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a few drops of rain...

... Sky... Drops... Rain... Water... Life... Me... Blog... Writing... Thoughts... Mind... Body... Earth... Horizons... Sky...

Updated: 2018-03-06T20:26:57.767+05:30


Gaaner Opare


Dandiye aacho tumi amaar, 
gaaner opare.

A sea of shame,
A prayer gone awry,
Silences, shouting, the same.

Amaar shur guli paaye choron,
Aami payini tomare.

A path across time,
Hesitation. Doubt. Dust.
Stories told in mime.

Batash bohe mori mori,
Aar bendhe rekhona tori,
Esho, Esho paar hoye mor,
hridoye majhaare.

Born to her timeless touch,
Old. Soft. Incessant.
Indulgent, sometimes too much.

Tomar shaathe gaaner khaela
durer khaela je
bedona te baanshi bajaye
shokol bela je.

Elusive, yet incandescent,
Alien in my reality,
Threaded, mending my every dent.

Kobe niye aamar baanshi
bajabe ko aapni aashi
aonondomoye nirob raate
nibid aandhare.

A bridge across my heart,
lined in bloody thorns,
every day, prior art.

Note: The Bangla verses are by Tagore. The dry English is mine. Nothing more is to be said on the subject.

तो बेशर्मी होगी


अगर छुपी बैठी हो
शर्म की चादर लपेट कर ।

और झिझक रही हो यह सोच कर
बात करोगी
तो बेशर्मी होगी ।

अलफ़ाज़ जो बह गए
उम्मीद के इंतज़ार मे

उनको सन्नाटों में
डूबने से न बचाया
तो बेशर्मी होगी ।

नज़रें जो उठी नहीं
इशारों के बहकाने से

उनको आगोश में
ना सुलाया
तो बेशर्मी होगी ।

हाथ जो कांपते हैं
छूने की याद में तन्हा

उनको तन्हाई मे
गले ना लगाया
तो बेशर्मी होगी ।



the sky sings in drops
of dripping pain,
come, get wet with me
in this boisterous rain.

the ground coughs in fits
of squelching mud,
come, get murky with me
in desire's sultry crud.

the skin murmurs in fatigue
of ceaseless want,
come, get in with me
for a dark, lusty jaunt.

the mind mad in quiet
of revolting cries,
come, get down with me
in a valley of muffled sighs.



Hurried glances, a passing touch
Eyes that look away and say
so much.

Palpable tension in a shared space
Condensed lust packed
in a suitcase.

A stolen kiss, a picture bait
Tingling skin, restless
to satiate.

Private rooms abet a stormy thresh
Broken beds, and sweaty

Tender goodbyes, lives resume
Till it again gives in,
to consume.



I broke
And I broke
When you broke
free of

The shards still
and bleed the nimble feet
of my memory of

We are together now
in body and spirit
and child,
Ghosts of your great love
every jaunt we
inhabit, as

I write this, smiling
at the rain that
pours and lines
my skin
as you exist in you lover's
thoughts and lust
and in real life, in

Tu kisi rail si


Sarmistha coughed with abandon. After all what were a few more germs in this smog filled city. Propriety be damned. She was covered with grime and dirt, that accompanied a visit to the local supermarket these past few weeks. The supermarket premises were undergoing some sort of bridal renovation in anticipation of Diwali. It involved much concrete breaking apart and old bricks being taken out to make way for new ones.

"Typical," thought Sarmistha. "Celebration preceded by breaking, followed by a bevy of bills."

The walkway leading up to the supermarket had parted to reveal the precariously dangling electric mains, just beside the leaking pipe mains, waiting to come together in a very municipal blaze of glory. Sarmistha had managed to walk around this dystopian ditch with two bags laden with groceries.

Just as the bout of coughing ended, an auto-rickshaw pulled over beside her. She haggled and got the fare down to its usual rate - 20 rupees more than it actually cost. The auto started off with fervour, only to be held hostage by the traffic cop's outstretched hand.

"Damn, I am going to be late again."

Tu kisi rail si guzarti hai,
Mai kisi pul saa... thartharata hoon.


