Monday, December 31, 2007

...Maybe Thats Why.

Wildly rushing
Spinning reeling

Smoke harsh lights
Slip swiftly by
The heady feel
of an effortless slide.
The way down is fun.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Apparently about the Inter-mart basketball match.

The weather was very nervous. It kept raining distractedly and we rushed back and forth to avoid getting drenched. It finally stopped but someone sitting in front fished out an enormous golf umbrella, just in case. The rest of us wiped the chairs and sat down, expecting to enjoy ourselves.
I don’t understand the first thing about the game and occasionally burst into excited applause when the ball reached the wrong side of the court.
Go LMG!!! As an afterthought, Calcutta!!
It’s a little difficult to cheer when the two competing schools have the same name.
My learned friend who last played the game six years ago but knows everything about it nevertheless, kept commenting on the bad technique of the players. She rued having quit playing…
“I’m sure I’m better than most of them anyway.” she told me nonchalantly.
I chose to believe her.

I think I stopped listening at some point because I was afraid the girls might claw each others eyes out all because of a dirty brown sphere.
“How undignified...” I said, nodding disapprovingly, spectacles slipping off my shiny nose. It had started drizzling again.
Then things began to get interesting. The tussle on the court moved closer to the umbrella. And deep inside of me I wished that the ball would land on top of the umbrella and bounce off a couple of wise heads. Just to liven things up a bit.
In the background some players waved their outstretched hands in a fair imitation of the vaishnavites.My knowledgeable friend informed me that they were blocking the movement of the ball. How annoying, why couldn’t they rush around a little more and slip on the wet court. So much more entertaining .After all you could laugh at your own not-too-well appreciated joke about vaishnavites for only so long.
Hazel, a classmate of mine is a very gifted sportswoman. Everyone says so. She kept on scoring until the whole game was rendered pointless. We were winning by an enormous margin. Though I forget by how much exactly.
This of course went down excellently with everyone in the audience and the swimming team of our school started cheering with renewed energy. Our swimming team concocts strange, incomprehensible cheers which the whole school repeats without understanding. There is one that goes ‘ek dina dina dina, ek dina ukumpa…’Apparently it means nothing at all but it never fails to annoy the opponent team as they understandably don’t like being abused in foreign languages. They retaliate with something about ‘fata poster..’ Samriddhi, captain of our debate team grins and applauds weakly and confusedly. I don’t believe she knows a single cheer.
Five odd players continued to rush around the court while the rest of the team just sat. I felt sorry for them. They had been practicing for months in the sun and were all tanned a lovely brown yet weren’t allowed to play on the final day. They must feel very silly…
My wandering thoughts were cut off abruptly by a loud whistle. The game was over.
I suddenly couldn’t hear myself. I was told that we had won.
So we went home.
Disappointing end to an otherwise interesting day.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

MS Word

The computer I am told

Cannot feel.

Yet it allows me to erase

All my mistakes

And start afresh

Without leaving an ugly stain.

Sometimes I worry

That machines will become like men.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Shock Value

'Sometimes only one ball can prove you a man' announces zee sports.

Collective sigh of relief from those who have lost the other.
Not so long ago even looking out of a window was a distant dream for me.Standing on tiptoe I'd strain to get my nose beyond the window sill ,but even then I didn't see very much.A little bit of the sky ,the dusty tops of trees and crows sitting sedately on the clothesline.Curiously beyond my grasp and beautiful.Now that I can get a comfortable view out of the window I only look down at the dirty grey water in the drains and the peeling paint of the neighbouring house and I am unable to capture the magic again.I suppose its all about one of those long words I didn't know back then-perspective.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Coffee At Nine

A faded red tablecloth
With an unsightly mustard stain
Right down the middle
The heat is stifling
And even the plastic flowers are dying

I steel myself against
Glancing at my watch
Yet the seconds tick sonorously
In my head.
Two chairs, two coffee cups
He has not come.
Not yet.

Chin cupped in my palm
I pour milk
And coffee
And sugar
And stir
At the pace of the fan
Rotating laboriously
Beside the wilted potted palm.

