Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Nostalgia, that old mistress of memory, has setup court in the musty corridors of my mind. Today she smokes a cigar of my lost worlds, filled with familiar words and smells. Every puff brings the numerous kingdoms of my life, alive, in ethereal castles of smoke. "Do you want to rule as a God today?," she asks. "Or would you rather lie helpless in her arms again?" And I remember.

Oh my God, what arms. What arms...

Having lived on fine blurry line that defines the boundary between picture postcards and reality for sometime now, I am definitely taking the road back tomorrow. My memory is conspiring against me again, reluctant to let go of what is familiar and afraid to lose the defining forte of one's self in the tempestuous vicissitudes of time.

Oh my God, what times. What times...

As my present bitches about my past, future me is smiling a smug smile that follows a satisfying shag. The cat lies unperturbed, curled up on the carpet, ignoring my attempts at intellectual suicide with a panache that would do Murakami proud. A perfectly shaped slice of bread, freshly toasted to a crisp golden brown, glistening with smeared on melting butter and a dash of ground black pepper. Can you smell that on a bright, sunny morning? Tomorrow still holds that promise.

I am coming home.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

What was left of it

She crumbled in his arms
like paper to flame
I found the ash, next day,
strewn on the floor

or what was left of it.


She drowned in his eyes
like laughter in gunfire
I found the empty cartridges, the day after,
littered on the floor

or what was left of it.


She whimpered at his touch
like the dumb being whipped
I found the blood stains, a day later,
sprayed on the floor

or what was left of it.


She moaned in his wake
like an orphaned, hungry mongrel
I found the cries, everyday,
cemented to the floor

or what was left of it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Tablet To Tango

Finally! It got delivered on Thursday last week. My Wacom Intuos 3 A5 Special Edition Tablet. It is absolutely drool worthy and looks totally gorgeous with my MBP. So I've been fiddling around with the pretty ladies all weekend.

My mess

Don't they look gorgeous together? I feel so much at home among this neatly arranged mess that covers my table.

Detour ahead!

Persepolis is amazing! Hats off to Marjane Satrapi. Oh, oh n oh, I discovered Paul Theroux's Great Railway Bazaar this week - if you love trains, like I do, its a must read. As is usual, I started reading everything together and so all of it is nicely mixed up in my head.

A friend gave me his ex's guitar to keep. Then he went off and got married. I gave away the guitar last week. But I kept the bracelet I found inside the guitar case - the end coils like a snake's head and looks very exotic. I quite like it but I don't like the story behind it. But at least, friend in question is happy in his marriage. Don't tell anyone, but I try on the bracelet from time to time.

Detour ends.

Where were we?! Ah, yes. My first painting on the tablet. Tango Night. It took me a while to get used to the tablet and then some more time to get the balance right in the sketch. Layer's are God-send to every graphics artist! So this is stage 1.

Tango Night, Stage 1

And stage 2 is below. I am taking my time, relishing the painting process, as I haven't done it in quite some time. I would have enjoyed it more if I could do it with actual paint and canvas but then we make do with what we have. This amazing paint program I found on the Mac, called ArtRage, let's me actually mix colors and smudge them and bleed them and other such orgasmic painterly things. I have promptly bought the full version as it did not mean going without food and water for days - as I would have to do if I tried buying something like Photoshop.

Tango Night, Stage 2

Stay tuned for the next stages!

Sunday, November 02, 2008



The walk to her house had been a blur. The street outside was bursting at the seams with the usual cacophony of the Sunday evening bazaar. Roadside stalls, selling everything from cheap nightgowns to kebab rolls, encroached upon his reality with the usual gusto of seasoned squatters on MCD1 roads. That they infested the same gully that she inhabited was a source of surreal disgust to him. But today they did not bother him at all. Today they did not exist.

What was it that she said?

Her voice echoed in the hollow of his consciousness and choked his thoughts.

"You… you are just not enough. You do not ignite my imagination like he does. I want to marry you, but I am afraid I will lose all my zest… my spark for life if I do. I love you. But I love the way he loves me. Do you get that?"


He smashed straight into a cycle rickshaw. The collision with the front wheel hurt his left leg but he could not figure out why it ached so much. Violent abuses of the rickshaw driver floated away into nothingness. Just outside her apartment building, the chaat-wallah's cart was lit by a single gas lamp. Today it glowed like the beacon of a lighthouse seen by ships lost in dense fog.

He had winced at every word she had said. He had stood rooted to the spot. What…? What is she saying? Why? How can she say this? He had felt something shatter inside. So many days and nights… All those nights when I held her close in the past five years. The days we spent dreaming together, those fears we fought back, for each other - all the love we made. All that time… Shards of belief had lain shattered on the floor after she had left. Belief that he mattered to her.

"You are too down to earth. Too simple. You are like a tall glass of cold-coffee and he... He is like a shot of Baileys Irish Cream. Exotic. Smooth. Don't you see I need him! He stirs my soul like you don't. He sees me."


He limped up the stairs of her building. How can she refuse to see me? He did not curse the builder of this apartment block like always, for making the steps too high. The dark narrow staircase - he never climbed it without a light on – it did not bother him today. His loathing of the murky spaces did not matter. The broken iron grill of the staircase railing caught the fabric of his trousers and ripped open a gash. Shit! Why does she have to stay in this godforsaken place? This-good-for-nothing-shithole! And then she has the gall… He stopped to catch his breath before climbing the last flight of stairs and gulped mouthfuls of the dust-ridden air. Fine grains of sand scraped against the soft skin of his parched throat and left him even more breathless.

Six months. She had known this man for only six months. I will not tolerate this. I will not have her walk over me like this. I will… I will…

He banged on her door. Once. Twice. Thrice. With more force each time. He knew she was inside. Waiting for him to go away. He knew she was there.

Open up, dammit! Open the damn door! You cannot do this to me – I am not something you can use and throw away! I will count to three. If you do not open the door by the count of three, I swear I will walk out of your life right now. This very instant. I mean it…

He rested his forehead against the worn wooden door. His clenched fists stopped their pounding. Sweat oozed over his forehead. Trickled into his shirt. Laced the undersides of his arms. The silence suddenly amplified the throbbing pain in his leg and he went down on his knees. Between violent sobs that smudged his prayers, he shriveled on the dirty floor in front of her house. He knew a door had closed somewhere, forever, and he could never again count to three.


1MCD is the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.

Monday, October 27, 2008

At War

You are a mess!
I am a mess?
Yes? Yes? I can't believe this. Yes?

What's not to believe -
There is no panache in you, no talent for love,
none at all for anything remotely subtle.
And you call that talking?
That gibberish you callously hurtle!

But I can write -
Many words. Lines and lines of singing prose,
Sometimes svelte and sweet, or jarring strong.
Surely I can paint my dreams?
My colours, my strokes - that can't be wrong?

There is no fire in what you write...
But I burn!
There is no heart in what you draw...
But I bleed!
Who asked you to, you pompous wretch -
You are barely human by any stretch.

Trash! That is what you are.
Don't say that - please! Look, I can still fly .. look?
Banished you will be, you puny crook -
No! Not me... I am still alive!
A mistake - a mere trifle. Let the Furies connive!

Let there be no pardon for him, no mercy, no grace
Let the solitary silence mask his face -
Oblivion! Thus sentenced is he!
I live on, etched in smoke and dust
Indelible. Indistinguishable from rust
lining the iron chains of reality.
Because live I must.

I believe, I am quite an expert in defeating my self.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Walking home

The walk back home was long. It was the coldest day of this winter and like every first in his life, it had caught him unprepared. The ticket for the bus was 1.50. That was 1.50 too much. Besides, it was always better to walk when one was unprepared.

No te amo como si fueras rosa de sal, topacio
o flecha de claveles que propagan el fueg:
te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras,
secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma.

The ipod headphones would keep the cold out of his ears and only his ears. He liked walking back after work. It was a good way to get lost. He put his hands in his pocket as he left the building.

Te amo como la planta que no florece y lleva
dentro de sí, escondida, la luz de aquellas flores,
y gracias a tu amor vive oscuro en mi cuerpo
el apretado aroma que ascendió de la tierra.

The road was lined with orange leaves. The rain had made them wet. They made a squelching sound as his feet mashed them to the road. Autumn smelled good in the evening. Like frozen cigarette smoke and leather boots lined with mud.

The road went past the river and waited in quiet darkness. Waited for the river to flow by and end. Of course it did not end. So the road never stopped waiting. The darkness came and went. He did not know whether he was coming or going. It did not matter. Waiting had no direction and no end.

Te amo sin saber cómo, ni cuándo, ni de dónde,
te amo directamente sin problemas ni orgullo:
así te amo porque no sé amar de otra manera,

The sound of flowing water stood resolute amidst the silent evening serenading Tinker Bell. Happy thoughts! Carpe Diem! No, Peter was not coming to whisk him off to Neverland. There was no escape.

As he walked, the cold seeped into his marrow and embalmed it with silence. A silence not human but primal. Not sublime but subliminal. As evening melted into night, the moon song called him into the wild.

The runes of his life spelt out this journey. The ruins of his fate scorched this road. The endless road that he walked in solitude. The walk back home.

sino así de este modo en que no soy ni eres,
tan cerca que tu mano sobre mi pecho es mía,
tan cerca que se cierran tus ojos con mi sueño.

The lines in Spanish are from a poem by Pablo Neruda. The translation follows.

Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off:
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers,
and thanks to your love, lives dark in my body
the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride:
so I love you because I know no other way,

than this where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


The crevices of my mind echo with your name.

