Scum of the Earth

Dear Hemingway,

Midway reading The Old Man and the Sea, I paused for a while to look you up. Pardon my negligence about before, but I found out that you had killed yourself in the end. That book, is now lying somewhere, unfinished. I am deciding, whether to pick it up again or not. Because, through out that book you write about how we fight till the very end, struggle against our environment. Stand up to anything that confronts us. Like the old man does. But what does it all end up to if you push aside all the optimism and shoot yourself in the head?

Hey, I ain't judging. Half the time my own ass is on fire. I am brooding so much that I might just evaporate. Hit something and go up in flames. I respect the dignity in death, the liberation it begets you. I admire the courage to die. Nevertheless. It just doesn't fall into place.

Plath killed herself when she was a few years older than I am now. Like Chekhov said - Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out. I find this chase of day in and day out, what seems like a pointless struggle against invisible forces, obnoxiously nauseating. Virginia Woolf just walked into the water and vanished. It does feel like it is too much to take.

But you Hemingway, you? Of everyone else alive. And dead.

You should have read this poem by Bukowski:
The Secret

don't worry, nobody has the
beautiful lady, not really, and
nobody has the strange and
hidden power, nobody is
exceptional or wonderful or
magic, they only seem to be
it's all a trick, an in, a con,
don't buy it, don't believe it.
the world is packed with
billions of people whose lives
and deaths are useless and
when one of these jumps up
and the light of history shines
upon them, forget it, it's not
what it seems, it's just
another act to fool the fools

there are no strong men, there
are no beautiful women.
at least, you can die knowing
and you will have
the only possible

Because, darling, we are, darlings. The Scum of the Earth. There is not much need to get ourselves killed. 


When they were young, they had fallen for the same man. Those were not mere infatuations; but full blown affairs. It is believed that these affairs happened not simultaneously. But who can say? The foggy boundaries between being in love, the ache of a broken heart, the patch up et al are not for anybody to govern. So sometimes, those three, the two women and their man in between formed three vertices of a triangle. Isosceles triangle. 

They must have been similar, somehow-somewhere. Given a man, mostly may choose an approximate prototype of the opposite gender each time he gets to choose. With certain common traits. But these women were far from same. A had a docile exterior and a blatant inside. B, on the other 'and, was uptight on the outside and all gooey within. A was the submissive in her relationship. B, was obviously the insatiable dominant in hers. A was shy, fearful, a poetess. B was very vocal of her needs, her frustrations, even her dreams. But once unclothed, each woman turned inside out, i.e. behaved like the other woman was on the outside. The man switched his roles between the two. Such chameleons they are. 

Sometimes the median vertex of that triangle vanished though. The man, I mean. It was like he wasn't there. The triangle became a well meant straight line. A and B lusted for each other through the man who was like a membrane of mist. And like someone poked a finger into it, he disappeared. Sometimes they felt like prototypes of the same woman. Sometimes they felt like alter-egos, despite their cardinal differences. Sometimes like lesbian lovers. But mostly like doppelgangers.

You, Me & Vacuum

# This blog is full of someones. Each post is obviously about someone or the other. But some have an alarming majority, like I am screaming their bloody names out. I am not aware of what they did to deserve this honor, but anyway they don't know a bit, so it's no honor anyway. But however still.

# Life is so not well rounded sometimes. It takes you all the wrong ways and then makes you choose. What you feel you are meant for. This too, is one rare case. So, you're lucky if it happens with you. This is exactly where that bitch called life, squares it off. Pros and cons.

# As such, there's a mess. Irreversibly fucked up imbroglio. There's choking traffic. Mails to be sent, asses to be kissed. There's internet that has issues of its own. Very frustrating. Handicaps of our own. Secret debilitating humiliating handicaps of our own, that we don't have the balls to deal with.

# Also, a past of broken hopes, meandering routes to happiness that never practically ended, there's dresses that don't fit, nails that are bitten, beauty that is unattainable. Fear, trepidation. Shame, some more fear.

# There is no time. No space. No continuum.

# Sometimes, Virginia Woolf may not have been that wrong after all. Walking into a river with pocket full of stones. What was she thinking. She knew whatever she was thinking.

# But for you. You are at the other end of this line. Did you realize that what I just wrote could have been one of my those endless monologues about how everything is doomed? You would say, 'Stop, Stop!'

# I see myself through this tortuous day, because it ends with you. A means to an end. Sometimes you make me feel. Like I am floating in a gravity less vacuum. And one happy vacuum that is. 


It's french for negotiation. Err.. Spanish actually.

I watched Before Midnight. I mean, I did finally. For the uninitiated, I claim that Before Sunset has left some pretty strong imprints on my mind. I have been quoting Celine and Jesse (well, mostly Celine) for years here. And after such a tireless wait, Linklater gives me this. I mean this. It's almost like a lover's betrayal. 

Wait.. I am kidding. It's not betrayal exactly. But then, somehow the sequel to your favorite movie can never be good enough. Mostly, I had been delaying watching Before Midnight for so many months probably because, I did not want it to touch my perception of Sunset so much. 

Call me a fanatic, but there was a time I used to watch it every Friday night. It has made me stand through the most disastrous of heart breaks. And helped seep truth back in. I used to say their lines along with them. Their accents intact. Yes, I was crazy. Still am. Whenever things go dull, I watch it again.

Before Sunset did whatever it did to me because a) it stood by the fact that love mostly is a transient feeling and b) once in a while, one deep conversation with its share of non sequiturs, does help. Our rusted soul, our breathless mind. 

I am not averse to everlasting love, but the truth is there might not ever be such a thing. We are on the same point here. Know, things fade. Passions overflow for a while and then. We get really cranky. Irritable, messy beings, who forget what it was like to be young and deep in wet love. 

Also, there is this association of romance with angst. I mean, it stays raw in your head if it falls apart. If you keep it from falling apart every single time it has almost gone off the edge, by your enormous patience and fear of dying alone, you leave it to die a slow death. 

In Before Midnight, Linklater makes you see Jesse and Celine in such crisis. Like they are barely afloat. There's a tonne of issues. There's kids. Oh my god. Responsibilities, money. And suspicions of infidelity. A lot of screaming. I mean a lot of it. Tempers catching fire. What beasts life has made of them. It's fearful watching them as it is. 

The love is now faint. Tied by a multitude of constraints. They euphemize constant fighting by calling it negotiating. Negociación, as Celine said. Accent intact.


We are little children, writing names on dusty windshields of cars
Our fingers reaching up, running through layers of grey powdered powder
Parting clean lines, forming letters for the first time.

The sun smiling on our faces in return,
Our bare muscles just don't know how to rest
Because there is nothing that is forbidden.

Our memory, ethereal
Merging reflections of now and then
We ain't bound to remember or abide by

There's stars above, glittering..millions of those
Scores of unnamed galaxies
And the mystery inside us, you and me, Un-unravelable. 

A sea sits calm beneath our settled feet
And the stars see themselves in it and smile,
Creating a new sky underneath.

We, utterly sandwiched between two skies
Move so on and so forth, 
Gathering love, momentum, rhyme 

Our hearts leap, 
Glee, in the corner of my lip;
The endorphins in my head. 

Loving like a Woman

She did not run away with all your money. Any of your money. Neither did she cheat on you, nor break any promise. There were no promises anyway. She did not say hurtful things. Things people say, when the love turns bitter. Never wanted any bit of your skin to change, or your eyes, or fingers. Or toes. Or your heart. Because, once she had fallen, with you, in love, you were her boundaries of beauty, noone outside of you, could be merely close to being beautiful. Love wasn't any poetic supposition, it was a real thing. Thing.

It is once and for all said, very difficult to love like a woman. And even more convoluted an impossibility, to marginally understand that love. 

