I left the church in April of 2020, but I emotionally and mentally began leaving 2 years before that

When I was young, toddler old, to while away time after the church had ended, I was given some paper and crayons. I am told, I drew the church doors locked with my mom and dad standing outside. Obviously, it caused alarm and I was asked to explain why my toddler’s brain decided to lock the church doors. Young me had a fair enough explanation — my family was generally the last to leave and so we often locked the doors…


Growing up as a Christian, we girls had 2 options — we could either by Mary or we would be Delilah, sometimes worse — Jezebel. You get to either be the saint or you the slut a.k.a the woman who took the man away from God. So, we all obliged, we wanted to be the blessed woman; the chosen one for God’s work. And this rhetoric did not exist because of the lack of female leaders in the Bible but because these were the ones we somehow had more to talk about.

I recollect this moment from childhood today as…


To be, or not to be? That is.. was the question. The question today, of course, is to cancel or not to cancel. And if you spend even a fraction of the time that I do on the internet, then you know exactly why the word elicits the kind of reactions it does. Cancel culture and its vilification and also, simultaneous glorification has always kept me intrigued and amused. …


Quit the internet. Or just... I don't know, only post dog videos.

I have a funny habit that is funny because others find it funny: I read essays more than I read fiction or poetry. So, at 3 am when the pandemic has decided that I am not a worthy candidate to be assigned sleep, I find myself nose deep in essays and aggressively bookmarking articles on different sites to read later. While recently laughing at me, a friend hit the nail on its head to tell me why I indulge like this. He said it was part of my act of ‘wokeness’, because to be unaware would mean ignorance and trust…


Take cues from everyday life | Keep audiences engaged | Create conversations. Repeat.

It is the mantra for digital marketing and content creation. Right from your favourite cute Filter Copy video to your sassy Dolly Singh video, everything follows this one rule. They create, you engage. But how many times do you sit back and stare at the workings of your social media, not just as a platform of self-expression, networking, and connectivity, but as your primary source of pop culture?

Tiktok is its own world of popular culture, while Instagram or YouTube has its own social and linguist registry…


Millennials attack you if you disrespect their Harry Potter house, read a TikTok comment and I shriveled in shame as I took a sip from my Hufflepuff coffee mug. Call me new to the world of teens taking over the resistance movement, but I am here for it and all ears. Because the Gen Z has a lot to say, and in a vocabulary that we millennials are struggling to get on board with.

Staying true to my millennial blood, I shall return to the subject of Harry Potter because it is imperative that I do. JK Rowling going all…


‘The lack of knowledge or information does not leave a void, {the empty space} is occupied with an ignorant opinion’

I was left with this thought this week and it has left me quite in a state of disarray, to say the least.

2020 has been an eye-opener, a cruel wake-up call, pushed us up against the wall, and has let the sewage drain into our houses so we cannot escape it. And I am on 2020’s side. As I read on Instagram recently, it is the year we deserve and need. But what must I do with all this…


And then the al-god-rithm said, ‘Let there be story archives’

‘A week of devastation’ read several headlines as I turned to my phone on a lazy Sunday afternoon. India was hit by a cyclone, swarms of locusts, highest intra day cases rise and more deaths of migrants. I, mindlessly, switched to Tik Tok, looking for anything that did not give me the bad news. Muscle memory is a funny thing. It knows how tiny your attention span is and knows your inability to fight it. However, muscle memory is hardly the criminal here; an accomplice at best. The algorithms, with their god-like omnipresence, are the real culprits of this age.


Do yourself a favour, watch this special without tense shoulders or tissues ready by your side.

I have been keeping track of the date for 2 reasons, this lockdown, the first being how many days I have gone without a bra and the second being the premier of Douglas by Hannah Gadsby. Now, if you have watched Nanette by Gadsby, it is very likely that you have arrived on her second special hoping for some more epiphany. I, personally, looking at the trailer, showed up for her beauty of a suit and her claim in Nanette that she is a master of the craft.

So come Tuesday morning, I planned my day and work from home…


Social distancing has been just one thing for me in the past 2 months: increased and untamed screen time. I had it all under control. I had my notifications off, Instagram screen time limit reminder and here I am, struggling to get my muscle memory to stop going from Instagram to WhatsApp to TikTok to Bumble. And, that means I have consumed enough content to overthink about and therefore, write about.

But, even with an existential threat like pandemic out there, we seem to still not get enough of #BoysBeingBoys. So, inevitably, almost like catching the virus, feminism is getting…

Hannah Pillai

Running pillar to post making sense of culture and conversations.

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