"Yahan pe cigarette peena mana hai... "

The six foot two giant glared at him. "I am going to get punched. Again," thought Vidyut. As his hands instinctively went up to protect his face, the man stubbed out the cigarette, threw it on the floor and walked away. Vidyut picked the stub up and looked at it. It was yellow, bent and warm. "A measure of personal rebellion or a glamourized suicide note? Maybe both. After all, rebellion is often suicidal."

Vidyut threw the stub away and checked the time. The bus was no where to be seen. The chaotic jumble of people at the bus stand was pulsating with mundane life. The enveloping cacophony of car horns, rumbling engines, hawker calls, cell phone conversations were all its bastard offsprings - begot without thinking and  cast off the next moment. 

Vidyut elbowed his way into the crowd of people waiting to board the bus, as it appeared at the horizon. The mad rush for that first foothold on the bus steps left him panting. At least, he had boarded.  He checked his cellphone again.

"Late by 30 minutes. Still no message."

Tu kisi rail si guzarti hai,
Mai kisi pul saa... thartharata hoon.


... to be continued ...

Kano megh aashe


Moner janala dhore oonki diye gaeche
Jaar chok taake aar mone pode na,
Chey chey koto raat din kete gaeche
Aar kono mookh tobu mone dhore na.

I saw you once, just that time
bathed in the simple light
singing what madenning tune,
my heart, mad, in flight
dancing to your soulful rhyme.

Baatash bohe mori mori
Aar bedhe rekhona tori
Esho esho paar hoye mor 
hridoy maajhaare,
Dnadiye aacho, tumi aamar, 
gaaner opare.

The lilting song, that mesmer
of your parting gaze
lifts and are you still
in my synchronous daze?

Jaro laage phiri aeka aeka,
Aankhi pipashito nahi dekha.
Taari baanshi, ogo taari banshi,
Taari banshi baaje hiya bhori,
Jaagorane jaaye bibhabori.

Now you haunt my blood,
flit in my sighs and form
my desire to love more
your bequeathed, flood,
in rebellion to the norm.

Thak thak nijo mone doore te
Aami shudhu baanshoriro shoore te
Porosho koribo or prano mon, okaron,
Mayabono biharini.

Distances dwell in space, you
are sewn into the ether.
Strung in my wordy whims,
are your memories, so new.

I touch those memories on days like this.

You give me rain


You give me
in the raging calm
of my dry heart.

You give me
in the sweaty lines
meandering on my palm.

You give me
in the sunk haggard
recess of my skeleton jaw.

You give me
in the curt, edgy creases
wasting on my shirtless self.

You give me
in gasping crimson veins
pulsing around my choking throat

You give me
in the curled, gooey folds
of my jagged simmering heart.

You give me
in the lively, playful sins
dripping from distant dreams.

You give me
to wait in dark aisles
circling shadows of lust.

You give me
in the dry heart
of my raging calm.

Teri Galiyaan


I am writing this to the void. I am writing this to you. You are the void.

Yenhi doobe din mere 
Yenhi hote hai savere
Yenhi marna aur jeena
Yenhi mandir aur madina
Teri Galiyaan.

Shored up somewhere deep inside is a very naive me who is getting a breather as I type this. What is this? Nothing that makes any particular sense. Between taking care of so many people - you, him and her, and him, and me, taking care that it all makes sense is quite secondary.

What is it about intense melancholy that can spur words? It is a family trait, you say, this strain of melancholic euphoria. It got me writing, and it got me to you. Pretty useful trait, if you ask me, even if it is self-deprecating.

There is much to say, and there is so little lost in translation. Yet, you and me hanker for that little. The part of you I do not get, and the part of me you do not need. 

Bhalobasha baaki aache tomaro aamar kaache
Ja cheycho deete aami parina
Aamaro shomoye daale phooriye esheche paata
Aeto prem kaache eshe, elona.

Jodi kono din toomi, 
Du haath diye jhinook kodao nei aami, 
shei olpo bhaanga golpo guloye, kaar shaathe, 
bolo shobdo choode phirbo baadi maajh raate
Aami tomar kotha bolbo kaake.

