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Saturday, December 20, 2008

happy b'day :)

You may call it a coincidence, I simply smile in glee :)

The two men in my life celebrate their birthdays together, tomorrow on the 21st of december.

Acha, thank you for being the strong solid rock that you have always been. will always be proud of being your daughter.
Manu, for making life so beautiful and enchanting, always and forever...

Love you both, for being special in more ways than one :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Of endings and storytellings

I have always loved listening to stories. When I was a small child, I used to have two rounds of story telling everyday. One by my muthassan and the other, by achan. Muthassan always slept early, and so the first story telling or rather, listening as it was the case with me, was always with muthassan.

My muthassan was never like other grandparents. He wasn't the stay at home person. My muthassan was always busy, travelling throughout the country, staying at home only for a couple of days at a stretch every month, and so for me, every minute with him was precious. Everyone was scared of my muthassan. He had a hot temper, and he lost it quite frequently. I confess I was scared too, but then I was a small child, and small children always manage to escape the wrath....of anyone.

Muthassan always told me tales from the puranas-The Mahabharata, Ramayana, Jataka tales, the Panchatantra...all the stories that has ever been published in the Amar Chitra Katha Series and much more. My muthassan always had the knack of actually telling stories and not just narate them. Through his stories, I saw Ravana with his 10 heads and twenty arms, I saw the sudarshana chakra of Sree Krishna, I saw visions of a little squirrel rolling on the sand, helping Lord Rama build the Rama Sethu...I would listen enchanted, as muthassan reeled off stories, day after day, one after the other. I still wonder how Ravan managed when he got a cold. Wouldnt all his 10 heads sneeze at the same time? I wish I had lived at the time of Birbal and Tansen, of Shivaji and of Hanuman, I wish I could see Lord Ganesa eat at a feast...coz muthassan always spoke of these people as real people, people you and I might have known, people who would have been interesting to talk to and meet up with.

I've told you that my muthassan wasnt always at home. So sometimes, he had to leave a story unfinished,beacuse he had to travel the next day, and wasnt there at home to complete the story...I didnt like this much. It meant I would have to wait days, probably weeks to listen to the rest of the story. In the meanwhile,I would conjure up endings on my own. I would make Rama and Ravana fight inside my head. I would end stories my way, and make new tales out of old ones. I would continue this everyday making up different endings everyday, till muthassan was back to complete his story with the real ending....

I miss having stories told to me. I miss making up endings to stories. I miss my i told you, he was the best muthassan ever...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

flutter-byes :)

For a dull drab day that this was turning out to be, butterflies has done the trick...thanks a lot sashu for giving me this award :)

there are many tags that i need to follow, many more that i need to write and lots more i need to read...but before i do that i know i need to honour this..the second award that i've recieved after having stepped into the blogosphere :)

So here are the rules of the tag:

1. Put the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded it to you.
3. Link the bloggers whom you wanted to share this award to.

i'd like to award the butterfly award to :
1. manu: The one who makes my heart beat fast and slow at the same time.

2. sujichettan: for being an unfailing reader of all that i've written.

3. zeinab: for being a very open and honest critic of my writing. I need to thank him, for all the little mistakes that i've stoped making.

4. poornima: a blog that i stumbled on to recently, and couldn't stop reading since reading since.

5. mind bedouin: for being more than a friend and also for finally putting up her writings on her blog. and also for the honest comments she gives me.

6. amu: for being special. in more ways than one

Saturday, November 8, 2008


“So, does your wife know you are here?”
She asked him, ruffling his hair as he lay with his head on her chest.
“Would she ever know?” She ran her fingers across his bare back and wiped a few sweat beads away.
“No.” He wrapped his arms around her more closely, and buried his head onto her bosom.
“What if she does?”
“She won’t.”
“You are not convinced.” He lifted his head from her breasts.
“If you are convinced so am I. It’s just that, if she finds out; it’ll be bad for you. But nothing for me.”
“It won’t affect you at all?” he was looking at her face as she said it. She seemed to believe what she was saying.
“No.” She said grinning.
“Why?” He contemplated sitting up. But then her body was too warm to leave. He sank down again, on her side, one arm draped around her belly.
“Coz you came to me. I never called you to come to me. I was never after you.” She looked at him right in the eye.
“And does that make a difference?” He didn't understand it. He did. But then he didn't.
“Ok. I get it. But I can always say that you enticed me.” He thought that was smart enough.
“Ha! You would never say that.” She laughed
“I wouldn’t? What makes you think so?” He removed his arm from around her tummy.
“Coz I know you.” She stated
“Hmmmmm...” he sank into her again. “Do you?”
“Yes.” He wondered how she could be so sure about everything. Something that his wife never was.
“What do you know about me?”
“I know enough.” She said winking at him. Gently running her long fingers through his hairy chest.
“That’s not an answer.” Her fingers were driving him mad. He caught it and bit into her index finger.
She laughed.
“I know that you do not expect me to say ‘I love you’ to you. And I know that you don’t want to say that to me either. That’s all that you need isn’t it?”

He made love to her till morning. She gave him what he wanted till he left for his home.

Friday, November 7, 2008


I go to sleep everyday hoping I'd be woken up by your knocking on the door. I wake up everyday and open the door, hoping you'd be there, waiting for me to come out. I keep my room neat everyday, so that when you come, you would want to stay and never leave. I put kajal everyday, hoping you'd be there beside me, whispering how much you like my kohil lined eyes. I wait for you to get a holiday, hoping you'd come down to see me. I cry to you that I miss you, hoping one day, you surely will come to kiss my tears away. I wish everyday would be my birthday, so that you'll have a reason to surprise me by coming to me. I drape my bed with blue bedsheets, knowing that you love blue, and hoping one day, you'd wake up with me on them. i ask you come to me, you find different answers all the time...

I tell you that I miss you....don't you miss me too?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Twenty Rupees

I still don’t know why we decided to take that walk.

