bitter endings

are quite unlike chocolate.


With Love From Me To You

Dear Cat,

Some of my most wishful nostalgia comes in the form of old blue letter paper with faint ink lettering. In the most formal English, with the quirkiest colloquial turns of phrase, they are my most solid link to the past. Letters from my uncles to my grandmother, telling her about passing an exam or breaking a leg; letters from my granduncles to each other, telling each other about their daily lives, informing each other about the developments in their lives or asking for advice for things that I now know the outcomes of.

I didn’t know if they still sold them in post offices these days, but I can’t be too sure: the only kinds of post offices I’ve been to that I remember are in countries whose languages I don’t know, to buy pretty stamps (The Mona Lisa with a Louvre time stamp or a picture of Gaudi with a Park Guell time stamp) for my brother and send cursory postcards to my parents (“Hi from Lisbon!” or “The Pope and I send our fondest greetings from the Vatican City!”). I know, I keep saying “When I was in Europe” too much; but I really can’t help showing off!

So when I decided to write to you instead of sending you an email, the only kind of letter I could think of sending was on this blue piece of paper. I have never seen one that is new, so it is surprising to me how bright it is. I have also not written with an ink pen in ten years, so the flow of this is something I have not yet become used to. It blots around my punctuations, and I think I like it so far. (Do you?) I also have to think before I write down every sentence, because the reality of not being able to delete words or sentences, or move paragraphs or phrases around is a bit disconcerting. I paused just before I wrote ‘disconcerting’: I wrote it slowly, because I didn’t want to mess the spelling.

I don’t know how to go about writing this letter. It is not a love letter, and those I have become pretty adept at over the past five years. It is not an email to my friends, but those are generally not longer than three lines and sometimes don’t carry any words at all. It isn’t the kind of letter I write when I’m flirting with someone (all wordy and pontifying, all show-offy and long). To be honest, I think I’m writing this because I’m bored and want for work. I think I’m writing this because I want to know what it’s like to write to someone I have never actually corresponded with, but know intimately.

I suppose we could both pretend that we are strangers who are entirely oblivious of each other’s lives. We could play this out as if we are only exchanging smiles on trains we frequent. But I picked this blue piece of paper because I wanted this to be More. Because honestly, I’m not just saying “hello.” We say hello to each other nearly every morning. We have, for nearly seven years. I drink your cups of coffee, and sing your rain songs, and think about the things you think about. You roll your eyes at my silly things, smile at the pretty things and read the books I talk about. You’re a fan of Silverstein because I’m a fan of Silverstein. I only fell in love with Butler because you write about her in that way. And yet, we aren’t people to each other. Or we are, but in ways that are not tangible. (I’m confused though, that’s not a bad thing right?)

Sometimes, I write just for you. This is hard to explain. I imagine the kind of story you would love. I imagine its contours and lies. I imagine the kind of cleverness you would enjoy, and the kind of ingenuity that would thrill you. I imagine words that would impress you, and things that would make you feel warm. More than anything, I imagine sitting by you at a cafĂ©, doing my own thing, and occasionally sharing coffee and a song. And in the things I write for you, are the things we are talking about. I imagine you sitting at your desk at work (at your desk I imagine a photo of your kid and your dog, a poster of a painting you like, and lots of colourful post-its) and reading what I’ve written for you. And then, I imagine you smiling. And sometimes, I imagine, you write just for me.

Well, I’m running out of space on this piece of paper and I still haven’t said anything of import at all. I’m writing to you to tell you that I met the same magician you wrote about six months ago, and I know this from the “curve of her smile and the shade of her lipstick, more magical than any illusions she pulled out of her hat” and “the colour of her eyes, they were blue when she smiled at me but green when she was listening although I don’t think anybody else found anything amiss about them.”

I know you looked for her everywhere since, and you haven’t heard of her or from her since. So when I met her here, more than halfway across the world, not even slightly conspicuous, just someone I was introduced to out of the blue, I could only think of you. Not immediately, regretfully. I was a bit drunk at the time. She shook my hand and left the pub, was when I noticed that her eyes had turned blue. I tried to run after her, ask her what her name was or ask her for her number, but by the time I made my way out, she was gone. Just like that. I decided just then that I would write to you, if only to let you know that we’re sisters in looking for this mysterious magician.

There is another detail that led to my making this decision. I am unsure yet if it is something my five shots of tequila made up, but through our conversation, I remember being addressed by her as “Ms. Lane”. I assure you, that is not my real name. I have only ever been referred to as “Ms. Lane” by you, and that, only once. I realized this when I was running out the pub, looking for her. I was playing the conversation I had with her over in my head, to look for anything that might link her to your magician. Twice, I thought about it, and the third time it struck me. “It was nice to meet you, Ms. Lane,” she laughed. “And you, Ma’am,” I said to her, because I didn’t remember her name. Names are stupid, fickle things, always slipping away from me when I need them. But ‘Ms. Lane’ was what she called me, though of this, I cannot be sure.

