Sunday, February 26, 2017

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Inktober 2016

 Little bits of me/ you.

In your home I
leave little bits of
me: fingerprints on
mirror, hair on
pillow, some
body odour in
the bathroom,
a bit of soul on
the undusted bookshelf...
While you leave
little bits of you
in me.

 On days like this.

On days like this, melancholy takes
a back seat. Mud, gathered
on shoes from
tiring travels become
souvenirs. Aching muscles feel
like symphonies, in perfect
sync with each other.
On days like this, when
you are within reach...


It's funny how I
never really understood
paradox, till I fell fell fell
for you (all mushy eyed and
tender and raw and vulnerable)
and braced myself for you to
leave me, quickly turning
love to bitterness,
at the same time.

 Why can't love be simple?

Why can't love be simple?
Why can't it be that every time I
Ask you if you've eaten
Watched that movie
Want to know if you have money
Send you a funny meme
Worry myself sick thanks to your hospital selfies
Fight with you over things so stupid I
can't even remember them
Smile when you mention the girl who
flirts with you but stab her a million
times in my head and then some more
Help you choose the perfect shoes
Stay up till late so I know you're home safe
Hold your hand while you cross the road
Write texts to you in the middle of the
night but never send them
Give you my favourite piece of chicken
All you hear is
"I love you"!

 Ex/ Ex

Dear Ex,

There is really something special
about waking up next to the person
you love (or at least you
think you do).
I'm sorry I didn't understand it then.
I'm glad I do now.

Love/ Hate/ Bittersweet feelings,
Your Ex


Today will not be
a day of what ifs.
Today, I will not worry about
if this will last, this...
this delicate bliss that I'm
balancing on my little toe...
Today, I will just
hold on tight
as you collapse over me
and not let go till our
quickened breaths slow down.
Today, I will just
be happy.


A quiet glance from you
and a slight quivering tremble
rocks my guts.
Who needs words when just
a glance accomplishes such ends?
I will happily give up language and
trade words for such
underplayed, pointed, potent,
earth shattering, heart quickening
glances from you.

Kudremukh, by night

Why do you fear the dark, darling?
It was pitch dark that night when
I held hands with a stranger and
all that happened was a sudden
breakdown of walls that were
between us. We clasped, hung on to
each other's palms like our lives
depended on holding on and
maybe they did.
I was a different me
that night, my darling.
A million tiny stars peeped out
to me and while the crickets sang
and the stream gurgled along, and
the pebbles bore the weight of
strangers who didn't belong there,
for the first time, I saw, in the dark,
the stark differences in the versions
of who I am and who I could be.
And who I would like to be...

I want an adventure with you.

I want an adventure with you.
A road trip on bike back
campfires by highways
waking up in strange hotel rooms
intellectual debates below street lights
over chaya and chilli bhajji and vada
chasing dreams on boat rides and
skinny dippings in fresh mountain streams
walking on deserted streets after midnight
lying down on the road to soak in
the multitude of stars and the
vastness of the universe and of the spaces
between you and me and holding hands
and loving and leaving always for
a new place, never looking back just
riding, riding, riding...

I want an adventure with you.

 The day you left

The day you left, I had thought
that my life would change. But,
darling, nothing has changed.
The rain still falls over these
roads that you'll never walk on.
The cheese cake still tastes the same
and it is still overpriced.
The traffic's still bad,
my life is still a mess,
the world is still a messed up place
and office politics, exes and
my inability to give up non-veg -
all of these still suck.
And there are days when
I don't think of you at all...
Why does life have to go on, darling?
Why couldn't I have stopped living,
the day you left?

 Never before

Darling, never before has
silence been so loud.
You'll be surprised at
how much you said when
you said nothing at all.

It's funny how

It's funny how without a
single touch, brush of
skin against skin, lip
against fluttering eyelid
you make me melt...


