Monthly Archives: September 2010


She smelled like cigarettes and sweetness. Lived a very simple life. Fulfilling every requirement expected of the pop culture stereotype she fit into. Pretty, well groomed, well educated, witty, a little bit of an “eco-warrior but not quite” and a little bit of a “rebel but not quite”. She loved Sartre, tolerated sport and hated cooking. In short, his dream girl. He, being a young “intellectual but not quite” boy who liked to pretend to like fast bikes and alt rock.

He grew his hair long. She cut her hair short. He deleted his Facebook account. She complained about all the stalkers she had.

She intimidated him. He propped himself up by his cultural icons. Conversations under the streetlight turned into thorough examinations of faith. Not religious mind you, more to do with choice of music and Lays™ flavor. He longed to impress her with his unconventional views on the Palestinian question. She wisely resisted.

Everyone likes playing at passive aggressive. They were no different. He wondered if a racist dig at her people was too far. She displayed extreme nonchalance towards the vulgar. Secretly, loathing and loving at the same time instead.

He found her on Facebook. She wrote notes. So he wrote notes. He commented. So she commented. Then she messaged him. And he messaged back. And he wondered out loud in post-modern self-deprecatory way if she would ever go out with him. Facebook being what it is, she read his mind and replied to his wondering, yes. But only if he bought her cookies. Wouldn’t want to seem too forward.

He didn’t really love her. She was fine with it. They were mature. For their age.

Both were familiar with warming benches and fetching coffee. With the second best conversation at the party. With the table that was reasonably close to the center. Comfortably second rung. Careful compensation was a way of life. But never overcompensation. Obviously.

She was a tomboy. He was a feminist. They respected each others’ views. But they never talked about them. They weren’t idiots.

He was quirky. She was edgy. And together, they were zany. He was into irony. She was into casual bdsm. It was all cool though. Conservatives at heart. Liberals in mind. Confused in state.

They liked comedy movies, rock music, chocolate ice cream and pizzas. They hated twilight, george bush and the unknown. Not really. But it was common ground. And they needed to be there.

You see, she was a girl. He was a boy. And everything seemed to fit quite nicely.


exasperation of incomprehension

so i indulged in the luxury of lying
and slipped a few through the shoulder straps
of your ultraviolet party dress.

and you see a fit to pitch and a hue to raise to your pretty cheeks.

darling. hold your silence like a purse on your lips.
i’ve painted glasgow smiles upon the faces of
mute cinema thespians.

you say you know.
i’ve burned clove cigarettes at undertailored funerals.
i’ve poisoned fishtanks and you’ve seen the dead carcasses
float atop the waters, glinting like godsends for the gold rush forty-niners.

but do you know?
i’ve built prisons from rocks they brought back
from the moon that did not glow at night and turn
the barracks into lighthouses.
these prisons housed the innocents.
i have worn the children down to dust
and the women down to their bones.
i have run an incontinent sieve across
a land and come up with the purest
of the pure to have ever birthed.
i’ve burned carnations in celebration.

i’ve run gold and silver molars as currency.
i have built an economy out of broken eye frames,
tarnished wedding rings, little girls’ hairclips
and everything else of value that you can find
inside of a room crowded with the dead.
and inside of the dead crowded with hearts, livers,
lungs and stomachs.

i’ve seen fields claimed as depositories lay
dry and barren over eternal decomposition.
i have sent centuries of denial and goodwill
up in chimney smoke and fanned the flames
to warm the cockles of my pride.

i had discovered a new nicotine,
one that works for many and quicker
than your cigaronnes stained red by
your rhododendron lips that i’ve
often pressed a handful of lies to.

you raise your voice. you rise on your heels, your personal dais.

you say,
i’m so early i make you seem last century by proxy.
i set my clocks to ring before you wake from your fitful dreams.
my french is stunted, baby steps and toppling over with every other one.

i have dominated the death chain.
i have concocted a night and fog like quicksand.
i have split the shadows like the curtains of
a proscenium arch and entered stage left
to kill the last vestiges of propriety and humanity.

you don’t care.
i take my meticulous bites of lobster with the knife in the wrong hand.
i raise heads when i raise my hand coupled with my coprolalia.
you say you’re at the end of the admittedly long rope that i’ve given you.

if i have by any chance forgotten myself altogether and given you a long rope,
it would have only been to hang yourself with.

Sex, Pervert, Shopping Mall

Kaber isn’t his real name.  And he thinks this isn’t a very good story so don’t be too harsh on him. No, actually, be as harsh as you want. Just know that he’ll probably agree with you. That’s the sort of thing that really takes the fun out of creative savagery. I personally find it very misogynistic and hence,  put it up right away.

Shopping mall. Sexy girl in lime green tees and faded jeans. I find a place to sit and I watch. She’s going through the ray-bans. Not this one, not that one. She’ got style. Ouch, she drops one. She’s bending down to pick it up. Good girl, bend a little more. I saw something there. It’s the kind that makes t-shirt captions go three-d. Too bad the lime green tee didn’t have any caption. There, she found one she likes. She’s showing it to her boyfriend. He notices that I’m staring at her. He gives an odd look. Rule number one is “You are not doing anything wrong till you reveal guilt”. They pay and leave. I get up and walk around a little. I whistle. You’d have whistled too if you’d seen her. Such legs. I don’t even remember her face now. The legs will stay with me till I die. God bless the magazines that say mini-skirts are in.


I turn around to find Suja, my girlfriend. She is looking hot. I’d never noticed that she had such smooth curves.

“You’re looking good today” I say as we hug.

Glass breaks. We turn around. Sexy legs and her boy friend are surrounded by a group of saffron clad thugs.

“You marry him right now, or you tie this rakhi. That is it.”