I can squeeze in a last couple of lines if I write tiny. I was so sure what you wrote about her was fictitious until I met her!! Did she really do all those things you said she did? She definitely looks like she could have! I do hope my writing to you was reassuring in some way. Looking forward to hearing from you!

A Hug and a Hello, 



for Someone in my past whose life just changed Significantly. 


the day the world ended

was a pleasant, sunny day.

i met some old friends, made some long phone calls, drank lots of tequila and lost all the money i bet at the beginning of the year.

i also read all of good omens by terry pratchett and neil gaiman, because simply, it's the most awesome apocalypse story ever. :)

what did you do on the day the world ended?


there's a memory keeping me warm this night. 

a memory of a cup of coffee, a kiss and a song.
here - it's in my head now, like a song i only half know - i can see it: a windy night and a lazy moon, warm coffee and a stolen glance, half a song and a lingering kiss. i can hear you sing to me if i strain to listen, but i forget what song it was.

i could have stayed there, being warm with you, wondering if it was really was raining all over the world. 



"tell me a story in six words."

"an invisible cat stole my pajamas."


on some days i like to do silly things

"I'd like a glass of water," he said.

"SLAM," said the door.

"I'd like a glass of water," he said.

"That'll be fifteen rupees," said the shop-keeper.

"I'd like a glass of water," he said.

"GURGLE," said the water fountain.

"I'd like a glass of water," he said.

"OOPS," said the empty bottle of water.

"I'd like a glass of water," he said.

"That'll be sixty rupees," said the guy at the restaurant.

"I'd like a glass of water," he said.

"BOO," said the ghost.

"I'd like a glass of water," he said.

"Here you go!," said the friendly neighbour.


"Every character should want something. Even if it's just a glass of water."
- Kurt Vonnegut.


the boy who was a fruit

have you heard the story
about the boy who was
an avocado?

he was beautiful and green
and had eyes like a cat

yesterday, though,
in the market?

he had his heart broken

and you wouldn't know it if you saw him

(not unless you knew him
and felt him
and weighed him)

he turned black inside. 


hi s'ka! 


friendly advice

never organize somebody else's bookshelf.




In the beginning, there was nothing.

In this place, I had a new face. My ears were funny, my eyes were too dim and my hands, oh my hands were too slow. Too many calluses, too rough, too dirty. I shuffled where I had to walk, walked where I needed to run, stopped and looked instead of jumping right in. It is the way of cities, to leave you out if you don't fit in. But cities, they also take you in. They give you shelter and they give you a name. It is full of people who were once lost, and it is full of people who have found their place. All these people, the hairy ones and the bald ones and the ones with hair in their ears and the ones with hair on their toes, all of them, they're still looking.

So on roads, by carts of tea with cigarettes I could barely afford, I made fleeting friends. Friends whose names didn't matter and faces hadn't camouflaged into crowds. A conversation, two, about things that weren't us anymore. Things we held on to, only to give us something to hold on to while everything was nothing. Where we were from, what languages we spoke, the sound of our dialect, the price of onions, the smell of firewood in our kitchens at home. The things we missed here, but things we could never go back to. Merely fillers. Because there was nothing else.

Because there was nothing.

I remember little from this time. A man pouring tea into a glass under an orange streetlight. A scar under his left eye. The warmth of conversations. Him telling us about his wife and children. Two daughters he had to pay dowry for. His cows. His land. Him not telling us about the other things. A son who was killed for the father's gambling debts. There was no going back, he said. Not anymore. But why would he want to, he asked. The city doesn't judge. Another man I shared a blanket with. He didn't talk at all. Not about his ink-stained fingers, not about his ink-stained face. Not about wandering the trains in the day pretending they're carousels, not about our waking dreams. Not about our numb, blue toes on that cold, cold night. Not about anything at all. But why would we want to? The city doesn't interfere.

It was a life that wasn't a life. It was time I spent in exile. Time I spent gathering myself (bits of me that I recognized); time I spent leaving behind things I couldn't hold on to anymore (things I still held on to in my mind); time I spent moulding my face into one that could blend into malls and metro stations, buses and parks, alleys and under-roads, slums and pavements.

I did many things to merely survive. I went with a gang of children who did many different kinds of things to get high; all of which were easily available, none of which were ineffective. I knew all the places to get free lunch on every day of the week, and how much to bribe every guy who controlled the entry. I knew where to find the good enough garbage to sell, but wasn't already collected by someone specific. I knew where I could sleep without being woken, I knew which policemen to avoid and which places paid an honest day's wage to anyone who worked. I knew how much hunger I could deal with, and how much hunger would make me have delusions and my head spin out of control. But none of these things were things I wanted to know or things I cared about.

It was just the beginning, and it was nothing at all.

foggy winter night song

like a fool, i fell in love with you
you turned my whole world upside down.

 (please don't say you'll never find a way
or tell me all my love's in vain.)

lay. la.


I left behind everything I had ever known and ran. 

