March for Racial Justice, Washington, D.C — September 30, 2017 (Photo by Philip N. Cohen from photo essay, “It’s Better to be Angry Together”)

“Read up about Black history.” “Educate yourself about racism and its impact.” “Engage more with Black literature and media.” “Support Black-owned businesses.” All of these have been suggested as ways of being effective allies to Black people, and as ways of becoming more aware of the experiences of Black people in America. Each of these actions may be said to help people develop a genuine sense of empathy towards the Black experience. And hopefully too the motivation to further engage in action that combats the systems which perpetuate racist values and policies.

And so I read a book by James…


Artwork by Cathy Thorne; Everyday People

It was 6:30 AM. I ambled over to the kitchen cabinet, and took out a sachet of the Nescafe instant coffee I drink every morning. “100 percent Colombian”, the sachet read. “Lies”, I thought. I don’t trust any product that says it is or it has a hundred percent of something. If it really was a hundred percent of something, they wouldn’t have to mention the hundred percent. I’d trust them a lot more if they said the coffee is “70 percent Colombian”. I turned over the two mugs on the kitchen counter that had dried out over the previous…


I’ve been thinking about the amount of self-disclosure I must permit myself on this blog, in light of my work as a counselor/therapist. Should my writing steer clear of truths about my personality, and existence? Must I not reveal my own mental states, my questions, my anxieties, my fears? What if my writing conveys thoughts and emotions which don’t necessarily seem to be associated with “normal mental health”. Would I then come across as incompetent or “unstable” to my clients?

Of course, these questions may be completely irrelevant considering that I have 29 followers. With no one to read my…


*Fictionalized

I walked out into the courtyard of the apartment I live in. I guess it can be called a courtyard. It was 7:30 in the morning on a Sunday. I have deep appreciation for Sunday mornings. There’s an unfamiliar relaxation in the air of a Sunday morning. The people of the city once more revel in the most cherished clause of their weekly contract with society- “You may sleep until 8:30 am, without incurring any guilt.” For one day of the week, I may walk the street relatively early in the morning without feeling ashamed that half the city…


I was on the 1 train to 116th St. Columbia University. A few minutes ago, I had collected my debit card from a barber shop on 92nd St. and Amsterdam where I had got my hair cut earlier in the afternoon. I had forgotten to pick up my card after swiping it. I almost marvelled at how clueless I was. I had been clueless many times before though. Though this is my preferred form of cluelessness. Pay for something, and then leave my means of payment with them as an added gesture of gratitude. I wasn’t even drunk this time.


Are you overwhelmed yet? With all the information swirling around you.

I am. Overwhelmed. Paralyzed by the utter impossibility of making sense of all the information I am confronted with on a daily basis.

Every day for me begins with some amount of hope. A hope to learn something I never knew before. A hope to have a conversation I’ve never had before. To encounter an idea I’ve never considered before. Essentially, to have a moment of insight which will change my perspective on reality. Just something that will finally persuade me to say- “This is what I believe, and…


I am not depressed. I am not even sad. But I feel discontentment. And even this, I don’t feel all the time. Maybe half of my day sees me content. And the other half sees me discontent.

What am I discontented regarding. I don’t know. What I do know is that there are moments during the day when all my ideas, beliefs, certainties, my entire personality itself, fall away. They don’t come crumbling down. It’s not that drastic. But rather they seem to simply detach and float in space, establishing a comfortable distance from the identity to which they were…


Am I “Basic”? Can I be unbasic? Is it possible to not go to the most intimate bar or the most well-hidden speakeasy or eat the most authentic food or drink the most herbally infused kombucha or travel to a place that’s tied with 5 million other places for being the most serene place on the planet? Is it possible to not listen to the most musical music or watch the most complicated Netflix drama or read the book that has sold 20 million copies around the world? Is it possible to not rattle off what you read in the…


The nature of the self is quite vague to say the very least. I’m unsure of what the self is, what it constitutes. Is it mine? Am I responsible for helping it flourish? Am I to find it while engaging in an activity? Like work or travel?

When I say that I need to be “myself”, is this just my ego’s way of trying to reconcile with an intellectual conception of the self and at the same time try to possess it?

If we refer to it as the self and not a self, then we contend that the self…


Uroboros by SMB15, deviantart.com

“How should anything but a formless and aimless uncertainty result from giving equal value to contradictory postulates?”- Carl Jung, ‘Modern Man in Search of a Soul'

I’ve given up on finding the truth. In fact I’m not even sure a singular truth exists.

Around five years ago, I began to feel a general sense of unease at how I lacked a core set of beliefs and values; something which almost everyone around me and over the internet seemed to have. Seemed to have. I had lived the first seventeen years of my life in India and spent the next five…

Nikhil Vinodh

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