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.