The chair screeches
As I move it away
From the window
And sip the coffee

Monday, July 16, 2007

To care

The windows were open
And the rain rushed joyfully
Into my room.
And with the wind it ravaged
My favourite bedside book ,
While I watched .
Ripping the pages,drenching them
While I sat,
Till it toppled over
An unrecognisable soggy mass.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


There was once a little girl .With nothing of the pleasantness and sweetness you associate with them. There was something quite revolting about her appearance, that too long nose and the thin cruel lips , so unsuitable in a girl of her age. Nobody liked her and there was good reason for that, I admit. For just when you thought you had begun to be comfortable with her, on the verge of a reasonable conversation, she reached out with her jagged nails , which never failed to hurt ,and viciously dug them into your skin.

It isn’t right to be too harsh on her, and I suppose she was alright from a distance, it was just the personal encounters which were never pleasant. They left you with a bitter taste in the mouth and a general soreness of being, a feeling of your heart having been wrung. Yet when poets wrote copiously about her unearthly beauty everyone agreed. Of course ,of course ,they said, righteously nodding in unison ,we never thought of her as anything else. She had a name this girl, but I shan’t tell you for then along with hating her you might begin to hate yourself and I cant risk that.

In spite of her wild ways she wasn’t immune to the general resentment surrounding her and she considered curbing her manners, making the changes everyone wanted her to. It had to start with trimming those nails and uprooting her teeth. Training that sneer out of her lips and taming her hair to a natural shape. Once it was done everybody was pleased, they smiled and patted her on the back, congratulated her on a job well done.

But they couldn’t help thinking you know, of how things were still not alright.Of how much more monstrous she was now, how hideous and repulsive .They could come to no decision about which way they preferred her. I don’t think they ever will.

Friday, June 29, 2007

A short story

They swum about in the water ,tightly packed,skirting the seaweeds by a gentle movement of their fins,those ambiguously coloured fish ,which might have been orange or silver.One out of them one was a friend of Johnathan Livingstone, or so she liked to say.They weren't really on such intimate terms but she had once watched him during one of his great flights and worshipped him ever since.

Wanting desperately to be like him she relentlessly practised till she was weary to the bone and then practised some more.That sort of devotion is bound to pay off and soon she could swim backward ,with her tail pointed skywards, spinning around in circles all the while.All very complicated and useless of course but she enjoyed it and by then Johnathan had become something of a legend and she being his follower had to be given some amount of grudging respect.Besides, she was undoubtedly quite talented for a fish of her age.

All was going well but that itself is an ominous sentence and we didn't need to be told that SOMETHING was soon going to happen.It did ,but maybe we shouldn't call it a tragedy for after all some good did come of it.Hidden qualities were ,no matter what you say, discovered.

Old story,a fisherman caught the school in its net and they all died.but the tale of our fish doesn't end there.They were loaded into refrigerators till they looked glassy eyed and coldly dead and were then sent off to markets from where they were bought by families for lunch or dinner ,or whatever.At one dinner table the family took their first bite of our special fish and then spat it out.All hard and tasteless, they said.And so it was thrown away.The other one which turned out to be delicious had once been a silly little fish ,who simpered and giggled ,was nice but not very bright ,her companions had always felt.But this family of course did not know that (though I wonder if they would have cared if they had)and they waxed eloquent about the qualities of that fresh fish.While Johnathan's probable successor lay half eaten in the dustbin.

For those who missed it,this story has a moral.It teaches us that apparently useless people might have hidden virtues .....
or maybe,
it teaches us something else altogether. question,i need to know if the message came tell.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

how it is...

Have you ever missed the bus

For you didn’t want to run

To hustle and jostle, be undignified

Feeling superior, have you waited

Till one stopped by your side

Only to find

That it was crowded.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


The sky is dark and and swollen with clouds.And your throat hurts ,a large unpalatable lump of life got stuck there and its hard to swallow.The wind softly lifted the paper and polythene bags of the street and sent them swinging madly in the air ,along with your thoughts.And that ominous silence ..its too loud and you dont want to hear.
Its growing louder and darker and heavier.And weighing down on you when it suddenly bursts with violence.It had to.The tears come and soon the sky lightens and you can see the sun.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

oh calcutta!

