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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Goodreads reviews

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.

My first newspaper interview


Miss India – Well Almost


As published in Muse India issue 65

‘Miss India – Well Almost’
Manish Pathania

It was a scorching Saturday afternoon and I was drinking alone in a shady bar in the basement of a cheap hotel. The bar wasn’t dingy per se, but shady, despite being immaculately clean and well decorated with military artefacts. The bar and the hotel belonged to a retired Army colonel. He once told me that the bar reminded him of his glorious military service. The seldom people who visited the bar – mostly retired army men – came for the same sentimental reason. However, on most of the days the bar was deserted and that was the reason why I loved the bar and also because the liquor was cheap and smoking was allowed inside the bar. I loved to spend time sitting alone in the bar drinking, lamenting and writing poems on my rickety laptop. I wasn’t much of a poet or a writer but I loved to scribble stories, letters and poems. Well, I wrote random ranting about women who never really loved me, in the form of free verses on the paper. Some called it poetry, some called it bullshit. But it was a good way to vent out my frustration and anger for being rejected over and over again by different women. (more…)