Sunday, April 29, 2018

Of Life & Wake Up Calls

“Writers are pretentious fucks!”
He spat this at me. Right in the middle of an outrageous fight. 
And I laughed.
“Just because you’re insecure doesn’t make us pretentious fucks.”

I frankly don’t remember how that fight ended. I’m guessing it wasn’t very pretty, to say the least. But I also remember the feeling of…well…I don’t know how to put it in a nice way… almost… satisfaction. Satisfaction in the feeling that I was something that he secretly aspired to be. That I had knowledge gained from years of reading things that helped me live a thousand different lives all from my little room at home. Satisfaction that I perhaps understood this world in a way and from a perspective that his common brain was completely untrained to do. And extreme satisfaction from the fact that I could use words to spell out beautiful sentences and paint images that he could only comprehend in color while sitting like an idiot in front of the television set.

Writers ARE pretentious fucks.
They just don’t admit to it.

And it doesn’t really hit you until you surround yourself with other writers. Who think they’re better than everyone else.
Actually, who think they’re better than you.

Of course I’m generalizing. There are a lot of humble and down-to-earth writers out there with inferiority complexes. 
I’m just yet to meet them.

The ones I have met (including myself on most counts, though recently I’ve found myself in a world where I can’t actually call myself a writer out loud to begin with, you know, in front of all the other REAL writers), are the ones who when asked their favorite book will quote a quaint Russian or Japanese author, even though the latest read in their kindle archive would be a Jeffrey Archer.

The ones I know will now find it a necessity to write simple words as poetry, because they HAVE to show they’re serious writers.

The ones I know are probably judging the seriousness of other writers on the number of followers on social media right now.

And sure this is a rant. It’s a rant that will probably never see the light of day. A rant that’s a by-product of the existential crisis that seems to plague my life every few months. (Man, how did that sentence end up sounding so pretentious as well?!)
It’s a rant at the futility of trying to fit in, when writing to begin with was always an outlet, a way, of being myself when I couldn’t. 

Writers ARE pretentious fucks.
But I’m not ready to give up on either parts of those sentences.
I still want to write.
And I definitely never want to stop being myself.

Oh hello, blog, my old friend.

Monday, October 30, 2017


You tell me to stop
So instead I type
Because to stop would mean
That this world is fine
And it’s okay to accept it
Just the way it is.

But there, you see
Lies the problem
I cannot stop
For to stop would mean
That I’m finally comfortable
Wearing hot pants and walking
On a dark empty road at night
That my gender no longer
Matters at work
That I won't be asked
Without realising
To book the meeting room
Or arrange the hospitality
To leave after work
Early before a drink
That paternity leave
Is as important as maternity
That popping out a baby
Is no longer just my responsibility

That I don’t have to spend my life
Being Superman
And Wonder Woman
Morphed into one
For I still don’t know how
To make that perfect roti
And manage my retirement fund
And pay my EMIs
And manage to find a job
That doesn’t make me
Tear out my hair
Drown a little everyday
Give up my dignity just a little more
Within these corporate walls
Closing in, closing in.

I’ll stop when I no longer
Feel guilty about sitting
In a women’s compartment
A ladies seat
A ladies special
Or worse
For taking up space
In a general dabba
Which men choose to believe
Is now for men
For why do girls bother entering
When they have a place of their own
Ironic, wouldn't you say
Since the only reason we need that place
Is because your hands decide
To nonchalantly not stay your own.

I’ll stop when I no longer
Need to share my Uber details
Need to carry a pepperspray
Need to worry about what I say
Need to hide my night time escapades
My clothes, my choices
My brains.

You tell me to stop
So instead I type
For what else can I do
Except fight a little
Every day
My way
And hope
That one day
You won’t tell me
To stop
This mahila morcha
This feminist crap
That one day
I won't need to
And this world will be fine
And I’ll stop.

Friday, October 13, 2017


That feeling of hadness.
The inevitable low after the high.
That moment when everything is so beautiful, so perfect that you walk around with a smile on your face. But it falters, by just a fraction, as you begin to feel the tiny weight of a nagging feeling, tugging at a corner of your heart you’d have preferred stayed in the dark.
But the feeling grows, feeding off of your happiness, slowly but surely.

The feeling of hadness.
The feeling of fairy lights and balconies and perfect moments.
Moments never meant to be, moments that won’t be.
The feeling trying to tell you, that the happiness you feel right now, will soon be something you had.

The feeling when you wonder
Is this the last hug, the last look, the last smile.
The feeling that this will all be over.
The feeling warning you
To steel yourself
For the emptiness ahead.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Monsoons and Shit

Monsoons are back.
So this post had to be.
That annoyed post grumbling about this sewer of a city we love to wade through every day.
And all those amazing people who find it romantic.

But whether in a good mood or bad, I do have a tendency to attract a lot of crap, like literal crap everywhere. It’s one of those things I’ve come to accept (and it doesn’t help when palmists and random numerologists look at you with almost pitying eyes when they try to predict your future).
Some people are just luckier than others. I guess that’s a fact.
And then there are people like me.

If there’s a jam, I will get stuck in it.
If there’s a cab about to break down, I will take it.
If there’s a dead stinking rat submerged in a pool of icky water, I will manage to step on it.
If there’s a shop with water collected on the roof, of the thousands of people on that road, I will singularly stand under it at the exact moment when the wind decides to blow it over and make the water dump its glorious self on my head.

