i have to say these things. you popped into my head, two days ago. it's only the good things that pop, like warm buttered popcorn, and come pouring out. that vision of you, the only one i've had to live with for these years, that goofy, goofy smile and you sitting under a window with a tree and moonlight outside. you, with a phone at your ear, and talking with your legs stretched out. it's been so long, i wonder how you're doing, where you've been, and what you're doing.
i found some old, old messages that day. ones i wrote to you, way back then, in the beginning. i wonder if you'd even remember them. you were sending me lyrics of flaming, and i kept getting more freaked out by the second. i even replied, patiently, to every stanza. i was at my table, trying to study some physics, i think, and there you were (yippee! you can't see me, but i can, you) pulling me enticingly into another one of those seven hour long conversations, about what, i don't even remember. i haven't had conversations like that with anyone, at all. i wonder if it's safe now, to admit that i was always fond of you. right from that first email, i had fallen for you, hook, line and sinker. it just took me forever to realise that i did. i think you know this too.
i think i still have that letter you wrote to me. i feel like a silly idiot when i think of what i wrote to you. so very immature, the few bits that i remember seem. may be i'll find it when we move this weekend, when i'm cleaning up and packing up. you are like a fantasy, to me. and i guess it's easy for me to assume that you were a piece of fiction, given the nature of how we were close, and how you were to me, a feeling, a perception. a trick of the light.
i must say this too: that it was pleasant to find this memory, wonderful to know you, and nice to have you disappear.

where do they go, these good times? sucked into a pool of memory, time and buried under the bad, the bitter and the ugly, we forget them. we prefer now, to stow it all away, and keep them sealed, locked under everything else, and finally let them rust.


suspiciously i
creeped into my head
to see what it was hiding
from me.

there i found
a box full of dreams
hid away from my
my cruel, cruel heart,

afraid that i may
discard it the way
i threw away
everything else.


i have longed to write. longed, to give in to this desire to burn every flaming thought into reality, to seek clarity, to learn, perhaps unlearn. i write not a song, but a lament. i wish to forget what i must remember, to do what i must not do, to destroy what i have kept for all this while. i am looking up while stepping down, looking up, while falling. i don't want to fall. i want to reel myself in, but at the same time, lurch upwards and fly. i am reeling myself in, yes, and i am lurching upwards, true, but i do this with no soul in it. i do this like an empty shell riding a wave.


everytime i have wished to write about my own sadness, i have managed to twist it into a story, to attribute it to a stranger that never existed except for in my own head, in my own heart, in the imagination that has stolen from me, all i ever had. i have created them, to hide me, i have lied, to disguise the truth. i don't wish to write a story today. may be tomorrow, i will erase this, or even hide these words behind some man with an obscure name that has come out my ocean of a head. this is the story of my life, and i don't think it is worth writing.


the neem leaves are turning yellow. they know that they must drop, that it will get cold. they imitate sunlight, take up a beautiful golden, shine for the last time underneath the pollution and fall.
this is autumn. the air is nipping. clawing, even, and i refuse to give in. not yet. for it is still warm. so am i. but for how long?


i am turning inward. turning to water to scream into, to let my frustration out on. i sing to let go, and i sing with my soul. these are the moments that i have for myself, and these are the moments i love. i read, but it has been a long time since i have read anything that i truly felt like a part of. like the audience that is enraptured, trapped in a world that is not my own, but feels like reality. i yearn for that escape, and i don't know where else to find it.


the criticism makes it worse. i pretend to enjoy those long talks with people who tell me exactly what it is about me they hate, and all those things that are wrong about me. i laugh it off, and pretend i know what i am hearing already, affirming their opinions. all i want is to hear it, so that i may assure myself that what i am thinking is right, that everything about me is wrong, that everything about me is wrong, that everything about me can be worded into a few people's ideas and beliefs, and i don't want to defend myself, i want to tell myself that i am the deluded one, and these talks only confirm my beliefs.


