Monday, November 5, 2012


Is the blinking of your eye a greater task,
Is it because the world is too much to take in,
Is breathing ,is  walking, is the beating of a heart - 
the clockwork you forget about,
an unfailing companion from the start,
is the beating of your heart close enough
to ripple your jaw today?
They say the world will not end
with this and that,
not with failing the gargantuan examination,
not with the itch of predestined disease,
not when someone shakes you out of your delusion.
Heck, the world will not end
Even if you do.
But yours will.

What we grow from day to day
is not a new heart or younger eyelids,
We grow memories in the magnitude
that only memories can grow in.
And they become a mirror of
what we want
and what we want no more of

And only memories are visitors
when there will be no visitors tomorrow.
And when tomorrow will be the same as

And beauty is and youth is
a scandal of 

And if the look in someone's eyes
is bribe enough,
what you want is yet not
a memory.
Beauty will follow purpose,
and the time is

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

On Religion

Place the lay monk in a room
full of earthen statues of men in prayer.

So that when he opens his eyes,
he finds mute reassertion.

And everytime he believes
that it is time to end a prayer,
He shames himself in the reproach of
a thousand glassy eyes raised heavenward.

And each time he places his folded hands
on the warm,thumping cloister under his robes,
To him,it reverberates in the chests
of the solid, cast men around him.

So that all his questions are answered in silence.
And any movement made by him,
driven by his own will,
is an act of infringement.

And so that his fear resides,
Not in forgetting the One
whose name he chants in cycles,
But in being seen when he does so.

good measure

Whoever it was that told you
it's worthwhile to dream of wings
has a stiff-necked, singular way
of looking at things.
There are beings that give up flying
to crawl on all sixes and fours
for wings are no good
when it's pouring outdoors.


It won’t be long
Before the careless brush
Of a hand
Will tip over
This tall pitcher of a universe
That holds everything
In its dark belly.
And the crash
That follows
Will be silent
Because there will  be
Nothing for it
To echo against.
And the sudden emptiness
That we will feel
In the pit of our stomachs
Will inverse and occupy
In a monumental vacuum
All that surrounds  it.
We will all be reduced
To empty bellies and
Nothing to feed them.
No way in
And no way out.
And the giant hand that
Tipped the pitcher
That holds the last of
The blackness
Under its fingernails
Will tickle them
In the perverse idea
Of a joke
And we will laugh as we weep
In the helpless submission
That we fell in
As we believed
That the hand
Will always provide
Even if the universe was
Reduced to empty bellies
With no she and he
To fill them anew.
But what will remain are
The thoughts you thought.
For they were empty to begin with.
And the words I wrought
That were light as air.
So stay hungry and
Store a thought in your belly.
That occupies one dimension
But survives the death of
All the rest.
So that after the
Pitcher spills over
And washes away
The last of the blackness
There still remains
The  faint glow
Between our bellies
Of the hunger that made you
Think of my presence
Of  the hunger that made me write
About yours.


It is the easiest thing
To go missing.
It takes a second
Of loose footing
In the sinuous stream
Of entwined cogs,
It takes a distracted
Shift of the eye
To discomforting fogs
Of strange faces.
It takes the chasing-after
Of honking blurs in new places.
It takes the shared shock of strangers
In rooms with a tipping ceiling.
It takes the overlooking
Of a single hurt feeling.

It is easy to go missing.

But I will find you,again,
In this conundrum of give-way gears.
I will deafen it’s humdrum
For a familiar whisper in my ears.
It will take you the effort 
To look twice more
And recall my name.
This much I ask of you,
When I find you again.

Say you will, 
And I will whistle a song
To reach your ears
Over the city’s saucepan
And its senseless hissing.
Say you are, because I am.
And it takes two to go missing.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Here's something my awesome friendandhousemate Kanika Kaul does on her gorgeous blog, to keep her followers inspired and believing in the creative gene that lies rusting in all of us. We were better off as cavemen, with the spontaneity to paint on walls when we felt the urge. Now we'd get spontaneously arrested for the same deal.

