Thursday, August 31, 2017

Love In the Time of Parenthesis.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Thursday, August 31, 2017 0 comments

I loved you with the wonder of exclamation marks,
never with an uncertainty of question marks,
and absolutely never with the conditions of asterisks,
even in between the commas and periods,
I minced my adoration in words and sent it to you
with underlines and double quotes,
on days when we went without dialogues and
maybe colons,
or existed in the form of ellipses
I hoped we could fall back into a state of normalcy even
if it meant through strokes and parenthesis,
but you?
you just never cared to read in
between the lines.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Holding On.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Saturday, August 26, 2017 0 comments

We’re all holding on to something — something that’s not good for us, something that doesn’t belong to us. To an old memory, people, places, houses we’ve stopped calling homes, homes we’ve left behind, stories that we’re no longer a part of, cities we’ve once lived in, hearts that don’t want to shelter us, cafes that make us feel like a stranger, old loves, broken shards of wine glasses, strangers, and shirts that smell of a person you don’t talk to.

We’re all holding on to something that keeps us awake in the nights, something that reminds us that no matter what, life rises and falls and spirals out of our control. It’s funny how we think we’re holding on to something when all we’re doing is simply breathe.

Tune for the day:

Thursday, August 24, 2017


By Sunaina Patnaik at Thursday, August 24, 2017 0 comments

Your fingers will have a burning desire,
you'll not know what to do with it,
they'll spark, pain, and shed too much skin,
you'll light them in the dark,
miles away from the ones you love,
nights away from the glory of sunshine,
you'll observe, understand, and probe this
burning desire
your fingers will know your dreams and
your heartbeat each time it rises and falls,
you'll light them in the dark,
a torch of hope, you call,
you'll create something in this darkness,
you'll need no candles, you'll need no people,
you'll need nothing to push you on the path you're
supposed to walk,
your burning desire is the only light you'll need,
you'll transform between all the distances and spaces and
you'll not just transform,
you'll create,
remember how your fingers have a burning desire?
just learn to light them right and more often when there's
darkness in your sight.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


By Sunaina Patnaik at Tuesday, August 22, 2017 0 comments
I'm writing letters
you'll never receive,
words you'll
never hear,
stories you'll
never be a part of,
and a distant voice that'll
fade soon,
but here, let me tell you this,
you have the most beautiful hands,
tender yet strong,
unfair yet vulnerable,
they look like they're made to
create something,
they're made to stir something
deep inside all the souls you touch.

Letter to My 18-Year-Old Self.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Tuesday, August 22, 2017 0 comments
Dear 18-year-old self,

As the clock strikes 12, you'll find your phone buzzing with texts wishing you a happy birthday. Most of them are strangers, but they'll turn into a family you cannot cut ties with even if they are continents apart. You have an exam tomorrow and it's the first of the many you'll give, this semester. You must have turned 18 now and you must be thrilled, but listen, you're still not an adult. Take it from your 26-year-old self, you'll always be a child to your family. Your grandfather still frets if you don't return home by 7 PM.

Let me tell you a good story now. Right now, you're pretty psyched about future. You must be planning on giving your CAT in three years and settle for whatever pay you the most. You are hoping you'll graduate with a great job offer on hand. Somewhere between working as an intern at several places and hanging out with your friends discussing your dreams, something will snap inside of you. You'll sense a weariness, a strange restlessness settling at the pit of your stomach. You'll never understand where it began and why it has, and the worst part? You'll not even know if it will ever end. You'll grow to call this anxiety your own and you'll give it its own space in your home.

You are so shy it makes me wonder that I was you. So, yeah, heads up: You'll change. God, you'll change so much that you'll probably not recognize yourself if you wake up at 25 now. You will experience colossal losses, which unfortunately will push you in becoming an adult overnight. Don't freak out. You can handle it.

You'll learn to travel, you'll learn to make the best of your finances. Even if it means you overdo shopping. You'll learn to live without regrets, and you'll learn to let go of people and things that aren't meant for you. Maybe grudgingly so, but you will. You'll learn to step out of your comfort zone, and you'll be surprised at the number of times and how constantly you'll do it. Girl, it'll be chaotic, but it'll be worth it. You'll tell stories and write many. More importantly, you'll live them.

