At the pub, his behavior was not sordid, his actions unquestionable. She was in the mood for some distinct mischief, so she led him on. Hoping that down the line, he would misbehave. Fudge the lines just about enough for both of them to cross it, into each other's territory. But it was to be a timed activity, strictly. She should seduce him till say 1 o'clock and if that works, she could spend most morning in bed considering it would be Saturday. She was sure in for some hard partying, life abandoned in the week had to be lived all at once on a Friday night out. A surfeit of fun was to be had. 

She stared into his eyes in one quick glance, to try and read something, anything. Were her tricks working. Her mild brushes against his elbows. Fingertips touching across the table. Downcast glances and stolen glares. Stories locked in eyeballs, told in seconds, intentions half-revealed. She couldn't take an educated guess. Even from past experiences, he was mysterious. He probably wasn't up for it anyway. Soon she would have to move on.

She was pretty tipsy. Her eyes must have let go of her secret. His face appeared unusually sharp in the colored streaks of lights on the dance floor. His eyes were softly piercing. She was so attracted, she was fumbling. There was this overall niceness about him though. It felt rare in a way, though she understood she hadn't known him more than a few days, it felt as if he wouldn't hurt no one. But the question of hurt never arose in her flings, they were detachable at the snap of her fingers. She danced some and then back at the table, made sure she didn't tumble her glass of red wine or his of whisky, on-the-rocks. 

Light seemed to diminish rapidly, the girl friend she had come with had left long ago after leaving her a text that she was on her own. But she had been on her own for a long long time now. The battery of her phone was at 3%. Soon, she would be all marooned amidst the crowd. She should judiciously use the remnant charge to book herself a fucking Uber. And just go home and forget she even tried. The maroon top she was wearing felt loose. Her skirt felt short. She felt unbearably naked. Clearly, she had misplaced her jacket somewhere. She walked from table to table to look for it, it was already half past 2. From the tables she visited, she looked back and caught him looking at her, intently. Ah, red handed. 

Was it too late? Too many chances taken and lost. Would they make it till the morning? Or a little beyond that, breakfast of poached eggs or an awkward brunch, perhaps. She swayed back to their table to find him intoxicated and in-waiting. They could let a little bit of wanton into their night, perhaps.  


Peggy & Julio

Peggy and Julio. Peggy was Peggy Olsen and Julio was a kid that lived downstairs. Julio would be the same age as the child she gave up long back. But almost everything we give up, for seemingly other more worthy things we want, comes back later in life just to make us feel raw and unfaithful. It unsettles us. Sometimes when Peggy saw Julio, she must remember the child she abandoned. The inconvenient truth that she slid under the carpet. I know from the string of stories that I call my deep personal history that nothing actually ever leaves us. Unrequited love, unfulfilled dreams, clothes that we wanted to purchase but gave up on, restaurants we wanted to eat in but forgot, shiny crockery, voluptuous wine glasses particularly, trips that we never took, babies that we wanted to have but never did, vacations that we didn't deserve yet, stories we planned on writing but then they wore off our minds, but most of them all - unrequited love. We just cannot get over the fact that that we quit.


Once I spent an entire day waiting. Can u imagine. A whole entire day waiting. It gave me an ulcer, well almost. It was impossible. I had called somebody and they had said they would call me back on the coming Sunday. And then the sun rose on Sunday and my waiting began. I remember checking the phone every two minutes to begin with. My palms and temples sweated terribly. I had nothing to do but wait. I had dosas for breakfast that day. My phone lay quietly near my plate. I did my assignments, less than half hearted, like quarter hearted or so. My friends could see the lines on my forehead. I analysed my life on the whole. My self worth within the span of a few hours of cavernous waiting. All I did was wait. I had chicken for lunch, I remember walking back to my room and sitting on the stairs to sun-dry my shampooed hair. But still no call. Had he forgotten me. Was he alright. Should I call him instead and check. Had the telephone lines gone berserk. Had towers fallen. Had a flood drowned him. What disaster had befallen upon him to not have kept his promise. Afternoon trickled through the hourglass, excruciatingly slowly, like I could see grain after grain of time.  I was totally disheveled. Evening came, I seethed in pain. I trembled with impatience. It took me the night to realize that he wasn't infact going to. And then onward I decided never to wait as ferociously for anything else. Ever in my life.

