Photo by Pro Church Media on Unsplash

The prison guard just tossed me a plate of food. “Rotten apple,” he said, “… just like you.”

I laughed wryly. Rotten apple indeed! I don’t miss the taunt, oh no! He thinks he’s punishing me for poisoning the poor, pretty princess. Or should I call her Queen? Pfft! Queen, my ass!

She deserves nothing — none of the jewels, the kingdom, the throne. How dare she! I worked very hard to get there and that stupid thing just thought she’d get what her father left her? Family business?

I know, I know, you hate me too! You’ve all heard…


Photo by Daniel Tuttle on Unsplash

I drive around the streets, taking in the younger kids. Maya is in daycare; she’s been there ever since my ex-husband Don skipped town without telling us. Wife-beating asshole couldn’t handle child support payments. At least that’s what his family told me. Maya’s a tough kid, she’s coping well. I’ll pick her up in a few hours. I stop close to the local football field and set up my truck.

I turn the spitroast on and the meat starts rolling on it — delicious, tender, pink, juicy meat. I’m careful not to burn it, overdone meat tastes awful. …


When companies are downsizing, demonstrate your value

Photo: 10'000 Hours/Getty Images

When the world went into lockdown, I had just returned from a vacation. With revenues dropping, my boss wanted to talk with each employee to understand who they needed to let go of and who still demonstrated value. My boss didn’t think my recent vacation painted me in a good light. With a little bit of dread, I got on a call with him, another boss, and HR to discuss my role.

The brief during the conversation was clear — I had to prove myself. I thought this was rather unfair after having stuck around through the company’s ups and…


Photo by Mourad Saadi on Unsplash

I asked my father one day
Where does the sun meet the sea?
Does the sea get hot right after?

He laughed and said nothing
He never had many words to say
He just smiled and pulled my cheek sometimes

Many years later, I sat on a beach
In the middle of a lockdown
Wondering the same thing
At what point does the sun meet the sea?

The sea has always called out to me
Like a naughty child, teasing me from behind a pillar
It gets close, washes over my feet and runs right back

Come, my friend said…


Photo by Atharva Tulsi on Unsplash

And some other things I learned along the way

My (now former) friend N, sauntered into my life exactly three years ago. She was loud, mad, spoke at length about dick sizes and how coconut oil was the best remedy for constipation. All in the first time I met her. A mutual friend introduced us; I had a stomach ache when I first met N. She patted my stomach on a few well-chosen spots and suggested I go make a trip to the loo.

“It’s gas,” she said wisely.

In other words, she was my kind of mad.

For me, her timing was interesting. It was about six months…


People will remember you for how you treat them in a time of crisis

Photo: Tim Mossholder/Unsplash

‘Work from home’ was probably a favorite term for a lot of people until the lockdown happened. As an introvert who values flow work, working minus interruptions, and not being pulled into team meetings, working from home felt like a blessing. 40 days into the lockdown, however, not being able to get out can feel isolating — even for introverts.

With uncertainty looming large and not so good news trickling every day, people are struggling with keeping their sanity. Not to mention household chores, cooking, cleaning, and a host of smaller things one would have usually outsourced. …


Photo by Daniel von Appen on Unsplash

And one thing I know about the future.

It was a Friday two weeks ago.

I remember getting slightly irritated when I saw his name flash on my phone because he knows I don’t like being called without reason during work hours. I balanced my laptop on my lap and evaluated for three seconds if I should take it. Something in my gut twisted a little and I made the decision to take it.

“Hi, what happened?”

“Mr. A, from the sixth floor, you remember the old man?”

“Yeah… don’t tell me he died during the lockdown now!” I whined. I wasn’t being mean. My parents’ apartment building…


Photo by Seb Mooze on Unsplash

For the last two weeks, I was in the midst of a seminar. During the residential seminar, we were insulated from the rest of the world, as the state we flew in from and the state we were in for two weeks went into lockdown, we were insulated from the panic and fear. However, we were keeping track of the news every day and we were lucky to be among the last few to fly back before India completely suspended domestic travel.

Having been back for the last two days, I watched the news as the country went into lockdown…


Photo by Valentin Lacoste on Unsplash

He climbed out of the deep dark pit through one of the six large holes that were the entrance to his home. He froze when he saw it, yellow teeth bared, staring at him. The family of monsters had been attacking and chasing his family out of their homes for ages now. They had hoped to lie undiscovered for a short while in their new hideout. His mother was going to give birth again, it was difficult for her to move around anyway.

Only two weeks ago, his uncle and cousins had been killed by her father, with that horrible…

Sanika Tillway

Emotional Freedom Technique Practitioner. Writer. Planner. Work-in-progress. Featured on Publishous, The Post-Grad Survival Guide, The Ascent & Thought Catalog.

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