Monday, March 20, 2023



Touched and thrilled to be featured on the cover of Storizen Magazine Sharing a short extract from the interview where I take a shot at explaining why I do what I do. Will share the link in my stories. Many thanks to Saurabh Chawla
and Pria Raiyani for making this happen!
What inspires you to write?
A bolt of lightening from the sky! Pixie dust!

All kidding aside, I think writing keeps me sane. I am actually happy when the words are doing their mystical dance on the laptop screen. Reading and writing are my conduit to a magical realm ruled by beauty, truth, fantasy and imagination. Whatever, I gather from my sojourns into this fabled land, I try and share with my readers, hoping they derive something they can use in their own lives, the way I have in mine.

Can you give some insights on the book – Abhimanyu? What kind of research and factors did you consider when writing the character?
    Abhimanyu is very special. He is one of the most beloved characters in Indian mythology and with good reason because he was the best among the best, in every sense of the term.

In a lot of ways, he is the pulsing heart and soul of the Mahabharata. TheGolden Prince was blessed with all the strengths of Arjuna, Krishna and the other Pandavas yet possessed none of their weaknesses. A rare hero who was every bit as good and kind as he was great and that is no small thing. It was a pleasure to unearth lesser-known nuggets of information about him and share the story of the Mahabharata entirely from his perspective.

As regards research I went back and explored the epic I have loved all my life by putting myself in Abhimanyu’s place. Thanks to him, the familiar material felt fresh, and I got

to plumb the psyche of fascinating characters like Subhadra, Draupadi’s twin - Dhrishtadyumna, his charioteer – Sumitra, Nakula, Sahadeva, the Upapandavas, his cousins in Dwaraka – Pradyumna, Samba, and his wife, Uttara, who usually get eclipsed by the razzle dazzle of more famous characters. But of course, the spotlight was on Abhi himself and being by his side from his birth to his untimely death. It was a heartening, often harrowing experience and I cried my eyes out while working on the manuscript, but in the end, it was entirely worth it.

How did you change as a person after publishing these many titles? What did you learn and unlearn from your experiences as a writer?

Writing my books has definitely been a transformative and life – affirming experience. Every single book that I have written and read has helped me navigate a particular chapter of my life, helping me traipse across the good and challenging times with a modicum of courage and grace. For that, they will always have my gratitude!

As a writer, I am constantly learning and unlearning only to relearn ad – infinitum. But it is part of growth and change and it is what it is. My main takeaway is to not strive so hard for control and to learn to trust and surrender to a higher process, the mysteries of which I can comprehend only in patches. But when I can pull it off, there is always a measure of peace and tranquility to be had. Getting into the zone is hard, but staying put in there, is the hardest thing to do of all. Someday, maybe I will pull it off!
You can check it out here: Storizen Magazine.

Having a Cow about the Canine and Bovine Crisis


Infected by the Indian proclivity for procreation and rapid proliferation, the stray dogs hereabouts find their population has soared to a dangerous level posing a threat to themselves and public safety. We all know this. Eyes goggling with horror, we watch CCTV footage of a 4-year-old in Hyderabad who was mauled to death by stray dogs in the parking lot of a housing society. Tutting in outrage, we read about the infant in a Rajasthan Hospital, who was carried away by strays of the canine persuasion. We all know these news stories represent a mere fraction of incidents pertaining to dog attacks. Because, it is routine, for lean and mean street dogs to chase or bite the unwary in India, the rabies capital of the world. Even so, none of us can be bothered with addressing this very preventable menace. Instead, we are content to express our dissatisfaction of social media before stepping out of our homes for a bracing walk, with a vague prayer on our lips and hope in our hearts, that we won’t be the ones who are attacked by a stray, hit by a truck, raped, robbed, or shat on by winged terrors like crows and pigeons. These things always happen to someone else, the unfortunates who wind up as sordid statistics, splashed across the news.

It is why we look the other way, when stray cattle prowl our roads causing road accidents and claiming the lives of hundreds, when they are not loading up on carelessly disposed plastic and garbage. Of course, we explain away this unacceptable scenario by telling ourselves that cows are sacred to Hindus, although we know that there is nothing in the Shastras explicitly telling us to let all things bovine traipse boisterously across the highways in a manner that can only be described as criminally negligent. Besides cows and drunk drivers are not the only dangerous things on the roads. We have stray dogs, runaway pigs, and the odd hobbled horse too! Why are we not doing anything about this?

