Silhouettes at a beach, with one man in centre-frame

All

Old soul.

Bold soul.

True soul.

Thinking soul.

Giving soul.

Caring soul.

Creative soul.

Crushed soul.

Bruised soul.

Burnt soul.

Anguished soul.

Tortured soul.

How can one soul be so many souls?

When you are all soul.

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The word 'friendship' written on shards of glass

Freelance Kills Friendship

Here’s how.

The first buds come thinking you have little or no work, and so will do theirs for free. You know, for the famed exposure. The moment you talk budget, price-point and advance, they run. Why, they should be called fleelancers.

The next wait and watch, like vultures for the dying beast to become the dead or like long-forgotten relatives for an ageing rich relative to do the same. When you appear to be approaching death-state according to them – when the work seems to be tough coming, like it does at times in the choppy oceans of freelance – they swoop in. They brief you about their project, and then keep rejecting or going quiet over every pricing sheet you present until your quote is as low as that dying beast’s chin. And god forbid if you refuse to lower your budget – they will leave you for the dead. Or worse, get offended.

The final set waits too, but not to give you work. They eagerly wait – and hope and pray? – that you soon, or eventually, have no work and begin ruminating getting back to a job, so that they can come and make a sagely statement like, “Freelancing isn’t for everybody.”

A sub-set of this is the one that keeps thinking that even after three years of working as a freelancer, this is just a temporary gig before you get back to a real job.

Just like these f(r)iends eye the ‘free’ in ‘freelance’, you want to take the ‘lance’ in it and plunge it into them. But for that, you first have to take it out of your back.

Actually, freelance doesn’t kill friendship. It exposes it.

A woman standing in a field looking into the distance seen through a few sheaves of paddy

Soul. Full.

Those who live by the soul

Often have to die because of it.

If you live for the soul,

You’ll never gain from it.

Only your soul will.

Living by the soul.

Fulfilling.

Killing.

Someone who lives to fill, and fulfil, the soul.

Soulful.

Soul fool.

An old soul.

A gold soul.

Close-up of a silhouetted hand swiping on a phone

Rites of Love

They swipe right. They swipe right again. They swipe right some more. They keep swiping right. Some only swipe right. That’s the only way to do it, to play the game.

They call it Tinder. It’s the new way of finding love.

And here you thought love was meant to be tender.

Newly wed couple, where the groom looks doubtful and the bride pensive

Ready to Single | Problems Solved

I think I should finally get married. It will solve problems of getting a rental flat easily; getting a bigger rental flat easily (“Why does a single guy need a 2BHK??”); at the risk of sounding misogynistic, having home-cooked food available readily; and most of all, being asked at every turn and corner: “You are still single??” One of these days, I’ll really turn around and corner them with my equivalent of that question, “You are still married??”

I could have a marriage of convenience (as if most marriages aren’t that already). Marriage of convenience, because I ain’t too hot about the three pillars of marriage: kids, women and marriage itself. (Straight, gay, bi, I don’t think anyone can understand women completely, except perhaps other women. And then, they go and feel jealous of each other.)

She and I could rent or buy a double-bed flat. So, she gets her space and me mine. Nothing has to happen within our closed doors. Outside those closed doors, we can pretend to be like every other couple pretending to be a happy couple.

Of course, a year or so later, people will begin asking, “Why don’t you have kids yet??”

Then, of course, we could adopt. Or better still, do IVF and address the next question in advance, “How about a second kid as company to junior?”