Bu-ut. Here's what spontaneously came to me when I saw the picture she posted for Joyous June, a blogathon where followers respond to an image that she posts for (and wow) every day of the month. The image for the day is..

My Post : 
You can lead the child to venom
But you can't make her drink.
You can bind her hair in tight braids
But you can't make her think
That braids are any better
Than the loose tangles that kiss her brow
And the surf mumbles to her toes,
The child knows
That even if her paint box has
Broken crayons,
She can sprinkle them on her desk
And transform them to stars,
That hand-me-downs will be vintage one day
Even if a little charred,
That there will always be colours in candy
More fun to swallow than your pill
The child is not yours to call
yours or to call ill,
That her anchors are suspended by
The yarn hair of dolls that stretches from
This planet to that,
That the things you see with open eyes
Aren't entitled to be facts.
You can draw a pail to drown her
Everyday in bone-chilling shame,
But she refuses to blink,
She'll force the taste of lemon pops
After every shock of zinc,
You can lead the child to water,
She refuses to sink...

Except, willfully, in 4000 years of ink. 

Thanks for the opportunity Kan. All the best, Joyous Junebugs!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Meri bhi Keri- Tulika Books Blogathon

There are few trees that catch as many a greedy glance as the Mango tree. Casually by the roadside, quickly from a passing car, longingly in your own backyard or slyly in the neighbour's, the laden branches of mango trees in summers are constant head turners.

And justifiably so. From its lyrical green and brown stance, its generous open arms, its leaves dusted with golden pollen, the summer bend of its annual cycle is the loveliest for this tree. But that was all the charm it held for me, as a graceful, lush sight in the blinding summer light. Unlike everyone around me, I didn't care as much about the yield. My summer fruit was never the mango. But to appreciate the contrast you must first know everyone around me..

The important twelve years of my school life were spent in Navrachana, in Baroda, a wonderful school built amid many, many mango trees. And the mango has a very exclusive place in Gujarat. In homes during the summers it makes its way gloriously down every course of the meal, even the sides, leaving a happy,sticky trace around gluttonous smiles from the face of the newest member to the wise ones of the Baas who meticulously prepare the mangifera goodies. But for school-going children, the chase for the mango begins not in the kitchen but before the fruit ripens.

It was the unripe mango, or the kachchi keri that was more coveted in our school. The injustice lay in the fact that we were all sent off for the summer vacations and we'd never once seen the mangoes ripening! Remember what I said about the sly glance towards the mango tree? Now multiply it by 2000 (I'm not even counting the carefully calculated anticipation and gaze of the teachers, no different from ours) and that's the pressure the poor mango trees in the nooks of our school had to bear! And not once did they flinch, in all their glory and limelight while swift as rodents, sneaky as monkeys, and sharp as birds of prey, the students would claim the prize of a bud much before it blossomed, common view points being classroom windows, the basketball court and over each others' shoulder as we queued up to make our way to the dining hall. 

Soon, the itchy showers of pollen gave way to little green fruit. And thus the strategies would begin to form. What time of the school day would be ideal to beg for a free period ? How many times can one be excused to visit the restroom? Which classroom had the ideal window and who among the many gifted cooks at the dining hall should we begin to butter up for the acquisition of a pinchful of salt and chilli powder that go best with the kachchi keri. 

And on and on it went until the fruit gathered nourishment,grew in mass and in its tailored green jacket peered down at hundreds of hungry faces.From then on, tension rose like fumes in the flasks of the Chemistry lab. Friends turned foes, people changed groups within the span of a recess and classes were stopped as students trooped to stand outside with salt-streaked faces concealing a sheepish grin, all for the want of a green slice of the keri. Not that they couldn't have gone home to baskets of  mangoes, not that keris couldn't be found on a vendor's cart at a price well within their allowances, not that scabby knees and dusty uniforms were the only concerns of their mothers, the fact was that the kachhi keri from the school trees tasted better than anywhere else. You can imagine the awkward lull when a keri fell right in the middle of the senior school assembly at the feet of the strictest teacher and the buzz of mental activity that followed, about how to inch towards it during an intense announcement or talk. In the process of calculating the trajectory of a thrown tennis ball, the best time of the week to stand under a tree, and a route to meander through classes to dodge a greedy bully, my schoolmates turned into the great Physicists, Botanists and Cartographers that our teachers could have taken great pride in. Meanwhile, did I miss out on all the fun?