There was once an urgency to be understood, a dire need to convey the music of words that sang to me. I find that urgency in me fading. Suddenly, as if, it does not matter if one is understood or not. Why?

I find a tiring cynicism replacing a ceaseless wonder of things, filling up realms of possibility with reams of mundane.

Even as I see wonder take birth before my eyes, every day.

Slightly broken


Scratches of colour
pencil scraps
chalk out heartstrings
rendered on muted
Shreds of light
year pasts
return my leftover love
smeared on broken
Walks of sound
less kisses
ride roller-coaster stories
dripping on fungal
Touches of your
carnal pauses
echo in home-bound corridors
broken in dissoluble

It Rains


It rains.
In beads held captive on
a sweaty brow, meandering
between hesitant creases.

It rains.
In drops trickling down
dimpled cheeks, tripping
over murmuring lips.

It rains.
In streams forming at
the corner of eyes, awash
with new born hope.

It rains.
In puddles splashed over
a pristine white, stained
with muddy expectations.

It rains.
In sheets of a sky washed
breathless face, gulping
in the sound of your name.

It rains.

It rains.

It pours.

It tickles, trickles and washes over.
It batters, and soothes and drowns,
It chokes, it chides, it chastises,
It plays, it pricks, it pleasures.

It rains.

Akhon Onek Raat


Words found in a limbo of languages,
Extinct dialects of the heart,
Forced cacophony of the world around,
Sounds that mean what we make them mean.

Akhon onek raat,
Tomar kaandhe amaar nishshash,
Aami benche aachi, tomar bhalobashaye.

Simple lines, spoken a million times over,
in many love stories, like ours,
Beaten to death by authors, and burnt to ash,
by poets and blurred off paper by painters.

Chuye dile haath,
Aamar briddho booke tomar maatha chepe dhore,
Dolchi kamon neshaye.

Drunk in meaning, of eons of stories,
Heavy with the weight of so many souls,
Lines, still just lines of words after all,
in an alien language.

Kano je oshonkoche ondho gaaner koli,
Pakhar blade-er taale shojashuji kotha boli.

Nonsense and sense, churned like buttermilk,
Indistinguishable anguish of the once loved,
Unfathomable logic of the still loved,
Hopeless hope of a still to be loved. 

Ami bhabte parini tumi buker bhetor phatcho
amaar shorir jure tomar premer beej.

Yet surprise they do, sometimes, all the time,
How well they say my mind,
Your mind, this effervescent syntax of ink on paper,
forced to breathe, somewhere on our common ground. 

Ami thamte parini tomar gale norom dukkho
aamaye duhaat diye munchte diyo please.

Note: The Bangla lyrics are from a fantastic song from the film Hemlock Society (listen to it here). It has been written and sung by Anupam Roy.

Self Deception


Does someone else feel it too? A vacuum? Of words that one once used to speak? To loved ones, to strangers, to confidantes? Why do I feel that the words are ebbing away slowly. From my fibre, inch by inch, gram by gram.

This is what comes of reading a book made of letters. I read one a few days before, and I wanted to write about it. But I guess I am even more of a wallflower than Charlie. Epistolary. And now it is this one. It is curious, the path that has led to this book. Or led this book to me. Curious, to say the least.

I once used to write long letters. To friends and lovers alike. Even when they would not write back. Most of those friends have morphed into silent curtains. And lovers have been sucked in by reality. My devotion to the written word has thus suffered a severe lack in companionship.

I once used to write long emails. I can still manage a few. My earlier abandon though, lies spent somewhere, whimpering at having been kicked in the gut. It has shrunk, like a rejected lover's self-esteem, to cover only the bare essentials.

And so now is it only the perfidious sms that one gets. Terse to read and cumbersome to write, it conveys no emotion to me except an desperate, unreal urgency to exhale.