Empty corridors that catch lonely beams of sunlight resting idly on streams of suspended dust and eat them up in dark niches of hollow stairwells beg for the sound of more stolen kisses. Traffic that once roared with the black smoke of angry cars is mute since you took that auto-rickshaw ride with me, with your head resting on my shoulder and declared in a suddenly solemn voice, a desire surreal.

Crowds of commuters file past us into slithering serpents of nouveau progress, as we hiccup and greedily gulp our share of sanity. Endless journeys take no time. Ceaseless waiting ends before it begins. Ironed words and genteel glances caress our senses in ways unmentionable in parochial realms of public scrutiny. In the single scratch that your nails make on my parched skin, lies etched the orgasmic reality of my illusion.

Sweat that lines the hem of my thermal reeks with the ferocity of your love bites. The button of my shirt lodged between the dusty cushions of the old sofa in the attic is the last witness to fallen restraints. The floor boards still creak. The skylight window is still broken. The baby sparrows have long grown up and flown away.

The crevices of my mind still echo with your name.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Better Gift

Dawn, your favorite time of the day.
Geneva in summer is effervescent.
Your father's chair still creaks.
Remember the old fig tree, just outside our bedroom window?
The squirrels do not live there anymore.

The walls miss you coughing.
The wooden floor boards, the scraping of your pink bunny slippers.
I miss hearing you breathe,
when I lie awake all night.

I remember you dancing, like always.
Wearing that silver anklet you got from him.
The soft lilting sounds hanging in the air.
I never could give you a better gift.

You always looked so fragile, almost like a mirage.
Each time you went swimming in the lake,
I imagined a part of you had dissolved away.
Now, I search for those parts in its blue depths.

I went to see Edward.
We are now best friends,
With you no longer there to make us fight.
He knows you loved him more.
Next time, my dear wife, I will insist on being first.

First to love you and the first to go.
I cannot keep letting go every time.
It is too much effort for my old bones.
I must rest a while now.

We will see each other soon,
-- Love.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Reality drips. A needle jabbed into my arm feeds me droplets of life. Sitting on a divider between two roads, I see a stream of humanity flow by. Loneliness is a very unforgiving mistress. She refuses to let me go with the flow. The black grey of the endless roads on either side of me goes on meandering into unceasing madness. Rubber tyres swirl dirt with the black smoke of exhausts into sculptures of waiting time. Whirlpools of confusion anchor me to my conscience. Razor sharp questions cut into my skin. Reality drips.


Reality burns. Matchsticks of imagination that scrape the naked flint of my dreams, ignite my skin. Sitting on the banks of pristine blue waters, I see a humanity trickle by. Loneliness is a very demanding muse. She refuses to let the trickle delight my senses. The lush green all around me melts into anaesthetic layers of order. Roller skates sliding on slipstreams of morning fog swirl dollops of frozen time. Pin pricks of confusion sew me into my conscience. Questions burst from a short-fused life singe my skin. Reality burns.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

In a night darker

In a night
darker than the darkest fear
I lost you, dear
to another.

In a night
quieter than the quietest whisper
My pain, stronger and sharper
came for me.

In a night
wetter than the wettest tear
My dream ceased to appear
in my eyes.

In a night
lonelier than my forsaken selves
My life no longer delves
in my soul.

On such a night
My love, my first,
I am solemnly cursed
to laugh at myself.


I think to myself quietly, "I am a man." I hold this thought in my head for exactly two minutes and I ask, "Why? Why am I a man?" And in my silence, I watch the answer change. Not what or how or when. But why? What is it that makes me one? Is the fact that I was born one sufficient?

Question the most basic morsel of truth about yourself for two minutes and watch the answers change. Why am I alive? Why do I snore? Why do I love her? Why do I like colours? Why am I wicked? Why do I write? I ask myself all the whys. The same whys again and again. And I watch the answers change. Float in and out of the fringes of my conscious mind.

I listen to the world asking me the questions. Why did you do this? Why did you not do this? Why are you here? Why are you not on time? Why are you hungry now? Why are you not paying attention? Why did you write this? Why did you ask why? All different questions. And I see myself giving the answer. The same answer every time. I see the answers stick to a corporeal reality that binds them to worldly understanding.

And then I think, what if. What if my questions to myself become fluid and the answers stick to their slots? What if suddenly all the world asks me the same questions again and again, and my answers keep changing, making it impossible for me to answer anything.

Is it not fascinating how what is real and what is surreal merges at the horizon of imagination? Sometimes the questions are real and sometimes the answers are. But maybe what matters is neither the question nor the answer, but just the asking and the answering. And sometimes, just sometimes, it is the "just knowing" that matters.

So is it right to say that no matter what the question and no matter what the answer, I just know me. But do I really?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

At the end

It is one of those weird true stories that nobody seems to know the truth about. But I know. I know because I saw him live, and grow old, and wither away into nothingness.

Tish Trovsky was my neighbour. He was born in the old house that had the old oak in a garden along Old Manor Lane. Tish was an unusual child. He was always waiting for things to happen to him. He waited for his mother to kiss him goodbye everyday before he left for school. When old Mrs. Trovsky succumbed to a sudden bout of pneumonia, Tish had to give up on school, because he could not wait forever for the goodbye kiss.

He then waited in front of the "Jonas and James" machine shop looking wide eyed at the lathe machines eloquently shaping metal till Ole Jonas took him in as an apprentice. Tish always believed that good things come after you have duly waited for them. He even waited for seven nights outside Patricia Gatsby's window because he thought her kiss was the one to wait for. Patricia kissed him when her neighbour threatened to call the police and create perfectly called for nuisance.

Then it happened. The only thing he had not waited for a single day in his life happened. Just like that, while he was returning home from work one evening, he bent down to pick up a hat blowing across Elm Street. It was a beige coloured cloche. He picked it up because it blew right into his feet, he told me later on one of those long summer afternoons when the everything waits for the sun to set. Oh but I am jumping the gun here.

The cloche was closely followed by its owner, a certain Ms. Brunswick. Elena Brunswick went on to love and marry Tish for reasons no one could fathom. Not even Tish. But she had arrived without so much as an inkling of a wait, so Tish took it as some signal from the divine hands of time to stop waiting and got married. For the next six months, Tish did not even remember the day of the week (he said it was always Sunday).

Then it happened again. One fine summer afternoon, when Tish was lazily sitting on the teak bench in the verandah, Elena left house saying, "Give me around 20 minutes. I will be back." So Tish sat waiting. 20 minutes. 25 minutes. 30 minutes. 1 hour. 12 hours. 2 weeks. 4 weeks. 6 months. 5 years. 15 years.

No body knows what happened to Elena. Some say her ex-boyfriend, who was a captain in the navy, suddenly returned alive that day, after being declared dead during combat. Some report the presence of UFO's in the vicinity of Old Manor Lane. But Tish never gave up on the 20 minutes. He waited for her to return. He waited for so long that soon he turned the colour of teak and his roots sank deep into the ground. His legs turned to wood, and then his arms, and finally his head.

You can still make out his silhouette in the gnarled wood that grows through the bench in the verandah of the old house that has the old oak in the garden along Old Manor Lane. And if you put your ear to the bark where it grazes the back rest of the bench, you can still hear the weird "thump, thump, thump" echoing the remnants of Tish's life.

You may think this is a sad story but it is not. At the end, Tish went on doing what he did best. He waited. First, he waited. Most of this life, he waited. At the end, he was still waiting.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Turning back

Things have a way of coming full circle. We all return to where we start from - whole or in parts - alone or together - we all return home - dead or alive.

Chena shonar kon bayire, Jekhane poth nai nayire,
Shekhane ookarone jaayi choote.

Two years ago I left home with a dream in my eyes. A professional dream. A personal dream. A choice. A promise. I left behind a lot of people who loved me and travelled in search of more. More what? I did not know then.

Ghorer mookhe aar ki re, Kono din she jaabe phire,
Jabena jabena deyal joto shob galo toote.

Now I do. It has been a good two years. I have grown. Professionally, I have blossomed into my independence. Personally, I have revelled in my loneliness. I have made the very lonely trip into the dark corners of my heart, hoping to catch a glimpse of someone to share my life with. I have, almost always, met unrecognizable reflections of myself on the way. Gruesome reflections. Sadder and darker versions of myself. I have doubted and feared myself. I have wounded and pierced my heart. Again and again, till the tears have dried up. I have discovered magic. Touched perfection. Witnessed the birth of pure, distilled beauty. I have burnt in the fires of hell. Drowned in splashes of tumultuous desire. Become my worst nightmare. And yet, I have retained the conviction to return to loving myself.

Bristhi nesha bhora shondha bayla, Kon boloramer aami chayla
Aamar shopno ghire naache matal joote, joto maatal joote.

In all this, I have managed to romance my dream. In my fear, anger, hate, jealousy, pettiness, melancholy, I have nurtured my soppy romantic idiotic self. People have told me that my variety of love does not exist in this world, and then have suddenly chanced upon it where they least expected it. People have called my ideas Utopian and antique. And yet these worn out ideas have borne the weight of my dreams all this while. They have salvaged them through the ravages of this material world. For dreams are lived by madmen. Madmen, like me who can see their dreams in someone's eyes. Tangible dreams. Salty dreams. Silent dreams. Dreams that cuddle up with me and soothe me to sleep on long, cold, lonely nights. Dreams that come without price tags and expectations, without weight and light, without burden and freedom, with out and with in. Dreams that are neither born in, nor borne of needs and wants. A dream that is me. And I am still standing. And so is my dream.

