The Better Picture

You can hold her narrow waist in your hands, almost. Her hair is bunched together and rests on one shoulder. The phone is on the other ear. She stands still, holding the curtains in her elbow, standing at the edge of the window, looking away.

It's a summer afternoon. Typically hot, but there's mild wind too. Oozing in from between the railings of the window, blowing through strands of her hair, disturbing it a trifle. She's unperturbed, still. Talking to someone, either very softly in whispers or listening to his silence.

There's a ceramic vase in the room, with purple paper flowers in it, kept on the other edge of the window. The flowers exude a smile, a faint smile like a human would sometimes do, when mildly satisfied or just shy. There are streaks of random colors painted on the vase, you can't make out from this distance.

Her skirt ends below her knees, her top has short sleeves. Outside, the sky is gradually turning into many hues of orange. You can see the city skyline, birds flying home. You can hear honks of cars pass by, pause to give out gusts of black soot.

There's a wind-chime hanging from the pelmet of the window. Everytime she digs her face into the curtains blushing or laughing, the wind-chime rings, mellow random rings, sonorous, pleasant. Only to remind you that things in the world can still move, time hasn't frozen as yet.

Can you draw me a picture of this? Can you include the sounds I mentioned, the honks, the rings, in your colors on a canvas. Will you paint me the sky outside that is the melange of an extended infinity. Can you also show the strands of her hair falling off her shoulder. Won't you include her blush, even if we can't see her face? The subtle quiet smile that has settled on her face, that's paint-able too, isn't it? And don't leave the flowers alone..the purple paper flowers that smile so human..



I am a woman, my mind flies from the first glance, to infatuation, to love and matrimony in a matter of moments. Shamelessly. It cannot be ceased, my mind. A whiff of assured company, is as tempting as life. I jump into deep holes with people I don't know, knit dreams I do not have the power to make come true. I see hope in what could be disastrous, I move fast, very fast. Restraint isn't aware of my existence. I am capricious, synonymous with the wild buzzing bee. From flower to flower I go, searching for something I do not know. And the instant I see a hint of love, somewhere on the far horizon, forgetting how tiny I am I keep flying and flying, with relentless hope. I cannot translate my restlessness into words. I do not die until my heart is trampled mercilessly. My quest is die hard. It's eager to leap into a flight, any moment, anywhere, imagining a life that is yet to be, imagining a life that is not to be.


I have been a woman. I have been to the deepest pits of shamelessness that could ever be. I have been through what I never imagined I would be through.  Turning into a person I only feared I once could become. Love brought out the best and the worst in me. The catch is that even that best looks worse than the worst in afterthought. Drenched in regret, I am nowhere. The way I revealed those darkest secrets of mine, in one breath, without a pause of hesitation, now makes me wonder, how doped was I? How did I ever let a stranger peal off layers of my skin and look at my naked soul. Lust makes you shameless, it makes you another person. Another person you don't recognize once you wake up in the morning. Now is my morning. A whiff of that shamelessness hangs in the air still. And I have questions that I can only bury.

I am a woman. My life switches between the Before and the After. 


Once two souls met high up in the hills. They sat in smoky cafe's through cold afternoons, and walked damp monsoons through obscure streets. They lived in the woods, amongst tall pines, glistening away in their leafless autumn glory. Season after season, their life never ceased, the hills too knew them by heart.

They would follow the noises in the woods and the hills, go wherever they were taken, without thinking a bit or taking a step back. They were immersed in a sense of adventure, the one that is associated with new found love. And that love never weaned. It only grew. It didn't grow either, all of it was there, an entire world of love was created the first moment their eyes met. And they kept discovering newer chunks of it everyday. Everyday. Endless excursions into the unknown. Fearless, alone, together.

Many monsoons came and went by, and they lost a thousand umbrellas. Forgetting them at the most quintessential of places, never turning back to get them again. Those orphaned umbrellas were the symbols of their hallowed affair, like remnants left in the places they frequented, like the whiff of a kiss that lasts long after its gone. They did that consciously sometimes, forgetting had become a habit, an open excuse to get drenched under the skin as the clouds came pouring and pouring down, relentlessly, night after day after night.