Let me tell you the bad things now. Your selfishness might still remain as intact. You'll find pathetic reasons to hurt the ones who love you and you'll also be hurt by people you care deeply for. Learn not to put people on a pedestal. Accept the fact that they're not perfect even if your love for them makes you don rose-tinted glasses when looking at them. They're flawed and broken and in their battle against themselves, you'll end up being a collateral damage. Be kind to them, but never at the cost of losing yourself. Maybe you won't find what you're searching for and your thoughts will definitely be sullied by that very thing. But hey, it's going to be okay. Everything you lose and fail at will only prepare you for the beautiful mess you'll learn to embrace in the years to come.

You will rise and fall, maybe falling more often than rising, and that's okay. Your life won't be a cakewalk, but let me tell you, it will never be boring. There will be something new each day and you'll not have it any other way. You'll breathe, live, and do everything you'll dream of. Don't let anything bog you down because that's not what you are made for.

Learn, please learn to tell better stories and be a good story for others to tell.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Things I Should Accept.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Sunday, August 20, 2017 0 comments
My mother often warned me that my imaginations were too overbearing,
and that I was setting myself up for several series of disappointments,
I assured her that my palms were filled with pixie dust and I blew it into the face of my dreams,
my fingers often traced me back to things that weren't good for me,
books that made me cry, movies that kept me awake in the nights and boys that mercilessly broke my heart,
but I was oddly satisfied
as I went through life with an unapologetic fervour,
I guess I was setting myself up for grand breakdowns and signed up for stories where I never belonged,
she asked me to play safe,
to be cautious and guard my heart,
lock it away from bad things and throw the key away,
instead, I cut my heart open,
loved with a love that was more than love,
bled through my words
built home between the could-bes and the should-bes,
and then, I stopped watering the plants in my balcony,
looks like my mother was right,
I dreamed of nurturing someone else's flowers by ignoring mine,
by opening doors at places where even Sun refused to shine.

Sad and Obnoxious.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Sunday, August 20, 2017 0 comments
I wanted to give you the full of me,
not part-broken, part-whole,
what you instead got was a sad, obnoxious lover,
maybe you should have gotten better,
maybe you deserved better,
I guess we all deserve better from our lives,
but we settle,
did you settle?
did you ever feel that I’ve made everything about us about me?
that you were, maybe the second lead?
that maybe someone else might have treated you more than just flesh and bones?
I wanted to give you the full of me,
my undivided attention and all of my words,
it’s just that you never wanted them,
you wanted bits and pieces of them,
why were you just content with that?
why didn’t you ever ask for an entirety?
you could have demanded,
you should have,
and for all intents and purposes,
I would have willingly given it all,
but you knew that already, didn’t you?
yet you signed up for just the sad, obnoxious parts.


By Sunaina Patnaik at Sunday, August 20, 2017 0 comments

I sit on this barely lit rooftop, fiddling with my phone, wanting to tell you things, and holding myself back. I can see the city lights, and in that light, people walking in the comfort of their homes, lights being turned on and off in several rooms, men smoking under streetlights, and almost strangers getting drunk on heavy conversations of love and loss. I am here, but I am not here. I am at calm, but I am restless. I am ashore, but my mind is lost in tumultuous waves. Sometimes, struggles feel a lot like a dark tunnel or a dark alley. I'm talking about the ones that have no light at the end, and you don't feel infinite when you're crossing them. Ever wondered why it feels like this? I do, and I know I don't have to make this silly, pointless struggle as one of the central parts of my life's agenda. But this has turned pathological now and it has to go. At the moment, it's as messed up at this roof I'm sitting on, with broken pots, dying plants, old newspapers, and red mud strewed across the sides of the walking path. It's difficult walking here, but the view is worth all of this. Just like the struggle that's worth you.

Friday, August 18, 2017

In the Moment.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Friday, August 18, 2017 0 comments