I wanted to write a letter in this post, and look what I ended up writing. And though it is quite unclear why anybody reads this blog at all, surprisingly, people do. And even more surprisingly, they write in sometimes, telling me how they passed an evening reading this electronic reflection of me. Sustenance for my narcissistic writerly self it is. Written morsels that reveal an interested person behind them. Such luxuries.

Luxuries one can always dream of indulging in. So now, my anonymous reader, be a dear, and write to me.

Cat Smoking (Part 4/4)


The bright lights of the road to airport snapped Pushmeet out of his frantic typing. He stared stupefied at the screen. The words he had typed were staring at him. The soft white glow of the screen lit his face, which he saw reflected in the car window. It had an expression of veiled fright. The look on his face changed as he realized what he was looking at. His phone buzzed.

He checked the inbox to see a sms from Trina saying, “Waiting for you at the departure lounge. How far off are you? Want to cancel the flight back and check-in into a hotel for the night?” He felt a longing to feel Tri's fingers on his stubble. They made it seem more like a Monet brush stroke than an ugly outgrowth of his lethargy. The first time he had met her at an airport, he was coming back from his first book tour. She was coming back from a meeting with clients. The idea of giving the flight a miss had been his. She had resisted the change from schedule initially, even insisted that they check-in into separate rooms. Later that night she had told him her entire travel schedule for the month. He had coordinated his book tours to match her tours. Airport hotels became erotic stopovers for a month. By the time the book tours became infrequent, her visits to his apartment had become a habit both had become used to. He had barely finished typing an emphatic yes, when his phone buzzed again.

With a message from Veronica that read, “Waiting in your apartment with Cat.” His mind played back images from the evening when he had walked into Ron's apartment with the stray cat he found on his way back home from the pub the night before. Ron simply called her Cat. He had hungrily dug into Ron's half finished cup of instant noodles before hitting the shower. He remembered how he had come out of the shower to find Ron crouched on the floor, talking to Cat in hushed whispers. He could not decide who looked more cat-like between the two of them. That night, their lovemaking had been infused with a feline energy interspersed with subdued mewls from Cat. It felt exhibitionistic to be making love in front of Cat. That only made him crave it more.

His hand wavered on his phone buttons. Not knowing who to reply to as the car drew into the airport departure porch. Getting out the car seemed more like the end of an expedition than the end of a road trip to get to the airport. The journey had been a revelation. The journey of listening to them tell their stories. Of letting them talk without his thoughts moderating the conversation. He showed his driving license and ticket to the airport security as he walked into the departure terminal. He was still standing their undecided about who to answer to when his phone buzzed again.

Without looking at the message, he walked to the flight ticket counter and cancelled his flight ticket. He walked out of the airport terminal, hailed a cab and headed back to Hampi. The journey held the promise of a story that had to play out itself in his head. The cab turned away from the airport as his fingers embraced the backlit keyboard of his laptop. He had to know his story. The story of what he wanted more. Lovemaking or stories? Who he wanted more. His lovers or himself?

The journey was essential. The story was necessary. The questions were undeniable. The women were merely characters.

He Just Touched Her


He just touched her.

Tip of his finger, slowly grazed
the back of her flowing neck
Rising tides, churned far away
kept deep down in check

He just touched her.

A rumbling echoed beneath
her ribs, stoked alive in a pit
The moment his skin touched hers
like a sentence in flames, writ.

He just touched her.

Winds changed their song
A howl and a sigh of the dead
When a bead of sweat slid down
to meet his hesitant tread.

He just touched her.

Threads unravelled in her fabric
falling apart in the face of pure
Desire slicing veils and walls
erected by her, so firm, so sure.

He just touched her.

Helpless. So helpless in broad daylight,
between crowds, a prison of solitary
Delight coursing through veins,
betraying a self, wild in her, free.

He just touched her.

