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I read a poem once called (love song, with two goldfish) by Grace Chua. In it, two goldfish are confined to a limited existence in a goldfish bowl. The male fish is “bowled over” by the female fish, but his desire is not reciprocated as she longs for a “life beyond the bowl”. In more than one instance, I’ve felt like our female fish, looking outside from within my South Bombay bubble. There’s nothing wrong with shelter, privilege, or belonging, but I’d be lying if I said I’d never wondered about a “beyond”. Now more than ever, away from home as a student in London, it is like I’m meeting the world for the very first time. I’m learning how people discover their culture and other cultures. I’m memorizing the infinite paths people take that lead to a single destination. I’m realizing that while I was running a race that everyone seemed to be running, somewhere across the world someone chose to live differently and they’re still here like the rest of us and they’re happy. 

I was drawn to TMS by its collection of Pacific Islander poetry on climate change. It was on a day I felt cranky about all my pending work and reading it showed me the proportions of my problem. I also couldn’t help but smile at the beauty of its lyrical writing, and suddenly I wasn’t so cranky anymore. That’s all I hope we can achieve with TMS. To highlight a wider world that helps our readers put things in perspective.

Zahra Hamdulay, Co-editor