I could swear just yesterday I was
Jumping on inflatable bouncy castles
Today I’m jumping on overflowing suitcases
Which refuse to close.

I could swear just yesterday my mom was
Marking my height on her bedroom wall
Today she is marking all the things in my list
I haven’t packed yet.

I could swear just yesterday my father found
His phone exchanged with my toy phone
Today he won’t buy a new one without my advice
And I’m inheriting his old phone.

I could swear just yesterday my brother was
Tickling me while someone took a picture
Today that memory is framed in a photograph
Between my new college clothes.

I could swear just yesterday I had to
Wake up to my mother shaking me
Today my eyes adjust to the morning
With the help of phone alarms.

I could swear just yesterday I dreaded
Teachers who gave too much homework
Today I’m writing greeting cards to them
Saying I’m pursuing a career in their subject.

I could swear just yesterday I couldn’t
Wait to borrow my mother’s make-up
Today I know that there are more important things
Than perfectly applied winged eyeliner.

I could swear just yesterday I was
Learning how to make paper planes
Today I’m a paper plane myself
Flying everywhere but home.

He will remember little things like the way you shove your phone in the back pocket of your denims, or how the wind caused disturbances the night he read Macbeth for you over the phone. Only through his songs will you learn that he cheated to win that game of chess and that when you blush, you smile that sheepish smile. You’ll feel his eyes on you, noticing and absorbing every part of you, only to bleed it all on paper later.

He will know the exact color of your eyes and the story behind the ring you always wear, for these will fascinate him. Only he can decode all your facial expressions and only he knows all your little games. He knows how you like shadow puppets and double infinity signs. You will be flattered by his knowledge of you. You will start to inspire him, become his driving force, while he becomes yours.

When you gift him a Polaroid, you’ll find a poem about it two days later. You’ll click pictures and caption it with his lyrics. When you dance to his songs while teaching him how to Salsa, he’ll write another song about it. He’ll show you how thankful he is through his words and you’ll be thankful because he considers you worthy enough to be written about.

He won’t always tell you how he feels, for his self-expression is almost non-existent in person. But greeting cards, long emails and blog posts about you will be a norm. You will stop trying to figure him out; you’ll stop offering pennies for his thoughts. All you need to know about him lies imprinted for the world to read.

Every fight you have, will inspire his work. You’ll get mad at him and throw around cuss words you don’t know the meaning of, a detail his protagonist will later possess. He will write about how you steal his chocolates, how you always borrow and misplace his books and how you make him wait every time before giving in. They will all be his words and you’ll never get a chance to justify yourself.

Your name will be hidden somewhere in the acknowledgements of his books. People will know you, without really knowing you – through his eyes. His words will become their judgment. You will feel violated, because you did not wish to acquire the kind of fame he has.

And maybe one day you’ll learn how to write. Your lyrics will become the captions and then he’ll know what it’s like to be a muse.

This is 17 year old Janvi writing to you, typing furiously on her laptop, hoping that by the time you’re 30, you have better gizmos and you’re not technologically-challenged. I’m half-hoping you’re reading this on some cool gadget while sitting on a cloud – Preferably one that’s shaped like a chocolate.

The reason I decided to write was because I thought you should know what a lost, confused teenager you have been. I know that the last thing you want to read right now is some 17 year old ranting about how nothing is perfect in her life and how it is the end of the world and you’re probably shaking your head in annoyance, just about now. But, hear me out.

I’m not writing to vent out about the tragic state of things in my life. I’m just writing to remind you of me – hoping that you’ve changed a lot since the awkward, nerdy teenager and yet, in essence, you’re the same person. I hope you still love writing and you haven’t given up on your blog. Are you still writing occasional journal entries? I know that being three decades old isn’t exactly a child’s play and that it doesn’t give you enough time. But I hope that it hasn’t stopped you from shelling out a rant or a love poem.

Speaking of which, I hope you still believe in love and “the one” and destiny and all that. I’m assuming that life has probably given you many moments when you’ve wanted to give up. But, please, I hope you haven’t – for a romantic 17 year old’s sake. I also hope that you’ve found more people to love, and you’ve realized how the definition of love changes with age. I’m sure love at 30 isn’t the same as love at 17, or is it? I’m sure loving a man is different from loving a pubescent boy. And I know that boys break hearts – I hope that men at least do it gracefully.

I hope that even after celebrating 30 birthdays, you haven’t stopped loving them and waiting for them impatiently. Do you still plan your birthday party six months in advance? Because that’s authentic, teenage Janvi. I wish that you’re still a chocoholic – 17 year old Janvi is nothing, if not a chocoholic. And I hope that you’ve learnt how to make chocolate at home, at least by now.

I hope that you’ve made mistakes in life – lots of them. But I also hope that you don’t regret any one of them. I hope that each one of them has taught you something meaningful – especially the mistakes you made when you were 17.

