The pointed end of a colour pencil standing out from the blunt ends of a stack of colour pencils

Zero Fit

Misunderstood.

Mistaken.

Misfortunate.

Miserable.

Thus,

The different

Become

The misfit.

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Two male icons, one punching the other in the middle

Grist for the Kill

The idealist,

The individualist,

The purist,

The humanist,

Are all

At the receiving end

Of many a fist.

More so,

If they are

The same person.

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.

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.