I have to admit I did, most of it. I would occasionally eat ripe mangoes after lunch or with vanilla ice cream, but that joy was always overshadowed by my love for water melon while my mum would delve in the nostalgia of buckets of yellow-red mangoes at her Grandparents'. The unripe mango (or the amiya) in our kitchen only contributed to tangy green chutneys and panna that my mum is best known for. 

But that was that. For the many years I was in school, my interactions with the Mango trees were limited to climbing the branches. I never really understood the obsession with the unripe mango, wouldn't the sourness give one a tummy ache? In any case there were way too many contenders. I decided to lay off. 

And it remained so until my last summer in school, just before the 12th boards, when I knew it was time to say goodbye to the shade and fragrance of the mango trees and all the little nooks I'd come to know as my own in the past twelve years. I have been at war with the very phenomenon of growing up for a while now. I  wanted to make the most of school and during the last few months there were only a handful of us who'd attend everyday while the others studied from home. I spent these days at my backbench brooding and thinking of what was to come and what I was leaving behind. When out of nowhere a classmate of mine declared that a kachchi keri was found miraculously abandoned. We decided to make the most of a dull, free period in a class of four and made our way to the dining hall. I wondered what we would be greeted with and if we could walk into the kitchens as we pleased, certainly not? I smiled at the kitchen staff, the hard-working crew that day after day served us the food that we all still crave for and I wanted to tell them how amazingly well they do this task. Instead I gingerly stood by my classmates as they asked for a knife and were promptly handed one along with salt and chilli, for the staff knew our needs well. 

The memory remains with me to this day, the first time I enjoyed the kachchi keri, peel and all, with a bunch of classmates whom I'd soon be parting ways with. I rediscovered the joy of sharing found treasure over a small walk to the dining hall and back. Needless to say, it tasted great, and I don't remember if a tummy ache followed or not. 

It did take me a while to get to the bottom of this fruit, but I'm glad I did, I couldn't have left the premises of my school without having accomplished this feat, and I'd put it on the school prospectus if I could.It meant more than having passed the twelfth boards.That summer, we were all hit with the finality of finishing school and the oblivion that was to follow.We were safer and surer here, of belonging and knowing that if we fell several times before we matured, there would be someone who'd still value us. Like the keri, we wouldn't be seen ripening under those trees that summer. But we'd all have something common as a keepsake, long after the summer was over. Our own kachchi keri experience, even if a tad too late.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Anytime Sandwich

It's past 2:30 and I'm hungry and I'm lucky that our PG fridge is well stocked.
So I will whip up (more like clumsily assemble) myself a sandwich.

Here's a list of my top 5 anytime sandwiches:

Egg salad (usually over-salted, with ketchup and chunks of cold butter. Eggs slices-cold and hard boiled)

Cucumber and cheese spread. ( Black pepper is the trick.Also, I don't get why some people grill their cucumber sandwiches. It loses the crunch and gets soggy. And anything with such high water content when grilled like that will stay hot for long and keep you waiting/burn the tongue.)

Haldiram's Sev Bhujia. (I mostly over-ketchup it. Always better with cheese. Like most things.)

PBJ (chunky, grape/strawberry/mixed fruit, with milk)

Tomato Onion and Cheese (My mum's usual midnight snack, I dunno why she abstains from onion and cheese?)

And if you go to Baroda, the Grilled Chicken and Cheese at Goodies' Cafeteria in Fatehgunj is what you should try out because it's made by Gods, is shaped in semicircles, NEVER seems microwaved and oozes with generous awesomeness. There're vegetarian alternatives and it comes with chips. I crave it quite often.