I hope you miss who you were at 17. I hope you’re glad you’re not 17 anymore.

With love, respect and memories,
17 year old you.

I want to tell you I miss you, but I can’t because I never appreciated the truth when you said you wanted to leave me. How can I expect you to appreciate the truth about me missing you?

I want to tell you I miss you, but I can’t, because the words, “I miss you,” sound too flamboyant.

I want to tell you I miss you, but I have this sinking feeling in my stomach every time I say it out loud. It’s like my body doesn’t want me to accept it, even when I’m alone.

I want to tell you I miss you, but I can’t, because I don’t want you to be obliged to say you miss me too. I don’t want you to be untrue.

I want to tell you I miss you, but I can’t, because missing you is like a child stealing candy. The pleasure lies in the secrecy.

I want to tell you I miss you, but I can’t, because I’m scared; you might stop giving me reasons to miss you.

You taught me a lot.
Unlike most teachers,
You taught me with
your absence.

I learnt that growing
into another person
is beautiful.
But untangling yourself
is refreshing.

Hearts don’t break,
They weaken, wrap up
in tight bandages.
They keep beating,
Till you slip out of love.

You taught me a lot.
Unlike most teachers,
You taught me with
your absence.

Carefully woven words. Beautifully crafted music.

I want to be the essence of the song you write for me. I want to be the melody of the song you play for me. I want to be the giggles seeping in while you sing the song for me over the phone. I want to be the colour of your cheeks when I clumsily clap for you. I want to be our forbidden poems; I want to be our secret feelings. I want to be everything you cherish.

Monotonous dance rehearsals. Intolerable emotional swirls.

I want to be the alluring choreography you try to perfect. I want to be that break of our sync that captures your attention. I want to be our dying rhythm you religiously crave to repair. I want to be those moments you elongate when our hands touch. I want to be our lost grace; I want to be our unyielding attempts. I want to be the company you want back.

Fading out colours. Heart-breaking canvas.

I want to be one of your shade strokes that aren’t forced. I want to be the paint that remains when the others dry out of inutility. I want to be the guiding muse that you decide to keep secret. I want to be the designs we etch on paper. I want to be our sketched mistakes; I want to be our illustrated guilt. I want to be the start to the end of our portrait.

1. Take off your glasses first.
2. Make sure the pillows are the fluffy ones.
3. If you have long hair, tie it up.
4. Don’t blog while pillow fighting.
5. Don’t ever say, “It didn’t hurt me. Try again. Heehee.”
6. Be right back. Refer to rule four till then.

Pillow Fighting.


If the distance between us was a garden,
Would you pluck the flowers to get to me?
Destroy hundreds of others with sympathy,
Give them death while they give you life.

If the distance between us was a piece of cloth,
Would you tear it apart to get to me?
Ruin exactly what wiped your tears unconditionally,
So you could have company while they lose theirs.

If the distance between us was a person,
Would you push him down to get to me?
Decide who loves me more, who deserves me more,
Make me your everything and take away his.

Would you?

Long Distance Relationships.

Aashay Vengurlekar does the photography and I do the captioning.


I like to call myself a nerd. Someone who is interested in what she’s studying, always pays attention in class, takes down notes during lectures, religiously completes her homework, submits assignments and projects on time, does well on her tests and all in all, considers school important. However, being a 16 year old, I’m expected to do the complete opposite of all that. That is, only if I want to be considered cool.

I’ve been blessed with friends who are nerds themselves, who are perhaps smarter and more intellectual than me. But what about all those people who aren’t nerds? All those kids in school who are always “borderline failing” and think that it is cool to do so? All those kids who think that they are on the top of the social hierarchy by bunking school every chance they get? They never understand us, nerds.

A few months back, I reached the last straw in a series of incidents where people part of this “cool kid gang” acted like vultures. I would generally not have an issue with helping out people who may not be doing well in certain subjects, but when “helping” becomes more like, “doing all the work and letting others eat the fruits of my labor”,  it’s time to draw the line. It took me a while to come to that realization.

When you have someone crying on the phone, begging you to give them your perfectly organized notes, a day before an important exam, you don’t think twice. You don’t wonder why they didn’t pay attention when the chapter in question was taught in class, or why they didn’t make notes of their own. They talk in such convincing tones, which manipulate you to do as they say – or else, they’ll fail the exam. You are too polite to refuse. Your empathy gets the better of you. You give them your effort of two weeks, those few hand-written pages of your hard work.  After all, it made the cute boy who never notices you, flirt with you.

Did you realize that you were just emotionally blackmailed? No.

You were used to make someone else’s work easier. You helped out someone who would never understand what it’s like, being in your shoes – someone who would find another girl to flirt with, if you refused.

Now, I’ve learnt to judge people better – understand who is by my side because they really care, and who is here just to prey. I haven’t stopped believing in helping out the not-so-nerdy-people, but I’ve also realized the importance of letting them be, at times. We all need to be a little more self-dependent.