// what it is to be alive

maybe you hate yourself right now.
maybe you think you’re worthless and life, is just not easy anymore. but have you ever thought, that what a thing it is to be alive?

to witness the sunrises and sunsets, to see the colours of the skies change while the moon awaits to push the waves.
to see the stars twinkling and see our signs in the constellations. To see the clouds and forming shapes out of their shapeless forms.
to see your friends achieving their passion while you know a few months ago they couldn’t get up from their beds.
to be able to find someone who would read poems to us
or to whom we could read our favourite poems while laying on the grass
back leaned on a tree.
to be able to reach those mountains while tucked in your sweaters and jackets and beanies and ear muffs
yet playing the snowball fight.
to be able to make out with a hot spanish guy when you go solo traveling
to chill on a Goa beach in your new swimsuit  and feeling the sand underneath your feet
and listening to the sea waves in the shells you collect.
to watch more netflix shows you didn’t even know about
with him and your legs above his legs
while you fall asleep half way through it.
to be able to add another adventure in your bucket list.
to realise how much your parents have always loved you
and how you could never repay them but a small little conversation with them
is an investment of a lifetime.
to find your passion and art;
and work for it because this fire in you cannot be extinguished.
to break the glass ceiling and finally see what lies above the sky
and if you can pocket the clouds and count the stars.

i know you have bad days.
i know you’re afraid, dear heart, you’re afraid of a lot of things.
but maybe half of them won’t even happen.
maybe the other half would be better than you’ve expected
and even if what you thought happens, I know I can face it.
dear heart,
it’s only temporary.
because life is more than just bad days,
it is all about the good days you count
and the bad days that don’t hold you back,
but push you
to be better
to learn from your mistakes
to find better days
to be happy.
courage, dear heart.
this too, shall pass.

~ Nidhi Kulkarni

PS, I Love You and Postscript

“I hate goodbyes, but hating then is never a justification to stay.”

I recently finished reading Postscript and I kind of have mixed feelings about it. I genuinely loved the book, but it wasn’t as beautiful as the first book.

The story starts seven years later, when Holly has a normal life and then she’s faced with her past again. The book explores so much about her past, and Holly discovers herself along the journey. The characters are well crafted and their story is very heart touching.

The story begins with Holly making a podcast about how to get over death and dealing with grief, and there opens a club called PS, I Love You club. I’m not sure if telling further would be spoiler or not, so I won’t say much.

Although I love the writing style, at the back of my mind, I always felt like this was not really necessary. For ME, Holly and Gerry’s story was done. But the author wanted to discover more, and I read really good reviews, so I read it too, and I’m not entirely disappointed but there is something that’s not really getting me. I don’t know why I just can’t make myself LOVE it. PS, I Love You is really close to my heart. I loved it so much, and I don’t know, it’s just something I can’t place.

But anyway, it’s my opinion. I wanted to know about the book, and this is my honest review. It wasn’t great, but I don’t dislike it either. Maybe a reread someday might change my opinion!

// the clouds

i wonder what the clouds think.
i wonder if they know that
everyone becomes a child
trying to make shapes out of their distorted forms.
i wonder if they know
that the cracks in them
lets the light in
and we are grateful to them.
i wonder if they know that the moon
is sometimes thankful to them
when they cover his scars
he thinks are hideous.
i wonder if they know
that when they are dark,
people are in awe
because they believe, that their
God finally heard them
and they are his blessing.

i wonder if they know
that when i think about them,
i think about us.
i wonder if a little crack between our
imperfections would still let the light in.
i wonder if us coming together
and kissing mountain tops
would ever find warmth to our
cold heights.
i wonder if being dark in
one part of our world
could ever bring rainbow
after the unexpected downpour.
i wonder if our deformities could ever
make sense to someone gazing
from far far away.
i wonder if even while moving
we could hold on to each other.
i wonder if even with the imperfections
and gaps
and cracks
and darkness
we could still be whole.
i wonder if we ever were.

~ Nidhi Kulkarni

// what if i tell you

they say, if you write about pain,
people can relate to it.
if you write how you see the world
in blacks and grays ,
how the dark tunnel of your thoughts
don’t seem to end
or how you feel all the pain that you go through
when you have a panic attack –
or how,
you don’t see that little light of
hope and are stuck in your own mind.
they say when your pen meets your pain,
the readers sense it,
feel it and
know that they go through the
same thing that you do.

but, what if i tell you,
that this world is indeed, filled with colours other than blacks and grays,
and your mind is just denying it?
you say your joy and hopes died
and have burned to ashes.
but what if i tell you,
that in your ashes,
lies a tiny little ember,
waiting to be reignited.
maybe it needs a little more oxygen.
maybe a little more rage.
you say that your pain makes
you a good writer,
but if I tell you,
that your hope
can make you a better one?

when you see dead roses on a grave,
i wanna show you,
how the lotus grows
even in the dirt,
out of it,
refusing to
take even a speck of dirt with it —
and alive with colours.

because, i don’t want to live in a world,
where only the pain in my words is yours,
but the hope is relatable too.
because, i don’t wanna live in a world,
where
negativity is justified as realistic
and your happiness is termed
as a long, d i s t a n t
unattainable dream.
because i don’t wanna live in a world,
that is
a cemetery of desires of
young and old minds
while despair walks on the earth,
glooming the humankind inch by inch.
because i don’t wanna live in a world,
where sadness is embraced
and hope is extinguished;
crushed as if there’s no other way of life.

because, i,
wanna live in a world,
where your fury meets the fire in the sun;
where your aspirations twinkle in your eyes like stars in a night sky
— where you know that you
deserve the world
and nothing less,
where you finally see,
that little light at the end
of your dark tunnel;
seeping in slowly –
hold onto it.
fly towards it,
run or walk or crawl
but never let it go;
because that, is what will
set you free.

you may say that life is just
a series of events that happen to you.
but, what if I say, that life,
is not a just a series of events that happens to you, but
what you make of those events.

