A rebel is born

As a child
I loved the smell of sauted garlic
And ginger boiling into the milk tea
Even jolted whistles of a cooker
While I grew sprouts under the sink
Which grew eclectic with pumpkin

I was determined to love it all,
Even the very art of simmering
In the right measure

But then one day, and then every following day
I stood behind my mother
And wondered why,
In every house
every commercial
even world cinema –
It’s women
That stand behind kettles and burners
Relishing the aroma of sauted garlic
And tea and sprouts

I didn’t wonder too long,
I tossed the kettle, flushed the sprouts and cut my hair short and called myself a rebel with a cause.

I have hated cooking all my life, not so much because I had something against preparing wonderful meals that bring so much joy and contentment. I did some soul searching and I remembered that I did love cooking and to watch amma cook, but the day I realised that the world sees this as a “woman’s compulsory unpaid service”, I had told myself I wouldn’t conform.



Zenana.. ( Part of the house/ palace where women were confined to)

Why does this city linger, in my unremembered dreams,
Not for its mahals, forts or finery
But for women
who raised them all – Maharajas, rajputs and craftsmen..

Their zenanas, , their loneliness
forever a royal,
Forever living it’s ways,
Forever, knowing their promised predicament
Forever, not knowing the wonders of the world..

The magnanimity of it all,
To be part princess, part prisoner,
Partly loved and partly not,
And one wonders what do riches mean, if one isn’t free?

But given a choice, wouldn’t we all give it our all,
to protect our own rightful imprisonment?


All that needs to be said about 2017- A personal note.

A personal note!

I always wondered if a time would come when I could write about what hurts without much pretension and without having to damage anyone else in the process. It almost seemed impossible and I counted it as much of an ordeal I wasn’t yet willing to put myself through. If I am to think of something that has been worrying me greatly these past few weeks, it has been the rather absurd idea that I never really get away with anything that I do. Well, by ‘anything’- I specifically mean things that were perhaps not fully justified ethically or morally. I am not an advocate of absolute morality nor am I of the opinion that people should get away with making lives miserable for other people. But to my own dismay, when a time came for myself to have one foot on my ideals, I could never really do it. I found myself grieving at my own disarray that was only a result of my own indecisions and wrong doings. But what plagued me since is the thought that perhaps there is a reason that I must be suffering so much.

In the days that followed what would always come to me was a word of advice that my cousin Hari once gave to me as I was stepping into adulthood and it was – “Java, it is okay to make some mistakes in life, but make sure you don’t get caught”. It made me laugh and I have been wanting to not only hold on to it but also practise it wherever possible. So far, without success, I must add. Each time I questioned a friend for his/her loyalty, my conscience was faced with the question of gauging my own very commitment to their happiness. And for once when I had to leave a man for no mistake of his own, I was soon to be thrown into an abyss by another and left to grieve so I could make sense of my own debauchery that claimed my past. I let another woman down who was both kind and unkind to me at various occasions and I still did not how I felt about that until very recently. That too only when I let down another by being both kind and unkind to someone I know I hold dear. I have let down very many people in my life without meaning to and because I listened to my own heart too often. I remember my friend Malavika reminding me time and again that as women, we must all try and never hurt another but instead be an anchor who encourages and supports them. And I failed her too on a certain day I was consumed by a strange rage and I quite intentionally said hurtful things to another woman.

I am certain that most of my friends would like to think of me as joyful, innocent, lively and perhaps chaotic, but it is only now that I must confess that there is another adjective that must be added to the list and that would be – indifferent. I think I am indifferent to the feelings of a lot many people who have stood by me and failed miserably to put their interests ahead of mine. However, I suffer greatly every time I have to confront myself to being so unhinged. Rahul always warned me that it is wrong to mislead myself to believe that the heart wants what it wants. Perhaps I am wrong, but I am only learning and I am still trying. The idea is destructive and it is almost every night that Kavya, Akash and Aditya would look at my half opened eyes and remind me that perhaps the trouble is I don’t desire enough for myself. And friends who have known me for years, but who now thrive in very different eco systems fear that I have almost reached my threshold of giving and taking pain. During my happier moments, I look back and realise that despite what looks quite alluring about my ways, I have for long been victimised by my own lack of self-esteem. And that is a striking paradox that I live a happy life consumed by a sad soul but reality cannot be evaded or fully comprehend yet.

