Friday, December 31, 2010

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow...

Another year, eh?
Our lives have become like airports in winters- complete with their departures and arrivals but one has no clue about timings. Airports have been the only constants in my life for these four years. The only spaces which remain the same amidst a constantly changing landscape of cities, homes and people. The only smiles that remain constant are the ones on the faces of air hostesses. Yes they are mostly fake but atleast they're comforting.
This year has been a year of departures mostly- old smiles departed leaving behind some very bitter tears, old bonds departed leaving behind only an empty shell and old spaces evaporated and only left behind an irritating stink. The stink of decay and loss. The year taught me that Trust is an obsolete and irrelevant concept today. It is expected that you keep your thoughts to yourself and sweat under their accumulated force and it is stupid to speak your heart out to your "best friend" (again, a tautological belief) because if you can afford to part with it, the whole world deserves a piece of it. That's the way the cookie crumbles.

Of the arrivals.
I arrived into a lovely university this year and into the company of some lovely strangers who have turned out to be great people to talk to. This year has been a year of meeting very old friends, sorting out old feuds and, of being made to believe that strangers are the nicest people you can ever meet.
They come out of nowhere and let you stay in their room, volunteer to design presentation covers, agree to burst crackers with you even when Diwali is a week away, travel unreserved to Jaisalmer, help you clean rooms and spend afternoons buying mattresses and rugs and to make you realise that it's ok to be messed up.
Arrivals, no matter how few, always bring in joy...enough joy to get over the innumerable departures that are both unavoidable and necessary.

And for everything else, there are those constants, those runways without whom no departure or arrival makes sense.

Here's to my constants and my arrivals, Thank you.
And to the departures, thanks for the space and for making me stronger.

Happy New Year to all of you. Make the best out of the good that happens and try not taking the bad too seriously.
Shit Happens. And it's important to flush it down.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I realise I havent blogged for the longest time. Apologies.
It isnt that nothing worth writing happened but just that I was too lazy to jot it all down. That road trip did happen-in women's unreserved compartments and in autos manned by talkative men. We walked the town in two days and spent our Diwali watching fireworks light up the night sky, sitting by the Gudesar lake. I wish I was adept enough to describe the moments in words.

We came back to face our first semester exams and its accompanied frenzy of writing hurried papers and spending sleepless nights and bathless days cooped up in our cold hostel rooms. We came back home after that. In a Rajdhani, that too. So everyone who thinks I'm too la-dee-da for trains, you can give our mouths a little rest :P

Home has always been too much of drama for me, and this year hasnt been any exception. But all these years have taught me to take a seat and enjoy all the drama while it lasts. So this year I decided to oil my hair, sit down in my balcony-right in the middle of the spot of warm yellow sunshine, peel out oranges and see the world act out its drama on the road infront of my house.

Winters are meant for just that.
And for learning how to make a new dessert everyday.
Hope you all had a lovely Christmas, have a good year ahead.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


This is going to be a long post...
Coming back to the Uni from home is always like a hurricane. There is the backlog that takes an age to be cleared, the wonderful people you have to meet up and share vacation gossip with and finally, there is the inevitability of sinking one's self back into the grind. And that is always a problem especially after the immense flux that one's body dissolves into, in Calcutta during Durga Puja.
The flux is a little overpowering- it is a little dizzying to stand amidst an ever changing landscape of lights, colours, sounds and, most importantly, friendships. Pujas have always been a time of forming new bonds and letting go of a few old ones and I think it's only natural that a few old things give way to a few new things but it is the pace, at which that happens, that actually makes one dizzy- sometimes to the extent of nausea.
I'd let that be for the time being.
The good thing is, I finally have a room in the Uni. With a completely (thankfully) insane person who wants to place a glow in the dark mural in the room. It'd be really cool, now that I think of it. It's a small room with not much of empty space but at the end of the day, it is MY room and it already has the world's prettiest rug (thanks to Ria's timely observation). Yes, I also happen to share my name with the Roommate.
Oh, and there is the Road Trip.
So here's to a good Diwali and even better days after that :)

P.S: It's that lovely time again. Delhi winters!
P.P.S: So it wasn't that long a post,eh?

