Tuesday, November 24, 2009


An excerpt from 'Notes to Myself'
by Hugh Prather

I talk because I feel, and I talk to you
because I want you to know how I feel.

My statements are requests.
My questions are statements.
My trivia is an invitation to be friends.

My gossip is a plea: Please see me as
incapable of that. Please respect me.

My arguments insist: I want you to show
respect for me by agreeing with me. This
is the way I say it is.

And my criticism informs you: You hurt my
feelings a minute ago.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Dug up something from the past...

You are everything I hate in me
Perfect ivory whites smiling
when you want to cry
Lips dancing to cheer
all when the heart is wry
Eyes jade with envy
None but one you see
Wanting to possess
but being owned not
Expecting the world
but expressing naught
Walking away at will
Drawing close on a whim
Leaving the other empty
At times filled to the brim
The taunting laugh. The brusque word
Throwing caution to the air
Hiding more than you reveal
With not a care to spare
Wanting the other to think
the way you think and feel
Treating every yes and no
as though it were a deal
Spiteful in giving
Revengeful in loving
The skewed morality, the flawed soul
The two faces each playing its role
to perfection
No trace of affection
Wanting to do a thousand things
Uncommitted to a single one
Not settling for the moon
'cos you think you can have the sun
Lost in thought
Unfounded in act
High on opinion
Sub-zero on tact
Living in a fantasy
Holding on to a dream
Turning your back to reality
Humming when you want to scream
Captive in your freedom
Deceptive in your truth
You are everything I hate in me
You are everything I hate to be

Monday, October 05, 2009

p e a c e.

so what does it take to make
your peace with someone?
a sorry. a phone call.
or maybe some writing on the wall.
a meeting over coffee.
a shared smoke. a tad too sweet tea.
flowers for the romantics.
apology in blood. more fancy antics.
a joke you can't help laughing at.
a kiss. a hug. a smile. the doff of a hat.
a word. a touch. maybe just good old silence.
with the moments ticking by
a fight.insults.fists.slaps
tears smarting and stinging the eye.

when all is well and ends well
and peace is made with someone
you sit back and wonder how long before
you make your peace with all that was said and done

Sunday, September 20, 2009

great expectations

what color are they? the grey of a pregnant cloud?
or the yellow-green of bile rising in your throat?
in what shapes and sizes do they come?
big round encompassing circles?
pointy skinny triangles that poke, no matter any which way you turn them?
how do they look like?
knitted eyebrows? wringing hands?
sheepish grins? sneering lopsided grins?
i would like to meet one of them.
look them in the eye.
and then walk away.
whistling my own tune.
down my own way.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

the inner circle

sometimes i want to fly....far far away from them all
doubting thomases and peeping toms
snooty susies and cheap floozies
comments and opinions galore
politics and perspectives
attitudes and agendas
lilacs and magentas
bitch sessions. cat fights
and a whole lot of puppy love
cheap thrills. expensive tastes.
carbon emissions and plastic wastes.
what nexts and why mes
i-told-u-sos and let-me-bes
future planning, living in the present
getting in touch with the past
fashions that come and go
things that are built to last
tantrums, arguments and jealousy
joy, happiness and ecstasy
frustrations. disgust.
hunger and a lil bit of thirst
love and war
war and peace
peace and solitude
solitude and bliss
mourning and celebration
thumbs down. standing ovation.
wants, needs, cravings
the haves. the have-nots
and the we-dont-cares

sometimes i want to fly away from them all....
but i am a part of them. they are a part of me.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


habits made. habits broken.
promises made. promises broken.
hearts won. hearts broken.
trust earned. trust broken.
bonds formed. bonds broken.

a day to mend.
a lifetime to unbreak.

Friday, August 07, 2009


if for every dream dreamt
there would be memories
if every regret entitled you
to a second chance
and each mistake made
could be undone
if every laugh laughed
could be held in the hands
and cupped to the ear
if for every nightmare
two hands would protect
and hold you close
if every moment spent
could be earned back
and spent again
if every tear that fell
tickled the lips
into a smile
if every thought that
crossed the mind
could be frozen for a second
and let loose again
if life could be lived again
through all the ifs
and enjoyed all the same...

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Travel Drivel

It would be highly presumptuous of me to call myself a 'traveller'. As a child the only travelling I did was from my home to my native place for summer vacations and any other sundry holidays that dotted the calendar. Add to that the occasional trip to Pune or Mumbai to visit family and friends....that would pretty much sum up the travel diary of my early years.
But as I grew up, I had the good fortune of travelling to quite a few places, taking a few thousand photographs and doing the quintessential touristy things.

