Tiny drops of baarish pitter patter on the floor beside me. The wind picks up and the trees rustle as if to sing a little chan chanaa chan chan ditty. The birds chirp on the windowsill while cars honk their way through the crowded streets. The beginnings of a perfectly staged Bollywood movie. I’m sick….


In precious sweet memory of my little brother, Neil Lal. May you dance with reckless abandon in the skies above us now that you’ve found your peace within.


What can I do to permanently fix the detrimental leaks in their lives? These amazing, energetic, begging to learn and pleading to grow little friends of mine. Money takes one only so far, and until now it held no meaning in our friendship. Even so, money runs out, money gets spent, money is material. To be educated though, cannot be taken from a child. It cannot run out and it cannot be stolen. But it can materialize in ways one could never imagine.


But when you write, and especially when you write to no one at all but everyone in the world, you get this amazing, unique chance to express yourself and your thoughts, entirely shed of defense. You get to just talk to whomever will listen and those who listen get to listen invisibly. They get to hear your voice without having to respond right away- or ever. But those words have now pierced their balloon of perceptions. They have skedaddled their way from scattered words on the scrabble board to meaningful epiphanies in the minds of people who matter- and sometimes those who didn’t matter at all.


But do we always ask for the help that we undoubtedly need but cannot find solutions to? Is it our responsibility as human beings to seek out health and happiness for ourselves? Is it our responsibility to seek it out for others if we deem they are unable to find it on their own? When do morals, respect and pride give way in light of our presumptuous answers to happiness?


Loneliness is like waking up in the deep, encompassing darkness of a cave. It’s the first moment your eyes tell your mind what blackness is. It’s the millisecond of time you feel your pupils dilate, attempting to adjust to an unfamiliar endless hole of space. It’s the questions that invade your mind in hopes to grab hold of something tangible, comfortable, understandable. It’s the painful, confusing, frustrating noise of nothingness.


How often do we mean exactly what we say and say exactly what we mean?


I feel like an air bubble that’s been searching for surface water, years passed as if minutes underwater, bouncing about the ocean waves fiending for where I fit in. I’ve steered my little bubble a certain path for many years, leeching on to bigger stronger ones, in hopes of being swallowed up into their prosperous air of success or of reaping their benefits by mirroring their motions.

in transit

I asked her when I could come by the shelter and she smiled her big warm smile, slapped my knee, and exclaimed, “We want you now!” The next day I went to meet 15 of the sweetest young women. As Jaya walked me through the house, we discussed the girls’ stories while they joined us in the hallways, a façade of oblivion and bliss painted across their tortured faces. It is near impossible for me to comprehend how a girl, not yet woman, could have endured such pain and struggle, and still smile as brightly as they do. Jaya made me feel so at ease, I left my inhibitions to the wind and asked all my questions.