Am I Sure I Want To Shut Down


Parts of me are shutting down.

I’m not yet strong enough to wear my empty spaces like I do my lipstick.

Last week, I took a blade to my wrist for the first time in two years. I was crying. Not because I couldn’t stop, but because I no longer have anything sharp enough. I threw three pairs of scissors across the room; I retrieved one and sawed until I saw the blood beading on my wrist

I no longer feel disgusted that sometimes, the only thing that makes me feel better is the burning of open wounds. I don’t feel sick or ill, there is nothing slimy and shameful growing under my skin or at the base of my neck. I am as I am, with every dark, dank part of me that no one wants out in the open.

Maybe, at thirteen and sixteen, M could let go of grief through tears. At twenty, it’s not about grief or guilt. It’s about not wanting to inhabit the sack of skin into which this mind has been poured. It’s about this heart being wrapped too tightly in meat to breathe. It’s about blood and bone and sinew that form a prison for dark things that have no place in the sun’s light because no one wants to try and see or smile at them. It’s about these dark things wanting to know how the air tastes, and they will wreck everything to get out.

It’s about not wanting to be this woman, this person typing everything that you’re reading and wondering if you will smile. I slide lipstick over the empty spaces; I feel them growing as more pieces crumble within the structure. Sometimes I dream about everything under my skin simply winking out of existence. Those are the loveliest nights.

I paint a pretty smile on, the sun lights up my eyes, I kiss with a heart that screams my love, and I type and type, when I should have stopped at

h  e  l  p

Help At The Price of Chocolate


The University of Delhi is a disorganised mess. Sri Venkateswara College, University of Delhi, turns that attribute into a skill, and lately, under the controversial Four Year Undergraduate Programme, into a fine art.

Under the FYUP, every first year undergraduate student receives a free laptop from the university. Contrary to all expectations, we did actually get the laptops. And they were good ones too… mostly.

We knew we’d have to give them back at the end of the year. What we didn’t know was just how goddamn hard it would be!

From nine to five (literally) during our study holidays, we waited around in college, wondering just what was going on, no one really knowing what the exact process was after the mob (heads-up for non-Delhiites: there is no such thing as a line here) was dispersed from outside the confirmed venue of the returning process. Then there was the announcement of a token system, which had been happening since the morning (read: since after lunch, which ended at two), and getting tokens which numbered between 90 and 110. Oh, and to illustrate our frustration: at 3.30, the last token called in had been numbered… three.

So… rather than stick around uselessly till six, two of my friends and myself left our laptops with our friends who lived on campus, in the college hostel. It was a Friday; we had to be present to collect our examination admit cards the coming Monday anyway, so if we came early, we might be able to return them quickly. So saying, we left.

On Sunday morning, I received a call. It was from the friend with whom I’d left my laptop.

“Hey, what’s up?”

‘Hey, I need to know your laptop password.’

“Uh, sure. Why?”

“They’re checking the laptops at the return place, so I need your password to open it.”

“You’re returning my laptop?!”

“Yeah, why not?”

Late in the evening, I received a text from him. ‘Returned your laptop. Now you owe me like 5 Ferrero Rochers. ;)’

Yeah, all he wanted was chocolate.