Friday, December 21, 2007
I am going against all ground rules (mine!) by saying this but boy oh boy, I take back all my words and probably will go and pay my respects to all those people who wouldn't order before checking the right side of the menu.
For those who live in Bangalore, Legends of Rock is a favourite hangout of many. It's been around for a while, doesn't believe in the hip-hop shit that's being played lately. Anyway, this place also is rather affordable than most. So about seven of us happy souls went tripping there sometime back and had ourselves the merriest time.
We talked about many things - good and bad and continued drinking till they told us that they were closing down.
Then came the bill: I have never seen a bill like that. It was only 17 freaking thousand rupees.
That's when the thunder struck and we were all killed instantly.
We paid. We checked the bill first and then paid.
We've promised never to pay a bill like that again. Either we fight for the rights we don't have or drink at home.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
trickling down the side of the bottle
Must be expensive, I thought
And yet, you shrugged it off
The shoe had lost it's crystals
The ones that lined the strap
It was expensive I know
And yet, you pouted in nonchalance
Your silks, jewels and make-up
Lay scattered in different places
A shawl carried a spot of blood too
I was convinced that you'd lost your mind
And while you stood, arms akimbo, brows together
I wondered if I could even clean this mess up
You just asked if people had heard anything
And then went back to all the thinking
I had to find the broom myself; and the mop
I folded your things and arranged them neatly
And without a single slur of thanks or gratitude
You just left the flat, never to return
There I was, sitting on your couch
My hands folded neatly on my lap
I waited till the police came and found me
Sitting next to your lover's corpse
Saturday, November 17, 2007
I've played this role - for a long time too. I don't remember at which point it started but soon I was bearing secrets that were getting simply too much to handle. Maybe that is why I'm simply incapable of shedding all the extra weight; I mean where are all the secrets going to go?
A couple friend (at least they used to be friends) are going through a rather rough time. In fact, one of them is so rough that I'm surprised the other hasn't sued her for abuse. While I was privy to what was going on initially, circumstances found me an escape route and now I just sit back at nod gravely whenever I hear something from that department. Trust me, for once I am actually happy that I have NOTHING to do with them. An occasional hello at parties that are few and far between are fine by me.
Being friends is a difficult job - you cannot be separated from their problems because you are a part of their lives (if you're close friends that is) and whatever you/they do affects all those involved. Such is the troubles of having close friends.
For many years, I shied away from letting anyone too close. Recently, a young thing who is probably gearing up to make friends with me told me that I must have gone through too much pain as a child, facing betrayals and blah..blah..blah..
Well who hasn't had a few troubles in life? Mine are no exceptions but that hasn't made me Albert Camus' Outsider. I just don't feel like going through the whole circle of having to put up with different pains and then looking for ways to solve them because my 'friends' are simply too lazy or stupid.
I am glad I did that - because now, I have a few friends ( I can't count them on my fingers) whom I've very grateful for. I am glad I have them in my life and don't want to trade them for anything. They do come to me with their problems at time, but I don't feel burdened by them. We often laugh about it, talk about it and look for ways out together - which is absolutely the way I like it.
Sometimes, when I look back and think of all those people I'd truly cared for and how they chose to walk away from my life, I am glad they aren't there any more anyway. It used to be quite a bother - and in the fear of being totally 'friendless' I clung on to them when I would've given my soul to push them over the edge of a really tall building because all they did for the friendship was use my intelligence and pass it off as their own and in the process get on my nerves.
This of course, has passed! Amen.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Do I like the fact that I enjoy it? I am not so sure anymore.
One thing - it's addictive. And therefore, it initiates a lot of argument. And that can be annoying.
Secondly, I don't want to get into a food fight, bite vampires and zombies and try to race a non existent car (when in reality I can't even drive). But I do it all. Why? Because I think I must. It's psychosomatic disorder that makes me believe that my life will be incomplete if I don't 'check in to' my facebook account at least twice a day.
