Poetry 2018 Longlist, Avantika Singhal

Super stoked to be included in the longlist. I hope everyone likes my words as much as I do!

Wordweavers India

One way To Live

Loneliness lingers,

like pain after a broken heart.

Loneliness expands,

like the sun’s beam on a warm day.

Loneliness shatters

every hope, every desire in your

tiny microcosm, bit by bit,

until you find it difficult to draw in air.

But loneliness empowers too.

It’s presumably a crusade to strengthen

your bones which were weakened

when you were roughly ruffled from the

wind blowing ashore and when your body

swayed in ungodly directions during the

high tides past sunset.

Loneliness helps you realize

that you need only your heart and only your

smile to make yourself happy.

You need to be lonely to know what it was

like to be surrounded.

You must stay lonely to learn what is it

like to embrace solitude, you must accept it

and let it grow on you.

You must do so until loneliness is not a

travesty. It’s a…

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A Letter To Myself That Will Remind Me To Be A Good Daughter.

Dear Self,

You’ve been so brave this year. Yes, you can applaud yourself. It’s known to be uplifting and pleasing. But have you been loving your loved ones enough? Hmm. That is something to ponder over.

You talk to yourself a LOT. And when the phrase ‘a lot’ is being used, it refers to the fact that you constantly over-think, critique and analyze yourself. It could be in front of the mirror, or while staring at the ceiling of your bedroom or just looking out of the window.

But amid all this, how do you leave out the most important thing to think about?

So think: we always choose to take for granted what is already being given to us. Things such as food and emotions such as love. Like, you feel the swift rush of love in your heart when your Mother says something that is sweet and intrinsic to her maternal nature. But sometimes, you fail to reciprocate and then you end up becoming the worst daughter this Earth will ever host.

You forget what her favorite food dish is.

You forget her shopping list.

You forget what makes her tear up.

And, you forget that apart from being a person who caters to all your needs, she is also a brilliant woman who has desires of her own.

You forget that sometimes when you go shopping, she furtively expects you to come back and surprise her with something she has desperately wanted for a long time. It could be her favorite lipstick that just ran out or the fancy shampoo she has wanted for a long time but is somehow hesitant to buy by herself because she hates Materialism and loathes high maintenance even more.

You forget that your decision to help out in the kitchen should not be born out of obligation but out of compassion.

You forget that rambling on about your life and your miseries sidelines what she is feeling.

You fall. You fall like an ill-prepared solder on the battlefield. And so this letter should help and serve to you as a reminder to not view your mother as your mother ONLY.

View her as this goddess who experienced such visceral pain while giving birth to you that she almost blacked out.

View her as a woman whose mind is filled with drowsy dreams and candid curiosities.

View her as someone with a cerebral mind and a warm heart.

View your mother as a human being and not as a refuge to dump your emotional baggage in.

View her as your everything.

Yours truly and sincerely,



Yes, I know. It’s been a while since the movie was released but you should give this article a read anyway.

So, you might never confess it but as you were growing up, you definitely had a phase where you wanted to be a superhero of some kind. Whether you desired The Dark Knight’s pricey automobiles or his bat-shit crazy strength (See what I did there?). Or, you could have wanted to fly like X-Men’s Archangel.

It doesn’t matter, though. Because you have grown up now and you have given up on becoming a superhero. So what do you do? You watch Superhero movies to satiate your power-hungry self. Marvel and DC are to be thanked in this department. Especially Marvel, because over the years or from the beginning of time, it has rolled out some tremendously fabulous movies. Guardians Of The Galaxy, Iron Man, we are looking right at you.

But apart from the fact that we all love our superhero fantasies being played out on the big screen, why do we watch superhero movies, anyway? After all, there must be a valid reason why my 26-year-old brother was practically bouncing to watch Thor Ragnarok weekends ago.

For example, I watch Superhero movies because I love the before-story that has been attached to it. How the superhero became one or specifically their Origin, who their nemesis is and what their weaknesses are. In short, you love the trivia that makes these movies what they are.

Also, trust. I trust Marvel to present its viewers with hilarious quirks and memorable punch-lines during the movie that also stay with me even after it’s been fifteen days since watching it. And, exhilaration. Being energized is so important in life. Whether you carry out any small task or a big one, energy is paramount in every one of your actions. These movies are guaranteed to give you the enthusiasm you need. 2 hours and 10 minutes of it and you are pumped for three days or so. Why? Because it’s so fictional that you start believing and enjoying it. You start believing that somewhere out there, there’s a race called The Stark that worships Tony Stark as their God. So these movies
help you glorify the word “NERD.”

Thor: Ragnarok is in the theatres right now and if you are a fan of the Marvel Comics, then I suggest you get off your bum and treat your eyes. It’s not about watching every Marvel movie that comes out. It’s about how lively it makes you feel after you have watched it. I bet that you will come out of the theatre saying-“Ah, what a great time to be alive.” Chris Hemsworth’s portrayal of Thor, Tom Hiddleston’s or better, Loki’s mischief and Cate Blanchett’s Hela’s evil antics will have you chortling in no time. Go watch Thor and feel refreshed. Action-comedies like these don’t come around often.