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) and Animal Birth Control (ABC) Acts don’t do much to prevent cruelty to animals or curb untrammelled breeding among strays. Similarly the increasing instances of Cow Vigilantism and rigidly enforced Cattle Protection laws which have criminalized Cow slaughter have only served to exacerbate the problem. It is high time this crisis in addition to being merely acknowledged needs to be tackled using a more practical approach.

Animal birth control measures need to be properly managed. Pet owners who abandon their pets and those guilty of mistreating animals must be pulled up and made to pay hefty fines. More animals and gaushalas need to be established, staffed with vets, volunteers and trained personnel committed to the job so that strays may be gathered up, fed, cared for if they are sick or crippled and spayed. Perhaps this way, our roads and public spaces will be marginally safer, and we might even successfully eliminate rabies.

This article originally appeared in The New Indian Express Magazine.

Defending the Indefensible Pathaan

 The extremely loud and endless hubbub around 'Besharam Rang', a track from Shah Rukh Khan’s eagerly anticipated action film, ‘Pathaan’ is so typical of our times. Having set the internet on fire, this song has remained in the news for dubious reasons with everybody and their distant cousin weighing in, eager to criticise or defend. Hardly a classic, composers - Vishal and Sheykhar’s latest offering is not even the catchy earworm it aspires to be. But people can’t stop talking about it, which might just be the point.

In the age of social media, public sentiment is a fragile thing forever running the risk of getting perilously hurt and infected with the pus–filled discharge spewing forth with reckless abandon to hit the unwary in the eye. The song features the gorgeous and glam Deepika Padukone sporting an array of risqué bikinis, sensuously gyrating away to glory while a ripped Shah Rukh Khan looks on embodying a world of coolth the way only he can. While most oohed and aahed over the eye candy, this writer couldn’t help marvelling at all the insecurity on display. While it makes sense that the ante has to be upped given that nobody reacts to the mere sight of even an itsy-bitsy bikini anymore since it has been done to death and porn is just a click away, it boggles the mind that even a beauty of Deepika Padukone’s stature feels the desperate need to establish that marriage has not eroded her hotness quotient. As for SRK, it sucks that following a parade of box-office disasters he has chosen to hit the gym and pump himself full of steroids to give the likes of Tiger Shroff and Hrithik Roshan a run for their money instead of opting for a great script with a decent writer at the helm, which is the actual shot in the arm his career needs.

The trolls looked at things with a different eye though. They harumphed over Deepika’s ‘immodesty’ and questioned her husband, Ranveer Singh’s decision to ‘allow’ her to subject her body to the lewd gaze of the masses. Their counterparts on the other side of the ideological divide insisted that a woman, especially a grown one has the right to make her own decisions without being judged and shamed for it.

As the outrage boiled over, right-wingers leapt into the fray decrying the costume designer’s choice to use the colour saffron for the dimpled darling’s bikini, especially in a song, the title of which may be roughly translated to ‘Shameless Colour’ which was perceived to be an affront to religious beliefs. An apology was demanded from Shak Rukh Khan and the makers or else…Effigies were burnt, lawsuits and violence were threatened while the clowns from the Circus of the Absurd have been unleashed. In response, many voices have decried the attack on freedom of expression and the weaponisation of religious sentiment to stifle artists.

While the jury is still out on whether this is the best or worst of times, we can all certainly agree that this is definitely the stupidest of times. This extreme obsession with Bollywood whether it is manifested in the form of creepy adoration or vicious hate has gotten entirely out of hand with only the stars and the talking head studio types profiting from all this. Controversy sells. The entire entertainment ecosystem is fuelled by generating outrage and endless feuds which is why we get these carefully computed seemingly arbitrary lyrics which double as hashtags and SEO keywords – bloody chum for the ever-present sharks, endlessly circling the waters for a taste of juicy scandal. None of this amounts to much in the grander scheme of things. This entire controversy distilled to its essence amounts to little more than a trending topic, to be forgotten in the blink of an eye or until Ananya Pandey opens her mouth to utter something inane, ensuring that the spotlight is turned, full blast on her.

