Tuesday, January 23, 2018

What to do when you don't know what to do

1. Get some breathing space. Step back from the situation. Breathe in through your nose, exhale through your mouth. Nice and slow

2. Shift your focus. To something or someone else

3. Talk to someone whose perspective you value. Someone who helps you clear your head

4. Write. Journal. Then journal some more.

5. Pray. To whomever or whatever you believe in

6. Tell yourself 'This too shall pass'.(Because it will, you know) That you will handle it

7. Spend time in nature. Sit at the beach and watch the sunset with your feet in the sand

8. Paint your feelings. Let colours be your language

9. Take some action, however small, in any direction. At times the roads clear when you start walking on one

10. Ask yourself what you really, truly want. Beneath all the surface confusion and conflict. Then go for it

11. Have faith. Hold yourself through this. You're not alone

P.S. - Started writing this in August, at a time when I indeed did not know what to do. Got back to complete and post it today when Rhea, one of my students, excitedly asked about my blog, just having learned that I write. Thanks, Rhea. This one's to you. :)

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


Loneliness, where are you coming from?
You seem like the only companion
Who is around me right now
To listen
To watch
To respond
And share
Never too busy for me, are you?
You follow me like a shadow
Ready to show up
The moment the rest have deserted
How long have I known you?
Do I even remember life without you?

Yes, there have been moments
When I've met myself
And you were nowhere to be seen
I wonder where that girl is now
I'd like her to meet you
Maybe she doesn't know you yet
Maybe she'll say hello the next time
Or maybe she doesn't need to
She seems to have friends already
Or friendship

I've the latter
But often not the former
They are all too busy, most times,
To respond, to listen, to converse
To sit back and share life as it happens
Sometimes I reach out, and that works
But most times I'm disappointed
Then I slowly walk back to you

For you see, loneliness, you're the only friend
That I can truly claim to have.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

This day

Why should I look a certain way?
Not wear what I goddamn please?
It's a good day to remind myself
I wasn't born to appease

Not born to fit roles
Pre-defined for me
Nor be this 'good girl'
For the world to see

I'll be uncouth and rough
In the company of raucous friends
Stretch your lines
To see where it ends

Yet I walk cautious
In a public place
Elbows jutting out
Define my space

But now I choose to expand
And claim what was mine
Be it space, voice, or consent
I won't burn to shine

Don't try to contain or define
Who I am or could be
Water, fire, earth or sky
The choice is upto me

On Women's Day (may we never need one)
08 March, 2017

Tuesday, February 28, 2017


'Write something', she says,
That insistent voice inside me,
Holds me to ransom for days,
Doesn't let me be.

'Write something, anything,
So long as it's something true.
Please ignore that WhatsApp ping,
Where you seek something new.'

'Write of the sun and moonshine,
Of days dark and ablaze,
Of feeling blue or fine,
Sudden clarity and stubborn haze.'

'Write to share, to vent, to whine,
About matters big and small.
Write to spread some sunshine,
Caught by few, though meant for all'

'Write', she says, 'for heaven's sake'
'Do you want me to just give up on you?
My niggling finger if you do not take,
I'll vanish without a clue.'

So here I am, dear friends,
Putting pen to paper,
Lest my restlessness ends,
And that voice turns to vapour.

Saturday, January 14, 2017


Desire, thy tentacles are vicious
Slowly crawling up to my heart
A red-hot bullet piercing my chest
Staying buried there
As regret
With the passage of time.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

What colour is nostalgia?

Stealthily creeps the feeling
of having been somewhere
With someone
(Not always a literal place)
Of having travelled a distance
Many miles
Or perhaps a few significant steps
Maybe crossed a chasm, together
Now each battling her own chasm
Comes, unannounced, the thrill
of belonging to a community
A kafila, even if for a while
The camaraderie jumps out from
email threads long archived
Smiles back from chats long forgotten
And laughingly pulls you back in time.
It takes a while to regain your present self
The self that has its arms outstretched
towards the past, frozen in a high-five
but finds its feet in today
Rooted, grounded, unable to move.
Unlike time.

What colour is nostalgia?
That it drapes you in
Drenches you in
Paints the moment with a hue
that’s happy and sad at once
What shades would you draw from it?
What patterns can you discern?
It’s light in some places, dense in others
But a uniform colour of reminiscence
That leaves you here and there at the same time.

So many people have crossed your path
So many whose stories you’ve partaken in
Some Shift+Delete-d with good reason
But existing still on the fringes of your memory
Waiting to be discovered, lurking
(The mind’s no computer; the keys don’t work the same way)
So many others you might have held on to
In intent or stray desire
Too many strands to be holding at once
Each vibrant and colourful
Deserving of rightful attention
If only there were 10 of you
10 lifetimes
24 X 10 hours
Somewhere the roads diverged
without a chance of a hasty bye
Why would you close that
which might bump into you at the next turn?
Lesser still those whom you want to re-meet

The phone tells me I’m a call away
from hearing familiar voices
FB tells me it takes a second
to ‘Like’ someone, again
Befriend, reconnect, ‘follow’
But the mind?
The mind takes its own time to build bridges
Over stagnating water of old expectations
now discarded, lying around
To reconcile the idea of a person
Frozen in time long ago
With who he has become now

What flavor is nostalgia?
That it stays on your tongue for so long
Salty, bitter-sweet, sour too
Lingering long after the memory is gone
What dish would you whip up with it?
Whose taste would endure
Aroma remain intact
Nay, it will vanish like vapour
into thin air
Leaving you with naught
Save the fragrance on your hands

Have you tried plucking an enchanting flower
only to see it wilt in your hands?
Realized it was best left untouched
on the plant, in the garden?
So it is with remembrance
People, places, events
They are a world unto themselves
Sitting smug in their intended spaces
Smiling smug, their unmoved faces
At your retrieval attempts
Parallel Universes, these
Proceed with their routine as you live out yours
Dip in and out at will

Sepia, the colour of nostalgia
Sealed in dusty photo-frames
Playing as movies in your head
Kept shining with every replay.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The forgotten song

As we grow older (and not necessarily 'old' :)), we keep forgetting what we knew as children. At least I seem to. Back then, I knew from my heart that solitude kept me happy. Solitude of the kinds where I'd be my own friend and have fun conversations all day. In fact, I was often happier with own my commentary of wit and humour than spending time with many others! My own pure inner voice became synonymous with God. Chatting with God, walking with him...all emerged out of a deep faith and need for comfort, and I daresay realization that he was my best friend. He breathed within me. The Universe, his pure intent. Ah, what a lovely thought! (lovely is the new 'nice'?)

So yes, I forgot this as I grew up. I had to keep reminding myself of this. Cries of help from deep within for merry company, turned into loneliness when I didn't always have that. Still does. So when and how did I forget what I knew so well? I've even written poems on this (must.find.the.solitude.one!), so convinced was I about this way of being. Like the rumbling depths of a latent volcano, I still have this buried inside me. I'm trying to unearth it from under the layers of negative thoughts and life experiences that have made me forget my essential truth. That as within, so without. Joy within, joy without. You can't fill this well from the outside. It's a spring that has to be dug out from within, and it will come gushing out merrily. I'm returning to my truth; the child within is guiding me to the light.

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This work by Akanksha Thakore Srikrishnan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License