Don't curl 'round 'n 'round of me
Like an earthworm, or a newborn baby
I see the wrinkle in your neck
A mole on your shoulder, to the left

Don't do that, 'cause it deters my detachment
You know, that. Honeypot.
It makes me wanna shrink into your crevices too
And disappear, but that would be so inappropriate

Don't bite me, I don't wanna feel
The cringing of your jaws on my flesh
It makes me want to ooze the grief of my heart
Through the sighs of my breath
And that's not justice enough.

I wanna keep my grief. Stored underneath seven locked chambers
Like in fairytales, they do.
Lest I can't have you, let me suffer long and cause my soul to get away.
One day, 'cause that's the only way.


They made an odd couple. Like other real odd couples. Very distinct from the rest of everything. It was not just because she had grown a gothic look, or because he grew a beard when no one did. Nor was it because she swayed when she walked, like her waist was afloat over her legs, or because he was a drunk. They were odd, because you could sense it around them. When you saw them move past, or when you encountered them, uncomfortably in the corridor, or just stared at them stealthily while they were sitting at the most land-locked table in the cafeteria. It was almost impossible to get to them. And they let nothing out, either. No piece of information released about how they were doing, or what was going on in-between. Leave alone how much they loved each other and related crap. Sometimes it was difficult to assume if they had sex even, there was no PDA, none at all. Like a cold ice wall stood between them, not even holding of hands. Except that you spotted them together, and knew that they were. Together. They never let anyone take any guesses. So only naturally, they became pariahs. Both of them were iconoclasts. Like they sought each other out. They had no friends outside of each other. 

Then one day. Suddenly. Out of the blue. He died. It was a freak bike accident, On a Sunday winter morning. The fog was so thick that you couldn't see a foot ahead. Walking felt like walking in heaven. He must have been high. Like really high to be run over that bad. Everyone took the liberty to assume. That weekend was difficult. A peek into what a hell hole we were living in, and how horrible things did happen in life. They had broken up a week ago. Something must have caused that. Nobody knew what. She had gone home to deal with all that. When she came back Monday morning, the fog was still intact. The gloom had settled down on window panes and condensed into droplets of irreconcilable grief.  Nobody knew what to tell her. Or how to even begin. 


Leaves smell grey. It's the dust. There's so much dust. Apocalyptic dust. Only the world is never going to end. I know now. Late realization. Like into an obese overgrown child, truth takes its own sweet bitter time to seep into me. It's never going to end. Pain is omnipresent. Grief is eternal. Nothing is going to die, once and for all.

Children are going to sink. Boats are going to catch fire. Flying demons will swoop down on us. There will be blood everywhere. We will have nightmares all day and roll sleepless all night.

Joy will constantly feel like a fast disappearing memory in the mind of an amnesiac. Love will feel like too costly a trade-off. Our race will perish of heart-break.

The Butcher's Daughter

If nothing else, there is the butcher's daughter. She changes into her work clothes in the bushes. In the bushes by the hyacinth ridden drain canal with floating purple flowers. Work clothes are a must in her profession. Or else where else would the blood spill. Blood of the goat that's throttled. By her father. I suppose he is the father, but he doesn't look the other way when she is changing. Behind the bushes. In the early morning sun. Just before they set up shop. Beneath the tarpaulin strung between mildly inclined poles of bamboo. The butcher girl has sharp piercing eyes. As if she can see everything you are trying to hide. Her hair is dirty. About those eyes, I can't be right. It's a deception. Nobody can see what is going on inside us. We camouflage too easy. Our lives come too cheap.

The butcher girl makes a diligent assistant. She packs meat in plump black polythene bags, wards off  stray dogs and returns the exact change, without an expression on her face. Behind their shop an unseen bird hides beneath the bulbous leaves of the exuberant hyacinth. It walks on water. Impossible, but yes it does. As if it was weightless. No agony of past, no fear of future. One weightess bird. At first sight, the bird looks like a myna. But then, the prints on it are not the same. God must have painted that one, when mildly high. Oh sure. There must have been a love poem at the back of his mind. And he must have been living through the shit of heartbreak when he imagined those eyes on the butcher girl. 
I believe that basically you write for two people; yourself to try to make it absolutely perfect; or if not that then wonderful; Then you write for who you love whether she can read or write or not and whether she is alive or dead. I think Scott in his strange mixed-up Irish catholic monogamy wrote for Zelda and when he lost all hope in her and she destroyed his confidence in himself he was through. 

Ernest Hemigway


Of late, I have been afraid. And afraid is not good. Fear is all consuming. Crippling, sometimes. It takes away a lot from us. I've been trying to fight it. But failing. I guess. It's been years. Yes, years since I had begun looking. Looking for my feet. Still haven't found 'em. My feet. It's been so long, I can't remember.

All the soups I have sipped, men I've ignored, women I've discarded, clothes I have grown out of, books I have read and taken credit for and forgotten, the attachment I have faked, the time I've lost. Ages. Months, years. And I am still looking for my feet. Oh, it's boring. Almost illegal to be this banal. I haven't heard myself. Because, I am mostly dumb.  I used to speak when provoked. But lately, I don't speak at all, I don't know if I have any voice at all. 

Mostly because I have come to believe that I am nothing. I don't mean it in a demeaning or pitiful way. I just claim knowledge of the minisculity of my existence. With humility and arrogance. Mostly I am sick of the way life turns out, eventually unfolds. And I am afraid of the gigantic amount of energy it takes to change its course. Yeah, I am afraid I don't have that kind of energy.  Not right now. And afraid is not good. Fear is all consuming. Crippling, at times. It's taking away my everything. 

Then again, I like to imagine myself in a tesseract. And in a five dimensional space-time. There is a parallel universe may be, in which life unfolds exactly the way it's supposed to. From in there, I am staring at myself through this tesseract, and passing me some sort of answer. About how to find my fucking feet. You know. Yeah, there's that. 


It was a quiet October day. Afternoon. Jhili gathered her clothes from the top racks of the almirah into an air bag that she had bought on her way back from college. The spare pair of good sandals was wrapped up in newspaper and put in a polythene bag. There still remained another pair in the shoe stand which she wore no more. But she would rather leave it behind. Jhili wondered what would happen to anything she left behind. Nobody would have any fond memory of her anyway. She took some photo albums, some trinkets, a few books and pushed everything into that airbag. She didn't want to arouse the suspicion of the neighbors by carrying anymore luggage than one bag. She held her breath, but sweat oozed from her temples anyway. Her fingers and toes, shivered probably. In that hurry, she couldn't be sure. She had to walk down to the defunct marketplace where he would pick her up. Jhili always felt that her name had lost a second word. She could have have been Jhilmil, something that always shines. But she wasn't.

This was one tough call. Choosing to quit college in the prefinal year. Choosing to get married to a man who her father would never approve of. Choosing to leave all the gold jewelry her mother had had gotten made for her. They had wrecked her mind. Her soul had wailed for nights. She had suffered claustrophobic dreams and woken up screaming.

Somehow, among all this, longing for love felt like a solution. Like a closure to a rusty phase of life. Like the beginning of something she had long awaited, without knowing what it was that she was waiting for. It felt like a gamble, at times. But when all your hopes are bottled in one pot, you would rather uncork it. So she did.

Jhili stepped down the stairs. Suddenly her heels felt louder than ever in the time of sleepy siesta. She left the keys with the security guard downstairs, and left. Forever. Left no letter and walked to the defunct marketplace, where he would be waiting.

Nostomania: an irresistible temptation to return home