It wasn’t rainy. It wasn’t winter. There is no winter here anyway. It wasn’t the calm, cold October month. It was hot, sultry and sweaty. Summer making its obvious presence felt on our armpits, and our foreheads, where little beads of perspiration pondered sliding down our noses.

Am not sure if we talked that day. I remember sly glances and colour on cheeks. Yellow dupatta and a bright green slawar kameez, a white tee and Bata chappals. But nothing of conversations. Funny how a few days ago when friendship was the term that had defined our relationship, words would never stop, tumbling over each other in their rush.

But now friendship was lost. And in the first walk together to nowhere, there was something else. And we were smiling all the while.

It was she who wanted the watermelon. I watched her as she ate. It was as if even watermelons loved her. Or perhaps I was too lost to really think of the careless way in which she bit into the pinkness of the melon.

Two brown seeds were sticking to somewhere between the tiny crook where the lip starts and what you would perhaps refer to as the chin. I looked at them (and her). My hand rose hesitantly, fingers wanting to brush the seeds off, wondering how it would be to feel her skin.

My hand must have just begun the sojourn to her face.

“20 roopa chetta” (that will be 20 Rs.)

She brushed the seeds away herself. My hands found two ten rupee notes in my pocket.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Rain Clouds

You told me rains were tears of the clouds. You told me you wore bangles because you liked to listen to them talk to each other. You told me that you loved the way the beach sand sticks on your soles. You told me you loved to make patterns in the sand. You said nothing beat coffee. You always insisted on drawing a smiley face with the ketchup bottle on your plate after you were done. You liked waving at trains. You loved lying on your back and watching the clouds till the night swallowed the sun, and you could see them no more.

I walked with you in the rain, because I knew you put wet towels on my forehead the next day, if I fell sick. I bought you bangles, smiling at the way you listened to them talk. We walked on the beach together, letting the wet sand tickle our toes. I took pictures of all that you drew on the sand, and pinned them up on my wall. I insisted on lying on my back with you watching the clouds, while I studied the way your lips moved while you spun stories about clouds.

I knew you hated early mornings, preferred white roses to the red ones, I knew you washed your hair with coconut oil and amla, that liked your coffee with more milk and less sugar, I knew the way you laughed, gasping for breath, and clutching at your sides. I have seen you cry, the way your lips quivered and the tears always came out of your left eye first. I knew the way your hair always came undone, strands that kept falling into your eyes. I knew the way you held my hands and squealed when you were excited. I knew the way there would always be silences between us, where you’d be near, yet so far, and I waited for you to come back to me. I knew the shops you went to, the food you ate, the worst coffee you’d ever had, the worst fear of yours, your biggest dream to sail on a yacht alone, with Orhan Pamuk and Marquez for company. I knew the books you loved, the way you could never like Howard Roark, I knew the passwords to your e-mail accounts, the combinations to your number lock, I knew how hard you tried to learn to whistle...

I thought I knew everything about you. I thought we were perfect.

But I never knew that you never loved me. Until you left.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The animatedness of inanimation

I guess life has been opened and closed simultaneously for me. There are new things everyday and also the old things. There is nothing happening on some days, while a lot, though nothing particularly significant (usually) that happens.

It is nice to think about someone all the time, miss him,his touch, his smile, but also miss a lot of inanimate animate things like a missed call, a message, a scrap. Sometimes I think it’s so worthless to be in this state that I am in right now. This over invasion of inanimate things in my life. But then, there is no other animation that happens. Then again, if not for these inanimations, I am at a loss as to where and what I’d be doing.

It seems perfectly natural to miss one person constantly, think about what he would be doing, which side of the bed he sleeps on, how much tooth paste he puts on his tooth brush, the amount of stubble he might be growing now. It also seems incredulous that I spend my time on this. But again, to come back to what I was saying, it all seems so natural.

If I’d chose to do something other than the ones that I’ve mentioned prior, it shocks me that there would be nothing. True, I might write, I might paint, but there is this constant thought process going on somewhere, almost involuntarily about just one person.

Sometimes I think obsession is bad. But then again, it’s not so bad at all. Is it?

I enjoy my state of mind usually, and I just don’t mean the “good” state of mind. I also mean the not so good, and the worse. But what happens is that the thoughts which i enjoy in these frames of mind differ. The whole missing part which seemed so romantic a short while ago seems all so wrong and so melodramatic and oppressive. And i get into animated discussions with myself. This however ends in a lot of inanimation.

So there, life- and the animatedness of inanimation.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Being there. final part

"Ah! you are awake. I was just coming to wake you up. You wont ever believe what I've done now." Sai came into the room just as Nidhi was stretching herself and struggling to keep her eyes open, in spite of the mid day sunlight.

He stood there with such a wide grin and an unbeatable look of accomplishment that she had to laugh.

"You are laughing? Did I miss something? I didn't say anything funny did I?"

"You made breakfast." she said trying to keep a straight face and acting overwhelmed.

" how did you guess? I changed my shirt. I haven't dribbled anything on my did you guess?" He asked baffled.

"Wifey instincts!!" she said smugly.

He stuck his tongue out at her. "Fine. Someday, even I'll discover something like husbandly instincts and then you'll see."

"hee eagerly awaiting the day"

"Well anyway. I made dosa. I couldn't figure out how to make sambar or chutney, so you'll have to do with ketchup. And don't make that face. Be grateful I dint kick you out from the bed to make breakfast. Do you even know the time woman? its nearly lunch time. No actually its brunch time-11.30. and...."

"Get the breakfast hungry...and am not sure I cant resist dosa and ketchup....." she said, smiling an evil smile.

Not catching the sarcasm, his face brightened and he walked out of the room.

he came in with 2 plates of what looked like bits of dirt, painfully arranged in the form of a circle, and a Maggi ketchup bottle balanced on one of the plates.

"there you go. My best creation ever. They are slightly...erm...overdone...but they are tasty. I tried them." he looked at her sideways.

she hugged him and whispered into his ears. "I love burnt dosas"

"I knew you'd say that."he said smiling at her. "so you start attacking the dosa, while i get the paper."

