Inhale, exhale


This is a collaborative piece. 

Poem : Pragya Lal

Art : Harman Taneja


No golden daffodils, 
Babbling brooks, 
Or Solitary Reapers
Line the alleys of Sohna Road 

Inhale, Exhale  by Harman Taneja for TLJ

Inhale, Exhale by Harman Taneja for TLJ

Our solitude is
Boxed in Excel sheets
Overbearing glass offices
And finger print sensors
That ensure – 
You can check in anytime you like
But you can never leave 

I seek inspiration in
The enthusiastic ‘dhag dhag dhag’ 
Of my newly purchased semi-automatic washing machine
In the grumpy ‘grrrrrrrrrr’ 
Of the old office coffee machine 

In early morning stretching that is
Not limited to making it out of bed
In old hindi songs that surprise you on the radio
And get stuck in your head 

In the dainty yellow chandeliers of Amaltas
In the unapologetic, wild bougainvillea
In fictional toe-curling romances
In the kindness of strangers 

In afternoon naps
In bin mausam barsaat
In snow globes
In stolen glances 

On every Wednesday
When the existential crisis hits
I remind myself that I am happy, whole
And a sum of these little things 

While making a mental note to: 
Inhale exhale
And find my rhyme
Since all adults are just winging it, 
One day at a time.


Pragya Lal is an erstwhile literature student and newly minted business school graduate. She measures her life in cups of filter coffee, rhymes, and leaps of faith.

Harman Taneja is an architect whose passion is to illustrate. Her paints and canvasses are like oases in a burning day.