I also remember an amazing open face mushroom sandwich I ate quite long ago at The Tea Centre, Mumbai. It's such a wonderful place to sit in even if one isn't a tea drinker. Lots of great information on the walls.

Now, my top 10 reasons to eat a sandwich:

  1. They cover most food groups.
  2. They're messy and fun and require no cutlery (If I had it my way, no plates either)
  3. There's very little or no cooking involved so almost anyone can make one.
  4. There's so much room to experiment. And so many condiments to combine.
  5. They can be stacked or stuffed as high as one wants. It's great exercise for the jaw.
  6. They're a good way to make someone eat their crusts because they tend to ooze.

    (making sandwich)
  7. Some like it hot, some like it cold. There're ways to make them taste amazing either way.
  8. They're  a very easy way to disguise ingredients like leftover veggies, healthy greens, split chillies.
  9. They're the right size for a snack box, specially the snug, flat, squarish tupperware.
  10. Sandwiches can be split with friends. And in any number with no consequential loss of ingredients in any given part.
And late night hunger is reason enough and there're things waiting in cupboards and refrigerators to be consumed before sunrise. I decided to make a Bhujia sandwich. I had just what I needed!

With the exception of cheese spread. 

But it was delightful! Here's what we need:

Haldiram's Sev Bhujia. Haldiram's. Nothing else. 

Amul Butter (the butter was so soft right now, I could use it for icing! However, cold chunks are serendipitous fun)

Bread of choice.

Ketchup. Loads.

Sliced Onion  (optional, recommended)

Take two slices, butter one, spread cheese on the other. Mound first the onions, then the bhujia. Squirt ketchup. Slice into triangles and munch. Ta-da!

This sandwich has a joyful crunchiness to it and is very filling. It was something my mum would make for my brother very often for breakfast and like most tastes that I acquire as a hand-me-down, I developed one for these, I didn't think I had room for one and I just had two. 

Now that I'm fed.
I think I'll go to bed.

BUT...only after I watch this Dexter's Lab short: 

Always cracks me up.

Hats it .

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Yellow, putrid,
Stained door
Open wide
Open more
Open, gasping like a mouth
Open like a seasoned whore
Llike the fangs of an angered God
Open like the morning shore...

I could try pushing harder or pound on these doors with the pure strength that my body saves, in recesses so deep that I have barely heard their pulse. The strength I save for an extreme need of survival. I dispel the slightest fear that resides in my knuckles. The idea of getting hurt is more painful in thought. The act of it is a numbing rhythm. A grateful release from the swelling veins of my knuckles pushing against doors that I cannot defeat.

Let it be then, let it stand in merciless, unchanging hold. I turn away. I turn instead to the window in the laboratory to face the pure, blinding white where a soft gray would bruise and blossom underfoot as I would walk upon it. But the fury that brews in my head creates a heavy cloud, making it harder to see through the oily panes. So I let it go. A fleeting cloud of red escaping and losing itself in the stark white landscape that preserves everything imaginable under its snow. A swirling, plasmic red. What I made of the hate you left in me

Like a bookmark in pages too boring.
Like a swizzle stick in something that tastes of nothing.
Like fish food. 
Like a pest-stricken bunch of grapes.
Like a bottle of medicine for a once-upon-a-time disease.
Forgotten at a state of toxic potential.

When hate rots and its open sores gather venom inside you, the easiest thing is to strike at something relatively unresponsive in the way. To wait at the pavement for the next slow trickle of strangers to snarl at. Or the next insect to crush underfoot. Or the next day's papers to shred. Controlled unleashment thrust upon us by modern human ethical societies, when in another life I could be a poisonous beetle striking at fellow beings.
Instead we leave ourselves with no choice but to shrink into cocoons that we weave around us and let them slowly consume us. As though there wasn't enough binding us anyway. 

