December 21, 2011

flying away :)

she was the kite

yellow and orange
and green and blue
she smiled and she cooed
she soared and she flew

she was happy and free
not a wrinkle on her brow
but she was held by a thread
why didn't it show?

i held her and she knew
i would hold her fast
and she could wander
but never get lost

 This was written in response to a friend's status update on fb. The update was about Coldplay's song : Paradise.

December 5, 2011

A harmless question

Would you love me even if I hated you?

What kind of question is this?

A hypothetical one.

I can see that. What I want to know is where it came from.

From my mind.

Full points for being a smart Alec. But zero for clarity.

Can't you just answer the question? Without asking a hundred in return?

And could you refrain from asking questions that don't make sense at all?

It's a simple yes/no question.

No, it isn't. I know that whatever I answer, you have an interpretation ready in some corner of your mind.

So how does that obviate the question?

It doesn't. But it does render it moot.

But that doesn't mean you can't answer it.

I will not add fuel to whatever stupid fire you've lit in that little devil's workshop of yours.

C'mon, be a sport!

Fine! Yes, I would!

If you would, why would I ever hate you?

:colon dee:

November 30, 2011

lost and found

all the lost prayers
where do they go
filed somewhere
as a record
of rejected applications?

gathering dust
faded with age
there's a prayer
long lost
no hope fueling it
making it soar
what's a butterfly
without its wings

i think the heart
it holds them
close to itself
long after the brain
abandons them

and when we die
it's not old age
that kills us
but it's just
the heart filling up
of these prayers
long lost and dead


Pic by Basu. It's the opposite to all that this poem is about. It's hope. For all prayers.

November 21, 2011

The bubble burst

he sits there
tear-streaked cheeks
bleary eyed
staring at the place
where the white of the bedsheet
meets the white of the walls

voices have kept him awake
a strange cacophony
lulling him to sleep
only to snatch him from
the edge of the land of dreams

long has he sat and moped
blurring the lines between
words that were actually uttered
and ones he conjured up himself
his is a state of eerie nightmares
that stay for the day

she was here yesterday
and she's gone now
a strand of hair
on a tear-soaked pillow
is all that remains

he should remember
all the fights they had
and yet he remembers
the smile she smiled
and the tears she cried

it's morning now and
the light creeps up to him
touching his toes
he looks on, startled
straining to remember
the night that has been

Photo by Basu. Those are my hands in the pic :). Had to burst about 20 of them before he got the perfect shot.

round the mulberry bush

every morning and every evening
the sun and the moon, they
stand at their doorsteps and
with a wistful look in their eyes

resigned to a fate of
eternal damned separation
and two moments of love
in a twenty-four-hour day


क्या कहते होंगे चाँद और सूरज
जब दिन/रात भर के बाद
एक दूसरे को देखते होंगे?

दिन/रात का सिरा थामे
कब से घूम रहे साथ
जाने कब होंगे पूरे
हमारे फेरे सात



November 18, 2011

कितने दूर, कितने पास

We were too busy
In our I's
The 'us' that could be
Would never be seen
With closed eyes

Each one standing
With an outstretched arm
Hoping the other
Would take the first step
And so here we are
Standing orphaned
On our islands

And there are the words
Useless ones we threw around
All the beautiful ones
We threw away
An ugly beautiful cacophony
That now flows between us

So we stand here
A mere shout away
With dried up voices...
Photo by Basu. It is the opposite of all that this poem talks of. And yet it somehow fits :)

November 5, 2011


How can I be sure that I am in love - the love people keep talking about, the love I had always wished I would stay away from??

Let’s discuss the symptoms you have. We’ll make the diagnosis later.

I keep having these dreams of her. I try but they just won't go away.

But this has happened to you for so many other girls. A passing infatuation - a crush as it is called - would have the same effect.

I love talking to her, or rather - listening to her.

This could be true for so many other people - members of both sexes. It could easily happen with people who share their interests and passions with you. You don't fall in love with every person you love to talk to.

There are times when I suddenly remember an incident involving the two of us. And it invariably brings a smile to me.