She started picking on the brown remains of what was intented to be a dosa.
Surprising how the dosa could be burnt and yet not cooked properly on the inside. Probably that's why Sai called it his best creation so far. Nidhi chuckled.

The first bit of the dosa was slowly finding its way into her mouth when Nidhi screamed. The dosa wasn't brown because it was burnt. It was brown because it was made of cockroach wings. brown, shiny and plastic like.

Sai came rushing into the room and saw Nidhi screaming like she'd never screamed before. She jumped out of the bed as soon as she saw him and lunged at him wildly.

"You are the one. You put cockroaches in the dosa. you are the one who has been haunting me. You are trying to kill me" she said hitting Sai with all her strength.

"Nidhi! what are you saying? what about cockroaches? calm down. CALM DOWN!"

He was shaking her like a rat. Willing her to quieten down.

She looked at him wildly. She could see the cockroaches coming out from his hair. They were coming out from his finger nails. She could feel them climb over her. Shey were crawling on her. all over her. And he was laughing. He was standing there, throwing back his head in mirthful laughter.

She broke away from him and ran. She had to escape. She had to. This maniac was out there to kill her.

"Nidhi...what are you doing? Where are you running to? There is nothing here Nidhi. Its just me. please listen to me" His voice was frantic now.

The knife which was lying on the dining table slashed his fingers. it cut his chest. tore at his arms.

She sat on him and pared away the cockroaches. One by one. The ones coming out of his finger nails, his hair, his mouth. When she was done, she laughed.

"I cant die now. All the cockroaches are gone."


The cockroaches never left her.

They were in her little cell too. She could see them crawling all over the room. And she felt as many as twenty scrambling on her head. Running down her nose. Some sliding down strands of hair…she searched for a knife so that she could chop her hair off. Then perhaps they would stop crawling over her. But in that tiny room with bars there was nothing except a thread bare cot, a water jug and a blanket. She reached for the water jug and smashed it over her head.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

being there III

Vikram helped them negotiate with publishing houses day after day, month after month. After 6 months of not hearing from anyone tempers were running high.

“It’s just been six months. People wait for eternity to have their works published. You should have patience.”
“And some things never get published, even after the people who wrote it is dead”
“Come on Nidhi. This is your first attempt. Give it time.”
“I never wanted to do this in the first place. You forced me into it.”
“I was trying to help you. I thought people needed to read you Nidhi.”
“Well I was doing better without anyone reading me.”

She walked out off the room and him out of the house.

“Mmmm...No. Not tonight.”
She pushed his arm away from her as he tried to caress her breasts.
“Sai, I think we should move to another home”
“Huh?” A confused voice responded
She turned around to face him. He took the opportunity to kiss her nose and snuggle into her.
“Yeah! We need to change homes. I don’t like it here. There is something wrong somewhere. I don’t like the feel of this home”
“You women and your feel” he chuckled and tried to kissed her neck.
“Am serious.” She said, pushing him away and sitting up on bed
“But Nidhi....., we’ve lived here for 2 years now. I love it here. This home is’s so us....”
“Please Sai, listen to me. There is something wrong.”
“Nidhi, tell me what is wrong. You don’t seem yourselves these days. And I can’t imagine what is wrong with our home or you...” he leaned over and switched on the lights.
“Don’t switch on the lights. They will come.”
“Who will come? What the hell is wrong with you?”
“I don’t know Sai...I don’t scared....please let’s move out from here...Please....”

As she snuggled into him and slept off, her whimpers dying into the dark, Sai sat clueless...wondering what was wrong.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

being there. part II

She took up journalism after her masters, and he went on to do his M.Arc. After 3 years of courtship, they decided to move in together. Within the olive green painted walls of their new home, she wrote for a newspaper, and he toiled under a demanding company.

“ I think you should really write a book. All those scribbling you do should be read by people.”
“ You read it right? I don’t think anyone else will want to read it”
“ You will never know that unless you publish some of you works”
“ Its too much work”
“ Its not. I will help you out. Proof reading and all”
“ I don’t now Sai. I don’t have the confidence”
“ Come on. I trust you. You can do it”

A lot of cajoling, and pressurising and boost ups later, Nidhi sat down to begin her first book.

Getting a publisher was one thing, and it didn’t help that Nidhi was still apprehensive about her work. Every rejection was hard and depressing.

“ They dint want it did they?”
“ No” he sighed “too simple a plot”
“ Its ok I guess. You loved it. Its more than enough”

He stood watching her. She was going around the room with a broom in hand.

“What are you doing? I see you with a broom at almost every other day. It’s not like you”
“Cockroaches. Everywhere. I am driving myself mad with trying to drive them out”
“ Buy Hit. Spray it all over. More effective than brooms”
“ Doesn’t work. Brooms are the best”

Saturday, August 9, 2008

being there. Part I

And now they were here too. She could see them crawling all over the room. And she felt as many as twenty scrambling on her head. Running down her nose. Some sliding down strands of hair…she searched for a knife so that she could chop her hair off. Then perhaps they would stop crawling over her. But in that tiny room with bars there was nothing except a thread bare cot, a water jug and a blanket. She reached for the water jug and smashed it over her head.


He rushed into the room excitedly. “ You made it. You book is topping the charts now. Vikram just called me.” She was bending over something near her table, but as soon as she heard him, she squealed and rushed into his arms.

“ You are joking right? My book, I mean our book…”
“ I always told you it would work right. See now” He grinned
“ But I can ‘t believe it…I just cant”
“ Well I can. I would have not believed it if it hadn’t happened this way”
He smiled wickedly at her astounded face…
“ So…the treat then…are we going out now? Or….”

She screamed and rushed into her bedroom slamming the door after her.

Laughter rang loud.

He was an engineering student and she a student of literature when they first met at crosswords. She was immersed in reading from Daphne du Maurier and did not even hear her mobile ringing. He’d felt annoyed first. How can anyone be so oblivious as to the disturbance? Quite a lot of people had begun to stare at her trying to locate why she wasn’t picking the call.

