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Special

ISSUE 31

Column Articles
For Better or for Verse

Diving In

- Brishti

The next article I write will be my last. The year is about to end. This magazine, as we know it, is about to end. By all rights, I should be writing about endings right now.

 

But I just did that in the last article. And, for some reason, I can’t stop thinking about what’s to come.

 

I feel saddest when I think I know exactly how my life will play out. Knowing the future, even a good, ideal future, makes me feel empty. I think this is true for everyone; if you know what’s coming, it might as well have already happened. I know it’s counterintuitive to let go of control, but it might just help to let life give you what it wants to. Last year’s new year’s article urged you to let the year treat you well, and I hope it has. Don’t worry about this year. Isn’t it beautifully freeing to dive into it head first?

1 January 1965 by Joseph Brodsky, translated by George L. Kline

Iosif Alexandrovich Brodsky was reviled and persecuted by officials in his native Soviet Union, but the Western literary establishment lauded him as one of that country’s finest poets. His verses were characterized by ironic wit and a spirit of fiery independence. Brodsky’s poetry bears the marks of his confrontations with the Russian authorities. (Poetry Foundation)

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/56736/1-january-1965

 

To the New Year by W. S. Merwin

William Stanley (W.S.) Merwin was born in New York City in 1927 and raised in New Jersey and Scranton, Pennsylvania, the son of a Presbyterian minister. For the entirety of his writing career, he explored a sense of wonder and celebrated the power of language, while serving as a staunch anti-war activist and advocate for the environment. He won nearly every award available to an American poet, and he was named U.S. poet laureate twice. (Poetry Foundation)

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/54327/to-the-new-year

 

After the Gentle Poet Kobayashi Issa by Robert Hass

In addition to his success as a poet, Robert Hass is also recognized as a leading critic and translator, notably of the Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz and Japanese haiku masters Basho, Buson, and Issa. Critics celebrate Hass’s own poetry for its clarity of expression, its concision, and its imagery, often drawn from everyday life. Hass is Distinguished Professor in Poetry and Poetics at the University of California, Berkeley. (Poetry Foundation)

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/47809/after-the-gentle-poet-kobayashi-issa

It’s that time of the year again with snowflakes, eggnog, and Spotify Wrapped releases. My Spotify Wrapped said I listened to almost 15 thousand minutes of music consisting of 42 genres, and my top artist was Taylor Swift. Spotify Wrapped announcements mark the beginning of the end, and it was the end of quite a tough year. I don’t want to take this article in the direction of ‘an end means new beginnings’; instead I’d like to take this some other way. 2022 brought with it memories - moments to cherish for a lifetime.

 

Sometimes, I don’t think I perceive time. At least I don’t like to perceive time. Time is just this concept that keeps going on and on and never stops. It’s the inevitable direction of entropy increase that leads to the eventual heat death of the universe (that was my last physics platitude, I swear). Most of my time is filled with boredom, so I just filter that time out of my memory. But there are some moments when I feel actual emotions (I think I should reassure you here that I’m not Wall-E). And to me, those are the moments worth remembering.

 

There were different kinds of moments - happy, sad, angry, scary, disgusting, and many more. There was the time I organised an economics fest at school that was proclaimed as ‘the best organised fest in our history’ by our principal. There was the time I received my rejection letter from Columbia University. There was the time I didn’t do as well as I thought I would at the American Math Competition. There was the time I proposed to the girl I liked. And finally, there was the time I tried beer for the first time.

 

My year was just a string of these moments, making memories that will stay with me forever. Some of them I will hold on to, while some of them I will let go because they aren’t worth remembering forever. The time in between also has some moments, some details that I remember, but I could not summon them to the front of my mind upon request. In my memory, this year was just a haze of countless times like these.

 

Sometimes, I felt the need to capture a moment as it was, like taking a picture that’ll be framed forever in my mind. It’s those momentous pictures that captured a fleeting moment, long texts that felt like a warm 5-minute long hug, and adorable voice recordings that were music to my longing ears that will keep me company in the days to come.

 

I also know these moments aren’t the last that are to come, not by a long shot. I might have to purge a part of my memory stick to allow space for new moments to find their place. It’s going to be tough at times, heartbreaking even, but that’s alright. I’m just going to focus on the next moment I have to add to my seemingly infinite string.