The most alarming charm in the bond between them was that it didn't exist. They were so deeply and undetachably connected that the bond had diminished into non existence, they were sooner and sooner becoming one soul from two, merged, siamese. Siamese souls. Like the thread tying two objects together, shortens as they get closer and vanishes one day as they add up to become one. Shamelessly, defying the rules of nature.

This story isn't real, of course, nor are they. But I see them around all the time, I see them in me all the time. And this is crazy writing.

Lest I forget, now that I quietly leave this place in a week or so, I wish to etch the two souls somewhere deep in the heart of these hills. Bury them here, to rest in peace, as I move on. Fearless, alone, together. Conjuncted. 


Besides a couple of men, if there is anything that has swept me off my feet, it's change. I have seen the inevitability of it. I have succumbed with helplessness to its overpowering rigidity. Change is one thing we cannot tamper with. Move on, we have to. Sometimes it's a good thing, sometimes unacceptable, but mostly nostalgic.

It is considered a ritual to stand back and look at the time bygone everytime a change makes an appearance in the horizon, to collect memories and to keep them for life. But I speak from experience, those memories you think you are gathering for life do not last your expectations. Things fade. And they fade out fast. You don't even realize the swiftness and agility with which your system adapts to the new environment. I feel silly when I cannot recall what sandals I wore before I got my new floaters. You could blame it on my memory but that I do not keep things I have no use for, I must have felt a bit for those sandals while disposing them off. And now look, I don't have the slightest memory of what they looked like. That's how easily we choose change over constancy. The present over the past. And I am not getting more impersonal than I should be.

So when I see people celebrating in grand farewells and taking pictures, the nerve-ends in my mind give me a jitters. Most of this wouldn't come of any use anyway. We forget. If the thing hasn't influenced us beyond recovery, we forget. I take an active interest to ensure that the change that is coming upon doesn't change me internally, but just touches the outlines of my personality. Battle after battle, I try to remain the same, but when you look at me, you say, look, she has changed, and sometimes beyond recognition, because apparently I have. This is my weapon of personal defense.

I don't think you have reached this far in the post, but if you have, you would think I have become one of those bloggers who make no sense of the 2 sided thing called communication and just go on yap yapping and yap yapping. Okay, then so be it. I have a quite a few farewells to go to, and as I gape at them wide-eyed, I wouldn't open my mouth I am sure. Allow me to do the talking here.

I despise being swept off my feet, be it by men or by change. Because sooner or later, chances are that you land up terribly grounded, or six-feet-under. So personal defense, you see!

Sometimes, there's no one.

Sometimes, there's no one. The tunnel ends in darkness. Sometimes there is no soothing whisper. And the abyss is endless. But we were shamelessly brought up on the idea of a happy ending and a happier beginning after that. No wonder I have been perpetually obsessed with this course of things. Irrespective of how much cynicism we fake, we cannot accept with humility that life could very much end in an apocalypse. Such is the power of prejudice. It will break our bones to bend over a little and accept that the destination could be as disappointing as the journey has been. At the end we believe there shall be sunshine, and that our qualities will be recognized for what they're worth.

No, there's nothing wrong with tonite that is making me write such pessimistic stuff. It's just about fine. But I am tired of my inability to accept the mere possibility of a massive failure of the entity I have been calling hope all my life. Vague optimism has been wired such into my system. It's pathetic, our obstinacy with the illusion that our world is ideal. We wake up every morning to realise that it's not, but somehow sing ourselves to sleep with the same lullaby every night that it's all going to end up just fine. That it will work out okay.

It doesn't. Sometimes, there's no one. Some lives are an endless abyss, no matter how much you fall, you can never hit absolute rock bottom. I must learn to live by it, this is my real world. Amen!  

Sequel to She.

