Style Files | What 13 Reasons Why taught me about healing

Whether you didn't care enough to watch the show or couldn't stop raving about it, ever since its release in 2017, 13 Reasons Why couldn't be ignored. Amidst many warnings of it being unnecessary and too graphic, I decided to watch it last summer and found the experience a slightly uncomfortable necessity. Before I say any more, a spoiler alert is in effect as I'll be diving right into the show so expect to see sensitive material of the plot and my opinions on it.

13 Reasons Why was unlike most shows I'm used to watching. It touched upon depression, rape, substance abuse and suicide; something I barely expected from a TV show about high school students. The second season of the show released last month and got even murkier. Along with the previous premise of Hannah's very graphic suicide and her notes left via cassette tapes, the new season also depicted more bullying, mental health disorders and loss. As you'd imagine, the death of their classmate left a Hannah-shaped hole in the lives of the teens at Liberty High. But that's only the start of the turmoil going on in their lives.


Clay, the closest to Hannah, is seen to be hallucinating and even communicating with a vision of Hannah, at one time almost pulling a trigger because she won't stop talking. It's evident that Clay is heartbroken, lost and seeming to sink deeper into the dark end. He finds temporary solace in Skye, tries to right the wrongs done to Hannah and even attempts to get inked but healing is a far more complicated process. Thankfully, Clay seems to find some semblance of balance when he opens up about his love for Hannah during her eulogy where he finally accepts the grief and anger to let her go.

Jessica, Hannah's ex-friend, has her own devastating ball game going on. Besides being dragged into Hannah's trial, she is also coming to terms with her own rape. Jess coping with her situation has got to be the most heart-wrenching of them all. From the bold, bright cheerleader and part of Liberty's it couples, she turned into a quiet, scared little girl who went into a shell. Her friend Nina on the other hand, copes with things a bit differently by reaching out and taking charge of how she wants her story to be heard. Alex's failed suicide attempt was possibly the most drastic of coping mechanisms seen in the show's two seasons. It wasn't only Hannah's death that drove him to take the step but also the mix of guilt and grief that weighed on his shoulders.

There were many more characters like Zack and Tyler who were affected by the events but these stood out to me the most. Although Clay seems to have finally started moving forward, him asking for help about Hannah's manifestations would have been ideal. Because like it or not, they did affect him mentally and almost physically. Jess opens up steadily through the season, especially post the trial and falling back into old habits (i.e. Justin Foley) may be her way of doing so. Friendship, self-deprecating humour and physical therapy is what seemed to have put Alex back on track. For Nina to put her traumatic rape behind her, erasing it once and for all by burning the Polaroids seems to be her method of choice.

Healing is a funny thing. Everyone does it in their own way; sometimes that's with meditation, other times it's more destructive. That was one of the stand-out points for me on the second season of 13 Reasons Why. There was a lot more going on but how the characters cope with loss and pain play a crucial part, especially at a time when healing is key for me. Thing is, you can't put a time limit on it, imitate someone else's method or quicken the process. All you can do is create an environment that's conducive and hope for the best. To heal, the destination is far more important than the journey you take to get there.


Life | Snapshots: Summer Break 2018

My love for summer is renowned and this year, the wait for it seemed endless. The past couple of months have been physically and emotionally exhausting so the second the temperature began to rise steadily and my travel plans were confirmed, all joy broke loose. Especially if you live your whole life in the city, the smell of clean air and blissful sound of silence are a welcome change. From eating dinner under the stars to 8K treks up hills, it was heavenly to just live with the sea, sand and sky as my constant companions.

I've come back renewed, focused and peaceful, feelings I haven't felt in a long time. It's also why I haven't been present on the blog as much as I would have liked but slowly, I will get back into the swing of things. Till then, here's a look at what transpired on my summer break. Be warned: If you're in dire need of a holiday, this might not do you any good.

My happy place

Image of pink frangipani champa flowers with green leaves growing on a tree in Goa
Blooming buds, all rosy and bright, at their peak

Image of a woman's feet besides a river with small fish swimming in Goa
Afternoon solitude by the riverside

Image of a dark grey sky surrounded by clouds on top of the mountains and hills in Goa
A mountainscape dotted with grey clouds that look like something straight out of a documentary

Image of a woman wearing printed shorts going for a walk with a brown dog in Goa
Afternoon walks with a furry new companion

Image of a basket full of green mango fruit in Goa
It doesn't get any better than harvesting your own drool-worthy produce, right in your backyard

Image of lightning striking the sky during a thunderstorm while cars drive on the roads in Goa
Almost otherworldly scenes with zipping cars and strikes of lightning at night

Image of a fishing net filled with fishes and crabs freshly caught in the sea in Goa
First catch of the day, fresh out of the ocean

Image of a sunset by the sea in Goa with the sky in shades of orange, peach, purple and gold
This is one of the many reasons why I adore the sea, through and through

Image of fresh berries on the brand of a bush in Goa
Evenings spent berry-picking and eating all our day's work, almost instantly

Image of a young woman in denim shorts under a flowering tree in Goa
Absolutely overjoyed at finding flowers blooming and beautiful

Image of a vegetable vendor sitting in a market selling carrots, beetroots, capsicum and cucumbers in Goa
You can only imagine how good food tastes with produce as fresh as this

Image of a green mango fruit hanging from a mango tree in Goa
What a delight to get a glimpse of (and eat!) more mangoes than the eyes can see

Image of a boats on a beach surrounded by mountains in Goa
Quiet mornings and empty shores at beachside towns

 Photography: Raynor Pereira / Style File

Hope you enjoyed the pictures as much I loved experiencing all of them. It'll be back to business on Style File soon so here's to a fabulous last few weeks of summer.

Dayle Pereira




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