Wither and Wilt

They will tell you that flowers look beautiful only when they are blooming in the garden in your backyard. But let me tell you something that nobody ever will; flowers look beautiful even when they forget to blossom, or don’t stay amidst other floral beings.

Just like you, Aayat.

So, if such a day comes, and you feel that the garden isn’t where you belong, don’t be afraid to walk away. And if life seems too rough and harsh, unlearn the art of blooming; wither and wilt, darling. Because you will always be beautiful, no matter where you stand and no matter how sad you are.

Eshwarya Khanna 


Picture Credits: Aashna Sharma


Pochemuchka (a person who asks too many questions)

‘Pochemuchka’ – A Russian word for a person who asks too many questions.


Can you see the clouds growing into shapeless balloons, tired of getting bigger, and wanting to be ruptured? Can you count the number of times they have woken up from their sleep to discard their nightmares in my dreams? If I tell you that I can see one word everytime I gaze at the clouds, will you travel all your way to read it too?

If I tell you that your promises weigh more than my metaphors, will you still ask me not to hold my metaphors on my tongue?


I know there are too many question marks resting on my tongue, and I wonder why they transform themselves into bullets every time they reach to you, and into atomic bombs when they can’t. I wonder why they change their meaning everytime you look at them and vanish when you don’t.

I wonder what there is when you aren’t, and what there isn’t when you are. And what there is when you are and what there isn’t when you aren’t.


Do you remember when you told me that we can calculate the exact number of stars in the sky if we sat together for three hundred more years; and if we spend the exact time in calculating the number of questions I ask you every day, we’ll run out of time?

I know you are miles away, but I wish you could see that skies are out of stars, tonight.

And so am I.

There are no more questions hanging on my lips and I swear if there were any, I’d swallow them. Metaphors are not my language and the question mark is not my favourite punctuation anymore.


But, instead- there are clouds growing bigger every second into shapeless balloons, like parts of my body that harbour love, wishing if you could come to rupture it; there are 4783 times I have woken up from my sleep, which means that I had about 47883 nightmares I want to tell you about; the one word that I read before has expanded into four – from ‘toujours’ to ‘La tristesse durera toujours ‘. (‘forever’ to ‘this sadness will last forever’) The same words that Van Gogh uttered to his brother, before he died.

And now, your fake promises are easier to hold on my tongue than my own metaphors.

There aren’t any questions anymore, but everything else except them.


I wish you could come back again and we’d watch the sky losing its stars, like children lose their teeth, like we’d be losing each other.

I wish you could come back again so we could see the clouds running away from each other, like the children in our towns do, like we’d be running from each other for the rest of our lives.

I wish you could come so we could see the sky turning into a smoke city like the teenagers would have transformed their hearts if cigarettes were as big as their obsessions, like we’d be turning ourselves into, after we part our ways.


I have now forgotten the art of asking questions, for I couldn’t make you remember the art of loving me. But do you have the strength to make me learn it all again?

~ Eshwarya

(Photography by : Arif Khan )



A letter to the people who lost their childhood to violence and abuse.

A letter to you; the one who lost his childhood to violence and abuse.

To You.
The one who sleeps at 9PM everyday, but wakes up at 1AM after his alcoholic father enters the apartment and throws his bottle of whiskey on the floor. Yes you, the one who gets beaten up while saving your maa from your daddy’s wrath.

To you.
The one who thought that opening the door to let your uncle in would mean having your favourite cotton candy in your hand. But darling, you should have known that price of having one candy is equal to one moment of violence followed by infinite series of flashbacks for the rest of your life.

To you.
The one who spends more time with broom, utensils and broken baskets. The one who wakes up to obey memsaab’s commands but never of his own heart. The one who is lashed with Sahab’s leather belt that he had wanted to wear around his waist.

This is for you. For every one of you; who lost their childhood in violence and abuse; the ones for whom hide and seek meant hiding in the store room for almost an eternity, until somebody comes up to switch on the lights; the ones for whom skipping moments was harder than skipping rope perfectly for 10 minutes; the ones for whom snakes and ladders meant just falling down from stairs; the ones for whom childhood didn’t sound like nursery rhymes but like their own sobs and screams.

Just wanted to let you know that even though your childhood was dark and haunting, your life isn’t. Because one phase of your life can’t paint all of your life with its own shade. I know that walking on a road with a heavy baggage is hard. Keep it on the uppermost shelf of your almirah and run on the streets of unknown cities, honey. I know things have always been easier to say than to do. But that shouldn’t stop you from trying. I know that your childhood can not be relived, but for how long will you not let yourself swim in the moments that are waiting to kiss you hard? If not for somebody else, do it for yourself. Do it for the ones who are writing this letter to you, hoping that you will paint sunshine on your scars.
Will you let it go?

Let it go.


~ Eshwarya Khanna


(Artwork by Aditi Mali)