The Birthday List

Dear Zonk,

It’s that time of year again, and I’m trying not to put my generic staples into my list this time. Which means pajamas and shorts and socks are welcome, but you already know that about me – you don’t need a list to help you think of that.

And so, here it is — my much-awaited, mildly-belated list.


A List Of Things I’d Like To Have.

  • A grown up nice hoodie that is comfy but makes me look rich. Maybe light grey. Maybe not.
  • A giant windchime that makes very mellow sounds, kinda like the sounds the windchimes make at manori. Or in Auroville.
  • Glasses, if I go to an ophthalmologist soon, and get glasses prescribed. I will come with you to select this, though.
  • Fund hair stuff. Some combination of haircut, some treatment. Maybe some color? Who can tell what the next decade will bring. *shrugs*
  • Jeans. Though I hate jeans, and this is more a necessity than a want.
  • Not-jeans. Because I hate jeans. I want to not have to wear them at all.
  • That magic hair bun making strip thingy we keep seeing in instagram ads. Neha or Deepali should know about it. But only if it’s not a scammy product.
  • Kindle voucher.
  • Shein voucher.
  • Plushie materials. I wanna start trying to learn, and I want nice, high-quality plushy stuff for it. You’ll need to research this, though.
  • A nice backpack for my laptop. I like the MI one, for instance: https://store.mi.com/in/item/3181200028. Not sure my 15 inch macbook pro fits inside though, so figure.
  • A cash contribution to my laptop fund.
  • Anything from my Book Collection Rebuilding Project List. Which brings us to…


The Book Collection Rebuilding Project List.

First,  bit about this whole thing. When I was a kid, we had a trunk full of books. The collection depleted over time. My sister got married and took a part of it when she moved out. I discarded some of it because of space constraints. Then there are books I lent out and never got back, and some that I lost along the way. Also, in the past few years, I joined a library, got a Kobo, and then a Kindle. Which means I kinda stopped buying books for a while. But I plan to get back to it, soon.

Some of the books on this list are from my to-read list. Some I’ve read before, but don’t currently own. They are my top tier of favourite books, though. And I’d like to have my own copies at some point.

Also, please note that I love used and secondhand books. Especially copies with notations or inscriptions in them. So those would be lovely too.


1. The white Billy bookcase from Ikea, if you somehow have a way of getting it from Hyderabad. Just the base one, 6 x 2ft or whatever. But only if C figures a space for it.

2. Books I’ve already read and loved —

  • We need to talk about Kevin – Lionel Shriver
  • Miss New York Has Everything – Lori Jakeila
  • Cat’s Eye – Margaret Atwood
  • The Lover’s Dictionary – David Levithan
  • The Good Luck of Right Now – Matthew Quick
  • Wonder – R. J. Palacio
  • And the ass saw the angel – Nick Cave. This was a gift, and someone took it and hasn’t returned it. If it’s you, please give it back. If not, I’d like another copy.
  • A bunch of Judy Blumes (please include starring Sally J. Freedman)

3. Books from my To Read Shelf —

  • Belief Is Its Own Kind of Truth, Maybe – Lori Jakiela
  • Stickboy – Shane Koyczan
  • The Humans – Matt Haig
  • The Mammoth Cheese – Sheri Holman
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler – E.L. Konigsburg
  • Lost & Found – Brooke Davis
  • Happenstance: Two Novels in One About a Marriage in Transition – Carol Shields
  • The Sea of Tranquility – Katja Millay
  • Everything Is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer
  • The Tao of Pooh – Benjamin Hoff, Ernest H. Shepard (illustrator)
  • The Woman in the Window – A.J. Finn
  • My Year of Rest and Relaxation – Ottessa Moshfegh
  • Anything by Margaret Atwood that I haven’t already read. Check Goodreads.
  • A good graphic novel. Anything with good art recommended strongly by someone who reads a lot of graphic novels, or recommended on Goodreads.




Dear Zonk,

I feel like I have no fight left in me today. Things are tiring. And all fuel will, at some point, run out.

Gimme a hug, no questions asked.