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Two people sat side by side.

One boy who wrote music and a girl who had forgotten to dance.

They saw sunlight through the gaps in the wall,

And rains through taxi windows.

The clock struck another year,

Another Rhododendron opened its eyes to the world,

And another cup of coffee blew out smoke-

Into the blue sky above.

Another year and another story told-

In black and white and in technicolour,

In taxi rides and muddy shoes.

It was another year when the Rhododendron bloomed.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tag Time.

It's been ages since I've done a tag. Since Shreya tagged me, here it is:
As for the tagging, I tag whoever reads this and wants to do it. :)

1.If you married the last person you texted, what would your last name be?

I wouldnt change my last name even if Art Garfunkel was the last person I texted. (Isnt Garfunkel the coolest last name ever?)

2. Were you happy when you woke up today?

Was too groggy to realise how I was feeling.

3. What’s something that can always make you feel better? When did you need it last?

Citrus smells and Chocolate cake. Needed a bath in citrus body wash last week when I was dead tired from writing a paper.

4. What are you excited for?

Everything that is yet to happen.

5. What were you doing yesterday?

Dancing to bad songs played by shitty DJs. (Was our hostel freshers)

6. What's the last thing you put in your mouth?

Masala Maggi from the hostel dhaba.

7. Have a best friend(s)?

Think so.

8. Are you scared to fall in love?

No, why would I?

9. Do you think teenagers can be in love?


10. Last person you wanted to punch in the face?

This guy who sat behind us in the theatre today and was going on shouting out what happens next!

11.What do you want right now?

Go for a run.

12. Who was the last person you took a picture with?

Nini, Shayeari and Chandni Chowk. What a happy day!

13. Are you single/taken/heartbroken/or confused?

All of the above :P

14. When was the last time you cried?

Dude! Too personal.

15. Do you have a good relationship with your parents?


16. Do you find it hard to trust others?


17. I bet you miss somebody right now..

And who are you to place bets on me?

18. Can you honestly say you're okay right now?

Hmm...yeah.Okay is a good vague word.

19. Tell me what's on your mind.

Dude,seriously. Who are you?!

20. What are you looking forward to in the next three months?

Just too many things- Pujos mostly. Apart from that, a few papers that I have to write, shopping, going home, getting a job, starting dance again etc.

21. Have you ever worn the opposite sex's clothing?

Yes, pretty often.

22. When did you last talk to your number 1 top friend?

What on earth is a number 1 top friend?!

23. Do you have someone of the opposite sex you can tell anything to?


24. How's your heart?

Beating, as of now.

25. Have you ever felt like you weren't important?

Oh half my life was spent doing just that.

26. Do you think somebody's in love with you?

Hmm...good question that.

27. What are you planning on doing after this?

Write a few things that need to be written, then sleep.

28. When will your next kiss take place?

This is getting scary. Will you be crouching in a corner and take a picture when that happens?

29. Have you told anybody you loved them today?

"They" know.

30. Who do you not get along with?

Age has taught me the art of tolerance.

31. What are you wearing right now?

Clothes. (Surprise Surprise!)

32. Are you wasting your time on the person you like?

What sort of a sadistic question is this? I hope not.

33. How did you feel when you woke up?


34. Do you wish someone would call or text you right now?

It's 1:28 am. Whoever had to call/text has done so already.

35. Do you crack your knuckles?


36. What were you doing yesterday at midnight?

Dancing myself silly.

37. Who's the first B in your contacts?


38. When was the last time you laughed really hard?

This afternoon.

39. Last awkward moment?

My existance is full of those

40. Are you afraid of the dark?


41. Do you have good vision?

I hope so.

42. Have you ever tripped someone?

Yes, myself. Every other day.

43. Have you ever slapped someone?

Yes. Regret it.

44. Do you laugh off embarrassing moments?

Yes, that's the best thing to do.

