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As a writer for The Michigan Daily, it’s important that we challenge ourselves and show growth in our writing. As much as I love writing narrative pieces, I do think I need to broaden my style. While thinking of avenues to follow, an editor suggested I try poetry. I joked that there was no way I could write poetry for The Daily — I’m not Rupi Kaur. Especially with current Internet culture, works of authors like Rupi Kaur, like “Milk and Honey,” have gained an incredible amount of traction and are sometimes even turned into memes. There was even a book published titled “Milk and Vine: Inspirational Quotes From Classic Vines” and written in the same style as Kaur and features minimalistic, monochromatic artwork that imitates Kaur’s artistry. 

Inspired by “Milk and Vine” and Rupi Kaur herself, I’ve decided to do something of the sort. Ever since I was around 15 or 16, my Instagram inbox has always flooded itself with messages from men all around the world. Some messages are provocative, some are simple spam messages and some are not even in English. I never respond to these messages, but I always screenshot them, since some of them make me laugh and sometimes looking at those messages is all I need to turn a bad day into a good one. So, instead of quoting popular Vines, I’ll be quoting actual messages I’ve received in my DMs, and write them in the style of Rupi Kaur’s poems. 

February 16, 2018

I remember

My head



It was being hit

Like a drum


I looked

At my DMs

To read


Where are you from

I left this user

On read

I felt as cold as ice


He messaged me


I thought you are from India

You play veena

That’s nice


At this string

Of messages

I set my phone


And stared off


My ceiling tile

Until I got another


That read

And you have a really cute smile

Still leaving

This user on read

I didn’t think this

Would continue

But then

I read

Actually I am sorry your smile in your photos made me text you

He continued

I thought we can be friends

He’s finally

Caught on

That I’m leaving

Him on read

What happened

Yeah but we can make an effort

Yeah but distance doesnot always mattera

The typos drove me


Maybe that’s why

I’m now a writer

I was hoping

To enjoy

The rest of my day

With my mom

Maybe go

To the mall

With her


I read

Destiny is a powerful thing

Oh i do sing and have got a nice voice as people say

But not better than a classical veena player

The final messages


One thing I liked is that even living in America doesnot stops you from being a traditional Indian girl

And that’s something found in a very few people

And I would like to know your views in love emotions and all

My jaw simply

Could not help



January 18, 2018

While struggling

To find something

On Netflix

I open Instagram

To read

How r u?

I saw your new pics

It’s stunning

How r u?


Nice picture…

Very nice pics……… 

January 17, 2018

It was a cold

Winter night

And I was in

Desperate need

To clear my brain

After reading



Good morning

Good afternoon

Nice to meet you

My cast is Hindu Jain

Although I’ve left

This user on read

He continued

But can you will be my friend


January 12, 2019

Watching TV

On the couch


Potato chips

When I look


My phone

And read

You got good lips

As I read

The next

String of


I was convinced

I needed

To see

An eye surgeon

With disbelief

I read

Can you draw my picture?

What do you like in men mostly?

How tall r u ?

Have you ever kissed/ date ?




Are you virgin

December 24, 2018

The day after

My birthday

I knew

I should

Have practiced

To sing

But instead

I opened my phone

To see

Two smiley emojis

I like you carctar


Smile face


It was winter break

The house

Was hectic

As we were all


For the holidays

I could hear

My mother

In the kitchen

Making tea

When my phone

Pings again

And another string

Of messages

Come along


Wish you Happy marry Christmas day


What you doing

U smile is very cute

Followed by a heart-eye emoji

And before

I could hit “block”

With my own

Two eyes

I had to see

I’m for love u


I like you Smranik

Followed by the hideous kiss emoji

December 19, 2020

As winter was

Finally here

I could relax again

And feel free

I scrolled through

My messages

To see

Do you like friendship with me

I left this user

On read

As one does


They decided

To follow up


You are Singal ya any boyfriend

Jast for asking

Nathing sirious

As I read

The next block

Of messages

I received

I cackled

Even showing

My mom

To see

As even she read

What type boy you like it

I am tall




You can see my pic

I like you

Do u like relationship with me

July 27, 2020

I still

Can’t help

But laugh

Every time

Even though

By this point

I’ve received


Of these DMs



The simplest

Of messages

The ones

That read


If you don’t mind can we are friends

Like gf bf

Any problems

March 10, 2021

With the



The world

In fear

I sit in my room

Figuring out

What to do

I check

My phone

Low and behold

To see

Some messages

That read

I Just want to be talk with you

I really adoure you

And before

I hit “block”

I thought

I needed

To get

My eyes


Since the next

String of



I’m flirting with you

I said I love you


Sorry I’m not flirting with you

Auto correct

Though I never respond to messages like these and end up blocking the users, it’s hilarious to see the creativity of some people. I’ve gotten everything from people telling me that they’re my cousin and that we are destined to get married to some unsolicited pictures, of which are rather concerning. I still receive messages very frequently and screenshot ones that I find funny. At this rate, you can expect a second edition of my DMs turned into Rupi Kaur poems.

MiC Columnist Smarani Komanduri can be contacted at