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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Of that same old thing that we call love

There are people who are just born to be in love. I am one of them.

There are people who are born to be loved. I am not one of them.

I am not Anna Scott, who found her love at the end of the movie.

I have loved. A little too many times. I’ve been loved. By too many. Never for the right reasons. I am 35 now. The grease paint doesn’t look too good on my skin, which never got used to it in the first place. I’ve money to change the way age sits on me. But I refuse. And for that the movies left me. I have no complaints. I did love acting, but only under the spot lights. When acting percolated too much into the way I brushed my teeth, read my morning paper or sipped my coffee, I began to hate it.
I loved yes. The first ever actor I acted with, the first person I kissed—not under a tree, while shivering in the rain like my poor 17 year old self dreamed—but in front of a camera, the director’s beady eyes looking for a moment to call “Cut” and probably 70 spot boys who stood on top looking down on us, probably seeing my breasts too through the v-neck of a top that was supposed to show off my youth. It wasn’t perfect in the real sense of the word, but it was, under the circumstances. The movie ended, me and my breasts became famous, and my first love got lost somewhere along the way.

I fell in love again, with the dimples and the smile of a director who gave me my first “woman centred” role. He made me the centre of his world too. Or so I thought until he got married to my then close friend.

I fell in love yet again with the gentleness of my manager, the witty talk of my driver, the love for Dali of a reporter, the kalari teacher who tutored me for a film, a business man who had an art gallery and would let me sit in front of Water Lilies as long as I wanted... yes I fell in love. Too often. Too soon. For too many reasons.

I am 35 now. The tabloids gave up on me a long time ago. I told you—the grease paint just doesn’t sit on my face anymore.

I am pregnant. I know who the father is. But I don’t think about him. I think I did my best acting there that night with him. I remember Monet’s “Poppies at Argenteuil” hanging at the foot of the bed. I dreamt me walking between the red poppies, a little pair of feet behind me. The dream is now in me. The dream of someone to love and be loved at last.

How selfish love makes us.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The state of being

Maybe it’s because I’ve always loved Calvin, or maybe it’s because no one is more succinct than Calvin, whatever the reason I follow him the state he was in, in Mrs wormwood’s class—“The state of denial”.

But maybe it’s not complete denial too...maybe there is no term for it. Not when your heart sighs when you see the forwards he sends on Gmail which has your name too, but you think of those days when your name used to be the first name on the sent to list, and now it comes, trailing, in alphabetical order somewhere towards the end. It’s not denial is it, when he still calls you every now and then and you’d expect the conversation to end in an “I love you”, but ends in a “take care and keep in touch”. It’s not denial at all is it when you see him put up pictures of them together—happy and smiling, and you smile along with them, but somewhere your memory cringes that your photos never came up in any of those pages.

Is it denial when you still think and dream about the past and the impossible future as a possibility? Denial is not that is it, when you go about your days as if nothing happened but the late nights and late mornings are just about sleep now, and not what is used to be—of warmth, kisses and blankets, of nakedness and sweat, of love and wine, and poetry. Would it be denial if you thought about him as the perfect person, even while he was searching for perfection elsewhere?

Would it be denial if you loved someone so much that forgiving was easy but forgetting was not?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Living Life in Bits

Music. Oil paints. Shantaram. Dev Anand. Oil pastels. Handmade paper. Silk. Chappals. Glass paint. Smell of turpentine. God of small things. Research. Conversations. Love. Lots of it. Hugs too. And imagined kisses. A presentation. Family. A single tie. Impatience. Loneliness. Sighs. Interruptions. Love again. Salads. Broken nails. Paints. And paint brushes too. Of writing. And reading. Loving reading. Then hating it again. Same difference. A virtual farm. Cows and turkeys. Of pink satin pillow cases and a bunch of 12 red roses. Being there. Being not there. Ignore. And being ignored. Painted walls. Wilting money plants. Music. Bollywood. Anthony Gonzalves. Arundhathi Roy. Aditi and arundhati. Babies with dimpled cheeks and big black eyes. Living together. Living on phones. Living off suitcases. Still living. Music. Oil paints. Shantaram. Studies. Or what mocks it. Long drive cravings. Dreams. Lots of it. The good and the bad. Flowers. Photographs. Ankle socks and frosty toes. Coffee. Masala tea. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Paints. Paper. Pen. Music. Songs. Love. Mirrors. Satin and silk. Love. Conversations. Coyness. Anger. Laughter. Tears. Whines. Living life. In bits.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Missed hugs. Missed calls. A little tiny tear. Your tee shirt. Me.