I didn't even know what it would be like in a city. I didn't know about the big roads and the cars and people who don't talk to you at all and the small houses and the smaller meals. I didn't know about the smells of food on the roads and the smells of old garbage and the smells of traffic jams and the smells of a thousand armpits scrambling for a place on the morning train. I didn't know about roads you're never meant to walk straight down on and roads you're only ever meant to walk on in the evenings and I didn't know about the roads so full of people selling everything you could possibly think of. I didn't know about some hours when the city swells with people and some hours when the city is so empty you can almost hear the silence. Just, almost.

I especially didn't know about the nights. They're strange, quiet and loud, violent and pathetic, cold and lonely. I didn't know about the hundreds of people sleeping under the large flyovers, not the people living in homes that aren't houses, not the lights that never go off, not the lights that never come on, not the women who aren't out, not the women who are, not the people in their cars and their night clubs, not the policemen and the doctors. I didn't know skies without stars. They're exhilarating, mean and miserable, alert and sleepless, lonely and cold. And I just didn't know about the nights. 

None of it mattered. I left behind everything I knew anyway. 

I didn't have to. It wasn't something I weighed my options and made a rational choice about. It wasn't like I wanted to change the course of my life because it made sense to. I ran, because I was a coward and there was no way in hell I could have done honorable things or heroic things or brave things, or the kind of things that were required of me at the time in general. I might be tempted to call it a stupid decision, but upon reflection I know that the life I would have had would have been less exciting. Safe perhaps, and I would have retained a limb and a couple of teeth perhaps. But far less exciting, and this I can say with some conviction.



in a new city today.

a busy city, a city meant for tourists, a city that feels like an overgrown town - old, broken houses, roads that aren't really roads, people herding cows through flyovers; it's a foggy afternoon and the river crawls through what used to be beautiful: bright, bright clothes, sarees of every colour all along one bank of the river. the other bank is dry, collecting garbage and forgotten.

we enter the taj mahal from the south gate. we weave through a small slum in the back to get there: women standing in line with plastic matkas of every colour by a handpump, children getting back home from school skipping stones in the small open drain by the side of the road.

i feel like an intruder, but our guide insists on the shortcut. it saves time, he says. it's a good view, he says.

it is.

of the white mausoleum in the fog, it's a good view. it's majestic, but the magic is lost on me. it's pretty, but the beauty is lost on me.

this city hasn't called to me. this city, i don't feel like it wants me. i don't know how to embrace it. it doesn't have a vibe. not one that i can feel, anyway.

it's a first. 


(i haven't written about barcelona or paris yet. i want to, but i don't want to. i don't know how. yet.)



for all the times i have felt better about my roots, for being aware of all the things i take for granted that most of my girl friends have to negotiate and bargain with their parents, for being given the opportunity to find out for myself what my boundaries are; 

for all these things and all these times, there are the occasional crushing opposites: the times when inevitably i am told by a well-meaning relative or an equally well-meaning total stranger what the "socially appropriate" thing for a woman is. when i have no choice but to give in, even when it's something i don't even give a shit about. 

and because it's the principle of the damn thing, here i am, offended, hurt, and blogging oh-so-cryptically about it.


fool on the hill and i feel fine.

When tomorrow comes:

I'll wake up early and make time for breakfast.
I'll work out lots and stick to my diet.
I'll do the kind of work that won't make me feel mediocre.
I'll snap less at people because I won't have the time.
I'll write stuff that will make me happy.
I'll learn how to bake the perfect croissant.

Until then, I'm going to sleep this hangover away and keep the sun out of my eyes as much as possible. 


A bout de souffle

I just bought a copy of the herald tribune in PARIS!!

More later.




i like having breakfast. 
all by myself, when the house's finally empty for an hour exactly. i make myself an omlette: i cut the onions, i grind the pepper, i beat the eggs till they're fluffy. i grate cheese, i think about it guiltily before i put it in and then remember it when i do a lap less than i mean to. two slices of brown bread, these i put in the toaster and set it to '3'. i find some ripe mosambis, big and sweet and straight from our farm. i take three, cut them, juice them and refuse to add sugar. 
at ten o clock, at ten o clock exactly, i sit on the big sofa, turn on the tv and watch reruns of doctor who with breakfast.


smelly socks

found a note yesterday:

crumpled, torn at the edges
old, three years and four months
in a bag i haven't used since.

a list of things to do:

buy socks
find purple sweater
pay electricity bill

but even if it read:

fall in love
find a job
world peace -

i'd have written
the same note


(i take it nobody misses me? hi?)



take my words lightly.

like words scribbled on waiters' pads

: useless unreadable scrawls
inconsequential letters scrambled together
numbers nobody sees

(for them whose mind is currently occupied
by numbers dancing and bistromathic calculations
this may not be an apt metaphor.)

nevertheless, take my words lightly.

since i mean them in no meaningful way
throw them around as they come, really
to see if they fit together in sentences
that i can punctuate with pretty semicolons.

