Friday, November 13, 2015


I saw it on a pearly night,
When the moon was shining full!
It peered shyly from the round the kerb,
Gave the leaves a pull!

My eyes transfixed, by this magical sight,
I quietly gazed through the window!
The trusting eyes, the hazel light,
I was enchanted by this magical doe!

Its silky skin, the silvery sheen,
There it stood a shimmering!
Upon which its shadows fell,
It brightened almost everything!

Tip-toeing across to the rusted gates,
Silent to the twitching ear,
I reached out with trembling hands,
To stroke, to hold, to get a little near!

It was there
It was air
It was a well cast illusion

It was a feeling,
It has a meaning,
Its my world utopian!

P.S. That dream, which may never come true but you cherish anyway!

Thursday, November 12, 2015


I am hating. In present continuous tense, I am in the act of hating.

Standing in front of the mirror, I am exuding hatred. The kind that would put the biggest Modi haters to shame. I stare at me with 3 chins, chubby cheeks, elephant arms and thunder thighs.

The eyes run over the reflection with a critical gait, and every part seems to cringe as they pass over it. Never, is this dress' elegance going to come through, with all the layers stuffed underneath. No one is going to come and compliment this reflection on being pretty. Or worse, someone is going to compliment on how well the hair has been done, unlike the rest. And photographs, best be the photographer of the day so that nothing creeps its way online.

I am hating, in present continuous!

Ever since I have left college, every year has added a kilo on me. Just like I have added meeting with people from different cultures, trekking on snowcapped mountains, mapping the night skies, running the marathon, dancing the nights, studying and a few salaries to my kitty. Every year end highlight and new year resolution has talked about weight gain and loss goals. Every time I visit home someone tells me how my beauty is diminishing one kilo at a time. I see my friends subtly appraising me, probably feeling a little better about themselves. And of course, I see men avoiding eye contact, for the fear I might take it as a sign of encouragement.

There are advantages of course! I feel less cold.

So I have been hating, for a while now and I am looking for a cure. Exercise, diet, activity, did you think? I think you got it wrong.

I am looking for a cure on not obsessing over the superficial. On looks no! On acceptance no, on norms no, on objectification no, on face value no!

I am hating, in present continuous, my fickle mind and its fickle aims. Not my fat, not my layers!

P.S. One has fat, one isn't fat. Just like one has chicken pox, one isn't chicken pox.. You see what I did there!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

There was no Story!

There was no story,
Neither pleasant, nor gory!

No endearing, crooked smile,
No villainous, sleek style!

Never any shining moments,
No loss, no resentments!

No inheritance or cover,
No wealth to hand over!

Few people at the grave cried,
The scattered flowers soon dried,

Wrapped away, now tidy,
Some dreams and feelings wary,
There, really, never was a story!

P.S. How important do we consider ourselves, our existence? Does it Matter?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Paw - WOWs!

Donkey coloured clouds, lined with gold, dotted the sky. The breeze danced and light sun rays played with the leaves and  shadows. It is anti-climactic then, that this day made me cynical about "being human". Perfectly expected, though, to understand what true kindness is!

I was having a particularly good day. It was an off day from work, I had risen to a gold drenched morning and had met up with a long time friend over delicious and fattening breakfast, washed down with some tangy news exchange.

We said a fond goodbye and I walked towards the two-wheeler parking area, humming the tune of the songbird who flies down to my window and chirrups merrily, irking me on most days. My scooter, it turned out was 'V' blocked by 2 motorcycles, out of my strength limits to be moved. I stared for a minute, then looked around. Other than a scruffy, brown dog there was no one to help.

A man in his 50s and his daughter soon hurried into the lot, sneaked a glance in my direction and swooped out faster than Superman. As they zoomed past, the dog barked loudly, size and the bark not a match here for sure. Now, I was a little scared too. What if he decided to charge at me? Bite worse than his bark!

Luckily for me, one of the motorcyclist came to collect his bike. Without so much as an apologetic glance, he began to unpark his bike and I strode forward to get mine. There was very little space on the side where the other bike was parked and in my hurry to get the scooter of its stand, we both - the bike and I - tumbled. The motorcyclist on my side, gave me an appraising look, kicked his bike to life, revved a couple of times and waved goodbye with the rising dust.

I lay sprawled on the ground, eyes following his trail, gobsmacked. Someone just fell right next to you! I was not grievously hurt  that his time was to be wasted in carrying me to the hospital, nor was I in an accident where the police was going to be involved. It was as mundane as someone dropping their hankerchief in front of you, and you pick it up for them. That is curtesy, manners, upbringing, values, culture, chivalry, humanity!

