Manish Pathania | Author

Writer | Traveler | Artist

Recycle Bin : Chapbook now available as ebook


Recycle Bin, the second chapbook by Manish Pathania, is a collection of unrelated poems that reflect the themes of classic romance, mundane modern life and struggles associated with writing.

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“poems that tell stories,
stories about promises,
promises of love,
love that transformed into art,
art that manifested through poems,
poems that do not rhyme”

‘Poems that do not rhyme’ is a collection of poems written in the form of free verses.

Although the individual poems seem unrelated at the first glance but the poems are arranged in such an order that they traverse through the journey of an alcoholic man who accidentally falls in love with a girl who was still in love with her ex-lover.

The poems revolve around his character, his love for her, his alcoholism, his hatred, his lamentations and his regrets for losing her.

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What if I never see you on the other side


All these words written
and saved as incomplete poems
on my laptop,

And all those places
where I wandered off to
around the world
to define a meaning for my existence,

And all those future endeavours,
and aspirations,
that you once wished me well for,

And all those chores,
that filled up the mundane

workout routines,
bicycle commute to work,

thousands of lines of code,
trips to the grocery stores,

ignored calls,
unanswered texts,

cans of beer,
butts of cigarettes,

tinder dates,
unreciprocated feelings,

culinary experiments,
guitar lessons,

walks by the river,
sunsets over the high rise glass buildings,

distasteful relationships
promises of satiated desires,

would amount to nothing,
if I do not see you on the other side.

This silence,
that we once shared as love,
would be left to remember me by.



I do not remember much about her
-the precursor to all longing,
where the search began
many lives ago-

all emotions rationed away
for posterity
and all love kept at bay
for the next.

A crossword puzzle,
where all whites have been filled
with dreams,
and all blacks superimposed with tiny hearts
that dangle about that crooked smirk.

An omniscient oblivion
that knows all adorations
revolving around her in yearly cycles.
and keeps the count of
all lives moved on
in frustration
and all lives still stuck
in the unread messages.

but I do remember all the days
that I longed for her,
and then some
of the days
while lamenting some other transient
friend or lover
my thoughts returned to her
and somehow, it never failed to remind me
of all the strength
I possess to fuck my life
all over again
and come out alive on the other side.

I am more troubled
than usual
this time around, so I’d pass
the annual attempt at the tiny portion
of her attention,
but the search still continues,
and I keep bumping into the women that are
distant copies of her persona -self-sufficient,
or the demons I encounter,
are the ones that I bring along in
my own purgatory

Making love a forlorn fantasy


It used to be easier
falling in love
back when people had not yet instilled the idea
that my time to fall in love was running out.

I had not seen enough life
to doubt
people with grey hair,
and melting hearts
but with every passing second
I pity myself for believing that every approaching light
to be the sun on the horizon.

I am not proud of myself
for wandering off to the barren fields
and bow down my head
in front of an invisible god,
but when you’ve shut your eyes for so long
darkness starts to seem blinding.

I’ve danced around the fire,
and I have taken a dip in the holy water.
I’ve auctioned my body for buyers
and I’ve placed my bets in the race.
I’d rather be drinking or writing
from now own,
for everything else is a waste of my breath,
if I a’int making love.

Won short story contest 2018 organised by


‘The Glitch’ won the Juggernaut short story contest 2018. The Juggernaut Short Story Prize is an annual short story prize that runs for two and a half months and invites entries from budding writers all across India.

“The results are out- while there were so many entries that made us think of life and literature in a new way, these three in particular stood out and hence bagged the prize:

First Prize- The Glitch by Manish Pathiani

The winning entry, this particular story was the one that we found most gripping and innovative, making it seem like an episode of Black Mirror.

A man sits in a bar and meets a woman, who turns out to be the owner of a startup that produces virtual reality devices that allow you to experience someone’s life in real time, from the bits they choose to show to you. The man agrees to be a beta user, and becomes obsessed with an Indian woman DeeDee who shows him glimpses of her life through the VR device; a glitch in the device however makes him see much more than he could ever wanted to…”


You can read the story here .

