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This was the first-ever meal I had alone: a snacky platter of momos, something fancy whose name I don’t remember, and french fries.

I had just moved out of home (quite literally), landed in a different city, and the first place I went was a cafe. I had an unbearable pang of hunger and nowhere to be until late evening.

I remember it distinctly because it seemed so unusual to my 17-year old self. The social stigma with “oh God, no one should have to eat alone, that’s so sad” was too big…

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I was about to dismiss writing on self-care because it is a competitive keyword. Because that’s what it has become now: a keyword on Google.

Have you ever come across brands forcing you to take care of yourself without selling their products? I know that a company needs the $$$ to work — but exactly where is the line if something as personal as self-care is also marketed to the point of exhaustion? Aren’t the products using vulnerable, tired, and stressed consumers to make a sale that won’t even benefit them?

Modern self-care…

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If you are an artist, you likely have a love-hate relationship with social media. Heck, if you are a person, you can’t do with or without social media.

I often think that the quote “You are the sum of 5 people you spend the most time with” should also add “You are also the total of the 5 apps you spend the most time on” — and let’s face it, at least one of those apps is social media.

No matter your choice of poison, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, Quora, Pinterest, Linked In…

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The world is a loud place. There are hardly any times when you and I are not listening to man-made sounds. I don’t know how you rebel, but I unconsciously get irritable and cranky in too much noise.

As a hideaway, I go for a solitary walk in the park 3–4 times a week at the odd hour of 3:30 in the afternoon. For the half-hour I am there, the only sounds I hear are the chirping of the birds, the rustling of the leaves, or the dances of the wind.

As much…

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I wrote my first poem when I was 10 at the back of a 2-year old unused dated diary my father got as a gift from work. I remember using red pens and decorative headings to scribble “beautifully”, not a care in the world if what I am writing makes any sense.

At 10, I didn’t know what I was getting into as I returned day after day to fill the page with more neat red ink. …

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I don’t know if it’s the season — but I see Bougainville everywhere. I stare and stare, but their magic doesn’t fade away. I linger to move away to “work,” but my mind is with the bougainvilleas, always.

I honestly don’t know if it is my luck or my hyper-organized-keeping-three-todo-lists or the weight of privilege that has attracted good things in my life. Do you? I can’t trace down how many times a “mistake” led to something magnificent.

Serendipity unfolds silently in the outer edges of your noisy hustle,” Dushka Zapata said.


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The smallest of tangible conventional achievements are celebrated — getting good grades, cracking college, jumping on a new job, pacing to a promotion, etc.

These milestones of a “normal” life are placed under harsh scrutiny, expected to be realized by 25. This creation of a pleasingly “ordinary” life is commemorated — and for good reasons, mostly. Because achieving even this normality, this ordinary-everyday is not easy. It is difficult to garner, all the more challenging to maintain & pacify on top of one another in a neat list.

But besides these external rewards…

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I had a lot of those ‘life’s big questions’ growing up: Why do grown-ups have these things that they call ‘jobs’ and why do they have to do it every day? Why do we have to ‘work’ and ‘build a career’ anyway? What purpose does it solve, really? Why should I go to bed early? Why not have only a bowl of maggie for dinner?

The questions got weirder as I grew up: Who am I? Why am I here? What is the meaning of life? Wait, what is ‘purpose’ and ‘meaning’ and…

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I was uncertain whether or not to write this article. There were many, many (oh God, SO MANY) ‘What ifs?’ in my head before beginning that I wrote the first sentence 20 times. I wanted it to be juicy enough to hold your attention, yet mysterious enough for you to want to read more.

Like me, I am sure you have also read it: It is pointless to ponder about the future, futile to worry about what will happen in a day that is not this day. We have to get comfortable being…

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Mmm, it is honeysugar, the beginnings. Every gesture so sweet, every crossed boundary charming, and every habit adorable. All of us possess a little bit of this sparkly honeymoon period nostalgia at the back of our palms.

It most commonly happens with new partners. But romantic endeavors don’t have a monopoly on honeymoon periods. It happens with everything — new jobs, new friendships, and even new purchases.

Remember when you bought that new phone and discovered it for hours? The shiny screen, the many features, the wonderful speed. Now, all of it is…

Rochi Zalani

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