(words are warped in veracious ways
telling testimonies twisted typically,
so soon, she says what she never sought to say.)

anyway, just take my words lightly.


on hold, hold on.

three short beeps. one automated voice. 

...please stay on the line, or try again later.



jack in a box.

i'm going to travel. and see the world. and take pretty pictures. and sing loudly. and everything's going to be new. and with every second that passes i'm going to move farther. and farther. and farther. away from the person you used to know.

every once in a while i'll visit me when i was you. i'll reminisce over little things. and season it with the bitter things. and tell myself i've seen the world. so i don't have to live in a box.



in moments of sheer, utter panic and much hopelessness, one is thankful for:

1. having a blog to vent to.
2. mother dairy's new fruit yoghurts. especially blueberry.
3. friends on speed dial.
4. friends who clearly believe in me more than i do.
5. shel silverstein.
6. facebook's 24 hour wait for reactivation. (because otherwise, i'd cheat all the time!)
7. the beatles.

okay, got to get back to writing.


some people have two faces

a mirror can lie to you, you know.

it'll tell you you're fat
when you're really okay;
it'll tell you you're right
when you're really to the left.

it'll show you your scars
when you cover them up;
it'll show you your make up
when you hide it all.

it'll tell you to your face
when you're showing it your back;
it'll tell you you're right
when you're really just not.

but some people have two faces, you know.

and they can lie to mirrors, just so.



i always miss my camera when it rains.

but the skies are like winter, it smells like rain, the grass is wet and overgrown. there are sparrows on the wall, i can hear them chirping all the way here. two kites are being fought, one red and one white.

and tom waits is singing,
i feel much cleaner, after it rains.


day by numbers.

11th day.
7th month.
25th year.
22341 words.
2 panic attacks.
3 days to go.
1 mile.
36 minutes. (!)
5 kilos this way.
5 kilos that way.
3 chocolates.
1 unopened bottle of wine.
0 club memberships. 
0 plans for the future.

have a great bloody day on me, everybody!



It was around two years ago that I first tried explaining to someone the joy of having a girlfriend. You can tell them anything, I explained. And by "anything", I honestly didn't mean sex or masturbation. These are sort of given, I'm sure men do that with their male friends too; and I don't think there is a true girlfriend if she doesn't know how and when you last made out with someone. I meant the little things, like what annoys you about purple post-its, or the travails of finding the perfect risotto, or obsessing about a side character in the last book you read.

Obviously, there is some physical intimacy. Most women I know aren't okay with being completely naked in front of other women. Especially if you live with them, whether in a flat or in a hostel, these lines become exceedingly clear. I find that most women have all sorts of crazy rules about who should see them naked and how, whether they're okay with being completely naked in front of other women, public showers, sleeve lengths, trouser lengths, skirt lengths, fits of pants, I could go on and on. 

The nature of physical intimacy with a girlfriend is completely different from any other kind of physical intimacy I know. I've shared a bed with two women for different periods of time in a year. On some mornings, we'd wake up absolutely tangled up in each other. On some nights, we'd cuddle into one or the other. On most nights, because we'd all have different sleep cycles, we'd all have the bed to ourselves because the room would be otherwise empty. There is a kind of physical comfort that comes with having girlfriends, sharing spaces, menstruation cycles, bags, clothes, shoes, food, shampoos, sanitary napkins, tampons, deodorants, stuff. I don't think I know of really any other relationship that gives me this kind of comfort.

But more significant than the physical intimacy, is a sort of emotional and social intimacy that one has with one's girlfriends. I consider myself quite lucky to have several girlfriends, all of whom share their lives with me most intimately. (Some of them share them too intimately for my comfort. For the record, if you are going to talk to me from the bathroom, may be you can let me know after you flush.) I know about aunties in offices who steal their lunch everyday, I know about the dress they really want to fit into if only they managed to lose some weight, I know about stuff strangers have said to them passingly that have changed the way they see themselves. 

Most of my girlfriends live in a different city, continent, timezone, whatever, right now; so I've had email threads spanning several hundreds about mundane things and important things. I receive ten emails a day on an average, about puppies on roads or the food they're eating or the weather in their city. I've sent tons and tons of emails about similarly random stuff, and these really make our day. "Reply All" really is a default setting on gmail for most of us. We may not be clued in to our work crap, or issues we're having with our partners, but we definitely know what the others are having for lunch. We all throw tantrums and bicker and bitch and love and hate, all on international conference phone calls or skype or google chat. (Really, google chat changed our lives.)

And with all this, they're the most indispensable part of my life!

Here's to having girl friends. :)



(this has become my permanent state of mind, and really my only thought. singular.
but to compensate, here's a pretty instagram-y picture of my new stationery!)



and get some ice cream.


alone in the clouds all blue

we promised we'd stay

and we'd have conversations
(real or imaginary)
with clowns and lions
(red nosed or reindeered)
and laugh at all the right places
(i'll tip my hat and gape at your head)
and pretend we're singing
(off key and melodiously)

but here i am
(alone in the night)
counting the floaters in my eyes
(purple and blue and wily white)
listening to footsteps
(there's a ghost upstairs)
and waiting for sleep to come.