Wasn't it just yesterday, that
we were trying to balance our
bicycles and gather the courage
to ride over that shaky looking
wooden bridge?
Wasn't it just yesterday, that
our biggest worry was the next
Chemistry test, and the paedophile
who was trying to pass off as a teacher?
Wasn't it just yesterday, that
we skinned our knees, playing
basketball and you played
superman, wearing my
underwear over your shorts
with a makeshift cape and
we laughed ourselves silly
and cried over movies and
boys and heartbreaks...
My friend, we grew up too
quickly. I wish we would have
remained the way we were -
little girls - forever.

In your absence

In your absence, I make
friends with strangers in
your city. They give me
details of their lives that
you never do. They take
me to places you never
bothered to... Darling,
what makes you think
I'll stay? You throw
your love at me like alms...
Never again, darling.
Never again will I ever
let you touch me
feel me
hurt me
like that again.


Late night beer sessions
3 AM flights and 5.30 AM
cab rides. My body feels
like nothing. With every
city, town, hill-station
that I've hopped between,
darling, I realise that it
isn't the travel that tires.
It is the burden of you,
your thoughts, your memories
that tire me out the most.

Be warned

Darling, the fire that you
lit in me has become a
wild fire now. I will burn,
my darling, I will burn.
But darling, be warned.
The ambers from my
forest fire will destroy
you too.

Why is it

Why is it that even when I
am seething with anger at
the way you treat me so
carelessly, all I can think
of, is if you too are
looking at the moon, listening
to our favourite music
and wishing for another
time, space, lifetime...

I never told you this

Darling, I never told you this,
but the day you left, I
hugged the jacket that you
were wearing, trying to
find traces of you in it...

So. Much. More.  

I am so much more than
the overweight girl who
fell for you. So much more
than the silly girl who
said, "I love you" too early
and too often. I am so much
more than the girl who
brought you tea and hot water
and home cooked food
and who warned you about
the bacon in the pasta.
I am so much more than
the girl who holds your hand
to cross the street because
she is petrified of it and also
because she just wants to
hold your hand...
Why can't you see it, darling?
I. Am. So. Much. More.

The moon speaks to me.

The moon speaks
to me in strange
tongues. It reminds
me of all the oceans that
you unsettle in me; and
in every tongue, language,
gesture, touch - it whispers
your name in my ears.
The moon speaks to me
in strange tongues...

Old friend

Old friend. From the center of
each other's lives, we have moved
to the fringes. How strange it
feels, this halting conversation,
this polite exchange of cursory
information: How's the wife?
No baby on the way?
When are you getting hitched?
And the awkward pauses that
we try to fill with meaningless
laughter... We burnt together
in the same fire, didn't we?
The fire that consumed, took over
our lives. When our worlds,
souls, bodies collided within
those four walls and the bare
mattress bore the weight of
our guilty passion, evening
after evening, after evening...
Old friend. Let's not fan the
ambers. I don't think I will be
able to survive another fire...

I cannot write poetry

I cannot write poetry
every day.
Some days
I just stare at
blank pages
and think
of you.

Every day, I try

Every day, I try replacing you
with work, books, alcohol,
music, friends, acquaintances.
Every day, I fail.
Darling, it is not the kilometers
that is keeping us apart.
It is your silence...

I grew up

I grew up believing that
I am ugly.
I was never fair
enough, thin enough,
tall enough. My skin was
never smooth enough. Well meaning
friends would say, "But
you have such expressive
eyes". "You have such an
amazing voice, personality". When
all I wanted to hear was,
"You're beautiful".

"You don't know how lucky
you are. At least when
someone asks you out it
won't be because he just wants
to get into your pants."
The first boy who held
my hand said he was
in love with my inner
beauty. I let him kiss me
afterwards. I should have
slapped him instead.

It took me years to understand
that men don't really care if
you are thin enough, tall
enough, "pretty" enough, as
long as you are willing... It
took me years to understand that
outward beauty is no more
important than inner beauty
when it comes to choosing
a mate, a partner. The
ugliest of people - inside out -
sometimes end up with
the loveliest of people - inside
out - it is an unfair world.

But I digress. Here is what
took me years to really really
understand: My lopsided
drooping boobs, my protruding
belly, flabby arms,
thunder thighs, cellulite
ridden butt. All of it.
Is beautiful.
Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful.
And I don't need anyone
else to say that to me.

