I am Sita.

Why do you ask?

Is it because of my silence or my rebellion? Which offends you? Which takes your breath away? Which makes you want to brush me away or take me for granted? Tell me, why do you think that I would wait within boundaries you draw for me, why would I not flirt with strangely garbed men who come knocking at my door? If they spout ten heads, would I scream in a fit of rage, or cower submissively, and let myself be taken away?

I am Sita.

Why do you care?

Is it because of my seeming conformity, my life within a life? Which soothes you? Which makes you feel I am like any person you would encounter on the road? Answer me, why must I not go where I please, dream of love-making in forests while monkeys and trees watch in voyeuristic nonchalance? You would protect me, you say, you with more than just Bala, you who have experienced Atibala, you would hold me dear, fight wars for me, you would abandon me, just when I allow myself to be tamed, a Queen, by any standard?

Let me not lie to you then, I am she, and yet, I am not.
I am Sita.



ghosts of songs lurk in corners of my mind. they pounce on me when i least expect them, waiting for that moment, ah, that precise point in time when i'm looking away. they descend upon my mind like a lattice around all my thoughts, they envelop everything. they haunt me sometimes, a woman's voice humming exactly one note, while the rest of the song watches elusively from too far away, while i grope in the dark for just one more snatch of the song, a clue so i can figure out what ever comes next.

they delight in teasing me, these phantoms that i can only ever hope to place, sometimes heaping nostalgia onto me. phantoms from the past, some that bring me specific memories of specific people in specific places, others that leave me with vague feelings, feelings of being at home, of friendships i've lost, and so the songs have either lost their meaning or bring me only pain.

and so, i sing, hoping that i can reach it, this song, sometimes just hoping that eventually, i'll know the rest of it, and when i do listen to it, it will live up to everything i went through to find it again.


(look ma, two posts!)
(there's actually a third. didn't want to overdose. tomorrow, may be.)



slow down you move too fast you gotta make the morning last just kickin' down the cobblestones just lookin' for fun and feelin' groovy badadadadadada feelin' groovy hello lamppost whattttcha knowin' i've come to watch yer flowers growin' ain't you got no rhymes for me dutt tu du du feelin' grooveeeeeyeeeyeeey dadadadaaa rappararara feelin' groovy i've got no deeds to do no promises to keep i'm dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep let the morning time drop all its petals on me life i love you


all is groovy.

pararara raa rappara papapum ta ta ta ta laaaaa laaaa laaaaaa


(ctrl c ctrl v ad infinitum.)


too old for these mind games.

Dance. Danceintiptopform. Nopromisesyou'regonnabehappy. Dancesoitallkeepsspinning.

too fucking old.


about (iv)

the seeming non-metaness of that which is metaphysical.


side note about notes titled 'about': they're insubstantial because i have only just begun to wrap my head around these ideas. feel free to make of them what you want to. they don't mean anything specific or solid to me either, and considering the ambiguity of some of these ideas, i doubt they ever will. the idea is also that these seeming non-meta things (er) are so non-meta that they can be anything.

a second side note, contradicting the first: body. labour. these are the things i am trying to figure. but like foucault said in a context not completely different, we need to look in the most unpromising places, in what we tend to feel is without history - in sentiments, love, conscience, instincts. though, i must say, the questions in the ones titled 'about' before this, i have moved beyond. it is not as if i have figured it out for myself and know all that there is to know, it is just that i am now used to seeking answers to these questions, and that my head has metaphorically wrapped itself around that question by now.



"in order to be any good at it, you have to give up two things.
1. sleep.
2. any sense of a social life."

i'm halfway there, at least.


mandatory valentine's day post

i have another valentine's day song. this one is more tragic, suited to my age (i'm older now, okay) and mood (less cynical). (the first one is still my favorite though.)

there's no aphrodisiac
like loneliness.

no aphrodisiac, the whitlams.



"I don't understand the point of fiction," someone said to me a while ago.

What is not to understand, I wonder.

Stories are what the world is made of, fantasy is what dreams are made of, narratives are what memories are made of.