Dangerous Epiphany Of The Present-A Memoir.

Evenings scare me these days. The retiring Sun, the rushing movement of birds from Colony wires to hidden nests and the ever-changing sky scare me.

It’s not like the darkness scares me, no. It’s just what it represents. It can be beautiful to those who choose to see it that way. But these days, darkness is a choker around my porcelain neck that turns it shades of awry black and deep blue. It sits in my room every night, waiting to halt my breaths and endeavors to suffocate me until I can’t see straight or think coherently.

Continue reading “Dangerous Epiphany Of The Present-A Memoir.”

If My Body Talked To Me One Day, This Is What I Would Ask It.

What do you want to be in the future?

I want to be thinner and slimmer-

Stop right there, body. Why can’t you be

anything else? Why can’t you be a

bucket of sunlight that splashes us with

happiness every morning? Why can’t

you be a spring in someone’s step?

Why can’t you slither on someone’s mouth

and play as a soft grin? Why does a

decrease of fat appeal to you?

Why don’t you take a deep breath 

and enjoy the plump curves that

you have? Become comfortable

with this gift sans wrapping.

Become happy to be in your own

skin. Become wary since you must

treat it all like an exhibit in a glass case.

Become someone. Become you.

Be you, body. As hate kills love. Love

kills hope. And, hope kills all, sometimes.

Body, be everything but thinner and slimmer.

Be who you would like to be.

Be a sack of potatoes. Be the ballerina

who swings with grace and self-assurance.

Be someone else, please. Be who you want to be.

#NaPoWriMo: Month For Leaning, Experience & Recognition.

There are a lot of undiscovered secrets in this universe such as what bizarre planets lie beyond Planet Earth and what more creatures swim agilely in deep waters of the oceans. However, that is all very dynamic and high-profile for a low-key poetess like me. So, I uncovered a paltry secret this April that changed my life more than ever. I acknowledged the presence of #NaPoWriMo: National Poetry Writing Month wherein you write thirty poems until the Sweltering April comes to a halt and Moody May begins.

I took part as well, of course. And, while I had been apprehensive of the response I would get, I did not back out. After all, I have written close to two hundred poems till date and they could use some rehashing. Again, I was scared of being crushed under the hoofs of internet trolls and other cynical writers who consider themselves the best out there. Thankfully, none of that happened and I surpassed the month by garnering some likes here and there on my Instagram page. YOU CAN FIND THE PAGE IN THE SIDEBAR TO YOUR RIGHT.

What? That’s me being subtle.

So, I awaited likes and comments that would follow right after I had grilled my poem under a phone application that would make it look pretty, accessible and presentable.

Continue reading “#NaPoWriMo: Month For Leaning, Experience & Recognition.”

Forked By Foes.

Honestly, I don’t know where I got the inspiration to write this poem but something must have sparked it off. I had one of the most disturbing weekends of my life. And, weekends are not supposed to be spent in misery.

Anyway, let me know how you spent your weekend.  Did you party? Did booze do its unspoken magic and you woke up the very next day with a “hangover” worse than the Hollywood movie itself? Let me know!

Also, if you made it this far, why don’t you click on this link and share my story with your friends? I promise you-it’s sweet and brief and it surely is not boring.

Continue reading “Forked By Foes.”

Is My Poetry Powerful Enough To Possess You?

There’s an endless satisfaction in seeing one’s poetry splayed over parts of the Internet. And, this blog post conveniently links you to some of my works. I constantly try to outperform myself and I should just put it out there with as much candor I can-I don’t know whether I succeed or not.

So that is for you to decide.

Being relatable and relevant, especially while writing poetry is tumultuous. I hope my efforts do not go to waste and you actually end up reading texts that my eccentric mind conjures.

Love Unfounded


Where Am i Getting Lost Today?



This post reeks of grotesque gimmickry and to make it worse and potentially lucrative for you, my reader, I present to you  The Filmy Babe Magazine. It’s a digital magazine originating from the south Of Asia. It does monthly features works of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Head over and submit to see your work floating through for many eyes to see!


Exhale of Happiness

  1. When my father closed his eyes,
    he saw dying walls with faded paint.
    He felt the broken faucet under his
    palm. He felt the creaking floors
    beneath his feet.
    When my father opened his eyes,
    he cursed and knew that he would
    see the same. But, a hand found
    its way to his bony shoulder and
    his vision changed.
    His taciturn mouth gasped and his
    eyes bulged. Reality settled deep in
    his veins as he stood near the cleanest
    edifice he had ever seen. He drank
    the refreshing air.
    What stood athwart him was a sculpture
    of architecture. Red oak floors and shiny
    windows, a spacious kitchen and the
    God that he had always believed in.
    My father stepped across the threshold
    and his heart burst out with exultation.
    Never devoid of money but encumbered
    by the grotesque passion of his three
    older brothers, he escaped.