 

My Spotify Wrapped told me I was a Nomad. Let’s see where the next moment takes me.

the next Step

- Devansh

Intricate Connections

THE END, PART 1

- SNIGDHA

Life is pretty simple, if you look at it. We are born, we live, and we die. Like everything, life starts and finishes, limited by a domain on a number line capped on both ends by sureness. Usually, I would challenge this notion by exploring the nuance within the fact, the moving shadow behind the permanent object, just to show you that life is more than what it is.

 

Today, instead of reading between the lines or giving you a fantastic metaphor or commentary on the abstract nature of some arbitrary idea or concept, I’m going to teach you how to do it yourself. One day, this column will be nothing but a remnant of history; a lost vessel in the ever-expanding universe of the internet. And I just want to make sure you’ll be fine once I’m gone. Think of this as a recipe on a tombstone engraved by the dead cook herself. And be sure to bookmark this page for easy perusal once my column refuses to flush in with new articles for you to read.

 

I want you to take a breath on 3. One, two, and three. Let’s step into the mind of a 17-year-old with a very cluttered living room inside, amongst the hedges of grey matter. Push aside the aloe vera pots and make yourself at home in the overstuffed armchairs; you’ll need an emptier mind to start.

 

Every journey has a theme song that encapsulates the essence of its goal. I’d suggest ‘Top of the World’ by The Carpenters:

 

Such a feelin's comin' over me

There is wonder in most every thing I see

Not a cloud in the sky, got the sun in my eyes

And I won't be surprised if it's a dream

_

 

Imagine yourself at the summit of the world. Think Mount Everest, but higher. The moon, but a little more terrestrial. You lord over all that you see and more. 

 

Now, imagine yourself shrinking. And shrinking. And shrinking. Your summit is gone, and you are but a miniscule grain.

 

Did you have the song playing in the background? Good. Let it play for a bit longer, till we’re done here. The purpose of showing you both these images is to make sure you’re aware of your place in this world, this realm of being. When you think of your own sphere of existence, you are at its centre, at the highest point of meaning and focus. But in the grand scheme of things, you’re just a little speck of nothingness, floating on a ball of water and sand. One lens gives us limitless meaning. Another takes it all away. I like to think of both lenses as important. I am the centre of the universe and I am nothing at the same time. 

 

Now that both sides of the spectrum have been established, feel free to make it a sliding scale, and explore every level of importance you can give yourself, and to life. From complete nihilism to an unbounded sense of concern for all that is around you, play around with how much you care about it all. 

 

I like to look at it this way: the importance we give to ourselves and the world around us isn’t going to remain constant. Situations melt and flow with time, and so do our perceptions and thoughts about them. I cared about some things when I was younger, and now, other things take precedence. Like this column, some of them will become a remnant of my history that I’ll look back on. I look down from my mountain at the top of the world, and this acceptance of flux and new things has helped me become better attuned to what all the tenses - past, present, and future - have to say. 

 

Regardless of what you choose to focus on, remember that everything can have meaning. Your life doesn’t have to be empirical and purposeless; the miniscule and seemingly unimportant aspects of everyday life could be the very things that help you make sense of more than what you see. 

 

Accepting change in what we deem important is the first step. Now, I implore you to think big, and think wide. Remember to play The Carpenters as you hammer away into a philosophical goldmine. And try not to think about this column ending, or the inevitable ending of everything that lies ahead; it’ll make for a less than saccharine metaphor when it’s all over.

Magnify

New Year, Same me

- Chaand

In fact, I had several ideas to write about for this issue, ranging from “Why cars suck” to “TV shows and mature audiences”. Then, I realised that there's a time and place for these articles, because traffic and the scarring effect of Euphoria are both problems that I have strong opinions upon, but those are for next year. For now, I want to talk about something more personal that I think a lot of you may benefit from hearing. For now, I think I have something more pressing to address, the end of a better year of my life.

 

Notice I said better and not best, because this year has been defined by that very word. 2022 was my “better” year.

 

If I wrote a poem about 2022, growth would be a major theme, and it would have a consistently comforting and personal tone. It’d have an atmosphere of change, motifs of “me vs myself”, and a rhyme scheme that involved multiple rhyming couplets. I am a different person from what I was a year ago, and that’s because I learnt from my mistakes and tried to do better for myself and the people around me. I let my hair grow out, unapologetically (ironic, since I got a haircut recently). 

 

I think it is important to realise that it’s unrealistic for things to be “the best”. Going into the next year, I want to learn from this year and work towards being better. I don’t think it's possible to be an “all-round, brand new, completely redesigned person” at the start of a new year because no one can be perfect, but we can strive to be better.