I looked down and saw my big toe was slightly scractched and the skin was broken superficially. My hands were a little sore trying to break the fall, and the rest of me was dusty. No biggie. I brushed my jeans and hands while still on the ground and was preparing to get up, when from the corner of my eye I saw the dog sneak up and stand next to me.

Avoiding eye contact (they say if you ignore a dog, it won't attack you) I stood up and started picking my scooter.

In a moment of solidarity, the dog nuzzled the handlebar too, his compassion and my gratefulness, why we could have lifted a mountain! With the bike up, he trotted over to me and gently licked my scratched toe, woofed and wagged his tail. It was all going to be fine!

P.S. - Sniffy, nuzzly, waggy, licky ... human kind's best friend!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Nose Held HIGH!

How did I ever make any friends?
Can you do a quick analysis if I shared some vital statistics? I don't think so.
For a while now this question has been popping in my mind at regular intervals. Specially when I have a had a particularly good time with my friends.
From ages five to nine I have vague or no recollection of my behavioural pattern, which of course means that none of my peers who became friends in that age group recollect either. So I am going to leave those buddies in the category of 'fooled due to age'.
Ten years onward my childhood is quite clear. It was around this time that I started devouring books. My parents, gloating over this habit, bought me book after book on moral sciences, ethics, values, being a good human, being a good child, friend and you name it. To my mind what Josie realised about being polite and Kirsten's realisation on why not to lie were like the scriptures of any holy book. In retrospect, I was that dorky and highly naive child who did as was told by books or elders. I mean ...

Moving on to the increasingly mind-numbing detail. I soon began my journey towards attaining sainthood. I did not lie, but chose to be punished over petty things like rubbing out a full stop when asked not to and not sharing my tiffin with my partner because the teacher said so. I completed books on time, reminded the teacher about homework and %$#*&!#$ .
As if that was not enough, I started reprimanding others when they did any of those things. This should have been the beginning of a steep slope in making friends. It wasn't. I know, shocking! Now they had to stand still for the national anthem, and have the right amount of passion for 'inter-house matches' and playing was out of question if someone thought they could waste food and run. Its not that anyone obeyed, but to have a smartmouth with pearls of wisdom just waiting to be spewn. I was would not befriend the 12 year old me.
Soon puberty struck, and while I gracefully deigned to acknowledge that attraction was natural there had to be boundaries. Boundaries so you do not land into trouble, or are so heartbroken that days of agony follow not just around the person but the entire group. Group mournings over broken hearts are non-optional social conventions  which irked me to no end.
Ah! the care free days of college. Independence, to do your own thing, dependence, to live it up on your parents money. What bliss! NOT. Career, lifestyle choices, prejudices, being liberal in the right way, political bias, general knowledge, current affairs... All were my affairs and had to be yours too. It leads to an enriching life, dad said so, so did I!
All in all I was always there to oversee that my friends were making the right decisions and right choices as had been taught to us. While that is a commendable thing to do, today I realise that each one has a head on their shoulder and parents back home. Friends require you to agree on stupid adventures, reckless decisions and regretable ideas.
Now, I just bulldoze over my natural instincts to stop, and nod instead. I notice people are happier that way. That is how they form the huge groups of fun and frolic which can litter the timelines and create that collage of a happy, cool and mostly a normal youths. It also creates a system of fall backs. You mess up, I clean. I mess up, vice-a-versa.
There is no logic in love, neither in friendship. You do not stop before its messy, only afterwards, even if your wits stand up screaming for you to stop. The mess, they say, creates the golden years of youth and wise years of adulthood. I will have no golden years, to have any wise years ahead. For in the time to create a mess I am walking with my values and learnings and with a nose held so very high!
P.S. Friendship is a beautiful word, to be a friend a great feeling, how to be one - that is the tough question!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Alive and Dancing!

It was sheer beauty to watch them. The grace, the ease and the timelessness of each performance. The soft footed, swift moving bodies in perfect balance and precise timing had me in awe.


All of us, I am sure, when we were children tried a minimum of three activities that today we snort at if asked to undertake. Dancing, drawing/painting, singing, learning an instrument and craft in some or the other form. But it was dance and dancers that fascinated me.

Well, you have heard the saying, "You heart wants most what you cannot have."

Aged 5 I went through the tedious process of trying to move my body so that it flows not shifts, curves not angles, points not strains and looks like a gazelle not a bear. The effort wasn't fruitless, atleast for my peers who found the whole routine exceedingly comical.

Childhood trauma (yes, that's what it was) stays with you over the years and seldom do we meet people who have been able to break that fragile shell of 'safe childhood notions'. I never danced after that. My comfort zone was a march than a gait, strength than elegance, hops than a skip and a ball than ballet.

An uncomfortable part of me remained constantly ignored, but with time that part was forgotten and claps, not taps, to the beat became my style. There was nobody to ask me to cut loose, no one to argue that discomfort was to be experienced, hated in the present, loved in retrospect and looked forward to in the age of wisdom.