Ja na chaibar taayi aaji chayigo, Ja na payibar taayi kotha payigo,
Pabona pabona mori oshombhober paaye matha khoote.

The journey back is starting. I do not what I will return to. I do not know how I will find home to be like after all this time. I do not know what gives me the audacity to keep on loving. I don't even know how long I will be able to keep my dream alive. But I will go back. Let the world stand up and mock my return. I do not care. It is my home. It is my dream. It is my love. It is me.

Pagla hawar badol-dine, Pagol aamar mon jege othe.

The lines in Bangla are form a song by Rabindranath Tagore.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Lines of charming elegance
flow down and cusp
a dollop of confidence.

A pinch of naughtiness
shines in mysterious kohl eyes.

Wet desire smeared
on pursed shying lips.

Dangling bits of red fire
waltz around curvy silhouettes
of a subtle self.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Surreal Times

It was a sweaty July afternoon. The clouds covered the sky in their humid blanket making the heat stick to the skin. Sushmita was relieved to find that the electricity was still there when she return home from work. At least her office was air-conditioned. Sometimes she did not want to come back home, to this oppressive heat. Shaswat had been promising her an AC since last year but the expected pay hike had not happened.

He was already home, as usual, preparing dinner in the kitchen. "Hi Precious. How was your day?" He greeted her with a cool glass of khus-khus sherbet and the smell of freshly fried fish. "Oh the same thing. You know - the deadline for the designs is in two days. I do not know how I will complete them in time." She had sank into the soft red bean bag in the balcony. He got his own glass of sherbet and snuggled in beside her.

She was sweaty from having climbed the stairs to their fourth floor apartment. He was sweaty from the hot kitchen. Their slick pungent smells snuggled into each other, their sweaty bodies soaking the oozing rays of the setting sun. "Don't worry. You'll do it. You always do it. Talk to me about it if you want to."

She leaned back into him. Her hair, choked with the grime of everyday life, felt rejuvenated in his calm breath. She rested her head on his shoulder. She was at peace with the world when she was in his arms. Her thoughts made so much more sense when he was around.

"Lalit gets it, you know. My ideas, my designs. Even before I have completed presenting them to the team. He gets them just the way I want them to be. I talked with him all afternoon about this. He says we will have to work all night tomorrow to get this done."

His fingers were gently curled over hers with a reassuring kindness that she found every time he touched her. "That's good. Then why are you so worried. I am glad you have someone to discuss your work with. I wish I had someone who could tell me why my short-wave radio does not work!" He could hear what he was saying. He did not like the sound of his voice. He just closed his eyes and felt her weight leaning on him. He wished he did not say such things.

"Oh shush! Who can understand those nerdy gadgets you keep fiddling with! Oh it's Lalit on the phone. I've got to take this, love. Mwah." She kissed him lightly on the forehead. He watched her stand and walk over to the edge of the balcony. As she stood there, he could see her face in profile, covered with the dull warm orange of the dying twilight. As he watched her talk on the phone, he noticed that smile on her face. A smile that only appeared when she was talking with him.

Time seemed to flow, all around him, like Dali's melting clocks. He loved it when she smiled like that. A smile of abandon, a smile full of twinkles that lit up her eyes. He waited for that smile. He waited on that smile. He waited because of that smile. He waited, and time kept on flowing.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sleep writing

Sleep, sleep I couldn't sleep tonight,
Not for all the jewels in the crown.

So sang Eliza Dolittle. I wish I could do a little of that. Not sleep I mean. Usually. I mean, the norm is, to sit on your desk writing way past midnight if you are good friends with insomnia or you are a damn good writer. I can barely keep my eyes open now and I can barely write. Yet I am wishing on the outskirts of my sanity that time would stay still for bit and words would lend a hand to my madness during that uncanny pause in reality.


I feel like I am breathing on borrowed time. Time that I need to beg, borrow, steal from someone else. I do not know how this happened. I used to breathe my own air supply once. Now I feel I am constantly breathing down someones neck.


I have developed a sudden craving for noise. Any noise. All noise. In an hopeless attempt to drown a silence I feel growing inside. I walk through busy streets, meander my way through the world, earn a living and yet... nothing. Nothing registers. There is no sound, no colour, no pain, no heat, no cold, no air, no land, no people.


Today, I stood at the confluence of two rivers. Mesmerizing. I wish I could lose myself in someone like that - the way one river loses itself into another. After a point one cannot tell which is which. So I stood there and I yearned. No, the rivers did not ask me to get a grip on it and move on. The yearning did.


Even the rain hits a transparent glass cage around me and slides off. A cage I forged out of the sandstorms I passed through and fires I burned in. And as I stumble through the world in this awkward looking invisible space suit, attracting the mockery of the mob around, I constantly search for that one eye that will see the cage and open it. For I cannot open it. I cannot even touch it nor touch anything outside. The only consolation being that it protects me - preserves me - forever. But you know what? I'd give up forever to touch you.

And I don't want the world to see me
Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything is made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am.


This is a poem I started writing -

Just write,
Write like nobody is reading,
Write because the cat will not stop mewing unless you do,
Or because the cheese will not melt on your pizza.


This was a story I left unfinished -

"I want to come over. Now. This instant."

She listened to the message on her answering machine one more time. The cool breeze from outside sneaked in through the open window. She could feel its caress in the ruffled fabric of her sari. She lay there on her four poster bed, alone in her bedroom, wrapped in her bronze chiffon and his voice.

Her cellphone rang. She hesitated. The resonant ringing beckoned, growing more and more irresistible with each ring.

"Tell me you do not want me to come over."

"I... "
"The drive does not take long."

She removed the strands of her hair covering her face. His hands had been soft, she remembered. Her hair still had his smell trapped in their locks.

"The dinner was nice."
"I was a fool to let you go after it. Tell me I was."

He was brash and young. He would eat out of her hand, if only she offered it.


My quilt has been leaking wispy feathery shards for a long time now. I sewed one seam and another popped open somewhere else. So I stopped sewing some time ago. The quilt keeps me warm though and does not complain about my laziness. I hope my life is as benign. For I do not have the threads to sew it back. I do not have the time. And I do not have the sanity.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Basket Case

"What am I supposed to do? You tell me."

"Just wait. Have some patience. Let things take their natural course. One can't rush love."

He looked at her with desperate eyes, making no effort to hide the desperation. Was she toying with him? He could not read any malice in her eyes. Hazel eyes, with the sure glint of star fire. Perfectly set in a face that cannot possibly conjure even an hint of malice.

Bhala-manda dekhe, na paraya na saga re,
Naino ko to dasne ka chaska laga re.

"But you had said after you get the job, you will tell me. And now you want to study more?"

"Yes, I did. Didn't I? Well, I've changed my mind."


"I thought you were different from other men. I thought you would understand. Am I supposed to give up everything I have worked so hard for, just because you want me to? You are all the same. I hate men."

"I am... I did not want to... it's not what I meant."

Chauvinist. So that is today's basket. Every time she changed baskets, he felt the cold chill strumming the guitar on his spine. He could not possibly wait for ever. Yet, he would. He gladly would, wouldn't he? His worst fear was not the waiting. It was that she would run out of baskets some day. He tried to peer into her eyes. Eyes, he had read somewhere, are supposed to reflect the true secrets of the heart. Alas, all he could read in them were his own insecurity.

Naino ki jubaan pe bharosa nahi aata
Likhat-padhat, na raseed na khaata.


"It's an Ivy League business school! And you are the first person I am telling it to because you are sooo special."


"Isn't it great! Dad has been wanting me to go there since years. It's where he got his MBA from. Oh tell me you are elated! Tell me. Tell me."

"I am happy for you."

Naina raat ko chalte chalte swargan me le jaaven,
Megh-malhar ke sapne beeje, haryaali dikhlaven.

She is going away. For only two years. For ever! How can she? After so many years of waiting. It is what she has always wanted. I thought she has always wanted me. Has she ever said that? Has she ever said otherwise? I will... I... this is wrong! I can't breathe. I must breathe. I must...



"What did you say? Come again."

"Don't go! Don't go! I... cannot... do not want you to go."

"Took you long enough, didn't it!"


"To speak up. It took you long enough to speak up. I am not going anywhere. Idiot! Neither are you, for that matter. I have told Dad about you. He is waiting to meet you, downstairs."

Oh my God! The basket of all baskets - husband! I was not ready for this. Are my feet shaking? Am I ready? Did I really want this? Why is it so cold suddenly? Why am I sweating? Did she say yes? Should I ask her again? Just to be sure. What if she changes her mind again? Marriage - who said anything about marriage! What if she does not change her mind! Oh my God!

Bin badal barasayen sawan, sawan bin barsatan,
Naina bavra kar denge.


"Naina Thag Lenge" is a haunting song from the Vishal Bharadwaj film Omkara. It is sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, with lyrics by Gulzar. You can listen to a live performance version here.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

On the couch by the window

Dust clings to the winds. The skies shriek with the silence of impending war. Standing on higher ground, I see miles and miles of corpses that line the path of the marching behemoth. With every step of their resonant resolve, the earth trembles to submission anew. The fiery white ball of fire burns each and every one of those faces into my heart. Familiar faces. Intimate faces. Reflections. This is a fight to the death.

The morning run was good. Music in my deaf ears, darkness under my tightly shut eyelids, the endless treadmill rolling under my tired feet - a run to the very fringes of deathly exhaustion. I never did realize I had so much to run from or to run for. My legs feel like they are weightless now, as I lie sprawled on my couch beside the Venetian window that overlooks the road.