“ Excuse me, but I think your cell is ringing.”
“ What? oh! Is that mine? I am so sorry. Oh my is everyone staring at me? God! Where is my cell now?”
she began searching her large jute bag with a minimum of hundred pockets frantically.
He took pity on her and snatched the cell from her fingers and gave it to her.
“To think I was holding it. How silly of me. Will you please catch my bag, while I attend the call?

Without waiting for an answer she thrust the bag into his unsuspecting arms and walked out of the store. He stood gaping after her. Feeling angry irritated and amused at her audacity, her silliness and her stupidity. She trooped in with a tear stained face something like half an hour, while he had almost gone to sleep hanging on to the bag.

“ Will you please drop me home? My fiancé just called off our engagement and am not sure I can find my way home alone”

Two strangers they were. But as it happens in all movies, they met by fate and were destined to be together. After about a year of casual calls and some infrequent messaging, they started going out together. She the scatterbrained and he the meticulous, she the effervescent and he the sober, a mix of Bollywood music and Beethoven’s symphonies, Shakespeare and T-square, they got on famously well.

He wanted to build homes for the poor, she wanted to write.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I love you

I could hear him in the garden, watering the plants. Its his morning ritual now— tending to the hundred or so flower pots in our garden. Ever since Anu started living in the U.S, he has taken it upon himself to keep her garden going. Watering, weeding, pruning, he has become a complete gardener is what I often feel. Every time that Anu calls, both of them have only time to talk about the plants. How the orchids have bloomed or how the jasmines haven’t been doing well…it amuses me to hear them talk. I still remember when Anu was in school and she suddenly took it into her head to start a garden. The times she had her father rush home from the hospital to go around the town getting new plants and the times she barged into his consulting room crying about some plant or the other which had wilted…

I’ve never been an outdoor person and except for helping anu with getting the pots decorated I’ vent done anything much. It has been father-daughter all the way. And now its just him. He says he is doing it so that he gets some exercise in the morning, but I know better. He misses Anu, and this is his way of staying close to her.

The tea’s growing cold. He’s taking a bit longer than usual. I keep my coffee mug and his teacup together. I should remember to get biscuits when we go for our evening walk. And yes dog food too. Hagrid, Our 5 yr old Labrador will go hungry if not.

“You done yet”? I shout out

5 minutes later, he comes in dragging all the dirt into our tiny living room. Now, I’ve never been much of a house keeper and I hate all the cleaning-washing routines. I open my mouth to ask him what exactly he is doing but before I can get a word in, he walks right past me, gets the broom from the kitchen and with a sly glance at me starts sweeping the floor. I close my mouth and stare at him, hands on hips.

He religiously sweeps the whole place, keeps the broom in its place, and sits down at the table with the tea and waits for me. I keep standing there looking at him. And then we both laugh-together. I cant help it. Nor can he. I sit down next to him and keep laughing and in my laughter fit, I knock down his tea right onto his lap. He jumps. I stop laughing and look at him, scared I’ve hurt him. And he still laughs, and I join in. I put my hands around his neck and continue laughing…

The laughter slowly dies out and we cuddle into each other more. He takes my hand and gently kisses it, and places it over his chest. I take the coffee mug and offer it to him. He takes a sip and then presses it to my lips. We finish the coffee together. Still in the half hug…

We have grown up and grown old together. We’ve seen good times and the bad. Tough moments and lighter ones…we’ve lived together for 28 years now…and it all seems like yesterday that he walked into into my life—a stranger. And now—I know how exactly he likes his tea, I know which side of the bed he usually likes, I know the way he hugs me at night, the way he drinks his coffee, the way he runs his hand through his hair, the way he looks, after he’s just woken up, the way he reads the newspaper…I’ve grown to love everything about him—the way he slurps juices, his funny little moustache, his way of forgetting to shut the main door every time he goes out, the way his t-shirts always have mud splotches on them, the way he smiles in that bemused way of his when I tend to scold him—everything…

Nothing matters to us than each other—I don’t care that we’ve grown old, and that the skin on my hands have lost their smoothness-I still feel the same way when he takes my hand in his. I don’t care that both of us need glasses now—we still see each other with ever growing affection. I don’t care that I’ve put on weight, all in the wrong areas, he still hugs me the same way he did when we were young…I don’t care a bit- I don’t need to…

I realize that he has been calling my name—his name for me…and I smile at the circumstances that had led him to call me that. I lift my head from his shoulders and I look up at him…he smiles that dimpled smile of his and gently tucks back a loose strand of hair from my face…

'I love you' says he…and I remember the night that he told me the words for the first time…it seems centuries ago…but I still feel that I am the 19yr old who cried with pure happiness, listening to him…

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

whitewashed brain

When I was about 4 years old, I broke my arm. I had tried to squeeze into a shelf with my teddy bears, and found myself stuck. I un-stuck myself a few seconds later, only to have a cast on my arm a few hours later. I dint know autographs on casts were fad. I decorated it with mud instead

I absolutely loved going to school. My parents didn't. In the going to school ordeal, I tore about 3 of my Amma's saris, bit my ammumma some 50 times, kicked my achan and made our neighbors rush into our home, with my bawling. No wonder we changed homes every two years

Going to the post office with my Muthassan was my favourite pastime. Especially because my muthassan always told my ammumma that he wouldn’t take her to the post office. I felt jubilant and marched off after my grandfather, happy to stick stamps on with the very murky and smelly glue.

I had to walk barefoot in my school once, for not wearing the proper school shoes. Luckily on unluckily, I said the pledge that day in the assembly. I tried in vain to shut out the sniggering and giggling. Needless to say, my pledge went India is my country. All Indians are my brothers and sisters. I sob... shall always. Sniff sniff. Sob...waaa.....waaa.... they still did not however, let me wear my shoes.

I thought that being a vegetarian was boring. I tried to pass off the dried mango pieces in my lunch box as meat balls. No one believed me.

The first time I was on stage for a dance, I was thrilled at the idea of wearing lipstick. My muthassan spoilt it all by asking the make up person not to put it for me as lip stick contained toxic ingredients.

