When I was fourteen, I had newly discovered that my heart was capable of doing multiple things apart from pumping blood and storing cholesterol — it was also capable of magically racing like a royal horse each time someone spoke to me. On one such adolescent night, as I lay next to my cousin, almost as if she could hear my racing heart — and I don’t blame her for the thumping was loud enough to march a parade on — she said to me, “just never let him know how crazy you are about him”.

Years passed, I grew, the someone kept changing, and yet, on some nights, as I lay awake, I feel I haven’t moved much from that adolescent night when that piece of advice was offered to me as some sort of sorority legacy. I forgot to ask my sister, but I never forget to ask myself — why shouldn’t I tell him?

And is it even possible not to?

When just hearing someone’s name lights your face with a smile so powerful that it could power a whole country, there is little chance of, well, hiding your admiration. How do I stop myself from subconsciously twirling my hair or biting my lip? How do I tame my wild pulse that beats so fast one would think it wishes to tear out of my flesh to meet someone in person? How do I revert my playlist back to existentialist songs when suddenly the world seems to have more meaning and colour?

Most importantly, do I really have to?

This small frame of mine is compact, like a suitcase. Alongside my anxiety, issues, fat, and countless musings, I carry with myself seamless love that I try to contain in a pouch, loosely tied with hasty knots. But every once in a while, a certain someone makes their way through and unties those knots with their slender fingers and piercing gaze. Before I know it, my admiration is set loose and it infects the world around me with brighter colours and invincibility. The background noises in my life — the honking, the barking of dogs, the clock ticking, the fan moving — are all replaced with… imaginary violins. Tears and giggles both seem ready at the back of my throat, waiting to pour at the slightest triggers.

Is it humanly possible to hide such craziness?

For most bit, I do not wish to. I want to be available at beck and call. I want to take my net and catch all the stars in the sky and place them on my tongue, hoping to offer him an entire universe when he finally kisses me. I want to tidy myself and be a better person, I want to sing in my broken, smitten voice, and I want to walk on oceans if that is what it takes to be with him.

How do I hide a love so great that I would steal and borrow love from everyone else too, just in case mine fell a little short of filling his wistful heart with joy?

Why do I hide a love so great?

I want to turn over, softly shake my sister, and ask her why. I forget that now I only sleep next to loose ends.


The Struggle Called College

This morning I woke up with a brand new realisation; college tends to mess us up in more ways than we actually realise.

So much had been said about college; there would be fun, and friends, and love, and tremendous self discovery. All movies, TV shows, older friends, and books had romanticised the idea of college and the life that it offers. But now that I have spent a reasonable amount of time doing college, I am surprised that nobody warned me about screwed up sleep cycles, food disorders, and emotional trauma.

I spent my freshman year believing that I was perhaps the only one going through this. As time passed, I began to realise how common this really is. College is suicidal. It is a roller coaster ride that only goes up.

You enter a phase where you struggle hard to figure out who you are, but at the same time, externally you’re supposed to look composed and like you’ve got your shit together. You have to worry about grades, assignments, and attendance. You have to burn yourself in order to keep up with being a good student. You need to manage self care, your GPA, and your relationships.

I am surprised that nobody warned me that college is about you losing people; to death, to circumstances, and to other people. Why is that nobody spoke about the break downs, letting go, and lying awake at 4 AM staring into mental abysses. College is low key scary that way.

I have come to realise that it is a rite of passage where you don’t have the protection that school provided and the stability that future will entail. You are a fish trying to find its way in the sea. You are on your own, trying to mould what will mould you.

It is about staying alive and staying sane.