If you've taken the trouble to land here and actually read this crap - then you have the liberty to think I'm crazy. Go ahead. No one can stop you.
But you don't know what it's like. I need to know if my vampire is safe, or if someone has crashed my car, or if the growing gift is growing or not.
I also need to know if my friends think I'm better looking than 'X' or if I'm likely to sell my soul for a donut. And of course, I need to know if my friends would rather hang out with me or the girl who I'm not particularly fond of.
So dear friends, life is full of responsibilities.
And before I go hang myself for being so completely inane - let me tell you one thing... Facebook is god's gift to mankind. Here, we can be nice to people we actually hate or be rude to strangers without giving a damn...
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
For me to record the things I remember in flashes
I met a boy. Rather accidentally I must say
It began with the letters we wrote to each other
Every now and then, on writing paper
Sealed in envelopes. Often coloured
The letters were like life's notes
That I regret losing. But they were cherished
And received with much love and affection
There came a time when I met that boy
Again, purely by chance. And perhaps providence
Had a little bit of a role to play as well
We connected. At least that's what I'd like to think
We didn't meet that often again. But continued writing
And now I realise, it was love
I haven't seen that boy in many many years
So much has changed since then, I'm even afraid
To face him, this way again
He lives in some other country. We see each other
Virtually and that too, so rarely that I can hardly breathe
When a slight hello appears on my screen
I miss that boy. Even though we can't be friends
The way I thought we were. A part of me continues
To regret losing him to the life that he chose
Coming to the point, I haven't used a public phone in a really long time. And to be honest, I was rather tempted to use one when I saw it right before me.. probably because at that precise moment I had two shiny one rupee coins in my pocket. When you're smoking and idling away, bad things happen to a wicked brain like mine. Am I nasty? Maybe.
So I made that silly call. And played a silly prank on a colleague that I shouldn't even think of playing a prank on, mostly because I have no clue of her capacity to handle in case it got out. Which, of course it did.
Stretching a bad thing too far, I even borrowed a ten rupee note from my friend and exchanged it for more coins and prolonged a conversation that I could've simply cut short while it was good.
I wasn't alone in this... but then again, I was the one who made that call.
So she was upset - terribly upset. And I wasn't around when the thing fell apart. In a way, secretively, I am glad I came in later and apologised.
Many thoughts came to me. "It was just a joke." "Why can't she take a silly prank in her stride?" "C'mon, she can't be crying over something as inane as this!" and such.
As defiant as I may be, I can't deny the tinge of guilt that I felt.
I've been teased - many a times - and to be honest, I can only put up with so much. Being bullied is not something I am used to and sometimes, I do lose my cool and react quite strongly.
It's not about taking a joke well, it's about saying, "So far and no more."
How does one stand being taken for granted? Is that what I did to someone else? Darn!
Friday, November 02, 2007
But then there are some relationships, the ones that are neither here nor there that confuse me completely. And I'm bad with confusion. Earlier, I'd do something rather silly to get over that confusion; mostly indulge in rather flippant relationships to tide over the bad period. But now that I'm hitched... blah blah blah.. and that it should give me a sense of security and I should remain ever faithful.
I thought a good way to get rid of confusion (this time) is to get it out of my system.
I've been married almost five years. And no, contrary to what I declare most of the time, it doesn't feel like a lifetime - at least, not yet.
But I had a life before this. A life, which may not have much consequence to most people but it was a mix of the good and bad, like everyone else's. At least, everyone who's maybe normal. (Like me?)
I've had one really long relationship before that. It was, well, a little bizarre if I can put it that way. It brought me tremendous joy and I did experience sudden rushes of excitement and a more constant sense of happiness most of the time. But then it fell apart. Perhaps it was my fault, I am not entirely sure. Maybe both of us were to blame.
But I'm talking of a life before that. And one that ran in parallel.
