The truths I found on my path to mental peace.

Painting and photo courtesy of the author.

Stress comes from within. Not from work, from friends, or circumstances. It comes from the expectations you set for yourself. It comes from building an alternate reality in your head which you think “should actually be the case”.

If you get your facts right and ethics in place, it feels like having a pair of clear new spectacles to see the world. It may not solve all your problems but it will help you settle down in your seat and be calm. …

I think of myself as Pac-man collecting pointless dots on its way to certain death.

Hi. Nice to meet you, what’s your name?

(Also, n2mywyn is my current ear-worm. Feel free to let it play in the BG while you read further.)

Will this bite me in the backside when I’m famous?

I’ve recently established a foolproof benchmark of self-evaluation.

I ask myself this: “Will this bite me in the backside when I’m famous?”. Think about how would it look on the title page of The New Yorker.

It is what I ask myself when I am about to do what the demon on my shoulder just asked of me. Happens way more often than it should, btw.

Yesterday, he ordered me to give myself…

A story of immigration, internet-hate, and influencer success.

Thefunnyauslander on Instagram

As of today, nearly everyone has an internet content venture. Fame, glory, and “the next-level” are on almost everybody’s day-dreams — whether they speak it out loud or not.

thefunnyauslander, an Instagram page by an immigrant in Germany, made an appearance on German TV, a step most people would call making the “next-level”.

The creator wishes to remain anonymous (read on to know why). I will not get into details of his person.

Here is the story of thefunnyauslanderan Instagram channel making viral memes about immigrant life in Germany. …

Leaving your country for a good life is not fun.

Photo by Neelam Sundaram on Unsplash

In one gut-wrenching moment in the documentary “Cuba with a Cameraman” a four-year-old girl in New York gets to go to see her grandmother in Cuba for the first time in her life. The girl’s mother breaks down in tears of joy on reuniting with her mother.

They were Cuban exiles whom Fidel Castro allowed returning to the country for a visit.

I am a free woman.

Unlike a Cuban exile, I can go home whenever I want. But there is a catch. I can’t.

When I see my German friends visit home for Christmas, easter, weekend, and laundry, I…

Selections from 13 nonfiction books I read this year.

Photo by Pete Alexopoulos on Unsplash

1. The Bonobo and the Atheist — Frans De Waal, Pick up

Genre: Zoology, Philosophy
Quite often, I turn to philosophy for answers. Surprisingly, I found more convincing arguments in biology than philosophy.

In the book Bonobo and Atheist, the atheist primatologist Frans De Waal makes a strong case for the idea of religion. He presents well-rounded explanations for the existance of religion, despite himself being a non-believer.

Written with great empathy to the believer, the book is a refreshing take on religion and belief.

Pick it up. Now

2. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry — Neil deGrasse Tyson, Drop

Genre: Science, Astronomy
Astronomer-turned-TV star Neil deGrasse Tyson put together this book in a hurry. …

Thank god for them.

Photo by Tom Barrett on Unsplash

Empathy is biologically built into you. What another person feels, you cannot help but feel. If you are around happy and positive people, chances are that you will be one, thanks to your mirror neurons.

If there is one skill to learn before you step into your 30s, it is probably to find people who will help you keep your peace and to grow, and surround yourself with them.

If you see one or more of these qualities in people around you, don’t let them go, and hope that some of it rubs off on you too!

1. The givers

Some people are…

Part 1: Boys on fixing matches and finding love.

Photo by Alok Verma on Unsplash

For non-curries reading this

For many Indians and their culture-twins from the subcontinent, the question of arranged marriage looms in their later 20s.

Unlike in the western world, in the subcontinent, the idea of “letting life take its course” is often regarded as an unwise solution to the problem of marriage. Hence in many cases, the process is meticulously arranged — through acquaintances, self-certified matchmakers, priests, or websites.

Matrimonial websites have databanks that let you filter for education, income, skin color, likes and dislikes, and caste, among larger life goals. …

Because life has so much more on offer.

Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

I have nothing against love or romance. Everything we care about is just proof that we are not just futile little robots running around until our time is up. Love and romance too, are among them.

When I was younger, the prospect of finding love seemed to be all-consuming. Poets, philosophers, movies, and music did nothing to change this.

As I am turning 30, I see that love (romantic or otherwise) is just another thing you feel. …

Not every life is a set on friends. It's okay. (Also, no spoilers).

Image from Flickr

It was hard not to well up from watching Friends Reunion, just like in the last episode.

F.R.I.E.N.D.S were perfect. The perfect sync in group chats, latching on to each other’s ideas and reacting like they shared the same brain; heck, even breakups are very fixable.

I watched the reunion with wide pupils, a tilted head resting on my palm, and on my lips a smile. I believed every bit of what everybody said. Just like a part of me believed that the story on the show was real.

If my life was a show just like friends, It would…

Prose poetry

Photo by Mitchell Hollander on Unsplash

Endless, vast, magnanimous.

From out there, it is all the same. Blocks of concrete, lines of asphalt, swatches of green, and dribbles of blue.

Up close, the concrete has cracks, water has ripples and people have characters.

From out there, I can ignore. I could choose not to see the detail. It is one large unit of insignificance.

But I’m not out there. I am a person, too close to the terrifying detail.

I hear every ticking second, I see every blade of grass on the patch, I squeeze my eyes shut and clench my teeth as I ride across…

Sruthi Korlakunta

I laugh at stuff for their pointlessness and smile at others because they don’t know. | I live in Germany and help them make Audis. |

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