Manish Pathania | Author

Writer | Traveler | Artist

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…)




“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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I reclaim myself,
from the remnants of you
that I had kept hidden
(even from my ego)
on the margins of the old books
that we once shared,
and on the pale pages of the forgotten journals
that escaped my heartbroken carnage,
and on the four digits combinations of lockers,
and the passwords,
and the pins codes,
and the signatures,
and all the other little pieces of you,
that I had used to build my world.
I, finally, become myself again,
however incomplete.

The infinite conversations


We fell apart
as easily as we had met,
you left me
and never looked back
but I could never really let you go.
I cherished you
in the infinite conversations
that I had with you in my head.
I answered everything
you once asked me.
I confessed everything
I never could say to you.
And I planned everything
I would say to you
if you ever came back,
to apologize
or to find closure
or to mock me for my weakness…
I have seen
the stubborn little girl in you,
I have seen
the rebel adolescent in you,
I have seen
the obnoxious selfish lady in you,
so, I know that it would never happen,
but if it did
I don’t know which
half remembered conversation
or poem I would recite for you.
May be I would slander you,
or maybe I would say
that you never broke my heart
but I broke it for you
over and over again
or maybe I would just say
that it was a pleasure
every fucking time…

The lizard


(As published in e fiction india)

“I’ll see you at 8.”
“Don’t be late.”
“I love you”. She smiled as she hung up the phone.
Every time she said the word love, her stomach churned as if a thousand butterflies unsettled. It was the first time she was saying these words to anyone. In all the 24 years of her life, she never thought she would be able to trust someone or to love someone or to touch someone, and then a few months ago, he came into her life and along with him he brought love, trust, and confidence- words she had forgotten a long time ago. She looked at the watch: 6 P.M. “Two more hours” She walked towards the bathroom, with a limp in her right leg.

She turned the hot water tap of the bathtub and stood in front of the full-length mirror and slowly removed her bathrobe to look at her naked body. She looked at the beautiful girl in the mirror, raven black hair tied to form a ponytail, round childlike face adorned with brown eyes, eyes like a doe: big, beautiful and nervous. Her full bow-shaped lips let a small shy smile escape, as she thought about her date tonight. It was time, time to take their relationship to next level, and she was sure of that. Soon, the thought dawned on her that it would be the first time she would be showing her naked body to anyone. She started to see her body from a lover’s eyes, her gaze followed the curves of her body reassuring her that it was a desirable body, to her big round boobs converging to form a dark untouched nipple, to her flat belly, to her neatly trimmed love bush, the name she preferred, to her slender long thighs. Unknowingly she was blushing looking at her naked body when her gaze fell on her right leg and she frowned; Red faded to pale.