What’s the big deal here? Look, she's your friend, we aren't debating that. It’s but obvious that you'll remember the happy times you've spent with your friend and this memory will obviously lift your spirits.

I can't watch any romantic movie without imagining the two of us in place of the protagonists in the film.

Now, that's what we call an overdose of this genre of movies. Remember Pavlov and his dog?? You’ve been similarly conditioned by all those flicks you've watched all your life. You have a chat with a girl and the next logical step for you is a dinner and then dates. And then the two of you end up spending the rest of your life happily ever after. Bullshit!

No other girl interests me these days.

Oh! So you are monogamous?? Now there must have been something that attracted you to this particular girl in the first place. This something must have been a factor differentiating her from the rest of the crowd. So while you're stuck on this one quality of hers, there's a slim chance that you'll like anyone else. But it still doesn't prove that 
You’re in love with her.

But she's so beautiful.

There you go. It was this superficial attraction from the beginning, wasn't it??

It isn't only her beauty that I like in her. She has many other qualities.

Of course she has. So have many others - and you know that.

But I can't imagine spending the rest of my life with anyone else. And I know this didn't happen for anyone else. I want her to be with me forever. I don't care if I don't talk to her, or don't see her - only if someone can assure me that this hiatus would lead to an everlasting continuity.

Why, then you are surely, madly, deeply in love. 


October 22, 2011

water and she

she comes in
after a shower
shakes her head
and the droplets fly
bends her neck
and towels her hair
and i see the drops
leaving her hair

it's raining
she has a paper boat
she takes care
while letting it go
in the stream
takes care
not to touch the water
but she's all wet
in the rain

she sits by the river
her feet in the water
and talks to me
a calmness takes her over
maybe the water
drains all the anxieties away

she splashes water
onto her face
and it's hid behind
tiny rivulets
but they run off
and she opens her eyes
her eyelashes are wet
she looks at me
and i know
i have the world

it's raining
and she puts her hand
out of the window
closes her eyes and lets
the raindrops falling on her palm
be the only sensation
and i look at
serenity personified

her eyes are brimming
but i forbid her to cry
she's allowed
just one drop
it rolls down her cheek
and i hold it in my palm
all the sea
wouldn't have felt heavier

ps: 1, 2  and 4 are common scenes
3 is from swades
5 is from the song boondon se baatein
6 is from spanglish

-Pic is by Basu. I thought the silhouettes of their hands formed a nice small house.

October 18, 2011

two blips on a radar

she stood in the sands, her feet barely wet. the waves looked intimidating and she was afraid to take another step forward. he saw her standing thus and understood what was going in her mind. he rested his chin on her shoulder, held her in an embrace and whispered in her ear: "if i promise to be your anchor, if i promise to protect you from every wave that threatens to wash you away, if i ask you to trust the love i have for you, would you still be afraid of these stupid waves??" she walked with him into the sea, almost in a trance.
it was the most beautiful day of her life.

"what exactly is it that you would have me do?"
"just one thing. walk out of my life."
he was stunned.
"are you sure? not out of your room or house, but out of your life??"
"yes, yes, yes. out of my life."
"okay. whatever you say. but this won't stop me from loving you."
and he walked out.
it was the ugliest day of her life.

October 16, 2011


You know, I often wonder - why you chose me over all the others that wooed you. Come to think of it, I didn't even woo you properly.

It isn't a conscious choice that guides you in such matters. It’s just an instinct that I followed.

But what if your instinct proves to be wrong at some later date?

Now that i have made the choice, i am willing to stand by it, come what may.

Even if that means going down with a sinking ship?

Yes, even if means that. But i won't let the ship sink, not if I have a say in that.

Do you really have a hope of reforming a stubborn idiot?

No, i don't. i couldn't have such a hope. It’s for the idiot to realise he isn't so much of an idiot after all.

Oh! So now you are resorting to giving lectures - the very thing i hate.

And now you are resorting to what you are best at - trying to shoo away the very people who love you. What’s your problem anyway?

I don't know.

You don't know or you don't want to know?

Why wouldn't I want to know?

Because that would put on you the responsibility to take corrective measures. And you have been running away from responsibilities all your life.