I told my achan off for not letting me sing all that I wanted to. I was on stage, mic in front of me and around 100 people looking at me. My father was compering. It was a banker's union family meet.

When I was in kindergarten, a boy in my class had a white birthmark under his eyes which looked as if a tear was running across his cheeks. I refused to wipe away my tears for a very long time to get a similar mark. It never happened that way.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

the day...

I wished to have a moment of peace in my home. But that I think is the least I could hope for tonight. There's music blaring from the speakers. The sound of people talking to each other at the top of the voice came from all possible places-inside, outside, the living room, kitchen, bedrooms...everywhere. The phone kept ringing...and no one seemed to pick it up...

I am sitting in my bedroom. There are people all around me. Aunties, grandmothers, babies, little imps of kids...everyone. I want a little peace, a room of my own. But of course am not allowed that. I have to smile, and exchange pleasantries with the million faces that present themselves before me. I cringe inside and keep smiling and nodding my head to the aunty who keeps rambling about my childhood antics to anyone who'd listen. In between wanting a little silence, and trying to ignore the pain in my cheeks from excessive smiling, i wonder how this 'aunty' knows so much about my childhood, when I don’t seem to remember seeing her at all.

My sister, the ever welcome whiff of fresh air comes in and declares. "Amma says Chechi has to sleep early. The function begins early tomorrow". A sudden outburst of "is it time already?", "Look at the time", "poor girl, she must sleep. Dark circles wont do tomorrow" was followed by my sister shepherding the twenty or so people crowded in my room, out to the hall.

I sigh and sit at last in relative silence. The speakers are still blaring.

I open my cupboard to pick out something to wear for the night instead of the heavy Kanjeevaram saree that I am wearing and my eyes fall upon the dozens of velvet boxes sitting on my shelves. Slowly I pull each out and lay them open on my bed. Nagaphanam, kaashi maala, poothaali, palakka mothiram, pearl and ruby, garnet necklaces... and other boxes full of bangles. Some new, some old, yet polished so that they defeat the new ones in their brightness...

I looked at the red Kanjeevaram silk saree that I was supposed to wear tomorrow.

I had longed so long for this day. This hullabaloo happening in my home, the guests, the noise, the colour of the mehendi, now deep on my palm. I had seen myself adorned and bejeweled, looking happy and content beside the man of my dreams. This had mattered so much to me...the wedding, the preparations, the dressing up, the invitations, the fragrance of jasmine flowers, and the scent of the incense sticks, everything...

And yet, today when I should have had genuine smiles on my face, instead of the plastered one, when I should be delighted at how dark my mehendi has come out, all I feel is numbness, a vague fear at the back of my mind, a wild desire to run away...

Tomorrow is my wedding. With the man I love with all my being. I should have been happy….but am not…

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Of times and timings

Its been nice being at home. I wake up to Amma's usual indignation of me sleeping on after the wake-up-deadline of 8am everyday. My father can be seen eating his breakfast at the table, silently oblivious to anything and everyone. Occasionally looking up to check the time on the wall clock. I'd still pretend to be sleeping, though I would have woken up some 2 hours ago, to wake a certain someone up. But I should say that these waking ups do not in any way hamper my sleep. waking up is OK. Its the getting up from bed that is a pain in the 'wrongest' place.

Just when I think Amma has given up on me and that I can steal in another 10-15 mins, I hear Achan thundering my sister's name. My very punctual sister is, as usual late for her classes. Amma and my sister are stalwarts at keeping time. Give them a deadline of 9am in the morning, you can be rest assured that you'll see them out of the house, very punctually, at 10.30 am. I am ready by a quarter to 8, Achan at almost the same time and Ammumma around 5 mins to the said time. Amma meanwhile can be seen humming away a song at the top of her voice, the pitch,rhythm, tune all intact. The lyrics, a mess. This facet never fails me irritate me as am particularly finicky about the lyrics of a song, not much about the other necessary factors. But all said and done, Amma still creates havoc with the lyrics and keeps singing. I bite my tongue and try to convince myself that the lyrics could have been probably written like Amma sings them too.

In between the singing and rushing out of rooms here and there, and the never ending search for safety pins to pin up her Saree, punctuality is lost on Amma. My sister, the boss of my family, and also the youngest member, believes in the motto of going out well-dressed. OK. I get that point. But not the reason why it takes so long. Before going out, my sister changes her hairstyle from a plait to a pony tail, to a french plait and then back to a plait. Her dress changes from jeans and pink top, to a black shirt, to the pink top again and then to her usual favourite white striped shirt. And then, she invariably has to wear the matching earring, slippers and watch. By the time my sister is done with her Queen's dressing and has stepped out of the house, Achan would have already started the car, blared the horn 12 times, and decided to call off the outing 3 times. Amma would have by then realized we are horribly late and begin her woes about how little chores always make her late,and ammumma would have finally finished all her sudoku exercises in our two morning dailies. I would sit next to the window, watch everything happening around me and feign concern over the necessity of punctuality. But honestly am hardly bothered. We invariably make good time anyway-all credit to Achan's brilliant car maneuvering skills.