The Senco gold billboard advertises their much celebrated hospitality through the tagline-step in.get lost.The large paper diamond winks mischievously down on me.It seems to have got the joke that eluded the rest of them at senco.I think Ille go buy it.Humour is a commendable quality even in a diamond.

Further up the street there is high end flower boutique.It calls itself cauliflower.Very misleading for that particular flower is not sold in the shop.I didn't ask though, fearing they too might ask me to get lost.In its rush to become developed the city is losing all its courtesy.And pushing and shoving and snatching.Ranks and college seats and land.

But all are not so bad.Some are much more laid back.They come home from work early in the evening and go out for family dinners to 'Big Burp!'.As their lifestyle does not allow them to dine at its younger brother in forum.

How can I help but love my city.?Its like a blundering child muddling his way through life.Sometimes outrageous,sometimes ridiculous,mostly quaint.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Old age and the rocking chair.

This then is it.
My life
This one room and the news
Which has nothing to do with me
And I had nothing to do with it
And the greying tea cup
The snow white,emaciated me
And nothing else
I have nowhere to go
And nothing to do.
O good that I cant see
For there is only decay
And rotting away..
Inactivity and time on my hands.
Spectre like ,I hobble around
And feel dust on the couch and floor.
The cushions are all worn out
And nothings like before.
So I rock in my chair
To blot it all out
The stillness and the sound
Still theres no getting around
that life has left me behind.

I suppose I've been presumptous trying to feel what I never have...But i think I know someone who feels like that.
Beside a small ungaurded lake in north calcutta a policeman keeps watch.Often a desperate or frustrated character comes along and tries to drown himself .Our hero swiftly jumps into the water and rescues him.Every time ,with unerring precision.The papers have to say that people have given up trying to commit suicide in that lake altogether ,it being such a fruitless exercise.While the policeman ..he makes headlines and recieves bravery awards.
I wonder ,dear reader how you are reacting to this glorified protector of law and order.I personally would love to dunk him in that very lake awards and all for being such a supercilious ass.And to curb his infuriating and interfering ways.
before the greasepaint

she goes out to play
In a white cotton dress and bata sandals

then wanders purposefully around the house
looking for nothing.

cooes right back at the cuckoo
till it, angered flies away
and shakes with laughter.

Stands on tiptoe near the table
Face upturned,Whats for lunch?

leaning her head against the car window
she sings sad hindi love songs
in a shrill piping voice.

loves parrots and paper dolls
and pink ice cream.

Thursday, May 31, 2007


A small one bedroom apartment, in the second or third floor of a nondescript building.Not one of those swank high-rises for me...from where everything thats beneath is a mere speck and all thats above is beyond your reach.No, some afternoons I would like to see the leaves of the trees outside the window, to hear stray bits of conversation float into the room.And have flies buzzing around that chocolate wrapper I forgot to throw away.

One single bed pushed against the wall.Which will double up as a couch when I have company.Simply covered in white.With emerald green satin cushions.The windows are to be unadorned.I've always hated curtains.And carpets.None of that in my room.

Windows are such beautiful things I feel they ought never to be covered .Not even glass panes.And definitely not those tinted officey ones.But of course I realise how inconvenient that will be ,the room will be flooded in monsoon and scorched in summer.Very impractical you say.But Ive never been any other way.

And now the most important important piece of furniture-the bookshelf.After much thought Ive decided that I like the tall narrow ones in dark polished wood best.It'll complement the white of the walls.Which ,by the way, will show between the shelves.That leaves no place for a cupboard which is all right.A cane box which will hold my clothes and an unframed full length mirror on the wall is all I'lle need to dress.

I cant of course lie on the bed and gaze at at the blue kites pasted on the ceiling all day,much as I'd like to.So I suppose there has to be a kitchen.A small one.Kitchennete I think its called.Single stove and fridge.Will regularly treat myself to some fish dish or the other.Which will obviously be delicious...