 Being woman/ girl/ female

I see a man taking a piss
in public and I avert
my eyes, hoping that he
hasn't seen me see him.
I am the one embarrassed
flustered, but he is the
one pissing in public.
Feminism takes a back seat
as years of self-preservation,
patriarchal advice, the guilt
of having been born with
a vagina kick in.
He is a man.
I am just a woman.
While he revels in his
glorified entitlement and
sniggers at me, whispering
to his friend that, I have
most likely seen his dick,
I walk past, shrinking
shirinking shrinking
grateful that he was just
taking a piss and not
flashing me with the
intent to assault.

 If only

If only your memories
would leave, as easily
as you did...

The world around

The world around me is
crumbling. Darling, why
won't you reach out? Why
won't you rescue me from
the falling debris? Darling,
where is your outstretched
hand when I need it the most?

 "I am that clumsy human, always
loving, loving, loving. And loving.
And never leaving."
~ Frida Kahlo

That clumsy human

Darling, I don't know how
to play games with you. I
don't know how to pull
your strings and get you
down to your knees. I don't
know how to keep you
guessing, or to manipulate
the situation so the blame lies
on you. Darling, all I know is how
to love, love, love you. All I know
is how to bare
my soul and tear away
pieces of it and hand them
over to you. Darling,
I am that clumsy human.

 "People come and go.
Some are cigarette breaks,
others are forest fires."

Forest fire

In a world of 7.4 billion
a country of 1.3 billion odd,
a city of 11.5 million,
how did I end up
with you? Darling,
you were supposed to be
just a cigarette break.
How in the world did
you become my
forest fire?

I want you to know that I love you.

I want you to know that
I love you. Not the
bloated exaggerated love
of the rom coms or the
over-the-top, melodramatic
theatrical love of Bollywood.
Just simple, plain, basic
love. The, I'll put up with
your snores for the rest of my
life kinda love. The, I'll tell you when
there's booger stuck on your
moustache kinda love. The,
I'll wait up for you for dinner
but will never give up pork
for you kinda love. (Pork,
because that's my favourite
meat.) That kinda love,
you know?


I knew,
that loving you
wouldn't be
But darling,
why do you
make it

In October 2016, I had taken up a challenge to write, in ink, one poem every day of the month. This is the result. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

This body of mine

This body of mine.
Wretched; leaking
stink from every pore,
spreading decay to
everything touched:
metal, food, flower, paper;
shedding dead skin
every moment;
creating odour odour odour…
But in your arms
transformed: into a
messy tangle of
limbs, hair, sighs.
No longer decaying.
No longer dying.
Suddenly desirable.
This body of mine.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Gokarna (October 2015)

Bathing in the sea at midnight I
watched the salty water glow
brighter than starlight.
The moon was drawing
figures in the sky that night.
And your voice
came wafting to me.
I imagined you
in another world
calling out to me from
another planet.
I was an island
that night
out of reach, appreciating
the calm and chaos of the sea
Why did you simply call?
Darling, why didn’t you come
looking for me?


"What do you want?"
He asked.
"I want the universe on my fingertip."
She replied.
"That's what I want.
Sometimes I want you too...
But the universe... that's what I really want."

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Kodaikanal (August, 2016)

Fresh mountain air peppered
with the thick scent of pine
needles, rotting; mingled with
mist mist mist
Little droplets that roll
off my hair on to
thin canvas shoes and
cold cold cold feet.
Moist roads, that lead  
nowhere but to
cemeteries with
little wooden crosses that
carry no names, no epitaphs.
Only ghosts that glide along
conspiring with bald tyres,
following, following, following.
And the mist.
Blinding, threatening,
invading, invading, invading
my soul…
Why weren’t you there,
my darling?

“How was Kodaikanal, dee?”
“It was good, da. It was good.”

Friday, July 29, 2016

This day

This day stretched out
ahead of me is
dull, dreary, empty;
will squeezing out
bits of you
from memory
make it a little
more worthwhile?