First Person

  • JBoyz My Life as a Juvenile Graffiti Vandal

    The first time my friend desecrated Juhu’s pristine footpaths with his vile aerosol can, I was overwhelmed at the prospect of finally getting to live out my childhood fantasy of being a graffiti vandal, like the ones I’d read about in Europe.

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  • 26-11-attack The Night Without an End: Watching 26/11 Unfold From My Window

    It was November 2008 and we’d just moved into our new apartment in Colaba, overlooking the magnificent Taj dome. When we heard the first explosion, we expected it to be a noise made by a Diwali rocket. But 26/11, the night of horrors, had just begun. The next 36 hours were full of panic, with my mum narrowly escaping a bullet shot made by a terrorist.

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  • iamfat I Am Fat Because My Body Houses All My Trauma

    I was constantly being told that I needed to lose weight to look good, to find a boyfriend, to be accepted. But staying fat was probably my body’s rebellion against the society that so desperately wanted to change me. My body is a vault that stores all my secrets, all my traumas.

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  • radicalhonesty Radically Honest Confessions: What a Month of Constantly Telling the Truth Taught Me

    The concept of Radical Honesty isn’t just about telling the truth – you have to commit to voicing every stupid, bitchy, relationship-ending, career-destroying thought that tumbles through your head. I started my experiment with absolute truth-telling and landed in my own private hell.

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  • Parents Forty Going on 14: How to Live With Your Parents as a Single Adult

    Two years ago, my parents returned from their longish stint in the Middle East to move back in with me. Ring out the eggs and maggi, ring in the idlis and paranthas. How would it feel to live with my parents after eight years of living alone?

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  • Why My Atheism Takes a Backseat Every Ganesh Chaturthi

    I was brought up in a religious household, where Ganesh Chaturthi was the celebration we waited for all year. After my father passed away, I stopped praying and developed a disdain for religion. But I make an exception during the Ganesh festivities, where I suspend my atheism.

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  • aurovilleforestrave In Auroville, My Search for Spirituality Ended at a Forest Rave Party

    Following a rough patch, I went to Auroville to connect more closely with nature. Three days later, surrounded by raving firangs and vegan pizza, I realised this brand of spirituality was not for me.

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  • How I Saw the World on a Cocaine Trip (and Why I Stopped)

    They say cocaine is the rich person’s drug. Every decision, every thought, can be justified after a couple of lines. Even though it’s no hallucinogen, it allows you to live in a mirage for a few hours. There’s us, the coke users, happy, rich, successful – and then there’s them, the regulars, poor, lazy, and unworthy.

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  • BabyFace I Got 99 Problems… Being a Baby-Faced Adult is One

    As a five-foot-nothing adult with a face that makes me look 14, I’ve been called everything from “chota recharge” to “aw baby”. Even though I work in a legitimate office, my baby face ensures that total strangers inquire about which school I go to.

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  • MissingMother My Mother: Beautiful, Loving, Missing for 17 Years

    On April 28, 2001, my mother stepped out of our house with a small wallet to buy brown paper for our books. We were in the middle of our annual ritual of covering our brand new textbooks. This memory would have held no significance had my mother returned. She did not.

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