Just woken up from a long afternoon slumber, so long that she couldn't recall when it had actually begun, she loitered around the house in tiny steps, tip toes rather. Pretending to be careful enough not to disturb anyone else, but there wasn't anyone anyway. Her hair, her hair was a mess, it finished just above her shoulders, like ending abruptly and the circles around her eyes were smudged with faint dashes of kohl. She must have cried in her sleep or something. Wondering if she looked like a runaway drug addict, she looked into herself in the mirror. But began looking for wrinkles thereafter, had a few new ones appeared recently? She couldn't remember. And resumed walking around, shutting the windows as it was evening already. And as it was summer, as is usual with summer evenings there was a huge dust storm gathering itself just outside her window. Attracted to storms as her usual person, she couldn't get away from the window for sometime, staring at flights and flights of dry dead leaves being carried away by the wind, lost in whirls of dust. That wind, looked like some kind of emancipator. She stood by the window letting cold gusts of it touch her face, the day as is usual with midsummer days had been very breathlessly humid, and she had literally tricked herself to fall sleep earlier after turning sides an uncountable number of times.

After standing there till her heart's fill, she moved away from the window. Looked at her reflection in the floor, the tiles were shiny and refused to give her a distinct picture of what she looked like in that long black T shirt that reached somewhere the middle of her thighs, leaving the rest of her legs uncovered, naked. Again, she lounged on the couch and threw those legs on the table adjacent, like they weren't even hers. Like they weren't even hers. And began ransacking the place for the remote, there must be something going on on TV! Could you tell she was twenty-four? Or thirty-six? Or Forty-two?

Find the prequel here. 


Baby it's all coming to an end. All my unfinished dreams. Illusions of what I could become but couldn't. Sometimes chose not to, out of pure lethargy. Sometimes due to ego. My ego killed me. My ego killed you. I finished everything. In this silent corner, as I lie down and breathe in only my solitude and breathe it out with an equal detachment, I make it a point to kill everything I love, just to rise to a level where I would become incapable of feeling, anymore.

Baby it's finished, the reality, the dream, the place midway between the two, where I used to sit and while away time. Now everyone bids farewell, with a smile, I can't bring myself to fake an expression on my cold face. My numb skin doesn't know warmth. I am consciously repulsed by it. I am incapable of feeling already. The air is sepulchral, for all I know. I won, but I know at a much deeper depth, that I failed, that I failed miserably at being human, at being a woman. 

Now, I am set to go, to another place unknown, that feels like an afterlife. Afterlife. Cheerful adieus, mixed smiles, tears of happyness I see everywhere. But why is that when I peek into myself I see regret. Written red and bold. A heavy sigh never leaves my lungs, always waiting escape, still it stays put. My tears never well. Baby I never cry. Never. 

After this page is turned, and a fresh sheet before me is laid, for me to spill ink on it, in huge blots, or thin strikes, but whatever it will be only me, the cold me..and that would be my afterlife. My life, the  one that prolongs till death, meanwhile has paused, it has reached a quintessential comma. The air is sepulchral, for all I know. I would miss that place, that place between reality and dreams, where I sat, time whiling away, telling myself, 'This is the first day of my life'. 


Now, I want to go back in time. To become those eyes dripping with hope, seen from a car whizzing past  one sultry afternoon some four years ago. No I wasn't crying, but I had never felt that alive ever in my entire life. My senses hadn't sensed exaltation of that degree, they were unused to it, couldn't gather themselves and at least fake a reaction. So I stood there, looking at him leave, with the most heartened smile stuck on my face, waving bye-byes. Impatiently wondering when would I get his next call, in the evening, or later at night. In my mind, I was writing already, every word that we had said, every pause that had made it slightly awkward, every gesture, every joke, everything. Excitement of that kind must be typical of that age, I must now say.

Those few hours were so hellishly jammed with memorable events, it was difficult to write about them all. That night I wrote them all down, like I would read them out aloud to my children one day. But that piece was a travesty of all literary prowess. My words were out of my hands, they were moving about on the sheet of paper, settling wherever they liked, not heeding to a word of what I said. I was breathless, panting to remember and write, remember and write. And in between lapsing into lulls of wishful thinking, a state that felt like a cross between reality and a dream. Many times I shut the diary, capped the pen, went off to close my eyes for a while. After turning sides a few times, I would shamelessly return to writing. Too much adrenaline.