So to come back to my mornings. I venture out of my bedroom after possibly everyone has stepped out of home. Ammumma would be happily struggling with her Sudoku and would be lost till I voice my need for coffee if she can make it. The coffee is usually the only good thing that happens in the mornings these days. The very thought of dragging myself to the good for nothing internship, at Indian Express, where I see my name printed along with articles, which I would never accept as mine, even when threatend with death, puts me off immensly. But then there are things in life which you've got to do, and counting this as one helps me just a wee little bit. And then there is always a slight twitch of the heart whenever my name appears on paper, and also an opportunity to stun people who think tuppence about you by telling them that you 'work' for the Indian Express...sigh! Probably what they call little pleasures in life.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

from the past to the present and back

I know it does not sound very interesting when i say that I love her. And it still is not interesting when i say that she loves me too. but then again, if you people knew me, as in really knew me, then you would sit back and take notice now. as in right now. because i happen to be a ghost. yes a ghost. not the fanged, horrible, blood thirsty gruesome creatures that you humans picture us, but yet a ghost...

i saw her in her backyard. reading under the mango tree. you wouldnt call her pretty. but you would certainly call her beautiful. decribing her would be futile. as i am not very good with words. but the thing is, i fell in love with her as i sat looking at her. we ghosts as you humans think, cannot become nvisible. but we can do a lot of other things. we are shape lifters. i can be a tree, a butterfly, an earthworm, a bird a snake...anything natural, anything with life...except ofcourse the human form. but we cannot forever dwell in they say, we need to move on...

i do not have a past. no ghosts have. as soon as we are dead, our memories are wiped clean...we have no recollection of what we were, or where we were from...we are souls...with no memories. we roam around everywhere. in fact there are mosre ghosts than there are live people. but of course you will not know that. because you i presume is right now a walking talking breathing living human. but if you were slightly careful when you walked down close-to-empty streets, or sat under a tree, you would save us a lot of trouble. i for instance have been walked right into countless times. not that it matters much to us, but you admit that it is a bit odd when you find people walking right through you. sometimes, the more sensitive human-i must admit these are very few, do sense something when this happens. i've heard that walking into a ghost gives you a tickle in your neck. i dont know how this works, but that is how it works. but of course you humans would surely dismiss this. and consider this piece of trivia utter trash. sigh!

anyway, so i was on one of my shape lifting, shape hoppin moods one day. i became a grasshopper first. i thought it would be nice to go hop hop hop. but it was very tiring. i dont know if all grasshoppers are like that, but the one i happend to pick was unbelievably frisky. so i left it and became a blade of grass. i like green colour, in case you are wondering baout my choice. but being a grass is faced with a lot of risks. there are all kinds of bugs and insects around and they start eating you. again, it does not matter to me, as i cant die again you see, but you always tend to gasp in horror when an insect starts nibbling you.

so i decided. no more playing with risks. i'l be a flower. i wanted to be a diffrent flower. the kind no one notices and no one plucks. so i became this small yellow flower. mukkootti its called-but this i came to know later. so in anycase, mukkootti i became. but it was not long before i found myself being plucked. i groaned in dismay. so much for my big plans.

but the fingers that plucked me were gentle. i looked into the face that had spolied my plans. i couldn see the face properly, because she was carelessly twirling me in her fingers and looking the other way. but then she turned and looked straight at me and i swooned. she was so breathtakingly beautiful and i fell in love with her immediately.

it is not unheard of ghosts to fall in love. but i admit it is very rare. ghosts have no present past or future, we dwell in someone's past, someone's present and are sometimes someone's future. we never make choices. those are already made. by the seasons that change, winds that blow and rains that fall. we thus move on suddenly, without even us knowing and end up in a place, very different from the one we were used to. this constant change and our almost complete disdain for the human race stand in our way of falling in love with humans. but then you might have heard the term marriages made in heaven..well they did not come into being suddenly. some ghosts fall in love with fellow ghosts and become one-as in they become just start moving on together, forever.

and so i might be the first ghost in history to fall in love with a human. and to be loved back too. for i knew the girl loved mukkooti flowers and i loved her isn this a perfect love story?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

narratives of daily life

loud voices outside the door. intelligible language.unintelligible meaning.telgu.angry protests from my room mate. i snuggle deeper into my blanket.the unmistakable vibration of my cell.a message from him. a reminder of the night. sleep beckons.10 am is still early morning.a string of blue beads. a swift good bye from my rom mate. reminders to drink milk. sleep refuses to leave my eyes.

a filled any alarm clock. tooth paste,brush and the tiny wash basin. the faulty flush in the loo. back in room. drinking chocolate,milk and spoon.the battle begins. it ends up in a starving stomach. a tiger buiscuit. all that is left. an unread paper. read though seemingly unread.

the flicker ofthe system. articles to edit.messages pending. nonchalance. a super slow network.waning patience. a chance for the paper again.attempt at a song. forgotten lyrics. editing again. a glance at the clock. one hour gone. rest of the day looms. readings stare point blank. a missing drive. the stapled readings lie.untouched.

a smile. thoughts of the night again. a widening smile. half an hour for lunch. a lost appetite.

coffee machine. another of those puffy samosas. hot sun. fluttering curtains. thoughts of a bath. pink bucket and an ash mug. long nails. cracked heels. lots of moisturiser. kajal.

room again. whining of dogs. misplaced anger. pending work. a miss call. hint of a smile.

dinner. an empty full stomach.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

stolen moments

“You like teasing me don’t you?” He muttered sleepily.
“Huh? What did I do now?” she chuckled wickedly.
“Nothing. Forget it. Am going to sleep. You coming back in or not?” he asked lifting the blanket to allow her to slide in.
“Nah. Am not sleepy anymore. I am going for a walk”
“mmmph nnng” came a muffled grunt from somewhere under the sheets.

Swish swash. The blanket went for a toss.

“You can’t sleep when am up and awake. Come on...up you get….” She started prodding the side of his tummy with her cold toes.


“You bitch! Wait till I get you”

He leapt out of the bed in mock anger and leapt at her. With an almighty squeal, she caught hold of the 1st thing that came into her hands—a big fat Harrison and threw it straight at him.
He dodged and threw a pillow at her. She caught it precariously and almost lost her balance trying to hold on to it.


Too late. She hadn’t seen him come behind her. She was too busy laughing that silently uproarious laugher of hers.


“Now how did that feel?” he asked her grinning.
She tried hard to feign anger and gingerly checked her lips.
“It hurts” she whined
“Am sure it does” he laughed, and leaned over and kissed her again. Tenderly this time.

“Not so fast” she said giggling.

It was his turn now to rub his lip. She had bit him.

He pulled her closer to him and wrapped his arms around her. He felt her body fit into his, felt her fingers on his chest, felt her damp lips press onto his neck. She sighed.