I look at Suja, and she looks back at me. We just stand there. Always remember rule number one.

Sexy legs slaps the thug. Bad move sweet heart. Suja grabs my hand and we are gone before they notice.

“You know Neha, sometimes it’s good that we are different” she says giving me a sexy smile.

“I know” I smile back, and we break into a giggle.


Rule No. 1

This is a song, so it loses out a lot when its just read on a blog. Now that my compulsory excuse is out of the way, I can get on with apologizing. No, I’m just kidding, a writer never apologizes. But anyway, it’s a very silly song (forgive me!) about something that most people would consider a serious subject, but extended exposure to Tim Minchin teaches you that nothing is too serious for comedy song.

Gandhi was a simple man,
And he lived a great life.
Fathering this country,
Through the dark of the night.

Einstein was a smart man,
And he lived a great life.
Discovered laws that,
We couldnt even theorize.

Shakespeare was a writer,
And he lived some kind fo life.
(We’re not really sure about him at all to be honest.)
He wrote plays and poems,
That inspired the mind.

Bob Marley and John Lennon,
Isaac Asimov and Douglas Adams,
Mother Teresa and Isaac Newton,
Chacha Nehru and Benjamin Button.

What do they all have in common?
They’re all dead.
Its a tragedy but
Everyone dies in the end.

Hitler was a bad man,
And he lived a bad life.
Killed two million people,
With a wink of his eyes.

Jack was a ripper man,
And he lived a twisted life.
Walking down Whitechapel,
With a tophat and a knife.

Cruella De Vil and Josef Stalin,
Caligula and Charles Manson,
Pol Pot and Edward Cullen

What do they all have in common?
They’re all dead.
Thank dear lord in heaven that
Everyone dies in the end.

You and me, we’re flesh and blood
We dont have genius or madness up above,
But just like Chairman Mao and Michael Jackson,
We’ll have to present ourself for Judgement.
In that court and on that last day,
Be sure you’ve got no apologies to make!

Until they start selling little packets of life,
Down at Spencer’s Daily or Reliance Fresh,
Until they’ve cured sadness and strife,
With red pills of happiness.
Everbody’ll die in the end
oh yes, everybody’ll die in the end
Repeat into ten!
Everybody’ll die in the end. (3)

So remember your ‘Im sorry’s
And your ‘I love you’s
Dont let stupidity and sadness
Get the best of you.
You have one life
Got to live it.
Cause when you go.
‘s better not to over-regret it.

And when they go upto heaven,
Mourn their passing,
Wave goodbye,
And start weeping,
Cause every death is a lesson
Affirmed with the rising of the sun.
And if you’ve got any questions.
Refer to rule number one.


So, thanks for reading. As a reward let me link you to something much better about the same topic – Eric Idle singing That’s Death from the Discworld videogame.

She too can laugh

Her body is half decomposed. It doesn’t even look human anymore.
Age nineteen, ditch dead, semi-naked, eyes missing, broken nosed,
I tell myself, she doesn’t fit into my carefully normalized
upper-middle class, internet-and-coffee reality.
I have no words to offer her memory.
To me, she is just a 3×3 inch column in a newspaper,
a statistical number, a ten-second clip looped on TV.
She is from… Haryana. Bihar. Srinagar. Bhopal. Manipur.
Dharmapuri. Delhi. The next village. Across the street.
Anywhere but from home.

News is always something that happens to someone else.

But in the silence of the night – listen –
there is the ghost of her unheard voice – screaming, screaming and sobbing,
a burning song of thousands of voices – screaming, shrieking, silent,
voices saying over and over again, “This could be you.”
Whether I choose to or not, I carry her scars under my skin,
her screams under my breath, I fear the fear in her eyes.

I try to find an answer to that voice, I try to understand,
but it is hard to think of her as a person,
when the image of her bloodied face flashes before my eyes every three seconds.
I try to teach myself to grieve for this girl I never knew,
I try to crawl under her skin, try to recreate her reality –
I try to fill it with good things – sunrises and laughter and hot coffee,
I try to push beyond the newspaper article, beyond the ten-second video, beyond the screaming voice,
I try to see the girl who breathed, loved, and hurt
and dreamed of streaking into a horizon of possibilities –
I look into the eyes of the person that she could have been,
and I find more than just a broken bodied, screaming voice,
I find love and song and strength; she is stronger, deeper, brighter
than just scars and hurt, she too can laugh.

Burnt brides and schoolgirls with scars of acid on their faces
still remember to laugh, and the women of Bhopal,
afraid to have babies because they live every day with poisoned bodies,
remember to sing. The heavens thunder with the song of
silence of mothers who refuse to speak
as uncles rape daughters, brothers kill sisters,
delivering family-approved vindication for
choosing the wrong person to have sex with.
They are not numbers, to be channel changed, page turned, dismissed at will,
they are more than a screaming, keening voice, they too can laugh.
On the streets,
girls raped in late night cabs, in the back of minivans,
girls shot dead in bars by sons of famous politicians,
girls threatened with marriage for hanging out with their boyfriends –
we laughed, right through the curfew on valentines day.

And every morning women across this country
wake up to the hum of these voices under their breath
take a good hard look at the mirror
and then go on to become suits burning with red hot ambition,
slogan-shouting tree huggers, mushroom-chewing hippy advertisers,
law makers, teachers, firebrand feminists, center fold models,
have sex, have babies, have careers, have happiness
and do any other damn thing they want to –
Those scars are our story, but they are not all that we are,
we are stronger, deeper, brighter –
I cannot find the right words to offer her memory,
but I wear her scars with pride,
her song under my breath,
I respect the strength in her eyes.


Wilkommen petit-nazi amourais!

Yes, that title makes no sense. But I didn’t expect you to speak the three languages necessary to figure that out.