 

Instead of focusing on making big resolutions and saying old cliches like “new year, new me”,  it is more significant to be “New year, working-on-being-better-while-knowing-it's- impossible-to-get -there-immediately- without-making-mistakes” me. That’s what I did this year, and it benefited me greatly. That’s what will reward us as people - we cannot go from point A to point B immediately, there will be speed bumps and a journey on the way. The journey is the growth we should focus on.

 

This growth is seen more than ever in my writing. If you look at the 13 issues that I have written in this year, I think you can see my writing evolving. I have grown tremendously as a writer, moving away from writing things that aren’t relevant to readers to talking about topics where I had important ideas to bring out. I feel like my writing has acquired more structure and direction than ever. I believe Riot Mag has helped me drastically with this, and I want to thank all my fellow writers and editors from the bottom of my heart for helping me with this growth. Because when looking at issue 15’s “The Meaning of Love” to issue 30’s “Jungle Book and the Burden No One Asked For”, the two seem as different as night and day.

 

Why am I reflecting? Well, if you didn’t know, Riot Mag is going on a hiatus after Issue 32, and for a good while. We are losing almost all of our core teams as they prepare for college, and I’ll be working with my peers to figure out a new direction for the magazine. Remember those article ideas I mentioned at the beginning? Those are articles in the same direction in which my column has been moving in, and that is where I want to see Killer Queen go. More political and relevant articles to the world as a whole can potentially inform and benefit readers. I cannot wait to be back after the hiatus, but at the same time, I am also dreading it.

 

Before all that though, I’d like to look back and thank you, my readers, the people who read my articles this year, everyone who helped me grow this year, and who supported and loved me this year. I look forward to a “better” 2023 with every one of you. Not in comparison to 2022, of course, but simply better.  I will see all of you next year, when I am a little bit taller, a little better writer, with a little longer hair. Everything will be great (as long as I don’t have “stop drinking soda” as a resolution). This year changed me for the better and the next one will continue on the same path, I hope. For the next year, let's not plan to change everything about ourselves, but instead, take the positives from 2022 and build on them. Because growth will happen naturally, we just need to give the hair some time.

 

I’ll see you all in three weeks when I will undoubtedly be crying my eyes out when Riot says “We’ll be back, better, after this short break”. And for the sake of callbacks, let’s bring back the memes shall we :) 

Killer Queen

Same Year, New Me

- Shravan and Ananya

It is 5:56 right now, and we’re not going to start writing this article. Instead, we’re going to wait and start at 6:00, because it’s a nice, round, satisfying time.

Never mind - we procrastinated too much, and it’s now 8:00. We’re hopelessly behind on all our tasks. And yet, somehow, it’s better than if we had started at an unround time like... *shudders* 7:37.

Now, take this scenario and replace “writing this article” with “learning to play the banjo” or “reading 70 books” (fuck you, Goodreads) and “6:00” with “January 1st”, and boom: we’ve arrived at the concept of a New Year’s resolution. In fact, it was actually our New Year’s resolution to write this article.

In 2021.

Our lives are filled with examples of us waiting until a given time or date to start something new. In fact, it's such a popular occurrence that psychologists give it a name: the "fresh start effect", and it usually comes into play when a new period of time is about to start, be it an hour or a year.

 

The reasoning behind the fresh start effect involves yet another psychology term: the "clean-slate effect" (no, this term does not refer to our brains right before Hindi exams). The clean-slate effect says that we see monumental occasions in time as new beginnings, because they feel as though an era of our life is ending. And that makes sense - since we measure our lifespan in years, we see each year as a distinct unit of time, and each New Year's Day as the start of something new. Naturally, it just feels so right to change who we are for the better. With all this motivation and determination, we trigger the fresh start effect.

 

But there are problems that come with waiting for specific times to improve yourself.

 

For example, three years ago, I (Shravan) was overcome with a sudden interest in European history, and I decided that starting January 1st, 2020, I was going to start learning Russian. For the first week, I was impeccably consistent. Everyday, I got on Duolingo and did three times the number of exercises I was meant to (and the green owl was happier than ever). A week in, however, I fell sick and skipped my daily practice, losing my streak and consequently my motivation. In my head, I heard the owl hooting the angriest "dasvidaniya" he could muster. And I couldn’t just restart the next day; it had to be February 1st, by which time I had forgotten about it. So, I never learned Russian - quite shamefully, I lost several GeoGuessr rounds in the coming few months due to insufficient knowledge of Cyrillic lettering.