The sky is overcast with gray clouds that look like damp swabs of cotton wool. The row of trees that line the pavement beside the road looks a darker shade of green, in deference to the impending rain. The air smells of the lilting melody of fresh dew drops, like your wet hair after the morning shower. The road seems to be like a brand new chalk board, dreading the first touch of a powdery, screeching chalk.

The couch is lined with maroon synthetic leather. I can feel the hair on my legs brush against the soft pillows stashed somewhere near my legs. I vaguely remember last night. The dark brown teak side table wobbles every time I put my cup of coffee back on it. The day's newspaper lies neglected on the cold floor. You don't like carpets. My blue flip-flops lie weirdly on top of each other in an entangled mess.

The road to hell is paved by good intentions. The road to my heart has been meticulously erased. Newer lines. More and different kinds of lines were needed to complete the blueprint. Since nobody was going anywhere, roads were not necessary. Soon my erasure will begin. I have been assured it does not hurt at all.

Do I need to shave today? I sit up a little to catch my reflection in the window pane. A plain cream shirt over a pair of worn out blue denims. His messy black hair forms a strange chaotic rhythm as his lanky feet move his lean torso to the beat of the crisp morning sun. I notice that he has a brown-beige shoulder bag strapped across his chest and white headphones in his ears. The blue white Nike sneakers seem to make him glide across the road. Lithe and elegant. You would have liked him. I turn around to find you looking at him, over my shoulder.

Your eyes defocus their twinkling to look at me. I can feel the touch of your hand on my shoulder. I place my hand on yours. Your fingers are cool like scented sandalwood sticks. You bend forward and put one knee on the couch. I can see the day filter in a million parts through your wet hair as you bend your head down to look at me. A look that sucks out my demons into nothingness. I turn over and shift as you effortlessly melt into my curves. I can feel your breath condense hesitantly on my back. Your arms wrap around me in a silken embrace, drawing me out for another voyage. Slowly, surely, subtly I sink into honey-mustard dreams, of rediscovering meandering lost roads, to distant, uncharted war-torn lands.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Observing the obvious

A black iPod nano rests on desk beside my keyboard, the earphone wires lie wrought in a cacophonic jumble beside it. A black Harman Kardon speaker stands, curving backward on a purple plastic tray of miscellaneous junk - a half used bundle of post-its, a glue stick, a box of mints and a telephone list.

Amidst stacks of paper strewn all around, the transparent bottle of lemon flavoured ice tea has a pink cap. The drinking water inside is almost finished. A friend sits a little distance away. Big, bulky headphones rest on his equine features as his nimble fingers gallop on keys of a slanted keyboard.

Four windows. On two, the shutters are up. Outside the leaves are radiant with a ferocious looking evening sun. Patches of green playing truant among the bristling yellow. The shy azure sky peeks out from in-between, time and time again. The other two windows have shutters drawn. Custard yellow shutters that turn the room a shade more delicious.

A wooden doll rests in a half suspended walking pose on the opposite table. My denim jacket languishes in the corner, hanging on the steel coat hanger. Beside that a rack of books stare at me. Mute.

Closer to home, behind the iPod sits a black coat button that I found on the street. The coffee mug that I forgot to return to the cafeteria rests upside down, in disdain. A stack of visiting cards lie unopened in a box of clear plastic. A flimsy, white spoon sticks to the insides of a unwashed glass that held my morning coffee. My purse of gooey brown leather looks like a awkward dumpling beside the svelte flat of the shiny Wacom tablet. The Kangaro stapler sits with its forever gaping mouth, in rapt admiration of me writing these words.

The rustling of leaves mixes with the growl of a bike from outside. A web cam peers into the emptiness of my face. Solid lines diffuse shadows of refracted light as the day grinds to another pause. The work day draws to an end, with a certainty, that only befits time and her cohorts.

I am yawning. I remember yawning when I started the day. Full circle. A series of noughts, nots and knots. And the final sum. The final result?

That I am biodegradable. Thank God for that!

Sunday, June 29, 2008


The light mist at the horizon blurred the sea into the sky in one uniform shade of cobalt blue. He sat on the jagged outcrop of rock, overlooking the bay. The north west sea wind slipped and swirled over his bald head. The wind had not changed, in all these years. It still sang to him, a different tune every time - just what he wanted to hear. The blues it sang now seemed beckoned him to fly far away, from beyond the open sea.

He stared into empty space with tired eyes. Half open with memories, half closed with a life gone by. Clouds that had morphed into the shape of wooden horses, were melting like orange chocolate souffle. He could see the surf breaking on the shore. Flashes of white hope that disappeared as soon they formed.

Sixty four. Had it really been that long? He held his right hand in front of him and traced the lines with his left hand. Another thing that had not changed. His aging fingers were shaking now. Funnily though, because he had never been more sure of what he was going to do next.

He rolled the sleeves of his checkered flannel shirt. Yes, it was time. His frayed denims carelessly dangled over the sole of his mud crusted boots. He took out the crumpled, folded sheet of paper from his pocket. The folds had become as much a part of the sheet as the writing. He opened the letter and read it one last time. Time, that seemed to have a way of getting lost in its folds.

Threads of a frayed memory,
Yarns of a future that has passed,
A night wrapped in a letter you wrote,
And a few days of monsoon.

Autumn of a few crumpled leaves,
An evening lost in a misplaced earring,
Clothes let out to dry, and a dry heart,
Crescent of the new moon.

Permission to breathe one last time,
Last moist breath of that parting kiss,
Mottled pages of that novel you wrote,
Now, then, sometime soon.

A few stones broke loose and rolled down, as he stood up. His legs had gone to sleep. Yet, he wanted to peer down and see exactly where the rocks broke the fall of the nothingness around him. He bent his head down and held his loose spectacles with one hand, lest it fall down before time. That would be such a pity. He did not want to loose a second of the view, all the way down.

This place was just right. He could see the endless sea before him, the infinite sky over and the hard, lifeless rocks below. "Grandpa, grandpa!" A voice called. He turned around. A small figure in a polka dotted skirt was running out towards him from the direction of the foster care home. "It's time for dinner, grandpa." "Coming, sweetheart."

With one last look at the letter in his hand, he let it go. He stood there as it dissolved into the wet evening. A tiny hand gently slipped into his trembling fingers. "Let's go, grandpa." "Yes, my love, lets go."

Sunday, June 22, 2008

One Song

The clumsy flute shivers
At your slightest blow
Vibrating like never before
Making the music of life.

A life of one song
Played once, in one breath
Suspended in time
Forever, forever, for ever.

The promise of tomorrow
Wrapped in your breath
Stale, stinging, intoxicating
Fossilized in smoky embers.

The flute lies in splinters
in the ruins of a melody
clogging it's veins, for it will
play no other song, ever again.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A quick dream

Afloat in grey mist, a canoe glides through still water. There is no end to the mist and the boatman is in no hurry to reach anywhere. What does one do when one is on a journey of one's dreams, except dream. Dreams do not particularly fare well all the time, amidst the silent shadows of reality. But dream on we must.

In me, I've found the most compulsive dreamer I've ever met. I dream by choice and by habit. It's my escape and my inspiration. It's the amalgamation of all my what could have been's and what can be's. It also the sole keeper of all my fears, my hopes, fantasies and frustrations. In it I see myself, as myself, alone and devoid of the artifice of the world around me. I see myself, because of what I am, not because of what the world has decided I should be.

Do I dream in words, sounds, images? I do not know. Do I only dream when I am asleep? Most certainly not. Do I dream only happy things? No. Sometimes, I dream the worst that can be, by choice. Just to make myself cry. When I am precariously balanced at the threshold of pain, then the ability to make myself cry is a big advantage.

People are not always mindful of other people. People are almost never mindful of me. Especially when I do not want them to be. I can fade away into the background without a whimper as if I am just another random pitch in the white noise of space. In such times, ignored by what is concrete, I dream about the abstract. I gaze at the space in front of me and reflect myself in the shards of my imagination. This blog post, is turning out to be one such shard. Nobody, absolutely nobody, at this moment, is particularly bothered about what I am doing. So, I am writing, in my dream.

Soon this illusion will break. Even real dreams or dreams that come true are illusions, and I always mourn the passing of the illusion. Much like dreams, mourning is not always sad. But that is the subject of another post.

So as I let this dream go with the hope of being led into another one again, soon, I am ready to have lunch. Why? Because I am hungry! Sadly dreams don't fill the stomach.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Of football and fear in the city

Somewhere between watching Carrie Bradshaw fall in and out with Mr. Big and in again, I seem to have found something that I thought had been eroded away.

The Netherlands won against France, 4-1. I watched the match surrounded by hundreds of screaming fans in an open air cinema with a huge screen. From ecstasy to depression to ridicule, I saw emotions flit across the innumerable unknown faces around me. Winning and losing. Battles and wars. They say that the spirit of the game lies in playing and not in the result.

But I am by no definition of the word, a player. I am like a golf amateur sent out to play for the national football team in the world cup finals. In extra time.

I do a worst case analysis by habit. I have found if I can grow into the worst case scenario, whatever happens afterward, is always a bonus. But when life deals you a blackjack, the worst case can morph beyond recognition and leave you surrounded by ruins you never expected to inhabit. That such a thing may happen, is not the question. That it used to scare me out of my wits was also firmly established in my psyche. Fear, as a reaction, can be very crippling sometimes.