Story published on the Juggernaut


Story published on


This short story is the extrapolation of the current social media scenario where people share their lives with strangers for fame, money and instant gratification.

If you like it, leave a review, rating and comment in the juggernaut app/page


The ghost town


As published on Half Baked Beans

“It’s time,” the voice over the phone said, “are you ready?”
“Almost,” Veer Singh replied, “when is the verdict due?”
“Not until a few hours.”
“Ok,” Veer Singh replied, “and what’s the status?”
“Worse than yesterday, almost one lakh people have surrounded the court. They are waiting for the verdict.”
“We have to reach before that.”
“I have arranged for a patrolling vehicle.”
“Ok, pick me up from the roundabout?”
“In 10 minutes.”
Veer Singh disconnected the phone and looked at the news channel. The city of Panchkula was placed under a curfew in the light of an upcoming verdict against a popular God man. The news channel showed that almost one million followers of the Godman had swarmed the city like locusts. The court had to impose section 144, which criminalized the gathering of 4 or more people, in Panchkula and the neighboring cities, such as Chandigarh and Mohali. Veer Singh switched off the TV. He walked up to the mirror and adjusted his turban, his leather belt and the badges on the uniform. He, then, put on a Styrofoam vest that barely qualified for a bullet proof jacket. He picked up his fiber stick, locked his room and paced down the flight of stairs. There was an apparent gloom in the deserted streets of his neighborhood. The shops were closed, the roads were empty and the recalcitrant children were peeping out of the balcony. His partner, Ram Singh, was waiting for him at the roundabout on a white Police motorcycle.


Performing Choose the light @Social for FolksAndTales


Choose the light

A thirty-year-old cyclist meets an accident because of a dog being walked by a distracted female doctor. As the conundrum of the crash settles, the cyclist realises that the doctor was his best friend from school with whom he had fallen in love.

Mistakes in a perpetual loop



When I was younger,
and hopeful,
I fell madly in love with every girl,
Who was kind enough to talk to me,
And as it went,
And innocent,
But never reciprocated.

And after every time,
I went into this perpetual loop of misery,
That somehow ended up as a self-discovery,
Or art of sorts,
So much so,
That I needed to be in that misery,
To function,
To travel,
To discover,
To write,
Most importantly to be happily unhappy.

So, every time I met a woman,
Who was kind enough to love me,
To share her thoughts,
her body
Or happiness with me,
I leafed away,
As easily as the new spring,
As quickly as the summer rain,
After of course a brief period of bloom
As ephemeral as an orgasm;
I leafed away,
From the imminent happiness.
For how could I arrive at that point,
If my happiness was in perpetual pursuit?
How can I be,
If my identity is in being?
How can I stay,
If my destiny is in constant wandering?
I leafed away,
Until I found myself,
Hopelessly and helplessly,
Entangled in the braids of your dismay,
And this time I want to stay,
If you let me,
I swear,
this time I’ll stay.

Our nights


Our nights
under the starry skies,
drunk in love,
and I, 
in alcohol.

When we used to wander
in my rickety car,
after a bad day in life,
listening to Dylan
talk about love,
life, and freedom

You would often find a quiet spot,
mostly in front of a cigarette shop,
and we would park the car,
kill the engine,
roll down the windows,
and listen to the breeze harmonize
with the harmonica.

I never quite understood why
you would suddenly become so quiet,
and wave your fingers in the air,
in the ebb and flow of the melody,
and try to communicate something,
which I was too naive to understand.

I would just look at you,
glistening under a reticent yellow light
escaping somewhere from the darkness
to fall on your fair skin
while you release the white clouds,
from the captivity of your puckered lips,

and wonder
how easily you could conceal,
your inherent grace,
under the messy hair,
profane language
and bad hangovers.

And then you would catch me,
staring at you in awe,
and I would get intimidated,
by the unadulterated love
oozing out of your expectant eyes.

Our nights,
under the skies,
long gone,
intoxicated in love,
and I,
in regret.