(title from flaming, pink floyd again - yippee, you can't see me, but i can, you.)



"so how's your dissertation going?"

"i'm writing @ 3 words per day. on most days, the words are 'i hate writing.' "


yes, i've turned this blog into a bitching station because really i don't want to work and i'm feeling extremely lazy and just reading three pages makes me want to go take a nap and what's worse is that i actually do take that nap. (of course that doesn't stop me from reading three books of fiction over two days - one on saturday morning, one on saturday night and one on sunday. but obviously my clever brain knows when i'm feeding it dissertation reading, and promptly goes off to sleep right then. bah!)



being hip is just TOO much work.



(if it doesn't pass
if it doesn't change
if it doesn't turn
may be it's not
just a phase?)


on intellectual curiosity

i would like to think
that the world is mostly
an experiment conducted
by white mice.

you, me, your neighbor's best friend
we could all just be
tiny pieces of jigsaw
lost from different boxes.

is the colour you see
the colour that i see,
and is the mountain we know
a molehill for someone else?

if my life is indeed
written on a palm leaf,
does it say in BIG BOLD LETTERS
"don't panic"?

most importantly,
is the object of my
intllectual curiosity
curious at all

about me?


rain = win

1. mirchi bajjis, you, me, sitting in the terrace and staring at tank bund. philosophising, talking about politics, bitching, fighting, making up.

2. sitting on the swing in my porch. staring at the rain in my lawn. reading whatever i'm reading that day. a cup of tea. popcorn.

3. long drives, whiskey, oddly shaped clouds, colours, kissing you.

4. heaters, cocoa, wet socks, freezing toes, sheets of white ice on green grass, ice on my tongue, rahman music, 2 am. showing tanay how not to be scared of the strange rain. 

5. there's no rain like the rain at home. (but the rain here is pretty nice too.)


on living in delhi

if you've been in enough earthquakes, you know that the first thing you ought to watch out for is the noise. it has a deep boom that you can feel while the ground shakes and the windows rattle. 

smaller earthquakes just feel like mild disorientation. like how sometimes you're sitting on a sofa and staring into space, and when you tune in, right at that moment, you feel like everything moved just a little bit. 

the slightly bigger earthquakes are much, much louder. the doors and windows rattle, the steel almirahs dance on their already unstable legs, the floor vibrates, and every other piece of furniture is moving like there's a drill underneath. 

obviously, i haven't been in really really big earthquakes or i wouldn't be writing this, but i suspect they're louder than anything else, and it's not just the doors and windows and furniture that are moving or threatening to fall down.

anyway, the point of writing this was to provide context to a conversation i just had.

"earthquake aaya kya abhi?"

"huh? no."

"okay, the AC was making a noise then."


a lot like love

you're the digestive biscuit base to my cheesecake.


notes from this weekend

1. next time you want banoffee pie sitoo, just go to khan market. please don't try it at home. again.

2. jab we met is my most favoritest movie. second only to dilwale dulhaniya le jayenge and tied with godavari.

3. getting drunk after six months of annoying soberness with great company is good. the hangover isn't. also i love white wine. that's the essential bottomline.

4. stop looking at your wonderfully pedicured feet. also, next time, get purple.



creeping bougainvilleas in my house:
so wrapped up in each other,
you can't tell one from the other. 

this only leads me to wonder:
how do trees fall in love?
what do they do when they get lonely?



All this morning, a wriggling worm of doubt has been digging around in my head.

Take a pen. Standard, blue Reynolds with a white body and blue cap. You can have lost the cap a week ago for authenticity, because nobody in the real world owns Reynolds pens with their caps on. Except may be shop owners. Don’t bother with red pens, only strict teachers own those kinds. The black pens, well you and I both know the kind that writes with black pens, right?

Find a piece of paper. Personally, I prefer ruled paper without margins, preferably in a spiral pad notebook. The very kind you were never allowed to take to school, yes. If it’s paper that’s torn out of a notebook or even A4 sized paper that was lying around your table that you don’t really know anything about may be it used to be an airplane ticket may be it used to be something else it’s not consequential not really anyhow, it doesn’t matter.

Now write on it.

That’s the first pit stop. Think carefully. It’s always tricky to find something neutral to say, in case someone peeks into your notebook tomorrow and judges your innermost thoughts and psyche from it.

It’s even trickier if you get swallowed by a time warp or the monster living behind your book shelf, and nobody wants to admit that these things happen in the real world, so they pretend mundane things like ‘she ran away’ or ‘she’s caught in a mystery novel.’ So they peek in your notebook for clues.