Long hours. Stolen rest. Busy days. My tiring calls. You.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Very Short Conversation

“You do know that people are talking about us. Don’t you?” She asked him in her usual matter of fact no nonsense way.
“Oh! Are they? But why?” He looked at her quizzically, still frantically stirring his mug of almost boiling coffee
“Isn’t that obvious?” She asked incredulously
“ it? Why?” The stirring was replaced by blowing into the mug.
“Coz we are always together. We have our meals together. We are practically well yeah for lack of better word...together.”
“Oh!” she was sure he dint understand “But what’s wrong in it? Is there anything wrong?”
“ No. I just wanted to let you know in case you had a problem with it.”
He considered. “ No I don’t think I do.” He went back to stirring his coffee. She was sure the spoon would create the end of the orange large mug. “But then you know....”
“well you are a girl and all.....” he hesitated.
She snorted. “men are so dumb”
“Whats wrong? I meant you know the tag and all...what if people start talking about you in a wrong way and all? Especially others in campus...”
“men ARE dumb” she reiterated.
“I am trying to be nice.”
“Idiotic. Thats what you are being now.”
“You women say we men are jerks because we are insensitive. Here I am, trying to be nice, and you call me dumb.”
“Listen men are jerks. No denying that. Men are also dumb. You are just proving that point. Over and over again.”
“Not all men are jerks. Come on. Don’t give me that feminist crap.” He looked insulted.
“It’s not a generalization. Like how many women you know stare at you up and down and virtually undress you as you walk past? How many women have passed lewd comments at you while crossing you on the road? Just about how many women have grabbed you and your whatever in public spaces? And am sure no women has rubbed against you while traveling in the bus or flew past in a bike shouting obscenities and laughing at you or followed you if you happened to be alone on the road at a particular point of time? Can you count the number of times?” Her eyes flashed as she looked at him.
He put the mug of now-just-steaming-coffee on the table, neatly kept the spoon next to it and ran his fingers through his hair. “Well...I haven’t had to face any...but then again...not all men are jerks....” he said almost feebly.
“Oh no. Not all men are. Just about a mere 90% of them are” She sneered.
“oye! Thats unfair. Would you call me jerk?”
“Well I’ve just known you for like what half a I can’t really say.”
“That’s unfair again. But I guess I can only defend myself in saying that I haven’t done any of those things that you mentioned above to anyone...”
“Well am sure you haven’t. You don’t come across as that big a jerk” she grinned.
“That big!! What’s that supposed to mean? You women never trust anyone...that's your main problem.”
“Well yeah. We generally don’t trust men. How can you when there are fathers raping daughters and uncles fathering nieces’ daughters? And especially when we women know for a fact that whenever a man says he loves a girl he’s secretly even unconsciously thinking how good she’ll be in bed..”
“Well in my defense I’ve never thought of that when I think about....” ? He stopped. Grabbed the orange coffee mug and gulped down a big mouthful. If the coffee burnt right down to his tummy bottom, he dint show it. Except that his eyes watered slightly.
“think about....?” She grinned
“ know....girls and stuff....” He ran his hand through his hair and scratched behind his ears.
“Oh so you think about men that way...” she chuckled. “Well don’t rights are getting a lot of attention...and soon they’ll legalise gay marriages too.” She guffawed.
“Oh no no am normal...sorry am straight. I just said I don’t think in the way you mentioned....” he blushed furiously.
“Ok let’s get back to the conversation...” She smiled wickedly. “You don’t think like that when you think” she looked at him again.
He squirmed
“Does that mean you hate to think how bad I’ll be in bed?” she stuck her tongue out at him.
“ NO!! No!! Its just...well I don’t know...just that I’ve not thought in that way....”
“Someone once told me that you shouldn’t wait for a guy to propose to you. Knowing guys they just might not. They are all lazy bums. So am saving you the embarrassment. People are talking about us anyway. Why not give them something to talk about? Do you mind?” she asked.
Whatever it was he clearly did not expect this. “You are kidding me!”
“So is that a no?” she laughed
“no no....sheesh!....who is the guy here?” He almost looked offended.
“See...I told you guys are dumb.”
“They are also jerks. I was in fact thinking about how great it would be kiss your lips while you were on your spiel about men.” He winked.
“See we women are always right...”