What amazes me even today is how we form a mental image of a place much before we even set our sight on it or foot in it. Earlier it was word-of-mouth - that "oh-so-reliable" source of information that made or mauled a place for us. And maybe an occasional postcard that a distant relative had sent from london - more to inform you that he is in london than to give you a dekko of the Big Ben and the big fat red buses.
My sister's stamp collection is largely responsible for my mental image of Australia being the 'pregnant pearl'Opera House and that of Kampuchea (which I later learnt is Cambodia) being a big fat half-green half-brown lizard with its tongue sticking out. Based on what the next door Kumars (or Silvas or Subramanians or Joshis, depending upon which latitude-longitude you are sitting on) say after their recent vacation to Singapore, you decide whether to mentally scratch it off your travel list or to convince your better-half about how it would make more sense to go to Singapore than to invest all that money in the stock market (what with the erratic sensex and union budget et al) and then spend the rest of your weekend sashaying on the streets of Singapore and giving a thousand-watt smile in front of the lion fountain..all in the Singapore of your mind.

I was jus doin a quick top-down of my immediate "must-see" list...and heres what i found:

Sicily : Old houses with balconies facing the road, bullet marks in their walls, old women sitting on porches sewing wrinkles onto little pieces of fabrics, men in suspenders with slick hair and lopsised charming smiles and mysterious ways, chunks of tomatoes drying in the sun, the smell of bell peppers frying in olive oil wafting onto the roads, faint music playing in the background. I guess it would not really take a Freud to guess where this one is from. and strangely, the whole mental picture is in black and white...

Calcutta : When you have two 'Bongs' (one dyed in the Bengali culture from head to toe and the other reluctant to be typecast as a Bengali and yet retaining a healthy nostalgia for the Calcutta of his childhood) giving you a healthy dose of Bengali music, "shorsher maach" and stories from the "DomDom ilaaka" and "Bara Bazaar" everyday (I hope I have got the pronunciations right....with all due respect) it is difficult not to fall in love with Calcutta. It has always meant to me wide streets with trams and cabs ambling by, women with big eyes and tiny puffs in the sleeves of their saree blouses, steam rising on the streets out of nowhere, the fervour of Durga Puja and spending days cooped up in an old apartment engrossed in writing a book as the sounds of the streets ride piggyback on the strands of light entering through the tiny crack in the window. Where 36 Chowringhee Lane meets Parineeta meets the Calcutta of my friend's stories....

This could just go on and on..right down to the last place on my travel list. And its the same story. Same vivid mental image- meticulously put together from fragements of hearsay, pictures, wiki and facebook, memories, movies and music. Just like a jigsaw puzzle. A montage.
I guess we almost always see a place much before we actually see it....

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


N: ...its just a temporary phase...this too will pass
K: even a storm eventually passes...but leaves in its wake
a trail of destruction...
N: hmmm....
dont worry..i won't let this draft turn into a storm
K: hmmm...

twilight zone...

when the dusk has just bade
its goodbyes to the skies
and the dawn is still away
by a few hundred miles
the twilight comes dancing
with twinkling stars in its eyes...

and it casts shadows
long, dark and brooding
so near, so close
you can almost hear their hearts beating
and all thats hidden, comes to fore
fear, confessions and a secret meeting

it casts a spell,
holds you in its sight
in a hyponotic hug
of no day, no night
no time nor any space
no wrong and no right

and as you lay entwined
in its magical glow
it sings its last song
and with a last bow
vanishes into the dark
with no promise of a 'morrow...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

mid-afternoon reality check...

As a child, I would often chase the little yellow butterflies and pinch their wings between my two tiny chubby fingers. i loved the powdery yellow trails they left on my fingers...
I would run barefeet on the fuming mid-summer afflicted roads to get my hands on those elusive dragonflies. They would twist, turn, dodge, accelerate and whirrrr away in a split-second. But then I would stealthily catch them unawares and tie a string to their tails. I loved to feel the vibrations in my fingers as they pulled on the strings with noisy protests...
Rainy musty twilights would bring the fireflies out in hordes. They would come out of their hiding places and sit on the grass, lighting tiny lamps under the beads left behind by the rains on the blades of the grass. I would sneak behind them, cupping my tiny hands to cut off the light from the world, and lift them up with a gentleness almost incapable of a child. And then transfer them carefully into a transparent empty camera-film can. When I had them all in there, I would retreat to a dark corner with my own little 'lamp' where the tiny fireflies shone just for me.

