Close to the top of the list of things that piss me off:

People who romanticise poverty. 

I understand it's difficult to find poetry in things; I understand the need to find expression in what you believe is most indigenous. It might speak to you in multiple ways; you might see it as beautiful imagery. You might write it as beautiful imagery. But there is no romance in poverty. There are only people struggling for their dignity while they make their ends meet. Write about them, please. But don't project your romance onto their lives. 



You are the latest addition to my private collection of people. 

There are all sorts in there. An old woman I saw the day after I got my tenth standard board exam results. I was in a bus on the streets of Delhi. She was in a rickshaw with a bag of vegetables. A man whose butt crack was peeking from the back of his pants on a train. He was snoring on the upper berth of a train from Bhopal to Godhra. When we reached, he jumped off the upper berth, dragged his suitcase out, pushed me out of the way and got off the train. I can't remember his face, but I know his butt crack intimately. 

A woman with short hair I saw five years ago. She was in the library, going through books in the women's studies section. I practiced talking to her everyday for a whole week in the shower. I haven't seen her since, but I still have conversations with her sometimes. She has longer hair now, the kind that falls along her shoulders in waves. She sings like a dream. She sings in my dreams. 

You're different. You have a name and a place in my world. You like potatoes and spend a large part of our time together convincing me about them. You have a way of saying my name. You emphasise the first half, lilting on the second half. There is warmth in it, but there is ownership in it. I have never had a private person who could own my name. It says something of you, I am not sure what.

Your hands are a beautiful shade of dark. Which is strange, because nothing else about you is. But your fingers and long and warm. I’ve never kissed anyone with long fingers. Only stubby and fat. Or short and pretty. (With their nails either bitten or cut. Usually bitten off.) I'll very quickly skip everything else and arrive at your hair. It is almost straight, only slightly wavy where it is ponytailed, which is also a novelty. I’ve done the whole range of super crazy fizz to stick straight, but I haven’t done yours.

Faces are difficult. Yours, especially. I can think of everything in its own way. I know your ears. I know your teeth: There is something blackish stuck in them but your grin is overpowering. I know your lips, but not the way I would like to. Your nose hooks a bit like mine. Your eyes. But I can’t put them all together coherently in one face. It’s as if I have bits of a puzzle to put together, but just don’t know how. I always wonder if I will recognize you if I see you out of context. Suddenly in an airport. Or eating pani puri on the road. 

Do you like chaat? It’s an important parameter.


cookies crumble

i feel like i'm living my life between one crisis and the next with crap hotel rooms in between.

in other news, i'm presently homeless. any kind souls who read my blog, live in delhi and know someone who's looking for a flatmate please write to me/call me.




what if i'm just being stubborn? if there's value in what they're saying? am i missing out on something i might regret not knowing? am i going to go my whole life carrying this feeling?

i really don't want to watch game of thrones.

ps. in other news, i like being alone in good hotel rooms that have star world at 9PM. i hate being alone in hotel rooms otherwise. also, muzaffarpur has the worst hotel(s) in the country. muzaffarpur, however, has a baskin robbins. i've never eaten so much ice cream in my life. 



all of us turn into creepy internet stalkers at 2AM.

but if you need help, i'm pretty good at it. 



too exhausted to tell a story about this woman i met in the sea who just kept swimming but kept missing the boat. 



my blood might turn to
coffee one day. thick, bitter,
5% chicory, half a spoon of
sugar and completely black.

but i must tell you a story
about a kind of chicken
they breed in jhabua:
whose flesh is black
whose bones are black
whose wings are black

i don't suppose
it drinks very much



don't want to write/can't write anyway. 


fall in love in cities by the sea

old loves
kiss me softly
on my nose, like a
duck on my chin;
nibble my ear a little
to the left while i
dream about
popcorn, the sea
and winter rain.


drunk post about a book

i am drunk. i haven't been drunk in 3 1/2 weeks. there are two reasons for this - the first is that there really isn't any alcohol legally available in rural gujarat (and i didn't know a bootlegger); the second is that the only kind of people who get drunk in rural india are men or witches. in any case, this isn't a post about my being drunk, this is a post about a book. 

cities nauseate me. i mean this in a literal sense. i am asthmatic, and this means when i don't pay attention to how my lungs work, i suffocate and feel nauseous. when i don't swim, when i don't jog/walk/do yoga/exercise, i start to pay attention to things like air density and humidity levels.

this has nothing to do with how much i love cities.

i recently read the latest murakami book, colourless tsukuru tazaki and his yeas of pilgrimage.