She had gathered you in the pores of her skin. Saved you like rose petals like in a school girl's diary. Loved you like not like a mother, but close.

Very close.

What did you know?

Now don't feel bad already. She took hardly anything away. Except for herself. As one last resort.

Let her go, now that she needs to. For good. Her skin, eyes, fingers, her toes. Her belittled castigated soul. She wronged nowhere else, except but for now. When she, in a trifle probability, broke your heart. A man's mighty heart. 

Remember now, you did that too. Didn't you/.

Hotel Room

Not those dingy ones you take up once you have suddenly eloped because there was no other way for love, but that. But those ones to which you have to come back to, once every night. When you're travelling alone, and for work. Alien city. That same elevator to the thirteenth floor. Clean white sheets, the faceless housekeeper. Who turns your pillow cases inside out once in a while, places neat sachets of shampoo in the bathroom, packets of sugar on the coffee table. You wonder if she's a woman or a man. Because she is the only human contact you have had in days. Is he a pedophile, does he touch your underwear that you might have left out to dry. Each night, after you get back within an exhausted body but your mind is sleepless, you wonder if the view of a sleepy city going to stand you any company at all.

Whenever I told Him that I was a loner by default, how I felt lonely no matter where I was, whatever I was upto, there was always this shallow meaningless void in my head that no one could fill. He would quietly absorb my metaphysical unstoppable three minute of a lecture and then retort, softy with a remark. That in that hotel room is the loneliest you could be. And that I wouldn't be able to realize how completely abandoned he had felt each of those nights across those months and months he had hopped among a multitude of such rooms. 

I was not a fool. I knew. Sometimes I was relieved that the man wouldn't in the very least, take my being with him for granted that he knew how absolutely painful loneliness could get. But did that work for me? Not, I guess.

I would often imagine him. Loitering around on those tiled floors. Taking short quick steps to the closet, or leaving his shirt and tie on the bed before he went in to take a shower. Adjusting the temperature of the water according to the place he was in. Too hot, hot, lukewarm. Hot showers did well for mild insomnia, he would say. Or just picking up the work on your laptop where you had left it at in office, helped too. Sometimes logging on to Skype, seeing his mother would work. Or calling me. 

Night & Day

The night sometimes makes you feel safe. Protected from the madness of the day. In the quiet hours post 12, your soul chooses to unclothe. Or cozy up, and just be. Unlike in the day when you adorn a dozen faces to please a dozen people. No compulsive pang to constantly please everyone around. No routine, timed existence. No urge to run, go breathless and perspire. Pointlessly. 

I am so glad, each day has a night. Someone I trusted once told me this, because I believed in praying. Don't ignore it for its childlike ingenuousness. He asked me to pray before the day began, asking God to protect me, knowing very well that I would also have to try as hard to protect myself. And then say another prayer before I went to sleep, saying that, now that it's night, my defenses are down, the thrust solely falls on Your mighty shoulders. I did that, for as long as I trusted him. Even do it now. Anyway. 

Multitude of nights, this way, slept away. Curled, saving the warmth in my belly, dreaming, running, chasing, looking. In the various rooms I have lived in. Mostly alone. Sleeping alone, spending the night alone. It amazes me, that though I have spent days together, shared mornings, afternoons and even nightfalls, I have never particularly shared a night. And that makes me feel prenatal in ways more than one. 

Unforgiving Realist.

In continuance with numerous dawns of awe, has come an afternoon of a multitude of mirages. Sand and water, water and sand. Only merely sand. Quiet dunes of them flattening, then disintegrating. Shaped like breasts, those coagulated collections of time, blistering, giving up to the loveless casual breeze. Making the road ahead shine in illusion. With quite a few lies that we tell each other and ourselves. Now, no story can be untold. Or shameless truths reversed. We hallucinate and see the tiny feet of fair little children and hear the gurgles of their laugh. Distant, fast merging with their echoes, reflecting from godforsaken walls. There is no tearing away of tireless sleep from such eyes. Fabricated lies, conspired existence. Unending prose, epilogue prologue dialogue. There is no getting anywhere, because we are wired to come back right to where we started. So, we'd rather be where we are. And not move. Life is pointless, anyway. Is it not. 

The Lack of Motion

The further we go in life, the more we cancel out our options. As a child, I would stare at the stars and imagine I would go there someday. In afterthought, it sounds silly, now decades and decades later. But it could have been true, except that it didn't. Except that that option itself cancelled out on its own. Left alone, we all begin to walk the street most of us have walked, leaving all other streets untouched. Our stars are too dim. 

It's not the beaten topic of following convention and not chasing the illusion, as we may. It's not that, I think I have beaten the shit out of that topic already. This is something else, some other flu that just caught me.

One of the boys I schooled with is a millionaire today. He owns the mines and stuff. That way, mostly your fortune is waiting for you carved out on a plate. People, check in at rich holiday destinations almost everyday, on Facebook at least. It's not the happy pictures. Oh please, once a friend and I assumed that curvature of the smile on those faces must be directly proportional to the mess in their lives. Let's face it, most of us are a mess (feel free to discount yourself, please).

Despite that mess, however, some of them have managed to become flawlessly pretty. Some have kick started their own businesses. Some have well, checked into those airports, God bless them, 

So, irrespective of the sham that living has become, people move on and accomplish themselves. 

Sometimes, I, though, feel like falling into a bottomless abyss. With absolutely nothing in my fucking mind. All my options cancelled out, without my knowledge. During the rest, I feel stagnated to my molecules, perfectly deathly still.  


She removes her sunglasses and shoves them in her bag. He catches her eyes, for the first time. Looks away before it gets uncomfortable. She gets into his car. Her red heart, is about to burst. He says something about the other car, the one he couldn't get. Instead, he had to get this one. The older one, the crumbling one. Some excuse. She's not listening. She is floating on cloud 9. He throws a bunch of chocolates at her. Nonchalantly. The ones he had gotten from his last trip. With no particular girl in mind. But he knew he was going to fall in love that summer. Hot summer of 2003. She was eighteen. He, twenty-one. His bloody hyphenated existence. 

They walk into some restaurant, after a little dialogue over choosing that place over another, and another over someplace else. In the glass walls, they see each other, side by side. Juxtaposed human specimens. Pretty divergent. In their corner table, he orders pasta. She asks for a coke. He says she should eat something. But hungry is the last thing she is. Her stomach is full of butterflies, already. 

Waiter comes back, says the guy that makes pasta hasn't come so early in the day. He chooses a pizza from the one page menu. She helps him pick it. Suddenly they have nothing to do. Their heads are empty. They talk of the heat of summer. And how the roads have gotten better over the years. And other illogical nonsense. 

Later he pours ample amounts of ketchup on her slice of the pizza. Thin crust, strewn with peppers. She takes those few seconds to look up at his downcast eyes. Is this it? Or probably not. 

An hour later, he drops her off at the same place. It's a milder afternoon now. There is no need to hide behind sunglasses. She stands there, smiling with her naked eyes as he pulls away. Knowing that this is it. For them. It it.

They are, dated forever. 

Two way street

Love is a two way street. You love me, I love you back. You break my heart, I break yours right back. Enough said and done about unrequited love. Once unrequited, it stays that way forever. For most people. Those people who never lean. Never understand the mammoth of patience it requires to actually being in love with them. Nobody can change, that is a stubborn truth. It is almost always the more feasible option to walk away. Leave behind. And the comic tragedy is, there is actually nothing to leave behind. You were living in an empty space, and loving a ghost.

Home Alone.

Smell of grapes in the refrigerator, bulbous dark purple thingys, bunches of those stocked in one of the bottom shelves. And that of garlic from our kitchen, of yellowed books in the bedroom. Keeper of our secrets. Scrape marks on the stove. Pots and pans, scanty. Forgotten recipes in our head, saved while watching those shows on TV, in arms. Leaning, laughing. Loudly and then softer. Whispering, should our walls hear. But they are ours anyway. Bricks and mortar. Sand and love. Slippers, a couple of pairs of them, placed astray, near another couple of pairs of old shoes. Belonging to the persons, we have grown out of. That we used to be, but no longer are.