Will it do my image a lot of damage if I admit that I almost shed a tear when towards the end of the movie, Carrie ran and hugged Mr. Big, like there was no tomorrow. Believing in fairy tale love stories seems to be a sure shot way of setting myself up for disaster. The dream at once seems so fragile and ephemeral. I was so scared of ruining it, that I actually stopped living it.

Yes, I live in my dream world. With my head buried somewhere in the clouds and my feet flailing in mid air. It doesn't help at all that I can see all this with my eyes. Other people mostly can't, so whenever I am caught talking to myself, I get the loony-tunes look. But coming back to the subject of being scared.

A long time ago. Well, it seems like a long time anyway, but you'll find it on this blog if you'll search for it, I gave up on hate. I haven't quite been as successful with anger, but mostly so. Well I would like to claim today, I give up on fear. I would like to. But that is not the way to look at it I guess.

I have just grown extremely comfortable in my own skin. Narcissistic? Maybe. A lot of doubts, of suitability, of being worth it, of being perfect for someone have fizzled out. The fear of loss is gone. Simply. Just like that.

As Beethoven wrote, and Carrie read out, and Mr. Big whispered, and I quote -

Ever thine,
Ever mine,
Ever ours.

How can one love someone without expecting them to love one back? It is not surprising that praying in a church in Pondicherry and a mosque in Istanbul will bring you to the same conclusion. A tiny instant of absolute clarity.

There is no greater liberation.

Ludwig van Beethoven's Letters to the Immortal Beloved can be found here.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


The soot of civilization settles on my heart, giving it the burnt, spent look so characteristic of the fuel that fires the furnace of society. Through the grime of mechanical drudgery, the tattered dream of individual spirit still glints with promise. Restless, in its agnostic hope of a tomorrow, any tomorrow; lies the anti-thesis of my defeat. The life blood of my vampirish existence, my love. In this dark asylum of misery, we resonate to the tune of the sacred melancholy. In that liberated vibration, I am defined and obliterated, for ever.

Aaami jamini, tumi shoshi he, bhaticho gono maajhe.
Momo shoroshite tobo ujolo probha, bimbito jano laaje.

Tomaye herigo shopone shoyane, tobo tamburo raanga boyane,
Mori oporoop roopo madhuri, boshonto shomo biraaje.

Tumi je shishiro bindu, momo kumudiro bokkhe,
Na herile ogo, tomare, tomosa ghonaye chokhe,

Tumi ogonito taara gogone, tumi prano-baayu momo jibone
Tobo naame momo premo-muroli, poraner gothe baaje.


Time warps and distances melt. Everything shrinks into an infinite point of confluence. Here the self-defeating righteousness evaporates into a mist of non-existent wrongs. The absurd commonly defines the choice of a free mind. Conditions of sanctimonious behaviour morph into gemstones of rare clarity. Refracted through this point, I see my whole world as a projection of you. This point rivets the torn fabric of my spacetime to the singularity of my consciousness. Here the identity disappears, every determinant vanishes, leaving you, only you, resplendent and beyond doubt.

Hoyeto tomari jonno, hoyechi preme je bonno,
Jaani tumi ononno, aashaar haath badaai.
Jodi kokhono ekaante, cheychi tomaye jaante,
Shuru theeke shesh praante, choote choote gechi taayi.

Aami je nijeyi motto, jaani na tomar shorto,
Jodi ba ghote onortho, tobuo tomaye chaayi.

Aami je duronto, du chokhe ononto,
Jhoder digonto jude shopno chodayi.
Tumi to boloni mondo, tobu keno protibondho,
Dekhona moner dondo, shob chede cholo jaayi.


Ceaseless, relentless, breakdown. A world determined to erode at whim. In that world I am the grain of sand stuck between the teeth of the grinding wheel. I am the wall of air to the roaring canons, the porous net to the rambunctious tempest. I am transparent to the spears of cleansing light, I am the surrender of all wars. Every war that has ever been fought to win you. I am the mute in every voice that has called your name. I am the arrogance of understanding and I am the poison of fidelity. I am the eternally false in truth. Truth that begins and ends with you.

Aami gaan shonabo ekti aasha niye,
Ae gaan jano tomar bhalo laage.
Aami rong chodabo ektu tuli diye,
She rong shudhu tomar onuraage.

Onek chawaye jaani na ki chayilaam,
Praner kheya kon okule bayilaam,
Shudu jaanlam, shrote bhashlaam, bhalo bashlaam.
Aami poth harabo ekti prodeep niye,
Je din joode tomar aalo jaabe.

Aamaar eyi to onhonkar,
Haarmaana haar tomaye diye porbo joyer haar.
Onek bojhaye eyi to shudhu bujhbo,
Chiro jonom tomaye aami khujbo,
Aami jaanlaam, haar manlaam, bhalo bashlaam.

Aami daak pathabo ekti hridoy niye,
Je mon diye keu dakeni aage.


The Bangla songs are from: 1) The movie Antony Firingi, sung by Manna Dey; 2) The movie Teen Bhubaner Pare, sung by Manna Dey; 3) An album by Hemanta Mukherjee; respectively.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Pepper Mint

A word. Just about using every word there ever is. Causes a kind of an alien supposition. But under no supposition, even without implication or assumption, or any juxtaposition of superstitious fallacies can I be called a writer. A typist at best, that too by action and not by profession of proficiency.

Somewhere between being a feminist and a masculist, I am a ferret trapped in a human body. Do you think getting pregnant is a good idea? Depends on where you are standing - if someone asked me that, I'd just laugh myself to labour.

A question? Do you speak Indian? Yeah, like duh! Does India have a caste system? Like double duh! What religion are you? Ok, by now I am speechless and if it's a boy, I want to marry you.

A potato, a banana - no no no! Anything but a banana. I am discriminating against bananas okay - I am blatantly prejudiced against bananas. So we go again - two potatoes, two tomatoes, two onions, one aubergine and chicken legs. A dash of garam masala, tomato puree, a cheese cube, sunflower oil and a Hawkins pressure cooker. Yeah, I know how to feed myself. So I am not a drop dead gorgeous hunk who is in love with bananas, but I can cook. Yea baby - I am your beautiful stranger! Now, don't confuse that with being sexy.

I fixed the lamp in my room. I kissed a gorgeous girl on her cheek, to which she asked me: "Have you ever kissed anyone before?" Ain't I the handy man! Well I could have said that it would have helped if the neckline of your dress was nowhere near your bellybutton, but then that would have required too much effort. You know - to like take my eyes off from ...ahem... and talk sense. Have a heart!

I opened my mouth - Oh my god, you talk so much! I shut my mouth - Are you dumb or something? I half opened my mouth and the fly went right in. Moral of the story - when dreaming about eating, don't chew reality.

So in a span of 12 hours I have talked about being a single mother, finding a job, sibling rivalry, expectations, virtual reality, art in India, caste in India, Chinese food, Tibet, talking too much, how to correctly order a jug of water in French, global optimization and moving least squares, animation, festivals, football and the Wii. I have 12 more left to go before it is tomorrow.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A night's work

There is a weird calm in the air at 3 am in the morning. A calm that is not hungover on the night that is past and that has not pinned all its hopes on the dawn that is about to come. At the same time, my office room bears the scars of a work from the week before and the promise of work to come the next week. And just like the time, I am here on Saturday night, in-between life and after-life, talking to my computer.

The rain beats on the four large windows in the room. Relentlessly, as if trying desperately to run away from the darkness that surrounds it outside and seek refuge in the light that shines inside the windows. My fingers fly on the keyboard, typing lines of gibberish that I will not recognize the day after. My mind has taken on a life of its own, thinking effortlessly about writing logical gibberish and making my fingers dance to those thoughts. Everything else is blotted out into the background like the wet black of the night outside.

This trance like state of hunger and exhaustion is refreshing. There is no room for doubt or pity or hope or anything else except the single minded determination to get the gibberish right. The hunger claws on my insides as my eyes catch the glint off the insides of a KitKat wrapper. The light stings my eyes, complaining about being kept awake at this ungodly hour without another soul in sight. Fortunately, none of this bothers the marching of time.

The first tram back is at 5am. The people out at this hour are the all-night-party folks, perhaps returning in the hope of scavenging for breakfast somewhere. A barely teen aged girl sways in a drunken stupor and tries to touch a passing tram. A boy drags her back, possibly saving her life while she mouths a few curses at him. I look at them like an alien from another dimension. Another duo is arguing in the middle of the tram track. The roads, brightly lit, are shining wet. Kids.

The tram, for home, arrives. Inside the tram, life is back on its rails again. The night and the evening fades away into memory , to become the subject of a crappy blog post sometime.

I made breakfast before hitting the sack.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Degrees of numbness
do not stem my breath
Like a broken light bulb
during a power cut.

Colours of silence
do not paint my dreams
Like strains of white noise
in a cacophony.

Curves of melancholy
do not sculpt my thoughts
Like a blunt chisel of stone
carving dry sand.

Pricks of pain
do not puncture my heart
Like a bent needle
sewing broken glass.

Life does
seem to make a difference.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Raat ke saaye chuppi saadhe soch rahen hain,
Ke hawa apne daure par kab aayegi?
Khamosh pedho ki shaakhon par chandni ke patte,
Sehme hue falak ke ishare par kan lagaye baithe hain.

Andhere lamho ka daman is qadr bheeg raha hain,
Jaise waqt ki surahi se madhosi beinteha beh chali ho.
Aise me ek pakizah si chuaan,
Sharmate jism ki dhadkan mehsoos karne par aamada hai.