Another wonderful lesson I learnt this year is to believe that we are not the voices in our head. The persistent voices in my head led me to subscribe to the idea that forgiveness and empathy cannot be lived without. That there are no bad people but only people with malicious intents that is a function of their situations and perhaps the half-truths that they bought in. Surely, it has only made me look stupid and naïve, and perhaps because I was exactly that. Preeja tells me I must find a way to stop myself from blaming myself for everything that goes wrong. Perhaps someday I will. Perhaps not. I am convinced that whatever I am, it is highly unlikely that I am susceptible to any sort of transformation as an individual. I am not capable of it nor do I consider it necessary as what defines me is only my very individuality. And my inability to change is what hurts me the most. But come what may, I believe that the only change that I am determined to see in myself in 2018 is to be someone who will no more inflict damage to anyone else by intent (or by accident) and to have the will to forgive myself for everything that makes up my very eventful past. It may look like I am only protecting myself from agony by making that decision, but perhaps there is redemption somewhere along that path.


Then and now.

I would not have pictured myself penning the intricacies of those magical moments down to such finite details any day, but I have perhaps more reasons than one to think that keeping him as alive in me, as much as I possibly can, is a choice which I couldnt have not made. Well, the lover in me is often a slave to the writer in me, waging a war with my inner self till it gets myself to bleed it’s ink with the tales of its adventures. I thought I had known life, and love and meanings, only to realise later that I lived the life of a long withered twig floating about the course of an aimless wind till I one day swarmed into his arms. As enchanting as it may have been, now, years later, in retrospect I cannot stop thinking that I would have liked it a lot more to have met him in a different world. Somewhere far, somewhere quiet, somewhere from my dreams, somewhere I would not want to return from, somewhere away from the haunt of civilisations and expectations. But here we were, urban nomads, at a posh chinese restaurant, wearing fashionable clothes and speaking more with words than with unsaid syllables of subtle silences and discreet glances like what I always imagined it would be.

I had read volumes about it. Large volumes of all my favourite literature from around the world only seemed to speak relentlessly about the bitter-sweet entanglement that love was to the world. The eccentricities, the vulnerabilities, the longings – I knew all about these that came with this exquisite sickness called love. But, quite reluctantly, I must confess, I did not see it coming to get me when it actually did one afternoon, unannounced and in utter silence and then turned my whole world upside down until he was to finally make my world revolve around his being. Now that I look back, I hate that I cannot remember the mild subtleties of the day – I cannot recall if it was a bright sunny day or a gloomy Monday afternoon, but I do recall tensing up at the passive awareness of a storm that had slowly began to build in me somewhere deep down. Only days later, I found that about myself, it was me, and I was the girl walking into it, smiling as if in a daze. I sometimes look out into the ends of horizon to remember the fine details of the day that do not matter. All I can remember now is how you just stood in the distance, calm and lost in thoughts, looking right back at me as I walked towards to you, beaming and so full of our ruthless wanton charm that has since held me captive.It was only years later that I was to find out, quite disturbingly, that at that very second, at that very instant, not very far from across the table, he was silently following my mind that had begun wandering off boundaries on a dreamy adventure. I did not, and couldn’t have forgiven myself if I looked away for a minute, or a fraction of any fraction of measurable time possible away from your face. For once, I wished to climb in him and see myself through his eyes, and for once feel beautiful.

His eyes soon met my probing eyes halfway and in seconds he was only an inch within my reach and the insides of my brain have been an ecstatic mess since. He reached his long lean fingers to shake hands with my small plump hands, and says a word or two in his husky dreamy voice that I cannot pass a day without hearing anymore. Love caught me off guard, love caught me in a time and space where I was neither prepared nor allowed to love, and to a man I wasn’t fully capable of loving. One thing that you realise about the sheer powerlessness of your will against the plot of your heart is that the heart hears no rationale. It had its ways of getting things done, and it was evidently luring me into loving him more and more, a little more, every day. I was not prepared to be entangled in such infinite madness, with a man who was to take years to see into my soul. But despite my very best efforts, it was too late to escape my predicament, it was too late to be cautious anymore.