A friend, (lover?) confidante, soul mate - someone who's been intrinsic to my life. Well, to be honest, I actually couldn't imagine that I would land up with anyone else. I have never cherished any relationship as much as I do this. In fact, I couldn't really cherish any other because of this one. In the end, well like all fairy tales I've imagined, this one didn't end up happily ever after.
There can be no happily ever after for us. Even if I were single.
He and I had made plans. Of a life together - without the slightest inclination of making it come true. Though deep inside my silly little head, I did want it all. But like they say, "you don't get everything you want."
To be honest, I didn't really want anything from him. And I still don't. In fact, i don't even want the friendship.
But what I also don't want is the way he treats the whole thing.
I don't like being treated as a trivial thing of the past. present. Or the future.
I don't like being told that I'm being 'unfair'.
I don't like being told that we can go back to being 'just friends' when we've crossed that fucking bridge like aeons ago.
I am not even expecting anything... then why the hell am I putting up with his nonchalance? And why the fuck does he take me for granted - after all these years. Or is it because it's been so many years?
So, it doesn't exist. Point made.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
I came across this post on Bengalis, which I found to be the funniest I've read in a long time. And that brings to be the film The Bong Connection. Anjan Dutt tried real hard to get us bengalis to take a joke, to rise above our conceited selves and realise that we too, are as foolish as any other person from any other country or community.
There are at least few hundred million bengalis living in 'Bengal'uru.. They come here with the IT wave and settle down. They wear their Fabindia kurtas, drink scotch, talk sartre and tagore and eat 'machher jhol bhaat'. And they cuss like hell ( I won't say I haven't done it too). They talk about how Bangalore has no culture blah blah blah.
I don't like Bangalore as a city very much, but to be honest, it does surprise me every now and then in a rather pleasant way. I hate the auto rickshaws here, they cheat and they don't want to drive that goddamn thing most of the time. In Calcutta, we don't have an option, the auto guys ply like buses - fixed destination, fixed price.
I love that city, and that's because I was born there. I guess it would be true for any city I was born in. I love Mumbai too, I spent two of my best years in that place.
Why can I not fall in love with Bangalore? I have been here for four years and I still feel like a stranger at times. I sincerely wonder why!
Monday, August 27, 2007
What do you tell someone you've loved deeply and then walked out?
What do you say to erase the past in the hope of a fresh start? A start that will never be the way it used to be. A compromised restart.
What can you possibly say when you have so much to say that words fail you?
When is a good time?
When he is asleep? or busy with work? Would a letter do the trick?
What could you possibly do when he's a million miles away from you and time has managed to draw so many lines between the two of you that you have no way of knowing how to get over it.
Would you forget everything and let the memory serve its purpose? Would you allow a sliver of hope enter your mind? What would you look for? A lover? A friend?
Lies work. They are brilliant pieces of stories woven together to create this fantastic epic - of how it wouldn't have worked anyway; that he is totally not the kind of person you should be with. And I've lived that lie... everyday till it didn't make a difference.
And now, after so many years, I've allowed the truth to fade away. Now what I want is him, in some form or the other. It doesn't matter anymore. It cannot. But I would be dishonest if I said it is easy.
Friday, August 24, 2007
"Why am i still working here????Heard about bonded labour miss? Yep, corporate bonded labour in form of a bond signed at time of joining. Something which has a bottomline "leave us before 2 years and we take lacs; its a different story if u get fired though" And yeah miss Ed, u still need to know the ways of tech-corporate world. Would suggest u to do an "inside story" on exploitation by companies like mine which claim to work on lines of TATA code of conduct but flout it openly and use it to their convinience. This I'd say wold be a real journo work.And please do forward this to the HR. Thanks!! "
Yes, I do know of bonded labour.. when you have friends who go with the IT wave, you cant help but witness many fall into the trap of signed bonds. Put it to my ignorance (since I am not as educated or qualified as most and no company really ever wants to hire me, forget the bond!) but are most companies like that? I mean aren't bonds presented to the employee when the accept the offer. Why do people sighn the bonds then?
