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29 by Bhawna Jaimini

Art by Nikolai Astrup

Drink lots of coffee. It may give you

Acidity later but so will people doling 

Out meaningful advices you will reject 

Because you don’t like the shape of their

Nose. Allow only very few things 

To destroy you. Let coffee be one of them.

Don’t fall in love with your cat. She will go 

Missing leaving your heart in your month

Only to come back a few days later 

Snuggling up to you on a cold rainy night.

Don’t give in. Resist the urge to love. 

Did nobody tell you that it doesn’t work on 

Cats? There she is and there you are, looking

Like an absolute fool in love with your cat. 

She will understand. People won’t. The 

Same people with good advices who give 

You acidity. Ignore them for good. 

Move to the other end of the world with

Your cats. Make a home by yourself. 

Learn to put shelves on the wall. Don’t

Be afraid of the drilling machine. Just

Don’t drill into beams and columns. 

Take your clothes off and jump into

Any clear lake you find. Check for

Crocodiles and sewage, of course. 

Apply sunscreen diligently all over

Your body which will soon be more

Flesh than bones. Like your flesh. 

Flesh is good. Water the plants daily 

And remember some of them will still 

Die and so will you. Water yourself too.

Water will help when you find that 

People who wrote your favourite books

And made your favourite films are 

Horrible sexual predators. Don’t 

Separate the art from the artist. 

Appreciate kindness more than talent.

Unlearn everything they taught you in 

School or college or any goddamn institution

You went. Concoct your theories about 

This world. Swear by them for a few years

And debunk them yourself later. You 

Are not your opinions. You are a tiny tiny

Particle of the universe with no real 

Consequences or meaning. Let this

Realisation liberate you. You still matter,

You are still valid. Self-care is a capitalistic

Sham. Don’t fall for it. Think of people

Who are dying at the hands of oppressive 

Totalitarian regimes when you wake up. 

Google ’10 best beach vacation ideas’ 

When you sleep. Life is a paradox. 

Don’t be ashamed. Don’t be afraid. 

Just be kind, okay? Just be kind. 

Bhawna Jaimini is an architect, writer, and activist-in-making. You can follow her here


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