“But could you promise to come back?”

I wanted to ask, but didn’t.

Deep down, Perhaps I figured

some answers are your worst nightmare.



“I will hold on till am able, till I can hold on no longer

A day, a month, a year. Centuries, even.”

I say it again and again, as if my saying

Be his reason for his staying


Taken captive by the poetry in his fingers

And days of endless passion,

unending conversations,

And boundless longings..


now, once again our lives are a whirlwind,

hanging on indecisions

The hours and lies and people and morals

Everything takes a toll on a young girls heart


But I’m holding on, with him in me,

With hopes and dreams of all that we left halfway..

Hands still clutching his shirt

Tip of my nose nestled against his chest



As I begin to weep,

He foddles me tighter plays with my hair,

Kisses my forehead, looks out of the window

And says nothing.. nothing…


See you next fall. Maybe ?

The browning maple tree shelters me under its magnanimity for another long day. I meekly succumb to all the solace it had to offer and let it’s withered leaves float over me, comforting me with its caresses as I sat down to lament yet again this afternoon. Autumn has been kind to me all these years in its patient acknowledgement of my loss, allowing the universe to shed parts of itselves to mourn my loss. With one hand clutched to my chest and another on my stomach, I weep my heart out not being able to stand it any longer. My windpipes have given up on me, and they do not make a sound anymore. My tears too, sulk their way slowly down the corners of my eyes. The eyelids are exhausted and only wishes to close down on each other forever.

The meadows of the world are vast, infinitely vast as if they are reaching out to a land unknown where an ardent lover awaites it’s arrival. When I opened my eyes again, I watched my daughter gracefully spring towards the horizon from a distance. Her long long hair fluttering in the wind and bringing life to everything it touched. She has got her back to me and I cannot seem to decipher her face clearly. She’s far away, very very far. Also, probably angry that I have been crying again. I saw her long tender hands, an etch of her father’s that she proudly inherited, play with the tips of the plants she laid hands on all along her way.

I sat watching her in a daze for what seemed like an eternity and the hot tears that tore out of my eyes now hit the tendrils and weeds and grass which shuddered in pain with me. When the vision turns blurry, the laughter of my daughter too seemed to fade away with it into hollow nothingness at a distance as she runs into the horizon. And perhaps this is my toll, for not wanting you enough then when you sprouted as a surprise inside the walls of my feminity. But, now all I can think of is, Will I see your face next fall? And maybe you’ll have his funny nose and my sultry eyes just the way he always talked about. Maybe. Maybe not.


The one that couldn’t be.

I wish we could stay like this till the end of time. Your hands entwined in mine, the gaps between my fingers wholly filled by your long strong fingers, the pressure on my hands slowly building that it was almost beginning to hurt a little. The cab began to move and my mind began wandering aimlessly to all the realms where my figments of imagination had taken me in the past. I was high and hazy and was dripping with desire, the slow motion of the vehicle taunting my eagerness much, making me smile in passive awareness of the situation. The air around was moist and misty and smelled only of you, just in the right amount to crack my senses up and the rain and alcohol, only adding more fuel to my desires for a sultry romantic entanglement this evening with a man who I had been so helplessly in love with forever.

My dear, I still recollect the look in your eyes, the torment and apprehension, and I remember that my sudden sideways glance had met yours somewhere in the middle and it shone brightly in recognition of my most intricate desires. I was drawn to you in the most shameless ways and it was a lot more than what this moment could handle. I lowered my head slowly, cutting off the savage eye contact and rested it on the lump formed by our entwined fingers. I stayed there in contentment for the next few minutes, inhaling deeply now, my lips lightly brushing the back of your hands, evidently giving up all caution. Even in that state, images of your empty face were playing games behind the closed shutters of my eyes, and I knew that every next second with you, I was risking a heart attack and a heart ache at the same time.

Oh! How I longed to plant a kiss on your face!

We were indeed immensely tired and the long walk in the rain had not helped wear the tiredness off. But, every time it rains again, I’ll think of you, I’ll think of how you held me as we walked on and how you reminded me how wonderfully magical it is, to be in love with you. The wind, ever the cupid, was swaying past us, the strands of our hair swiftly dancing in the air and the clothes slowly giving up the dampness. The city had drifted into a sound sleep, and here we were, idiotic lovers, looking into another’s eyes, singing unsung verses of a love story that couldn’t be.