Cat Smoking (Part 3/4)


The sea laps the dark boulders that line the shore, consoling them for being immovable, and commending them for being absolute. On one such boulder, sat Veronica, legs folded, held close to her bosom, arms resting on knees, tracing the waves as they rolled in from the horizon and broke stride on the rocks. She is clad in frayed denim shorts and a loose worn-out drab grey t-shirt, with her curls tied into an unkempt bun, held fast with a red hair pin.Beside her, on a lower ledge of the same boulder, is Trina. Leaning on the boulder with her palms supporting her lithe frame as her legs dangle off the ledge, feet pointing toward the sea. Dressed in smartly cut tangerine salwar-kameez and an ivory white dupatta, she is looking towards the clouds in the sky as the breeze blows her short tresses onto her face. Pondicherry is an escape to many, but both these women are here on work.Trina, as a consulting architect to a resort being built few miles out of town. Veronica, on the hunt for a story about fishermen being displaced by rampant urban development. They have been forced to share a room for two nights, as the hotel has had to undertake sudden repairs in a few rooms due to a burst water pipe. They have grudgingly grown to like each other. Each aware of the other's femininity as only a woman can be. Each wary of the other's femininity as only a woman can be.“The sea doesn't care who we are. We are specks on the rocks it sees everyday. The sea will be here long after we are gone.”“Not at the rate at which we are going. The sea may not last that long after all.”“Nothing on the sea shore looks out of order. Nothing natural every looks unnatural. Every wonder why? Why can't we design our structures to be more natural?”“Why must we build anything here? Doesn't it defeat the point?”“Can you think of a better place to make love than a room with a glass wall that looks out into the sea?”“Yes I can. The beach.”“You will make love out in the open beach?”“Try it. On a moonlit night, the sea lapping at your toes, the waves drowning out all other sound and a lover amazed by your shamelessness make for heavenly lovemaking. Don't forget a sheet to lie on. Sand has a habit of getting into unwanted places.”The thought struck Trina as being rather unhygienic. Curious, maybe even erotic, but decidedly unhygienic. She stared at Veronica's nose-ring. “Silver,” she thought, “I haven't seen silver jewellery in a long time.” Sunlight skids on silver, like a ninja on water. “Ninjas? What have I been drinking! Why am I thinking of ninjas and silver! Weren't we talking about the sea and lovemaking and nature. P.”“Do you want a cigarette?” Veronica's dusky voice seemed to wrench her out of her silvery fog.“I am trying to give up. I want my lover to give it up actually. But he says I am hypocrite if I don't give it up myself first.”“Mine smokes like a chimney. And hides his stash in my apartment - his is searched it seems, by what he calls 'the cigarette police!' Have you ever kissed a mouth full of smoke? Exchanged smoke like saliva? I found the thought disgusting till he made me do it.”“No... I don't quite like the saliva bit either, much to his chagrin. I am more of a touch person, than a kiss person.”“I am all for touch, kiss, lick and other forms of bodily interaction, to put it mildly. ”“Hmmm... I think I am more of a mental person. As opposed to being physical I mean.”Veronica let out a laugh and shook her head.“Meet says about the same thing for me. That I am a mental person. Meet is my lover and friend.”“In that order?”“Yes.”“I would like a friend first. Though [...]

Cat Smoking (Part 2/4)


Twilight melts into night faster than the mind can follow itself. Blinding headlights of vehicles into which the Innova plunged headlong with abandon made him shiver at the thought of a violent death that plagued him every so often. The fear of being wiped out of the collective memory of humankind due to a freak accident was one of the first reasons that he gave himself for taking up writing as a career. The reason he gave to others, his love of words, was his last. He loved stories far more than he loved words.

Tri, I am at a loss for ideas. There are no interesting subjects around to write stories on. You are the only...”

“I'll kill you if you think of me in your filthy words.”

They had been lying naked on his bed on a sweaty afternoon of load-shedding, blowing smoke rings at the ceiling. The fan looked tired at the sight of their lethargic bodies lying limp from pleasure and heat.

Ron, can I write about you? Do you want a cigarette? Or perhaps a cat?”

She had looked at him with a half smile, as she sat cross legged in her pyjamas on the dining table and ate scrambled eggs. The morning sun was made the dreary apartment look like a movie scene from a crime thriller.

“The Felis Catus. Wouldn't mind one. Though I have run out of matches.”

