It was recently Christmas and the New Year’s, and like everyone, this time of year always pushes me to look back and reflect on myself, while simultaneously tackling all the emotions it brings. From the melancholy of nostalgia to the pride you feel observing your growth, the anger towards regretful moments and the joy associated with the memorable ones- at the end of the day it’s these little emotions that truly signify how a year has been.


When my team and I started discussions for the new issue, we played around with the idea of relationships. This was likely due to the fact that when I had sat down to reflect on my year, it was the relationships that stuck out most prominently– from the priceless new friendships I’d built, the once-cherished bonds I’d lost, to coming to terms with so much about myself and even the evolution of familial connections– it was these relationships that made the difference between the person I am today and who I was a year ago.

As the conversation moved forward, we discussed words that best suited the theme, to title the issue. When Kindred was proposed, it wasn’t immediately agreed upon simply because the direction it would take the theme towards was unclear. The word Kindred instantly awakens a sense of warmth and comfort deep inside your chest- it’s the quiet bliss you feel when you’re finally able to realise where you feel most at home. It’s such a positive and powerful emotion, I worried it wouldn’t allow us room to explore the intricate realities of relationships, including the rough and the ugly. Regardless, the theme was released, and I loved being a part of the discussions and reading through all the brilliant submissions. From tear-jerking sentimental letters to elaborately detailed artworks, this issue brought with it so many precious pieces that made it hard not to appreciate the beautiful bonds humans are able to forge. The submissions truly embodied the warm fuzzy feeling Kindred evoked in my heart.


Yet somehow, I still struggled with the idea of not being able to represent the other end of the spectrum of what relationships could entail. I knew for a fact that the growth I was so proud of wouldn’t have ever been possible without letting go of the relationships I’d grown out of, regardless of how much I cherished them. A theme about delving into the intricacies of connections that weave the fabric of our lives would be incomplete without representing the difficult factors of relationships as well. I worried about how we’d be able to do so, and do adequate justice to it.

But my mind was put to ease as soon as we received the next batch of submissions. I read through pieces that had a bittersweet melancholy to them- there was a profound beauty to those painful words. It was an incredible experience, a revelation of sorts: I witnessed how multifaceted human connections could be, how incredibly intricate our bonds are.


I still wrestled with the idea of finding the bridge between relationships and Kindred. For me Kindred still meant the cosiness of love, but relationships were more complex. I decided to revisit our compilation of content for the magazine to better understand the message we were trying to convey. I was once again hit with the rush of profound emotions, from someone’s joy at cherishing their loved ones to another’s struggle with finding peace with the heaviness of home. I realised that it was at that moment, I was finally convinced we were doing justice to Kindred.

I had been thinking about it wrong the entire time:

Kindred isn’t simply the absence of the roughness of struggle, it is the light we discover within us in spite of it. It represents the nectar of life that brings purpose to our existence: the strength, vulnerability, camaraderie, companionship, and peace that we as people are able to embody in our relationships.

~ Saina Gupta

[Editor in Chief]


A passionate writer, Saina has always found a unique solace in words. She finds her strength in her team and seeks joy in the small moments in life: finding her crowd and making memories that last a lifetime.


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