45. Can you go out in public looking like you do right now?

Yes, and you have a problem with that?

46. Is it easy for someone to make you smile?

Pretty much.

47. Has anyone put their arms around you in the past 5 days?


48. Do you miss the way things used to be?

What "things"?

49. How often do you hold back from saying what you are thinking?

Quite often, it's a wise thing to do.

50. Want someone back in your life?

No, people who need to go end up going. Always helps.

But yes, a few people back from the dead would be nice.

51. Will tomorrow be better than today?

Hopefully. Today wasnt too bad, really.

52.Does it bother you when someone lies to you?

Depends on who the person is.

53. Is there anyone who understands your relationship status?

Good Lord! It's hardly rocket science.

54. Are you a naturally happy person? Or is your happiness forced?

100 % natural. Scientifically Proven.

55. Is there anyone you wish would fall in love with you?

"Love" is a strong word really. But who doesnt wish? :P

Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's funny how we live life.
Spend decades in a city, make friends, make promises, write letters, gift earrings, cry over coffee.
Then leave all that behind for another city.
Another life.
Another set of friends, a new set of promises, type in texts, gift more earrings and gloss over tears.
Then you leave all that and go back expecting people to be the same.
The kind who made friends with you, made promises, wrote letters, gifted earrings, hugged when you cried.
But they change.
And you are left rummaging through old letters, locating pairs of earrings and lying awake in Caffeine induced insomnia.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I havent watched Inception or a 3D version of Alice in Wonderland.
But I have dipped my feet in the blue seas and seen the moon disappear into vanishing waves...
and smiled each time the cellphone screen lit up beside my sandy head.

pic: Puri,2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Of Homes.

Speaking of homes and houses,there's a very strong bout of sorrow that hits me each time i see a house being broken down in order to make flats.
there are quite a few being broken down in the area where we stay. and what makes me sadder is the way these homes are broken down-with one blow after another with these huge in lungis standing in the heat first strip out the paint, then the plaster and then the bricks as sweat runs down in lines down their sunburnt backs.sometimes they sing songs or they chat about what they're going to do with the money they get after they're done breaking down the house.then one day suddenly, we only see rods and bars sticking out like the rib cage of a skeleton.then one day that goes too.
my grandparents from both sides owned huge houses both of which got difficult for the sons and daughters of the families to maintain.both of them have been sold off to house has been left alone while the surrounding land was sold and the other has been sold in its entirety and in a few months, rods are all that is going to remain.then,they will go too.
i sometimes wonder what it feels to see one's home being broken down.the room where you learnt to crawl, the wall you doodled on, the ceiling you slept under...bricks that knew all your secrets, the floors that your feet ran on.the home you made.the times you lived.the breath you left behind.
i thank god today that i stay nowhere close to where my grandparents stayed.and that i stay in a flat that wont be broken down.

"If memories could be canned, would they also have expiry dates? If so, I hope they last for centuries."

Monday, June 28, 2010

Thought Bubble.

what is home really?
a pink building with a balcony full of plants.
a grey house that is situated between a white one and another grey one.
a cobbled pavement next to the bus stop...

..."home" is only a feeling.

"Would that I could gather your houses into my hand,
and like a sower scatter them in forest and meadow."

picture: Pondicherry, 2010.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Insomnia induced observations.

All the kisses blown into the air have vanished. Eyeliners removed, lipsticks wiped off.
Dresses have been tossed into laundry bags and perfumes have evaporated off skins. Now is the time when the mirror sees us-our eyes not lined with kohl, lipstick staining only the corners the tissue missed.
This is the time when the woman slowly disappears into the mirror and the night watches on with passive disinterest.
In some building faraway building, a light turns on. And all we see is a mother waking up to apparent wails of her child.
The window stops the wail from entering the world's eardrums.

Friday, May 21, 2010

So Long.

-Are you filling up the nomination form?

-I think so. But I dunno…might not end up doing it.

-Hey, you filling up the form right?