He had decided to name his story Cat Smoking. Not Cats Smoking. He was sure it was only one cat. He had no idea what the story was. But he was sure this was the title. Traffic had picked up since the car had hit the highway to Bangalore. So many people in transit. Between destinations. Between smokes. He shook his head to throw out his obsessive allusions to smoking. Almost in revolt, his hand slipped a cigarette between his lips. As he put the lighter down, he started typing.

Cat Smoking (Part 1/4)


The car, a plush Innova, raced on the serpentine stretch of clear tar, unzipping the face of the earth, leaving its embarrassed red nakedness exposed to the skies. Pushmeet instructed the driver to roll the windows down and let some of his stench out.“Will you please roll down the windows. I could use some fresh air.”The air that blasted his lungs was heavy with dust from the Bellary mines.“How much iron ore does the world need, Meet... how much greed can the earth suffer?”Veronica had looked genuinely perturbed when she reported the illegal stone quarrying near the Hampi ruins.“It's stone I thought, not iron ore.”“Same earth. Same pigs. Same greed.”“Pigs actually are very friendly to the earth. They love wallowing in squishy, squelchy places.” He had chuckled as he gave her a pat on her shapely bum.“You are a pig too mister Meet. A thoroughly enjoyable one at that. Come... let's see you wallow some more and save the earth in the process.”Pushmeet was yanked out of his libidinous reverie by the sudden swerve of the car. A large container loomed large for a moment on one side as the Innova overtook it with ease, the driver muttering his chagrin in Kannada. They had been driving for two hours now. It would take four or five hours more to reach the airport. The driver had not slept in the last 24 hours, neither had Pushmeet. He sounds like her, sleepy-sharp, overworked and pissed-off about not being allowed to design the wall like she wants too.“Let it be Trina, its only a wall... come to bed na... soon you will be off to work again.”“Shut up P! You know this is important. The structure needs this wall almost as much as you need me in bed right now.”Pushmeet watched her peering at her laptop screen, her half smoked cigarette balanced precariously between her fingers, in a state of partial undress. She had received the sms announcing the demise of her beloved wall while he was unhooking her silk crepe blouse. She had muttered an abuse and turned towards the laptop. All Pushmeet could do was gaze longingly at the red satin balconette that she had on her. He had already slipped into half dreamy sleep when he felt her cool skin beside him.The driver insisted on honking every few meters. The speed of the Innova made sure that meant a continuously sounding flurry of honks that kept everybody on the road alert. Windmills on distant hills turned with the deftness of government plans to generate power for its people.I hope the laptop battery lasts long enough for me to finish this. The story was already due and he did not have a clue about what to write. A choice of words had never left him as flummoxed as a choice of women. So he had decided to become a writer. Of fiction. To his not so unexpected surprise he found women drawn to his words like talking parakeets to pirate sagas. They always held the secret code to the treasure on the island of cannibals – unlike the stories however, sometimes he hit the jackpot, sometimes he got eaten by cannibals and still worse sometimes, he had to let the parakeets fly away because the treasure seemed to good to be true.He had met Veronica and Trina on the same day. In a bookshop and a cafe that lay beside each other on the loneliest stretch of road that led to his apartment. He landed his first book deal the next day. A constant stream of words, ideas, cigarettes and lovemaking had filled the next few weeks. Ron and Tri weaved in and out of his unkempt life, sewing him to reality in between them. Both parakeets that held no promise of secret treasure and refused to fly away. Even after they had pecked his[...]

Happy to be me


The sun on my face,
Trees sliding against a blue sky,
Calm winds and a sweaty brow,
A willingness to try.

An understanding of whims, and nonsense,
Teaching and getting to learn,
A pencil and a tablet together,
Hope that is yet to burn.

Accepting and moving on, fighting
and being able to fight,
Food, a kitchen alchemy fix,
A sense of wonder, what might.

Help in heart and hand,
Test and turn out wrong,
Chips, eaten and built upon,
Voices lent to cries and song.

Beauty to hold and feel,
in flesh, breath and mind found,
Support and sanity, temple trysts,
Myriad forms of love around.

