Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My 100th Post: I Open at the Close

Early in the morning, when the alarm rings like a wheezing nun,

I wake up and hasten to hold on to my dream,

There is a hope, that it was important.

That I saw you.

And I liked it.

When the fog sneaks up on me,

When the door in my room creaks open, something threatens to wake me up.

This time, for real.

I fast.

Food makes it worse.

It’s almost as unforgivable as survival.

The race.

When I walk down the road with my eyes downcast,

The occasional chirp of a bird and the lemony leaves above,

Breathe to me, and whisper,

“Keep walking”.

I glance at my mobile,

Battery low. Late o’ clock.

“Faster. Faster!”

Dad? Is that you?

The auto jerks the goosebump away.

I forgot your touch again.

Lost in the cold winter breeze.

The auto swerves right.

Your smile. Your eyes.

The ones that never reached me.

The ones I craved.


And craved some more.

Do you know why I crave crabmeat late on a Sunday night?

Do you know why I must taste octopus when no one else wants to?

Do you know why I must always crave?

Because you don’t crave me.

And maybe, you never did.

And because you don’t want to be loved.

You don’t want to be loved by me.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Price Is Right

Barney, I think. Yeah.. Barney.. from "How I Met Your Mother" talked on and on about this show for consumers all over America who tried to win themselves fancy presents and trips by guessing the correct price of a product.
I often find myself guessing tax amounts nowadays. In my mind, the precise moment when the tax on a McDonald's Fillet-o-Fish makes the price edge over a hundred bucks.. is played out like a cartoon. I imagine Huckleberry Hound with a sad, droopy face pushing his sleigh up the tip of a snowy cone of a mountain and barely going over the edge with a gasp and an "Oh dear!". From then onwards, it's all downhill.
Menucards. Price tags. Overcoats that cost Rs. 2999.
Annoying, no?
Bring out the OCD in me.
But a number helps.
Rarely has a waiter come over with a bill that made me cry. I have never asked that fellow with a red-capped poker-face to sit down and reconsider. I have never pleaded. We don't joke with waiters. We don't expect them to joke with us. There's something inhuman about it. Don't they do their work already because of all the waiting?
I could never shut my ears to that stealthy breath that whispers ever so quietly, "Just tell me what to do."
And then, one day, life sends you a bill for all the changes that you ordered. No numbers. But the payment can kill you with its authenticity. You wish life were a waiter that day. You wish you could say, "Please.. I am not carrying cash today. Can you send someone with me to nearest ATM?" or "I.. I never do this. I don't know why my card is blocked. Who on earth would block it? Am I not the protagonist here?"
The decision is final. And the steel can hurt like hell. Nothing changes on that poker face. And you feel like a foolish mirror. Obeying. Yeah. The only thing worse than waiting.
So many voices.
"Please? Please don't take him away? Not him, please?"
"Anything! Anything in exchange."
"No! You know nothing. You're just a messenger! It's MY story. You're just the listener. You should just nod your head!"
You want to sit life down and embrace it. You want life to bring back yourself to you. What you used to be when you thought that's all you are.
Funny thing, though. You can't say no, not now. You've changed irreversibly. And you don't know how to turn it back.
How many of us are still there? In the restaurant.. hugging the waiter. Pleading. Begging. Crying.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"Slowly sinking, wasting...crumbling like pastries"

You can't slap a tear and turn it into a smile.
That eagle that casts a shadow on that tree that looks like a can of worms.. it doesn't mean a thing.
There's no one to go back to.
No friends.
No family.
You can't erase that from reality, anyway. That you went back in order to be with them.
They used to have those sums in Maths back in school.. a bus/car/bicycle would travel far and wide and come back to the same point in some hypothetical joke which would light up those braces and the teething youth hiding behind them.
Displacement = 0.
That's not gonna happen if you can help it now, would it?
I used to sit like that.
My face in my palms. My eyes out of focus.
Blinking always helped.
Each time my eyes closed, it felt like the end of a tunnel.
The kohl helps. It doesn't let the tears roll over and take the leap.
Dilli Haat. That day when I just sat on the round whats-its-name beneath the tree and stunned myself.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Stop shining.
If you shine, I'll have to close my eyes. And I'll miss you.
This image of you, burnt in my brain... this image.. it's fading.
Your face isn't yellow orange anymore.
With every sweep of a broom outside... with every turn of the ceiling fan, with every note of Alexandre Desplat's music, I feel the unfeeling. The numbness in my eyes.. the tears that are lashing like angry waves against my brain.. the memories that are trying to shatter into smithereens.
Life becomes a pregnant pause when the music ends on YouTube and the only other sound in the room is my breath. I mistake it for disgust. It escapes me. If only I could, too.
Yesterday, therapy seemed too expensive... as if almost a luxury. Sadness... a hobby. Closure... an exercise, an amusement. Like drawing or pottery or woodwork. An activity. Something that gets you a remark. On days like those, you grow restless when you see young boys with red eyes, waiting in a hospital queue. You want to click photos and erase the redness on the computer. Paint. Photoshop. Whatever. Make it a pure black again.
Shining eyes.
With light trapped in them.
Trapped. Yes.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Don't you know I need to talk?
Need to be?
You sound... forget it..
No, don't.
At least, I don't want to be the one reminding you.
Or maybe I do?
Hang on. Hang on a moment.
What's with the accent?
Are you.. are you mad at me?
I need to be near you. And I need to talk to myself while I talk to you.
Be still. How else will I talk?
I see myself. I see myself in you.
Funny how I never knew what it means. That you're like water, passing me by.
You're so much like the sea. And I'm so scared that if I breathe you in, I'll be all heavy.
And you won't let me go.
Do you promise you won't?

Sunday, August 21, 2011


What about the love between Voldemort and his horcruxes? Draco, Crabbe and Goyle? Can I write without remembering what I wrote?
I wish I could.
I bet I could.
My soul shrinks and expands as I look all around myself.
You bring me space and I bring you time.
You bring me echoes.
I'm just a wall.
In a world, where people grow wings, I tell myself that I've grown roots.
I know you're waiting for me, like Death.
The very first time I saw you, I knew.
You and me.
Hang on. :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Why Do We Talk?

You don't have answers to the questions I haven't asked you.
You don't have answers anyway.
But I do know one thing...
If I cry "Bully!", you'll cry "Bystander!"
I'll say I wanted to belong to you and your world.
You'll say I let you be, let you get away with all that you did.
I can't say yes. I can't say no.
Maybe I'm talking AT you. I was talking and you.. well you just happened to be there... you know what I mean?
Happens all the time.