-I dunno. You’ll get through. You did it last year also.

-This is Vani.



-Err…Hi. We have a film to work on and we have three hours.

I am actually glad the selection interviews never took place and the fact that we were the only four who had applied. I know I wouldn’t have got selected (what with my silly habit of “umm”ing and “hmm”ing during interviews) and then I wouldn’t have met you guys.

I have been putting this off for quite sometime now thinking I’d write this post “later” but I figured there is no “later” anymore and not writing about the last year with you three would just be unfair.

I came to know one of you only in Agra after you threw up laughing at something I said. You, I thought, were just too cool and well read and therefore we had nothing in common. And you, I thought, are really very pretty and extremely cerebral till you became my our own special child.

But thank god, I came to know you.

Through a year of screening bad films that everyone attended and good films no one did and a year of borrowing staplers from other societies, making glasses out of Coke bottles and seeing files getting chewed up by dogs, we have lived- occasionally losing tempers, weeping, not giving a damn and smelling flowers. The important part is that we lived and lived together.

Whatever we end up doing- FTII film appreciation course as a graying but still as-cool-as-ever fifty year old, assisting Tarantino, peeing off flyovers or just being whiny about life, I just want you guys to remember the last one year and that I’m very very thankful for your tolerance and love.

Ladies, it has been a pleasure.

If any of you three are reading this, you’d know :)

-“We are Projekt with a K, we are cool ok? Hui!”

Friday, May 14, 2010

Being stupid and foolish and daft.All at the same time.

I feel like I am back to being my post XIIth standard self again. The same feeling of insecurity, the same self loathing and the same feeling of being absolutely useless.
And when I say that,I am not looking at only the sorry state of my academic future. I am back to being the stupid girl who was used to being a doormat or the fodder for all the gossip mongering tongues of the school and the extended friends' circles.
If I had to choose, I'd say that was the worst time of my life.And now,this.
I have realised that I can deal with lies, but fakes are just beyond all the levels of my tolerance.Liars only lie but fakes pretend to be someone they're not and almost make you believe in their hoax identities.
But ultimately, it IS my fault because it is I who puts her foot into traps again and is my fault that I smile back to fake smiles and console fake tears, knowing fully well that they are fake!
I am just hopeless and beyond all help.
Because you see, you help them who dont know what shit they are in. But I know.
I, you see, am fully aware.
So here I am-stepping into another mound of shit as I type.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


"Chirojibon amar beena-tarey
tomar aaghat laglo baarey baarey,
tai to amar nana surer taaney
Praaney tomar porosh nilem dhorey..."

"All my life, on my veena strings-
You've hit the notes over and over again,
Which is why through my myriad tunes and songs,
I have kept your touch intact in my heart..."

To you, whose words came to me before everyone else's.
To you, whose songs i owe my first dance to.
To you, who has taken care to set each and every of my moods to some song or verse.
To you, who changes forms in every page and yet stays the same forever.
To you...for all your words.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sunshine on my shoulders...

it rained at home today as i sat in my little room here watching the dust on the road outside.
little grains that flew around touching me, touching the leaves before finally laying itself down on the face of the road.
the heat escaped the heart of the earth and made its way up the crevices and landed as tiny droplets of sweat on my palm.the warm wind that came out from nowhere, took them off my palm and perhaps carried them back to the heart which pined for them.
maybe they shared stories,maybe they talked of me-of how i smile to myself when i stand in a crowded bus or how my feet move to a song i sing inside my head.
they dont share stories where it rained today.they dont hear Joni Mitchell in my head.

sitting here in my little hot room, i saw you many many miles away as you bid goodbye to the blue sky above and let rain form bubbles under your shirt.
as for me, i was happy looking at my palm-watching sweat beads appear and disappear.
i felt your smile in my hair.i knew it was raining at home today.

Monday, April 5, 2010

my love song.