    What did you think of this poem? Let me know in the comments!

Continue reading “Exhale of Happiness”

Recounting Oxford And Its Magic-A Travelogue.

I had the most magnificent opportunity of attending a summer school for a course of Creative Writing at Christ Church, Oxford University this July 2016.

Now, every experienced traveler will inform you of the riches of where they have been and what they have done. What they may miss out on is the fear, the anxiety and how it clouds your head like fog on a cold winter morning.

To travel is to paint. Your canvas is blank until you pick up the paintbrush and give it some masterful strokes. One wrong move and the picturesque scene is ruined.

Well, I was enshrouded with the same fear when I took a train from Paddington Station, London to Oxford Station, Oxford. Was I on the right train? Would the British regard me warmly? Would my train ticket be the right one?

Mine was a one-way ticket and my parents held onto two two-way tickets since they would be coming back to London after seeing me off. Dear Reader, don’t doubt my stress for my parents do not come from an eloquently English speaking background. Thus, the chances of them interacting were next to zero. However, that is the beauty of it all. An eighteen-year-old girl, figuratively on her own.

Regulating the whole trip emboldened me.

We reached the station and it was freakishly deserted. On asking a very helpful and efficient receptionist (skipping the part where I drooled all over his thick British accent), we made our way to a far away part of the station that hosted taxis and buses.
I think it was destiny or the timing was just impeccable. Because we managed to catch hold of a taxi driver from Pakistan who spoke Hindi. Let’s just say that it was one interesting ride and the thought of my parents bidding me goodbye in a few minutes flew from my mind hastily and conveniently.

We reached the gorgeous Christ Church in an hour. And we stood before it, gawking, taking its beauty in. Moments of questioning your sanity come seldom but when they do, they blow your mind.

We were not formally made to try the local cosine of England but Google was a big help. Some everyday foods eaten are English muffins, scones, scrambled eggs etc.

Christ Church is not only famous for the fact that Harry Potter was shot there but also because it hosts both a college and cathedral. This is why we would always hear the ringing of bells and mellifluous songs being sung by faceless choirs in buildings athwart our dorms.

Oxford is like a beautiful, tangible and invisible scar on my arm. Even today, I trace my nerves unknowingly and the memories come rushing back. It is safe to say that its chilly breezes and beautiful architecture grew on me.

If there is one walk that you should have, that is the Bill Spectre Ghost Walk. Bill is a vivacious, senile and notorious man who hosts the ghost walk across many colleges of Oxford, explaining their ghastly history on their way.  More than intimidated by what horror his stories would induce in us, we were cracking up by his theatrics. He would trundle and suddenly walk to a nearby window and shout-“A young woman wearing black with blue eyes haunts this library!”. Or, he would engage us in mysteries of a serial killer who had walked loose on the very streets that we were walking on. Bill Spectre filled us with mirth and enthusiasm by all his dramatic antics. He is so adorable that I follow him on Twitter too!

Another activity that one should not even think of omitting is punting. It is a big deal there since Oxford University and Cambridge University have annual punting races and both use completely different techniques to do so. Punting is boating in broader boats. One uses a pole to steer the boat in very shallow waters. My group and I did it too. Alex, our student helper whimsically informed us that chances of us falling in water would be very high. Even moving the boat at first proved to be a taxing task!  As we punted through, we came to a surreal halt. The sun was retiring, the birds were singing lullabies and the water was calm. It was very peaceful and an unforgettable memory.

We also attended an hour-long Vivaldi Concert inside Sheldonian Theatre of the Radcliffe Camera, a graceful building with a humongous dome on top. The concert constituted of various musicians showing their phenomenon skills in playing many instruments.

The weather in the o.k. is unpredictable. One minute, you are basking in the sunlight and the next you are scurrying away for shelter because of pouring rain. While I was in Oxford, I conjured a quote by myself that I still stand by even today-“Oxford is a labyrinth I would not mind getting lost in.”

Oxford University comprises of 38 colleges and we were also given a tour of the same. We were a group of five very strategic females who managed to tour some of the biggest colleges like Somerville College, University College, and Worcester College.
Since I was provided with adequate space in the form of a well-furnished room to stay in, I would not know a lot about where you should stay in Oxford.  However, a brief conversation with my Course Director revealed that there are plenty of Bed & Breakfasts’ in Oxford and they are very popular with tourists.

London may be a cosmopolitan city but Oxford is its little sister who is more legendary and too beautiful to describe in words.

A jog in the University Parks near Christ Church or a scalding cup of hot chocolate from Paul’s will lift your spirits incredibly and before you know it, you don’t want to take that taxi and then train to London in order to fly back home.

Now, I am drenched with nostalgia after telling this tale.