Humble and proud, shall I be,
Grateful and happy today,
That I was born as me this time,
With my life, I can live my way.



In between lines of blue and green,
Lines I let go long ago,
There is still lingering, to be seen,
Dreams of peace within.

Curves that I learnt to draw,
Of form and figure, earthen pots,
Proud to emerge, as a final straw,
Hopes of life afoot.

Trembling hands on ivory sheets,
Conquering white with shades of lead,
A kiss of senses, where an eye meets,
Loves of divine trysts.

Lessons learnt in nestled coves,
Taught freedom from structured melds,
Flow and melt inside treasured troves,
Meanings of chaos anew.

Imagination of fiery minds spark,
Teasing forgotten thoughts to murmur,
Beckon to explore my inner dark,
Selves of me alive.

In Protest, Shame and Prayer


I have forgotten how to write.
I have lost words amidst crooked thought.
That bleed in tatters,
shred by my thorny times
Everything human brought to nought.

It is good that I have forgotten.
Words as protest are a mockery of the mute.
Ridiculed and powerless,
aborted before being born free
Everything lush burnt to the root.

Why should I try to remember.
Cries that echo in hapless lament.
Blistered souls dissolve,
in the powdered shame of man.
Everybody joins in on the torment.

They still haunt me in dreams, my words.
Vicious vicissitudes of hope and fear.
Of the future I lease,
as nature's consort in life.
Shirking the right of rapine my species holds dear.

I choose to not write, but scream in horror.
I sear my choices on my fragile man.
Cast in her muffled freedom,
birthed in her blackened womb.
I will not stop decaying, until she can.

Kung-Fu with the Dogs


The boisterous heat in this city is everywhere. Trapped within layers of the aaloo-patty that one had as a tea-time snack, rising from the folds of the wrinkled, half-dry hand towel that stinks of old sweat, it bakes the red streaks of pan spit on the white walls of the community center to burnt sienna. Little whorls of indignant misery permeate the lives of the common dwellers of its lanes. Dwellers, who for want of suitable dwellings, try in vain to cool the sun bleached footpaths that have been mercifully left undug by the municipality. Not much changes here. The hoardings may have grown brighter and bigger, the girl on the hoarding is wearing hot-pants now, instead of her earlier skinny jeans, but the man peeing on the rusted back scaffolding of the hoarding is still there, oblivious to the din of traffic that crawls behind him.

This is why it is useless to feel remorse here, thought Yom, between blowing out rings of cigarette smoke. He knew he had to do what he had to do because he, of all the miserable wretches in this city, had been paid to do it. He usually dealt with pipes. Blocked pipes, or loose dripping ones and sometimes pipes filled with weed. He could roll a pipe on the back of his palm and do all that Kung-Fu hooha. It usually scared the shit out of dogs who dared to stalk him at night, on his way back home. Other than that his only other claim to fame was a moth eaten bowler hat he had inherited from his father, who had insisted it was at one time worn by a Mr. Spencer. Yom used it to store the special pipes, the ones for which he got paid.

Behind the hoarding, stood the pink walls of the city magistrate's office. Walls have no business in a city where no one can breathe without prostituting their stench for a few ounces of fresh smoke and ancient dust. Yom walked through the walls, into the courtyard, crawled in through the broken window in south corridor, located the stairwell near the smelliest urinal and there behind the loose brick on the east wall, he left his pipes. And darts.

Come morning, he would walk in with the motley crowd of spectators and news leaching journalists, retrieve his instruments and put an end to another bastard's misery. It was hardly worth the effort. It would not make any difference to this city. He could feel a crooked smile form on his parched black lips as he heard a whine and growl behind him. Tomorrow would come when it will. But now was the time for kung-fu with the dogs. Yee-haw!

Wondering Wrongly


We all want the wrong things. We all desperately want something we can never get. We are all born in the wrong time. We all fall for the wrong lover. We all eat the wrong food. We all say the wrong things. To put it succinctly, our existence is mostly all wrong.

Right? Okay, maybe not all. Maybe just me. But then doesn't everybody think "just me ?"