There  always is a smaller form of existence that will feed on what rots. And because the parasitic sting you left in me feeds your sickly sniggers, you should know how small you are. But you are many and enjoy multiplying in infectitious pools around me. Feeding, breeding, thriving and ploughing the poisoned skin that I can't wait to shed.

If I could exit this mad lab I would. If I could crawl out of this loathsome culture of rancid emotions I would. If I could, with a loud swash and thrust, escape this pool and this uncomfortably warm, itchy controlled environment to tear open the feverish pulse and drain myself of the venom, I would. If only I gathered the salvage and strength to break open these doors. If only I could uncover the snow instead with the exhausting effort to imagine what lies beneath it.If  I could gather it in mounds and preserve in it all that is decaying. And I would never turn back to your laboratory where you could inject me with your hate.
If only I knew what I sought that made me rot.
And even if you tell me it's ok to dream about it again
I would not.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


It is a peculiarly celestial sight.

You turn at your speed and i turn at mine. 

And if I see you or not, becomes my day or night.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

For certain

Because your palms are waiting
And the leaves they crush leave
Impossibly thin trails
In dusty dermal paths 
That demarcate 
The seasons you live to see,

And because the tip of your nose,
And your tired toes
And all that goes
In between
Is tense

In silent prediction.

Because the source of every rumble
Puts you in doubt
And the moody gray above
Makes you persistently peek out,

Because the first drop
Halted patiently to be
Ripe enough to float
It's many miles
For you.

Because the first drop
Will salve the tired dance
Of lashes that measures
In its blinks the wait,

Because you promise yourself
A cross-armed walk,
It will rain
For you.

Monday, March 26, 2012

sidebar portrait

The final sidebar portrait for The Dangling Binocular,
my Tumblr blog that seems to be static at the moment
because I'm still figuring out how to code.

Coding can get really confusing, How does my brother do it for a living?
Smarty pants.

Friday, March 16, 2012

In the Sloe Mo World

In the Sloe Mo world,

Babies stay babies longer,

Everybody can't help but wave back,

Strobes lights don't affect the epileptic,

All stitches are in time,

There are at least 4 generations who can compare
 their childhoods at one time,

Popsicles melt slower,

Popcorn stays crunchier,

Food chews itself,

Food stays warm longer,

There's more of food,

Which is a good thing because like happy 15 year olds
everyone is always hungry,

People always forget what page they were on,
instead, they read the ribs and spines and veins of books,
like it should be,

It's easy to keep track of the phases of the moon,

And the sea washes everything ashore that left home,

It brings me back to being a simpler life form that
has the time and willingness to evolve,
(but only in another lifetime)
and is happy to eat and be alive.

(maggi break)

In the Sloe Mo world,

Skirts are delightful,

Implants are frightful,

And the perpetual return of fashion keeps everyone
satisfactorily in mode.

Uno goes on forever,

Board games stretch across 4 tabletops,

Crayons have a mind of their own

And clumsiness is a certified state of being.

There are two good listeners to every conversation

And it takes rudely long to figure out if the next person
is a he or a she, so people have stopped caring.

No one spends free time on narcotics
because they finally take the time out to see the world for
what it can do to the senses, if given time.

Everyone can put out fires in time and still gaze at the
mad beauty with which this unfathomable state of matter
consumes every other.

In the Sloe Mo world, there are no deadlines,

And you don't hate yourself for prioritizing,

So a-waste-of-time becomes far more subjective,

And know this, that the people whom you'd
traverse time and space for, never are...

In the Sloe Mo world,

everyone has a time for a cuppa
what they like

and a spoonful of what the tongue feels
happy under

and you and I have time for a chat
that lingers


Monday, February 20, 2012

Good Ol' Days of Yolk

The monotony has set in. Week after week I carefully plan a 10:30 am wake-up, for Sunday breakfast at my PG mess. But today was different,I did get up at 10:30, but something made me forgo breakfast. Later, I had a small bowl of muesli to keep up with the barrels of work that keep rolling ahead, taking my eyelids with them.

