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Writing gives life to my thoughts.

Ph.D. student @ KAUST | Woman in STEM| Science communicator | Writer | Cat lady | Diver | Indian


I am Ananya Ashok. I am an Indian, 29 years old and my pronoun is she/her. I grew up in a Tamil Iyer family in Chennai with a strong cultural emphasis on my upbringing. Since I turned seventeen, I have lived a life of contrasts going from a city to a small town, back to a big city, and then to a different country. In my transitions, I have also experienced life from different perspectives — culturally, socially, and economically. I have traveled to 13 countries so far.

This is me!

My professional portfolio

Currently, I am a final year Ph.D. candidate…

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The human mind is a landscape for emotions, ideas, and thoughts that come in varying dimensions.

In this canvas, I see an ever-present contrast — one part that is methodical and works on “to-do” lists and the other which simply wants to enjoy the little joys we find like catching a ray of sunshine, playing with a frosted windowpane, or sipping a warm cup of tea.

As I was torn between these two halves of my mind, the characters of two little sisters took shape and came to life. …

A poem

Photo by Dulcineia Dias on Unsplash

Flowers that grow together
Must still blossom alone.
Even as one’s petals unfurl
Are others yet — in quiet fold.

And so — buds lying latent
Closed as may seem,
Yet hold within oceans
Of secrets, none can know.

Find charm in a spray,
And, also in the incipient.
Perhaps a decade to go —
She’s biding her time, patient.

Photo by Álvaro Serrano on Unsplash

Weeks go past unnoticed
At times months and years
Undeviating from the mundane
As your creativity aestivates –
Looks for sustenance, and,
Yearns to be inspired.
You sit by the brook,
You stare through the walls.
Yet, not a word to find
No matter how long the grind.

Then, there comes a day
A moment ever so fleeting
Have ready your pen and
A piece of paper to grab.
Even as you feel the shudder within
Thoughts begin to ebb and rise.
Maybe it was the fall of a leaf,
Or the golden colors of autumn?
Maybe it is the hustle of everyday life
The love you recently lost?

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

When jealousy, deceit, anger, resentment, envy,
hatred, hope, faith, belief, wanting, needing,
loneliness, desire, and loathing become too much to bear,
When you can no longer wake up to run — to compete
And to prove yourself in a race so futile
What remains with you is only kindness.

When all those layers are slowly peeled away
And your soul is stripped down to utter nakedness —
Kindness is an attire you can still wear.
When wealth you accumulated through toil
Suddenly vanishes on a random day
Through kindness you become rich.

When your coveted job passes you by
Through kindness…

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

What if cells we could see under a stereo microscope
Were indeed stars and galaxies- each an entire world within.
And what if we are all like cells on an aged agar plate
A few here and there clustered. A little bioluminescent.
A few others lacking luster and barely-there as tiny dots.

And what if our entire globe was just the viewing field
Of a stereo microscope, awaiting a pipette’s poke.
And what if all stars in the sky, planets, suns, and moons
Are simply particles in a viewing field larger than we can glean.

Where do we fit in…

Photo by Nikoli Afina on Unsplash

Goa has at once the chic modernity of a city as well as a laid-back charm of a village. You could either be caught up in the glitz on its flashy casinos or bring out the party animal in you at some of its beaches or find total escapade into stillness and silence in some others.

Panjim — the capital city of Goa — has its unique spell with its narrow squarish blocks where all streets seem to lead into each other. …

A poem

Photo by Artem Kovalev on Unsplash

In the lay of the land, hearing the sound of the sea,
When your little bird flies free, away from thee,
Your worries are thoughts in the sand.
And, when push comes to shove,
Will you simply think once of me?
For, we all need a little love.
To get by.

Just a little love.

You see the leaves fall and lie.
Wait for the wind that sweeps by,
Lifting what could perhaps die,
And carrying it so far, oh my!
Remember the happy times, and sigh.
For, we all need a little love.
To get by.

Just a little…

Photo by Kent Pilcher on Unsplash

Today I want to be
Just breathing — not thinking
About anything but me.
I want to be listening to birds chirping
Feeling the sun warm up my skin
Watching the azure sky — with moving clouds
And at people walking by.

Today is one such day
Where I want to simply lay
Still like a blade of grass,
Covered in early dawn’s drops of dew.
And flow like a wisp of wind,
Be the shrill cry of the circling hawk
Or simply become a pebble without a mind.

Today I want to morph-
Into the colorful wings of the butterfly
As it happily flutters by.
Take my work-weary soul and
Pour it into that lazy cat
Stretched in the bright sunlight.
And I want to be a magic hat
That can grant these wishes alright.

Photo by Chris Abney on Unsplash

Softly stirring from my sleep, feeling my toes and legs twitch
With no agenda to keep, no road to hike or ride to hitch
I lay on my warm sheets, running a naked finger
Across my morning skin and feeling it linger.
My cat came up to cuddle with me
And we lay there in a furry muddle
With blankets and sheets — in a cozy huddle.

Warm, blissful, and unhurried
She kept her face in mine buried.
Through a parting in the curtain
I saw a ray of sunlight peak in
Reminding me what a joy it is…
To be awake, alive, and to breathe
We lay there longer — feeling fuzzy
Her back spooned against me.

We had nowhere to be,
Nothing to do, or to see,
But to feel this slow morning’s glee.

Ananya Ashok

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