The more rational amongst us can choose to distance ourselves from the fray and shout ourselves hoarse to draw attention to wars being fought, people living below the poverty line with no way to afford a single meal, the threat of being decimated by the looming threat of a pandemic; nuclear apocalypse; or the grand culmination of global warming and environmental degradation but who cares? People’s attention has been very successfully diverted by raging non–issues pertaining to Deepika Padukone’s strategically displayed side boob, SRK’s chiselled abs, Alia Bhatt’s new baby and Malaika Arora’s reality show. And since, it is painfully obvious that you cannot beat ’em you might as well join ’em and make sure to add your own contribution to an entirely nonsensical discourse by writing at length about a song that is definitely not worth writing home about and trying to convince your editor you deserve a bigger fee so that you can find an affordable stylist to help you look like Janhvi Kapoor for Karan Johar’s glitzy entirely newsworthy New Year’s bash that you haven’t yet been invited to.

This article originally appeared in Outlook India.


 If I read, one more hyper-articulate article naming Pathaan as the definitive film of the millennium, that has struck a blow on behalf of the minorities and the oppressed against an India languishing in the stranglehold of Gau mutra drinkers, I am going to flip and throw up at the same time. As a former fan, I am happy enough that Shah Rukh Khan has delivered a blockbuster after a protracted dry spell at the box office but I am less enthused at the prospect of seeing more of this CGI – generated -sculpted-abs-wielding abomination in place of the brilliant actor who dared play the irresistible anti – hero in films like Baazigar, Darr and Anjaam.

Moreover, I draw the line at proclaiming him as a beleaguered victim just because he istrolled on occasion for his half – assed not – quite political proclamations on social media and had to deal with his son being arrested on trumped up drug possession charges, who has risen from the ashes to emerge as a triumphant champion of secular India struggling to assert itself against divisive politics. Given the extent of his wealth, fame, and power, he is better equipped than most to weather a storm so let us hold back on the pity already and save it for the more deserving. Like those unfortunate Indians who can’t afford three square meals a day, a roof over their heads or a potty beneath their bums and are about to lose their hard – earned LIC retirement funds thanks to the murky machinations of Mr. Adani.

Let’s face it, while there is much to love about King Khan, a small – time television actor  who bucked the odds to emerge as the undisputed Badshah of Bollywood before Aditya Chopra, Karan Johar and Manish Malhotra got their claws into him and remade him as an overly styled lover boy who became increasingly risk – averse when it came to taking up meaty roles worthy of his considerable talent, it is nevertheless confusing as to why he is being projected as some sort of saint by all those starstruck journalists who are otherwise constantly crowing about fact – checking. Are they just going to ignore the Dawood controlled influence of the underworld in the 90s which saw the emergence of the Khan triumvirate or the fact that the IPL itself is a monster money – laundering scheme and anyone who is as closely associated with this enterprise as SRK is, cannot reasonably be viewed as Mr. Squeaky Clean?

Most importantly, why are so many insisting that a middling Bollywood film heralds the beginning of a new World order where love and acceptance has overpowered hate and intolerance? That is every bit as stupid as saying that the marriage of Siddharth Malhotra and Kiara Advani has reaffirmed our collective commitment to love and peace or that hugging a Cow is going to magically transform our lives, filling it with positive energy and untold benefits. Be smarter, people and free your befuddled brain from Bollywood machinations.

This article originally appeared in The New Indian Express Magazine.

'Queersapien' book review: Memoir of Identity


Sharif D Rangnekar’s Queersapien is a tall drink of tender coconut water on days when the entire world seems to have been hard baked in intolerance and hatred.

It is a candidly narrated tale of the author’s quest to shed his own fears and insecurities after coming out of the closet, braving the hostility of a landscape where, on one hand, the Supreme Court has decriminalised ‘gay sex’, reading down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, but on the other, acceptance is still hard to come by for the LGBTQIA+ community, in order to find love and live his best life.

Written with heart and sensitivity, the book is a journey which extends both inwards and outwards, gently nudging the reader towards finding a means to make the collective spaces inhabited by human beings, one where individuals can thrive without being judged, shamed and brutally punished, simply for being true to themselves and allowing their sexuality to blossom unimpeded.

The author’s emphasis is on building bridges across differences and making a break from the established order not to descend into the darkness of disorder but to emerge into the light of diversity. Rangnekar’s freestyle mode of writing may be discomfiting for the unwary as he leapfrogs from the subtleties of the Indian legal system, data and expert opinions to personal reflections and raunchy anecdotes from the heart of the sin cities in Thailand, but it works if you surrender to the flow and get into the spirit of things.