How much fun is that. Honey. How we thought we were inelastic and would never change. But we stretched ourselves, pulled strings, to be here. Now, in this home. Of sorts. Our pasts, those phases when I hadn't seen you, and you me, feel like pulling away into an insolvent memory. And we dwell in a shared history, that our lives began when we fell in love. How naive. Is that. So, pinch me. 

It's not all hunky dory. Yet, it's home. Where we are our honest benign selves. Shelving tiny incidents of our days, me writing labyrinthine passages from imagination, you filling our walls with post-its. Huge, life size post-its. About what was done wrong, and what was done right. 

Struggling with our singular truths. 

Home alone. Home together.

See, if this drags you here?


Small steps mattered so much. They were the most hope we could gather in the chaos of our lives. Tiny stretches of distance, stepped, tongue bit between teeth, so afraid we may be wrong, yet not looking back, taking that step anyway. Because, all we wanted lay on the other end of those series of steps. But one day, we merely stopped taking those. Tiny steps. Put our feet to rest. Probably, it was fatigue. The loss of hope. We preferred the chaos of our lives, instead of giving it any direction. Or there was no reason, at all. Years later, we are exactly where we left ourselves that day. Or we have regressed a bit. So, we cry like a baby, like the world's gonna end, watching the climax of one silly movie. Beg ourselves to hold on to what we have. And ask, to be held in return. Tight. And for long. 


You don't keep any memory. Somehow you are never inside your body. Flesh is too loose an envelope to be in, for your mighty soul. Your frivolous mind. Winged, all the time, you are never exactly where you are. Your co-ordinates are imprecise.

That's because there's some concern hidden somewhere. How to get home early. What excuses to make, for this and that. How did that book end? Some movie character that's hanging in your for longer than required. Nagging you, making you lose your mind, over issues that barely exist in the premises of the beautiful present you are in.

The moment you are in, is unfortunate never to have you.

A by product of that being, you don't have any memory of this life you are living. Rain showering, from above, and spraying back up from moist earth, the smoothness of bare skin, the smell of mouths, feel of cold wind on warm cheeks, the whispers of confessions made and forgotten, slant sunlight filtering through  sky-lights, staring at endless horizons, getting lost in mist, letting go of your hands and spinning around your vertebrae, faster and faster, turning blind, dumb and deaf, ultimately; there are absolutely no memories, of anything at all. Because all that time, I reiterate you have been somewhere else.

So you are relieved that once this beautiful present passes away, you wont miss it anyway. Because you are devoid of memory. Sounds so riskless huh.

In the end, though, nothing can assure you, that. After everything is over, you won't be alone for one moment and not remember each damn thing. Every memory suddenly recollecting in corners of your mind. Debilitating you from standing. Making you take the fall. You find yourself resurrected amongst a pile of ashes.


The most undying of love stories, always end in the middle. 

Even after invigorating beginnings and debilitating climaxes, the story per se, doesn't end.

You, reader, are taken to a point, somewhere vaguely in the middle of the story. An approximate midpoint. 

When the love was ripe enough, not sour yet. 

Some rendezvous. Very distinct, disconnected from the consequential chain of events. 

Something fragile, mostly inconsequential.

Like they*, for instance. They met, drawn together due to the heat in their young blood, had numerous conversations on their ideologies, on movements they thought would change the world, how they would all break free et al. They got married, she got pregnant. And he was killed. The rest of the story continued sans him. The humdrum around them went on. Countries, rivers, seas, snow and sand. 

In the end, you, reader are told, what he saw when he was killed. Before his eyes flashed a scene from the forgotten midpoint. Each had fallen for the other, entirely. But there was this stalemate. He had asked her to come for a movie. Matinee show. He would hold her hands, in the dark. For the first time, touch her, in that way. She hadn't made it till the interval. He had waited for her in the sun alone. And when she did come, they must have smiled. He angled down his head, his hand forming a canopy between them to shield her from the sun. 

They stood there pretty much frozen in time, as the story ended. Slowly, simultaneously as he died. 

Sometimes all you remember after having shut the book, despite all its drama, the meandering of the story line, is this singular moment stolen from the middle, and craftily placed in the end. 

* Gauri & Udayan: picked up from The Lowland, Jhumpa Lahiri (words in italics are verbatim)


What date would you keep safe for memory's sake. Because the days of our lives are listless, least said. A list of forgettable activities lined back to back, front to front. No space in between, to squeeze in one breath. So we need one day to celebrate, commemorate, birth, death, love, estrangement.

For love, it gets slightly ambiguous. Which day do you pick? The day of the wedding? The day of the unholy rings? The day you confessed, you loved, indeed, you did? The day he confessed, he loved, he did? Your first official date? Was it dinner? Just coffee, or a drive? Or just flowers? Gerbera and roses? The day you fought for the first time, and you imagined a disagreement was even possible? Or when you shared the warmth of the same sheets? Which? Tell me.

I chose the day when his eyes caught mine. For the very first time. As absolute strangers. The first passing comment. Pleasantries. Stretch of a couple minutes.

But the exact date was again lost in memory, I hadn't noted it down. So I played a small trick of assumption. Hit -n- trial. I remembered the month, and the day of the week too, approximately. He had made me feel like Friday, always, anyway. So I forcibly assigned the day, I was going to commemorate, say a quiet prayer in my head. Whisper a wish, count the months. 

And that's how I chose the exact day. I picked today. 

Honeymoon -2

One amongst those multiple of packaged honeymoon offers, ones with cash back offers on booked hotel rooms, particularly. Arranged in the worst kind of rush, stress levels bursting your pulmonary, the one hurried event of a lifetime, all scheduled to happen in the right time, in between the right witnesses, enough pictures to taken of the wedding, in plastic predestined poses. To ensure with certainty that you have left behind all your friends and enemies in arranging meticulously the most ostentatious expression of the time and wealth you didn't have, you end up at an obscure airport. Standing in front of arrivals, congested red bangles in hands, shades et al, posing with all your luggage for a stranger to take picture, to commemorate the beginning of your honeymoon. The stranger is your husband. Yes, the man to who you had once quite mentioned that x went to Bali, z went to Maldives, which one do you think is better?
Then the series of lone photographs begins. You click him, he clicks you. Sometimes, you even switch shades, his deep golden tint, for your dark green. Vice versa. You enter rooms, err suites, of fairy white, scattered with pink. Emblems of the love stationed in every possible shelf to remind you, that make love is all you are ever supposed to do. And then you take some pictures of that room as well. From various angles. Fitting in windows and sea facing balconies in your tiny 13 megapixels frame. Ultimately you coat yourself with sunblock and head out. Some more suffocations to be endured, you take pictures of the delectables ( with their fair share of aphrodisiacs, I believe) and then head back to the suite, sun tanned anyway, to indulge in the sundry. Because you are expected to.
Sometimes, company is so much more asphyxiating than solitude. So much much more.
Disclaimer: No offense meant. Please ensure, none is taken.

Loving Brothers

Tormented by a whim to confess, she looked the truth in the eye finally. That she had loved brothers. Two men, in adjacent phases (shamelessly) of her ordinary life. But brothers. Not exactly brothers though, first cousins, their mothers were sisters. Who had brought up their families parallel-y, fiercely matriarchal.

The older brother, with the credentials of an above average geek, was tall. Wore glasses. Pinstripe shirts. Had some sense of humor. But did not take many chances in love. The younger one, was shorter. Believed he was flamboyant. Strictly held on to the idea that he was a babe magnet. He wasn't. But he liked that idea and that oozed out from his presence. Heavily. Obnoxious. 