But being in love with you is a responsibility I’ve agreed to undertake.

Oh!! And what a task it is - to carry on a conversation when we meet and to keep in touch through mails and phone calls when we don't. You call that a responsibility??

Shouldn’t I?

Ask yourself.

I think it is one hell of a responsibility.

You really make me doubt my decision sometimes.

There, I caught you. What was all that talk about going down with a sinking ship, eh?

What’s this?? A debate competition where you try to score brownie points for every grammatical mistake??

Whatever it is, you admitted that you doubt your decision sometimes. That means you are not sure that you are in love with me.

The decision I was thinking of was the decision to try to talk you out of your idiot world. But I guess you revel in this pastime. So I guess I’ll have to live with this.

You know, you are an idiot yourself. Because of your choice you are stuck with an idiot. We’ll have no problem communicating, i think. There isn't much difference in our intelligence levels anyway. We’ll call our language idiotese.

Sometimes, i hope you stay this lovable idiot that you are. 

October 13, 2011

Immeasurable love

How much do you love me?

In meters or in kilograms?


"How much" and "How many" imply a metric. Hence the question.

Can't you just say something nice?

I wouldn't be answering the question then.

So how would you exactly measure love in meters/kilograms?

That was a sarcastic comment. But you really got me thinking.

About what?

About this metric.

You must be kidding.

No, I am not. There could be pheromonal or physiological measures but since those would require specialised equipment, I think we will have to come up with social measures.

Like the time you spend with me as a percent of total available time?

Hmm.. we will have to have a weighted average. Some activities like a date will have to have greater weightage than say, talking to you on the phone while watching tv.


We could build a dictionary of words I use in my mails. Do a before and after. Do the same for you. And find out how many words/phrases I picked up from you. Though I can't think of a way to convert it into a relative measure.

Hmm... We can't have a comparative measure here as I'm the only one you have ever fallen in love with. Your emails go back about five years. I'm sure if you could isolate your normal rate of vocabulary increase, you can get the additional impetus the interactions with me have given.

That could be done. While we are with words and sentences, I could measure the frequency with which you figure in my social reactions - in mails, status updates and blogs. 

That would be like every single time!

I know. I am so in love with you! But I think any measure of love should not just factor me.

What do you mean?

I mean, why stop at quantifying the amount of love. We should also measure its efficacy. In other words, how it has made you reciprocate.

Couldn't we simply use the same metrics on me?

We could. But it wouldn't underscore the importance of our relationship vis-a-vis our other social interactions.

Ha! My phone bills would be ample testimony!

Mine have also shown a spike.

Not as much as mine.

Well, that is maybe because whenever I call, you are busy with something. And I always make time for you when you call.

If you are going to call a hundred times in a day, I'm going to be busy for most of those calls. 

It's not a hundred.

I agree. it's more!

I love talking to you.

I know that.

So that settles it?

I love you a lot?

I guess it does.


September 30, 2011


जब से तुम गए हो, ये शहर
कुछ अनजाना अधूरा सा लगता है
पर इसे छोड़ कर जो जाना चाहूं
पैरों में कुछ बंधा जकड़ा सा लगता है
कि तुम्हारी यादें न हो तो कहीं
मन कुछ सूना खाली सा लगता है  
तुम्हे सोच सकूं जिसकी गलियों में
वो शहर जाना पहचाना अपना सा लगता है 

Image by Basu. Part of an experiment he did with incense smoke.

September 13, 2011

Instant Shadi

Will you marry me?

What did you say just now?

Will you marry me?

Are you out of your mind??!!!

No, I'm entirely in my senses.

But we met only yesterday!


Isn't it presumptuous of you to pop that question in what is only our second meeting?

See, I could go about the whole courtship business. Take you out on dates, get to know you better etc etc. And then put up that question. 

I'm assuming you find something amiss with this process.

See, it's thus. The whole dating process (and I'm assuming here is that it ends with the couple tying the knot) is a four-phase process. Made-up phase, make-out phase, make-up phase and make-do phase.


