Wednesday, 19 January 2011


The time comes to let things go,
Move on, go on like before.
It may sound simple enough,
But truth is, it’s complicated stuff.

Especially when there’s three of us,
Three in one head, making a fuss.
We’re entertaining, but can be hell,
Having just one voice could be swell.

I say this, but it could be untrue.
It’s the three of us that make you, ‘YOU’.
You, the public face, have it the hardest,
It’s you that we push the farthest.
Between my logic and her sentiment,
You end up having many a dent.

Take yesterday, for example.
You can’t just shut us up with a pill.
[though in your case, a pill is a glass of Bailey’s.]
You cry as often as people see the Halley’s,
That could be hard to believe,
But then people see only what you let them perceive.
In our case, many don’t get to see much,
The emotional, soft-hearted side and such.

But I get to show up quite often,
Every time we feel ourselves slowly soften.
My part is an important one,
My sarcasm and fangs get plenty of jobs done.

But lately,
The two of us worry a bit about her.

She puts on her outside face as always,
But this could be her complicated phase.
We spin from utter darkness to joking madness,
Then back to a tinge of despair, and weariness.
We don’t know what it is, or even who,
We’re not quite sure what she wants to do.

Well, *cough cough* maybe we do know.
It could come down to someone of whom she can’t let go.

Rationalisations and work cases,
Black ink and straight faces.
Black Label or strong coffee,
She tries it all to set it free.

She doesn’t talk about it, of course.
She just wants to handle it alone, I suppose.
And now number 2 and me,
Our opinions usually are different as can be,
Look to the future to find another light,
Someone as nice as this chap, and as bright.
The difference though, lies in their choice.
A smarter boy would not have let her be available to other boys.

She thinks this is all good, though.
It leaves space for her work and so much more.
But sometimes, just sometimes, you can see her fear.
Through her cynicism, through all the walls and cold beer.

She’s decided what she should do, but one question always remains.
What if we don’t want to be alone?
What if one day, we stop being made of stone?

Sunday, 16 January 2011

a day in the life of a feline

I was completely invisible.

Sitting beneath the foggy sky, the creamy moonlight. Nobody could have found me if I had remained quiet.

Well, not entirely beneath the starlit sky and such. I was in somebody’s room. And the room, usually filthy and uninhabited, was suddenly opened by a large, loud pair of people.

I screamed. They screamed.

I fled.

Back into the cold of Bhubaneshwar’s streets, the bloody cold, fog and stupid moon. Not so romantic anymore, I thought, shaking myself. I should have known the room was occupied. It smelt nicer than usual. Some humans weren’t as dirty as these nasty dogs were.

I managed to find a warmish tree to climb and was going to settle down when I heard humans. A girl in particular. A screaming girl in particular.

I was curious. And so I got off my not-so-comfortable perch and moved towards the humans. It hadn’t occurred to me that I was in a big, black, open space. Thank god for my kitty night vision. The girl would have a much rougher time seeing her assailant.

I couldn’t find her. I was going to head into another tree when I heard strange noises I had never heard before. I moved a little closer. As quietly as I could, I thought. But apparently not. Some strange green light shone upon me and I clamped my eyes and yowled.

“WHAT IS IT?” It didn’t speak kitty-kat or any other animal, but it was pretty easy to figure out what the damn thing was saying to its partner.
“I DO NOT KNOW,” the other one shrugged.

They were quite small actually. About half a human’s size, lengthwise and breadthwise. And they were some strange colour.


Oh dear. That poor, dumb, frightened animal. Human beings were so silly. If only they fought their emotions a bit more and didn’t listen to base instincts. Like dogs. I scoffed.

“THAT NOISE.” Thing sounded fascinated. Thing number 1 reached for me. I made the scoff again to see what it would do.



Oh, god. Alien dogs? I waited with bated breath. Dogs were notoriously stupid. Stupidly loyal.



They sounded positively excited. I figured they weren’t from around here.

Thing number 2 spoke into its.. erm, let me just say it was a bit of a private moment. “TAKE US BACK. WE HAVE FOUND THE PLANET’S AUTHORITY.”