The streaks of similarity between the two, however couldn't be denied. Faces, mildly alike, each's laughter scarily reminding her of the other, stemming from common genes. 

At first, when she was seeing the older one, the one love of her life, her Eve's apple, of the numerous conjunctions in their conversation, one was about this kid brother he had. The older brother would often bring to her notice how his kid  brother was good with women, good at women.

After the snapping of ties in this affair, the philandering younger one, rode by one day. Two days. And then again, until he didn't give up on her. Innocent child, he did ask her a few times, how she knew his older cousin. Casual acquaintance. Oh. Okay.

During the life and time of this new courtship, she would be banged by awkward moments, when he repeated their childhood tales, which the older one already had reiterated a dozen times over, narrations of weddings of sisters, and who wore what, habits of mothers and aunts, aunts and mothers now, and one common maternal grandmother. The tainted tree of life. 

Sometimes she could only stare at the roof, shut her eyes and restlessly shift between the two. Loving brothers. 



I must have never known, until then, what Mickey Mouse looked like. So I drew out the stuffed toy that used to appear on Amulspray tins. And filled in the outlines with crayons. On battered chart paper and glued it on top of a piece of wood I chanced upon. I still can't remember where I must have procured the glue from, from among the thousand destinations in a child's mind. Signed my name in one corner, in bad handwriting. And gave it to my school principal before leaving, the school, the place, that life. In these numerous decades, only once did I go back to that school, to the principal's room, which was occupied by another man now, who nevertheless recognized me instantly and showed me that picture I had drawn. No matter what you do, where you go, relics of the past, fair and ugly, show up. No memory is discrete enough to let you walk away


A couple years ago, I was texting and walking. I tripped and fell. Like fell on my face, flat on the road. Got up immediately to finish typing that text and sending it away. But the next day, my swollen ankle kept me from going to work. I limped to the doctor's alone and got an x-ray done. The inflammation of flesh went away, but the pain stayed. For which, for some reason, I never decided to see another doctor. Because after weeks of tying crape bandages around it, the ache would freely reappear at its own will and hardly go away, irrespective of how much Volini I massaged it with. I at times believed that the pain was psychosomatic. That term I found out existed much later. But I did believe that I was imagining I was undergoing that pain, because there was no reason I should. Some agonies stay forever. Psychosomatic, psychosoma-, psychoso-, psycho..


This is not a Haiku. I just named it that to drag you here. If you already know what a Haiku is i.e., or just Google it. Take a break from your respective missions, everybody.

Because I am on none. It's disheartening to see my time whiled away as I see everyone around me haranguing about how else I should take things. Coating layer on layer of paint on their faces. Coaxing themselves to thinner waists. Comparing bust sizes. Buying things en-route to their materialistic paralysis. I see nothing except a race. 

In the beginning, before a lot of beginnings, I had believed that the ultimate idea behind running this race was to be able to get out of it someday, to become capable enough to call it sham. But that isn't true, is it?

Once you run, you have gotta run. Once you fall, you fall.

There is always a list of things to be done with. Wrinkles to be tightened, belly fat to be lost, money to be saved, money to be spent, places to fly to, pictures to be flaunted, things to be bought and stacked, and stacked, until they suffocate you with regret of ever having been that incorrigibly desperate.

They sell magazines, don't they, which apparently tell you that there is a shortcut to get flat abs and have great sex. And you buy them, only to discover that it's after all not a shortcut at all. Then there is the harangue. Somebody just pops up from behind the white clouds on the blue skies and tells you, that see, s/he had told you there was no shortcut. And that you have to burn your ass. And you should turn your sleep cycle topsy turvy to actually get there. So back in the race you go.

There seems to be no way around here. To take things at my own pace. All I sometimes want to do is, watch a solo crow fly revolving about an unknown axis in the blackish white monsoon skies, full of rain and never landing. Being in that state of perennial fight. Apart from that, I merely want to be. And write things that are abandoned unread.


They lived quietly next door. A family slightly younger than ours. Mamun was their daughter. And she had a baby brother. They would stroll into and out of our place, we would put out tiny chairs for them to sit. One yellow, one copper sulfate. Mamun would often soil our balcony, dig up our potted plants of chrysanthemum, until we took that inevitable decision to hang them from the railing, way out of her reach. She did love our Sunday morning poached eggs, densely peppered. Often, her chiming silver anklets would declare her sudden presence, and make us watch-out. Mamun wore a strange piece of metal, like a pendant around her neck, like it was an animal tooth, or a shell filled with ash. To keep her away from evil.

Quite treacherously, without warning, she died. Was killed. Her family was out on vacation, and we were told, that for one moment they lost sight of her and she was a hit and run. For months, I kept staring at our yellow chair. Her father with his shaven head, would wake up screaming, wailing. But I continued assuming that she was still on vacation and would return. That assumption, I preferred it over the silent acceptance of such loss.

Unable to stand their misery, her family shifted to another place, I believe, somewhere away.

And then the plump woman, with the parrot moved in. All the time, she lived in that apartment, we only heard about her son. Never saw him, he was in another city, studying or working, or something. I imagined he must be a replica of his frail bespectacled father. The plump woman, wore sleeveless blouses, blaming the stifling single bed-roomed existence. And an unforgiving summer.

In the afternoons, she would switch on the TV and chop lady fingers and pumpkin, skin potatoes and slice bitter-gourds on the dining table. Many of those, I spent with her. My siestas were as ever empty of sleep. She introduced me to tea, I owe her that. But it was her parrot that bewitched me. That absolute flirt of a bird, I would try to feed it things, bribing it to shed one of those vibrant, parrot green feathers. I would wait near the cage for hours, I needed one to press between the leaves of my diary. The woman of the house would pacify me saying that she would give away that parrot's chick to me. So I waited for it to lay an egg. Equally impatiently, or more. But, I hadn't known then. That caged birds don't breed. 

chalance nonchalance

Erase all preconceived severely convoluted concern. Like no preconditions existed. As if the space before and after this moment was dead. This minute, this hour, tonite. This shy moonless evening. Kick the long term purpose of life. There is none, anyway. Except for the sum of these tiny ones. Dwell in this new found freedom. Forget. And let exactly your whim drive you. Only that. To whoever it wants you to. Shiver not.

Nice feel, in't it? Ah, very nice oh. 



The muse. She wore a pink sari, wound around her lean self in a way I couldn't figure. Out how. So I just bathed her with all my attention. Not the baby pink, not the rosy pink. Real pink, how pink should be. With white squares printed over. Her hair was knotted, neatly. Like the knot held her head in position. And those black bead earrings, not tiny, big enough. To be seen from far. Where I was. She, of course stared straight in front, at the road ahead. No after hang of the past. I couldn't figure out that either. Just how?


The movie. Sprinkled with instances, some exact replicas of the past, some insinuations of the impending future. Such an amalgamation of rather contradictory contortions of love. One that shows how desperately we seek companionship, irrespective of who we have become or where we are; and another shows no matter what, all affections fade. However, hard you try, or not try, mostly, you end up alone, literally alone within four walls, or virtually alone living among a bunch of strangers you remember you  happened to know. Love stories, like these, are often that beautiful picture painted upon and against the peaceful humdrum of life. 

Summer Love:

They say, summer love. We have passed, one summer by. Half of, or rather, almost one full, eighty percent of, monsoon. Rains have lashed against the new love that in May we had realized, we had may be. Now we are stare at autumn, for the trees to come out naked. Winter then. And finally, even spring, in possibility. You know, how love takes your breath away? Moments that bless you with such a glue that you cease to exist in person, and become one deeply rooted pair of Siamese twins.

