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“Not everything had gone to plan. But we made the best of what we had, you know?”
Pretty cover, bland stories.

I stand on the edge of the balcony, gripping the railing tight and looking up at a sky that has begun bleeding into a million colours. In the last few months, this has been my only contact with the outside world. Had it been any other year, this sentence would have sounded overly dramatic. Unbelievable even. But in the times we live in today? Not so much.

And I am not complaining. I enjoy these little moments when I peer down on the roads, spotting a solitary pedestrian and offering them an internal thumbs up when I’ve made sure they…

If you look closely enough, you can spot the backache

One afternoon, months into the pandemic, I sat with my sister on the balcony playing Uno. The sun was scorching, someone was screaming on the streets and never mind the drilling that refused to stop in the building opposite to ours. But still, we had nothing else to do, so we played. One of us had the idea of playing battle music, you know, to tense things up a bit. But after a few shoddy games, most of which I lost, both of us grew bored. So we set out in search of something better to do.

I roamed around…

I wanted to draw something, but I was too lazy. So here’s a picture of my hand.

Act 1

I see myself.

It’s usually in the few seconds after I pull my body off the bed, that I begin my game. Call it a movie, actually. Over the years, it’s only got more conflicted and chaotic. But that’s what makes a good story, right?

I do not remember ever willfully signing up for this game. Just something I have been playing ever since I started forming memories. Or maybe I started way back and I can’t recall any of it, anymore.

Either way, it’s a game I play fervently.

The rules of the game are simple.

There’s a universe…

It happens often.

At the moment, it makes perfect sense. I have a point to make. It sounds justified. Rational. I nod with certainty when I re-read the words I have poured out with utmost sincerity. It sounds like the truth.

Of course it is,” I reassure myself.

I hit publish.

The words have left my fingers and are now imprinted on the screen, but the thoughts still linger on in my mind. Over time, the surety starts to wane. I encounter new viewpoints, stronger opinions, better explanations. On good days I realise that my arguments lack depth. On bad…

A few years ago, I envisioned myself writing about death. I didn’t know what to write but I did know that I wanted it to be profound, something that relieved me into believing that my pithy quotes and stoic merchandise were all the preparation I needed to greet the grim reaper with a smile. I didn’t just want to meet the grim reaper, I wanted to impress them. Let them know that I already had my last words ready. …

Source: @philhearing

Why do we do the things we do?

This question might as well be etched on my skin. Call it curiosity, an obsession or insanity, but every time I decide to do something, I am always greeted with a one-syllable sound in my mind — Why?

Why? Why? Why?

It has its upsides, of course. Simon Sinek has a whole book on the importance of starting with why. In a world as loud and distracting as ours, your why determines your choices and actions. In a field of dust and distractions, it carves out a path. It pulls you out…

Illustration by the author

$200 Billion

That’s how big Japan’s Pachinko industry is.

And if you’ve never been to Japan or read Min Jin Lee’s ‘Pachinko’, you are probably wondering– what the heck is Pachinko?

To answer that question we need to go back to 1924 when the Corinthian Bagatelle, a billiards-derived indoor table game was brought to Japan from Chicago. It became popular in candy stores to lure little children into spending more time (= more $$$) at the shops while they played with the arcade game. …

“I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world, finding it so much like myself.”

Albert Camus

Albert Camus’ The Stranger begins with one of the most legendary opening lines in literature —

“Maman died today. Or maybe yesterday; I can’t be sure.”

In a few words, Camus manages to sum up Meursault’s character and to some extent, the idea of absurdism. Meursault is the anti-hero. He receives the news of his mother’s passing with indifference. Instead of viewing the body one last time, he smokes and sips on his cup of coffee, right in front of the coffin.

The only…

The Irish woman who rose from the dead.

Few can claim to come back from the dead but according to an Irish Legend, Margorie McCall did just that.

At some point in the 1700s, a “terrible famine” swept across Lurgan, a town in Northern Ireland. During these troubling times, a woman called Margorie McCall suffered a high fever before the doctors pronounced her dead. Worried that whatever mysterious disease that plagued her could quickly spread, she was hastily buried in the Shankill Graveyard.

Just after her burial, graverobbers paid her a visit. When they found a valuable ring on her…

In 1904, Tsarina Alexandra gave birth to the Russian heir, Alexei Nikolaevich. As the youngest child and only son, his birth was the cause of great joy and celebration. But fate didn’t tarry in taking a cruel turn. Soon enough, he was diagnosed with haemophilia — a bleeding disorder which stops the blood from clotting properly. It was dubbed as the “Royal Disease” because it affected many of the descendants of intermarried European families. Alexei is said to have inherited it from his mother who in turn inherited it from her grandmother, Queen Victoria.

Kavana Anklekar

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