There were these little things I couldn't encapsulate. Like I was a bunch of mixed emotions when he threw a pack of chocolates at me in the car. Without saying a word, with classic masculine nonchalance. I don't remember now if I thanked him then, but considering that I haven't been gifted chocolates in the last four years, I should have. But I was floating in the clouds, all etiquette and pleasantries were a waste of time. And as I scribbled in my diary that night I couldn't make a list of all the adjectives that could describe that chocolate flinging incident. Also there was his car. Rickety would be a severe understatement for its plight. It was almost falling off. I thanked God there was a windshield. Every time I would begin describing the car, I would fall off the bed laughing, and gave up in the end. Also, there was this moment, when he was pouring ketchup over my pizza in all possible design, looking at his piece of work, content, innocent, giving me the liberty to stare at him with all the freedom I had. I couldn't describe his face, it was a picture in my head and I couldn't translate it into words. So I let it be.

I wonder what would it be like to have moments in my life that my writing would fail to describe. I haven't had any such in as long as an era. The balanced adult, withheld woman that I am trying to become, I have disheartened those eyes dripping with hope, who waited there, four years ago one sultry afternoon. May be that is why, now I want to go back in time, feel something that can just be felt and not written about.

And if you still have such somethings in your life, then consider yourself very lucky. Happy Valentine's Day!


One time, he talked about how he saw himself as a father in the future. When a man is up to such talk, you know he's up to something, he couldn't be serious. But you couldn't say he was lying or anything. You just couldn't. I looked away, embarrassed.

Another time, he told me he liked simple women. Like the Gayatri Joshi in Swades. Mentally I dug out all those buried salwar kameezes in my wardrobe. Even fancied long tresses that reach the waist, wondering if they would sync with the attire.

Sometimes, he told me, 'See you're a nice girl.'

Again, he told me of the places he was yet to take me to. I had them all pictured, neat and clean in my mind. I would close my eyes and see us, in the future. Happy and full of promise.

I saw our feet kiss silken sands, hair blow against sea winds. I saw us take long strolls by the waves. I heard us talk, the way we talked then. Like p&q, always looking into each other, and conversing. Lost, yet there.

So much for meaningless talk, so much for broken promises! Into long nights. So much for the hint of a dream of a life, I wished to see together with him.

Now, days whiz past, shortening life by the moment, chances of meeting him again heartbreakingly plummeting as I write. No body cares. He doesn't recognize me. And I cannot recognize him. A part of life stands, undone.

Fabricated Ends

Writing needn't necessarily have an explicit meaning. It is subject to interpretation. The liberty of interpretation granted so generously to the reader simultaneously takes the buck off the shoulders of the writer and adds dollops of extra charm to the art itself. I absolutely love that. I thank God for two things. One is writing, the other being amnesia. The latter is mostly an aftermath of the former, augmenting my respect for the more indispensable of the two manifold. Don't I treat writing as a vent anyway!

I will tell you a truth here. Of all the sins, vanity is the most dehumanizing I believe. All the time, around myself I see attention-seekers. And they make it so awkwardly clear that attention is all they want and they want it all the fucking time that I hide my face in shame. Now, ain't I human too! Shouldn't I want to be noticed in the crowd? It is frankly considered abnormal if I did not. But didn't I just say, I treated writing as a vent? An outlet for everything, an unrestrained outburst, that I can indulge in anywhere anytime. Probably that's why I write so often and so much. World's fucking too much to take. Consequently, I am not so sad about my inconsequence, I do not feel the slightest need to seek attention, or be the cynosure like you, or you, or you. I am cool. I have said all I wanted to say on this blog, bury your concern six feet under the earth, I do not want it. I don't care if you've read what I have written, humans are cheaply centered around their ownselves anyway! Truth time over, congratulations if you stood it.

