Wednesday, December 3, 2008

this is what i think

(richa… this is for you. Yes, there is the option of picking up the phone and “debating” this with you but I also want more posts on my blog :p)

"When life offers you a dream so far beyond any of your expectations, it's not reasonable to grieve when it comes to an end."

Yes, that is really beautiful (and so poignant, more so because this moment is this moment).

As you point out, the problem is with the word “reasonable”. Because we (us collectively and you and i individually) know that ‘reasonable’ and ‘human’ don’t go together.

But then that becomes more about what is “reasonable”.... that is a whole other post

I agree with what you are saying but I think the difference between “human” and “reasonable” is the difference between ‘moment’ and ‘time’’. So in the moment it is human to cry and let your heart break over what is lost a million times over. But over time, when these moments are strung together, in that “time”, do you grieve or at least smile about the fact that it happened?

I know that’s a clichĂ© but I think it’s totally true.

And then this thought strikes me...

Perhaps what is reasonable is to cry over it. When we choose to smile about it, that’s what makes us human... and totally unreasonable?

So the quote makes sense all over again.

I should read this book! :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I am disgusted at this country today.

Sitting with a few friends, discussing “the state of the men in this place” I was once again reminded of “my place”. A place I have not only not chosen but have also refused to acknowledge. But I realize that over here, before anything else, I am a girl.

I hate to sound like a pseudo-feminist movie but the fact of the matter is that when a situation like this comes up, my thought is “So what if I am a girl?”Again, the hollow monologues from various Hindi movies come to me.

But the difference here is that my side of the story is not a question. It’s a statement. I am a girl and am not guilty about it.

But unfortunately that is not enough. Because everyone else disagrees. So here I am bogged down by the weight of the dignity of my nation that men all around me want to gnaw to bits the first chance they get. These are the men strutting tall talking about developing India where everything around us is booming.

The fact of the matter is that everyday, with everything you do, you are made to feel like an inferior.

Because you are not worth it.

As a jeans-wearing, English speaking girl, every often I have been made to feel like trash. But my enlightenment came when I realized that even salwar kameez’s and sari’s don’t make a difference.

“You are a girl.. are a girl.. are a girl… and I am going to rip you apart”

So right now I am trying desperately to figure out what all this culture we all talk about is.

I can already hear those many concerned men saying “we want you safe that is why we want you tucked away at home”

Of course, it is always easier to rub against a woman in a bus when you wife is not watching.

I also realize that the statement/question (the one about being a girl) is hollow within itself because there is no answer or counter-argument.

Sitting in a café sipping cold coffee and munching on crinkle cut fries turns into a teary mess. Because none of us have answers. And that leaves me frustrated like nothing else does.

Tomorrow all of us would step outside and it would be the same thing. The whistles. The hoots. The lewd comments. The shady songs. The satisfied smiles….

Is the only option to get off the bus and catch an auto? That is a way out of the situation for the moment. But is that the only solution that we are going to be stuck with forever?

And the thought that bothers me over and over again is that, even though women have accepted this as part of everyday life, this is Not life. At the moment when I have to walk into a railway station or have to catch a bus my patriotism crumbles. I hate this country. I want to go back to a place where civilized people dwell and you don’t have to scold yourself for wearing a t-shirt instead of a kurta. Or for forgetting that you should have protected yourself with a bag or something else.

The irony of all this of course is the many comments that one hears about “girls abroad”. Girls abroad, for all their “looseness” are not gnawed in public while the whole country watches.

Perhaps it is because I have something to compare with (and thank God for that) that I know not all men are desperate sex-maniacs.

But I wish, on a day like today, that I had another side of the story to make me feel better.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008




coiled up, sometimes,

beneath a ladder
or a chair
or a tree,

and each time

a bit too far
away -

just the length of
a cinnamon stick

Friday, August 15, 2008


Long after the welts
have crusted
and the black blue bruises
have faded,
I simmer
gold and amber,
with the longing
to hold that whip
in my feeble hands
its razor claws
to gnaw
as my lips
quiver with the delight
of biting back
a guilty smile

the classroom

this child is a small one,

just taking in its first gulps of

arid air,

it is only a moment or two

before the choking

and the spluttering will start


but it can be stopped


with the swipe of a crusty foot.