Ive been willing to compromise on space all along fact I prefer cramped quarters but the loo must be large.That I insist on.It must be spacious and have grey mosaic walls and floor.And no shiney new taps and shower which will simply spoil the whole atmosphere.The bathroom too must have a large window which overlooks a tree .And could I forget this?!A large glass covered bookshelf above the pot.For as Im sure you already know-the toilet is the room in the house where one reads.

Evenings in my house will be lovely.When the sky is a sad shade of orange.And so is the wall facing the window.And my long-stemmed lamp doing the best it can to keep out the dark from the rest of the room.Ille be sitting hunched up on the floor marvelling at the beauty of it all.

Dear reader, you have been very kind and infinitely patient to go through this tedious and (I must admit) boring description and the least I can do is to request you to visit sometime.Please come,You are cordially invited.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Before the storm

An unnatural evening in the middle of the afternoon. Grey has clouded the sun. The leaves outside the window are whispering. They know.Theyre dancing softly to the quickening wind. Grey and green. Fresh green. A hushed silence. Restless peace. We wait, expectantly.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

I have been told that it is wrong to eavesdrop. It is, for all but those who travel by public transport. When ten people share a seat originally meant for two you get to overhear conversations whether you want to or not. Sometimes it’s hilarious, sometimes it’s boring. Sometimes it makes you think.
A little girl was sitting on her mothers lap (not for anything else but the abovementioned shortage of space) and telling her all that had happened in school that day. The account was very detailed, rather engrossing and had not a chance in the world of being true.
Her mother listened to her for sometime and then asked her to shut up and stop lying. The poor child insisted (wide eyed, her two silly looking pigtails flapping vigorously) that all of it had really happened; she had seen it with her own eyes. She got a tight slap for her pains and a warning that if she lied again shed be locked up in a room with the light switched off. With a faint feeling of distaste I turned away.
This child’s mother felt that she had nipped a very bad habit in the bud. For you see it is wrong to make up stories in your head and pass them of as the truth. So she had punished her for it and called her a liar….
She had nipped something in the bud all right only it wasn’t what she thought it was. Nowadays the more intellectual people say that the world shouldn’t be viewed in black or white, allowances should be made for areas of grey. Black and white, I feel, is good enough provided you know one from the other

It was all as simple
As one small petal
That i unthinkingly tore
Or the wind blew away
And within a time so startlingly short
He loved me
Now he loves me not.

ps.omg .i feel like cowering in shame.believe me i dont usually churn out love poetry...just this once..

Sunday, May 6, 2007


think about that.if u dont have enough time then find some.its very very urgent.believe me.

the entire world looked confused
but he looked hard
and things fell into place.
something lay intertwined in it all
a design.

he looked at things
turned them upside down.
looked again
turned them around.
and then he understood
the kaleidoscope that was the world.

the cluster of stars above his head
were always ..well..clusters and nothing more.
then one day they separated into scorpions and kings
and he wondered how he hadnt seen before.

so the poet set out to look for forms that corresponded with the rest
and meant something as a whole.
he found it in frowns he found it in smiles
he even found it in bathroom tiles
the more he saw he realized
how life itself was a design

ps.written long of my favourites.
In defence of the independent thinkers

In a world,
Where the only way to be
Is to think as others do
Where a spark of originality
Is found far and few
Where the old and tasteless bromides
Are passed off as new
Independent thinking?
I stopped believing it was true.

The order of the day is
To adjust, to conform
To accept all the norms
When revolutionary ideas
Are buried in the storm
Of mediocrity …

The intellectual tag
Is granted to only those
Who incessantly chant
That which everybody knows
The undenied,unopposed...

Where is the place
For the men who think alone
For the calm and detached minds
That function on their own
Where is the place
For the men who lead the way
In a world of ordered chaos
And minds led astray.

ps.heavily influenced by ayn rand.much too sombre actually..
An Unpleasant Thought

We love,
To bend the ends of a twig
Till it snaps
To burst the bubbles
In a bubble wrap.
To hear the crash
Of breaking glass.
To squash the ants
That scurry past.
To twist and stretch
A rubber seal.
We love, for somehow it feels