Everyone has a story.

Everyone has a story.

Omar lived in a neighborhood that a normal person would easily label as weird. Everyone who lived in this area collected things that didn’t make any sense. His neighbor Sufi only collected red chocolate wrappers and her husband loved framing individual piano keys. Continue reading Everyone has a story.

A letter to music – gratitude and stories.

It has been a long time since I posted, huh? Needed a break, sorry. I am back, though. Let’s enjoy this! I hope you like this letter-format I’ve recently started trying.


To music,

From Ghazals to ‘Kiss me’ to ‘Dusk Till Dawn’, this has been a long journey, hasn’t it?

When I was six, I could barely speak English. My tongue fumbled when I spoke English because it was a foreign language that I still wasn’t used to but I could hum the tune of ‘Chand Sifarish’ and not miss a single note.

In my 10-13 year old phase, my all-time favorite memory that I often find myself telling people is how me and my family would go on long drives and have sandwiches and hot chocolate and listen to an endless number of songs. My sister and I had a playlist that we would listen to on our way to school every morning.

When two broken pieces clash, they break into smaller pieces. When I had my heart broken for the third time, the only leftovers of my heart was dust. With earphones jammed into my ears and a few fancy dance moves, music turned it into fairy-dust that I sprinkled onto everything and healed myself.

My point is that you have literally always been there for me. Be it in the form of a language, a memory or a magic trick. You’ve witnessed me grow up from when I was a few months old and my parents would sing me lullabies to today when I listen to ‘Girls like you’ on repeat.

I heard somewhere that old weapons are sometimes melted and musical instruments are made from the metal. I guess that explains the bullet wounds some of your lyrics leave behind, and it also explains why playing Antakshri when I was ten felt like going to war.

Thank you Music, for being my metaphorical shoulder to cry on and literal ‘always’.

Yours,
Utsav Raj


Previous post: Not every forever is a cliché.
Related post: To all the #METOOs

Give me prompts in the comment section below and share if you liked this! Also, I’m probably going to post an exclusive poem on my Instagram handle (@myspirals) on Tuesday at 9:45 p.m. IST, so drop over if you’d like to read it.

A nomad’s home.

A nomad’s home.

For the last seventeen years, my father has had a nomad heart with a paternal intention. In human terms, it means he loves changing cities but the new homes that he finds for me have only one common criterion: growth. From Delhi to Chennai to Dubai to Delhi again, I have seen more shades of cities than emotions.

Migration usually is made of a lot of nostalgia and little to no belief in a better future. When I shifted back to India, I was a twelve-year-old who had just left his home to live in a house. It was still comparatively easier because it took me a day and some food to make new friends.

The best thing about Delhi was that I had best friends for the very first time. That is when I read my first proper novel too because the book ‘Goosebumps’ doesn’t count. I had a crush and my heart broken for the very first time too, and I strongly recommend it to everybody. Don’t hate me for it.

More importantly, I fell in love. I fell in love with a girl, the city and everything in between. When I was ten, home was a four-walled apartment. Two years later, it was a city I had just migrated from. That is what being a nomad means. A nomad’s home is an anxious writer who edits his story even after the twentieth draft. When I fell in love, my home became two arms and a steady (and sometimes fast and loud) heartbeat.

Three years into memories of Delhi, my parents decided to shift again. Surprise? Not at all. I never made any friends again and I spent the next two years being nostalgic and the saddest kid you would ever see. But as I caught up to speed to a new city and entered seventeen, something inside me clicked and I realized I can’t do this anymore. I cannot try to make a home every time I shift and then brood over it for some time. More importantly, I cannot stay in the same place.

I became what my dad was. My home is now blurry memories, nostalgia and a thirst to find new places to live. I became a nomad.


Instagram handle: @myspirals
Previous post: A tale of the five senses – 2
Related post: Earth.

Friends, if you like reading my work, do share it with your friends (on whatever social media you deem appropriate). It would be amazing to have more people reading my compositions. Please help my infinity grow bigger ∞

You have not seen ruins.

I know I’ve written a lot about war. Last one for quite some time, promise. Enjoy reading this, though! And please spread peace and love.


You have not seen ruins
The way 1945 has.

During the world war,
The schools that taught discipline
learned to have safety drills
and teach antonyms of peace.
The teenager that loved playing football
trained in the army
and often fought for the one thing bigger than him.
Weapons clashed so often,
it drowned all music,
and sang the lyrics of ‘Where we left off’.

I’ll share one story with you.
August 9, Nagasaki.
A three-year-old Yasujiro was playing in his house.
He was tearing the pages of a book
when he was blinded by a white light
like a million camera flashes.
Oh, how I wish it was really just cameras.
He was found under the debris of his house
among many other things
like his broken toys and an open book.
He’s grateful to have survived
But he lost so many things that mattered
His sleep, his hearing, his will to live.
He is happy now.

When someone knows they’ll die
and they get to send one last message
it is always filled with love
it is always an ‘I love you’
an ‘I will miss you’.
You know why?
Because they do,
they will.
Is war really worth the open book?


Instagram handle: @myspirals
Previous post: Stories and poems that we share.
Related post: Wars and families.

Give me prompts in the comment section below and share if you liked this!

How extraordinary came to be.

I go through a personal tale to explain how the word extraordinary came to be. Bear with me and enjoy reading this! If not, feel free to read this instead.


As a ten-year-old, I always wondered how calling someone extraordinary was a compliment. Why was being more normal considered to be a great thing, and is that what my goal should be? To be a little more of everything that we all are? Apparently, yes. I was a fat kid with chubby cheeks who always had a smile on his face. I cried a lot and laughed even more. As a kid, I could run out of time in a game of Antakshri and still giggle. Pretty women and their hair flips, lipsticks and kind smiles fascinated me. I could play all day and still remember to complete my to-do list.  Continue reading How extraordinary came to be.