‘Abbey Road’

“Okay”, they’ll say. “Clearly it has something to do with the poster in her room. Check it for something that’s strange, no? Apart from the barefoot guy in the suit? Oh wait! She’s a Beatles fan, may be there’s a bigger clue in that. Colonel Mustard with a silver hammer in the kitchen? Nah, that was just Cluedo.”


“Wait, that’s useless,” they’ll think. “It’s just her name. Perhaps she was doodling in her notebook before the mysterious event occurred. It seems to me like it’s not pertinent to this story investigation.” But they’ll be wrong. You know this now, so I hope you’re thinking carefully about what you’re about to write on the previously irrelevant piece of paper you’re holding on to right now.

‘Gatorade Sports Drink for Sports People Who Can Drink Fancy Sports Drinks’

“Check the bottle on the table! May be that green drink is poisonous! May be the mystery shrouded individual responsible added something to it!” They squeal these things in the tone of excitement in one’s head as one is reading mystery novels which are making headway into the investigation. They might be right, of course, but not in the way they think they are. Because, you see, green drinks are terribly wily indicators of something strange and suspicious, especially when monsters in bottom drawers in kitchens are concerned.

‘Raju is a good boy.’

“AHA!” Now they think they know who it is. Needless to say, um, it’s needless to say.

‘I love chocolate.’

“Wait, what? Does the bar of blue exotic looking chocolate have anything to do with this story investigation? Because I just ate it!”

HAHA, thinks the monster making a slurpy noise with its lips and tongue.
Chocolate works, everytime.



i reached out and grabbed
a bit of my dream
from last night.

(no, i wasn't dreaming
about anybody's
private parts.)

i opened my fist
only to see
nothing at all.

dreams aren't real,

so go back to sleep.



i tip-toe into the corner of your room
pretend to drink coffee,
pretend to look at the display board
while watching you work,

you're tapping your feet under your table
to a song you're not meant to like
to a beat you're not meant to feel
while pretending to work,

i turn around and walk away
avoiding grins that are pulling at my face
avoiding conversations i don't want to make
while i'm in love,


and meanwhile back

Will you come with me to Penny Lane?

Of course we'll stop and say hello to the barber there. As usual, he'll show us photographs and tell us about the heads he's had the pleasure to know. Knowingly, we'll look at the fireman and say 'God save the Queen, eh?" and he'll laugh awkwardly and scuttle away. From a distance, we'll watch the banker and wonder if today is the day they'll all rush in in the pouring rain. We'll muse about everything, shake our heads, laugh and say very strange. 

I'll buy you strawberry ice on a stick, and we can sit across the barber shop and talk about everything in the world. We can lie on our backs and watch the clouds go by, there, beneath the blue suburban skies. We can hear the trumpets at the roundabout and smell the poppies on the tray. 

We'll smile at everyone, even the woman with the frosty stare and the kid who wants our ice lolly. 

When we leave we'll know that we'll probably never find our way back. It'll be that special place we stumbled into, but never found again. We'll tell our friends about it years later with a faraway look on our faces. Penny Lane, we'll say, oh Penny Lane is in your ears and in your eyes. There, beneath the blue suburban skies we'll sit and meanwhile back in Penny Lane..


1. all the lyrics in italics are meant to be sung (aloud or in your head, whatever).
2. i've tried many, many times, to write about Penny Lane. i don't know if i like this, but i'm posting it because i feel like it's a Penny Lane sort of day today.


in my dreams,

i lose my toothbrush. every night.



word of the day


(the way you can pick 
stupid, irritating people
whose smiles can turn them
into something you want
desperately to love)



it was when i was very young
that i learnt to keep my world
hidden inside my head.

first, it was just stories.
then, it was fantasies.


two things i do like a fish and other thoughts on life

1. drink.
2. swim.

but the real question is, why do fish not have beer bellies?

(my blog, my wish. i'll be just as silly as i please. okay? okay.)



revision: being an adult sucks, and i don't want to have three children. i'll keep my baking to myself, thanks.



don't cut off my nose just yet:

let me dream about what you see
with your brown, unsleeping eyes.

let me look at your quivering lips
while you lick them in anger

let me fantasize being held
by those taut muscles in your arms

let me smell your musk and sweat
for a few seconds longer.

don't cut off my nose just yet,


i actually wrote this a couple of months ago. still not sure if i like it.
also, just because i'm posting lots doesn't mean i have time to breathe. i just make these posts up while swimming. because swimming is boring more physically exhaustive than mentally.

i need the darkness someone please cut the lights

this city's getting bigger. lights are thrown into the skies, stars are losing their shine and fireflies are dying, very slowly. there are cars moving inch by inch on the roads outside. people are flipping each other off at every intersection. they're losing their lives to advertisements on the radio by the minute, while their children fill their childhood with crappy cartoons in strange languages. nightclubs get numerous, louder and darker, forcing you to leave conversations at their doorsteps.

you and i, we're getting smaller too. soon we'll lose our shine and die out like the stars in the sky. we'll fill our emptiness with these radio shows too, and flip each other off at intersections. we'll stop talking, and fill ourselves with the urban night where the lights are plenty, but light is dim.