Movie in context: The Lunchbox


Pocket fulls of sand. Wet magical sand. One stringed bracelet. With our names inscribed. And my prescribed notions for a lifetime. Nothing has turned out as it should have. Most things have just flown from one random destination to another like a lazy holidayer. Somehow leaving me wet and unwanted. Just like the sand in my pockets. Yet, you being you, keep me. Love me. Possess me. Not with the jovial possession of new love. But with the charred traits of a seasoned lover. Like quiet sunlight on fair skin, you fill me with warmth. One moment of which is worth caging and saving for looking back and unwinding upon for years later. When feelings of seclusion corner ME, and make me want to run off the next adjacent roof, sometimes not too knowingly I think of you. Your chin. My lip. Our things. Paraphernalia for love. I use them to invent words. To selfishly develop feelings, I not tell you about. Because somethings should be given time to unfold. Somethings should rather be bottled forever. Till we end.

I think of our tiny toes and the hard earned grace to make a living out of life. I wonder what we have. And see it vis-a-vis what we require. For contingencies. For answers. For supplying enough proofs. Like juxtapose. I wonder if our stringed bracelet of love would stand us on our tiny toes. It should. Because love should be the sole deciding factor. Of our endless haywire lives. If not it, then what.

I am not saying just because I am saying. But as I have learnt. I am not that child that sees and doesn't seep into. But I have witnessed a certain emptiness in the plethora of lives around me. In their guarded drops of sweat upon heavily maintained faces. Heavily to the extent of it being an obsession of creating a pretense. A shallow facade. And that bores me to the extent of scaring me.

That's exactly why I want you to look within. Unzip me, unskin ME. Look at my naked raw self. And then love me like nothing else matters. It's the mind that will never leave me. So love me in there. Shamelessly. Unbridled.

Make Belief

You make, I believe. Some other time, I make, for you to believe. Calm your jittery nerves & vice versa. I love, and feel loved myself, consequently. Love begets love. Bricks accumulate mortar, by themselves, for their affinity to cement, to make passion to stay. And build walls, roofs and floors, homes, to stay in, windows to look out from, hide away in. Plans get scribbled, ambitions toned up or down accordingly. Tiny steps taken, in unison, like a baby learning to walk, stumbles and falls. And then talking takes over, endless endless conversations. A word for word. Breath for breath. Sigh for sigh. Blink for blink. Sometimes, you make, I believe. Sometimes, I make, you believe. 


Where do we go? With our ills and our pills. Multiple sicknesses of the mind. Cramped muscles twisted nerves and pangs of the emotional kind. Hidden magnanimous egos. To be clashed with hidden maganimous egos. Plugged desires. Reading between the lines, between the words and in between phrases. Understanding commas, colons and semi colons. Fuck. Abandoning the hope, the threadbare hope that an end to these means is even possible, we sit quietly and face toward the wall, waiting for someone to ask us to turn around, one hundred and eighty degrees and talk. Sometimes that is required too, silence doesn't do justice to our immensely complex circular demand cycles. Where in, one need just proliferates mostly the previous need, forming in effect, one dangerous cycle of need. And we don't know if we are getting anywhere, or are merely sitting on a child's rocking chair, suffering the illusion of motion. Our ends, flying out in outer space shall never meet. Love fucks up love. Too much love ie. Too little ie. All we await is a temporary placebo. Until the next pang gets us.

Time Capsule

I would wonder what happened to you. Whatever happened to you. You, in immense probability, would move on. Be ladled upon with layers and layers of time. Meet newer people, more or less like the ones you wanted. More more than less. Fall in love, out of love. Miss me in the intervals in between, if you kept a vivid memory. Have babies, marry, or in the reverse order, preferably. Buy flowers, to let them wilt, flip through more books, age, grow more white hair. Stare from balconies, walk among flower shrubs on both sides of the street. Smile, be ecstatic, regret. More importantly, be the way you wished; to be. Holding on to appropriate substances of value. After a certain time, just sit alone and reminisce, just like I would. And wonder what happened to me, whatever happened to me.

Shortly after, you would unearth from underneath the layers and layers of time; a time capsule. Not the literal time capsule. Just a capsule with me in it. Asleep like a fetus, curled, from the ages ago, exactly the way I was. And as you uncap that capsule, you would unlock so much, so much. My caged smells of sweat and skin. The goosebumps intact. The voices of things said, multiple confessions of dire passion. CDs with our songs, pictures taken and forgotten. Plans made and almost ruthlessly abandoned. Truths kept from the world, just between us two, sacred secrets. And the absolute and exact memory of having been, in love. For what it's worth.

Whatever happened to you. Whatever happened to I. Oh! 


The nose. You never get to see your own nose. Even though it is right there, because both the eyes which are constantly used to seeing it, negate each other out. And you never get to see your own nose.

Same applies to the Lover. You lose sight of him. Outside of yourself. Because he is constantly there, in your mind, fiddling with your six senses constantly. And whenever, even if he is outside of you, your eyes, two pairs, four of them, looking into each other, cancel each other out. Like the Lover ceases to exist. Despite being right there, saying, listening, seeing, moving. He effectively becomes a part of you. Begins to live in your consciousness as a thought, an idea, and not as sturdily as the matter, that can be touched, smelled and felt. Though he very can be, pinched, kissed, loved, you forget. Lovers become extensions of each other, or even become one person.

Level of comfort, as it is called, shoots up to an extra-terrestrial high. Suddenly one pair of extra hands seems unnecessary. So does the extra pair of legs. Lovers carry each other, over shoulders, on arms. The other mind of the two feels like an extravagance. They could as well make do with one, you know. Their memoirs merge into a symbiotic haze and they look into the time to come, with one pair of collective eyes, irises. 


There is a gate which opens on the other side, other than the side I have so chosen. That gate pukes life into the street. Life, mercilessly scatters itself therein. There are these numerous betel shops, that sell mouth freshener and sundries. And their threatened existence. Beggars, one legged and begging. Tinkling ring of coins in their bowls. The rummaging hunger in their under-bellies. Dust. Lethargy of abandoned lives. Eve-teasers, their roving eyes. Looking at you like they had you like a lover, once. Chai-wallas. Teeming stories of dozens of strangers passing by. Inspecting each other thoroughly. Boys and girls. Stuck perennially in late teens, emerging from the afternoon cinema. Tilted buildings into the street, that house brothels. Women with jasmine braided into their hair, navels naked and their betel stained pimps. From around the shops beneath with threatened existence. 

There is so much much entropy, baby. That dies ignored. Ensnaring entropy. 

Our fates, you know, are en-tropic. Spare my poetic licence. Driven by fateful & fate-less accidents. 

Yet how silly of me to doubt that someones who I was afraid were me, almost, that their life might reflect into mine, just because you know, we were similar. Only I realize that it doesn't work that way. Let them have their Entropy. I will walk away with mine. 

Notice the change in Font. 

en·tro·py: A measure of the disorder or randomness in a closed system.

Lateral Inversion

There's this picture. Not in a wooden frame. Not in a wedding album. Just a picture, a photograph. Saved in a few kilobytes of memory. In a dateless folder, underneath. 

Among a matrix of light and grey, they stand, posing. Adjacent, touching. Her left arm against his chest. Quietly resting on it, like that was where it was meant to be. His right hand stretched along her shoulders, palm clutching her sleeve. He's holding her. Her hands are folded. There's a ring on the middle finger on her right hand, red threads wound about her left wrist. This was clicked from the camera he held in his left. Lucid, at peace. They are both half smiles, semi conscious. Very aware, yet not there. 

But wait, it's not them the picture is of. It's their image, their fleeting floating image on a fleeting floating mirror. So probably, we got it all wrong. Rights and lefts are reversed. Laterally inverted. He held the camera on his right, his fingers are so close to the mirror, you could see his knuckles. It's his left hand which is holding her by the shoulder. And the ring is on the middle finger on the left hand and the red threads on the right. It seems so. They are looking at each others' image in the mirror. How juxtaposed that is.