The Month He Lent Them

his eyes

are closed

teasing words out of the

cozy corners of his

crowded mind.

his fingers


lightly over the soft rug,

etching words

over ornate designs.

an image over another.

when the murmurs outside


words that were running around


climb back into his skin

where they belong

artists and actors


you had said


I had said

this is the


of our delirium.

a river


the parting in my hair

Bathroom Break

crouched thus,
the cold, tiled floor
has much to offer

the steady drip from the rusty pipe
plays background music
to this mocking scene

cocooned in
muted humiliation
I wait
for another wave
of nausea
to live up to this glorious moment.

Monday, July 7, 2008

strip tease

and this one was amusing.

as each layer,
each tired layer,
or slipped off,
the reflections
on the aging mirror
had stories to tell
and lullabies to sing
to ears that were too well-versed
in human conversation


These are our stories. Stories that we don’t talk about. Stories that are easily ignored. Easier ignored. These are the stories about the times when every other story is done with. Manners left aside, friendships forgotten, favours misunderstood. Behind closed doors we are all different people. Behind closed doors we all know more… or think we do. Behind closed doors we do more with this knowledge that we scream out is so worthless in the ‘real world’. Here we know that this smile is not a smile, this tear not a tear, this scream….well…. These words are just as empty as we are. We know about blood and tears and sweat and pain. We know that it was not from fingernails that we got scratch marks on us. We know the sharp objects from the dangerous ones. We know how to use the pointy edge of a paper cutter to make someone else bleed. We can make our own meanings and our own outcomes. We are the only heroes. Our carefully constructed images crumble as we stand in front of the speckled mirror and undress. On the other side of the mirror, the stories are different. And too far away to hear clearly. It only takes a minute to put that image to sleep and wander off into the distance with ourselves. We can give this indifference a new name. Call it something else and mellow its jagged edges. We float into the slumber of a sleeping child, oblivious to the shadows sharing the bed with us.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Story Tellers

There are no photographs
out of which he

no garlanded frames
or charcoal sketches

moist eyes and choked whispers
utter his name
careful not to uncover
those dusty memories
too quickly
and make it all too real

all over again


As his innocent eyes dimmed
to darkness
the last he saw
was the torn leather seats
of that old car

(A gilded prince
of years too short
and a story
that went
on and on
long after he had fallen


Faded Memory

Did the rains slash down
on the windshields
of that old car
like it does today?

Was that the last he heard?
And saw?

Along with the muffled sobs
of his helpless mother
and the constant hum
in his young head

with uninvited sleep.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


the mind lingers
on these sordid images:

fingers, legs, lips
the heaving closeness
of hungry bodies

let the eyes bleed
and smudge
these vile flashes
of honest hallucinations

the tongue can go
the silent way
(once again)
biting back moans of
pregnant fear.

Morning Walk

come, let’s run wild
amongst the barren trees
and grainy wind

rip our eyes out
and gag our mouths

but the stench….
oh the Stench!
of bare bodies and soiled feet
and lively flowers in lifeless hands

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Tenth Life

It was this plentiful that was suffocating her. air air air. There was plenty of it. She was suffocating on this excess. With her face down in the pillow, she could restrict it. Let the air in more slowly. Let the lack of air make her gasp. Then swallow huge gulps that came rushing back. It wouldn’t stay away. It wouldn’t stay away.

Here she could see the air. It had got into every corner of the room. Uninvited. With the smell of the road outside and the blurry sun. They all came marching in and sat stubbornly in the shabby corners of her crowded room. She glared back with dark eyes swollen with heavy tears. But they refused to leave.

And they refused to listen to her. She wanted just enough so that she could rub some into those weary limbs. That tired chest.

Later she ran around, trying to catch a few in her graceless hands. A gust here. A waft there. They stopped and settled on her palm just for a moment before slipping off on to the floor. They scuttled around on their stumpy feet. Always too fast for her. The cracks she had never seen before swallowed and hid them. Till she crouched on the floor too exhausted to run after them.

Then they did come out. Cautiously. Circling around her squatting body but not coming too close. She had held her hand out helplessly. But they had refused. Again.

On the other side, she knew someone was waiting. She had promised. But yet again she couldn’t do it. Another night will go by like this. Excess and want playing practical jokes on their tired bodies. And they would both choke, together.

Friday, June 20, 2008

starting trouble....

perhaps its just about time to start