Monday, December 25, 2017


By Sunaina Patnaik at Monday, December 25, 2017 0 comments

My bags are filled with bills
handed over to me by
restaurants and shopping malls and
parking lots,
in one corner, I have stacked
some polaroids,
of friends I love,
and the ones I barely talk to,
there are paper napkins with my
lipstick stains and poems,
the other corners are full of unused pens
and coins,
I keep wondering how my bags contain
of the times I'd like to forget, and
the ones I'd like to collect
like the things in my bags,
but time has come close
for me to discard what I've held
so close to my heart,
they've no place in my life,
like these bills and paper napkins.

My book ‘Warm Delinquencies’ is available on Amazon for worldwide shipping.
You can order it here:

Saturday, December 23, 2017

The enclosure.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Saturday, December 23, 2017 0 comments

I wrap my mouth
around your
gently yet hastily,
and now,
my lips are stained
with ink,
that refuse to wash
like the scars from

My book ‘Warm Delinquencies’ is available on Amazon for worldwide shipping.
You can order it here:

Thursday, December 21, 2017

2017's Reading Journey and More.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Thursday, December 21, 2017 0 comments

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.” 
― J.D. Salinger

2017 is a year of great reading. In spite of having an extremely productive year, I've read 125 books. I've done more meaningful writing at work and otherwise, traveled, and published a book. I've widened my horizon and picked less discovered books, writers I haven't read, and went back to the ones that are close to my heart.

I stumbled upon Hanif Kureishi's 'Intimacy' at a second-hand bookstore and carried it home fondly. Only to lose it, two days and fifty pages later. But those pages were enough to make me buy another copy overnight. Scaachi Koul's 'One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter' was a part of my latest sojourn. I've keenly followed Scaachi's writing on Buzzfeed and elsewhere, and find her writing humourous. In this book, she talks about racism, immigration, sexism, and more while maintaining her usual tone of hilarity. 

Although Vikram Seth is one of my favourite writers, I've hardly read his poetry, but this year, I've checked it off the list. 'All You Who Sleep Tonight is something that pulled me through rough nights. So did Sarah Kay's No Matter the Wreckage. 

As a child, ‘The Little Prince’ was a valued treasure. Even as a grown-up, I go back to it time and again. When I knew that he was returning as a young prince, I was thrilled. The Return of the Young Prince is also a thought-provoking and delightful short read that bears relevance at this time, especially to millennials. 

The thing about diverse reading is that it exposes you to great literature - the unputdownable ones, but also the colossal bores. When I was younger, I often forced myself to finish a book even if I didn't like it much, but now I realize life's too short to read something you don't enjoy. However, the introduction to the works of writers like Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Kurt Vonnegut, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Simone De Beauvoir has been enriching. I've ended my reading for the year with Tania James, a wonderful storyteller whose short-stories have me unfathomably hooked, and James Frey, whose detail about his time in the rehab filled me with wonder. And of course, there was also a great deal of Murakami and Ruskin Bond, along with a few graphic novels and comics. 

2018 is certainly going to be different and far better. I intend to read only 50 books; I know it sounds funny but I've spent more than two nights researching lesser-known books and writers to create a list which consists of some classics like Watchmen, Vanity Fair etc. Right from Noir fiction to Nordic literature, graphic novels to more poetry, there is a plenty of fantastic reading to look forward to in 2018. 

If you have any book suggestions or think I should read a particular writer, I'd love to hear! 

To take a look at what I've read in 2017, go here:

My book ‘Warm Delinquencies’ is available on Amazon for worldwide shipping. You can order it here:

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

How do I go back?

By Sunaina Patnaik at Tuesday, December 05, 2017 0 comments

How do I go back from the sense
of your fingers on my spine
to someone else's?
is there a going back?
will it be all too familiar if I do?

How do I go back from drowning
to floating in love?
will it be less volatile this time?
or will it still shake and shudder

How do I go back from
wanting to discarding the parts of
me that you've touched?
is this a nightmare I'll
wake up from?
or will it be a new dawn?

My book ‘Warm Delinquencies’ is available on Amazon for worldwide shipping. You can order it here:

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


By Sunaina Patnaik at Tuesday, November 28, 2017 0 comments

There are long silences
when the Moon sighs,
the Sun endures painful
hours to emerge,
even your racing heartbeat
slows down,
the ghosts of your past too
cannot keep up with you,
you are lost in a world with
no beginnings and no
the book you're holding
in your arms holds a
forest within itself,
you'll meet a Hemingway, a
Dicken, or an Austen on your way,
stay for a conversation with
don't go looking for Alice in a
wonderland for
she is content in her solitude,
maybe a Darcy will break your heart,
maybe you won't let him,
but don't stop there,
you'll never know who else you'll
who else will crumble you
and rebuild you,
make space for more books
and more moon sighs in
your life,
make more space for

My book ‘Warm Delinquencies’ is available on Amazon for worldwide shipping. You can order it here:

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Letting go.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Sunday, November 26, 2017 0 comments

Something rattled inside me,
I heard a door closing,
bits and pieces of the roof
falling apart,
I saw the Sun setting
at a distance,
coaxing me to believe
how there's no hope left,
I sank deep and found the
sweet pangs of
I probed it with a curiosity
that even a child cannot muster,
if goodbyes are this hard,
what's letting go like?