But Sundays aren't about muesli, even with candied fruit. They're about two eggs (as you like them) and toast and hastily spread Amul butter among sleepy faces in the PG mess, with greasy newspaper with Amul butter thickly spread. I happened to go without eggs, as I like them, this morning by some strange vociferation of will that I don't quite believe now. If I meet that nasty urge of will right now, I'd punch it till it chickens out.

For as long as I can remember, eggs have been my second fuzziest comfort food, and at most times just the best thing to trigger nostalgia. When I was very small, and despite my Dadiji's discomfort at my eating eggs and onions in the same meal, had grown fond of omelettes for breakfast it would take all of my mum's effort to keep me from having too many. Two a day and no more was the rule and rightly so, high protein is hard to digest and I have a troublesome stomach. It helped that omelettes can disguise the number of eggs and serve disillusionment beautifully with the size of the pan. My mum was probably very pleased I asked for seconds, even thirds for any form of food at all and she knew the feeling well, that of loving omlettes...

...because no one spins an omelette like my Naniji, my mother's mother. They're sinful, widely known, and are better at drawing you away from under the sheets, from the painfully organised archival chests of drawers or from the bookshelf at my Grandparents' home at Kanpur than anything else can. The.Smell.Of.Those,Omelettes. The simplest but best of everything goes into them and they go best with everything else.

Eggs taught me how to handle cutlery. It was mimicking my Nanaji, whose indifference at the table I'd irk by reaching out for my omelette with bare fingers, that I gave up a finer sensory experience for a fork and knife, (which being left handed I would prefer to keep switched but not anymore). The only time I'd raise my eyes from my plate of eggs was to watch Nanaji gulp his pills with tea before leaving for his clinic, it couldn't have been very hot tea, but every morning it was that one thing I wanted to excel at when I grow up. I wasn't on any medication myself but my aunt, who had just finished studying medicine would feed me digestive biscuits saying they were dog biscuits, but only if I behaved like a pooch for most of the day. Now I know this form of adult tactic as one-of-those-things-to-shut-kids-up.

It is over one of these summer vacations at Kanpur that I decided I had had enough of omelettes and I announced that I had to test my taste buds and the deftness of cutlery on fried eggs, runny side up. I had a sick sounding name for them that I cannot disclose. But that texture and colour was the delight of my seven year old life. It was a shocking change for the table from Naniji's omelettes, but there was a short hush and not much else against the sizzle of determination.

Then there are egg rolls,in Calcutta. I don't remember much of them from the 3 years that I spent there when I was very young. But my parents and brother have memories that pour out each time my mother makes egg rolls or egg paranthas at home. And since I happened to visit Calcutta very recently, I see exactly why the pleasure of having a piping hot egg roll on the pavement, in all its chat masala and butter paper splendor, would stay with one forever as a memory that you can't help but revisit. I think my mum mastered the art of them and someday I hope I do too. Or else there's little else I need to give me a reason to keep visiting Calcutta.

Well, I ping-ponged through all of childhood between omlettes, Spanish omelettes that got slightly ruined for me because of a bitter capsicum, and sunny sides (which was a phase and took far too long to eat) with bhurji now and then to add to the scramble.I even helped my mum make eggs.But in my early teens, when I decided to wander in the kitchen for longer than to ask my mother about a school assignment, I discovered the ease of boiling eggs and making egg salad sandwiches. My mum says that she let me take my time with kitchen tools to let me choose which hand they should go in. And soon after, I was addicted to my messy,drowned in ketchup, over-salted but all mine egg salad sandwich.

There's a certain memory of burnt fingers, calcite odour and care to keep the shell in halves that I attach with shelling boiled eggs. It's a lovely feeling that was sometimes paired with seeing the grey of a boiled yolk which was a fascinatingly distinct change from the yellow of cracking eggs. And cracking eggs if one is allowed, any child will tell you, is one of the most triumphant feelings. Shelling eggs also meant cooking egg-curry, that I discovered both my parents are absolutely amazing at and would never refuse to cook even  though it was a tiresome task compared to our quick TV dinner of bhurji.

