Prose Self-Harm


An impulse to end it all, 27 tablets of Amlodipine, and you find yourself in acute medical ward. The doc isn’t content with the stomach pump, so he also puts a pipe in your nose, which is not needed- you both know, but he is adamant. “You might die,” he says, and winks. You feel like running from here. But one more error and he might put you in a psychiatric ward. So you persist, even though the pipe hurts- lingering inside the esophagus, making you feel you’ve got tonsillitis. But you can do nothing, except for maybe… pulling it out? Oh, yes- WINK.

When the nurse comes, she finds the pipe lying on the floor and looks at you with a concealed wink. Your throat coughs and then say- “accident.” Wordlessly, she puts the pipe back in and goes out.

An hour later, a man joins you on the other bed with his daughter. “That devious doc,” you mutter. “He is trying to punish me. “What happened to him?” you ask the nurse. “Accident. Water on the brain. Hydrocephalus,” she replies. The girl appears to be 8. When you ask she says she is 10. You are 20. His father is 30- a bandage over the head and another one over the stomach. A pipe connecting the penis with a plastic bag and another one disappearing into the head- which the girl has to press every ten minutes, else her father will die. But he does not know that he has been operated upon. Water in the brain. He thinks that he is as fit as no one really is. He commands the girl to help him stand so that he can pee. “Piss in the bag,” the girl says, which pisses him off, and he pulls out the bandage from over his stomach.

An open wound. And blood and gore. It is your first time- so bile in your throat. You close your eyes. And then open them. You need to see- you know, that’s why the doc sent you here. 10 minutes later, the man’s hands are cuffed. The doc doesn’t want him to play with his bandages once again. “He is cruel, you mutter. The girl stays awake through the night, as do you, listening to the man’s moans. The night is slow. “I’ll be more careful the next time,” you keep telling yourself.

A dropout of various institutes Nachi Keta is a Kidney Transplant Recipient and a neurodiverse writer from New Delhi. His name is a combination of two terms: Nachi, which means ‘death’, and Keta, which means ‘a creative force’. His work focuses on mental health, oppression and the absurd in social and personal. 

His words have found a home in various magazines like Perhappened, The Bombay Review, The Howling Press and Sock Drawer, an updated list of which can be found here: