Thursday, June 4, 2015

To Farewells.

You, who left with
Dots on your laces
From all the colours
Spilled on our faces.

You, with who I
Walked a night
And watched cars
Become lines of light.

You, whose gravel voice
Fell and rose
With an old love song
From phones clutched close.

You, who left with 
All my rainclouds, 
Still play with the rain
In roads of strange crowds.

You, who still writes
Rhymes to past winters' chills,
Still can't do much to heal
This summer's burns
And heart spills.

P.S: Though I haven't updated the blog in very long, I have been writing on and off. I don't really know why I didn't publish any of them here. But here is one and I hope I will keep coming back to this blog and writing into this comforting space of radio silence.

Friday, November 7, 2014


I don't know what in my days has lead me to read and write less these days.
I don't know if it's the doing of that devil called age but I do feel a constant weight of fatigue. Maybe it is being ill for months now that is taking a toll. Small things. A fever that keeps coming back, a cough that won't go, puffed eyes in the morning, a back that misbehaves.
But they all add up and at the end of the day, when I am finally back home, I feel like every ounce of air has been sucked out of me.A nap may help, I think and I get onto my hard bed. I stopped using pillows because of the back. So I hug a bolster and sleep-often through dinner time, often in work clothes and wake up feeling like I've just finished walking a mile.
Fatigue is cyclical, I have discovered and it feeds on itself to remain alive.
I, too, have stopped fighting it these days and I am afraid this is what I have become.
Sometimes when I look at the mirror I imagine the skin around my eyes to be darker than my cheeks.I also feel the circle around my mouth is turning darker. Twenty-five is no age at all, I tell myself and a small part of me acknowledges the sinking feeling that drive women to try out tubes and bottles of foul smelling creams.
I don't know what it is that is doing this. If it is age, fatigue, disinterest or just plain laziness.
Truth be told, I don't like it one bit. I miss cooking and I miss going to run.I miss being active.
And I hate the feeling of sitting at a party and realising that I don't like parties.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

City (or In which I try to write again)

Someday, maybe, I'll stand and look back
At this city, at this time where you and I
Made stories out of cardboard boxes
And laid them bare under rainy skies.

This dusty city of dustier bylanes where
I saw traffic lights change colour in your eyes
And this time when we drank rum
In paper cups; the air littered with fireflies.

This city of melting roads bursting at their seams
Will always be ours to sigh over, and cry over
In spite of all the roads that wait to be walked
And all the maps your feet need to cover.

Of course it floods under ten minute rains
And burns under the stench of old tyres
But it has seen us lean in midnight stupors
And watched us blow off, and burn in our domestic fires.

Friday, May 30, 2014


There is a time when one gives up. Admits defeat.
You stand in the middle of a square and you take your armour off. Leave your sword on the ground and take off your helmet. A layer of powdery brown coating the old grey.
Your hair matted with mud and sweat comes rolling down your neck but stops right before it reaches the back, and sticks to the grime on your skin. You cringe from the mud on your cheek-eating into the scars.
You have the sun in your eyes and you blink very fast to avoid the inevitable. And then your tongue licks off the blood from the corner of your lips.
You are blinking very fast. You think it's the dust and you squint and look for the person you were fighting-with, against, for.
Only it isnt a person anymore- only a patch. A charcoal sketch of a person with a curtain of dust between your shadows. The shadows get longer and your knees fail you.
Your nose hits the dust and you bleed in drops. Maroon circles on dry brown.
You would cry but the salt would sting your wounds, the winds would drown your sobs. You remember your mother's voice and stories of phoenixes and fires.

You lie there under a blanket of dust-sticking to every bit of body you have. The sun burning lines down your back. You put your shield down. And let out that last ounce of wind in you. The fight's kisses shine bright on your neck and shoulders and they burn in the sun. You force out a sigh as they begin to prick while the maroons become one with the brown.

The time would be apt for a soundtrack to cue in-violins with strings fuming against the furtive brushing of the bow, bass drums erupting with blows interjected by the soft mocking of an oboe. But nothing plays and nothing moves. This isn't your matinee dose of the improbable.

This is you. Bare bodied, bruised, bent.
The wind has stopped. The fight is over.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Did you come to see me the night I ran?
When you, your head swimming in stars, walked through the gate?
Did I come to you with my eyes full of winter,
Asking how many fireflies souls eat to stay up late?

Was it me who sang with the keyboard taps that morning-
After the night they danced under blinking fairylights?
Did you stand still when I held my lenses to your face,
The sunlight bokeh-d on the wall with the stuck on kites?