Their lines of vision must converge and crisscross where their real space met the mirror. Or I could just show you the photo, instead of blatantly trying so much at the description, so much. Si? 


The bunch of papers in his hands just gave in. He was getting used to the incessant traveling. Though it didn't seem a bit like what he had imagined. Mostly he would discard the fatigue of it by saying it was boredom and not the biting solitude. It wasn't may be. Some people can just flourish on themselves. Each trip he would find something fun to do or just unwind his overworked muscles and sleep. There was never the need to go out or wait or seek. 

The bunch of papers in his hands almost gave in. He walked about with an ease. A confidence known only to his kind. It was 2 in the morning, the cab booked to the airport had come on time. There was no one to see him off. He had insisted they didn't come. His mother was the stronger one and her eyes never moistened when she saw him leave. But he always saw this meekness on the father's face, a kind of forced silence that just wouldn't let him leave in peace. So he insisted on being left alone. For convenience' sake.

Taking the last few steps onward, to the land of unforgiving winter. He made the customary calls. Assuring he would text them his whereabouts each time he changed location and made a note himself that he would.

His face grew pale for a second with a pang of homesickness. He had run out of noticing the weird people at the airport, people in waiting. There was this childish urge to suddenly return home just to spend the night on his familiar bed, without being answerable to anyone.

So he called her. And asked if she was asleep and if he woke her up. Without waiting long enough for her to answer that, he told her that he was looking at a bunch of hot chicks. We don't know if they were fictitious or real. She asked him to talk to them and not her instead.

Minutes later, they were laughing at one of his cranky jokes. Laughing together, in an unexpected convergence. Sitting hundreds of miles away, waiting to be separated by light years. 

For the lackluster repulsion of distance to erode their affection. For a beautiful Chinese woman to be on the seat next to him. On the plane. 

Abruptly pausing her midway he said, ' That's my announcement. Gotta go!' And then he rose closer to the skies never to return again.


Acts of love leave no signs

Such of acts of beauty
Ensure that their marks are wiped off
No imprints, or unnecessary witnesses

For they are possessed by a vanity of their own
Of not becoming mundane;

So, the voices are absorbed by walls
Foot prints, overwritten
Sweat, overpowered by perfume
Warmth of air exhaled from nostrils, intermingled
Dust swept off
Secrets, protected, or often forgotten

They, these miniature acts of love, leave no signs
Only vaguely live on in mutual memories, their vanity untouched. 


There was this girl, of those numerous girls I have quoted unawares. She and I met as strangers, introduced each other to each other as we struggled through our sluggish jobs, being the only two females around, kind of made us fall together. We would often lunch sitting by the window looking down at the road below, which I later found out was not a road but the top of a flyover. But that happened much later one day when I gauged the dimensions, standing alone beside our tall, really tall office building.

Once in a while she would made me eat half of her sturdy boiled egg, sliced in the middle and salted, to help me walk through my disgusting lunch. And give me that awkwardly toothy smile, grin. Almost like a loving pet would grin at you, without minding if the smile fit in picturesque or not. I don't take the trouble to describe her face, I am pretty bad at remembering faces and worse at describing them. To save me the trouble of that, I classify faces into two neat categories. Pretty and ugly. She was quite obviously the latter. In fact, to an extent that I had heard people ridiculing and bursting out laughing about how ugly she was. 

One morning, she asked me about the touristy places from around where I was from. As a practice I gurgled out the name of a certain beach town where everyone went. Everyone. Then almost in one breath, she told me. Told me that, she was going to honeymoon there. And she said that with authority, like she had he tickets in her hand. I choked, metaphorically. And I felt the same ridicule that those who laughed did. My first reflex was to ask her, If she was joking.

Because the idea of a honeymoon seemed too far fetched given what she was. Given the world we live in, the ugly are invariably denied the candy floss of romance. But I didn't ask her that. Instead I felt a stab of envy when I hugged her when she told me a few days later that she was engaged to the friend she was in love with for years. 

Months later, she put up pictures of them, playing with the waves in the certain beach town I had mentioned. Her husband was as thin as a sickle. And my friend, she looked spherical, in those pictures, fitting perfectly into the edges of the sickle as they posed with each other before the vast blue sea. She would put up pictures of them cutting cakes and putting off candles celebrating monthly anniversaries of their wedding. Some more of them and oddly baked home made cakes, on their rickety rooftop. 

People still laugh though, laugh their asses off, looking at those pictures and how funny they appear. But not I. I have been shut up for good. Love, when found, can make life so speechlessly beautiful. And when left unfound, can make it fall apart into a thousand pieces each moment.  


I was told a story to, as a child. They say not just a story, but folk lore. About one pot-bellied beggar. Who begged for alms, fistfuls of rice and few coins if hardly ever fate implied good, across parched summer afternoons in homes inebriated of siesta. He held an umbrella of stitched palm leaves, above his shoulder, a walking stick with his one hand, and held out a bowl on the other, begging and singing, in that softened pitiful voice. His feet would burn in the heat and his pot belly would let go with hunger, because no matter how much he sang and how much he begged, his hunger knew no end. He would weep like a child sitting on the river stairs and pray. For something to happen and alleviate his plight.  Days went by and nothing happened, no one came. His despair grew more immense and more his suffering more acute. He would just drink the water, taking aloud the names of the delicacies he wanted and assuming it was them, and walk back home. One day, however, the river rippled and the Goddess emerged. Dry like paper, out, as the water whirled all around her and then calmed. She smiled and sent an earthen pot floating towards him before disappearing. I remember the delight in his eyes and the delirious joy in my child's mind as I imagined him unwrap the banana leaf from the pot and dig his hands into each of those delicacies whose name he had taken in the days leading to this, cooked in ghee and filling my nostrils as strongly as his. 

Now, those stories had hidden themselves somewhere as life suddenly has become a travesty of priorities. Until recently, I met his niece. In a video from years ago, shot in their courtyard. She had just about almost learnt how to walk. The art of walking, unraveled, she who had her uncle's exact eyelashes and brows, walked about like a queen with a long stick on her shoulder, losing her balance midway due to its weight. Her hair tied in a tight pigtail and her eyes with two mystifying black pools of awe in them. Baby talking, baby screaming, and baby giggling her way around, with the stick intact on her shoulder. Sometimes elves would appear from above the skies and swoop down below with a speed only known to her and I. Now ants would climb shrubs of hibiscus, beginning their life long pilgrimage to the top. And dust would rise up in the coagulated fatigue of my fake adulthood and give way to many storms. I saw them, these phantoms of imagination, in her eyes, black pools of awe. Like, we shared our secret, without quite knowing we did. He, only stared on. 

Woman, Being a

Years ago, more than half a decade ago, we used to frequent this place, this restaurant, not entirely classy, but itsy-bitsy classy in its own way for people who ate out of pocket money. It was at one end of our sooty town, under the expanse of a tree, in the shade of which they set up a barbeque on some evenings. We would go dutch, strictly dutch, no man splurged on us, bunch of single females, religiously dutch at heart. For hours we would sit there, perched like tired birds munching coleslaw, strings of cabbage, nibbling a cutlet at its edge, to just sit there long enough. Look at people, until the icecreams from their cones melted, flooded and overflowed. 

Once we noticed, paticularly stared at this man-woman in a corner. You know such corners, where they could sit dangerously close to each other for distances dictated by propriety. Distances to be illustrated in public, where anything that can catch the eye, does. She was plump, dusky, with her long plait ending way below where her blouse ended, half of her back exposed, towards us. He held her by stretching an arm across her shoulders and whispered into her ears, that sparkled with chandelier earrings, supposed dirty secrets that made her giggle quietly. They chatted and ate oblivious of our lingering awe and gaze. At the gluttonous plates on their table.