from what i read today, the self is easy to rebuild, and from what i remember of the rest of it, this rebuilding is like a narcotic (courtesy shalimar the clown that i decided i would not read but fell into). but what i read today gives me hope. that it is probably not difficult for me to undo and redo myself, that i can be a different person, perhaps pursued by the ghosts of some of my actions but untouched by their consequences.

hah. even saying it like this sounds silly.



my blog turned three whole years old on the 11th of this month and i completely missed it, thinking it was on the 19th!

anyway, sing with me.

happy birthday tooooo youuuuuuuuu
happy birthday toooooooooo youuuuuuuuuuuu
happy birthhhhhhhdayyyyyyy to my darling bloggieeeeeeee
haaaaaaaaaaa ppy birthhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh dayyyyyyyyyyy


*applause, cheers, etc.*

thanks for indulging,
i feel old.. sigh.


of stories


her ears were bleeding, her eyes were dry, her heart had stopped, her legs were blue. it was perhaps the stories that had kept her alive, as they blew over her in the wind.


if you listen closely, there are voices around you that tell you everything. they sing, they laugh, they wonder, and unless you believe, their chatter won't make sense to you.


a door-to-door salesman knocked on my door yesterday, and offered to sell me some lies. they're real lies, he told me, and they'll work for you, anytime! i learnt my lesson the hard way, i suppose, not to buy lies from a lie-monger.


i like the smell of stale cigarette smoke on my hair.


and this i say after a shortish drumroll, a pause for effect and a deep, irritated look at the world:



he stepped into his house and stared at the stars.
clouds gathered while he was blinking,
thunder sounded when he was locking the door,
that streak of lightning crashed the ceiling.

his knees fell, his world was reeling.
walls gave in, the floor was sinking.
the beasts came in through the shattering windows,
his roars, silent; discreet, his screaming.

terrible days passed, terrifying nights ended,
blood clotted, his skin was peeling,
his hope diminished, he was left in woe
when finally it ended and the moon was shining.



"oh, it's you. find something to sit on, i'll be with you in a min't."

"er. sure."

"my son's diapers did a disappear. i'm sorry. you're the guy from the ad?"

"his boyfriend, actually."

"oh. right. the ad said you might want to know what eats.."

"yes. confess the darkest thing you have ever done, mrs. surya. confess your nightmare.
we're collectors, you see. it's pretty strange to other people, collecting that sort of thing, but they're quite fascinating."

"i think i can see why.. is there some sort of ceremony? drumroll? do i just get on with it?"

"there is something actually. could you please take your clothes off? it's more effective when all your body parts are visible."

"right. how is this done?"

"i'll keep asking you questions. you answer them down to the most excruciating detail you remember. okay?"

"okay. shoot."

"what were you doing before you opened the door?"

"looking for my son's diapers. i scoured the bedroom and the bathroom for it, and was about to check under his crib when the bell rang. i picked up a bottle of water on the way to the door, opened the door and found you standing there."

"very good. what time did you wake up this morning?"

"once at three am to pee. and finally at seven am when i had to make breakfast. i picked up the newspaper and the milk. i noticed that the sprinklers had been turned on in the lawn outside. i supposed that my husband did that."

"mm. what made you come home last night?"

"a notion that everything must seem normal to the onlooker."

"you say it in a manner that suggests disbelief."

"well, it's probably the insecurity that exposure to cinema and primetime television creates in you."

"last evening. describe what you did after you did it. in vivid detail, if you please."

"immediately after, i rushed out into the crowd and tried to blend into the people outside. i kept hurrying to justify the pace of my heart. i asked a taxi if he would take me home. he refused. the next one said his was occupied. i turned around then, and walked in the other direction hping to find another taxi, when i had a better idea. i walked down to the bookstore nearby, bought the first book i saw. a jap author. the first page described a woman alone at a chain-cafe thing. it was pretty startling to me, i was reading that passage in a cafe identical to six others all over town. i ordered lime-soda. sweet and salty."

"what did you do before you did it?"

