Thursday, April 12, 2012

i want
not the wings of angels
i don't want 
to walk anymore
my feet are
the colour of my path
the earth
does not tempt my
feet any more

i want
the days of water
of rain
tearing through my skin
seeking blood

i want
the flight 
of the wind above 
a monsoon sky

i want

There must be some kinda way out of here

it cant all be desolation. it cant always be a test of my patience and of my ability to persevere. it cant always feel like my life has changed into something i dont fit into. how old is too old an age to go about finding one's own identity?

i dont know how much longer i can bide my time or let my life take its own course. the control freak in me is raging at me for letting this happen. the superstitious crazy in me is finding a sign or an omen every minute. the whimsical hippie flower child in me has nearly died.

ive also realised, as i am writing this, that i am obsessed with age. the concept of it and the appropriateness of it. the changes each passing day can bring to a person. in the past few months i think ive aged mentally a lot. i also feel like i have regressed to a time and age that i once used to protest about. it makes me uncomfortable to think that i have become the person a younger me would make fun of. but the younger me was also immature. but i loved that immaturity. i deeply regret not enjoying that immaturity when i had it. i miss the freedoms and the conflicts and the foolish struggles of a few years ago.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

don't love a wild thing

it was 5.00 a.m. when he woke up to the situation. Even asleep, he knew it wasn't natural for him to feel feathers against his skin when he pulled her closer into his arms. He was pretty sure he was still dreaming when he opened his eyes to her wings and that was why he didn't scream immediately. Even barely awake he didn't want to embarass himself when he was with her by screaming just because he had a bad dream.

Slowly however, he realised that no amount of trying to wake up was making the wings disappear from her shoulders. He had always noticed the way her shoulder blades poked into his chest when he hugged her, it was one of the things he knew about her body that he didn't think others did. It dawned on him that he actually was awake and that the feathers were protruding in some shape or form from her body and that was when he got out of bed quickly. And as he stumbled out of bed, he woke her up.

She blinked at first and then looked confused as she realised that he was looking at her strangely. Like he was scared of a whole lot of things, simultaneously. She tried to turn and once she found out she couldn't like she did always, in bed, she sat up. She seemed to slowly feel her own back and the burden weighing her shoulders down. She tried to think of another time when her body had confused her by changing overnight and she thought back to her adolescence. It all made perfect sense to her, now. This, her body had done before. Of course she had grown wings. It probably meant she could fly and as she looked out of the window into the rising sun, she rose to test out her theory about flying. She opened the window and sat on its ledge, like it was the most natural thing to do and then, her eyes clouded in concentration as she tried to move her muscles and flutter her wings. She heard him yell and scream in fear as she pushed herself off the ledge and then she was off.

He could think of many, many reasons to be angry about and to curse at. He was angry with himself for being a coward and for being the one to wake her up. He was angry with every poet or writer on earth who had compared women to angels and butterflies. Clearly, those idiots had no idea. He was suddenly disturbed by the recollection that she liked to sleep naked on most nights and he couldn't remember what she was wearing when she flew away. Then he was angered by the fact that it shouldn't matter to him anymore. She had literally left and he had been unable to stop her. He had no idea if she would even return and he found it all funny, suddenly.

He willed himself to get a drink of water and then he pushed himself to sleep on the living room couch. He didn't really know when he had fallen asleep but when he woke up, she was straddled across his back, her face pressed against his shoulder, her leg weighing his thigh down. He was about to leap out of her touch, when he remembered what had happened the last time he had done that. He tenuously felt for her arms around him and saw with relief that the hem of her nightshirt was pulling at her knee. He wished he could reach over and see if her wings were still there. He didn't want to take chances with waking her again, though. So he decided to wait it out and listen to the sound of her breathing as she lay asleep and within his reach.


ps: a dedication to you.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

take me back

I always thought of cities as having personalities, i just never thought cities could behave like people do, sometimes.

When I left home and moved bases a few years ago, it was based on the assumption that I could come back whenever i wanted to. I moved to Mumbai and the city, she resisted me. Some things came easily but the important ones (a comfortable work life, friends, the absence of loneliness) came after I worked for those things. Every day spent in Mumbai in my first year there, I spent all my time convincing this new city that I loved her and that she could love me if she wanted to. That I couldn't promise her that I would stay forever but that I would try and make our time together work. I communed silently with her as I travelled in cabs on the hot, humid roads to and from glass buildings. I sat by Worli Seaface and Marine Drive and told her she was beautiful. i forgave her her temper on the days that I had to go to Andheri in the rains. Like all Mumbaikars, the city made me feel comfortable without making me feel welcome - till she felt she could trust me.

I fell in love with a boy from Calcutta and Calcutta behaved with me exactly as I expected the boy's mother to behave with me. I wanted a warm embrace and a great bonding from the first moment. Instead, Calcutta welcomed me with a smile and a cup of tea. But she told me that if I expected more love from her, I needed to prove that I wanted to be family to her and to her son. She made it clear to me that I couldn't expect to visit like a girlfriend does her boyfriend's apartment, without overstaying my welcome at some point. When I finally went as a bride to Calcutta, I felt that the familiarity I feel in my hometown. I know I can go back to Calcutta whenever I want to now. She won't mind. She'll even take me shopping and help me plan my time there.