(Did those moments seem as beautiful to you, as they were to me?)

It wasn’t long before that the cab pulled into the reality of the airport driveway and I sank to realize that it was time for you to leave. I was still stuck between the wheels of the wayward dream, in those brief seconds where fantasy and reality exchanged pleasantries – all I could think of was you. Your face, I so badly miss every morning, and the face that comes to haunt in the most beautiful dreams and the worst nightmares alike. I refused to let go of your hands, but when you kissed my forehead, it made me weak and mushy and tearful.There were no tears in your eyes, but the expression on your face was so profound that it whispered volumes of our love in mild subtleties to my miserable being. Before I could even break down or beg you to stay, you had pulled away and walked out of the car.


You were right, there’s not a place for our kind of love in this dimension of time and space. The idiot that I am must stop to hope against hope that there is a possibility of us beyond such rare moments of ecstasy. But I must tell you now, that you departed too soon, to the life that is your reality, continents away. And well, don’t ask me if it hurts that I am not in it.

Experiance, Poetry



I met a certain man yesterday.

Who spoke for hours along,

With no pretense.

About poets,their verses.

And paintings and artists,

And singers and their lives.


Of strange obsessions,

And compelling addictions,

Of his little crush,

On the lady death,

And of all the urges he cannot tame.


He meets you in the lines you pen,

And tells you he gets it,

The empty longings,

The emotional rollercoasters,

The love for forbidden,

And all that you feared to tell the world.



He kept me awake with the tales of his wounds,

The tales that make him a human,

Of an exquisite kind.

A fine departure from all the others,

An honest liar,

Shouting words of truth and penance,

At the infinite moments of darkness.



A certain delusional young man,

Who suffers from the wrath of his own conscience,

Who grieves in silence,

For all the friends who travelled far,

And families that fell apart,

And women who gave up,

And places that wore him out.



He whispers into my ears,

“You scare me!

For you believe in no atonement,

For you seek to murder murderers,

You deny, that all the men, You wish to hang at marketplace,

Deep, deep, deep, down hold a heart that beats.”



But I, “I know”, He says,

“For, I walked with them too,

For, I was one of them too.

But my dear, how I wish I hadn’t begun all that I began!

I’m left with little, so little, if you had known all that I had.

I have been a weak man,

of the strongest kind.

And all of it has taken a toll,

On all that I had.”



As he sits there alone,

and waiting for his little crush

To come looking for him in depths,

How I wish to tell him to hold onto his self,

That the world outside is beautiful,

And that bigger love will happen,

And severed ties shall mend,

And that second chances, third chances,

And infinite chances are allowed,

For men who sin, and yet repent.

And that all you ever wanted,

will come looking for you 🙂

Literature, Poetry

The end.

Your lethal concoction,
Is sweeping through my veins
In unfathomable surges.
With every passive plunge, the ones
I betray,
are growing in numbers.
And from where I stand now,
I cannot,
Even seem to think of the drearier tomorrow’s
Where you and me,
There won’t be a ‘me and you’ spelled together.


My first lousy poem.

My leaves withering,
rot away smiling,
Sometimes in vain,
Sometimes in efforts,
to paint your  life
with the colors I bear,
in red, saffron and yellow,
with cells cut off my veins!

You come to me,
not, but often
when the numbers allowed,
to sprinkle a shallow lifeline
in just the right measure
over my browning leaves,
to keep from souring!

The weeds,
that erupt off my hungry roots,
They steal-
Everything that was yours,
Everything that was mine,
Even the only remains,
of an ancient manure I forced off you once,
with a shameless display
of my youthful unrest.

When you’re gone again,
Across a narrow aisle,
I live in a shrewd silence,
Both dead and alive,
Both patient and needy,
I stoop, as if I’m falling,
Towards the earthly being,
Till again, one morning,
your familiar shadow falls over my skin

I wriggle alive as you run your fingers,
along my tender leaves, enjoying its sweetness,
And its subtle tenderness.
Your light kisses on the flowers I bear,
and the shivers my fragrance passes down your spine,
tells me volumes,
Of all I ever wanted
Which is only a little of you.