If you cannot indulge in imagined worlds, get taken by people's and hobbits' lives, laugh at Arthur Dent and whoop in joy with Harry on a firebolt, how can you begin to appreciate Marx talking about parties overthrowing parties in 18th Brumaire, or marvel at Foucault's teasing ways? If you cannot feel the gloom of a novel, how would you empathise with a book on the partition, if you don't like recreating worlds, how would you conceptualise an abstract model of economic development? If you're reading the news, would you not imagine Mubarak's trepidation, or think about Aarushi in the suave, cold way that Marlowe would have?

Most importantly, though, what do you daydream? I cannot imagine what you would do for your endless hours in trains, if not for think about the woman next to you and why she smells of jasmine. Would you, in a bus, not think about how much money a single bus route might make in a trip, without thinking of where the conductor obtains the tickets and how many times the driver takes a break? Do you not have conversations with dogs on roads about how their sex life is going, or talk to yourself in a mirror, practicing a speech for some award or the other? Do you not have little traditions to convince yourself of your quaintness, or music that makes you think in cartoons?

How do your days not have pieces of fictions, parts of stories strewn in thoughts? How do you live like that, in stark, boring, unimaginative reality?


being, or not being. that's the question.

I don’t exist.

Laugh all you want, but you know it’s true.

Oh. Yeah. Smart.

No, don’t give me that “You think, therefore you are” crap. It has even been theoretically disproven. Of course, for the sake of self-depravity, I shall also argue that I don’t think.

How am I writing this if I don’t exist, you ask? This is probably some existential crisis, you say? Hah, I say to you. Hah, if only were I to exist, were I to have a crisis. I write this, not by myself, no Sir, it writes itself.

You still doubt my non-existence? You are but one of many to do so, I must say.

Why, just yesterday, I went to a bank to get myself a new bank account. At first, the manager saw right through me.

Stop grinning your self-important grin already, yes yes, he saw through me because I didn’t exist, I get the joke, now can I move on with a slightly more intelligent argument? Thanks.

I clapped my hands a bit, I yawned, I started at him with my hands folded tightly under my non-existent big breasts, these are the things that sleazy Delhi men like in any case, and finally, when he had absolutely no choice but to acknowledge my non-presence, Madam-ji, he blessed, Aapko kya chahiye?

Ah, I reflected. Finally, I sighed. I tried my rickety Hindi on him. Bhaiya-ji, I beseeched. Ek account open karna hain idhar. Form kahaan se milega, I ask. He blinked. He blinked twice. He looked down at his keyboard as if I had not even spoken. After what I thought might have been time enough for a buffet lunch and three drinks, he turned to his right and yelled. Salim, idhar ek naya khaata kholneka form do, beta.

As I filled out my details, I started to face conundrum upon conundrum. But the real problem would not be faced until I was at a loss for proof.

Proof of birth, it asked me. Here I was, hatta-katta, paunchy, tall, healthy, what more proof of birth do you need, I asked the form. In its mechanical voice, giving me no more argument than mothers tend to do, it said PROVE IT WITH PAPER, BITCH. A tenth-class pass certificate? Eh? But what if I didn’t pass. A birth certificate? Reader, dude, why are you on this again?

You see now? You see why I say that I don’t exist?

Oh. More argument? I see. That’s just paper trail, you think? Alright, then. I shall entertain your snooty existent Self then, for just one more moment.

A day before that, I went to get myself a mobile phone. You would probably be aware of what those things are, you do don’t you, you sly Reader, you. I bet you know what he asked for. Proof of Residence.



He wanted proof that I live somewhere. Preferably a real building. Something with numbers on it. And right there, I lost my bets with Existence. A real building with my name on it?


You try it sometime. Prove you exist. Then you’ll know what I mean.

Until then, Readers, I shall fade myself into invisibility, live under a rock and not make any financial transactions.

I shall also, definitely, not think.


for A, who complained that nothing I write makes her smile.


makes melancholy melody.



"If we have to grow old, we need to have either daiva-bhakti or learn how to knit."

- D