Manish Pathania | Author

Writer | Traveler | Artist

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.


To Hank


Hank said,
don’t try,
and I had not been trying for more than 80 days now.

Hank said
it will come out gushing,
from your gut,
it hasn’t.

What is my next move?
Should I keep waiting for the lizard on the wall,
to come to me,
or should I get up,
pick up a broom,
and force her to move?
I guess,
I didn’t understand you,
you dirty old man,
you goddamned genius,
don’t try,
and do not fail,
don’t try
and die the mediocre life,
don’t try
and suffocate thoughts inside,
don’t try
to write,
but hold the pen,
every now and then,
and let the words suck,
as much as they possibly could,
one day,
it may,
be called the work of a genius,
it was a diary of a madman,

Girl in the cafe


There she sits,
in the middle of the cafe
-by the river side, 
and looking at the performing musician
-one she is with,
and trying to find her identity,
in someone else’s notes.
Bits by bits,
she crushes the pieces
of hashish
into her petite hands,
hoping no one notices her,
except for one,
she is looking at
with her drugged hypnotic eyes.
But she forgets
that her elegance is
much more melodious
than the notes
that she believes are
defining her.
Soon her fake identity
will disappear in the
white smoke,
in to the thin air,
on to a bed
and in to an oblivion
but not her elegance…

Our shared loneliness


Words can,
I cannot,
into a poem,
but long after the dust had settled,
and perpetual haze
had cleared out,
you would find me
waiting for you,
right where you left me.
For it was easier for me
to blame you for going,
than sulking in guilt
for letting you go.
the noise anxiety would attenuate,
and silences would whisper my name in your ear,
don’t be afraid to follow them home,
to me,
to us,
and our shared loneliness.