I, Ananya, happen to be my orthodontist’s greatest nightmare; forgetting to wear my Invisalign, and being reprimanded by the poor man on every visit, I promise myself every week that I will be extra careful. Every week, I forget for a second or two - and then, I’m back to square one. There was nothing stopping me from putting them on then and there, but it simply seemed right to do it on a momentous occasion like a Monday.


Although it feels like we absolutely have to begin simple tasks when it feels like we have a fresh start, I think we all bear the consequences of what happens when we delay work to a day looming in the future. More often than not, starting at the ‘right’ time ends up feeling horribly wrong because of the guilt and worry of procrastination now weighing on us.

And who decided that a fresh start needed to be in an ‘x’ increment of time? If you think about it, the next second is also a fresh start - it’s a new second! Although you don’t celebrate it by dropping a ball into New York, it could very well have the same effect, the same ‘new beginning’ as the beginning of even a new century.

It’s actually highly unlikely that starting at a momentous occasion creates any more of a conducive environment to our productivity rather than the very moment we decide we want to - it’s more effective to grasp at the opportunities we get and start doing something whenever we’re feeling it. If not, that opportunity might just slip away.

 

If we hold off on changing ourselves for the better until the metaphorical stars align, we take the responsibility of changing ourselves and give some of it to something else (or ourselves in the future), making it harder for us to grow in the present.

So start that book (the one you’ve been putting off for some time); learn a new language; and for your dentist’s sake, put on your Invisalign. Pick up the banjo that’s collecting dust in your almirah. Don’t wait any longer.

And now, the two of us will start our next (and last) articles at 9:37 instead of 9:45.

Because that’s okay.

Between the Notes

Furniture

- Ishana

I love furniture shops and the way furniture pieces have been arranged to create their own little rooms. I love seeing other people’s representation of what a home looks like. And I love how when people shop for furniture, they’re essentially looking at someone’s idea of a home and picking pieces of that to fit into the mosaic that will be their new home.

 

I feel like furniture shopping accompanies a lot of fresh starts, like shifting houses or rooms, or something bigger, like moving out. And that’s why I rarely see people shopping for furniture alone, because fresh starts are one of the most terrifying things in the world. I see siblings fight over which of the race-car beds is better. I see future roommates argue over which rug would look better in their hostel room. I see grandparents carefully testing out the rocking chairs to see which one is most comfortable.  

 

And there’s nothing scarier than starting something all alone. This is why there’s something special about New Year’s Day and resolutions: it reminds you  that you’re not going through this alone. It’s like a collective fresh start for everyone on the planet.

 

This year holds a lot of fresh starts for me, and I expect to walk into furniture stores multiple times in the near future, pretending like each little home is my own. I know that I’ll probably be sitting on the colourful sofa set, playing board games with my overly-competitive family. Or jumping on the beds with my brother, trying to see who can go the highest without breaking anything. Perhaps even sprawled on bean bags and hammocks, telling my friends about my day.

 

No matter what piece of furniture I go to, or which furniture shop I’m in, whenever I visualise home, it’s always the people who come to mind first. The colour of the sofa or the patterns on it don’t matter to me if I have no one who’ll sit on it and talk to me.

 

I like to see fresh starts, not just as they are, but also as what they could be. Rugs that friends sit on to have a midnight feast of spicy noodles, or to play a game of truth or dare. Chairs whose wooden legs will inevitably get scratched by cats. A shelf that will sag with the weight of photo frames and trinkets.

 

I see every new start haunted by the ghosts of future memories. Though ghosts usually terrify me, I find that when I’m close to the people I love, I’m not scared at all. 

Aleatoire
Creative Rioters

SUPERSTITIONS

- DIYA

“I’m not superstitious, but I’m a little stitious.”

 

This is one of my favorite lines from The Office (US). Not only is it one of Michael Scott’s signature perfectly imperfect flubs; it also resonates with me. 

 

I wouldn’t call myself a superstitious person, but I do have some random superstitions centered around two major aspects of my life: exams and sports. 

 

Ever since I started writing exams, I’ve had exam superstitions. Tiny things that I can control have to remain constant across exam seasons. For example, if I use a certain sink in the school bathroom to wash my hands before the first paper, I have to use that same sink for the rest of them. I also arrange my pencil pouch and its contents on my desk in the exam hall the exact same way, from the pouch’s placement to the direction my eraser is pointing. If I don’t follow these superstitions (and more), I feel like my exam is going to go horribly.