Looking back after almost two decades...I feel I haven't really changed much...

Monday, June 22, 2009

'part time' analysis...

There is a part of me that is the 'eternal optimist'. you know, the types...gung-ho about everything, always looking for the silver lining in the darkest of clouds and on not finding one, would just dab on some quick silver paint on it. This "me" believes that everything happens for good, for a purpose. So if I dont catch that little fish today, it will go on to give birth to thousands of little fishes and one fine day I shall have my own 'sea food festival'....see? the power of positive thinking...

And there is the dark gloomy "me" that is allergic to positivity and hope. It loves being sad. If no real problems are at hand, it is extremely creative in coming out with imaginary issues. I once got this postcard that says " there is a secret part of you that loves being miserable. Once you accept it, life gets much simpler and better". They should probably have added a caveat that this secret part of you likes to show its ugly side more frequently than you would like it to... and is an attention hogger....

Oh and besides these black and white divisions, my brain is also divided chronologically. So there is a part that is clinging onto the past with all its life. Its dendrites are deeply rooted in everything from my first day of school to how the distantly related aunt snubbed me on my cousin's wedding day to the second prize i got for shot-put in school (the ONLY sports prize i have won so far :|) A wee bit of my brain is sane enough to live in the present. But it is so occupied with the mundane - like remembering to take a breath every now and then, sending me hunger signals and loo-break signals ten thousand times a day - that it just does not have time for any other constructive thinking. But a majority of my brainspace is leased out to the part that lives in the future. it takes care of everything - what do i wear tomorrow, will the sky fall on my head tomorrow, whose birthday is it next tuesday, what happens if i marry some x y or z and then wake up one day to find out i dont really like him (followed by a quick panic attack), what do i see myself doing 10 years from now (that one is thanks to all the job interviews and like) This part has all the questions but not the answers. It is this part that drives me within sighting distance of insanity and back...

Not to forget, the part that thinks too much and analyzes almost any and everything under the sun...'the dissection specialist' as i call it. always trying to read between the lines even if its just whitespace, swearing by semantics, semiotics, body language and signs. and then sits with the laptop at 3 pm on an idle monday afternoon to blog all about it.

But then there is one part, inconsquentially small but incredibly useful at all the crucial times.....the one whose presence I am extremely grateful for. The one that is super impatient and doesn't care two cents about walking out midway during a longwinded self analysis for a cup of chai. the one that knows that the whole is always bigger than the parts and watches amusingly as each part struts its stuff, knowing very well that this too shall pass.... :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

the kite story...

i once saw a little boy
in the open lush greens
fat drops of tears and lament
flowing down his rotund cheeks

why, prayed i, do you cry
my bright eyed little one
there yonder, said the boy
up in the blue wide sky

i made it with my hands
that kite red and blue
i caught it as it fell
and cheered on as it flew

guided it through the gusts
pulled it out of gales
held on through the storms
to the strings of its heart

and look at it fly
with no strings attached
with miles of air between us
our beings so detached

i wiped his tears, held him to my bosom
little did he know, the child
the day he taught the kite to fly
he gave him his world of freedom...


...and long after they have all gone
friends, aquaintances and family
back to their own worlds
of 'lived ever after happily'

the void returns, grinning and teasing
and creeps into its usual place
and as i look, it looks away
then slow and steady it holds my gaze

And in its eyes
i see today as it is
devoid of all masks
and each of life's falsities

in that one moment
it all comes back to me
the sudden twist in the gut
and an all-sweeping melancholy

and today is a blur
tomorrow is even so
but the past is all mine
to touch and go

all ifs and buts
surround me - unabsolved, unvindicated
wondering how i have lived
by the terms life has dictated

i hold the void by its little finger
and escort it out to the ramparts
with a last sigh and look
it kisses me lightly and departs

and i return to my reality
in part, never in the whole
the void has left in my life
a big 'void-shaped hole'...

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


she came back today..as silently and unexpectedly as had she left me one fine day last october.no questions were asked back then...no explanations solicited or offered. nor did i feel the need for it today. ironical isn't it? my whole being thrives on these little scrawls that she attaches so much meaning to. words.sentences....paragraphs. the minutes, hours and years of my life....
but today am happy in my sea of silence with no ripples of words titillating the surface.

change they say is inevitable, but old flames dont die.