Change maybe a constant in nature, fears do not change that fast. But the brave overcome  safe notions. I overcame mine like a coward in a crowd of strangers, while nobody was looking. In a crowd of strangers I gave way to some of my dicomfort and shifted from foot to foot, waving my hands at odd angles and jerking my neck. There was nobody to look at me, no one to point and laugh and after a few moments of conscious embarassment, I felt at home on my own two left feet.

I began to this often. A crowd of strangers, some foot tapping music and my awkward mass jiggling in the most unattractive, perhaps comical, manner. Lost in those hours of bliss, some strangers caught on to my enthusiasm and came to match a step. Why, now I had dancing friends! They did not feel the need to laugh, to point or to suggest that if my movements were curtailed somebody else, too, would think that I was dancing.

With them all I was doing was, dance!

Art, in any form, may certainly belong to the masters. They will command the artform so that we sit in awe, fingers in our mouth when a true performer creates magic. But art is also that part of you which is exceedingly beautiful in a manner that no other part is. You may clap for the master but the true expression of an art comes from thousands of mediocre and bad artists who project it, inspite of being laughed at. Because just like we grow with art, art grows with every single artist.

It has been years now, since I threw the cloak of embarassment completely. In that moment of heady exhileration I can forget my fears, my tears, my pressures. I can break free and feel alive.

When I dance, I am that long lost gazelle,
That gives grace its name,
To the third eye I am jiggling a mass,
An elegant breeze in my frame!

P.S. - Art is for us to find and feel the best of ourselves. Not to be mastered, nor to be learnt, but to be experienced and lived!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Journey to Hell!

I woke up with a slight headache. Not the hammering kinds. Slight!
I quickly get into my routine of washing and dressing and rushing to work. Gulp down a large mug of hot, sweetened coffee hoping the slight discomfort will be taken care off. I head towards my cubicle feeling slightly sluggish. The screen's glare feels slightly harsher and the pain from my forehead slowly spreads around my temple, following the route further back to the small of my brain.
Acidity has caught up due to late nights and street food. I have some carb rich breakfast to soothe the raging acid, now travelling with alarming velocity around my brain and eyes. Chased down with a tall glass of cold milk. I settle down to finish some work, and in the flurry of activity and a newly advanced deadline, forget about the ache. Work is sometimes the sweet escape you long for! 
As I trudge down for lunch, I am aware of the ache in my eardrums. Piercing, as if I have been surprised into a sudden flight take-off. I rub my ears with vigour to find sticky, wet liquid oozing. Scrupulous about cleanliness I not only wash my hands with soap, but also use some sanitiser just before picking up my order. As if my discomfort was not enough to pull me down, the food had a slightly bitter tang. It smelled fine, looked fresh, but an ingredient was amiss.  
As I settle for a meeting with the director, I excuse myself for a minute. The AC has been set at an uncomfortably low temperature, and I bring in my jacket. Hot tea is served which soothes my aching sinuses and throbbing ears. Now I am hot, my ears are warming, and I can feel them turn red. Fidgeting while grim faces discuss budget slashes and increased targets does not bode well. Stuffy people in their stuffy suits and with their stuffy faces!
Uncomfortable enough to want to leave for the day, my legs feel weird when I fold an unfold them. As if I have been running for hours. My health has gone for a toss in the crazy work routine, but maybe I should think of evening strolls atleast. As the day wears on my body is on its own trip. Refusing movement, sometimes hot and sometimes cold, ache in the muscle, souring of the throat and a woofer like movement in my head.
Now I am a little worried. One thing at a time is routine. Two or three in combination, not too rare. But all of this with increasing drowsiness equals to a bad sign. I am contemplating taking off, but there are a few things that need to be closed. My unique position in the organisation and the valuable experience of over a year now cannot be replaced by anyone else. I slog along, taking longer than usual, close all my assignments. Its almost dinner time. A quick bite before the hour long train ride home.
The thought of food and the grease nauseates me, so I make do with some orange juice, which instantly irritates my throat and nose and head. I throw the juice, order some warm milk in a takeaway container. As I sip the milk through commute I find it difficult to swallow and breathe at the same time. I am gasping if I try to drink too much at a time.
I reach home scared, and give a call to our family doctor to rush over. I am sick! The gentle, old soul walks in ten minutes later to find me sprawled on the sofa sniffling, eyes watering and unable to move. One look into my reddened eyes and swollen nose
"You may, my dear, pop a pill, and try remedies worthy of my bill.
Take it from a man this old, nothing can save you from the vengeance of a common cold"
P.S. Hell must be like the common cold. There is no cure, we all must do our time!