Dear writer, I am not really that unaware about what goes on in the tech-corporate world.. I do have a few friends and they aren't all journalists you know..
I was with a so-called corporate company for a while before I decided to come back to journalism and I know what went on there. and trust me, there was no blog to even vent out my frustrations...
anyway, I'd really like to put this at rest.. cos i figured one thing out.. We could be arguing on this forum or on the other, no one will do a damn thing about anything because people don't care. And people won't care till someone did something about it without expecting someone else to do it.. When I couldn't change things in my last two companies, I walked out... I was broke but I walked out because I didn't want to be in a set up that took advantage of me... thankfully, i found a job i like.. or else it would've been rather weird..
anyway, I wish you luck. I really hope you don't have to be a bonded labour for long and find your true calling ( i know it sounds a little fuddy duddy!)
And btw, I didnt form opinion on what the TEL guys told me.. It was a feature article and not a journalistic piece. I just wrote what they told me.. if you come and tell me that you have fun at work, I don't know why I should'nt believe you - then, I'd have to mistrust everyone.. What a life that would be!
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Wow. First of all I must appreciate your writing/d... Wow. First of all I must appreciate your writing/debating skills to extend a matter to the extent of banning anything and everything. But then isn't that what you've been trained for?? :)
And it is understandable that a newpaper with a small subscriber base is bound to go with the highest bidder(read good money from Elxsi)
Something like in an auction; the novelty goes to the highest bidder.Rather than a journalistic work; it seems to be a marketing campaign with the bottomline of making money.Its seems more like "we pay u; u market us" still better "Pay us; we make you famous"Had it been a project with a journalistic approach; a passage about Elxsi could well be titled as "NO FUN ONLY WORK ???" This article clearly shows that u guys havent done ur home work well to take real inputs from employees; but rather from corporate communications guy(gal - gurmeet in the case) OR you people are all sold out to Elxsi(which seems to be the case)...But surely u ppl could have done up the fotoz better; they looked so staged.Best Regards,"Current" employee of TATA ElxsiName withheld as it could lead to I being fired tomorrow.
WOW! Double WOW! I never thought someone would take the trouble to read my blog... It's such a waste of time.. Anyway someone did.. And I am assuming it's someone who is kind of really mad that his newspaper doesn't come on time. Why don't people stop reading the papers if they are so annoyed with the print media? This I don't get. I can suggest at least one paper that's really good and that's the Hindu. Maybe this gentleman here should read that instead.
He also suggests that Elxsi paid Midday to get that feature done..I think he's a little confused between medianet and Midday. I know both start with 'M' but the similarity ends there.
I think I will forward this 'current employee's' mail to the lovely HR lady of Elxsi who told me that all the employees have a great time at work...
And no, I would hate it if you ever got fired... wouldn't want you to dabble with journalism, I say!
But my question is... why are you still working there if you're not having any fun at all?
Monday, August 20, 2007
It is, in a way, rather interesting because it discusses an article that I'd written for midday a week or so back. Well, it's more of a feature for our fun@work segment. This gentleman seems to be quite upset about what I'd written, claiming that all the FUN Tata Elxsi claims to be having is absolutely untrue. Of course, he didn't bother to take in to consideration that the information I got, could've just, by chance, have come from them. But that's alright, I am right now just amused that someone can feel so defeated by the fact that some people from his ex company had fun while he didn't! Maybe what Elxsi told me was made up too, but then again, isn't he out of the company already, why should he really care?
Yes, ladies, gentlemen and friends, don't read any news paper. Midday, TOI, Deccan, Hindu, HT, Telegraph, Business Standard or any other kind of paper for any kind of news. What's the point anyway? It's just a bunch of silly people trying to take you all for a ride isn't it. And it doesn't make you richer. It doesn't pay your rent. It doesn't put food on your table or make you look cooler in front of all the men and women you want to impress.