And it has been so every time I have come home from college in my vacations. Except that now I am simply, utterly grateful to be eating eggs at home, in all shapes, colours and sizes. The thought of it makes me smile and the act of it is so fulfilling that I could be smothered cozy under a giant mother hen. I am as amazed as discovering that there are eggs for any meal at home as I was when I found out that an egg could even go into things that are sweet (this dates back to 1.When I first saw my Nani's divine chocolate cake being produced. 2. When papa was checking the packaging of a swiss role for the vegetarian green dot before we could serve it to my Dadi.). Eggs + home = the same feeling you get when you kill the last nasty squeaking red demon in a cave in Diablo II and the gold spills out of nowhere.

I am very very fond of eggs, it's my favourite form of poultry produce, yes, more than chicken. But now in college, I've met people who are far bigger egg lovers. I moaned and craved eggs during the bird flu but I don't remember complaining a whole lot. And I've met people allergic to eggs. Sundays however, remain the only time when egg lovers appear from all crooks and holes of our PGs and I see for myself the wonder of eggs that makes people rise a little earlier than they would've on a Sunday morning. I wouldn't miss it for the company either. Amid sleepy, happy faces at home or in the PG, amid people I know and love. That's how I like my eggs.

Friday, February 17, 2012

save your breath

Ok, here's something very cool in the blogging world that Kanika, a very close friend and housemate (I could practically hi-five her without moving from my desk) is doing on this February. It's called the Fantabulous February with one inspirational post a day.
Click the link and behold. Here's the Wednesday,15th of Feb post,

And here's what I have to say about this picture..

It made me think of all the times I fought for the last row of seats in the school bus, which was always a privilege for the seniors, and how all of a sudden there were no seniors left to fight with because everyone leaves school someday, and whether you can or not becomes obsolete. And Route No. 4 and 5 become strips of yellow that you visit every year when you go back to school with a visitor's pass and wear something carefully chosen because you've lost the right to wear that uniform of the best twelve years. And also because your school shirt reads things you can't make public written with markers on the last day of XIIth. The faces in the buses look older of course, and trying very hard to be. And there are faces of seniors from so long ago that the kid on the last row wouldn't even know that his isn't the only face peering out the window in all of the history of Route 4 and 5. But you remember those faces of long ago, even the worst of the bullies. And you forget that some of these kids who don't know how lucky they are to not shave/wax/thread yet, know you as a forgotten face. Before long, only the window will stand witness to your having conquered the last row....but such are school legacies.

And this picture reminds me of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, you know when Jim Carrey comes from that place and meets you know who. Do watch it if you weren't nodding along!

And now, for something I'd been thinking of. A periodic ponder.

Do you find it easy to believe? How often do you find a thing worth pouring your faith in. Something strange and complex that falls in that murky half-understood world between like, love and fear.

Would you give a part of yourself to something above, below, outside, inside of you ? Something so large it makes it binocularly impossible for you to fathom, with presence you cannot deny. Is it so microscopic that you would let yourself wander in tireless search? Is it heavy, so heavy sitting on your shoulders and weighing down and all you can do is submit to it without once seeing its face? Or light and slippery, gliding with you from stone to stone, obliging you with its presence? Sight, if not the most deceptive and overwhelming, is the most useless sense when it comes to the comprehension of faith. It is mostly a more subtle bodily exchange with the very ordinary or the extraordinary that makes you humble. Like the touch of freshly washed floors. Or the sound of rustling lace.

God. BlunderGod. Underdog. Spirit. Jinx. Force. Cusswords. Crystals. Celestial bodies. The Animal world. Sacrifice. Plants and their byproducts. Food. Heroes. Family. Childhood. Morals. Alter egos. Guitars. Winning at arcades. Peace. Sleeping over troubles. What is it that you call your belief to tell me that it exists ? Would it matter if I name it differently?