Sequined Dreams & the Art of Getting-by

When I was a (mere) girl of twelve or eleven, I learnt embroidery. I was always bustling in gusts to learn new things. An aunt of my father's taught me. I learnt the chain stitch and the rose stitch. The aunt died too soon, but I remember her house filled with embroidered frames with quotations on them. And tablecloths and covers on TV sets. I soon forgot embroidery. Didn't forget exactly, but stopped investing my time in it because it could hurt my eyes. I ruined a sari or two of my mother's and gave up on the (shallow) misadventure.

Then I turned eighteen or seventeen. Plump and lithe. I got stitched a nice top for me, unintentionally. But I wore it when I went out once. That top was mostly pink with purple and green printed flowers on it, it was a tiny top, I almost bulged out of it. The sleeves were short and had slits. Something must have been the matter with me. Because I chose to embroider it before I went out wearing it. No complicated stitches. I sat overnight and sequined its sleeves and neck. As any seventeen year old would, I had many desires from life and I stitched them all onto the top. It had a V neck with a slit in the middle, just like in the sleeves. I am obsessed with symmetry, must have drawn out the design to the tailor who stitched it out for me. I can still feel, that summer of so many years ago and my sequined top clinging to my sweaty body on my lunch date. It was a pointless date, but the top has stayed on. 

Haven't been able to throw it away. And oddly it fits if I wear it. Probably, it has expanded with me. It's still stacked with my home wear Ts in my wardrobe. Probably at the (rock) bottom, with a overwhelming whiff of nostalgia. But nevertheless. 

Dear Diary

Dear Diary

I am not thirteen anymore. Haven't been thirteen for a long long time. I have had no secret diaries since. I show almost everything I write. And don't care what comes of it. I am unafraid. On a deeper level, I am aware and absolutely sure nobody cares. So.

I am not thirteen anymore. I can get a drink when I like. I can go to the park unaccompanied. Read forbidden books. But sometimes there is no reason to get out of bed in the morning. Or even open my eyes. Of course, I have a job at which I am seasoned at under-performing. But besides that, supposing I didn't have the job, I wouldn't get out of bed and rub my cracked feet on the bed-sheet and stare at the ceiling. And I've done that. Sat on the couch all day, watching TV, nonstop for hours and hours. I wouldn't allow myself a spare moment lest I start thinking.

You see, I ain't thirteen anymore. I've got real problems. Problems that have very difficult or no solutions. And I cannot gather the enthusiasm to face them at all. I am a sloth and cannot change. I cannot adapt no more, Diary. Dearest. My problems are mine and I gotta watch TV to keep it out of my head, I've discovered that's the secret to my short term complacence, if not joy, and I stick to it. With devotion and sincerity.

I compare myself with others. Not all the time. But when I do, I crumble into tears. Mostly in the washroom at work. Thank god for tissue huh. I just cannot figure out though what have I done not to deserve the happiness that is there in the lives of others aplenty. After I wipe my tears I promise I will be grateful for what I have, that I will manage my expectations, but I forget soon enough, Diary. What do I do, Where do I go.

I have this constant palpitation like thing in my chest. I fear I am missing out, on everything others are reaping benefits from. That I am falling behind. I would like to project joy. But I cannot. I stench of my own self pity.