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Just Maybe

I've been thinking lately. Of the things I've almost stopped doing. Like painting, making things out of barely nothing, writing, knitting, reading (not so much...but almost) and the things I've taken up lately. Washing, cleaning, arranging, decorating...

Life taking on a mundane mode? Maybe!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

to a dead blog

its been two months that i've even set foot on this sphere which used to mean so much to me. For about the 3rd time I've started this blog, my impulse to write has waned somewhat. But contrary to the 'lost' feeling that used to attach itself to me once I stopped writing earlier, this time around, I don't even miss it. I am bored reading what I write. I need to write new. And maybe I need to renew myself. Sigh. Seems too much of an effort.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

from this moment on...

I just swear
That I'll always be there
I'd give anything and everything
And I will always care
Through weakness and strength
Happiness and sorrow
For better or for worse
I will love you
With every beat of my heart

From this moment life has begun
From this moment you are the one
Right beside you is where I belong
From this moment on

From this moment I have been blessed
I live only for your happiness
And for your love
I'd give my last breath
From this moment on

I give my hand to you with all my heart
Can't wait to live my life with you
Can't wait to start
You and I will never be apart
My dreams came true because of you

From this moment as long as I live
I will love you
I promise you this
There is nothing I wouldn't give
From this moment on

Your the reason I believe in love
And you're the answer to my prayers from up above
All we need is just the two of us
My dreams came true because of you

(Shania Twain)

I don't exactly know what has made me post it...except that it seems so right. To the one who makes all romantic songs so lovely and the lyrics so meaningful...
i love you

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Moles and Scars

There are times when I surprise myself with my memory. It springs on me at the most unexpected of days, when I wish I were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Living through times hasn’t always been easy, but to relive them when you least need them has been draining and killing, to say the least. I was with her that day, going over the designs for wedding cards. I could see the golden ring on her finger glisten, as she sifted through card after card, while the attendant pored over her trying to help her out, his eyes straying sometimes to the white of her cleavage, which peeked out from the translucent violet dupatta that she’d draped around her.

I followed his gaze, not attempting to tell her to sit up, but gazing at the little of what I had seen more of. I remembered the whiteness and the softness, the red marks that I’d left on them, the trail of my tongue as it had felt them, I also remembered the duskiness of breasts, a mole under her left breast, the scar on her lower belly from an appendicitis operation, the faded scars of abuse that her father pelted on her in his anger fits. I remembered the duskiness, I also remembered the whiteness.

It did not take me time to recall that white was different from the duskiness. The absence and presence of scars and the beautiful face and the scornful face. The glisten of the ring and her hand on my thighs as she held up a cared distracted me. But not completely. I remembered her now. The only one to wear sarees to college, when everyone else wore jeans and skirts and tried hard to make nothingness show out of measly Barbie doll dresses. I remember her cotton sarees as she walked in to classes with windblown and tied back black hair. I remember the big bindis, the tiny nose ring and the sandaks. I remember her sketches, as they fell out of her notebooks, sketches of tears, of blood, revenge and solitude. I could almost remember her smell, something which I hadn’t ever smelt before. Of Indian ink and tulsi, of whiskey and mustard, of wood sharpening and machine oil. I remember her smell the most.

I used to catch her eye quite often as we sat on opposite side of the gallery in our graphics classes. She stared back usually, a bored surprised look on her face. It did not occur to me the difference in equation. I turned my gaze away first, looking down hurriedly at the blank page in my notebook, or suddenly finding the professors talk amazing, while she still stared at me from the other corner. It did not strike me that with men, it usually happens the other way around.

It wasn’t until my then best friend, the one now I don’t even call up once in ten years, asked me if I had something for her. I did not know. I found her stare captivating. I knew it wasn’t reserved for me. It was for everyone. No one escaped her. I could see people squirm under her even casual gaze. I later remembered that she was the only one in our batch who hadn’t been ragged. While I was commanded to run naked with a pacifier in my mouth along the corridors of the ladies hostel, I remember her sitting on the verandah,one leg curled under her, a pencil in her hand. I caught a whiff of Indian ink as I raced away; suddenly feeling the sudden urge to cry. I felt her looking at me from behind, I remember feeling her gaze on me, I remember thinking that the corridor was too long.

I remember her bored laugh as I learnt for the first time that sex hurts men too. I remember her smile as she looked at me from the bed, as I took a bath in the shower. I remember the faded scars on her thighs only too well.

