int.  A warmly lit restaurant.}

Devoid of patrons except for four kids who’ve known each other for 17 years. Laughter rings out, shrill, as congratulatory high-fives are exchanged over suggestive innuendos at the expense of each other. They haven’t met in a year,  but it feels like longer; it always feels longer.

Customers trickle in and the failed attempts at muffling hysterical cackling increase in number as everybody is brought up to speed with major-minor life events–but not entirely; no one anecdote sees completion, another always rushes along on its coattails and you think about how when you were little you used to talk about being at each other’s weddings, naming each other’s kids and that might actually happen. It might. Maybe you’ll have these people till the day you die regardless of however many others you find along the way who might stick around too. Cheeks hurt from smiling so much.

           ~* _______ *~

{Int. Childhood bedroom.} 

Although your younger siblings have taken over now, it feels the same. Like nothing could ever touch you here and time has never existed, no obligations except to maybe sleep in the cool dark or cry until you do. Which is a strange juxtaposition, yeah. But so have been your teenage years and it’s tangible here. in this room. You won’t be a teen the next time you visit it

25th October, 2018

{Ext. The local national park.}

The edge of winter, so the 7 am sunlight is extremely forgiving.
It starts off rocky, one of you picks it up quickly, one’s done this before,  the other two struggle until one eventually gives up and decides to just walk the rest of the way, shoving off the others to go on ahead.
You do so reluctantly…until a group of men pass by, eyes lingering for too long, and then all of you turn right back, just to make sure they don’t give her any trouble (they don’t, she’s been keeping to the walking trails). Legs ache and bicycle seats have never been comfortable but it’s beautiful and cool and you take pictures enough to jog even the faintest of memories–for when you’ll need to. Years down the road. older and forgetful. 

~* _______ *~

12th December, 2018

Today’s an ‘I’m the vilest creature in existence’ kinda day. Not a drop of liking myself in sight. Which is fine, I know it’ll pass; but today’s a ‘get home 11 hours later and immediately start crying’ kinda day. An ‘I’m the greatest inconvenience in this dimension’ kinda day. ‘Got a lump in my throat because I can’t find the nail-trimmer and I told daada I’d trim his nails’ kinda day. 

Simran Can’t Curse On Paper


Yer Lad’s journaling again kinda sorta maybe and you get to see them a whole 48 hours later!

14th November, 2018

Hello friends, it has been a minute. Mostly because my laptop malfunctioned, and once I managed to get it up and running again I discovered my preferred medium for recording my priceless musings, Microsoft Word (peace be upon her), is no longer included in the device and I must buy Office 365. ???

Technological expenses? In my good, Christian society? Nah bitxh. Wordpad, it is.

In the meantime, I got done with my first university exams! I passed! I will not be detailing the experience–mostly because it wasn’t the best and I don’t want to relive it, but also because it was so many (3) months ago! In fact, I had my 2nd-year orientation today and I have a migraine. Fun!
Speaking of migraines, I also got my driver’s license and discovered driving gives me a headache. Why do people do it? Are they aware they’re responsible for the lives of multiple complete strangers during it? Are the aforementioned complete strangers aware they’re responsible for my life while they’re driving? Because, it’s high time you start acting like it, buddy.
I’ve always considered road rage extremely silly but it took me being on the road for all of 0.78 seconds before loudly questioning the sanity of every single person on two wheels, and also three wheels.

I’m back at my aunt’s place. I got to go back home for an entire month and a half, which was great, would 10/10 recommend. I touched, smelt, and thought of zero textbooks and did all of that with zero guilt, so that was amazing. I’m trying to ignore the fact that currently, there is no hope for a substantial enough break for me to be able to visit home again in the next year and half. But maybe something will work out somewhere, somehow. Positive thoughts.
One thing that was surprising was the lack of extreme repulsion and melancholy at the sight of this city and the college this time. Which is a good sign, maybe I’ll spend this year (and a half lol) considerably less homesick and less generally unenthusiastic about my immediate future. Who’d have thunk?

I also got a ukulele. It’s sea green and I have zero musical knowledge and this is my first instrument! Although, that’s not strictly true; I used to have a mouth organ when I was very young. It was gifted to me by my mother, and I played it all the time–with great fervor and barely a quarter of the talent– until it mysteriously disappeared after several pleas from those in my general vicinity to stop making that noise. I think about it a lot.
I also think about this music box with a mirror and a dancing lady I think I used to own. But I’m not very certain if one of my friends owned it, or if I’ve simply convinced myself that I owned it, knowing I’ve always really wanted that. Fickle thing, memory.

I’ve decided to get my shitake mushrooms together this academic year. Not just academically, but general mental and physical health too. A lot of the first year of college blended into each other, and I’m not going to have this time or be this age forever, and I feel like I’m not savoring it like I should? I feel like I say that every year. Not to needlessly romanticize every moment but also yes 100% I want to do that? I do want to be less stressed and not leave everything up to the last minute because my heart can genuinely not take it, I can feel it struggling to propel the sludge during anxiety attacks and I don’t want to do that to myself anymore. Not to put all my mushrooms in one basket, but I feel like this is one year where I will have the time to make whatever permanent changes or habits I want to implement.

I lost a lot of the fledgling poems I’d been writing during my absence when the laptop decided to just quit on me out of nowhere (rude) so this is all I have for now.