My book ‘Warm Delinquencies’ is available on Amazon for worldwide shipping. Order it here:

Friday, November 24, 2017


By Sunaina Patnaik at Friday, November 24, 2017 0 comments

I tell my therapist how
peculiar and specific my
fears are,
he assures me they aren't
I tell him I wake up in the
middle of the night,
worrying about ageing,
that someday, I'll turn 50,
with regrets written between
the lines of my palm,
I tell him how the thought
of future keeps me awake
and how terrified I am of
opening my eyes every morning
because I don't want a good dream
to vanish,
he tells me, over and over again,
that I'm young and I have plenty
to look forward to,
I tell him, again and again,
that I live more in past
than the present,
I tell him, how my mind
shouts and yells and rants
inside but my heart can
never fully make sense
of the words,
he asks me to probe,
to take deep breaths,
to breathe in and out,
to let answers come from
so I sit, in the dark,
breathing in and out,
spelling out hope beside
my name,
and wondering if some night
when I'm 50, I wake up
and don't cry out of regrets.

My book ‘Warm Delinquencies’ is available on Amazon for worldwide shipping. Order it here:

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


By Sunaina Patnaik at Wednesday, November 22, 2017 0 comments

Eventually, we'll withdraw from
each other,
distance will drive a ridge
between us and no amount of
bridges can bring back what's lost,
for what's lost remains lost,
the traces of our presence will
there will be faint reminders when
we walk past the coffee shops we've
been to
or the places we've watched distasteful
movies at,
the aroma of freshly-baked bread and morning coffee
will be replaced with pungent odours of sulphur and past,
and eventually, someday, we'll lose each other,
we'll drift apart,
just like the clouds do before
a clear sky.

My book ‘Warm Delinquencies’ is available on Amazon for worldwide shipping. To place an order, visit

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Waking up in Binsar.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Saturday, November 18, 2017 0 comments

“I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” ― Mary Anne Radmacher

My first solo trip was garnished with commute delays, grim uncertainties, and pleasant surprises. The beginnings and the first steps, I believe, are always the toughest. They are probably built on a foundation that might break with the slightest of trepidation. But I pushed my apprehensions and fears into the corner of my mind (only after a few friends forced me to), packed my bags with notebooks and anticipation of adventures and discoveries.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Stuff I'm dealing with - a personal essay.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Saturday, November 04, 2017 0 comments

Stress finds you in the middle of the night, knocks at your window, drags you out of the bed to make you act on the plans that haven't panned out yet. To sum it up, my past week was hectic, annoying, and stressful. I'm going on a retreat in less than two days, and I haven't even gotten to the bottom of my packing so far. People who know me well know that I hate putting these things off until the end; I always like to plan ahead, act ahead, and enter into a calm zen-like mode.

This takes me back to the time I was in college. I was the kid that made notes in the class and went through whatever the professor taught for the day so that the study material never piles up during the examination. You might think what a foresight for a teenager, but I assure you it was more of rescuing myself from my nemesis, the last minute panic. My best friend, Anirudh, would often get vexed with my fixation of making plans much in advance. As a matter of fact, he survived it with a fortitude until he fled the country in search of greener pastures. Now, I'm sure there are others who get pissed at me for my inane (and maybe innate) desire to make a well-laid out plan...even for a weekend meetup. See the problem lies in the fact that I want to be best prepared for all the battles because I hate surprises. Unless they come in purple Steve Madden boxes, of course. Which by all means, you're welcome to usher me with.

With a certain amount of difficulty, I'll bring you back to the present. I am taking a trip, peeps. Which might not excite you as much as it excites me. I'll spare you the details. At least to the point where I find something good enough to make you go red (or green) with envy.

As of now, I'm trying to cut through the chaos and clutter to get set for the upcoming week although all I'm doing is sitting in the corner and weeping. Much like the ado over the spilt milk, I'm mourning the time gone by.

P.S. I hope you're all having a great weekend. While you're at it, I'll go do my chores, write a story, and dream of La La Land.

Here's a song for you, though:

Wednesday, November 01, 2017


By Sunaina Patnaik at Wednesday, November 01, 2017 0 comments

Do you have anything new to tell me? About the weather, the sandwich you made this morning or the flowers in your courtyard? I know we've told each other a lot of things - some interesting, some not, some vile, some not, some out of love, and some not. See the thing is, I've heard a lot of things from you and all of them are leading a life of glorified death now. They don't deserve that, you know? The glory, I mean. So, tell me, do you have anything new? Have your words reformed? If no, then please keep them to yourself. I'm not interested. I guess I'll never be interested again.

Monday, October 30, 2017

The shape.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Monday, October 30, 2017 2 comments
I've changed the shape of
my heart
far too many times to fit it
in your palms
like how black coffee
twirls and whirls
in cups and mugs
of different shapes and textures,
each time with a new form,
each time with a new aroma,
and yet


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