Love always,



Dear Zonk,

I’ve taken on too much, and I’m doing too many things in a half-assed way and it’s stressing me out.

  1. My violin classes get harder every week, my practice regimen is still scarcely in place. Worse, I seem to have lost the interest and momentum I’d developed before my trip. Probably because I can only focus on one side project at a time with full intent, and right now I’m working whole-heartedly on Bleak…
  2. I signed up for a 10k back in March, thinking that by September, I’d be a pro. Months passed, and I’ve barely run. And now I need to run 10k somehow next week. The anxiety is fucking up all my practice runs. I can’t run as much as I could a month ago, even. I really have no fucking clue how I’m going to make this thing happen. My friends promise that it’s not so hard, and that they’ve done it on little or no practice before, but I think that they’re all naturally fitter than I am. And also I don’t think they have anxieties about physical exertion. I do. It’s weird, but yeah.
  3. I have been working on Bleak, and I’m proud of how it’s coming out. But. It’s really hard to put it out there, and I’m still hesitant about sharing it at all. More terrifyingly, I have sent in a submission to a publication I really really like, and now I have to hold my breath till they send me a yes or a no. Obviously.
  4. I’ve started an app project with Neha, because we’d like something nice to work on, something to put in our portfolios. And also because it’s book related, which makes us happy. I haven’t been working on it enough though, and Invision seems to have fucking given up on me. They aren’t fixing my buggy app at all. So much for Studio.


Today, I need to:

  • Tune my violin, which is a mammoth task because I had to restring it all alone yesterday and now my bridge keeps collapsing and my pegs keep slipping. Clearly I’ve done a fuckall job.
  • Practice said violin.
  • Finish some client work I’ve been putting off since Friday.
  • Send a proposal to another maybe-client.
  • Shop for C’s aunt’s wedding with said aunt.
  • Run! *is desperate*

And it’s already 10.19 a.m.

*jiggles foot very fast*

Well. Shit.

Love always,



Dear Zonk,

I’ve reached that stage in violin learning where half assing it won’t cut it anymore :| Time to truly practice everyday now.


My violin teacher says I ought to practice every morning. But life is hard. And mornings short. And I’m a lazy fucking potato of a person. But I’m wasting everyone’s time and a considerable amount of money if I don’t do this right. So I better step it up.

In other news, my Bleak Person Project is going nicely, and I’ve started to sculpt things from clay a little. I’m finally starting to strike some sort of balance in terms of work, life and hobbies, and I’m going to spend the next few days figuring out ways to be more conscious of how I choose to spend my time.

More about that later. Right now I have eggs that need some frying and work that needs to some doing. And a second coffee, perhaps.

Love always,



Battery Saver Mode

Dear Zonk,

I’m not a very social person by default. A lot of social stuff happened last week. And next week is sure to be worse.

Which is why I retired early from boardgame day at my owb house tonight. I’ve said my goodbyes, changed into my pajama shorts and home t-shirt, closed the bedroom door, and turned out the lights. And now I’ll read my new book until I fall asleep.

It isn’t much, but it’s all I can do until next week.

In any case, goodnight. Sleep tight. Don’t let the nighttime anxiety bite.

Love always,



More mellow sounds.

Dear Zonk,

I played a cello today!

Okay no. I played with a cello today. I went for my violin class and my teacher asked if I’d like to see a double bass. I said yes and asked to see a cello too, and he asked if I’d like to try playing it :)

The cello is so huge that notes start several inches down the fretboard. And you play second notes with your third finger, because there’s no way you could reach them with your second.

And the sound it makes is sublime.

I’ve realised that I love the violin, Zonk, but only when other people are playing it. But when I have a tiny instrument on my shoulder that’s making a horribly high pitched sound, I get kinda stressed out. My tendency to play too softly is far more pronounced with this instrument.

And so I’ve decided that once I get through my grade 1 book, and if I’m playing better, I’d like to trade my violin in for another equally painful instrument that has a mellower sound. I’m thinking viola. Because a cello would be too expensive too unweildy and also because I don’t think I deserve such a magnificent instrument.

And now I must go practice.

Love always,