Monday, December 28, 2009

Smoked words

Kabhi kabhi hai shaam aise dhalti ke jaise ghunghat utar raha hai.
Tumhare seene se uthta dhooan, humare dil se guzar raha hai.

Smoke. That is all that is left of it. Once there was more. There was fire and there was what burned. Now it is only the smoke. Swirling up in a drunken grey from ashes that lie witness to what unfolded. Tomake chai. Tomake chai. Tomake chai. Aaar tomar ki chai? Amaake? Ha! Why are you making me write this.

A bus passes on a road, outside my window. Somewhere a broom is swishing away dry leaves from another road. The peeling vanilla custard yellow of the bathroom door is looking new in the afternoon sunlight. A maroon mat lies in wait, outside, to catch unsuspecting wet feet. Shesh porjonto tomake chai. Do you know why? Why should I have all the strings attached to my heart. There really are no answers to such questions. I just like asking them to feel (the strings) them tug every now and then.

Bhabcho tumi shutor taane nachbe shobai,
Bhabcho loke dichche tomaye haat tali taayi.

Muffled voices on the telephone. From our bedroom. Our room. Our bed. Smoke. Our room even has a mirror. That almost makes it a magic trick. Bright orange curtains were a good idea. They look happy by construction. Much like the proof of a theorem. There! That proves it. Q.E.D. We are happy. The food on the table is delicious. It is cold, or getting there. Cinema will make you believe in a lot of things that life will make you shun. I cried somewhere during 3 Idiots.  I did not cry during Love Aaj Kal. You did.

Sun rahi hoon sudh-budh khoke koi mai kahani,
poori kahani hai kya kise hai pata.
Main to kisi ki hoke ye bhi jaani,
rut hai ye do pal ki ya rahegi sada.

That is the fun part - it does not have to stay long enough. Smoke never does. I breathe it in every day in this city. It enters me. Stays in me. Throbs and swirls in my lungs. It leaves a charred taste on my tongue, like wet, burnt sandpaper. Maybe now, the food I cooked for you will taste better.

Onge chot pele she baitha sharabaar
hajaar rokomer oshoodhi aache taar.
Morome chot pele shaare na e jibone
shojoni aami boojhi more chi mone mone.

The above songs are from the following albums: Kudrat (OST), some album by Indrani Sen and Sumon Chatterjee, Wake Up Sid (OST) and Dhonni Meye (OST). They are the properties of their respective writers and singers - my only claim to them is that I sometimes use them to garnish my bored-out-of-my-wits afternoons.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Prill will do the job, and Scotch-Brite
A few drops on the scrubber
of amber-yellow ooze (lemon scented, no less)
will work the grime just fine.

The spoons and forks will be easy,
They have scooped and then let go
of the muck that was food a few hours back,
Faring far better than my ideal musings about us.

Ladle and other servers, butter knives,
Precision stainless steel curves
caress more sticky mess than I do. Lucky?
Make sure the concaves are cleaned well.

Frying pans are far more stubborn.
Blisters of oil and grease are as adamant
as you in a good mood. Drown till
the wounds are dissolved in warm water.

Scarred chopping board loves turmeric.
Refuses to let go. It's war this time
if you burn the milk! Black milky crusts
have nothing astral about them.

Boiled rice stuck under the rim
of the pressure cooker. Dislodged
bread-crumbs eerily rolling over my palms.
Stained mugs turning brown, inside-out.

Orphaned chilly seeds burn
whatever my hands touch, including my rare
opportunities to make love. Water and soap,
water and soap, more and still more. Oh my!

Wipe dry and leave a sparkling kitchen,
All the dishes are done, for now. Tomorrow,
it is chicken in salsa sauce. Marinate now?
This job has no end
     - much like all else in daily life.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

We are back - as if anybody cares!

The time seems right.

Well... just about. Ideas have been bubbling in my head for sometime now. It is just that things one does for silent pleasure always get beaten down by other more raucous things or by things one has to do. So here we are, making a comeback - or dying in the try.

Writing is not in my blood or else I would have become a writer. To be more precise, if it were to be in my blood it would be in my venal blood, not in my arterial blood.

