Guess who else has a birthday today!

Meenal and I just released a podcast episode reminiscing on the year it has been for Desi Outsiders. Last year, on this day, we released our podcast into the world. In this one-year anniversary special, we went back to the initial days when Shane wasn't even involved in the project. We also played a few clips from previous episodes that made us want to hang upside down from trees like bats so that gravity would force our mouths shut. It's bad, you guys. We were cringing all the way but hey, it's all those cringey moments that got us here. Chances are that we'll be cringing while listening to our current latest episodes this time next year but each time we choke on our own puke while listening to our own voices, we will remember that the choking is happening because we have learned important lessons and grown.

Last year, we released the podcast on 22 September because that date is very special to me. It's the date on which I started blogging unofficially back in 2015. It's the date on which 22 Nelson Street was born although this domain ( came much later. I had a free WordPress blog back when I first started out and not a soul knew about it. It was a little space for me to unleash my thoughts, ideas, and rants without any fear or inhibition. I'm not sure how much my writing has changed as a result of practicing on an almost daily basis for the past two years but I'm quite certain that writing like no one was reading (because no one was, in fact, reading) helped me write stories that eventually freed me from the shackles of my own mind.

Last year, to celebrate the first birthday of my blog, I put up special posts for an entire week. You can find them all here. On the actual date of the "blirthday", I wrote a post telling you all about Desi Outsiders. While I was getting each of those special posts ready, I was certain beyond doubt that I would do pretty much exactly the same thing this year. Little did I know that I would struggle to find the time to get all those moving pieces together this time around. I've been extremely busy in the past few months and on top of everything, for this blirthday, I'm on holiday too.

But worry not, for I'm not going to let this day go by in vain. I feel that the best way to celebrate today would be by going back and looking at some of the stories I first wrote, more for myself than for any reader. These are stories based on real people and real experiences with a pinch of fiction added in between. A lot of fiction, to be honest, and a lot of these stories and people have been intertwined, combined and mixed together in writing as they have eventually become in my brain.

An equally interesting fact is that a lot of these stories also eventually got me in trouble with people who recognized themselves in my characters. And the best thing was that while some of them completely embraced my portrayal of them and thanked me for it, others took offense and by some crazy luck of mine, removed themselves from my life. The stories I wrote in those initial days strengthened many relationships while severing some others. All I can say is that it was all for the best. For the very best.

Here are some of my favourite stories:

Click here to browse through all the stories.

Happy second birthday, my dearest blog baby!