~ Nidhi Kulkarni

// jhumke

my mom always tells me,
that a pair of Jhumke, can make any girl look pretty.
and so i keep collecting them.
and it’s not like it’s not true;
i’ve seen that whenever i wear them,
it looks like they add a soul to my empty ears
and the dangling designs, reflect a jolly me.

i’ve seen that things that come in pair,
always add beauty in this a little dull world.
the wings of a butterfly,
two rivers joining to form a part of the sea,
oysters making a clam to hold a pearl,
a pair of Jhumke,
your grey eyes.
two humans in love.

and so in every earring that i buy,
i wonder if you’d like me in them.
the pair of earrings showing
that i want us to be that.
one cannot be without the other,
and i’d see people admiring us,
like we just belong where we are,
and make things even more beautiful.

but today, i lost one of my first ever earrings
i had bought when i thought about you.
the first pair of Jhumke
wearing which i wondered
if we could ever be together like that,
like souls that would be lost without the other,
like the ones who would look odd when we’re alone,
like one isn’t enough to beautify the world,
like one is just thrown away when we lose the other,
and how it would be useless,
to wear it alone.

but i realise,
that maybe it doesn’t look so bad.
the lone earring has the same design
but wearing it would make it unique.
maybe i could wear a different one
in the other ear,
reminding myself that i don’t need the same pair
to make my ears look beautiful,
that another lost earring
could match the prettiness
and maybe even add more grace
to the lonely piece.
so that it isn’t lost.
so that it isn’t broken into pieces.
so that it isn’t discarded away.
so that it doesn’t feel useless.

and so, i try to wear different Jhumke.
other lost ones and find my beauty.
maybe it’s time to just let go
of something’s that not coming back.
and i tell my mom,
that you don’t need the same pair of jhumke,
to make a girl look pretty.

~ Nidhi Kulkarni

// dear poet,

dear poet,
i know you’ve been collecting words since you learned about the
beautiful princesses
and charming princes
who were trapped in the idea of a fairytale
which they may not
have thought of themselves.
you collected metaphors
from the wolves of women
and tigers of men.
you’ve seen lions made of weak hearts
and a vulture in your once delicate eyes.
you connect words
when you see that your family
is a bigger mess than you are,
and the dusty old pages
of your grandma’s books
are your only escape from
this hell of a home.

your words give me power
the ember of my ashes spark a fire
when heated by your words,
and the poet in me
bleeds words
when in that fire.

dear poet,
you gave birth to the poet in me.
yeats’ verses,
shelley’s odes,
megha’s poems,
elizabeth’s slams,
are my dusty books you talk about.

the poet in me
tries to find beauty in small little things
and writes poetries about them.
she goes places I’ve never known before
and her words make me feel complete.
but sometimes, the poet in me is overwhelmed
because she cannot write words as easily as her poets could,
because sometimes, she thinks others’ words are better put
than her mundane metaphors and easily readable lines.

dear poet in me,
i want you to know
that it’s okay, if you can’t finish the poems you begin
and find them few years later
only to fit the puzzle now.
i want you to know
that it’s okay, to dislike your work
and find others’ better
but it doesn’t mean that
you stop writing.

dear poet in me,
you should know,
that your words might be healing somebody like your poets’ words heal you,
and it’s okay if you cannot write today.
there’s always tomorrow
to find new emotions,
new words
and a new you.

dear poet in me,
there’s an old bookshop owned by an uncle,
who is dusting the sepia pages
while the books wait for you to read them.
do you wanna collect new words?

~ Nidhi Kulkarni

// your favourite book

so hold me like you hold your favourite book.
close to your heart, enclosing in your arms,
protecting it from the world as you know they could harm me.
i want to be that book whose words
are always on your tongue and whose world,
you can never get enough of.
i want to take you places we’ve never been before, i want to share it with you and make it your home.
i want to tell you stories about my past and how I want my future to be and crack jokes that nobody else would laugh at.
i want you to run your fingertips on the pages, admiring the words and folding the corners of the pages you love.
i want to be the reason you live a life you’d never forget;
i want to get lost into you just as much as you want to lose yourself into me.
i want to be the book in whose pages you visit often and find joy.
i want to be those words that may make you cry but you still call it your home.
i want to be the book you could be frustrated at, but still would come back to when life gets hard.
and if a day comes,
when you tuck me in that high shelf,
where even you won’t reach
where i’d lay, my pages turning yellow and the words fading;
baby, I want to be that book,
whose mention will always bring a smile on your face. ✨

~ Nidhi Kulkarni