I like to think that I made you up inside my head-much like Plath’s famous Mad Girl. So when the world turned the most beautiful shade of peach during sunset yesterday I knew that in some dusty bylanes of the old city, I met you as you came walking over the dry leaves that crushed under your new shoes. I sat under some nameless tree I think-looking for silkworms in the leaves. And just when I thought that I had made you up inside my head, you touched me-turning me into the most beautiful shade of peach. And we became a part of the dust the sun took away with itself.

I thought it’d be peach again today, but I realised I made that peach up too. So when the sunset turned blue today, I realised that you and I talk only with peach around. And on other days, I’m happy to have you inside my head.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

These havent been the best of cut down on the melodrama, let me tell you that these have been the most blah times.much like in Waiting For Godot, nothing happens in my life either. ofcourse this "nothing" has nothing to do with the existentialist, intellectual "nothing" that fills up our texts.
If life really was meaningless and futile, I would definitely like to celebrate this futility and not rot indoors by coughing my guts out.
I really feel like travelling-not the hills,not the seas but somewhere historic. Say Rome, Greece or even Orchha.there's a beautiful feeling in touching sculptures or ancient's like touching the stone but running your fingers through the volumes of stories the stones have to almost want to press your ears to these stones and listen to them, as they sometimes whisper or sometimes break into some quaint song.i want to relive that weird churning in the stomach that occurs each time i enter some old palace or castle (what is the difference,anyway?) it's a feeling that almost makes you believe that you have been there before-maybe as some servant or the princess' parakeet or maybe the Queen herself!
Oh i ramble on, like i do every time my exams are approaching. maybe i should just settle for a life in Seattle-in some apartment where i'll just sit and watch sitcoms...and perhaps,get fatter and fatter. Atleast that way, i dont need to rake through my brains when i need to write four page long answers to what "nothing" means.

p.s: talking of stones that talk, the picture is of the shore temple at Mahabalipuram-one of the few places that i visited alone.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Because I believe in Yesterday...

What do you say when you know you wont ever be back in that room again-the six or seven of us (a little high) watching the video which started it all.yes i talked only so that i wouldnt cry but ended up crying all the same.
It's hard to imagine days when i dont need to walk in through those gates into the red building that faintly smells of shampoo all the time, that lights up in the sunlight like few other buildings do, that watch on as girls walk in and women walk out...year after year.
Yes i have walked down corridors in rage shouting expletives at this building but it took me in each time it rained and i needed a shade.i might not have fallen down running in this building but it has surely added a certain amount of confidence in my has made me realise things i never would've understood otherwise, it has made me read of worlds i didnt know existed.
From the wide eyed fresher,through the striking second year to the crying final year,i have come a long way and it is time now to take a bow.
here's to you-each one of you-who is a part of the Class of 2010,LSR (specially the Department of English).
Thank you for these three years.Thank you for being you.
Because my world will never be the same again.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sundays and Lipstick.

I suddenly missed dancing today.Not the moronic club dancing that I occasionally indulge in, but the classical dance that I trained for, for years. Dance was a part of my Sundays.Unlike a lot of children in my generation, I never got to watch Mahabharat on TV, because I remember its timings clashing with my classes. More than the nostalgia, there was this sense of deep seated guilt of having wronged my Guru and also a sense of waste. Not a waste of talent (I was never a great dancer) but a waste of knowledge. Imagine having learnt something for around a decade and then not remembering almost all of what you've learnt. I remembered a taal in the middle of class the other day but could not, for the life of me, break it up into its constituent taalis and khaalis.
I dont remember when or why I stopped dancing, but I like telling myself that it was around 11th standard, when I had too many tuition classes to attend.
I had a bright yellow costume with a black border, and the blouse had tiny fishes woven into its border and my ghungroos got pretty heavy by the time I stopped (as a ritual,the number of bells in the ghungroo increase with every year of your training)
I miss the unified ringing of the ghungroos and the dirt that stuck to the sole of my feet after the lessons got over. There was also a typical way in which the dupatta was tied-one end covering the chest and the other wound tightly around the waist.
Maybe someday I'll get back to dancing, which was my primary hobby. (I began dancing at the age of four, writing in middle school and started taking photographs only in high school) Till then, I'll just look back and smile at memories of wearing alta on my feet and fingertips, of wearing a fake bun for the head-dress we wore, and of licking off the lipstick the make-up men put on us before shows.