The author’s revelations from his stints in Thailand are particularly moving as it clearly takes a lot of strength and confidence to be this vulnerable. He dwells at length on some of the spiritual as well as sexual connections made

in a land where attitudes are far more progressive with regard to sex and fluid sexuality but also addresses the scarier aspects of going in pursuit of carnal nirvana as it comes with the risk of sexual assault and battery.

A charming touch is Rangnekar’s tendency to recognise the privileges of his gender, class and caste while remaining sensitive to women’s rights, sex work and the struggles faced by the minorities and marginalised who have so much more to lose. Particularly touching is his description of the obstacles bravely overcome by his widowed mother, who raised three sons and made the effort to open her home and heart in order to provide a safe space, not just for her children but for all who sought it. Veena Rangnekar is a legend and the world desperately needs people like her.

Making peace with your own identity is an arduous, lonesome journey. Too many are terrified to even attempt it. Very few make it to the destination that is an oasis of calm empowerment and even fewer manage to remain there. But every story like Queersapien serves as a much-needed beacon of light to guide those who wander––lost and far too frightened to come to terms with who they really are.

This book review originally appeared in The New Indian Express.

Naatu Not to seek White Validation


It is always lovely when Indians win recognition on the global stage and athletes, scientists, artists et al. hailing from this land receive their fair share of accolades. Our homegrown achievers deserve this hard earned recognition especially since our motherland does not exactly have a reputation for nurturing talent or creating a conducive and hospitable terrain for the meritorious to survive and thrive. Which is why it is pretty cool when an Arundhati Roy or Geethanjali Shree wins the Booker Prize,  AR Rahman wins an Academy Award, a PV Sindhu wins a silver medal at the Olympics, or when Naatu Naatu takes home the Golden Globe.

It is easy enough to understand the need to celebrate these wins with boisterous gusto as the more honest among us Indians will admit that on most days, life in India is hardly cause for celebration. There is simply too much evidence of corruption, incompetence and criminal negligence every which way you turn... A mother and her 2 – year old were killed when a Metro pillar collapsed. A young software engineer lost her life following an accident on a pothole riddled road while dropping her brother on the way to work. Pee – Gate is one of the most cringe – worthy news stories of all time and these are only the more recent examples of India when it isn't quite as incredible as it is purported to be. 
Thanks to the despicable behaviour of our countrymen /women/ children there comes a point when  we want to disown our Indian brothers and sisters so that we can adopt Japanese siblings who always clean up after themselves, are frightfully competent, painfully polite and wouldn’t dream of peeing on anyone or anywhere other than a urinal. I daresay, it is thanks to these unpatriotic thoughts that we dare not admit to, that we feel the need to go absolutely bonkers with pride and joy every time an Indian receives White validation. Because deep down we know that most of us respect each other even less than the white folks do. Racism is only part of the problem. The truth is we don't do much to be worthy of approbation.  
It is sad that the excessive display of National pride on these occasions masks a loathing for so much of what India has become. The solution for this sorry state of affairs simply cannot be to rest on the laurels of random Indian victories and putter along on potholed roads with chests puffed up with vacuous pride. Now is the time to get off our keisters and get to work mending the many broken things that need fixing if we are to hold up our heads and take our rightful place on the global stage. It means confronting the painful truth about  being Indian rather than disappearing into a footstomping song where two Telugu Superstars school the White man while owning their regional identities, without desperately seeking his approval to feel better about their own shortcomings. 

This article was originally published in The New Indian Express Magazine.



Last Sunday, I read a news article about two Bengaluru cops who were suspended after they extorted money from a couple returning home from a party, insisting that according to the rules, they were not allowed to walk on the streets after 11 pm. The married duo had their phones confiscated, were put through a gruelling interrogation and threatened with imprisonment if they didn’t pay up. The frazzled husband revealed the details about his ordeal on Twitter and after his tweet went viral, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, clarified that there was no rule preventing people from walking on the road at any time of the night before taking action against the errant constables.