In cinnamon sticks, in choking swirls of incense, in faint remembrance of something floral and green that is now a crowded building with uric odour, in the visceral smell of fear in prayers, in the oily vapours of potato chips that always sit in boxes of board games, in the heady whiff of thick candles, in the calming smell of the bath products of the people you miss. In smells, you lock a belief.

Noses have rich memories that need no comprehension and are impossible to ignore. Don't care to explain how, who in and why you believe, I could trace the arc of your eyelids as you allow yourself to inhale to see
what makes you strong and vulnerable at the same time. That is explanation enough. The effort you take in heaving your chest to infuse a moment of your life, will tell me what you follow.

For those who ask you why you believe..let them know it a matter too personal for them to question. It is no one's right to know.They may be the sort who are looking for something that they can believe in that wouldn't betray them.
Do not look for reasons, if you say them aloud, they might dissolve.
Do not explain that you are forced to believe in something that is greater than you to the degree that you can be enslaved. There is nothing that could enslave you but you.You make your day and nights. You run yourself in a way that is bio-chemically beautiful and unbelievable. And it is a miracle. But it is you you believe in least.

Let your nose guide you, not a finger you can't question, that points in a direction that defies the gravity that keeps you ground bound and makes walking with your favourite wig on impossible. Let your nose guide you and you'll find a belief. Hold your tongue, it may try to reason with what is illegal, infantile, illogical and immediate. No, don't reason with tongues when you find something to believe in.
Save your breath.

Never Say

When life changes in a way you don't know, you tend to resist. Of all the crazy possibilities that can be with lives, I think this one is my favourite. I don't know if you see what I see or what you see at all, but I saw that I wasn't asked to shut up or grow up or dress differently or think less dark or be less embarrassingly clumsy. If I have changed, it happened so naturally that I didn't even notice. I guess that's the only way you do not resist a change that you do not foresee, when your life changes completely, and you don't have to change at all. 
Thank you.

Never say
Things that you cannot talk about
For the fear that they will stop being.
Like how you never talk about what
Made you grin and your eyes were shut so
I couldn’t read them.
The small unmentionables that
I would rather smile to myself about.
Like you never mention the times
When you forgive me and why.
Like grateful palms hidden under sleeves
That stretch way down the knuckles.
Too bad they went unheard, these observations

Of peculiar chews,
Day-wear shoes,
Loose clothing,
Secret loathing,
Submission to pain,
The slightest weight gain,
Fortunate glances,
Happy dances,
Days of scruff and dust,
Unmistakable trust,
An absurd jinx,
Touchy things,
Material wishes,
Intangible relishes,
Scarlet hue,
That i love you,
Collecting clutter,
The nervous stutter,
Slight nudges,
Growing-up grudges,
Smug pride for each other,
What you’re called by your mother…

But never saying it.
Like looking at what we share
But choosing to squint.
So I know I’ll learn to see it even
On days I see less of it or with little care.
Knowing, however, that there’s
More life in that doesn’t speak but keeps
Your secret jars of clutter from breaking.
Like breathing through your ear into your pillow
And hearing it breathe back.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tough to chew

Q. What do you call an omelette  with bits of chicken in it?

A. A momlette.

I sense some very hateful avian vibes.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Odds Are...

Here's introducing you to the very private lives of the folk who live in my spiral pad.
Some of them are a little cooky and a little odd, but they're not shy of visitors.
(click on the image to view in lightbox)

Well, the whole point of putting them in one spiral pad was to frame them in neat squares but there, I ruined it by scanning them and cropping them in various sizes. As soon as they were on my screen, I couldn't help but include the spiral edge and a little of the grey scanner bed. And yea, all that scratching and overwriting looks like a mess too. All this makes me rather hesitant when I think of making my work public. I should just give up on being neat. Or try harder.

 But in any case, you should come see them in the spiral pad where they spy on
one another under the pretext of keeping each other company. And it's always nice weather in the spiral pad.