Yellow-paged love

I find you to be demanding today. Demanding to be eternally read and remembered, while thousands more continue to be born and bred, taking up shelves in bookshops and libraries that I may never get to see, touch or smell. Pages unflipped, will yellow before the dust settles. I find you to be wanting today.... Continue Reading →

Of Light and Change

Things are changing. I can feel it in the air. I can see it through the mellow light. It is that weird time of the year before winter sets in. As the sunrays seep into the cracks in my wall, I welcome the light. The soft, soothing kind that pacifies the anxious, comforts the distressed.... Continue Reading →

Three walls and a curtain (4)

A.. B.. C.. D.. E.. Blink. A.. B.. C.. D.. Blink. I recite the entire alphabet over and over and wait for the eyes to blink. My voice trembles the first time. I've never felt so desperate. Letter by letter, blink by blink, we form words. We slowly put disparate words in context, trying to... Continue Reading →

Better safe than sorry?

For a long time now, I've been wondering about what it means to survive as a woman in a place where you're stifled and crushed every time you try to lift your head up. I'm getting tired of the better-safe-than-sorry mantra that has been shoved down my throat by pretty much every person I've known since... Continue Reading →

Between

Are you out of pain? Is your mind clear? Your heart free? Do you grow and age? I often wonder. Do you hear the fights? We lack your strength, your resolve. We are still finding our way. Do you watch over us? I often wonder. Do you recall memories? Have you moved on? We haven't,... Continue Reading →

Reading, Writing and Growing Up

My grandmother was a collector. She collected stamps, coins, postcards, letters, souvenirs, photographs, diaries and books. I was not allowed to touch any of that. At the most, she'd let me play with her jar of coins under supervision. But her books were never off limits. They were mine for the taking. She was an... Continue Reading →

Categorical Friendship

Friendship is a strange strange thing. People associate it with values like happiness, love, closeness and success. To have friends is a big social positive and to be friendless is to be an outsider, a misfit. Like everything in the world, friendship is hierarchical. Best friends are seated at the top of the pyramid. The... Continue Reading →

In Memoriam

There is little satisfaction in communicating without speech. Some things just need to be said. In her last days, my grandmother ceased to speak. She would nod, look around some times, pass on a smile too. But not utter a word. I wondered whether she chose not to speak. Whether she was content of expression.... Continue Reading →

628 (3)

"It's okay. It is. Okay?" Peering behind curtains, searching for a face. I have 5 minutes. Tick tock tick tock. A lungful of intoxicating smell. I've known this face for longer than I can remember. He's half asleep. I could just stand here, forever. I touch his shoulder, not knowing if he would respond to... Continue Reading →

Grey Skies (2)

It is a wet, grey evening draining itself into darkness. I get a call. There has been an accident. I sit there. Then I pack. It is a misty, early morning in Mumbai. As I wipe the fog off my window, I wait to arrive at my stop, unaware of how often and for how... Continue Reading →

Pieces (1)

I haven't been able to write because I do not fully comprehend what I attempt to say. During a time when I hold on to things fragile and distant, I wonder if something has changed. Something that has escaped from my being. As fragmented as the thought is, I write for I know that the pieces ought... Continue Reading →

If only

If only, by the mere accident of birth, you'd not brand me as your citizen, the way you brand your cattle. I will soon disperse from the herd you've raised, fed and exploited, and head to someplace better. We're slightly different from cattle, you see? Not much, but slightly. I survive for that slightness. I... Continue Reading →

To throw

Growing up, I left behind certain traits that I had as a kid. I outgrew some clothes as well as some actions and started being adult-like, very consciously. To carefully sit, to steadily walk, to be compulsively polite, to 'act' rather than to 'be' - these are the things adulthood gave me. Recently, I realized... Continue Reading →

Nostalgia

Every time that bus vroomed, it was a sign of time fleeting. She did not want to go. Just the sight of that bus made her furrow her brows and grimace. Even at times when she wasn't supposed to be on it. She did not like the journey or the destination. That sound made her... Continue Reading →

Picked

That leaf was the most beautiful thing she had seen in a while. On turning the yellow pages of an old, dusty book she had long-forgotten, there it lay, amongst kind. Paper is made of wood after all, she thought. It was in a safe place. Arid, drained of all that was liquid, it spoke... Continue Reading →

Blocked

Something stirred her awake. Maybe it was the neighbor's cat again. The wooden table wasn't a comfortable headrest. It took her brain a few minutes to go from blankness to sight. Every muscle of her body screamed ache. With half-opened eyes, she stares at the screen. A blank page. White. It makes her eyes hurt.... Continue Reading →

A Familiar Stranger

"What am I doing here?", I wonder, standing awkwardly amongst a crowd full of devotees, being elbowed and cornered, with hands joined in prayer and in gentle deference to my upbringing. I take off my shoes, let the priest color my forehead red and stick rice seeds on it; I look around, not knowing where... Continue Reading →

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