“When’s the train?” she asked, carefully avoiding his eyes.
He stroked her hair gently. “ In exactly 3 hours my love.”
“Do I have to go? Can’t I stay? Just one more day?”
“You know you cant dear. Nor can I. We need to go back.”

She hugged him closer still. “ I don’t want to go.”
“ Nor do I love. It’s been a wonderful weekend. But you know we can’t afford to stay longer. You have to attend classes. And I need to work overtime to make up for this leave.”

He kissed her head, the part that was visible under his arms. She had snuggled in so much that he could only feel her, and not see.

“I’d better get ready then. The station is quite far away….”

He watched her as she lifted herself from the bed and went into the bathroom. He leaned over to smell that side of the bed that she had slept in. It still smelt of her perfume. The one she wore whenever they met.

She turned on the shower.

He sighed. He knew she was crying now.

“Can I come in” he knocked on the bathroom door.
“ No. Am almost done. Am coming out.”


She was wearing the sari that he had gotten her from his first salary. He held her hand till the distant chugging of the train could be heard.

The train slid slowly out of the station. And he walked back to the auto that awaited him.

Monday, April 7, 2008

over a smoke

She never asked him anything. He never told her when he would come. But she always knew. It was not as if he came frequently. he sometimes never came. And when he did, it was always sudden—without notice. And yet, she knew. There would be no one visiting her then. She always made sure no one else came.

He knew nothing about her. He never asked.

It was not like she took care to welcome him. She never did anything special. She was the same. Always… to everyone. But he was different still. In ways she couldn’t explain. And so the only real effort she put in was to stack four packets of cigarettes. She knew he liked smoking. But she also knew he never smoked unless it was with her. It was something she had gathered from the way he always choked and coughed on the first cigarette he smoked with her.

There was a dim orange light in the room. She sat on the windowsill. Smoking. The red eye of the cigarette blended with the orange in the room. The smoke curled up over her head. Her hair soaked it up. The smokey curls hidden in her black curls. She played with a loose strand of hair which came up to her chin. He would be here any moment. She sensed it.

The freshly lit cigarette joined a pile of butts in the ashtray.

He came in. she acknowledged him by shifting her position from the window sill to the cane chair near the bed. He kept his small suitcase behind the door and joined her. He never looked at her. She always studied him.

She knew he had a family somewhere. She knew it by stitches that had mended a tear in his vest. She knew it in the way his eyes always watered after everything. She sensed it in the way he kept running his fingers over his fingers searching for an invisible ring. She knew he was in love with his wife. And this made her proud, if a woman like her could ever be, that he still came.

She lit another cigarette. She blew the smoke on to his face. He merely shrugged. She never waited for him to make the first move. It was always her—never him. She smiled inside. It was always this way. It was never different. She stood up and slipped off her cotton dress and wore her nakedness with arrogance. He looked up and took in her nudity. He was always careful not to look into her eyes. He always stared beyond her. Never inside. He never searched her. He just looked. She arranged herself on the bed. He joined her.

It was well into the night when he slipped out of the bed and sat on the chair. He coughed over the first cigarette. She joined him. She rested her bare legs on his thighs. He never pushed them away. Did not make any sign of like or dislike. He sat smoking. The packets emptied steadily. One after the other. She waited for the last cigarette he always left for her.

He lighted it and kept it on the table. She picked it up and balanced it between her fingers.

He dressed up. And pushed a wad of notes under the pillow. Picked up his suitcase and went to the door.

His hands rested on the knob a little more than usual. He turned back. She started.

“She died last week.”

The door closed. She stood staring at the door.

The cigarette had fallen down and was steadily scorching the old wooden floor.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

in darkness and in light

I opened my eyes to white. White walls, white sheets, white everywhere. There was a faint beep- beep somewhere in the room. I couldn’t see what it was that made the noise. My eyes struggled to keep open.


There was a little girl running behind her grandfather, clutching a plastic bag behind her. Every time the bag filled up with air, the girl whooped in joy and the grandfather laughed at her, his completely white hair glistening in the sun…

There was that little girl again, rocking her baby sister to sleep, singing like she had seen her mother do. She prised open the baby’s eyes, to see if she had properly slept. The baby slept on, and girl sighed in exasperation! When would she grow up?

My eyes opened again. The vision seemed a little blurred than before. There were dark patches around my eyes. I couldn’t understand why the beeing wouldn’t stop. It was slightly irritating and was adding to the heavy throbbing at the back of my head.

Blackness again.

There was that little girl again. She looked older now. She was sitting with her father, brows knitted together as they when her father clicked his tongue and put his bishop on the black square and said- “check mate!”

Why doesn’t the throbbing stop? It’s getting worse by the minute. And the beeping has become an impatient one now. Beeping faster and louder than before. If I could just get some sleep.

The little girl has grown up. She is lying on her back on the terrace, her mother with her. They enjoy watching the clouds, except that they don’t get much time to do it together. And so this moment is special. The girl lies back in contentment and asks her mother to sing. A soft song fills the air and the girl smiles in abandon.

The white room is not so white anymore. I lift my hands to massage my head, only that I can’t lift them. They feel like rocks. I try moving my fingers- they feel like boulders. I panic. The beeping is getting on my nerves.

The grandmother is making pickles so that the girl can take it with her when she goes back to the hostel. The girl asks her grandmother to teach her to make pickles. Her grandmother explains the art of making pickles in her gentle voice, while the girl looks on fascinated.

I see people all around me. Curiously, all the people are white too. Only their eyes are black. Even their hair is white. I wonder why. I realise they are all wearing bandanas. But I’ve never seen men wear bandanas before. I try to recollect if I’ve seen men wearing bandanas before. But thinking makes my head pound harder still. I want to scream. But I find I cant. I am wearing some kind of a mask over my mouth. There are tubes poking my nostrils. Now this is ridiculous. I don’t know why I am dressed in this peculiar fashion. I am angry, but I find I don’t have the energy to even be angry.