title from sprawl ii, arcade fire.



may i run away, because this night is too long?
which way is day, because this night is too long?
let the stars fade away, because this night is too long.
i don't need to stay awake, this night is too long.



fill me up with regret
i have nowhere else to go
there's nothing left to hope for
but the last of the cold winds
and beer by the sea.

summer's nearly here
stifling strangling stale stop
it from drying me up, don't
fill me up with regret
i have nowhere else to go


Because S sent me this and made me cry.

by Dorianne Laux

Regret nothing. Not the cruel novels you read
to the end just to find out who killed the cook.
Not the insipid movies that made you cry in the dark,
in spite of your intelligence, your sophistication.
Not the lover you left quivering in a hotel parking lot,
the one you beat to the punchline, the door, or the one
who left you in your red dress and shoes, the ones
that crimped your toes, don’t regret those.
Not the nights you called god names and cursed
your mother, sunk like a dog in the livingroom couch,
chewing your nails and crushed by loneliness.
You were meant to inhale those smoky nights
over a bottle of flat beer, to sweep stuck onion rings
across the dirty restaurant floor, to wear the frayed
coat with its loose buttons, its pockets full of struck matches.
You’ve walked those streets a thousand times and still
you end up here. Regret none of it, not one
of the wasted days you wanted to know nothing,
when the lights from the carnival rides
were the only stars you believed in, loving them
for their uselessness, not wanting to be saved.
You’ve traveled this far on the back of every mistake,
ridden in dark-eyed and morose but calm as a house
after the TV set has been pitched out the upstairs
window. Harmless as a broken ax. Emptied
of expectation. Relax. Don’t bother remembering
any of it. Let’s stop here, under the lit sign
on the corner, and watch all the people walk by.


tattooed all i am

sixty three stretch marks
rise from the bottom of my stomach
moving upwards
like tongues of flame
across my body

three black lines
black like paint black like kohl
moving downwards
like cracks on a wall
by the side of my thighs

once everyday
these scars remind me
of how i abandoned
all the secret promises
i once made
to myself.


title from pearl jam's black.


how to be pretentious and cross-eyed

My posts have minds of their own.

Some of them are snippets from real conversations in imaginary worlds: you may call them stories, you may call them poetry, you may call them dreams; some of them are imaginary conversations with real people, snippets from arguments, fillers during lunch, observations while rambling. Some of them lean forward, twirl hair around their index finger and blink at you flirtatiously; some, quiet, ambling, nostalgic, laugh at themselves when nobody's watching; some, just looking for a quick fuck, no frills. Many are jarring, raw, wounded. Most are Saturday afternoons that can turn into either wild, vodka-filled nights or cool, whiskey filled evenings, but only hoping for an early night's sleep. (Some are hungover Sunday mornings, spent in bed with a book and a newspaper).

So you're right, there actually are some posts which don't want to talk to you - they say their piece and have their comments disabled, because that's how they like 'em. Look closely, and you'll see these. There's some that are quite sure nobody's going to talk to them, simply because they're so closed up, even I wouldn't dare to say anything further. They're pretentious little bastards, cross-eyed and sexy, quite sure of what they really are. You think I'm quirky and strange? Ha, I'm quite plain, I assure you. It's these posts that confuse you. They confuse me, just as well.


from an email i wrote to someone today (not) about why comments are disabled on my blog.

also because "on good writing days, nothing else matters."


dear bottom of my stomach,

i get it. shut up.



emorant no. 19087

i like being by myself. i like my long walks, i like small bookstores, i like sitting in the sun, drinking tea and juggling two colours of highlighters and three colours of post-its. i love taking long showers with loud music, i have spent days and days without having any substantial conversation with anyone, whole sunday afternoons doing nothing but sing to my niece or baking an orange-and-ginger cake. i'm quite contented by myself, mostly.

but loneliness, that's different. how do you deal with emptiness in conversations? what do you do when you're getting a hug, but that's not who you want it from? you eat a nutella sandwich, but you can only think of eating it out of the bottle while watching TV with your best friend. you don't want to take phone calls, you spend whole hours refreshing your gmail inbox or you look for friends in your facebook list who you haven't seen in seven years or more (and then feel superior about your own privacy settings). nobody is really ever prepared for loneliness. especially the kind that sets in with pms - that just sucks more.



take away my lies, never
tell me that i'm lying, please
let me keep my illusion, or
i'll shiver in this nightmare, fear
nothing but the darkness, living
with the boring, unimaginative



C. Pindimiriyam's.

A collective blog. But really, don't mind us. We're pretty stupid by ourselves.


th-th-th-that's all folks!


vday for you

... but not for me.

although, let's admit it already, i'm a v-day fan, if only in irony.
or in cheesiness.
or whatever.

but! presenting the v-day poem of the year:

Prandial Plaint
by Vikram Seth

My love, I love your breasts. I love your nose.
I love your accent and I love your toes.
I am your slave. One word, and I obey.
But please don't slurp your coffee in that way.

bonus V-Day poem:

by Vikram Seth

I have to speak - I must - I should - I ought ...
I'd tell you how I love you if I thought
The world would end tomorrow afternoon.
But short of that... well, it might be too soon.


i shall take your leave.


complaint box

fuck feminism. i just want to get married, have three children and live the rest of my life making them fat by baking endless banana muffins and lemony cupcakes.
being an adult sucks, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. bah.