Sometimes I feel like the honorary star of a Charlie Chaplin comedy film being made somewhere… just that they somehow forgot to inform me about it.
At the very least, if not the money, the paparazzi, or the knighthood, I deserve a Star in the Walk of Fame. Or maybe a statue in Tussaud’s. Something to make the next surprise shoot day a little easier to deal with.
Is that really too much to ask?

Monday, July 17, 2017


“I believe in Fate.” She said, smiling at him, her heart beating hard against her rib cage. He was the One, she could feel it in her bones. It was fate. It had to be.

As they stepped out of the Serendipity Café, she picked up a book from the pile in front of the bookstore, and wrote down her number in the old copy of Love in the Time of Cholera. As she put it back in the middle of the pile, she looked at him with sparkling eyes.

“Well if we’re meant to meet again… then we’ll meet again.”

And with that they parted, trusting their lives to an unknown force, that infallible and brutal sense of hope.

Years later, in a different country, an unexplored library around the corner, her hands shook as she opened a tattered copy of Love in the Time of Cholera, and found her writing sprawled across the last page.

The ink slowly spread, mixing in with her tears to form psychedelic patterns.
Fate finally confirmed what she’d cruelly spent her entire life learning.
She was always meant to be her own true love.

Saturday, July 15, 2017


She squinted at Botticelli’s replica hanging on the wall in front of her, trying hard to concentrate in the midst of the storm brewing inside her.

Dante’s inferno and the Map of Hell… she’d read so much about it, and yet the irony wasn't lost on her as she tried half-heartedly to concentrate on each level, barely able to make out the shapes in her head.

She looked at all the pain, the punishment, the anguish… for the unbaptized… the gluttons… the greedy… the wrathful writhing in slime… But as she rocked back and forth one level held her attention the most.

“Faster…” she moaned, and he complied.

Her mother and Sunday school had spent their entire lives warning her of Satan and Hell, but right now, midst the throes of passion, lust didn’t seem like a sin to be avoided anymore. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


“So you see, as it turns out… coincidences can lead to beautiful things…” he said, smiling lovingly at her. She smiled back at him. The act had now been perfected to the last word, for he really did love telling the story of how they met to anyone who’d care to ask.

It was plain to see just how madly in love they were – their story inspiring to all, the thought of finding your soul mate when you least expect it. Listeners found themselves at the edge of their seats, amazed at how a series of unseemly events could so suddenly have aligned to ensure they met, so beautifully. It was almost like fate.

 “It’s like the world conspired to ensure I met her. Luck really is an amazing thing.” He’d often say.

She looked at him, her infatuation with him just barely contained. Ever since she first saw him, she knew they had to be together. And finally she had him all to herself. She didn't believe in luck…  All those hours of stealthily following him and her copious notes on his every movement every day to orchestrate their first meeting… you just can't leave things to coincidence these days.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


She looked at her own reflection in the mirror, and knew at that moment, everything was about to change. If she decided to go through with this, there was no turning back. Some things you can’t undo, some bonds of trust can never be rebuilt.

She saw him walk around, ignoring her in an almost painfully obvious way. He wanted her here. She could almost feel her bones ache with tension, knowing what was coming next. He wanted her just the way she was, in that exact position, just the way he liked it.

He finally walked up behind her, and she closed her eyes as she felt his naked fingers run through her hair. She shivered slightly at his touch, then blushed, hoping he hadn’t noticed the effect this was having on her.
But the knowing half smile on his face told her he knew.
She squirmed, suddenly more uncomfortable than before.

She felt rather than saw him bend down behind her, and just as she felt the slightest sliver of his warm breath on her neck, she jumped out of the chair, and mumbling a hurried apology ran out of the swanky salon.

Running back to her trusted hair stylist, she let out a sigh of relief. This infidelity, she would never have forgiven herself for.

Monday, July 10, 2017


She sipped her morning cup of coffee, breathing in the heady aroma, and looked at their immaculate apartment. She touched their pictures framing the walls…family…friends…beautiful memories… The furnishing was just as she liked it, almost out of a magazine catalogue, but with just that slight touch of craziness that seemed to define her. A scarf covering the lamp…. Colorful disjointed cushions lining the sofa… a cozy blanket lying there from the night before…

She walked into the bedroom and looked at him, sleeping like a baby, soft sunlight playing hide and seek with his hair. He was a good one. The only good choice she’d made in years. After years of self destructive decisions… here she was…in a life that was almost… perfect.

She bent down and with a quick kiss on his cheek, left the envelope next to his pillow. There wasn’t much he’d find in that envelope when he woke up later. Just a blank sheet of paper with one word… “Sorry”.

She picked up her bag, and with one last look at her home, stepped out.
After all, what’s life without a bit of drama.

Friday, July 7, 2017


She opened her eyes lazily, almost willing her mind not to, knowing she wasn’t going to like what was in front of her.
Another morning, another unknown face, another unknown bed.
It was becoming a habit, almost.
If only it felt like a bad one.

Slipping quietly out of bed, she tiptoed across the room gathering her clothes, and quietly let herself out to breathe in the fresh air. Looking at her watch, she smiled…just in time for her appointment.

Later, as she felt the first prick of the needle gliding across her skin to ink a beautiful design, she lay back and let a tiny tear escape the corner of her eye.

Sometimes the pain from superficial wounds is so much sweeter than the deep ones.

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