Tune in same time 2-3 business months later for the next update! (I fricking hope the frick not. I’d like to write more this year too, it’s part of the permanent changes I want to implement)

fall asleep to the tik tik tik of the universe expanding

Dated: 23rd March, 2018

I…have my anatomy sessional tomorrow. It’s currently 7:03 pm. I’ve been awake since 4:30 am and been studying since. We had regular classes until yesterday. I had a good panic cry around 6pm when I realized I still have all of neuroanatomy and osteology and histology to go over, and I’m not even done with all of the gross anatomy yet, but I decided to stop and take a shower and I’m currently immersed in sweet-smelling body lotion. I haven’t moisturised anything other than my perpetually parched face since the last time my parents gave me a bath, which I’m guessing was probably like a good 13-14 years ago, so this is nice, I guess.

Look, it’s okay, I just have to breathe and do whatever I can, and I will have done my best, because I did try really hard this semester compared to the last one; I’ve been doing fairly okay in the weekly tests, I’m pretty happy with the majority of the test results but none of those will matter if I don’t do well tomorrow and there’s just so much to do.

Neuroanatomy is…it’s. It’s fun but it’s also very overwhelming.


Dated: 24th March, 2018

The exam got over at 12:30. I came home about an hour ago. It actually wasn’t as bad as I was expecting, or as bad as it could have been. I don’t know if I wrote as much as I should have, but I barely finished on time as it is, I don’t think I could have written anymore without completely missing some questions.

Physiology on Monday. I’m not looking forward to that. I don’t even know where to start with physio. It isn’t a difficult subject, really, but we’re doing several systems at the same time which makes lectures confusing. Only two of the professors actually pause to recap and it’s just such a haze.

In other news, I’m getting stress zits, which isn’t a big deal–just a mild inconvenience at best but I’ve also lost a third of my hair in the past 2 days! I’m going to be bald by 21!
I! Love! Education!
No, but I really do though. Even though they’re stressful times, I really like exam season—I only have to spend 3 hours in college every other day and they go by really fast and we get 4 days off after. 4 entire days! We have the practical exams on the day we get back, and those include both actual practicals as well as theory viva and discussion—which is where they give you a specimen and ask you questions about it.
So, if you mess up, you can witness their disappointment in real time!

I kid. I’m fairly certain I will mess up even if I know the answer just because of sheer nerves—but that’s okay! The purpose of these is to get us used to it so we learn to keep our cool.
Point is, FOUR DAYS! Plus my practicals only start on the 3rd, so I’m gonna take an extra day off.


Dated: 26th March, 2018

I have the physiology exams in 9 hours. It’s past midnight, I’m going to try to get at least an hour of sleep but there’s so much??????


It’s done! It’s done, it’s over with. Went…alright, I guess? I managed to get TWO and a half hours of sleep, I’m not even tired.


Dated: 28th March, 2018

I had biochem today. It could have gone better, but it wasn’t too bad; I should pass. I’m looking forward to catching up on sleep.
ANYWAY, I’m going home today! I enjoy packing my little handbag for travel so much? It makes me feel so grown up, hey here’s the book(s!) I’m going to read on the flight, and here’s the lip balm and the moisturiser I will forget to use and here’s a gold glitter pen and the little sketchbook and my credit card and passport.

I’ve also had to pack textbooks and notes because practicals (which include theory viva voce) start the day after I come back. But! I’ve also packed the first edition of the chronicles of Narnia (it’s been 10 years since I last read it, can you imagine? Ten) and the first instalment of a 3 part series by Stephen King (the other 2 parts are obviously not in my possession, how else am I meant to continue the tradition of unknowingly stumbling upon a series and causing myself great upset) so I’m all set to lead a double life for the next 5 days!
(the last day is 4/5th waiting around the airport, so I should have plenty time to revise)

I haven’t been home since classes started, which was last September, and I just miss existing in that space so much? Like, the night air is different and the lights are different and I miss the feel of the earth upon walking out of the movie theatre at 10pm with my mum.

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?

betty smith, the youths, and disjointed journals

Dated: 5th September

I have this book I’m reading right now. I started it properly on a flight to the city where my college (!) is and now I’m on a flight back home and I don’t want to finish it. It’s happening just a little too fast and it’s not a small book but it feels like it right now in my hands with the clouds within grasping distance and the distant, waning cries of an infant settling itself into my skin, the seats, my knees.

Dated: 10th September

I didn’t read the book at all this past week and now I’m on a flight to what will essentially be my home for the next five years again. I finished the book. I love it. I feel a little bit like sobbing.

Dated: 4th September

I look at this one blue building, yeah? And I wonder if I’d disappear right now if I could. I don’t know. I knew a couple months ago, but I don’t now and that.
That’s good, though.

There’s a woman in the car beside mine. She’s holding her child’s head up to the sky and they’re both grinning and something blooms warm and golden and happy and I know this, I’ve known this forever.

Dated: 17th July

Or maybe the metaphor hacks and coughs her way onto a bed, falling just shy of profound coherence. Maybe it’ll slip through the cracks and everyone will heave a sigh of relief.

The hyperbole flings itself onto oncoming traffic.
Or. More peacefully. Sinks into blue on warm evenings, deeper and deeper till its elbows rest alongside colossal mammalian corpses teeming with life

And the sibilants draw on the backs of each other’s hands and one hums, and the other chokes on splintered spoonfuls of syrupy joy.

Maybe it’ll fall into the chasm and everyone will dance all night.
Maybe it’ll never return and it’ll whoop for joy.
Maybe it’ll go to sleep and take a shower on awakening.

Dated: 4th July

Today was a good day.
I think I’m slowly losing my mind.

Dated: 9th September

I feel old. That’s silly, of course, I’m only 18. Still, being 14 sounds awfully young.
Maybe I’ll be 70 one day and think of being 65 as awfully young.

Dated: 10th September

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn is a heaven sent.

Dated: 6th August