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Every time I get my pump broken or something feels snapped inside, I busy myself reading, writing poems, or watching art cinema, and prove to myself that I am above frail feelings, feelings at fault that render the pump with

a million fault lines. Yes, maybe it does matter a bit, somewhere. Why lie? But the indifferent intellectual mask I have painted over my façade screams foul when I adulterate it with emotion and stark realism. So I busy myself in brainy stuff, stuff that sentimental imbeciles could never comprehend. I feel at home yoked to my brain. Far from the pump's realm, it feels so natural, so just, that I doubt the bloody pump. Were you ever broken? Or was it a stunt you pulled

to pride yourself in believing that you too can care; that your human is still in there?


Ankit Raj Ojha is a poet, writer, former software engineer and former rock band frontman from Chapra, Bihar, India. He has poetry, short fiction and research articles published/forthcoming in Native Skin, Dreich, The Bayou Review, The Dillydoun Review, Routledge, Johns Hopkins University Press, and elsewhere. Ankit sunlights as an Assistant Professor of English with DHE, Haryana, and has almost submitted his PhD thesis at IIT Roorkee. He also guest-edits Essence & Critique: Journal of Literature and Drama Studies, and is a Consulting Editor for The Explicator (Routledge). Ankit is the author of Pinpricks, a poetry collection from the Hawakal Young Poets 2022 series. Twitter: @ankit_raj01, Instagram: @ankitrajojha1.

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