We walked out of the card shop, she held up our wedding card for me to see. I held back my memories from her.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

songs of togetherness

As you stand with me today, the wind blows my hair across my face, tangling it, untangling and making newer tangles.In the same wind that plays with my hair, I smell your breath, your smell. A little bit of the hospital that you carry along with you always, the smell that I leave on you, and your smell of you. Every time I've stood with you like this, I feel new,I feel different, and yet I feel the same.I feel happy and then I feel tears wetting my eyelashes. I feel like singing. Songs with no lyrics, no music, but still songs, inside me, that I know you will hear, without even having to listen hard...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

the middle path

It’s cold and you put your hands around me. I brush it away. And wrap my arms around myself. You shrug but say nothing. I can see the wistful look in your eyes. I pretend to not care. In between hours divided for others and other things, this is some time we have together. But am not ready to be happy.
I can be content with more of this. Even nothing of this.
Its this midway that hurts.

Monday, January 12, 2009


There’s pleasure in waiting
It’s like licking an ice cream cone
Bottoms first.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

clouded conversations

Its will be hard on him. But he has to know. After 7 years of living together I owe it to him.

She played with the sands around her as she sat leaning her back on to him. He was humming a song. She knew she had heard it somewhere. But couldn’t place the song nor could she remember the lyrics.

It was he who had pushed her into setting up her own business after her miscarriage. He had wanted her to take her mind off things that bothered her. And she was thankful for that. And she loved what she was doing. Interior designing had always been her passion. And making houses feel like homes gave her a great sense of accomplishment. Hers was a small business. Just 4 years old. A baby when compared to most other giant designing houses. But she did have a nice small set of clients. It was that He had come into her one roomed office and wanted her to do up his studio apartment.

How would he take it? Leave me probably? I guess it’s best for the both of us. Why would he want to live with someone who had almost betrayed him?


She was startled at the sound of his voice.

I think am falling in love...

She couldn’t believe it


Let me complete Anu...

I don’t know if you’ve felt this before. But I have. A feeling that life is dull, boring and aimless?

He continued not waiting for her answer.

She swallowed and waited with bated breath.

Well I have. Many times. Especially after what happened to us over four years ago. And every time I tried to pick myself up, I found that I couldn’t. But then there was this face that always egged me on, convinced me that everything was alright. And that life is indeed wonderful.

I wonder how we both can feel the same way and yet have been living under the same roof. Atleast now I don’t have to be guilty about breaking his heart. Probably he wants a way out of this too.

She thought about Him unapologetically, without a trace of guilt, for the first time since she’d fallen in love with Him.

I want to tell you anu, that you are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met...inside and out. Am so glad you are mine. Am so happy you are with me. Am so lucky to have someone like fall in love with again and again...every single day...

She sat there by him. Not knowing what to say. The sky melted into black. The song that he hummed made their words clear to her

Friday, January 9, 2009

faces that tell

Its not that I've never felt it before. Its perhaps that I've never thought about it before. Or perhaps I've thought about it before but not really sat down and pondered about it. Haven't you felt that there are faces that tell a story by themselves? Stories maybe with no titles, beginning middle and end, no climax or an anti-climax, but still stories?

I've always seen him near the serving table. A dirty off-red apron around him, his eyes gently looking around to see what each person who walks by the table has loaded on to a plate. sometimes, when I stop by for an extra helping of something, or when I go back to get it, I see his face light up, I see his eagerness to serve, and I wish my tummy would be better equipped to feel hungry all over gain, just to see him smile. His smile is never different from the ones my ammumma gives me when I tell her that the aviyal that she has made for me is remarkably wonderful, or when I just simply wipe my plate clean, and burp unapologetically, after having enjoyed a full meal. Its then that stories seem to swim above their heads. I know that these people enjoy cooking, but more than just the act of cooking, they love seeing people enjoy it.It is appreciation for them when they see wiped clean plates, and hear burps. I wonder at why burps are so looked down upon, that's perhaps your tummy telling you that it is happy with what you have fed it today. And I think you have the right to hear it.

There are faces that tell you what they are. I had a teacher who could have been nothing but a very kind and lovely teacher, one look at her would convince you of the same. There are painters who just look like painters, people who look like their names- Renukas you know will just be Renukas, Varuns who look like Varuns, Georges who could have not been anything else but George, women who have motherhood written on their faces, shopkeepers who you know will give sweets free to many such faces, how many more stories...

I wonder if you have ever felt this way. I wonder what story my face tells...