Now, this qualifies as a happy ending since too often, justice is delayed and denied in India. It is also a heartening reminder that occasionally, social media can be a useful tool to redress a wrong. However, I couldn’t help thinking that this ugly incident is so typical in modern India. For some reason, so many get outraged and there is a lot of finger – wagging as well as outright condemnation when couples are spotted doing something as innocuous as holding hands and walking on the road. Practically everybody wants to throw the book at lovers if they so much as kiss in darkened theatres or parks. The backlash is instantaneous and often ugly, forcing smitten youngsters to sneak around and seek out isolated places far from prying eyes with the result that they often put themselves at heightened risk for harassment, blackmail, and further violence.

On the other hand, the average Indian doesn’t get hot and bothered when folks piss and poop in public uncaring about the strain they are subjecting unwary eyeballs to. Those who are critical about such unacceptable behaviour are themselves criticized for not checking their privilege and told that there are more temples than toilets in India, as if this somehow makes public defecation acceptable. Most are similarly unconcerned when gross uncles burp/fart loudly or dig their nostrils in full view of all and sundry. However, the same people insist that all things remotely related to love and sex be treated as filthy (chee!) to be confined to dark, dingy rooms, preferably beneath suffocating sheets if you are married and strictly forbidden if you are not.

After all, this is our culture, never mind that the Kamasutra was written in India and temples at Konark and Khajuraho reveal that in the distant past, Indians had a more enlightened view on intimacy and erotica. No wonder so many of us are incapable of healthy relationships and hopelessly ignorant about reproductive health or practising safe sex. We would do well to go for an attitude transplant as a nation, instead of persecuting lovers and blaming films like Arjun Reddy, Pushpa and Kantara for the prevalent toxicity or there will be more news stories about couples getting killed or gruesomely punished in a land where hatred and intolerance has prevailed over love and acceptance.

This article was originally published in The New Indian Express Magazine.

Toxicity of the Blue Tick Twitterati


Twitter is a fascinating place. It is always good for entertainment, if nothing else. People are forever attacking one another over principles and personal preferences. It is usually a scream to view the shouting matches between the senseless trolls on either side of the ideological divide as they attack each other over trending topics pertaining to politics, religion, human rights, Virat Kohli's form, Kim Kardashian's butt and Alia Bhatt's baby name preferences.

The insufferable opinions of the obnoxious and the offensive are always available for your viewing pleasure. The  humble Tweeple get to be schooled by the Twitterati, the blue-blooded wielders of the coveted blue tick on all things inane, irrational and irritating. Ostensibly, these are the 'verified' accounts that authenticate identity and establish holders such as politicians, film/sports stars, media personnel, big business types and influencers with an insane follower count as 'trustworthy'.

In short, the chosen ones are the powerful and popular folks who have been selected as the manipulators of public opinion to further agendas that can be counted on to do absolutely nothing to bring about the greater good, even if they vociferously claim otherwise. The violent, vitriol-filled rhetoric against JK Rowling, which is less of an attempt to uphold trans rights and more of a concentrated attack against a powerful woman not afraid to fight for women’s safety, is a case in point. 

Recently, Twitter experienced extreme turmoil when the newly anointed Chief Twit, Elon Musk, upended the status quo by rolling out the Blue subscription  service, allowing users to pay a monthly fee for the privilege of becoming the proud owner of a blue tick. Naturally, the Twitterati have their innards in a twist, claiming that such a move would lead to a proliferation of fake accounts leading to misinformation, which could weaponise the platform and jeopardise world peace.  Apparently that is not at all how things stood in the fairy land that was Twitter before Musk made his move.

Of course, I am one of those who have chosen not to cough up the fee, since by miraculous happenstance, I have a blue tick on Instagram, which has caused my stock to skyrocket with my daughters and nephews. In this economy, it is my advise that others follow my lead guided by parsimony, not principles. After all, the beauty of Twitter is that it will always remain the anarchic hellhole it was engineered to be.  

Even if you get a grip on the deep-seated desire to wile away the good years in your life by endlessly scrolling through Twitter feeds with breaks for Instagram until death does you in, you walk away with the empty yet satisfying knowledge that you have done nothing at all that might be construed as useful or enriching. And you will definitely be back for more.  

#MeToo: Missing justice in hashtag activism

The #MeToo movement, a volcanic eruption of long-suppressed pain and rage from victims of abuse, was a global revolution that sought to smoke out offenders, expose their deeds and mete out punishment. Many survivors found the courage to come forward, name and shame offenders, shed the baggage 

of trauma, and facilitate healing. Some of the perpetrators were prosecuted or cancelled outright, victims received financial aid, workplace and educational institutions framed policies to safeguard women, the statute of limitation for reporting abuse became elasticised and some of us dared to dream of a world where women were not treated as sexual toys. But that was always a foolish hope.