The other unsplurged on single females uttered. He's feeding her so well, such that later she would let him do. Whatever had in mind. She was a pros. They said. That's the word we used then, that's the word we use now.

That woman, sold off, for money. I don't look up or down on her. She does what she does. But each time I see a car slowing down beside a waiting girl on a highway, and the man inside raising eyebrows, posing that question; I think. I do. 


Wasn't I led to believe, that we have each become a walking talking mystery. Each one is a twisted novella within its own bodily boundaries. Some are even novels. And some have sequels after sequels to themselves. Oddly enough prequels too come to exist, like a sudden revelation into the past. And they come to being long after the novels we are have died their ends.

Didn't I comfortably assume that our skin was the one illusion that hid well all those distortions within? If not for the skin that covered our flesh, our pink flab and all the gluttony in them, our green veins and red arteries and the fucking heart that had learnt to fake love for centuries would be exposed. So thank God for the skin. And the tongue for all the talking and the keeping quiet and victoriously sheathing the ugly underneath.

But now. Haven't the tables turned?

Done with the faux pas, all I have come to understand is this. I am the one semi circle that completes the circle of life. I ain't a mystery, or a novel, or a concoction even. I am an arc. One half of which curls and awaits the other twin, facing in my direction, which is often the opposite to the one I am facing. And together, we complete the circle of life. He & I.

All theory apart. All bias done with. That we befit, into each other, is the sole standing truth. That we stay put, our green veins and red arteries, and our merged heart. We swim inside each other. Be like yin and yang.

That is the big change that a little it of love can get into our life. A little bit of it, makes this world of difference. Love heals. Love clears the air. Makes us see, for once the truth. 


We make a big deal about knowing. What we know blinds us more than anything. It makes layers of bias settle on our fatigued heads. And we hang in there, secretly proud that we know so much.

But like once the professor said, unlearning is as important, as is the act of learning itself. One should have that agility to erase & start afresh.

This is not one of those. Motivational writing stuff written exclusively to bore you. Just that, I am here to narrate the following anecdote:

So, exactly when we are in the middle of a conversation which is losing direction, stemming from an ancient misunderstanding or correct understanding, so to say, when we have begun to kick our crystal colored dreams, when there is that stemming anger, mild in between, and ten other things on your mind, and you lose track of the words you say and hear, we realize that we are not getting anywhere and begin to classify the conversation as an argument, the mobile network plays a trick and ditches. So we were left hanging, trying to remember which point we abandoned it at, and if there was any fertile point left in taking it to its hasty closure. And obviously, I call back. Without a pause, I continue from the mid sentence, the approximate phrase which had witnessed the disconnection.

Abruptly, he asks who i was. I swallow. What? He repeats, who this was. And more crucially, he adds, who is it that I wanted. On the phone. In that flattering voice.

I breathed in deep, almost forgot everything else. 

And i responded. it's me. and all i ever wanted was him.


She took a sabbatical. A two week trip by herself, probably the last attempt to feel rootless freedom. Before sitting back and planning a life out. She traveled to a couple of least known places she had known on the map. As a child poring over geography books.
Now she took that trip, with barely a backpack and slippers. No etiquette. No camera either. 

On the afternoon of the third last day, she landed at his place. Her college boyfriend. His single bedroom cum living room cum kitchen place, remote, away, falling off the edge of her geography map. She wanted to see him with no particular intention, as such. There was an ember of love though, but repeatedly wiped off by the series of other guys that followed. Walked his footsteps. Toward and then away. But she chose him over every other. 

After she had slept a straight eight hours to shed her fatigue of days, they nibbled from take-aways. Quietly, reminiscing. Remembering. Then loudly shivering the walls with laughter, with their stock of forgotten jokes. Legs were pulled and released. They flashed back and forth. Crushed their stoic adult poise with the memories of their once adolescent love. Then crushed the sheets underneath when they mildly made love, and then jumped to intervals of wild fucking. It was difficult to begin with and they missed how they then could never steal a moment to kiss when back in college. She quite felt at rest. 

The day after he took her for a drive in the shamble of a car. She bought trinkets and stoles. A pair of pricey yellow boots which were seen and returned. And dozen other memorabilia. No pictures though, except the one on his cell phone, which he swore he wouldn't put up anywhere. She posed for him before a crumbling temple. The orange hue of the broken bricks went with her sunset dress and the blood-burst in the evening skies.

That night they cooked. Their amateur culinary expertise, with ample doses of faded lust simmered lumps of chicken. Stoned, their brains drenched in vodka, they slightly fell in love again. But markedly only slightly. 

On the third day, she put on shades all day, because she didn't want him to look into her eyes. At all. Until he saw her off. 

On her wedding day, she opened messily one parcel with her henna smeared hands, till elbows, to find those yellow boots and their sunset picture. 


There is that specific moment when words deny you the privilege to own them, when they slip out of your fingers and get lost in a forest like naughty little children. And you are left abandoned in turn, gasping like a worried parent. Sweat trickles from your temples and you feel eternally blank. Because it is them that you assumed you possessed in entirety. And suddenly you realise you were indeed powerless all the long way. You are now distraught, even feel conspired against.

Because all these years, when you wove stories about the imaginary, women and men, insane women and thoughtful men, circling about loss and love, you thought you were just about okay. When two or three or four stopped by, paused to read those stories about the imaginary and breathed in lungfuls of cold lonesome air, you thought you were good. When you met people who knew you through those stories only and per se were complete strangers to the real person you were, you felt almost proud. You lived in your unfinished stanzas, on the nib of your pen,in the creases of your diary, over the edges of all the minds you touched. When you went through your writing from the past, and you couldn't relate which collation of sentences was based on which real life episode of loss, you felt like God.

But now look here, what you have done. Where you have gotten yourself to. You have reached a gauntlet, fleeing the wavy ups and downs, where you cannot express, with a bare approximation what is it that you are thinking. Whatever is on your mind, never gets your mouth. Everything's lost midway, or kept back as dirt letting only zilch filter out. You feel tonguetied, fatigued even ashamed. Ashamed. Losing your grip on the one tiny thing.

Then the doubt creeps in. Are you not able to speak up because you cannot translate thought into speech or is it because you have not a hint about whatever it is, that thought. Ideas feel like scattered dots. The brain is but a grey mass. With too many complex equations knit into one. 

And the heart. That is unravelable. 

Words are so superficial, to sum it up. Thoughts are inches more deep. And feelings are the deepest. Sometimes, they leave no trail, not even an inkling. 

Being Monogamous

I see lovers biting into each others' throats, not all, but some of them, standing at the edge of their wits not being able to stand each other, and looking into absolute darkness. Though I am condemned enough to feel that being in love and feeling loved in reciprocation are two things indispensable, I also happen to be one of those scholars who strictly believe in the fading away of love. It's a contradiction. 

When I recite names from the past, some recall emotion, but mostly otherwise. Also, isn't love, like happiness a very very momentary emotion? Even if love were to last more than that moment, and I do believe it does sometimes last months, even years, the realization of it, comes only in those few bright moments of the mind. 

Down that lane, which we have all been through to be however screwed up we are today, is that menagerie of men. Some we undermine as infatuations after we moved on, some we still doubt if we were in love with, some we have begun to hate, some for who we feel nothing more than cold indifference, some who have grown to be strangers, and the rest who have hugely contributed to this blog, unknowingly though. Sometimes I wonder if I should be charged guilty of having been infatuated these many number of times. Should I be accused of naming songs after the ones who sent me those? Of naming folders in my laptop after those who never paused to care? Of writing poems for those who never gave me even a card? Of naming my dresses after the ones I associate them with? The red one with black polka dots after A, the one with the purple print after B, the golden one with embroidery after C? 