We're just out there to get you - to take you for a ride, because after much consideration we realised that we weren't pretty enough to be on screen, corrupt enough to be a politician or smart enough for any other profession...
How about submitting a petition to ban the media altogether? television lies, print lies, the internet lies, companies lie... I think the only people who don't lie to us are our friends - oh hang on a minute, they lie too.. cos sometimes, and only sometimes, we get on their nerves as well and they don't want to see our faces and the truth doesn't help then.
So technically, everyone and everything should be banned. That would be the ideal life, wouldn't it?
I think I wll go and fill ink now.
Forget Harry Potter or any other bizarre unrealistic fantasy stories that's been woven - this film captures the very essence of real meeting unreal.
Set during the post civil war in Spain in 1944, when the rebels were still fighting the fascist troops, Ofelia travels with her pregnant and sick mother Carmen to the country to meet her step father Captain Vidal for the first time.
If you remember Amon Goethe (played by Ralph Fiennes) in Schindler's List, you'd find a terrible similarity between the two characters.
Incapable of any human feelings, Captain Vidal's whole agenda is to clear his area of any rebels and establish the fascist government.
Unable to tolerate the misgivings of this cruel man, Ofelia disappears, into a world of her won, far away from her current life.
She meets a fairy who leads her to a fawn, who tells her that Ofelia was a princess reborn and she must perform three tests to prove her royalty and only then, she can come back to her kingdom where her real father and mother are waiting for her. Ofelia accepts these tasks, and in the midst of war, torture from her step father, death of her mother, she sets out to find her port key from a world that she can't deal with.
Flowing mellifluously between the two scenarios, the beauty of the whole film is that we never know whether it was Ofelia's dream or reality.
Pan's labyrinth is not for children - but for those adults who need to find their world, that is far away from the unbelievable traffic and chase for wealth.
Saturday, July 07, 2007
I'm not much into hip hop or the electro variety and still prefer the old classics, swing and perhaps trance.
Moving to Bangalore had put the nightclub bug in me to sleep. I preferred going to a pub where there was good music and catching up with friends. But sometimes, and only sometimes, I'd miss those crazy nights in Bombay when I've danced alone with a friend watching over me.
Last night, I was at Athena, checking out the party scene as part of my job. And while my friends and I sat on a rather uncomfortable couch with beer, I watched Bangaloreans party like there's no tomorrow.
It's beautiful how people come together under one roof for a night - some known faces, mostly unknown, sharing those few specific hours together as strangers.
Lovers. Friends. Acquaintances. Just for one night.
The next morning is another day, with a new sun that fades away the previous night and most of its memories.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
It knows no face, no words, no space
It flows free, without commitment
To the dungeons and back
My soul walks a different line
It doesn't understand variations
Just its own course
That could begin and end anywhere
My mind has its own language
It doesn't care for what you speak
It mimes, it sings as it likes
Calls it freedom; as I know it
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Just for a little while
Be quiet, and just listen
I don’t need an opinion
No help either
All I ask of you
And a patient hearing
I am going to speak now
I beg of you
Don’t tell me anything
What is right or what is not
Just listen if you can
I died today
Slowly but surely
I heard a little pop
That felt like a blast
Inside my head
I am sure I died
It’s a funny feeling
Floating in silence
Around the world
Can u hear me?
My words in your ears
Or are you still talking
Fuck. Things never change
Friday, May 25, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
That meant nothing beyond that moment
A flower I don’t even like
Still lies all dried up in my drawer
Any other given time
I’d think it to be corny
Silly to be precise
This time I don’t.
I stand on the balcony
Watching people go by
Incomplete souls with
Their hearts lying elsewhere
Lives for them don’t change;
They’re just looking
For a small port key
To take them to that someplace else
Should I dare to be different?