Yes, for I am that kind of a person - who will harp on the difference between the two.

Much water has flown under the bridge since I seriously wrote angst ridden words on this blog. Which either means the angst went away (as if!!!) or it simply went out of the scope of my vocabulary (such things are entirely possible). And now that the earth has stopped shaking, and the tsunamis have come and gone, we can jest about our miseries again.

So: Nous (yes - it is in first person, plural) sommes de retour.

More soon.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Conjuring second chances

Let us say we want to write
Words for pure delight
Something ..ummm.. about flight?
How about a soaring, rambunctious, red kite!

Free and up we go, somewhere deep inside
With no need to hide
And no one to chide
Us, for partaking in a wild, colloquial ride.

But for now, suppose we talk
In time, without caring for the clock
Forget about what history may mock
You know, just talk.

Or tell a story?
Nothing too mushy, mucky or gory,
Maybe something seductive, full of glory,
Something buried deep within the heart's quarry.

Oh but oh! My listener, my reader so,
Answer me, please. Where did you go?
I've just been upset, dismembered, slow
Second chances? No?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bit Bye Bit

I have been so afraid to write. So, so afraid. Terrified.

Madness has its own way. Crooked, ruthless, razor sharp but a way
none-the-less. Acrid, insatiable, ravenous it spreads inside. I have
been unable to stop it from spreading. I can feel my veins harden at
its icy touch.

Love is private,
Privately leaking,
into overflowing storm drains
drowning Mumbai nights.

Bit by bit,
by bit,
it crumbles,
much to the delight of the red ants on the floor.

There is a cry,
in my bones, a fossil
or a fungus bound
to my soul.

I am supposed to be
so many things.
I am not

Elaborate manifolds
Middling minds.
Anger Pain Betrayal
Smother with a smile,
suffocate with elan,
A secret plan,

Naino ke aangan se nikalkar
baarish mai chup jaana
beh jaana.
Raat ki kaali baha le jaana,
Roothi kahani mana le jaana,
Ek do chapati bana de jaana,
Bhooke na rehna,
Aur sirhane pe jo yaad padhi hai,
use nehlaana.
Naino ke aangan se nikalkar
baarish mai chup jaana.

Confiscating reality,
tempting, trouncing,
teleporting to insignificance.
Matter not, when here now,
me, my love,
but mostly, sadly, still


On a completely different note:
A few drops of rain... has completed five years. Five completely, unbelievable years. To everyone and anyone who has read this blog during that time, a big Thank You! I hope you all will continue being my audience in the future.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


It has been hard.
To love you like no other,
Like me, and not another.
Yes, it has been quite, quite hard.

Why should it be so hard?
I ask myself, on dark blue nights,
Lying silent, amidst flickering lights.
Why, oh why, should it be so hard?

So up the hill, for so long.
Just to make you open your heart,
To tell me, when I botch my part.
Upstream, up river, again.

So tiring, so nerve racking.
Even when it went wrong, it felt right,
Always worth a little more fight.
Certainly painful, ceremoniously sad.

But Precious, do you see?
You, I did not want to change
Never to become a lover strange.
Just the way you are, and that is hard.

The hardships will melt away.
Bruised hearts will mend,
Yet with madness waiting just around the bend,
I'll still love you the hard way.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Blue Moon

Blue moon, shimmer.
Shimmer to paint
a quaint
sticky, liquid slowly.

Silver ice, summon.
Summon the cold
to hold
gently, liquid free.


Is it not the best way to cry...
To cry alone.
When sleep sings her lullaby
To sing hoarse.
I am a bard in my dreams
A singer of woes
like the socks that show my toes.
Deep inside, my sorrows seduce
my living being to
ecstasies of
pain. It makes me come alive.
In my dreams, and my lore,
making fear
my destined whore.
Besiege me. With my truths.
Behead me. With my faith.
Betray me. With me.


Spliced soul, shriek.
Shriek to say
what may
never be heard

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Your tongue invites;
a drop of red ketchup
languishing on your lips.

The wheat bread relents
with a murmuring sigh.

Eyes closed;
you bite off a mouthful
of my qi, with barbecued paneer.