Ae aarzoo-e-shararat, zara aahista se izhaar kar,
Kahin ye jannat ka noor bihkar na jaye.
Jo chilman ke paar se nikal kar husn hazir hai,
Tere harqat-e-junoon se use zarre si sikhayat na ho.

Meri janasheen, meri muskurahaton ka suroor,
Teri ijazat ke liye meri rooh ki sansen ruki hain.
Ye alfaaz teri mehfil me diye jaata hoon,
Is makhboot dil ki raat ke liye, ae mahtaab, teri roshni ka khwab kafi hai.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Canine, Equine, Male

Today when I was returning home from work, I boarded the tram. I was standing behind these two very energetically gesticulating ladies who seemed to be totally lost in their conversation.

Now, eavesdropping on someone isn't exactly polite behaviour. However, they were quite loud, so I overheard them even without much trying.

White dress: Laughter. I am not joking. Seriously! This is my horse analogy. You have to show a horse all the time who is the boss.

Red dress: Subdued laughter. You are kidding me.

White dress: No, really. A horse will always challenge your authority. All the time. So you always have to show them who is the boss. A dog on the other hand...

Red dress: I know. I know. I have my dog analogy. You establish once who is the boss, in the initial phase and then he forever remembers who is the master.

White dress: Yeah, exactly! So ... Hysterical laughter. your date was the horse type!

Red dress: No! Now I have to ask every man, before dating him, are you a dog type or a horse type? Incredulous laughter.

White dress: No matter how badly your treat a dog ... he will always come back, wagging his tail for more...

Red dress: ...and will eat whatever you throw at him! More hysterical laughter.

White dress: ...pull them by... Stifled laughter. know...

Red dress: Hushed giggly laughter.Small size ...pull all you want... More stifled laughter. No effect!

And then sadly, my stop arrived so I had to leave these two very amused ladies to there typifying analysis of the male species and the like.

Monday, April 14, 2008

She burns him

A tiny spark of golden light,
Eternity born in a flash of time.
The dry wood lies hard, lifeless,
An indifferent log, ignored by time.

Air rushes in as her royal cohort,
of the golden flame emerging from space.
He cringes, almost gasps in pain,
Eons of growth breaks down in a few seconds.

The flame teases, sticks her tongue out
She likes the taste of heat on her tongue.
Like layers of agony peeled from within
Atom by atom, he is reconstructed in her image.

Fire rises, high and mighty, resplendent
Swirling curl of blue inside a ghost of gold.
Curling inside, crumpling bit by bit
He shrivels into nothingness

Power fades, cohorts become mistresses,
of fading glory, like embers of a royal past.
A black so dark, the end of everything
His final step of the endless circle.

Wisps rise into a nothingness,
All that was her, is now smoke.
The flimsy scraps of dark disappear
on his fingertips, merging specks of ash.

Friday, April 04, 2008



I pinched a Wacom Intuos 3 Graphics Tablet from a colleague, to check it out. Here is the result.

A letter for you


There is no where left to go. There is no one left to be. There is no test left to pass. No air left to breathe. No time left to kill. It's just me. Only me. And me.

I was joining the dots. One dot to another, to the next and then to the one after. Till suddenly, the dots ceased to appear after regular intervals. They come more hesitantly. The line joining them comes out from the pencil I am holding. But, but, but... the point is that the pencil has lost its point and I cannot find a sharpener anymore.

Trudy. Yes, she was beautiful. She always walked barefoot and she wrote beautiful poetry. Just like herself. When she went away, Adrian could no longer say anything else but "Trudy." "Trudy, Trudy, Trudy, Trudy."

Have you ever lain on your bed and switched your bedside lamp on n off, on n off, on n off? No? Bravo! I haven't either. It is an extremely silly thing to do. Besides, playing with the switch for the lamp that hangs from the left wall is much more fun. The shadows go from being long n dark to kaput at the flick of a finger. Now, that is power.

Captain America has a star. Wonder Woman has many stars. I have a star too. Somewhere. It looks over me with its own special brand of starlight. I have a special agreement with the star. It also looks over everybody else, everybody else who matters, which is just everybody else.

They say a mirror never lies. They do, but not the mirror. Ah, but you see, they are very clever. They never told the poor mirror this. So all the mirror can do is reflect their lies back. And after all this, its the mirror that gets blamed. Poor, poor mirror.

"We are so arrogant, aren't we? So afraid of age. We do everything we can to prevent it. We don't realize what a privilege it is to grow old with someone. Someone who does not drive you to commit murder. Does not humiliate you beyond repair. Sweet."

Have you aroused someone? Beyond measure, beyond redemption, beyond ... just beyond. Don't get me wrong, okay! We are still PG-13 here. I was talking about arousing curiosity. If you have ... then cherish the "why," the "what," the "how" you inspired someone to ask. Questions are sometimes harder to come across than answers.

Try. See. Spend some time with sheep. Play a guitar. Don't learn to play a guitar. Play a guitar. Introduce some Greeks to good butter chicken.

Sum totals of parts usually do not add up to much. They may not sum up at all. And there is no whole that will be more or less than the sum. But the parts, they are real. Sometimes the best of dreams come in parts.

It is ok to not believe a philosophy about anything. There is one built inside. You will know what it is when you can hear yourself snore. Isn't that just wonderful! I just figured that out.

There are people in this world who will love you no matter how bad you cook. Just don't invite them for dinner. There will be only one person who you must not forget to invite to dinner. That person will not generally care about your cooking. Not before you get married anyway. After which, the person will cease to care about anything else.

Everybody wants independence and someone else to blame for their mistakes. I am only free when it does not matter who I blame. It never does. That does not make me free forever. It just lets me make the next mistake without thinking about the ones I've already made.

Don't trust statistics. Don't believe in stereotypes. Don't make generalizations. Don't assume things about other people's intelligence. There is always benefit of the doubt, because whether you admit it or not, you'll have doubts. So give it to everybody else. The benefit.

What am I saying? I don't know yet. Its ok. Not knowing. The credibility of a creation does not lie in science or art or religion, but in the idea that was the genesis of the creation. That creation beyond which there is nothing. Just a smile.

When I opened my eyes and saw you smile, my universe was born.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A quiet day

Melancholy is like the slow, damp wind that blows from the sea on a warm, humid day. It cools you, and then, it makes it difficult to breathe. The bland white sky outside betrays no sign of the afternoon sun being high up in the sky. The trees look grey and demure, standing quietly, waiting for summer to come. I wonder what relation does "quiet" have with "wait". One impregnates the other, and yet, they are often born together from the melancholy strains of loneliness. Incestuous.

Wisdom beyond one's years makes one feel old. Age that is marked by perfunctory actions that this world overflows with. It is very difficult to be kind with age earned like this. The wisdom earned at the same time, by being a private recluse, cannot really be appreciated by anyone else. It is too personal. It is also coloured by the same shades of melancholy that refuses to part ways with oneself till the clock stops ticking.

Perhaps melancholy is more steadfast than love. He simmers, shimmers and stammers. But he never really rises into a crescendo or sputters out. He stays on, like the dampness that seeps in deeper through cracks in the walls of a house in disrepair. He is one of the better friends of old age. Readily available, always a good listener and does not require too much ado to start a conversation with.

Why only yesterday, I had an interesting one with him.

I: What am I going to do now?
Me: The same thing that you have always done.

I: Who asked your opinion. I was talking to myself.
Me: Come, come now. No need to put on airs in front of me. I know you. I have known you for ever.

I: You know too much for your own good.
Me: At least I know what to do now.

I: It is not exactly for me to do. This is one of those times when one does not, or rather cannot really do anything.
Me: You mean you are waiting. Again? For what?

I: I don't quite know. It has become too strong a habit to give up now. Besides, one never waits FOR anything. One just waits...
Me: ...because one has nothing else to do?

I: ...because there is nothing else one CAN do. You should know. Isn't he your friend?
Me: Ah! He? But it is not in the department of Destiny yet. Besides, he is unusually busy in spring. Many lives have to be put precisely out of control before summer arrives; or else they will not freeze over correctly in winter. And nobody likes badly frozen ice-cream, if you know what I mean.

I: Why are you here? You don't have any work to do?
Me: I do but ... then I see you struggling with her. Why do you keep her around? She won't let you sleep with Quiet.

I: Hope? I don't know. She seems to be awfully hard to get rid of. I do so want Quiet though. I have had it with the noise of heartbeats. The regular thumping is almost too much bear. Besides I've heard that Quiet is really good in bed.
Me: You've heard right, my old friend. She is exquisite. So serene in appearance, so sensuous to touch. She will have you wrapped up in a nice little bundle before you know it. Your nights will never be the same again. Just get rid of Hope.

I: How? Murder her? Strangle her? Sue her, maybe? They say she springs eternal.
Me: Poison her. That's the only way. A special poison made from the blood of Doubt and Fear. Put it on you lips, and kiss her to sleep. It will not hurt you, the poison, but its lethal for her. It is slow acting too. Why, you can see her fade away, little by little, in front of your eyes.

I: You seem to relish the idea of murder.
Me: It's a jungle out there, my friend. And only the fittest may survive.

Today, when in the blink of an eye, I can feel the weight my soul has borne for eons. When I can no longer feel the steady march of time that tramples me to dust. When lightness is only a quality I can attribute to an empty heart. Today, seems so alive with melancholy, that life seems unquestioningly, deathly silent in its dissent of how I am living it. And I can barely tell him apart from myself.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Let us say...

Let us say this is poetry,
In verse, how worse can it get,
Uncharted structured regret,
and its out of meter too.