I haven’t even troubled myself to answer that question
I just go by; like everyone else
Not seeing you works relatively well as a painkiller
There’s so much distance between us that
I cannot even fathom
Covering it in this generation
And after that, you’d just go further away
Your life, your love, your passions
Will take shape in different forms
And I will remain Just a speckle of
Memory that you could do without
I ache to reach out and touch your hair
Have done so many times
I want to put my arms around you
And hide away from everything known
Hold your hand like I have earlier
When I needed reassurance
You let me without reading between the lines
Yet I’ve let my heart break a million times from that touch
You’ve lied to me almost all the times
Even when lying was not required
And I’ve forgiven you
Like I will each time you smile and say goodbye
Friday, May 11, 2007
There was nothing she could really take
Every precious thing was either stolen or destroyed
Eaten alive by reserved anger and repulsion
But she'd looked anyway.
A piece of paper that had no relevance
A faded old letter that had replaced the bible
In her heart a long time ago, when she was fifteen
A letter that'd given her what she needed - a soul.
The letter lay untouched under the wooden flap
Of her dresser that she hadn't seen in years
Like it had been protecting itself against war
Till she returned, one depressing day
To claim what she'd left behind as a mere pawn.
The trees had started to show signs of age
The leaves were tired and resigned, with
Red soil at their feet resting in peace
And the road seemed to go nowhere
Even though people drove up and down it.
Death had touched this little neighbourhood
Even though no one had died lately
A broken pavement that carried infinite footprints
Sure, it need needed urgent attention
And yet it was happy to remain so and unnoticed.
And as she shut the door of the dilapidated house behind her
She turned back to take that one final look
That concealed more than dreams and memories
Of a childhood she would gladly trade
For a night of sleepless dreams.
Friday, May 04, 2007
Didn’t I know that?
The endless sea bound by brick walls may not be my perfect idea of taking pleasure in nature but that small ‘white’ town definitely made me feel at home. Small shops, tons of places to eat and lots of walking space made it just the thing for a quick getaway. The cookie being my friend’s wedding.
Deep down I don’t know if I like it when the philosophical side of me resurfaces and attempts at a lecture. Trust me; most of those times are depressing!
However the magical sea bound by walls of Pondicherry carries a freshness that I can only absorb deep within my city-rotten cells. I fall in love, I ponder, I even introspect.
I didn’t sit on the beach this time at all – spending a lot of time in the comforts of my air-conditioned room, sleeping off all the wear and tear. Life hasn’t been very generous with me this month and all I could do repair my senses that were slight bruised by it all.
After spending three nights of exuberance and respite it was time for us to head back to Bangalore.
I can’t describe the heat. It was hot everywhere. Behind trees, in shade, in the car… and two thoughts developed – reach quick or return quicker.
Well somewhere down that thought road, I had dozed off and when I woke up – I was dead. Well, at least I thought I was dead.
Our car couldn’t withhold the heat and the front left tyre had exploded and run into a wall.
The seat belts were on so we were safe minus a few minor bruises that will take a while to heal.
But a few things occurred to me in that few seconds. No more taking life for granted.
French lessons have to happen; more poetry has to be written, more films, more food.
We got back to Bangalore almost 10 after the accident; happy to be on this planet and happy to be able to walk with my feet on the ground.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
The windows were shut you see.
But it happened anyway. A long lost question answered.
So I draw my travel chart inside my head; hills, forests, rivers and roads that pass through history and even the seas perhaps if I can make the time.
I see a life that is beyond all realities and is perhaps the only truth I know.
Some place where I don’t have to justify myself for wandering around, where I can walk on the honey dewed grass and cry if need be.
I reject all mediocrity unless it’s in nature.
I reject all religion unless it’ in verse.
I reject the mundane.
What exists is mine. I own it. I live it. Here, I am god.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Perhaps I had judged too soon when I called him my friend; for I was surely his.