i talk about how cities are nauseating because i have belatedly come to a conclusion about all of murakami's books. his most central concern, or the one that i relate to most anyway, is the condition of urban loneliness. or to put it in another way, he writes about people who put themselves in boxes. i may mean this literally - because what are urban homes if not boxes; but i most certainly mean it in a metaphorical sense. we become people without names or faces; we become persons whose lives are only meaningful to ourselves. 

we become concerned with what we eat and what we wear and our daily routines and who we are friends with and what sort of books we read and what towels we use and whether we use conditioner meant for dry hair or oily hair  and what sort of music we listen to and whether we think epubs are better than whatnot and where we download our music from and whether we are indie enough and whether we support the right kind of hip issues and whether we are green but what the hell is wrong with any other colour which brings me right back to murakami. 

i love him, and i was asked recently what it is i love about him, i love him because he is so bloody good at talking about the urban condition. murakami, better than anyone else, talks about what it is like to be a person of one's own - not merely in the sense of being independent - but in the sense of being singular. that's not true. i love murakami because i associate my own solitariness with his characters. they are not driven or passionate about any one thing; they do what they do because they do it. they have no strong sense of direction - they go where they go because life takes them there. and that's just how it is. 

but the truth is also (okay i'm drunk so i'm gping to tell this story - someone had a whole 45 minute conversation with me today assuming i was about 5 years younger than i really am - i'd blame it on my new and fancy haircut) that i love murakami because i loved him when i was younger. when i needed him, he was there. when i read after dark at 17 alone in a cafe-cum-bookshop after a fight with my best friend when i was sure i'd never talk to her again (it has been ten years since, we're still talking) it struck a deep resounding chord in my heart and i was hooked. five years after, when i read dance dance dance, it spoke to me in ways noone else did. his work has left a deep blemish on how i read and write fiction, no question about it. but do i love him as i did four or five years go? not really. is he as relevant? may be more than ever. 

i might delete this post tomorrow, but right now i'm super astounded by how few spelling and grammatical errors there are.

also i read the book on a sunday on my kindle on my phone in a village 10000000 miles from a mobile phone tower. and i'm back in delhi now. i really feel on some days that i should make my google calendar public, just in case someone wants to hang out with me. (while we're still on the urban loneliness thing). okay post ends.

edit: tomorrow, when i'm sober, remind me to talk about cities, anonymity and loneliness; and why sleeping under the stars is all fine but really airconditioning is where it's at.



i think a promise
slipped out of my bag
yesterday. i can't seem
to remember which or
where but i know
i'm just not feeling
it weighing down
on me.


where are you going

YES LET'S POLICE EVERYBODY because that's the bloody answer.

(i'm constantly surprised by my own capacity for anger at things i was sure i had made my peace with. oh well.)


learning from this week

sita does not know how to take a selfie.




i hate people
who never know when
to use
"air quotes"



saw my first ever dancing peacock today in baria, gujarat.



who'll stop the rain

the thing about happiness nobody tells you about is this: when you're happy, the things that you used to cling to for life, don't matter so much anymore.

not television, not books, not frantically being the first to read everything the internet has to offer, not music, not alcohol, not the right shade of lipstick. it doesn't bother me so much that i haven't read a book from start to finish in weeks. i haven't read july's issue of so many magazines, and july's almost over. i haven't listened to three weeks of podcasts, but it doesn't irk me. i haven't eaten red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, and i've been craving it since mid-june. (i haven't even zomato'ed it more than twice.) 

i'll tell you what matters though. deodorant that works. orange juice in the morning. the right music in the shower. pedicures. the right berth on a train. sleep. and crappy movies, always. 

obviously happiness and loneliness are compatible too, and that's a good thing also. 


grown up

i hate growing up.


(ps. grown ups just don't have fun on their birthdays, is it? bah.)



this is all very exciting, blog.

i have a new job! i have a place to stay! i paid rent! and will prospectively pay bills!

adult, i.

*excited, but soonly broke*

(yeah yeah i have to read and write and meet deadlines and generally spend quality time inside my head. and not at work. i get it. i'll do it soon in my cool new apartment with nice showers)

(or not, because i'm traveling for the rest of my foreseeable future. but what are trains for if not for writing!)



i've been cheery and high all day. like you know the annoying kind of cheery, that you just want to slap?

yeah. me.

and it reached a peak just now: i discovered that an author i love and i have *several* mutual friends on facebook. OMIGODCANTHISWORLDGETANYSMALLER.

(don't answer that with a rant about political economy or i might hit you.)