Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Letter # 2

I've been meaning to write a poem mourning your loss, mourning the heady start that we'd got, mourning everything that would help to purge you off me. I wonder if catharsis is in the process or in the moment that would eventually negotiate my cure.

I've been meaning to ask you about your knives-- the ones you say were reared never to draw blood. Wonder-struck, I asked you, would you still call them knives? If they won't cut and tear what else could they possibly evince? You took offence. You tried to demonstrate. Each time they only surprised you more and more. Exhausted, you said, I was only thinking about their kinder sides.

I've also been meaning to tell you that I've lost my journal to computer viruses. Gone is your name; your idiosyncrasies-- that I'd so diligently noted; particular dates when you might have said something particular; little nuggets of personal history when we'd talked late into the night; little poems of odd lines that never really grew beyond a certain number of words, everything that could put you at risk is gone-- you must marvel at the beauty of fate.

Soon it would be close to an year of knowing you and un-knowing you. You've only asked me to move on and likewise denied me the opportunity to mourn the loss of love.

Now Playing:: Arziyan.......Delhi 6

Friday, June 14, 2013

Mood Music

yehi woh jagah hai yehi woh fiza hai
yahin par kabhi aap humse mile the
inhe hum bhala kis tarah bhool jayen
yahin par kabhi aap humse mile the

Friday, May 24, 2013

From the Notebook

How simple!This periodic moulting of auld romances into hypocritical friendships!

How simple! The wretched non-alignment of the male and female!

How simple! This falling out of love!

How simple! This mending of the heart!

How simple! The closure!

How simple! The suicide!

Sunday, April 21, 2013


For all I know, you probably never cared much
for love in your lifetime. There's an ease with
which goodbyes roll out of your tongue, casually,
like a favorite word reared to amuse but stings
in its haunting uncertainty of a future encounter.
How often have I longed for a suggestive to break
out of your tongue and its various meanings collapsing
in everything that makes me woman. This has been
the lament. The lament of more than ninety days.
A tendency creeps in now to reduce you to little
circles of red on the calendar to mark the days
I've sat at the dining table writing about you,
to mark all the other days when I tried to
reconstruct your face in poems of odd lines,
and all those nights when I struggled to hold the
vulnerability of your voice captive in words of much
lower stature responding to the dictates of the muse
much like the young girl who keeps a track of the
womb's alchemy lest it catches her unawares
from the sidelines, like a dearest nemesis...

Now Playing:: Hum hain rahi pyaar ke......Kishore K

Saturday, April 20, 2013

From the Gutters

On evenings when there's a little wind around
you drag me through vagabond streets
asking for directions to the gutters where men
sit in close circles to gather the city's filth to
hurl it out into the world above, to startle,
to revert the auld order and watch the world
drenched in its own filth. On such a day, you say,
they'll come out of the gutters and stand laughing
at the stinking faces of the high-rises while their
powerful tenants would retaliate with the burning
of flesh and tell their children that it's mere
cigarette wind that chokes the air. Once again
filth would return to the gutters and the children of
grime would continue to persist in its darkness, in
the madness of the gutters...

Thursday, March 14, 2013


It's midnight and you're not home,
you're heading a conspiracy.
Soon there'll be a massacre which
the papers shall report
for you wouldn't tell me
fearing I might call it
one of your passing fancies
or worse
I could hold you back
with sex.

It's midnight and you're not home
and there's a message
on the phone saying,
"Ah, D. I miss you."
The sender threatens to love me more
than I love you so I
drafted a dirty letter to him
detailing how thoroughly you
would enjoy me on your return.
He puked on it
called me a crazy fucked-up girl.

It's midnight and you're not home darling
and so I must be out now
to drown the season's last massacre
in the streets
so that when you return
I would tell you that
I couldn't prevent a massacre at home
the termites colonised your
bookshelves completely.

Now Playing:: Ain't no sunshine.........Bill Withers

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Mother always insists on tucking the pleats of the saree "just" below the navel. That's how it ought to be worn, she says. I don't like doing that. It shows off my birth mark. A broken cloud. Uncontained.

She pleats further up on my chest and I'm lost in my mother's quest for beauty.

Each time, mother sarees me up she promises herself to feed me more and more so that I flesh out more and more and the world would begin to look more and more amazing to my tired, tired mother.

Each time she sarees me up, she thinks of a happy marriage. She thinks of yellow knots.

Each time she sarees me up, I too think of knots. I too, think of claustrophobia.

Each time she sarees me up and fixes my hair, she transforms me.

I become my mother.

Now Playing:: Tumhen ho na ho......Runa Laila

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Poetry of This Kind

When will you 
learn to understand that every word is a
closure, every word a mere reminder of a 
hopeless memoir that could have been. There's
no longer a poetry of illusion, not even love's
auld poetry of assured happiness, only a certain 
a kind of poetry has hit my taste, one that I find
in dogs, one that I've found in every carnivore which
is resolved to eat out of hunger, but then eats more,
out of greed. Throw a piece of chicken to a dog and
see how it eats. Watch it tear! Watch it bite! 
Watch it chew! Nothing exists for it anymore,
not even Time. When the flesh is gone and the 
white revealed, wait as it settles down for a 
love making of a longue duree. It licks and sucks and
sucks and licks until, the white, supple with all the 
sucking splits in a single bite and the dog
in a final act of vengeance bites more ravenously
into the white, this time well assured of a salty
after-taste when it has licked the marrows off,
and in one swift sweep of the universe 
the crumbs are gone too.