Ohh. This was going to be soooo good. I smiled to myself. Suckers!

There was a much bigger light, of some strange palette of colours, and I was gone.

In a room, not so far away, two girls quietly converse.

“Dude. I’m feeling bad.”


“We shouldn’t have screamed. I don’t mind the cat staying with us actually. What if it usually sleeps here?”

“Eh? Wait, why did you scream then? Only screamed cos’ you did. Otherwise I’d have thought you called the cat or something.”

Silence. Then. “Call the cat?! What am I, cat lady or cat whisperer?” Shrieks of laughter.

“You like animals, how am I supposed to know!”

More laughter, till the chuckles die down and the cat is forgotten about by all of humanity – namely the two screechy, girls.

25 going on 26

this note was on Facebook and I had completely forgotten about it. to my mortification, my boss found it. fortunately for me, she isn't crazy and judgemental, but I'm taking it off and putting it here anyway.

ps: more fiction coming soon!

I was tagged in notes by Nrithya Randhir, Shibi RaviChandran, Sagarika Sundaram so on and so forth. So now I'm contributing my own list in return.

This is how it works: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person / people who tagged you. If you’re tagged, it's because the person who tagged you wants to know more about you.

1. I loathe forwards but I’m bored now and am hoping that writing this will inspire me to write some more later.

2. I’m mad about my dog. I think I’ll go crazy if I have to live away from her.

3. My job seems “cool” to a lot of people but I’m wondering if it’s right for me. Some day I want to quit, go and do a really “cool” course in creative writing, become a writer and learn some more Odissi.

4. Though I will be travelling during elections I’m going to do my best to go to Chennai on voting day and cast my vote. This will be the first time I’m voting. I can’t wait.

5. I miss my days in school (Rishi Valley) and college (Stella Maris) sometimes. I had pretty eccentric friends. We’re still all friends, but many are far away.

6. In college, I began noting down random mad stuff my friends would say in the middle of conversations.
Eg. Madhu: I think your skirt is staring back at me.
Sharada Banu (SMC lecturer): the tiger is going to make food for everybody.
One day I’d like to make a play featuring all these sentences. I stopped writing down stuff after I left college because I had no more mad friends around me :(

7. No, I don’t hate men. I’m just cynical about them. And no I’m not an ice queen. I know my friends are waiting for the day when I finally start dating and fall in love with someone. It’ll happen. I just don’t know when.

8. I love dogs and other animals. I feel awful when I see starved bulls pulling carts in pouring rain and blazing heat or horses pulling carriages. I feel worse when I see dogs which have just had puppies, scrounging around for a morsel to eat so they can in turn feed their pups. I feel worst when I see puppies hunting for food because their mother has disappeared or been run over by a car.

9. I’m trying to smile more and become more outgoing after seeing how surly I look on camera and during my live chats. It’s not easy… And because I wear no makeup either I look worse!

10. I love black ink, especially in fountain pens. I’ve lost countless Parker pens though so I’m sticking to cheap black ballpoints or micro-tips now.

11. I’m a Gemini. So is my sister. If you’ve met us you’ll never believe we’re related but we’re the perfect example of how extremely opposite Geminis can be.

12. I’ve seen many women in my field flirt (or do other things) with men to get their way at work. I don’t think I can ever do that. I don’t know how to. I think my current boss hates me because I only sms him when necessary and try to avoid calling him.

13. I think A R Rahman is a genius. Also because he’s still so humble and would rather talk about awards for disabled children than the BAFTAs.

14. I also think great poets are geniuses. Poetry confounds me. I can only write rhyming crap. No, not even the Roger McGough, Roald Dahl type. Sigh.

15. I wish my maternal grandparents had lived longer. I think our lives would be completely different if they were around.

16. The person who first helped me discover I could write is a poet himself. He was my class teacher in Rishi Valley and my first mentor. He wrote a beautiful poem for our class called The Moon is Down. After a play we performed of the same name.

