Solo Travel

It’s November 20th, 2017.
I’m in Bali, living out a dream.
Living out an adventure – traveling alone in foreign lands.

I never thought, that this little 14 year old Indian girl, who was obsessing over nonsense, can now enjoy a glass of wine over looking the Balinese rainforest.

And yet I don’t feel alone, I feel loved –

From thousands of miles away.

I still feel the love of my family, friends and the universe.

It was nice to give myself space away from reality. From people who may have taken my presence for granted. But this trip showed me that no matter what happens in my life, I can do anything. I toughed out huge spiders suspended over bed posts and pattering around the ground. I spent 20 hours in silence, with only the thoughts in my head. I opened myself up to strangers, and challenged myself to disengaged from technology.

I had been afraid that I would never find a person to travel with when my heart was broken. I never thought I would be able to survive a week without familiar faces and personalities. But I did it. I found that I can only love, if I love myself at my weakest. So I spent this week, falling in love with myself – loving all my weirdness, awkwardness, and apologized to no one about it.


They say traveling is eye opening, but it opens your soul – to accept the love and help of pure strangers. It opens your soul and your heart to accept mistakes you may have made, the preconceived notions you made about a race, place or culture.

Traveling alone, shows the universe that yes you’re vulnerable – but you are brave, you are strong, and you will preserve through adversity.


When you love

They say you never fall in love the same way you did your first.

They say you get smarter.

That when you love again – the second time – you’ve learned.

That you’re wiser.

But love is unintelligible.

You don’t think.

You just fall.

Fall for the sweet nothings.

And the careless whispers.

And fall for the stolen looks

No matter how much you try

To be smarter

And wiser

You just can’t.


When you love.

You stop thinking.

You just feel.

You just fall.

To Dad. Adieu.

You were my best friend
You were never supposed to leave me



Today. I bury you in the ground.

And as I stand at the precipice of this heart wrenching
Earth shattering reality

I’m still looking for you…
I’m still talking to you…

As you gain your wings into heaven.
As I stay behind.

I was naive to think you would never leave me
I never thought you would leave this suddenly
I wish I had been there.
In that hospital room

With those nurses and doctors
As the pronounced you

“0202. Time of death.”

I held your hand that day
Just one last time
Filing it away in my memory
The grooves
The callouses
The hands that held me when I was weak
The hands that pushed me to be brave

But today Dad, adieu.


To JB. Thank you for reminding me that parents don’t live forever. Cherish the moments that make you smile, and forgive the fights that make you cry. That knee crumbling, wracking sob that escapes from one’s body from true loss…it will haunt you. It will haunt anyone who hears it. It is true heart break.  Its your heart ripping and tearing. And no matter how many years pass, there will always be a hole. Not a day will go by without you thinking about that hole in your heart. 

The Dying Man Gravitas

This is the end for me.

This is the end.

No. No we keep going.
We’ll get your kidneys working.
Then we’ll re-start chemotherapy. 


I’m dying.

Look at me, I’m a shell.
I’m a shell.

No no. I’m telling you there’s a good chance we’ll have you on chemotherapy.
We’ll give you time.
Don’t give up.
We’re not giving up.

This is my ending.
Let me choose with dignity.

Don’t say I’m giving up.

I’m not.

Do you think I want to leave my wife behind?
My kids behind?

I’m accepting my fate.
We all die.

I’m choosing to listen to my body.
I want to be with my family.
I want to touch their hands
Kiss my wife for the last time
Lay next to her in bed just one last night
In our bed.
I want to have my last thoughts be of my beautiful life

I don’t want chemotherapy to rob me of anymore time
I don’t want chemotherapy to give my family any more false hopes


I want them to see me at peace.
Because I know

I know when I take my last breath.
That image will always be in their minds.

They should see peace

Never pain Doctor.

No more pain.

He had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, chemo unsuccessful, bone marrow transplant unsuccessful, salvage chemo unsuccessful. Bedridden, swollen, acute kidney failure precipitated by chemo…and all he wanted to do was die. But every day, he had an oncologist pushing him for ‘more’ – but there comes a moment when you’ve done everything and all you can do is give a dying man gravitas. 

Your First Love

Do you mind if I ask you something ….

When you’re with me

Do you still think of her?

Do you still remember the way she smelled?
Do you still remember how she looked?
Can you still remember how she felt?

When you’re with me…..

Sometimes I catch this dullness in your eyes

The spark that was there a moment ago

As if you’re lamenting over what could have been?
As if brooding over a life you could have had….

Had you not let her slip away.

So tell me my love

Do you still think of her?

Your first love?

Is she still to you
               what you are to me?

I Never Thought

I never thought.

After years of dealing with this hole
Where my heart once stood
I would find myself searching –

To find the lost pieces
That have wandered into the abyss

I never thought.

Because I did stop searching.
Stopped looking.
For my heart.
For the one.

Because it only took one
To create a galactic explosion
That eviscerated my hopes:
Of forever
Of true love

But I find myself

…staring into your eyes
searching for my lost pieces…

I know they’re here –

If you would lend me your hands
I know I can find my missing heart

When I look into your eyes

I remember


Brain Death

Today I learned about brain death.
Today I got to see a brain dead patient.

Today I saw a mother grieve.

He chose to believe his life was not worth living.
The pain must have been so incredibly unbearable
For him to choose this path.

Both wrists had new bandages.
As if he was transcribing his pain for the world to see.

Found hanging.
His neck – red – from the makeshift noose.

He lay in this bed
A body & mind deprived of oxygen –
There was nothing left.
just an empty vessel…

His pupils: blown.
GCS: 3
Core Temp: 90F

Bleeding through his nose.
Through his mouth.
No reflexes left.

His vitals slowly deteriorating before our eyes.
Before her eyes.
As she sat there holding his hand.

We fought.
Titrating, bolusing –
but after it all
we couldn’t get his pressures up.

He was ready to take that last step into the abyss.
No matter the medical manipulation…

His body was dying
But his brain was dead

The schism between life & death becoming clear —
as if Hades himself was in that room.


Today I got to see what a brain dead patient looks like.

Today I felt sadness
For the mother who will – for the rest of her life
Remember the loss of her child
     On Mother’s Day


Priya Kumar