However, there was always this invisible wall that I so desperately wanted to break. I wanted to reach out and tell him that it would be fine. But he wouldn’t let me. He kept this distance that made me nothing less than uncomfortable.
And thus; he remained a shadow in my life. He came alive of course in my dreams.
We have shared some of the weirdest jokes in my head, secrets, gossip and pain – all at the same time.
He has opened up his soul and wept before me as I never judged him. To me he was always a hero; a man who could face life in whatever way required. He was someone who was not afraid to look up and stare the sun in his face.
And yet, he lied.
He lied to me. To his wife. To his girlfriend. To his parents. To his friends.
And I let him lie, not expecting truth even for a moment.
I think I was capable of handling his lies. And that’s why he came to me – even for a brief moment. Perhaps just to hear my voice. I don’t know why. But each phone call was like spending a lifetime with a friend.
Was he my soul mate? No. there was no way it could be.
And yet, from a stranger to another, we were bound together – by an unknown force that required no description.
And in that, lay my peace.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
I passed the tree which bore fiery red flowers. I don't know the English name for it.
I, then came to the police station where some of the constables were hanging around and sharing a good laugh. Just the way we did outside college. And for no particular reason, tears welled up in my eyes.
So, I walked by faster so no one would see me.
And from a distance, I saw a familiar figure walking towards me. The pace was as slow as mine. And given that there are very few street lights on that road, a lot was left to hunch.
"Rashi!" I whispered loudly. Almost as if the figure heard my voice, it stopped at a distance and said, "Priyadarshini...."
Nothing more was said for at least another ten seconds; but it felt like hours.
"What are you doing in Bangalore?" she asked.
I live here now. Have been here for almost three years.
"Wow! I have been here for pretty much the same time. And to think we never met."
Yeah. Maybe it wasn't time.
Do you have time for a coffee?
So we walked down to Brio - the coffee joint on the roof of Home Stop. It was a weird evening - sultry, unlike Bangalore. There were beads of sweat on both our foreheads and upper lip. It was then that I saw her face.
There were no dark circles on that flawed skin. In fact, it had cleared up quite a bit from the time I remember. She wore a cotton shirt and a pair of faded jeans. Kolhapuris gave away the tired feet.
Are you married? was her first question.
Yeah. I got married about four years back. Moved here soon after. Was in Chennai for about a year and then moved back. What about you?
No. Not married. Actually not married anymore. Was.
I wasn't surprised. People were getting divorced all the time. This was just one of those.
Long story Priya. Maybe some other time.
Then she brightened up.
Tell me about you. Any kids?
Nah. Don't want them.
Cool. Working somewhere?
Nothing permanent. Here and there. I write for a living. Waiting for that big break.
Maybe we should meet up for lunch or dinner one day. What do you think?
Sounds great. Where are you staying?
Victoria Layout. Rented an apartment.
What are you doing in Bangalore Rashi?
Oh! I teach in a special school. Have been there for almost eight years now.
Wow. That's pretty impressive. I had imagined you to go and become a professional tennis player or something.
Yeah, That would be the day.
The coffee is nice.
Yeah I come here a lot.
You do? Fish, so do I.
Then why didn't we meet before Priya?
Maybe it wasn't time.
Things change don't they? I never imagined you married.
Neither had I.
Is it good for you?
In more ways than not.
Nice. Am happy for you.
Rashi, don't you ever miss the school days? Where did you go away after you left school. I know you moved to Delhi. I even wrote you letters. There were no replies. I just thought you'd disappeared.
I am sorry about that. Was never into writing letters. But I got all of yours. I still have them in fact.
What?!? You do? Why?
I don't know. Back then, you were the only one who wanted to be my friend. Everyone else pretended.
I think we should go now. It's getting late.
Come home sometime. We'll catch up.
Sure. Let's. I would love to talk about everything that you've been doing.. All the men in your life - all the broken hearts.