Now Playing::Hum hain rahi pyaar ke........Kishore Kumar

Day Three

To see you amidst others is a torture.How 
shall I break open my mind and let you in
and make you stay for a while? Is it too
wayward, too selfish, this search for love? 
You said something in that disconnected gathering
and for the first time in the evening I became
aware, aware of your laughter, aware of the deep
knotted mound of your throat. I traced your voice.
I traced my tonic. Did you notice me at all today? 
There was a song in my mind, I was trying to 
contain hysteria. There's a hint of cigarette smoke
in my hair, and a deluge of verses in my mind, and
one winter night to ask you, 'Are we serious, then?'

Now Playing:: Piya tora kaisa abhimaan...........Hariharan

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Day Two

I think of you, my gaze fixed at the bookends,
a gift from another friend, who was quick enough
to extract a promise to not let slip prose in between,
it's meant for poetry alone, he said. I've lost touch
with him, I know where he is, though. He, too, talked
about revolutions, about things that I cannot learn,
about things that I cannot, may not, and will not
remember. Why is it that you strike root in these
trivial details? What if the revolution fizzles out
in spite of you? Where shall you whet your appetite, then?
What if the revolution takes you in completely and you
disappear without a trace? Whom should I apply for
help, then? I'm worried to death. But if you come back,
we'll meet at the same place and talk. And if you don't,
I cannot and will not belong to any other.

Now Playing:: Aakhon se jo utri hai.....Asha

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Lament ll

Pity, I have come to believe is the greatest aphrodisiac of all.

Monday, December 3, 2012


The stories were all dead by the time the rains came down. It was brutal just like that. One of them, however, was left with one dying alphabet. I thought it would resurrect itself with the rains but the death was instantaneous.

People ask me what I do with all the time that I have. I say "nothing". They probe deeper.

The truth is, I've lost all track of time. With the clocks crushed, what has set in, is a lightness of being. I've even come to enjoy the glances of disgust that people have come to throw my way. Everything sweeps over and I'm reminded of Kamala Das asking Merrily to imagine herself as the earth "and there are streams running over you."

I never had this peace before. The peace that comes when you let the mind wander. But the wanderings have changed, too.

I no longer dream of the tall casuarinas, or the naked summers, or conversations of deceased lifetimes.

These days when my mind wanders, it so often lingers around the roar of the sea in Thumba, that I heard all through the day sitting in the barsati while the skies of Kerala gathered themselves for the year's first monsoon.

Now Playing:: Jaane kya tune kahi..........Geeta Dutt

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Letter # 1

I thought the call would last for an hour. But it didn't. You sounded jittery; maybe the rains make everything sound jittery. The clouds had huddled up for another fresh spell. The air was too dank to reek of the earth without. Perhaps duped by memory the earth seemed to barge in, defying dankness, defying welcome.

I was too resigned to talk, the distance was too much to mask. I still long for you. I can still feel the constant rush of that longing replacing all things proximate in your helpless absentia.

But aren't the absent soon forgotten? I try not to believe in that, God knows I try. But I've no control on your beliefs, your pleasured preferences, the love you spill, the intimacies you provoke. All I know is that I'm no longer free, that my mind is fettered to the absent and for the lack of a better word, committed to thoughts outside of myself.

I was wondering about the difference in our time zones. I knew I was ahead; it was left to my imagination to distribute you according to the Sun's point of view. In that brief moment you ceased to be everything that you had ever meant to me. I saw you only as a curiosity in a museum that I dare not touch. Exaggeration is perhaps an abnormality with me but antique feelings are seldom privy to the spontaneity of mundane metaphors.

You made me return to this improper element of prose. I was defenceless against poetry. It loosened my sentences while strengthening my thoughts. I don't know how long can I continue telling a private story in the banal idiom of prose whose very essence had always been poetic.

I can only hope Life interrupts again, the way it always does, for better or for worse.

Now Playing:: Toofan mail.........Lata

Friday, May 11, 2012

Of Mothers and Cats

That must be a demon daughter who
Dreams of her mother being dead.
Only saints take truncheons to dreams.
But the dream doesn’t end there.
The haunting memory of that dream catches
Up with her waking life and kills her slowly,
Heartbeat by heartbeat.
Shouting and screaming at the frayed
Perversity of her dreams doesn’t help
The demon daughter. In an agony of emotion
She turns to religion; she prays.
As regions of life explode in her dreams again,
She sees her mother as a giant cat
Holding the demon daughter by the scruff of the neck
And walking on water—gently, regally.
She dreams of the cat’s nine lives
But she also dreams of the Styx in spate…

Now Playing:: Ishaqzaade (Title Track)