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For, in the real world, far away from social media, consequences were far more severe for victims. They won in the court of public opinion, but mostly lost in actual courts, where decisions in these sensitive cases are based on hard-to-prove facts and near-nonexistent evidence. Consequently, many bravehearts have been countersued for defamation, slut-shamed, and suffered professional setbacks. Meanwhile, the likes of Sajid Khan find themselves in the news, having capitalised on their notoriety. 

This is hardly surprising since hashtag activism inevitably putters to a standstill. All it takes is celebs dropping pics of their weddings, baby showers, unclothed selves or funny videos of pampered pets to divert public attention. Moreover, social media trials often generate sympathy for aggressors since folks who haven’t had their brains woke-washed invariably feel that justice was not served as due process was ignored, never mind that the lame-duck legal system has repeatedly let down the injured party. 

The upshot is that #MeToo seems committed to fanning public outrage and populist pandering, which saw it accused of diluting the menace of sex crimes by lumping everything from flirtation in the workplace to sexual assault together, resulting in the doling out of punishment that is both disproportionate as well as inadequate, enabling some to manipulate it for their own ends. Meanwhile, the movement did not do enough to change deeply entrenched patriarchal mindsets and cultural beliefs that expect women to shut up and put up.

The solution, thus, lies not in vigilante-style justice meted out by a moralistic mob on internet forums, but in fixing a broken justice system and prioritising the rights of women. Prevention is still key. We need to implement rules that guarantee safe spaces for women. Mostly, the battle for gender equality, sensitisation and inclusion of LGBTQ is going to be a long-drawn-out, painful process, which demands that we fight the good fight with dedication, humanity and mindfulness rather than twiddling our thumbs, Twitterati style. 

This article originally appeared in The New Indian Express Magazine.

Bloody Birthdays!


I am mildly envious of people who are into celebrating the little things in their lives, particularly birthdays. They seem so happy swirling around in a candy – coloured Tim Burtonesque fantasy land apparently feeling blessed, blissed out and filled to the brim with the love and laughter in their lives. When my birthday rolls around with clockwork like precision despite my vehement efforts to freeze time using a telekinetic chokehold, I become so cantankerous, I make the Grinch seem like little Miss Sunshine hopped up on happy pills.

All I can see in the mirror is the awkward, pimply adolescent I once was in a belligerent biddy’s body. Taking note of increasingly creaky joints, I brood over the process of aging while counting the rapidly proliferating grey strands and bemoaning my lack of success in establishing a diplomatic relationship with my weighing scale. Politely responding to all the sweet people who send birthday wishes, I make myself feel worse by dwelling on the things I was supposed to have achieved by now but haven’t.

Despite my plan to see the world and explore its wonders Ibn Battuta style, I spend most days pottering around the house with all the zip of a zombie while wishing I could sleep all day. Then when it is beddy – bye time, I stay up late adding weight to the bags beneath my eyes, trying to master the formula for instant success and land a big fat book deal or create a cutting-edge app that will allow me to buy the Chennai Super Kings and outbid Elon Musk to takeover Twitter.

While drowning my sorrows in Nutella milkshake between bites of birthday cake, I wish I had taken better care of my teeth. It is no fun to spend hours in a dentist’s chair while he wields terrifying implements no doubt lovingly envisioned and first employed by the Marquis de Sade. Sugar may rot your teeth, but it does induce a sickly-sweet high that lulls you into believing that it is not too late to turn your life around.

I resolve to invest in Bitcoin, oil and gold which seems like the sort of thing smart people would do. Going forward, I promise myself that I will nurture and cherish the bonds with all those who truly matter, especially the ones who had made it a point to call me, patiently listened to my endless whining and assured me that I was not a complete waste of space instead of devoting time and attention to accruing an army of followers on Instagram. I shall make a commitment to fitness and begin the odyssey to find a better version of myself.

Feeling revitalized, I tell myself that the year is off to a great start though the sugar – rush is giving way to inevitable despondency. As I toss and turn wrestling with unresolved sleep issues, I spend the time trying to figure out how best to trap treacherous time in a bottle before my next birthday.

This article was originally published in The New Indian Express Magazine.