"I had a lovely evening."
"Yeah, me too."
"Where are you heading now?"
"Of course. But how?"
"Umm..I guess I'll take a metro. My apartment is a flat 5-minute walk from the station."
"Can I walk you to the station?"
"Sure, I'd like that."
"What else?"
"It's been a long time since I've come out on a date."
"Is that so? Why?"
"I've no clue. Just didn't want to get emotionally invested in someone, I guess."
"Come on, first and second dates barely hurt."
"Do they? Always?"
"Okay, maybe not always. But what's the harm in trying?"
"I don't know. Just didn't want to take a chance, I guess."
"To be honest, I figured this date would be a grand dud."
"But it didn't, right?"
"Luckily, yeah."
"What made you agree to go out with me, though?"
"Fishing for compliments now, are you?"
"Haha..not really. I'm just curious."
"'s kind of silly, you know."
"I'm all in for silly."
"It's this song you shared on Facebook two weeks ago. By Cigarettes after Sex."
"Yeah, what about it?"
"It's one of my favourites and I haven't met anyone else who liked it as well."
"Wait...that's your reason?"
"To begin with."
"So, there's more?"
"I mean, you seemed like someone who'd be easy to hang out with?"
"God, I don't want to be an easy guy."
"No, I mean effortless."
"Do you do this often?"
"What 'this'?"
"Going out with girls."
"I go out with everyone. I'm always up for meeting people. I try to keep myself open to being inspired and learn from the stories of different people. But to answer your question in a straightforward manner, I'm not always romantically interested in someone. That's a matter of getting out of my comfort zone and I reserve that only for a few."
"Like me?"
"Now you stop flattering yourself!"
"Haha, okay the station is here. Would you like to leave now?"
"I'll drop you home and go."
"Yep, I'm loving this chat more than the fancy date we had a while ago."
"Great, let me get the tickets then. You stay put."

"Let's go."
"Okay, now my turn to ask you a question."
"Go ahead."
"Did you ever get your heart broken?"
"Why do you ask?"
"You look like a guy who cannot take a heartbreak smoothly."
"Can any person ever?"
"Well, I might have, what about you?"
"I'm not done yet. So what's the craziest thing you've done when you got your heart broken?"
"I'm not really the crazy-thing guy, you know? I'm a regular person who goes through what he has to go through. The art of getting by."
"My turn now."
"Do you have any fantasies?"
"Like superheroes and stuff?"
"All my fantasies can be deemed doltish. For instance, my impossible longing to be invisible and date Henry Peter from X-men."
"I told you. I've got tons of such fantasies. But I'll tell you a lesser crazy one."
"Okay, but first let's grab those empty seats. My feet ache."
"Go on, now."
"So, I have this hankering desire to make love in my university library. Particularly near the Fiction section with a great number of books and volumes in sight."
"In daylight?"
"Eww, no! That'll be a weird fetish."
"Very weird. Plus, your librarian might not fancy the idea much."
"Shut up. I was referring to nights when the place is quite isolated."
"Nothing. It's just strange. You read like a monster and yet you have such a fantasy. I thought you might have an aversion to such stuff, you know."
"You should stop stereotyping everything. I can be fun."
"You are fun. I never said otherwise."
"Good. Good for you.

Anyway, so someone once told me that a person's fantasies tell a great deal about them."
"Definitely. For example, your fantasy tells you are a pervert."
"What? Shut up! It just tells that I love reading."
"If that's what you must say to please yourself."
"You're annoying!"
"Oh, am I?"
"Okay okay, you're not a pervert.

Now, why don't we listen to that song that brought us together tonight?"
"Right now?"
"Yes, why not?"
"Good idea."
"Great, let's do it then."

Tune for the day:

Thursday, August 17, 2017


By Sunaina Patnaik at Thursday, August 17, 2017 2 comments

"Would you like more coffee?"
"No, but should I order you another cup?"
"Not really, I'm done for the day."
"As in?"
"I've had enough coffee for the day."
"Hmm, what about a slice of carrot cake?"
"No, I'm just fine. Feel free to get yourself one, though."
"Okay, let's just sit in silence then."
"If that's what you want."
"No, that's what you want."
"Do we really have to eat to talk?"
"Well, it at least creates clamour. The table gets too tight-lipped without the clatter of cutlery and slurps of coffee."
"What so? It's least for me."
"Hmm, if you say so."
"Do you ever look at me in a different light?"
"What do you mean?"
"You know what exactly I mean."
"Like sunlight?"
"No, idiot."
"Then what?"
"Do you see this going somewhere...anywhere?"
"What is 'this'?"
"Us. I am talking about us. You and me. Do you see us in a different light? Do you picture something else for us? Do you think our life can imitate art?"
"If it should imitate art, then there should be no 'us', but hey, it's going to be okay."
"What’s going to be okay?"
"You'll know."
"Should we get that carrot cake now?"


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