Let us say this is prose. Drab lines of meaningless words mingled with a stale breath smelling of cheese and rotten eggs. If I read these anymore I may completely eliminate any further doubts about my sanity.

Then if we square one,
and root the other twice,
Does the mess seem free of vice?
Or does it still submerge in a quantum singularity.

Streaming consciousness on present day fiber optic network backbones would probably jam the internet into submission. Submission to the chaos of human will, reaching the ends of the known space-time continuum to communicate with itself.

Exaggerate, anticipate, follow-through,
Stage in silouhette,
Make sure the one you tell, is the one they get,
in technicolor cinemascope.

There is a brutal expression of kindness hidden in the simple derision of capabilities. War that will ravage the insides of the bones that make your stand up. A war with the inevitable. The inevitable defeat, and yet, you will lie wasted in surrender.

Glory to this world and that was,
Mysteries of the stars wrought in your heart,
A complete hole in every part,
The result every time, a perfect, beautiful cipher.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


The world creaks at the touch of another dawn. Creaks like an old wooden door letting out a whiff of tired time. So tired, so unsure, so...

He saw the silver strands of the cobwebs shine in the sunlight. Light was such a rarity these days. His gnarled fingers wanted to reach and revel in the light. The dust floating in the beam of light danced, daring his fingers to follow suit. But he knew outside, the air was still fresh with the echoing screams. He could never go out.

When the chameli had blossomed in the moonlit night and the earth had smelt of rain. When the sounds of crickets resonated in the lush breeze and the blades of grass conspired under the starry sky. Then he had seen her for the first time, bathing in the Jamuna. The currents of running water caressed the folds of her wet sari and his heart filled with jealousy for every drop. The glistening curls of her black tresses bewitched him with their black magic. He had stood there, hidden behind the old neem, enchanted by this mirage of pure beauty.

The relentless creepers had finally broken through the cold stone. He picked some pieces of crumbling stone in his hands. The earth was fresh with the morning dew. He stirred in the dark prison of his memories. His muscles ached, tired and sore with the unending wait of being alive.

Twilight had painted the sky a vehement orange. He waited by the banks of the river to catch a glimpse of her. She used to come out into the balcony everyday. Her ivory silk scarf fell on the red sandstone and made it shiver with life. He watched in awe as the setting sun made her face glow like an angel. The cliff dropped, straight and majestic, a sheer fifty feet below the balcony, as if the earth itself had been hewed into the shape of a strong wall for the fort. It was a fitting place for a princess. Just below, the river bank was of solid rock, where he washed clothes.

That evening she had run out, breathless. Her hair was not done and was blowing like the mane of a wild stallion in the wind. She seemed to rise above the balcony railing and float in the air. The sun had suddenly turned crimson, filling the skies with the blood splattered on the earth. The last thing he remembered hearing was a scream drowning the river waters in its misery.

Time had passed outside. But inside this house of stone, where his memory had taken root like an ancient sacred fig, time lay still. His love had always been a memory. She had not even known that he existed. Yet, the walls of her tomb were the only place where he could escape the sound of that scream. old. The world moves on. Beyond time and memories. A tomb stays, unmoving, unchanging, unyielding. Holding love prisoner, forever, in its inescapable bosom.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

She found me waiting

Sprightly and nubile
She batted her eyelashes in tandem
Brimming with simple charm
She winked me to come by

A man of straight thought, am I
See me whenever, eye to eye
Trust you are good until
You help by pushing me off the hill

She sweetens the air with wine
Promises of hidden wisdom in her folds
Sparks genius in musical sleep
While enraptured danger oozes free

I believe a promise in one
Pretenses, the sooner I shun
Twitch at her beck and call
Rise higher after every fall

Oh what grace, what elegance shone
She floated in on wings of light
Courted me like a lover lorn
Bereft of any rituals of propriety

Drunk on beauty beyond this realm
Crash my ship from the helm
To sink and drown in your arms again
Like soaring in winds of falling rain

She laughs. Oh what fun, success.
Another drawn in, twisted mad
She slowly turns the knobs
Winding my springs to a violent recoil

Snap me out and pour me a cup
Of this blinding light, or shut up!
Addicted now I am, unaware
Wound around her without a care.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Written by him

The silver nib of the fountain pen slid ahead of sinuous curves of black ink. He paused and looked at the unfinished page of text. The page seemed to give off an eerie, dull glow in the flicker of the candle. The hands of the grandfather clock had stealthily ticked over the hour and his page was still only half full. His temple glistened with sweat. Every nerve was taut as if they held back the wheels of time from running free.

The page did not look right. Not just yet. It looked too light, as if the white space overruled the encroaching strokes of black. The painting looked lopsided. He lacked the ability to look at his writings for the words that made them up. For him, they were always paintings. Today he did not have the time to ponder about his choice of colours. His memories got mangled under the furious passion of his strokes.

You cannot write. The darn things are words! Not lines or curves or brush strokes on a canvas. They are suppose to join and make sense. He only saw how the light danced in the air as her tresses filtered the amber beams. Where is the context of this? What is this idea doing in the middle of nowhere? Writing has form and structure. Narration should flow in and around some context. No one will read what you are writing. Her skin seemed translucent and weightless. Like she was a mirage, an apparition of his imagination.

The damp, hot air from outside waited at the window sill, refusing to blow in. It gave the room a feeling of resigned stuffiness. He returned to his painting with a renewed vengeance. It had to make sense now. He looked to the ream of paper that lay beside, filled with the same sprawling curves of black. Page after page, he had drawn her. Her every manner, every smell, every sparkle in her eyes, every note of her laughter, every drop of her tears. Just a few more pages and his portrait would be complete. He would have her, right there, forever.

The shadows flickered on the wall and the table top. They were laughing at him again. You silly, silly man. My first novel took years to publish. No one has the time to extract sense from this chaos you spread in ink. Your characters have no substance. They do not seem real. Just then, she had doubled up with that awful wheezing cough that seemed to drain more of her life out with every burst. The leaves in the trees had come and gone, the season of disease had not budged. Time had never paid heed to his pleadings, but this time was different. This time was his alone.

Promise me you will take care of yourself. You are too special to be wasted on this world that refuses to understand. Promise me you will make them understand. He could see her lips move like a symphony lilting in the breeze. He could feel the longing in her touch. He could do nothing, except what he was doing now.

It had been five months since he had found a surprise admirer of his work. Someone who had agreed to publish what he wrote. It was as if destiny had decided to guide his hand herself. He still painted the pages, but now with the paint, flowed life. A life that should have lived outside the folds of a few sheets of papyrus. A life that flowed out of him.

Promise me you will write so that thousands can see the beauty I saw. Promise me... His hand wavered as he felt a cold shiver run through his veins. A sudden gust of truant wind clattered the window panes. His breathing was now heavy with anticipation. His masterpiece was almost complete. It pulsated with the beauty that had seeped into it. A drop of sweat fell on the sheet as he put the last dot, smudging it, making the ink spread. He could see her reflection in the sea of words, shimmering and sparkling with joy of being understood.

Finally, he could let go of himself. He slumped on his chair and lay his head to rest on the table. The first ray of sunlight found him like that. Calm, resplendent and one with his reflection.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


The gauntlet of pain overflows. The pain drips slowly, honey-like, draining into the shimmering desert of isolation. Fighting its way through this desert is my shouting, screaming, crowded self. So much commotion.

A red dustbin of thoughts floats near the horizon. A ball of dreams rises and slam-dunks into it. The lid falls shut with a metallic clatter that echoes through the curtains of twilight that hang listlessly over the walls. Stifled air builds walls of steel. Steel that is cold. Cold perfection set in the molds of eternity.

The symmetry of misery beckons. So subtle, so sublime the call that the very threads of sanity reverberate with it's touch. History stands witness as the spirit is executed. The executioner smiles with glee as time mangles herself in the claws of destiny. The guillotine drops. The steel blade glints with the malice of love.

Love born out of solitary confinement. The confinement of freedom running wild. Running far. The farther he runs, the closer is the oozing numbness of distance. Distance bridged by crooked, awry, helpless words. Imperfect words. Crafted in haste, the bridges creak under the weight of aging trust.

Water-tight bonds are drenched in the cold sweat of reason. The silence leaks drop by drop. Into the gauntlet of pain.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The taste on her lips

Posky had decided to walk home. The tram was no fun in the snow. The black branches of the naked trees waved to her as she trudged on. Chimney smoke swirled up from the many roofs lining the sapphire blue sky. Like ideas lost in math class.

She was half lost between Nabokov and Sailor Moon when the tram overtook her. The earth shook like the huge centipede was burping in the underworld. She shook her head, as if shaking off stubborn bubbles of mint flavoured shampoo from her amber curls.

The snow was already melting. It made even the cleanest of sidewalks look murky with all the slush lying around. Her boots made a sucking squelching sound as she walked. Didn't the kiss sound like that? Eeeew!

His hands had felt nice though. Like someone had handed the first prize to her in the dream-like butt contest. She stopped and reached up in the sky, and caught for herself a fistful of chilled air. It was fog-breath season! She blew out her breath there. There, there and there. The window of the sandwich shop turned smoky white, as did her glasses.

Twilight was upon the world. Leaves of pine tree round the corner seemed to swish in the wind. Her hands in his hair, his tic-tac breath and his clumsy toes stepping over her's. All in all, it had gone better than she had expected. Even though his bean bag was leaking plastic foam at the seams and the air had smelt of sweaty socks and wet underwear.

The sweatshirt had stayed in place. Firmly. Hands had scurried and fumbled. She was sure he would have beaten the insane level in the Ultimate Ninja Heroes game in her PSP, if he could keep up at that pace for another hour.