Lazy? And me?
Oh, we sleep together all the time.


2 ft

what did we talk about
when we weren't strangers?
between us, was there
always a measured distance?
was the weather of the day
our only conversation?
were our silences
short and whimsical?
aren't there great many things
a kiss can change?


this post is alternatively titled 'feelings are the real kissing disease.'

in other news, if you're planning to send me something awesome for valentine's day, i'd appreciate the softer world postcard that says 'let's burn this world down'. thanks.


Internet Censorship

Visitors to my blog (from India, at least) will find that they have been redirected to http://head-start.blogspot.in
I'm not entirely sure what this means, but I am told by the Blogger Help page that it is meant to help comply with country-specific laws - implying, of course, that if I say something that is offensive / not acceptable to Mr. Sibal and his ilk, they'll just efficiently and promptly take it off.
Anyway, if you go to http://head-start.blogspot.com/ncr , it doesn't Big-Brother-ly say ".in".

Edit: I just understood this. ANY blog I want to read, regardless of where the person writing the blog is, I will be redirected to a page meant for India. I'm just slightly angrier now.

Edit edit: WOOHOO, SMBC!


she often wonders what it feels like to refer to herself in third person.
now, she surmises, she knows.



love letters in my mind
are all for you, i find.

i don't mail them or tweet them:
quite like secrets, i treat them.

i push them into pink envelopes
patterned with blue hearts and empty hopes.

pages and pages of length comes easy
(but the same for work would make me queasy).

what would we do, if we were lovers -
kiss, flirt and give each other flowers?

true, while i don't care for you -
in my mind, i write to you.

i wonder if you know
that i write to you so.


(this came out of a bet with A who wanted me to write something rhyming "flowers" and "lovers".)



it's extremely amusing that you think i'm living up to the idiot you think i am.



i'll carry around a
little yellow scribble pad
when i'm with you.

when you're not looking,
i'll make little notes about
things i ought to remember:

'bites nails when bored'
'hair curly when drunk'
'sings stupidly while driving'

i'll commit to memory
little details about you
that even you don't notice:

'eats left over cake crumbs with fork'
'holds down right corners of pages of books'
'thinks dinosaurs still exist'

but if i forget the bigger things:
like when your birthday is
or what you do for a living,

please know that i'll have
enough even without this
to blackmail you with.


"A poet never takes notes. You never take notes in a love affair."
- Robert Frost.

bucket list

ladies and gentlemen who read this blog,

i have told most of you what item #3 on my bucket list is - see the aurora borealis before it dies out. for the past few days, i have been reading about a large plasma cloud that was going to make the aurora spectacular last night.

well, it did. and apparently, it was visible even as far as the UK and the US.

i could bloody well just cry.
so who's going with me to sweden this summer?




i couldn't tell you
what it is like
to finish a book.

do you forget people
whose thoughts have been closer
to you than yours
(for mere hours sometimes,
whole years, sometimes)?

do you leave behind lives
whose moments you have stretched
into your life from theirs
(fall in love with their ears, perhaps,
find counsel in their fears, perhaps)?

don't you have nostalgia
set aside for old friends
in your life and theirs
(beers, (cheers!), leering at similar rears,
tears, peers, wearing similar brassieres)?

i couldn't tell you
what it is like
to finish a book.



i feel like writing a story, but i don't have one to tell.


on a rooftop yesterday: the beer was a bit flat and the end of my fingers were numb from the cold. the fog was thick, and i couldn't see much of my feet. the hum of the double bass was in my hair, and the groove of the sax was in my knees, and i don't know about you but i didn't have nothin' but the blues.


it's been a long time
since you've given me
(i miss them.
they miss you.)



corners of streets don't see
more than beggars and coins
and homeless people's blankets;
children playing hide and seek
lovers waiting patiently or
people walking mindlessly by.

don't be fooled by sounds
of haggling over peas
of chatter at bus stops, footsteps at subways.
don't be fooled by smells
of cigarettes and chai
of rush hour traffic or sunday afternoons.

they don't see hope
or love or people moving on;
they don't see day,
routine or people holding on;
they don't see night
or sleep or people giving up.

in spite of this, i write
- a fool for smells and sounds,
romantic by day
and idiot by night -
about love and hope
and people stuck routinely
in corners.


"You don't get jazz. It gets you."

(Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso. 100 Bullets, I don't remember which volume.)


conspiracy theory

"i know you're conspiring against me. bah."

"of course i'm conspiring. i am the universe ...yours, anyway."