 

I have fewer superstitions when it comes to sports, but they are all just as important. For example, whenever I have a soccer match, I always wear my sleeves inside my jersey. I never wore them to look cool; I started wearing them because my jerseys were always a few sizes too big and I wanted to feel comfortable (ok, maybe I thought they looked a little cool). But now, if I don’t have my sleeves on during a match, I feel very unlucky and lose confidence. Before any race, I always shake myself off; first the hands, then the legs. It’s almost as if I’m shaking the overwhelming wave of nerves off. I recently committed a foul start in a race, and my first thought after that happened was: “I didn’t shake myself enough”.

 

Lately, I’ve started becoming a lot more superstitious with more things. My exam-time superstitions have made their way into any event in my life that spans an extended period of time. For that entire period, every little thing in my room has to remain exactly the same as it was at the beginning.

 

I think it’s because there are now so many things in my life that feel out of my control that I wish to have every tiny, miniscule thing that I actually have power over in order. I don’t like leaving anything up to chance, so I overcompensate by micromanaging the most inconsequential things in order to feel more in control of my life. Rather than relying on how much I actually study or practice for a match, I concentrate on these superstitions to stop myself from overthinking or panicking. So, I have something to believe in when things go well, and something to blame when things go wrong. It’s a perfect system with no flaws whatsoever and nobody can tell me otherwise.

 

That isn’t to say I blindly believe in superstitions and hope they’ll work their magic. Consciously, I can easily tell how an exam will go depending on how much I’ve studied for it (except English. I can literally never tell). I use these superstitions merely as a form of comfort; it puts my mind at ease knowing that I’ve gone the extra mile to eliminate as many causes for concern as possible. But it’s always important to take some time to reflect on your successes and failures and understand the reasons (besides superstitions) that led to them.

 

I believe everyone has superstitions that they believe in, even if they don’t realize it. The desire for a sense of control in stressful situations is ingrained in human nature, however irrational the means of achieving this is. After all, it’s much easier to believe in something tangible than to think about an unforeseeable outcome. 

 

I think that when taken far out of context, Michael Scott was actually being quite profound. It’s nice finding comfort in the smallest things. You don’t have to be superstitious for it to work; just a little stitious.

Diya

WE DIDN'T CHOOSE TO BE THE CHANGE

- AASHAYA

New Year’s gives us the illusion that we’re entering a brand new era, that time isn’t a free-flowing continuum, but instead,  a cycle of beginnings and endings. That this year, things are going to be different. But we don’t see that the opportunity to start over, to make change, is always there, and all New Year’s Day really does is bring it to light. And I think it’s one of the most delightful constructs we’ve come up with as humans.

 

Being a teenager means that each year brings with it inevitable change. As young people, we are agents of change, even if we didn’t choose to be, which means that as time passes and we begin to comprise more volume in the human population, older people start looking at us for solutions to problems that we didn’t create, but will need to fix, such as climate change or equity. Every year, millions of people, young people, turn 18. It’s a very important age because when people turn 18, in a huge part of the world, they can vote. They have a voice that legally needs to be heard. A survey found that only about 22% of Gen Z was in support of Trump as the President of the US, as compared to the 57% of the oldest generation. In the 2020 US presidential election, about 65% of people between the ages of 18 to 24, voted for Biden. That’s an alarmingly large number when compared to other generations. The generational gap, in terms of individualistic or collectivistic ideologies, or faith, is blatant when we look at voting proportions.

 

In India too, the youth is increasingly unhappy with the government we have. And it is, of course, incredibly important for young people to question their government. It’s heartbreaking that this dissatisfaction in the government doesn’t always translate into votes. I’ve heard too many 18 year olds say they wouldn’t vote because their one singular vote doesn’t make a difference. But in some states, in the 2019 election, many more young voters voted for the CPI than they did for BJP (which got about a fifth of votes from young people). But they were outnumbered greatly by votes from older people. As young people in India, we have internalised that our voices don’t matter as much as those of our elders. It’s age discriminatory, and we don’t realise the power and value in our presence and participation in the world. But in recent times, we’ve been encouraging each other to understand our value.

 

We are a product of recent times and modern thought. We’re big on individualism and defining ourselves the way we want. These ideologies are slowly manifesting in the way the world runs. In the past few decades, jobs have turned from means of income and living, into ‘calling’, ‘dream’ and ‘purpose’, and so, recently, people have been saying on Twitter that they ‘don’t dream of labour’. Global wealth has tripled over the past two decades, which only means that people have been encouraged to work harder and harder. We know that we’re going to be thrust into this system as soon as we can earn. This is why people saying they don’t dream of labour, has been considered an individualistic rebellion against hustle and achievement culture. Workplaces are changing because every year, more young people need to start working. Although things are genuinely difficult for young people in the working class, they do have more power than they think. Young people are bringing slow change into the world. Even during unpredictable times, we often find ourselves at the forefront of this change.