A tiny crumb sticks
to your little finger.

Chewing food;
meditating, mediating, meandering
hunger satiated,

hunger stroked.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


A gate of rusted iron rods, held barely ajar, lets through an endless stream of people. People from outside, coming in. People from inside, going out. I, waiting for the flow to cease from one direction, invite rebukes from the crowd behind me to keep on moving. Move, like the hundreds who cross that door everyday, with or without purpose, with or without hope. I am one of the lucky ones today - I still have some hope left. He walks out, enveloped in a vacuum I leave in my wake, amidst the crowd.


6:15 am. I wake up to an urgency I seldom hear in her voice. "Where are the Sorbitrate tablets?" "I am fine." I kneel on the cold floor beside him, cradling his head in my palm, as his retching body stiffens and relaxes in turn. Suddenly the rest of my life seems a complete waste. My purpose for existence seems defeated. After what seems like eternity, I help him get up and get to the bed.

6:30 am. After the silent cold settles back in the air, I have an overpowering urge to make love to her. An attempt to snatch her from memories leaves me filled with a harrowing emptiness. I stand still outside their bedroom and look at him for a long time. His silhouette expands and contracts to the slow rhythm of his breathing. I feel grateful for the little things in my life that are certainly true at this moment.


Turbulence. A handful of questions I cannot bear to hear the answers to leaves me with icky doubt that clings to the lines etched on my palms. I feel small. Soon, I will not be enough. I am preparing to drown. Just like he did.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Indulging ridicule

Have you ever written something when you are really angry? Or even acutely irritated? The words come out with a sharpness that belies their true self - their utter futility in some situations. I am in one such situation. Where words are quite futile or perhaps even redundant.

One waits all one's life to find someone to whom one will bare all of oneself only to find that the chosen one would rather listen to someone else. Such irony is writ in every minuscule drop of sweat that drips from one's brow as one takes an extremely jolty ride back home, on one of Delhi Metro's feeder buses.

It is so ridiculously simple that I cannot even believe that I, for once thought that something else was ever possible. Believing in the inherent goodness in people's hearts is no good because give anybody - anybody - the chance and they will walk all over you and take you for the fire hydrant that the dog-self in them demands. There is no room for virtue or truth or monogamy. All you will get is mockery, disdain and the information that someone else will readily oblige the desire that you are fighting so hard to contain and how angry that makes a certain someone. You are supposed to feel suitably ashamed at being told thus.

One will find writing and sex intricately woven into tapestry that just will not go with the furniture in one's home - making one a lost writer and a laughable lover all-in-one. All this while the interiors of chic castles in the air will be deemed perfect whereas one's own dust crusted mud house will forever seem quite blasé in comparison.

In between all this one will find hate swell in places one did not know one had, for persons whose puny existence on this planet should be of no consequence to one's life - but just the same - one will hate them.

There is no word to quite describe what one is feeling at the moment, cementing one's belief in their futility and in one's own ineptitude with the subtle art-form of writing. What is most certain though, is that one seems to be a living breathing monument to being "taken for granted." So much so that one is almost considered a part of the furniture more often than not - good to recline on when needing a rest, otherwise just dusting the dirt off every now and then is the only service one needs and gets. And when one gets old or broken, one can just as easily be replaced.

In case someone is still reading this and wondering where is all this going - it is not really going anywhere. It will not get anywhere anytime soon, which is pretty much how one's life is at the moment. A circle. And a vacuum trapped inside it. So if you want to go and have a cup of tea or coffee in the interim, please do. One has a lot of work to do before one can attempt looking sane and happy tomorrow. After all, one must never say die.

Never, they say, is a very long time.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Banished with blessings

I was blessed

with s i g h t

clear, sharp.

I was blessed

with m a d n e s s

distilled, exuberant.

I was blessed

with p a t i e n c e

elastic, serene.

I was blessed

with l o v e

idealistic, foolish.

How does that sound?
Blessed soul, am I?
L o s t!
...lost amidst my blessings...
... ... ...lost... ...
Never found.

No blessing will ever.
Let. Me. In.

k of your heart
where my blessed curse