"i dropped my son off at his creche. i stepped into a pub for lunch. i ordered pasta and draught beer. while i was eating, i read the newspaper. i got the idea when i was staring at the paper. i smiled. when i was done with lunch, i paid up, walked out and took a taxi to the movie theatre."

"what made you do it?"

"i can't say. it was partly boredom, partly because i have been forbidden from it by those closest to me, and that i haven't spoken to them in a while now. i must say, it was mostly curiosity."

"describe the process."

"okay, so i got off the taxi and paid him. by now, i was pretty excited and very nervous. i took the escalator up five floors, walked up one. i bought the tickets on the sixth floor. i stood in the line for about ten minutes. i named the movie i wanted to be in, and asked for one ticket. this was the first time i had ever watched a movie without company. i bought a large popcorn and a large coke, settled myself down. after a couple of trailers, the movie began. it was one of those robbery movies, where the thieves are never caught and get away with a truckload of whatever it is that they have stolen. to my right was a woman in a white kurta and yellow print. my guess was that she's a journalist, since she was there alone too. to my left were a couple of kids. fresh out of school, they seemed to be. all through the movie, i studied their faces. i felt like i was violating their space. i had to do it. i analysed every reaction. positive to the negative, negative to the positive, everything. the movie broke for an intermission. i struck up a conversation with the woman. i lied, thoroughly and obviously, about everything. i was actually surprised she was talking to me through the lies. i inserted complicated situations when i could have answered simply. i felt mean, so mean, and i went on. for a full five minutes, i lied about everything.
the movie began then. for as long the movie lasted, my lies blanketed my emotion. i felt cool, like no other. when it got over, and the credits rolled out, i got up, smiled at them, and left."

"what part of it bothers you the most?"

"the lies. since that day, i have only hoped that somehow those lies would come true. i have built a universe around me, built only on those lies, with people, telephone conversations, dreams, music, sex, nightmares that is involved in that alternate life. that i have another person living inside me based on those five minutes."

"would you like to let go?"


"thank you, mrs. surya. we are done here."

"that's it?"

"yes. please try sleeping after i leave."



she turned off the lights and switched on the airconditioner. she cuddled into her blanket and shut her eyes. as usual, sleep didn't come easy. but instead of running over the lies as she did usually, she ran the conversation over in her head. the truth. every word, every emotion, she rolled it through her memory and turned it upside down. finally, in a moment of unconsciousness, she lapsed into sleep.


He said no.
In not so many words.

He said no, in no words at all.

i thought i'd stop
and say hello.

i turned around
and looked for

your deep, easy laughter

impressions of your feet
that i know so well,

your lanky silhouette
against the sun,

but you were gone.


this is a picture of the road that we always take, and it always ends up being the wrong one.


..ain't got no bounce in my shoes
ain't got no fancy to tickle
i ain't got nothing but the blues..


if i stood on my head and took a look at the world, would i see everything right?


Valentine's Day

motta maadi (motta maadi)
oru louu jodi (louu jodi)
motta maadi (motta maadi)
oru louu jodi (louu jodi)
oru cinema
nammakaaga nadakkede show! (show! show!)

(or if you prefer telugu)

medapaina chudamanta
oka louu janta (louu janta)
medapaina chudamanta
oka louu janta (louu janta)
oka cinema
mana korake
jarigina show! (show! show!)

ahem. with those amazing lines from that song in anjali, i would like to wish you a *snigger* happy valentine's day.


i'm lost but i'm hopeful, baby, what it all comes down to is that everything's gonna be fine fine fine 'cuz i've got one hand in my pocket and the other one's giving a high five.

(alanis morissette, hand in my pocket.)




when you can't find a light
that got you through cloudy days;
when the stars ain't shining bright
it feels like you've lost your way.
when the candle lights of home
burns so very far away,
you've got to let your soul shine
it's better than sunshine
better than the moon shine..
it's damn sure better than the rain.

soul shine, allman brothers band.
(but listen to the acoustic version by gov't mule.)