 

The past three years were nothing like anything anyone could’ve forecasted, but that doesn't mean they couldn’t have been handled better. The unpredictability of everything entirely dismantled any faith we ever had in seeing into the future. The truth is that as we grow as a generation, we will have to go with the wind where it blows, but I like to believe that everyday, we are getting better at handling things that come our way. Every year counts because we’re moving, albeit slowly, in the right direction. That things are better now than they ever were before, for a larger variety of people than ever before. And they will continue to get better. Happy New Year.

Aashaya

DOWN THE CHIMNEY

- ANISHA

A thud. Nicholas grunted as his boots hit the ashy ground, his swollen ankles struggling to bear the weight of his heavy frame. This must have been his 26th house; he had barely begun. A sigh escaped him as he was reminded of the overwhelming number of houses in which he was still expected.

 

His eyes skimmed the room he stood in, beautifully decorated and bursting with color, even in the dead of night. In the corner stood a Christmas tree, its branches draped in paper wreaths and handmade ornaments that had clearly been crafted by a child. He much preferred houses like these over the meticulously decorated, but cold, ones that he often found himself in.

 

Houses like this one were representative of everything he thought the holidays should be about, everything he wished he had had as a child. A warm, loving family that cared for one another. A household that prioritized happiness, and people that he felt safe to be himself around. More importantly, though, houses like these almost always put out a plate of cookies for him. The cookies made this arduous job worth it.

 

He put down the overstuffed bag he was carrying and stuck his arm inside it. Bingo. He chortled as he looked at the objects, stuffed in his large hands. This child had asked for chocolates for Christmas, something Nicholas would have done. He filled the stocking hanging at the mantel before throwing the bag over his shoulder again with a groan.

 

He was far too old to be doing this. But retiring simply wasn’t an option, for he loved the smiles he brought to children's faces just as much as he did the idea of not having to fly another night. So, he got back in his sleigh, his loyal reindeer prepared to leave, and flew once more into the night  to the next house on his list; hopefully, one with cookies and milk.

Anisha

NEW YEAR'S DAY

- SANJANA

there’s glitter on the floor after the party. the disco-ball is hanging there, limp, one sway away from crashing onto the ground. you’re there too, in the aftermath, ears still ringing, heart still pounding, eyes still wide open. the countdown is still running in your head.

 

you sit there, in the quiet. but it’s not quiet, not really. solitude isn’t a prerequisite to silence, you’ve found. here, it’s just you and your thoughts. you recount the year that’s passed, marked by the cacophonous sound of broken promises. you think about all the hands you’ve held and all the words you wish you’d said.

the burden of your hopes isn’t gone yet. it’s just shifted to a different spot on the calendar. you don’t know if that will ever change.

 

change. it’s a funny word when you think about it.

everything changes. you see it in the beeping of the clock that everyone was gathered around mere minutes ago. you see it in the lines on your face and the age in your voice and the metamorphosis of your dreams.

 

but this scene: you, staring blankly into space, alone, ten minutes into a new year?

 

you find solace in the fact that some things never change.

Sanjana
Submissions

WATER LILIES

- TREZIEL MAE MAYORES

Lilies stuck at the corner of the port.

Pushed by every wave,

forced to follow the flow,

Where did the water lead the lilies?

In a corner, stuck to ponder:

— Where did all the time go?

Following the water’s order.

HELL IS A SMALL SPACE

- TREZIEL MAE MAYORES

If hell is a place,

It’s a small space

 

At the side of the streets,

Amongst the busy feet

 

Alone in your head —

With no one to speak.

BEER BOTTLES ON BEACHER

- TANUSH AGRAWAL

Spouses cut their fingertips

On broken bottles on sunny beaches.

Coarse sand throws drunken fits,

Oceans scream painful screeches.

 

Children pierce their soft soles,

On broken bottles on sunny beaches,

Castles melt in scorching shoals,

Blood curdles among gorging leeches.

 

Family cry at their bruised skin,

From broken bottles on sunny beaches.

Salt stings with a devilish grin,

The sun blinds eyes to what it preaches.

 

Family shiver at the smell of faint drink,

From when bottles were broken on sunny beaches.

The pain makes children think,

That they should listen to what pain teaches. 

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