Help me,
The one who is not thirteen anymore


{2.32 am..}
Not to bring money into the discussion, but guys who got recruited in that xyz company make x1y1z1 a year
Okay. Suddenly you make me feel poor
That wasn't the intention at all
{Pause. Pause. Silence. Sighs}
{2.34 am..}
Seriously, that wasn't my intention.
It's okay really. Something on my mind
What's that
How much do you make
Yes. Since we're already talking money
Mm..about x2y2z2
God you're rich
There must be women lining up to marry your ass
Will you marry me, er my ass
Will you marry me
What are you even asking
A simple question, I guess.
{Deep Breaths, Couple of}
{2.37 am..}
Wouldn't marry you for your money. But for the rest of you, I would. I will
Ok. Okay, good.
{Pause. Sneezes}
What just happened
I think we just got engaged
{2.39 am..}
We must get serious you know

The Intransigent Self

I cannot get over my obsession with cheap fruit. Ripe papaya, thirty bucks a kilo, bananas forty bucks a kilo, musk melon, thirty five, pineapple, again thirty. I buy a fruit a week, cut them up real nice, carry a fork with me wherever I go and eat them in the afternoon. Sometimes the papayas are slimy, the bananas are near black. But eat them still. I have always hated apples, and you can never trust oranges or grapes for how sour they might turn out to be, so I never prefer them. And pomegranate takes too long to peel and box and carry. So yes, I have my order of preference. With reason.

But why do I feel poor then? Is it because of my preference for cheap fruit? Is it because I am getting nowhere? Is it because I actually don't make as much money, as in cash. Or because no matter what I save, my savings are a pittance. Is it because I cannot make my money work hard? Is it because I have got no cushion. I am going to be middle class and work myself to exhaustion and a slow death, or a quick one preferably.

Is it because I don't have the clothes for it? Is it because my skin don't shine as much? Is it because I stutter when I need to speak of important things? Is it because I have zilch skills at impression management? Or because my growth in life is excruciatingly slow? Is it because I don't travel much? Is it because I end up staying home a lot? Is it because I don't pursue writing as much. Is it because of my fear of knowing that I ain't good enough on the surface or deep inside either.

Is it because of all this? That I find everything depressing. Endlessly so. And I distract myself with food and television. Or am I imagining my problems. Or am I just buying cheap fruit. I cannot remember which.

One Rant at a Time, Please.

If only they would stop spamming me, I would be a better version of myself. The one who doesn't twist her thumb into the handle of her handbag slung from her shoulder while crossing the road. May be, if they stopped spamming me, my face would grow smaller and I wouldn't have this penchant for midnight smoking. If they stopped spamming me, I would get up earlier, sleep earlier, have longer days and on the contrary, longer nights as well. If they stopped spamming me 24 fucking 7, I would not have to distract myself constantly from what's important to me with the utter nonsense that consumes all my time. If only they stopped sending me texts about Ladies' Night offers and about cash back of three hundred bucks, or if I needed a motherfucking credit card, I would be less angry all the time. If they left me alone, if they just left me alone and kept that useless secret of how many reward points I had (couldn't care any less), or what stocks I should pick, or till when their mega sale is extended to, or how much discount they offer (no matter what I do, I am poor, poverty is my religion). If only I could find a way to unsubscribe and close the chapter. I send texts and mails  and missed calls and never stop unsubscribing, yet they keep spamming me from newer avenues. They are tireless and I am dead. In the long run. In the short run, I am so exhausted and waiting for any leeway to allow me to become a better, less fucked up as this version of myself. I am.

If they just let a human being speak to me every time I called the customer care, I would be a far better person than I so pretend to be. If I didn't have to select the motherfucking language every time, each and every time and dial 1 and then 4 and then 7 and then 0 again and then 9 and then # to repeat the options because I was distracted and had passed into a coma by just dialing and then * to go back to previous menu, because there is nothing here. This menu is just as empty and pointless as my current life. And then call back again and again and then get lost in loops and hoops waiting to speak to a human being who could ask how they would help me today, yes that. But nobody ever. And once they do, by that fraction of chance in the cosmos, they fucking hangup before I have even begun asking what I need to know. You understand my misery. I doubt you would. My call is not important to you, so don't you tell me that again. They would sincerely wait for me to tweet them some shit and they would listen. Sometimes, not even then, that audacity. I am largely inconsequential woman, I get that, large and inconsequential, but I have earned the right to speak to a human being. Dontcha fuckin hang up on me, ever.

I just can't. Just can't.