Right, of course!! (Laughter)
We paid for the coffee and left. Walking towards pretty much the same direction for a while we didn't share a single word till the road forked into two.
Good night then Priya. See you soon. It was awesome meeting you.
Tata dear. Hope to see you again - soon.
We parted. I started walking back home and as I approached the old grey house, the old grey man was still sitting on his chair. He craned his neck again and looked down at me. Then a feeble and yet stable hand came up and waved a solemn wave. I waved back - a miniature smile touching my mouth.
And as I got into the lift I realised that Rashi and I didn't exchange numbers. She would leave again. Like the last time.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Not in a romantic way,
Or even sexual.
I just miss you.
Maybe it's your voice,
Or your touch.
Can't be too sure.
But you wouldn't care,
As you don't want to.
Life is a buffet
That you hate.
You see it all
Even want it maybe,
But won't eat.
I miss you.
Maybe love you.
Definitely hate you.
Monday, March 12, 2007
She won't agree.
But if you don't ask you won't know.
I know she'll say no.
But it's just a movie.
I know. It's stupid.
Should I ask her?
No. She won't agree.
Let me try.
No.... what difference would it make? You'll go away the minute I move away from the mirror.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
An absurd turn
Oh how curious is this journey
All at the same time in this film
And walked away
All during the same dance
Tears on a petal
Leaves drink up
All under one solemn heaven
I could leave
If you ask
But you don’t
All in one weird moment of loneliness
The curtain falls
End of scene
All on one crazy stage
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Something Dylan wrote.
In my craft or sullen art
Exercised in the still night
When only the moon rages
And the lovers lie abed
With all their griefs in their arms,
I labour by singing light
Not for ambition or bread
Or the strut and trade of charms
On the ivory stages
But for the common wages
Of their most secret heart.
Not for the proud man apart
From the raging moon I write
On these spindrift pages
Nor for the towering dead
With their nightingales and psalms
But for the lovers, their arms
Round the griefs of the ages,
Who pay no praise or wages
Nor heed my craft or art.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
You lay beside me
In the violence of the storm-drenched night
I had surrendered when on you I first laid sight
In the dark
I could feel the shimmer of your smooth skin
As it slipped
Open and without any hesitation took me in
And the light
That I could see in the deep black of your eyes
And slowly peeled off my every little disguise
On your mouth I remember tasted both salty-sweet
I wanted more
My thirst was so uncontrollably unquenchably deep
My searching lips
Slid across your skin crafting their own little tale
From your secrets
You let me lift every carefully woven veil
You were so soft
As I lifted you whole in the cradle of my arms
Before letting me drink of your succulent charms
The storm rose
As outside the war thundered and came to a head
Clung to my skin and to our silver-drenched bed
We rode desperate
Buffeted by the raging of the wild, grey flood
You bit into me
And it wasn't long before we both drew blood
Drained of red
You were too exhausted to even try to look pleased
Drained of white
I was turned inside out and brought down to my knees
Years have passed
But your taste still remains on my tongue
On lonely nights
I lie and remember how once we'd become one
And an ache
Rises from within that never truly subsides
For another night
when you were the storm that lived in my eyes
It's back with a vengeance and crawls on my skin
Is wide open and waiting for you to come right in
Just for a day when no one's looking
Pretend to be your wife, neighbour or lover
As long as no one knows my name
Not take calls, not visit anyone
One unique moment spent alone
In the darkness of another room
That can never be mine
Buy flowers for another vase
Water their plants if they have
Walk their dog and then
Disappear without a forwarding address
Arrange it for me will you
But don't tell me your name
For a long and wandering day
I'd like to be in anonymous hands
Stained bed sheets
The phone rings
A soft voice
Pleading and begging
Ruffle of clothes.
The door slammed
The taste of hash
A broken heart.
Dozens of men
Some pregnancy tests
A loveless dream.
The Empty soul
The twisted mind
The beggar in me
Is out for more.