17. I have extremely curly hair and though I dream of having straight hair I will never straighten it. It’s extremely difficult to look after but it’s who I am. Messy and unmanageable

18. I lived in Bangalore for a while and apart from Noon Wines I don’t see what’s so great about the city. Okay and maybe the weather too.

19. I can’t wear heels. They look nice on feet but it hurts too much and I can’t walk in them.

20. I invent words. And to say I love it is an understatement. If you know me well enough you’ll know what I’m talking about :)

21. I want to dedicate my first book to my mother. Even if it’s a joint work with someone else I hope my writing partner allows me to do so.

22. I want to join a writer’s forum in the city. There are none though. None I’ve heard of which function like some other creative groups I know.

23. I do not smoke and hate the smell of cigarettes. Unfortunately many of my friends smoke so I end up reeking of the stuff when I meet them.

24. I can hold a grudge forever. It’s one of the worst things about me.

25. I don’t know how to end this so maybe I’ll put a longer list up on my blog. If you want the link please ask. I'd love any feedback on other stuff too.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

jump to the future

Dear 14-year-old me,
This is your future self speaking. With auto-correct of course, otherwise everything would be lower-case. You may not believe where you could get, nine years from where you are right now. But let me assure you, things will get much better. And much worse. But you’ll survive through it all. You’re a pretty tough kid; don’t let anyone get you down.

To help you out, here are some things I’ve learnt over the last nine years.

1. Change is good. No matter how much we hate it (we really do!), it ends up taking us to fascinating new places where we have to rough it out, but remember it forever. In a good way and a bad way.

2. You can trust boys. They’re not all bad. They’re just really different from us. You’ll see. Don’t write them all off as soon as you meet them. But don’t hero-worship the ones that impress you either. Those charming ones are actually the ones you should be wary of. Very wary of.

3. You actually love your sister. Yeah, we’re very different, but there will come a day pretty soon when you discover that she has issues and deals with them very differently from we do. And you’ll love her for it. And for all the designer hand-me-downs :)

4. You like writing. It’s something you’ll be surprised to discover, but it may end up defining who you are. Not may, it probably will.

5. You’ll lose a heck of a lot of weight. Stop worrying so much about your appearance. You’re a sweet kid. You’ll probably get a lot less sweet as you age. Sigh.

6. You need to stop dreaming so much. It’s a waste of time and dreams rarely come true. Those type of fantastical shit dreams anyway. Get realistic and be more proactive. Other people can’t make your dreams come true for you. You have to do it all on your own.

7. Heads up. Don’t bother joining television journalism. It’s horrendous. You’ll also discover you have a passion for animals and don’t know what to do with the two things you love – writing and animals. Do some research. Find out what your options are.

8. The next two-and-a-half years of your life are going to ROCK. Yes, you’ll miss Ma like crazy, but trust me, that new school is going to be awesome. And you’ll meet some of your future best friends and rock support systems there. So stop crying and just sit back, relax, and have a blast. They’ll be the best childhood years of your life. (hopefully not *the* best ever. I’m hoping post 23 we’ll also see some good times :P sigh)

9. Erm so we have a problem with men. We like the messed up ones. There’s no point in me warning you, given how stubborn we are, but please try to be careful. In fact, why don’t you try changing the trend and picking one of those many “sweet, nice” boys who will hit on you after you join college. Yes, the nerdy ones. They really are sweet. There will probably come a time when we’ll wonder, “what if…. I had picked one of them?” Go for it! The bad ones… well, they’re bad. It comes to a point where you will discover even the seemingly “good” one we liked is messed up. Sheesh. I know, right!

10. Do you know what a defense mechanism is? Well we’ve got a pretty strange set of those mechanisms you haven’t discovered yet – sarcasm, silence, a lot of rules, arrogance and whatnot. But strangely, there will come one or two people whom you feel good about and just allow into your life. Not a very good decision, but you’ll learn a hell of a lot from it. And you’ll survive.

Time to bid goodbye. One may say “be good”, if they were a parent. But I’d really rather we weren’t *so* good. It’s really okay to be bad once in a while. So relax, kid. Have some fun :) enjoy the ride.

your 23-year-old self