But Bangalore. Is testing me now. I left her once before and now I am back but she's letting me know that I have to win her over this time. I can always come back home but I will need to find my place in my hometown again.

Monday, August 15, 2011


the one without a country in crowded restaurants,
he who wanted to go far away, always farther away,

The heat of the coffee cup at her fingertips kept ella rooted to her seat in the cafe, even as her mind wandered. She knew, she knew she was not the only one who wanted an exit. Just looking around her cubicle, everyday, she saw people looking restlessly at doorways and windows and at the hands of the clock as they moved. She saw it in the eyes of drunk people as they left the pubs and in the way some men held their coats in their hands on the evening locals - as if they'd let the coat go if only they could. she saw it in the whites of her own knuckles, her left hand held on to her purse in her lap tight.

didn't know what to do there, whether he wanted

This time, when she got up after she finished her coffee, she could pay the bill and get up and walk - not towards her office or towards the station to take the 8.30 local home but away She could go home instead but immediately after she was inside her apartment she could pack her bags and leave. But once she had done that when she was a stranger in some strange village or city or town, what would she do then? would she call her mother to tell her she was safe, or would that count as still being tied down? would she be escaping or running away? was it even possible to be rebellious at 28? Did she even have to think these things, if they didnt or wouldnt or weren't supposed to matter?

or didn't want to leave or remain on the island,
the hesitant one, the hybrid, entangled in himself

The cellphone call was answered. The bill for the coffee paid and the purse was safe in her hands as she crossed the street. Her knuckles whitened for a moment as she gripped the steel handle of her office's door. She decided she would stay on till the sight of flowers made her smile. Her exit could wait till then.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

one monsoon morning

we will wake up

and levitate.

our feet are
the red of the earth
the earth and the sky
are the air we breathe
and we
are the fingers that hold
the silk of life

a river will wind
its way across my waist
and flow through your hands
like the evening breeze
through leaves of a young tree

the present shall pass.

where's when i was young, and we didnt give a damn...

its a day that redefines irritation. cant type. cant connect to the net. cant find a decent channel on tv that doesnt show reality crap. cant talk to people without snapping or biting their heads off. cant find people who do not provoke me to snap and bite their head off.



wrote poetry after ages. to give myself hope and actually felt better. but just before i could post it, the internet explorer gave up and the poetry was lost. i just want to cry or run away.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


it could be the overpoweringly fragrant flowers tucked into her hair or the strange notions the old women in her family had of romance, but something had left kalyani's eyes furiously red and irritated. it could also be that being told to cover herself, to resist the urge to bring up that "american music" in conversation and to keep an arms' length distance from the "Boy" had left her simply irritated.

The "Boy" who was not to be called by name, himself, now sat confused and fidgety. when Kalyani had told him three months ago that she wanted to wait till marriage before they "did anything" he had accepted her words because she looked nervous even talking about anything which would constitute "doing". Also because he wondered if contradicting her on the sensitive issue of "doing anything" would drive her running to her mother and his, with a narration of the Scandalous Actions of the Boy. Three months had thus been spent sitting through many movies holding hands and in CCDs across town, over many cups of coffee.

Now, fifteen days away from their wedding, he sat at the appropriate distance from Kalyani and wondered what he was doing, visiting her. Kalyani herself, picking on the silk threads of the sofa's fabric, seemed quiet and angry. As she did so, an aunt set two cups of coffee on the table and discreetly pressed Kalyani's fingers down to keep her from plucking at the sofa fabric. She patted her hair and pulled Kalyani's dupatta closer to her neck for good measure. As she left, the Boy noticed Kalyani's breathing grow visibly heavier. He realised that in three months, this was the first time he had heard her say the word "fuck", even if under her breath.

He decided that polite and chivalrous was the way to go and said "something wrong?". The words "they all know that in eighteen more days, you'll see a lot more than my neck anyway!" fell suddenly on his ears and as she said them, Kalyani realised that eighteen days from now, everything she would do would be what she "should do, as a wife". She knew the Boy would not understand why she had kissed him at precisely that moment, on his lips and hard. But she would have a lifetime to explain, fifteen days later.

Friday, February 04, 2011

he woke up when he reached across the bed and didn't find her waist.

alakanande paramanande

she did not always think of leaving a note or kissing his brow before she left. maybe a teacup in the sink and a book on the floor, beside the chair. the newspaper, read and folded back in place. stayed till to noises of vehicles on the street below his apartment broke the morning in, not long enough till he woke up.

bhagirati sukhadayini

on other mornings, she was the fingertips on his back and the mellow noise of the shower running in the background as he walked around the apartment, sipping tea. she was the gentle pressure of her feet resting near his thigh on the couch, as they watched tv. she was a wisp of lemongrass perfume. she debated and paced and laughed until the noises on the street did not matter to him anymore, because she could distract his senses into forgetting everything outside the four walls that kept them together.

he wondered if the Ganga was, after all, a confused woman who could not decide if the sheer force of youthfulness suited her or if she wanted to flow gracefully towards a destiny.