It doesn't show, the frustration i.e. on my face. I come along as a pretty neutral, unaffected, indifferent, uncaring person in day to day life. Too many synonymous adjectives, you would say, but you have to realize the gravity of the problem I see is so rampant. I have cared too much and now I cannot care an inch more, people make me sick. People of all kinds. But it doesn't show on my face, because I have come to terms with it. Acceptance heals. Writing repeatedly about it has probably, or surely helped me a lot in this regard. Hence I am grateful, from the bottom of my heart, even from the bottom of my stomach! 

Save Me

Hours merge into days, days vanish into weeks. I while away a lifetime in mundane indulgence. There is no picture on my wall. Mornings never happen. Afternoons and evenings are spent walking crazy roads, doing nothing. But the mornings never happen. There is hardly anything lacking for a decently comfortable life. Decently comfortable. I am expected to think that way. I expect myself to think that way. But there is not a picture on my wall. This is what solitude does to you. There is a mild fear that these walls might just collapse unto me, taking me along with them. The fear suddenly, on some nights becomes mildly schizophrenic. It is then when I scream for a smoke, nobody understands. When denied I draw random sketches, which I do not understand, and I hide from everybody else lest anyone understood.

Tumbles of my hair, quietly settle on the sides of my face, they have nothing to wait for. They have been trained to be that way. Threatened with dire consequences rather. This is what too much of threatening does, curbing of freewill, you know! My writing doesn't talk to me much, but it passes subtle hints that it isn't here for long. Writing being my alter-ego now, I cannot even begin to fathom the void which its absence will leave behind in my already hollow life. Because this mundane indulgence wouldn't last long I know, you know.

There is not a picture on the wall. Nobody has noticed, I have turned awry from inside, maybe. And I am not screaming for help either. I have trained myself enough for that. These walls, I have created around me are too sturdy, they would collapse on me convincing me of my schizophrenic fear, rather than giving in to anything external. Anything at all. It's been a long time. Scary long. But there's even longer to go. Scarier, huh! 

Will I find a reason to my life, other than me? The lights in this room are all turned off. The song that's playing is ironically called 'Save Me'

yasp x

Noone's cumin' to get you babe
There's no destiny. no fate
You are what you make of yourself
There ae no judging heavenly forces
That's celestial crap
Bad things can happen
To you, all the time
There's no savior babe
No soulmate
That's fairytale crap
So be by yourself
Never leave your side, 
And fall for nascent whiffs
They're not even real
Just an easy illusion
Real is what you are going to make
There's no destiny. no fate
Noone's cumin to get you babe.


There was a checklist, a funny checklist. With all the qualities typed out, one below the other with a tiny box beside, which was to be ticked, in due course of time. In due course of time or never, or crossed out or scratched out. There was once a decently long checklist, not insanely long or anything. And it was as strong as prejudice in my mind. I didn't need to even blink to recall it.

I ain't a very strict person, but I followed the checklist religiously. I was stupid. I don't understand why I am using the past tense here. Though the word belief has been kicked out of my dictionary, I stick to the checklist even today. I am stupid. Very very. And I do not see enlightenment anywhere on the horizon for me. I am beginning to live with it as if it weren't a part of me you know, that indifferent. And you don't think I am quite making the point here, but I am. The beauty of a human is the sum of her faults.

The checklist makes me laugh, with self hatred. I would scream out my lungs on another person who obeys a similar checklist, but I wouldn't correct myself you know, that indulgent a hypocrisy. I mean it's ridiculous, to a point where I do not understand myself anymore. I know after having lived the times I have, I ain't dumb enough to fall for what I fall for. But then may be they were right when they said it was blind. Now you don't think I am quite making any point here, but I am.

There is a stupid, a very inane checklist inside my heart, worse than that, inside my mind. It is a kind of hypnotism that holds my mind hostage, where all my intelligence gives up hope of keeping me sane. And I fall for the apple, you know, the apple. Instead of a whole lot of better stuff that I could have done. Apologies if you didn't quite get it, but I quite made my point here.