There is a boy waving to the girl. His dimples wink at her as he smiles. She runs into his arms and hugs him tight. They walk together along the beach, hand in hand, the girl jumping in glee whenever the waves tickled her feet. He holds her by the waist and pulls her closer to him and kisses her on her soft lips. The sun sets behind them, giving them their moment of togetherness

I now feel a shooting pain down my legs. There are tubes there too. The number of people seems to have increased. I black out.

It’s the girl’s wedding. She is standing with the boy, smiling and laughing. Sometimes her husband gently brushes his fingers over hers. She blushes while he grins wickedly.

There is a small home with lots of trees around and a small garden. The inside is just how a home should look. Its neat—in a very untidy sort of way. There are photographs all along the wall. Of him, of her, and of him and her. There are books everywhere, papers flying about. A coffee mug stands alone on the table near the couch. The boy and girl are sleeping on the couch, cuddled together in sleep.

The girl is running around packing her bags. Her husband keeps dumping things in the bag and she takes them out again, and puts it the way she wants it to. They jump into the car finally. She is laughing away to glory in the way she always does. The boy laughs and leans over to stop her laughter by kissing her full on her mouth.

The white walls stare back at me. I am drenched in sweat. I feel myself being transferred to a bed, which is rolled down a long corridor. I want to cry.

I remember the crash. The way the truck hit our car. The way both of us was thrown off. I remember him trying to reach for my hand. I remember someone lifting me into a van. I remember not seeing him beside me. I remember the doctor telling the nurse about how he could not be saved. I remember hearing someone tell someone else as to how difficult my condition was, and how they were trying hard to keep me alive.

I don’t want to live…not like this. When I know the best part of me will not be with me anymore. Why don’t these people in white understand…I don’t want to live. You are all fighting a losing battle to keep me alive.

My eyes cant see anymore. But I see the little girl running. I see her growing up into a woman. I see her long hair flying in the wind. I hear the sound of her laughter. I see the boy waiting for her…his arms stretched wide….

I know you’ll be waiting for me outside this world. Am coming to you my love, my life here was perfect because of you and the love we shared. And so am coming to you, to be loved by you—once again.

My eyes close—coloured darkness.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Sappho Fragments

I did not wish for the
Scents of Arabia, nor
The ethereal diamonds did I desire
But all at once
It did blossom
My tender hopes of desire
And in his gentle love, it took delight

Days I have had, both bitter
And sweet, more there will be of such.
Life! See and know this

When cries were heard
In the moonlight
Calm, when nature voiced
Its voiceless reproach
Walked in the delicate
Virgin Artemis
Of the hunt and the Moon.

p.s these are not entirely my works. as part of my modernist poetry course at college, we were given sappho fragments to complete. this is my attempt at completing them. the words in blue are the fragments and the rest is my creation

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Undefined

There's something I felt,
Silent and warm within.
A feeling so divine, yet undefined.
My simple mind, fathom, it couldn't.
Blowing, ruffling my nerves, it kept.
Scary it was, for what it wasn't.
Beyond the grips, could I know,
Why me, it was?
Chose I, to ask not.
I do not know why.
Skimmed through the unknown,
Undefined realms again.
Futile it was, to know,
Happy and content though.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

May I.....?

Come, may I, to you,
in dreams of yours.
Feel, may I, the whispers,
you breathe soft.
Call, may I, to the
heartbeats tuned up.
Rise, may I, for the
beauty, yours divine.
Live, may I, alone
in your mind.
See, may I, the
wonder what you are.
Love, may I, the
you, I yearn.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I wont let you go

I wont let you go
Not today
When I’ve so much to say
And you, so much to listen to
I haven’t told you
About the flowers that bloom
The winds that blow,
And the birds that flutter
I haven't yet loved you
to my hearts content
I haven’t told you
That I need you to stay

We haven’t seen
The sun, setting low
We haven’t watched the stars,
Lying on our back
We are yet to let the waves
Tickle our toes.
Our lives have just begun
You can’t just go.

I wont let you go
Not tomorrow
I have given you nothing
I haven’t let your skin drape mine
I haven’t let our senses rule
And our bodies speak
I haven’t loved you enough
I wont let you go

I haven’t sung your favourite song
I haven’t kissed you deep enough
I am yet to let you love me proper
We haven’t seen the seasons pass by
Drunk we have not
The wine of togetherness
Our love is soaring
How can I let you go?

I wont let you go
Not today, never tomorrow
I can’t let you go

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

if it could be

if it could be
that i could drink up pain
i'd do so from you
with a thirst never before
to never let you face fall
if it could be
that i could grow wings
i'd fly to you
to kiss your cheek
and bring that dimples to show again
if it could be that
i could be strong
i'd go away from you
to realize that i'd die
away from you
if it could be that
i'd love you more
God will take you away from me
jealous and greedy
for what no one but you would get....

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

a comeback???

ever since i made myself available to the webbed world after a long break of over a month, I've been co min to this page everyday. but haven penned down anything...i dunno what to write...and if i know what to write dunno how to put it...sigh!!blame it on the writers block!

while I've been pondering on whether my creative juices have depleted, I've been scrounging the blog world and came upon some real classy posts...unfortunately me the scatter brain forgot to note the pages and so cant share them with ya...sigh!and double sigh!! now these blogs made up for some ultra interesting readings but added to my woes...i wanna write...Boo Hoo Hoo...

gosh!! look at me wailing at the top of my voice..*(though no one can hear) about my stupid writing blocks...

so of my friends and a frequent visitor to my blog described my blog as "existentialism and blah" ,I'd always thought that existentialism was way up my level of thinking..thought it was all high funda...unreachable...but her describing it in d way that she did makes me ponder...and ponder even more coz there's this nagging in my mind( not without reason) that there must be some pun intended...well! whatever it is i guess i cant change my way of writing...but coming to think of it, my writing has changed( suffered might be a better word) quite a i let it thats another question...

its not like i've written anything worthwhile here...but the main thing is i've actually written( well, er..typed) something, and that is an achievement as of now...

hopefully next time around instead of writing nothing about something and something about nothing, i'll manage some readworthy stuff...

so long then...ciao