It's all quite simple. In the beginning, the made-up phase, the two people try to put up their best selves forward (which might not be their true selves). This is followed by physical attraction - the make-out phase. The closer they come, the more the faults become glaring, leading to fights and burying of hatchets, only to dig them up again. Hence the make-up phase. Finally, having spent so much of time loving and fighting, they realise that even though they can't live with each other, they can't live without each other too. Ergo, the make-do phase.

And going straight to marriage is the solution?

I'm not saying it's the perfect one. But marriage brings a seriousness to the relationship from the very beginning. You might think it's a spur-of-the-moment decision but any decision involving forever can't be anything but serious. I'm willing to forego the "trying things out" part of the relationship.

You think you are quite smart, don't you?

Well, I'm quite a bit, I admit.

And you think a litany can substitute for almost everything?

Well, if the words are sincere, why not?

How long did it take you to come up with that convoluted logic?

The whole of yesterday night.

You must have rehearsed it then?

Only thrice.

Hmm.. You are really committed to this, aren't you?

Yes, I am.

Okay, I'm willing to give it a try.

You are really going to marry me?

Are you stupid? I said we'll go out and we'll see. 

Ohh! The courtship business!

Do you have a problem with that?

Not really. See, the whole process can be re-classified into three phases with an optimal strategy for each. 

Shut up. And take me out.

Oh. Okay.

September 6, 2011

Across the street

He looked across the street. She was on time and she was looking at her watch. She had always been the punctual one, making fun of his inability to get anywhere on time. He wondered what she would say today. It had been a year since she had said anything to him. A year of hell.

His head buzzed with a myriad random thoughts and questions. Permutations and hypotheses. The email had been short. Almost spat-out. "Meet me for coffee tomorrow evening". No time, no place. None was needed, actually. He knew when and where. He had been then and there almost everyday for four years. Four years before last year.

This was where they had met. This was where they had parted.

She seemed worked up. She kept clenching and unclenching her fist. She always did that when she was nervous or angry. He used to hold her hand to pacify her. She would hold his fingers in a death-grip. Not meeting his eye. It always took time, but she calmed down slowly. And smiled.

He longed for that smile. But her face was hidden by the waiter. He could just see her hand by her side. Fist clenched. He felt the sudden urge to hold her hand again, entwine his fingers with her and calm her down. And yet, he stood rooted to his spot, watching her. What was it that stopped him? He didn't know but he was being torn apart.

She only had to look up once to notice him. He was standing right across the street. But she was making the pretense of concentrating on the menu. She wouldn't look up. Not when she was worked up. He knew what she would order. And yet, she was taking her time. Willing it to slow down.

They had always loved this al fresco restaurant. They would sit there making up stories about people on the other side of the street. And their own too. But all that had happened had never been in the script. He wondered if she would include him in her story if she saw him now.

Now. Here and now. A street to cross. A distance of a year. Would the ten steps make it ten more?

As he came to the table, she looked up from the menu. There was a tear welling up. He sat down and took her hand, entwining his fingers with hers. And she smiled.

September 4, 2011


he was running
he didn't know why
he didn't know from whom
the thought of stopping
had never occurred to him
and so he ran
and ran and ran

on every corner he passed
he would meet a girl
the same girl
and she would smile at him
a sad smile
wanting him to stay
he would breeze past her
and on and on

sometimes he wondered
if he was running in circles
or if the girl was an illusion
or if she could run faster
but he had no time for thoughts
he was running

then one day he realised
he had been running for nothing
and his heart told him
he was in love with the girl
and so he decided to stop
but he couldn't
he tried with all his might
but his legs had a mind of their own
they carried him away

he grew sadder by the day
the girl had stopped appearing
maybe she was waiting somewhere
waiting for him to stop
and this made him sadder
he stopped looking around
hung his head down in submission
and let his legs carry him

and when he stopped thinking
of everything else
he heard a strange sound
footsteps other than his own
he looked up in surprise
she was running with him

she was all red in face
and she was out of breath
but she knew he wanted to stop
and he knew she knew that
he tried harder to stop
she tried harder to keep up

and so the struggle continued
till his legs finally gave up
and he stopped
she looked into his eyes
smiled her sad smile
and dropped down dead