The way back home was ridiculously short. How was anybody supposed to do any serious thinking in a fifteen minute walk? She climbed the few steps that led to the front door of her house. The chocolate brown door held another world within. Loud, cozy and intimate. She turned around and looked at her footsteps in the slushy snow. They would be gone by morning. But the taste on Posceska's lips would stay on.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Pulverize fear with words
Try. Try.
More to try. More to fear.
Dog-eared corners from memory,
Hard to return to,
Harder still to misplace.
Froth. Disappearing surfaces of water,
Bridged with air, refracted clarity.
Fluidly trespassed lines of incongruence
Ushering in tomorrow before today
Disconnected realities forge illusions
Eroded faith, rounded at the edges
To fit windows of limited understanding
Curled back into the womb
That bore the pain that
we return to

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

On another sanguine eve

Petty second-hand needs

Heartbeats pulsing through veins
One, two, three, one too many
constricted flows
of thought, bulge and explode

Symmetric distances curve in space
Footsteps wait
Eavesdropping on passers-by
My mind to your mind

Need to be spoken to
To see sounds take form
in thin air and in dreams

Thrashed understanding
of the insufficiently artsy
Simply normal
in form and action

Threads of need stitch
with pricking needles of singularity
Random patterns
in a quilt of mouldy hearts

Run, run and overtake
my shadow
Before the night, the day
for I hate needles

howsoever insignificant they still
prick and bleed

This not a poem
It is not in a language
you can read and I can speak in
presumptuous prose faking
the remnants of a random taste
I can still taste
on my lips.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Wait


Darkness melts....
Light blinds...
Time freezes..
Air drips.
I wait

When. When. When.

In charcoal and pencil, on paper. Photographed from sketchbook.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Komal Gandhar

The rain outside is confused. It has strayed out of character and turned into molten snow. The sky seems resigned to its fate, disillusioned without the sun. February has started.

I am splitting. My identity has suffered it's share of crises. As the seam starts to burst open again, none of the questions seem to have been answered.

My modest efforts at writing have sought to structure these questions in words. Time and again, I have tried. Fumbling with words, littering them around on the screen of a computer, hoping that they form a pattern out of the chaos that gave them birth. They resonate with my confusion, shiver and shake off any semblance of reality that gets attached to them by mistake.

Kaan pete chi, chokh mele chi,
Dhorar booke praan dhelechi,
Janaar majhe, Ojanaar i korechi shondhaan,
Bishmoye taayi jaage, jaage amaar gaan.

I do not have the capacity for images or words that can express this. I cannot speak and make someone understand. I cannot write what my calm does not betray. Why! Why! Why should I be any different? From the million others who flow around in this world unperturbed by any knowledge. How can I not get impatient with myself, trying restlessly to cut through this clarity that hides my conflict.

The world reflects in my shards. Unfortunately, the reflection is broken. Not complete in every shard. The world reverberates with energy, calls, beckons. Can you not hear? Love flows and drips though lands parched by years of turmoil. Can you not feel? Hearts wrenched from living beings beat to the rhythm of dreams. Can you not see?

Celebrate the crumbs of cosmic consciousness that your dreams have eaten. Look around you and rebel. Pulverize every ounce of artifice in your thought. Let every drop of your sweat electrify a thousand light bulbs and disperse the illusion of helpless misery. Embrace your memory of self and fuse it with your soul. Be one. Be pure. How can I? Be all this that I see, and be all that I am?

The lines are from a Tagore poem/song, sung beautifully by Debabrata Biswas in the Ritwik Ghatak film Komal Gandhar. They roughly and very literally translate to:

I have lain eternally in wait, to listen, to see,
I have poured my life into the heart of this earth,
I have searched for the unknown in the midst of the known,
That is why, in wonder, that is what has awakened my song.

Tagore juxtaposes the eternal bond between man and his self with the bond between man and nature. The harmony and the wonder that spring from and define this bond gives rise to these words from the poet.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Quasimodo's utopia

Zihaal-e-miskeen mukon ba-ranjish,
Bahaal-e-hijra bechara dil hai,

Sunaai deti hai jiski dhadakan
Tumhara dil ya hamara dil hai.

As I watch Disney's Quasimodo sing from the bell tower of Notre Dame, wanting and wishing for that one day to live "out there," I can't help but think about how it must be to live trapped in a single, lonely, tower all one's life.

But then I do not really have to guess, for loneliness does not really have many flavours, no matter where you pluck it from. As the cold settles outside, and creeps through the walls into my quilt, I find myself thinking about love. Again.

In that tangential, normalish way everything seems to reek of love. That is just me, I know. But how does one not fall in love with Esmeralda. That wild free spirit that one wishes would see the human behind the hunchback. But animated adaptations rarely follow the story of yesteryear's on which they are based. The years that stand on the wisdom of appearances being the sentence one is dealt with sometimes, from birth.

Life smirks, and takes a bow. And as I learn to spread myself so thin that I can be beaten into any shape possible, I smirk right back. Spirited? Foolish? But what is the shape of foolishness and what is the taste of spirit? Oh, I digress. The topic was love.

Do you hear laughter in the ranks? In the air? Love. Poor love. What am I pitying love for? Well, tell me someone else who takes more beating for all the stupidity that takes place in this world. For all the perfection in the world, perfect men and perfect women. For all the riches in the world. For all that burns and twists the insides of hearts. For all that and more, there is some fool, some where, pining.

For what, you may ask. A lover's utopia? And what might that be? To be loved back, of course. With equal fervour, with every iota of passion that flows in one's veins, with a touch of dreams and a dash of colour. But perhaps we shouldn't foster such impossible utopias.

I see Quasimodo cringe as Esmeralda kisses Phoebus and I wonder. I wonder at the only flaw in the utopia. For you can love whoever you want. You have been blessed with that gift. What you cannot do, is make "whoever" love you back.

What rubbish! We always knew that, you'll say. Well, try and remember it then, when you are being driven mad with the flames from hell that devour your heart. Remember and find peace. Remember and let go.

And to all the Quasimodos of this world. Stay in love. Your utopia will complete itself one day.

The lines in urdu/persian/hindi at the top are from a song from the film Ghulami, written by Gulzar and sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Shabbir Kumar.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Usi ki talash kyun?

Tez bhagti zindagi ke peeche
Hanfta hua mai,
Saanse jo is zindagi ko chalaye
Woh kahan hai lekin.

Phir ek din dil ki khidki par giri
Kuch madmati baarish ki boonden,
Jaise pukaar kar keh gayi
Main hoon, tumhari zindagi.

Par yeh kya! Woh aayi par
Bijli nahi kadki,
Hawaon me ek bheeni mehak jaagi,
Dhadkane chal padhi, lekin daudi nahi.

Kuch jadoo ki tarah asar to hua
par nazar nahi aaya,
Zamane ke shor me jaise ghula ek dhua
Sannate ka ek kona dhoond raha ho.

Tabhi, hoton ke kisi kone se nikalkar,
Ek hansi god me aa giri,
Aur usne kaha, jis zindagi ko ji rahe ho
Usi ki talash kyun?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

A year of strangeness over...

I planned on doing a post before the 1st - a sort of round up of the year that went by - well its still officially New Year season so I guess it's not too late. Besides my MTNL dial-up seems to be behaving somewhat so I'll probably take the chance and try to pen (What's the electronic equivalent of a pen? A keyboard? Can I use that as a verb?) this while being on line.

Last year, or rather just before the beginning of last year I uprooted my life from the city I have called home for the past three decades (well, nearly three anyway) and moved to another city, country and continent, all in one day. If I ever had cribbed about lack of strangeness in my life - here was God - being most generous - for I landed in a land of strange people, filled with strange languages and strange food, and something that would take any Dilli-waala by complete surprise, clean air!

Since then nothing has seemed to be unachievable - not a climb up the Alps (on a cable car though), not cooking daily and not killing anybody in the process, not sharing a house with two cats, a charming old lady who doesn't speak a word of any language I know, a hot Austrian babe, a gentle Korean dude and a very eccentric Dutch guy. This in addition to a very happening professional life but then that is off limits for the blog.

A very good thing about staying alone, far away from anything you have known all your life, is that it clears up your head about a lot of things. Who one cares about, who one can't live without and who one can, what kind of work does one want to do, what does one want to work for, what is one afraid of, how much stress can one handle alone and how well can one cook (this one is actually a sensational discovery).

One is happy to be financially self-sufficient enough to be able to deport one self home, once annually, and to have been able to satisfy one's desire of having a sterling silver Mac as a first laptop and a Canon DSLR as a first camera. Now I am not boasting here, for one also went bankrupt for a day - a pure zilch in the bank account - before one started getting the salary. As a result of that of course, now one is better planned.

There is much more happening in life about which I can only write in cryptic verse.

Familiar smells in a movie hall,
Being at someones beck and call,
Beds, such welcoming, generous hosts,
Empty houses filled with ghosts,
Of rare visitors and waiting that,
Never ends, dollops of uncouth fat,
Dressed to kill with two left feet,
Mystery work causing the colour of beet,
Confusion reigning unchecked, supreme,
There are many uses of whipped cream.

To put it in one word, one has survived. About nine more months of survival training left. After that we deliver the baby (I am telling you clean air causes such genetic mutations).

So, Happy New Year everyone. Keep visiting, because the year promises to be choc-a-bloc full of more strangeness.


PS: The arcane reference to MTNL in the beginning was to indicate that I am visiting home for sometime, before I become Alice again.