I forget if it was you or I who blinked first
When rainclouds descended upon your brown eyes.
And the night when the rain finally flew down all the drains and pipes,
I don't remember if it was your sleep I broke with all my sighs.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

For two people

You and I spent a lifetime sitting
On parts of stairs untouched by feet
Looking at sunsets spilling into cups
Brimming with tea- never milked 
And always too sweet.
We have spent our years on roads
Pulling the seats bending low
And listened to ceaseless chatter on the radio
With the fiddle of impatient fingertips
The songs always too loud for us to know.
You and I spent weeks planning
Colours of curtains and widths of doors
Huffing up furniture over stairways
And setting up tables on laundry boxes 
Spilling cola on linen, and gravy on the floor.
You and I have walked a lot
Through clots and fevers without much care
On bad backs and failing wills
Buying impulsive bangles, but never earrings
Never having to worry about another incomplete pair.

Monday, December 23, 2013


There was a day two weeks back when I was told some forms of love are illegal; I thought what it'd be like to love someone, to touch him or her for years in secret places and feeling shivering magic run through one's veins and then being told one day that no one wants you to love that way, that people will tell you how to touch him or her, how to place your head on the side of his/her neck, how to look at him/ her after you are spent from hours of lovemaking on sticky afternoons...and when you have done what they have told you, just the way they want it; like it's not your body and his/hers but all of their bodies forcing themselves on yours, all their voices being pushed down your throats in long forced kisses down reluctant loveless mouths. Only then will they say you have loved, only then will you have really loved. I didn't have an answer to how it would feel, I don't know what it feels to be pushed to the other side of law because of loving, because of having one's own way to love.
I cant think of a thing more violent.
There is a library in Calcutta I went to and didn't know about the existence of its Delhi branch. Someone told me they are shutting down and selling off their stock. There is nothing sadder than seeing shelves of books with gaping vacant spaces in between stacks. This is a library that loved its books- neatly wrapping each book in clear covers, stamps that don't go overboard and issue slips that are cut to size and pasted without any damage. To see them parting with these just because too many people in this city have too little time to waste on reading, is perhaps the deepest pain I have felt in a very long time.
All books have stories that go beyond the print. In libraries one can literally hear them breathe; you touch them and you feel someone else's fingerprints on the leaves- left behind perhaps on a rainy evening beside fogged windows when there was nowhere to go, imprinted over tea with a little bit of the milk tea brown on the pages, as a keepsake. You turn each page and there are sounds of busy roads, terrible traffic jams braved through by casting one's eyes on the printed word, all dealt with from one seat in one corner- settled within canopies of permanent black, bubbled amidst the buzzing of the intoxicating fill of the vanilla like smell we have rubbed our noses against.
And to think that all this will go, into boxes and bags- shredded, torn and glued to hold grocery, to bleed into machines so that they can be rolled back into being nothing again, creates this mist between one's eyelashes that descends and pours out in silence. Some drops find their way into the letters- making love like there is no end after all, becoming at once the smell of vanilla and the taste of salt. Seeping into dog eared skin, locked in a kiss in its bid to be immortal and eternal.
And all I can do is say nothing when I hold my stack between my frozen palms, my shoulders drooping from the weight of stories.
I have known nothing sadder.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The First Born

To Pat and the other first born

The tug came first and then the kick
Melting everything into that one long morning retch;
You saw first with your new eyes and even newer lashes
Her insides red and dark like waves, rising and falling within its raw stretch.

She held in her a sea that moved
Taking you in its quiet, measured tides;
All her world that came rushing to you which you ate up in your gulps-
Dancing among the crests and troughs, moving as she moved sides.

There is dance that began in her and ended in you;
Breathed in bits of sky that came out in quaint little tunes
A long hurried wave of frenzies and tunes washed down by her waves-
She sang out low and sang out loud as your reds danced into her blue.

One day her song was too loud and the dance too wild
You shivered and opened out your digits she planned to touch and count.
Your mouth opened wide and spat out her blue-
Ears locked, eyes shut, feet refusing to dance around to that sound. 

The sound blue makes when it misses its red,
The sound red makes when its blue parts ways
The sound of retches, the sound of cries;
Sounds clocking the end of nights, sounds timing the start of days.

You tumbled through the dark no one had seen;
Glimmering in your all your reds- fresh and bright,
While bits of blue floated around lost
And leaked into feeding her nights.

Tears live on saltwater, on every bit she drinks;
Tears are meant to be held in seas and never seen.
And tides are meant to keep moving forever slinking in their own shade of blue-
Always managing a little dance danced to the reds that have been, reds bathed in her own hue.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

All characters insufferably imaginary.

She didnt have her camera that afternoon so she decided to memorise all of it.So she did.
The wall was the brightest shade of yellow and the curtains a dark green-failing miserably to keep the Delhi afternoon sun out. There were little beads of sweat lining his new haircut- his otherwise black eyes shone a translucent brown in the sun. There were old beer bottles kept on the windowpane- the green glass glowing in the sun and bursting out into the tendrils of moneyplants. "Epipremnum aureum", she remembered reading off the blackboard sitting sweating in a classroom a few thousand moons back- under a whirring ceiling fan, amidst the bustle of Tollygunge. The leaves-more green than yellow- tried climbing up the wall standing at a sharp contrast to the yellow. She missed her camera.