P.S: the photograph was taken during the Mylapore Festival in Chennai.Mylapore is a lot like North Calcutta- the old and orthodox settlement with beautiful houses and dingy lanes.the dance form here is Bharatnatyam, but I trained in Odissi.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Losing Chunks.

Last night I dreamt of my kindergarten school. I saw I was walking down 8B more while I ran into this woman who knew me when I was 2, who taught me the difference between red and blue and between a circle and a square, among other things. “Mary Aunty” we used to call her. I saw Mary Aunty in my sleep-in a cotton sari and a big bindi, and she took me to my old school. I saw the dimly lit room which had colourful soft boards on all the walls. I saw the mounds of plasticine that were moulded into being pink elephants and green ducks. I walked around barefeet feeling the coldness of the ground where I learnt how to walk straight and I think I saw the green wooden merry-go-round too.

Having woken up from sleep, I called up my mother to ask her if the school still stands down that road in Jadavpur. She said it shut down a long time back.

It’s funny how we are growing old everyday, not by blowing off candles but by these little losses. The other day J.D. Salinger passed away and I felt I lost a big chunk of my growing up with him. I remembered my school leaving diary and what someone I totally love, had written. She wrote, “I always thought I was the catcher, not realizing that it was you who has been catching me all through.” Holden Caulfield has been a part of my growing up, he opened me up to a magic that only works once. With magic of this sort, the rabbit gets pulled out of the hat only once and you forever remember that ephemeral moment when the white gloved hand of the magician pulls a smiling rabbit out of his red ribbon lined black hat. You try and hold on to that moment of disbelief forever, because you know that, that is going to be the only time you will see anything of that sort ever happen.

“We are losing all our childhoods”, I said.
“It all has to go someday”, you replied.

I believe you. But I’m holding onto my moments of magic.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

14 A, 14 B

India wasnt quite turning out the way she thought it would. It had been an hour since she'd been sitting inside the aircraft that stood stranded on the Delhi runway because of the thick fog that veiled the line of sight. Very little was visible outside the window except for the colourful tails of other aircrafts that stood stranded as well.She sat between this girl in a red pullover who didnt seem too keen on striking a conversation and another suited business man type man who was a bit too keen.The breakfast served in-flight was pretty good. To be honest, she didnt expect an Indian airline to serve such good food.Her eyes fell on this blue coloured book the red pullover girl was reading- The Bell Jar. "Ah, the morbid sort", she thought. And it was then that her grey eyes caught the two bangles that adorned the red pullover girl's wrists-circles of brown with little patterns of white on them. Were they made of bamboo or wood? Whatever they were, they were unlike any other bangle she'd seen before but they stood out like sore thumbs-jarring against the red pullover."People with negative fashion sense shouldn't own such pretty things", she thought, "if only she turned super generous suddenly..."


Her first trip to Chennai was being delayed because of the thick blanket of fog over Delhi. Bored,she decided to read this book from her course which she had abandoned after two pages the last time she tried reading it. "Too morbid",she had thought.She didnt really feel like chatting up with this firang who sat next to her."Portuguese", she said to herself after stealing a glance at her magenta passport.The shady North Indian businessman type person on the firang's right was giving her enough company-unsolicited though.Breakfast was over when she saw the blank green (or were they grey?) eyes staring at the bangles on her wrists. Self-conciousness spread through every inch of her body as she tried hiding the embarrassment behind this book she was reading.She knew they didnt match with her outfit in any way whatsoever and wished that the green eyes would only stop looking. Infact, she was even ready to give them off to her, she could keep them as her Indian souvenirs.If only she could tell her that the sari ate up all the space in her suitcase and she had no option but to wear these bangles,that matched with the sari, which refused to fit into the baggage.