Life is not as tragic as it seems, it's rather funny. In few bright moments of the mind, even bordering on ridiculous. And honestly, there haven't been as many as I make them seem to be, just that I exaggerate to escape. Just the few, chosen ones, who were mismatched with me, by accident, inside the dull chambers of my mind. But now that, it matters, now that love has come to count, and is to be valued in return, I wonder if I should exactly consciously feel that I have been roughly polygamous, harboring affection for different men during separate phases of time. 


Many a time, it feels like, we are watching a movie that we faintly now remember that we have watched before. As each scene unfolds, we recollect it from our shallow memory, though to begin with, we felt like we hadn't ever seen it. Hasn't it ever happened to you? There is this duality of experience, of the beating curiosity of what is going to happen next, and the moment it happens, a boredom settles in, because we knew that was how it was going to turn out. A suppressed sense of repetitiveness drops by home, life becomes an odd summation of our failed projects. How we never got that job, never got to meet X, never traveled to the city afloat on canals. Though the surreal motivation stays that we aren't dead yet, and we do have the time to do whatever we want. Yet, we never break the rule, erase the line and run off, like a wild child chasing our dreams into the wilderness. We do not outgrow the safety of status quo. And this way we witness a lot of tomorrows become yesterdays. 

Only sometimes, the purpose of bad fate is defeated, and we drip with ecstasy. Quite like the substance itself. The vigorous powers of pure love and undiluted freedom, however momentary can make many a banal life worth its salt, sweat, blood and tears. In those certain moments when we get tired of breathing in gasps and fretting and cursing, life chooses to make a complete fool of us by showing us one momentary glimpse of what having everything we ever wanted contained in a moment could mean. Saying just that it sweeps us off our feet would be an understatement. Saying that our heart, our tortured fossilized unloved heart, leaps out of our thoracic cavity would be an understatement. So I wouldn't say much, would I?

In one go, it heals the estrangement for forgotten friends, our regret for lost career goals, our failed nomadic ventures to be a traveler of the world, the sense of awkwardness that we never per se fit in. Fuck, it almost begins to heal our heart, our tortured fossilized unloved heart. 

And sometimes, it feels so surreal that I hope it's not just the goddamn sun in my eyes.  

Breaking the Mould

Learning to disappoint is vital. I barely do it. I fit into the mould with absolute precision, the mould that is crafted by expectations of everyone around me. I don't think I have genuinely disappointed anyone in the world with the honest exception of my boss.

I do exactly what is wanted of me, supposed anybody with my age and roots would do. I wrote all the exams I was supposed to, went to colleges that were understood to be good, slogged in a regular job because money and recognition are considered necessities, cultivated behaviors that were mostly socially acceptable and harbored guilt whenever I deviated. 

But I should unlearn the above, because I indeed should peel away the sense of shame. I haven't done it yet because I am worried of causing a lot of disappointment, of falling beneath. Now, better than never, I am wanting to break that mould. I want to be unafraid of letting down my, friends, family, admirers, even my indifferent gazers on the street. 

I got an extremely crazy haircut done today. I look like a patient of dementia, or an insane cow girl now. I can't tie it up, or let it down. It looks like a mad crow has munched away my mane. The hair, doesn't go with who I have been, nor does it go with who I so desperately want to be.

Before it grows back to its past original shape and size, I just hope that this, makes me learn to stand the ridicule. Makes me brave enough to cause disappointment and move on for the greater reason. I hope that and more love to come by me, inspite of who I be.

Anyway, if you love me, you would love me anyway. Won't ya? 

Sold Off.

After years of sitting on the edge of the plateau, standing ankle deep in cold ocean water, craning up to look at the sun between tall green conifers, after years of losing umbrellas, twisting one's ankle and returning home bare-feet and limping, songless, writing in childlike diaries, saving leaves between their pages, till fossilized their thin veins and vein-lets showed, walking nonchalantly across aisles of gift shops on valentine's, of gazing amazed at kids holding hands, buying new dresses with noone to see, noone to say, getting a sad haircut, a happy haircut, after years of trying to purchase all possible substitutes of love, now I am in something, that feels so much like it. 

It's not straight out of the books I read, poems I hugged, movies that remained in my head, it's not. It's not something I have waited for. And now it makes what I waited for feel slightly inane. Or, it's my bias, definitely. 

But, this has an exclusivity of its own. It defines itself. In its own insane longing for life kinda way. In its own capricious unorthodox fashion. What can you do.

Ultimately, a brief while after everything seemed to have finished off, I seem to have just begun. Or allow me to to use a slightly more slack pronoun. We seem to have just begun. 

The Missing T Shirt & Other Stories

One day,  I found my one T shirt to be a tad too lose. And obviously I didn't lose weight (never do). It was a lose one already, like one of those big ones you need to get inside of and spend the whole day in, in the room, not necessarily with any shorts on. Naturally I was very possessive of it. Plus it had one of those anti-global warming slogans with a double meaning. I loved that double meaning, which was obviously the first  (and sometimes the only) meaning people got. It (the T shirt not feeling like mine thingy) didn't matter much though, like a lot of facts & figures, in my life, that might have a chance to worry me, I brushed it under the carpet.

Later, a few weeks later I discovered, some guy in the campus wearing the same T shirt. And then I realized that the laundry people must have swapped mine with his, and look, he didn't even realize. Or did he? This guy and I had graduated from the same school years ago, and then were doing our masters together. The T shirt in context was a college T shirt that everyone had bought way back then. I looked at him for a few moments, wondering of our shared history, and how less often we even spoke.

Today, I look at that T shirt, crumpled in my closet, which I really don't know is his or mine and think. How many many men and women we come across and how little they leave their impressions on us. Chemistries, in particular are that transient. Nobody seems to remember. Sometimes, I shock myself with how indifferent I feel toward someone I loved to my breath's end, to the edges of my heart, to the depth of my intestines, and to the mighty horizons of my mind. And today, I could pass by him and not look back. That's how minuscule of people I carry within me.

Even when I am with someone, I let their aura sink into me only for those brief couple of minutes, and if only I like them that much. Otherwise, nothing, hardly ever stays.

The only thing that stays, is the memory of that companion, being with who, sometimes I tend to forget that I do indeed have, company. 


Look, I am writing. Writing because of a love for a certain font. Writing because, I adore this midnight air. And the guitar in my ears. Because, I love how black blotches on white. White as in, emotions that vanish leaving many faces in my past, white, as I chase them until far away. Not just the ones I loved. Also, the ones I didn't. Also, the ones I couldn't. The many who I ignored, consciously, unconsciously. The dozens I split my fags with. The dozens on the near by tables in cafeterias I asked for a light. And vice versa. The purposes I chased, the purposelessness that chased me. For years together, the futility of various manifestations of a promise of prosperity, leading to layers and layers of bias over my mind. Forgetting the truthful core I am made of, honest, blatant. Naked, open, free, lover. The stories I am made of, and those that I make up. You know, a lot, a serious lot, seems to be losing any importance. Almost everything of value seems to be depreciating. The lost, seems to take leaps like a naughty dolphin would leap over waves in the sea and then sink back, just so as to tease me, how the aftermath of that loss has disabled me to value the things I should value, and that are actually precious enough, dream like, icing on the cake like, dancing on a string like. And I seem to be losing any understanding of whatever it  is that I want. Do I want freedom? To float like a fallen leaf. Or do I want to settle like dust? That question, I am not able to frame it fucking right in my head. The older I grow, the more I lose my fixation with that question. The more time passes, the more I tend to confuse and repel you with what I write. Let me just sink in the high that is me right now. My toes, tiny balls of lust, are floating out my thirteen floor window. In the midnight air that I adore. And there is guitar in my ears. And I see so much I don't want to see, and hence, I am blinded. Chi·mae·ra. Chi·me·ra.