Priyanka Paul, Friends and their homes, 2022

Priyanka Paul aka Artwhoring is a self-taught illustrator, writer and generally funny person from Mumbai, India. Their work revolves around the themes of social justice, marginalisation and self-exploration. In her free time, you can find her hoarding zines, fighting on the internet and drinking copious amounts of iced tea.

I wake up on somedays
In houses with patched walls
And a bucket with water in the middle of nowhere
On beds with no sheets
And stamped up cockroaches at the edge of the bed
My hand’s in a pile of ash
And my glasses are lost in someone else’s hair 
I smell smoke and hear snores
The only clean thing in the room
is a gleaming red guitar
There are too many bottles around
Some we use as makeshift water bottles
So it’s a little round of guess who before I tip down my throat water or leftover vodka
No one gets up before 11:45 am
Or before the smell of coffee mixed with too much milk wafts through the walls
Pulled and stolen and divided and shared blankets are pulled off by the morning
Alarms ring and die
Like the corpses of last Friday night
Someone flushes
I awake
My legs shakey
Whispering goodbye to my friends
Dressed in party clothes for pyjamas
Patting their heads I step upon bodies
Grabbing my backpack, shoving in a pair of heels
To go back to my mother and father
Leaving my passed out family momentarily
My friends awake
Dingy eyed and throats-dry
To clean and dust this house
And calling their mothers 
Cities away
To wish them good morning
And ask when they could come back home
I’d never have to ask
They’d always welcome me 
Cheap alcohol, coca-cola
Broken down sofa, leaking taps
A Bluetooth speaker and glee