I thought so too, when she moved to Bangalore. I can see her walking down the road or maybe not. She is not the walking kind. An auto then. Impressive is it not how even my fantasies are tainted with my prejudices, also wrong.

So I see her, in a city I have only kissed flittingly much like her. White stilettos. White skirt. A dark purple fitting top. A loose hanging bag on her right shoulder. Straight black hair. Kohl lined eyes. Taking in the world around her with her usual disdain. Just like I saw her one day, turning around the corner, halfway across the world, dancing to the tunes in her own head.

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic 'til I'm gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love

Dancing seemed right then. In a city that's so far stashed away in my memories that the coffee we drank seems to have mottled into tar. The coffee and Foucault's Pendulum. The wrong kind of pendulum, the wrong kind of book and a mistress of time. Busy as a bee and so distant. Even when we made love. In her room, in her bed, between her bookshelf and deviled eggs.

Dance me to the wedding now, dance me on and on
Dance me very tenderly and dance me very long
We're both of us beneath our love, we're both of us above
Dance me to the end of love

She did dance me to my wedding. That was about it. About all the wrong that could happen. And as I remembered her then, I remember her now, all wrong, just like the rest of it. Only now, she is in Bangalore. And I wonder, is it wrong? To wonder?

The lyrics are from Dance Me To The End of Love by Leonard Cohen.



"We regret to inform you... "

Regret! That's my hateful word of the day - of this year. Of my entire life at the moment. How I hate that word.

I feel like smashing something right now. I'd have smashed my life if it was not already smashed.

God. I feel like he is laughing at me from somewhere. Look how puny you are. And look what a mess your life is. Ha ha.

It is surprising. Even after all these years, the word still deguts me every time I read it. And there they lie - all raw and bloody in front of my eyes as if nothing will make me whole again. Still one breathes.

Which is a darn miracle - what would it take to stop breathing, I wonder. Certainly more than tonne of regret...

Shokhi, Bhalobasha Kare Koy?


Sulagna lay cuddled beside him, with her nose buried in his sweaty armpits. The cream pastel walls were still heaving with their evening efforts at frantic lovemaking. She could sense the drops of sweat that had sneaked down his brow, and skidded to a stop on his cheek stubble. Hanging in desperation, afraid of getting lost.

"How did you like it? I am impressed - we have never done it like this before."

Maybe neither of us wanted it enough. Do we want it now? The love? Or just the sex? The cobweb sticking to the edge of the roof beam swayed in the ceiling fan's draft.

"Uhmmm... Shokhi bhabona kahare bole,
Shokhi jatona kahare bole,
Tomra je bolo dibosho rojoni
Bhalobasha, bhalobasha...

"What are you singing? Is it some new song? You did not answer my question - did you like it?"

The bedsheet needs to be changed tonight - it is definitely smelling of fungi now. Damn this damp. How is anybody supposed to enjoy a toss in the hay in such weather! Is he thinking of Anne Hathway again... what was that movie we saw... love and other drugs. Maybe he is ruing that I am not like that skinny girl in his arms, in her white shirt, pouty lips holding a cigarette, smoke rising into a cloud of our desires. Does he still love me?

"...Shokhi bhalobasha kare koy?
Sheki keboli jatona moy.
Sheki keboli chokher jol, sheki
keboli dukher shaas...

"Thank you for today."

He turned his face toward her. His expression was as curious as ever. What is he thinking? I wish I could talk to him like I can talk to... I miss him. His hands closed around her shoulders in a kind embrace. He smells different now. Does he know how many different smells I can pick off him? Does he even care to know?

"... Loke tobe kore ki shukhire tore,
aemon dukhero aash

You know, shokhi, tomake na pele hoyeto kobi hote baddho hotam, but now I don't feel like writing - anything - as if you have sucked in all my words into oblivion."

"Now, wait a minute... what does that mean? I am the death of all your words?"

"No, sweetheart, you are merely the death of me."

Note: The song is written by Tagore. A rendering in an old Bangla movie may be found here. Translating it is quite beyond my linguistic prowess.