Manasi Palle

coffee date #46 with manasi palle

senior 🥺, Miss Prez of TCNJ MannMukti, an opinionated queen, ‘hater to the core,’ an abortion advocate, future pediatric gynecologist, premed, a true coffee-holic, Telugu bestie

mind-boggling fact: did you know that only 22% of OBGYNs perform abortions? yeah, neither did I. Manasi, a queen, is going to be a kickass pediatric gynecologist AND an abortion provider because it’s an individual choice and right to decide whether or not a pregnant individual wants to continue their pregnancy.

me: lavendar latte w/ oat milk | manasi: lavendar latte
location: pretty bird coffee, pennsylvania

I first saw Manasi on a ZOOM screen and in vertical videos in our Facebook dance team group chat. All I knew about Manasi was the fact that she was a year older than me and was on the dance team – that’s it.

Come time for big/little reveal at ISA, my fam line planned a little reunion in Princeton so we could all meet each other in person. That’s when I actually met Manasi for the first time (she ended up being my cousin in my fam line?). At that Princeton trip, Manasi and I just sat and listened to the older folks reminisce about their college experiences and then the world moved on and I wasn’t necessarily in touch with Manasi.

I began to exchange more and more conversations with her the following year during our TCNJ MannMukti E-board meetings. We’d linger together after the meetings and I was amazed with Manasi’s openness to share about all things life.

From those conversations we discovered that:

  1. Manasi went to high school with a bunch of my East Windsor family friends
  2. She’s Telugu (and also speaks Kannada)
  3. She was originally a GW student
  4. And she lives behind Patidar!

She was and still is the person who has this vibe that makes you feel safe instantly, so naturally I cherish this relationship with my whole heart.

Diving into the world of Manasi Palle….


  • ‘control your emotions’

The world is simply not equipped for sensitive people because sensitive people have the superpower of feeling all feelings at all sorts of intensities.

I’m sure I’ve talked about this before, but the way Manasi put it spoke to my soul so I’m sharing it again:

“You can’t be too excited because then you’re hyper. You can’t be too upset because then people will pity you. You have to be empathetic, but not cry when people tell you things. You have to be happy, but not super excited because then it’s about you and not them. It’s a balance that you have to maintain and that’s really hard for a child.” – Manasi Palle, 2023

  • gossiping – is it really a bad thing?

Manasi gave me a history lesson on gossiping and it shook my mind.

She described how back in the day, old white people would get together to have some tea and essentially talk shit (aka English High Tea). She emphasized how it was never a bad thing then.

“It has only become a bad thing because it is now associated with women. Gossiping is not inherently bad. Men do it too, but it’s not called gossiping.” – Manasi Palle, 2023

There’s also this added layer to gossiping, where ‘just because someone acted like that to you doesn’t mean they will act like that to someone else.’ Thus, it’s unfair to talk bad about them without letting the other people in our life have their own individual interactions with that person. I believed this to its core for so freaking long until Manasi shattered this belief in a matter of seconds when she said:

“I hate that. If someone shows their true colors to another person, why do they have to show their true colors to you? Isn’t that enough?” – Manasi Palle, 2023

Shook my world. I am still dissecting it and trying to figure out where I lie on this spectrum of ‘gossip.’ But damn. What a queen.

  • the Indian mentality of ‘family always comes first’

To be honest I don’t know if this is an Indian culture thing or not, but based on my own experiences and my other fellow Indian friends’ experiences, I’ve noticed this to be a common theme.

Indian culture is extremely family-oriented. Families of multiple generations oftentimes live under the same roof and provide for each other. It’s normal and it’s something that I actually love about the culture because it is such an incredibly wholesome feeling to know that you have a whole houseful of people ready to help you.

On the flip side, that obviously comes with its own set of downsides. One of them being that the concept of family is so deeply rooted to the point where there’s a divide between family and friends. Thus, the rather American concept of ‘friends becoming family’ is not as openly accepted in Indian culture.

For example, Manasi and I chatted about how our parents would often tell us that we can only trust them. A common dialogue that I often receive from my mother is “If you’re ever in jail or any other deep trouble, no one will come for you except for me and your Dad.”

For a long time, I have internalized that and so has Manasi. This inevitably would affect the way we go about making friendships. I, for example, would be extremely wary about sharing or being vulnerable with my friends because I’d always remember what my mom would repeatedly say. Manasi shared that she is the same way with her friendships. Due to her parents telling her that they should always be her go-to people, Manasi only tells people (i.e. her friends) things if they ask.

Later on, I inevitably realized that my parents were speaking BS. Friends can become family and should become family. It is okay to create wholesome and vulnerable relationships with people outside of family – that’s where the memories and the growth lies.

  • solo dates

Solo dates are not weird. This is different from going grocery shopping or picking up a package or driving to work. Those are all tasks that you have to do. Solo dates are not tasks. They are, instead, time you spend with yourself for the sole purpose of spending time with yourself.

“I love being by myself. I go to the movies by myself. I get dinner by myself. It’s not weird.” – Manasi Palle, 2023

I used to have this weird feeling associated with eating alone in a public place. I, to this day, cannot walk into a restaurant and eat alone. It just feels like I have to be with someone else in order to eat a freaking plate of food. However, I’ve slowly began to understand with the help of Bree’s IG and a few of my coffee dates, like Manasi, that going on solo dates is not weird. In fact, it may be extremely powerful because it shows yourself that you have the ability to be with yourself and enjoy that cherished time.

  • codependency

Manasi brought up how being so co-dependent on people in our lives to the point where we cannot do anything alone is not a healthy feeling. Yes, we need support systems and amazing friends who bring us joy. However, it becomes a problem when they are the sources of that joy.

Manasi shared that though she is an independent queen now, she wasn’t always like that. She mentioned how she was heavily dependent on her best friends before to the point where she’d be on FaceTime 7 times a day, constantly be in touch, and felt the need to do everything with them. As life happened and Manasi and the friend got really busy, their friendship dwindled (as friendships do as we age) and Manasi found herself unable to do anything because of this void from that lost friendship.

Through therapy, Manasi learned how to create a relationship with herself first before cultivating relationships with other people. She noted that she no longer creates relationships with people to make her feel whole because she is the only person who can make herself feel whole.

Ending the coffee date with this magical epiphany:

“You have to learn to do things by yourself and have people be additions to your life rather than complete you.” – Manasi Palle, 2023

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