He read the menu with his eyebrows bunched together-like he'd be tested on his knowledge of it.She stared straight at his face noticing the dark circles.
"Vodka Lemonade," she thought.
"Vodka Lemonade. And you?", he asked.
"Pineapple Juice with White Rum."

The ugly bit was done away with while they waited for their drinks. Not very surprisingly, she didn't cry.She never did once the worst was over. He knew it was only when she feared the worst that the tears came and the fights got bad. Past that, there was only the tapping of finger nails on the touchscreen and the occasional cough punctuating the radio silence she was capable of gutting people's beings out with.On bad days, he'd do just about anything to dig a word out of her mouth. He remembered her telling him of the times her grandmother would tell her that she'd be a pauper if the government ever levied taxes on words. He wanted to ask her if the bulb in her staircase got replaced.

She had only begun to fidget when he asked her if she'd mind a smoke, he had forgotten his cigarettes in the car. They walked to the little balcony that overlooked the market- she lit one in silence, looking down at the cars that came in and went out in queues managed by the whistling of the attendants in orange caps. He noticed her chipped finger nails when she passed on the cigarette and she noticed how their skins touched for the last time. "A Parenthesis in Eternity,"she had called it when she described their first meeting. On someone's balcony, sharing a light one sweaty summer night because he couldn't find his lighter.

She took in the smell while they drank. That weird concoction of aftershave, iron, tea leaves,cologne and sweat laced with the tang of cigarettes. She will remember this more than anything else, she thought. Well, apart from the time he held the blower to the back of her head because her sprained shoulder wouldn't allow her arms to reach there, and maybe the time when he tried massaging the back of her neck and she exclaimed how bad he was. He remembered the way she'd move her lips in sleep- like she couldn't shut up even in her dreams. And he remembered the way she twisted her hair into a bun and threatened to cut it all off if it got any hotter.He never believed that she would. But that she didnt need to know.

She left very suddenly, almost as if she had forgotten something very important back at home. She said no to the constant offers of being dropped and drove back with a slight headache from all the drinking, and rushed to her cupboard the moment she reached. Running her urgent fingers through the pile of clothes, she found the CDs and the plates.
The only proof of the life that had burnt inside her in silence three months back-buried under layers of skin and blood, sometimes shrieking out in bursts of pain. She put them all in a big manila envelope.

This he didn't need to know.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

"What will you get me?", he had asked months back over one of those called-in meals of thick curried chicken and fat rotis.
She snapped back saying something he couldn't decipher with her mouth full, while licking her fingertips."Shit", he probably assumed.

Over the months, the meals grew lesser and snapping increased-only this time, it didn't end in bad druken jokes and his silly inebriated giggle but with either one slamming the phone on the other's face or with one spending nights staring at the ceiling waiting for the phone to buzz. The silence eventually got filled in with time and its usual melodrama- there were tears of course, and a lot of shouting till it was realised that there was nothing left to fight for, fight about or fight against. Everything was lost by then, everything was decided upon- that was your fault, this was mine; this is your shirt and that book is mine; this was much how much I owed you and you should pay me back for that. Life was being written off under columns again, distributed in sturdy boxes neatly labelled with a clear hand.
Traffic sounds, wedding party laughs, drunken crying, washing machine whirring, egg beating- they all took turns in filling up the radio silence that followed. Each doing its best to assure the person that there was really no silence left.
Her plane departed on time. The tears were really unnecessary, she thought. She landed in the new city and roamed around for days-stopping at a coffee shop here and eating a plate of Fish and Chips there. Then there was that bookshop which was nothing like what she had seen before- nothing like the sanitised ones with vacuum cleaned carpets and freshener scented air she was used to. This was a conglomerate of only shelves-with books living on them. Not books scrubbed clean to live their lives in alphabetical order, but books that breathed, lived and had time leaving behind its dust on them. They didn't smell of dead canned flowers this time but that musty smell that rides up your nose and and becomes one with every inch of your being- that one that tiptoes into your brain and reminds you of log cabins, rainy afternoons and cups of tea. She drew a line in the dust with the tip of her index finger and felt her blood rush to her brain. Her face was flushed and the hair on her arms stood on their ends as she felt a tingle ride down the nape of her neck.

And then she smiled. "This", she whispered.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I don't remember being this scared in my life. Of Everything and of nothing at the same time.
It is becoming progressively difficult for me to walk down a road- I am scared a truck will run me down, or I will receive another of those texts or maybe a phone call from someone who will say something I am scared of hearing.
Hurt is essential but I have realised that a lot of hurt is actually fear. Hurt is actually nothing but being scared with something you didn't expect. If I have cried the past week over one conversation, it is essentially because I was scared to face the consequences of it.
One believes because one is scared to be left alone, one talks because one is scared to be called socially awkward, one keeps shut because one is scared one will never be understood.
When exactly does all of life become a part of that scare?
When exactly did I stop running for something rather than from it? And when exactly did I let this sense of constant fear take over all of me.
When did all tears become about what I will lose and not about what I stand to gain.