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Our Neighbor Totoro

I’ve rewatched the movie countless times over the past decade. If I had a comfort food, it would be this film. But that’s not to say I find it completely comforting. The older I grow, the less I feel like My Neighbor Totoro is a kids’ movie. Its mesmerizing surrealism can no longer hide the profound sadness of two girls missing their mother as they struggle to grow up.

Thick Blood Illustration
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Thick Blood

"I thought that my throat was closing up every morning. That my heart would suddenly stop. That I might choke on my dinner and require an emergency tracheotomy. "

Christina Endpaper
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From Me, in Cambridge, with Love

Letters sent by mail are outdated, yes. But they are snapshots of time, the culmination of a friend’s life between the day they mailed their last letter and the moment they sat down to write this new one.

Christina Endpaper
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Christina Endpaper

Maya S. Bhagat Parents Illustration
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Maya S. Bhagat Parents Illustration

Maya S. Bhagat Parents Illustration
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Are We Home Yet?

At the time, everyone thought the virus would pass in two months. I thought I’d get home by July 2020. It’s September 2021, and I haven’t been home for 20 months.

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Cuddling Endpaper Graphic

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Nanu Holds Saima
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To Love a Stranger

The silence was in no way uncomfortable; most times, it was pleasant, even relaxing. But underneath was a low thrum of pent-up frustration, which I only became aware of every once in a while. There was so much I wanted to tell her — about my high school track meets, the school paper, later my college roommates — and so much I wanted to ask, that I simply could not.

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How Things Fall Apart

I left later that night, relieved that I wouldn’t have to see Gayatri until the next winter but also wondering whether I had said too much. And sure enough, that one genuine moment came back to bite me.

Nanu Holds Saima
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Nanu Holds Saima

Nanu holds Saima in the hospital.

Nanu and Saima Birthday
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Nanu and Saima Birthday

Nanu gives Saima a smooch on her first birthday.

friendship split vector graphic
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friendship split vector graphic

Friendship split

Nina Grandma Young Woman
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Nina Grandma Young Woman

Nina's grandmother as a young woman.

Nina's Grandmother Child
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Nina's Grandmother Child

Nina's grandmother as a child.

book vector graphic
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Reading My Way Back To Myself

I read because I remember everyone before me who shared a piece of themselves through books.

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