Saturday, 31 May 2014

The Death Of A Worm

It's summer/pre-monsoon time in my country, and that can only mean one thing-it's mango season!
However, because of my convenient allergy and wholehearted dislike of the fruit, I turn to other happier, tastier, and in my case, less-histamine producing fruits like litchis and watermelons.
This morning, as I sat with my bowl of litchis for breakfast, I found this squirmy little worm in one of them (commonly found; not as creepy as it may seem). Automatically, my hand went ahead and squashed the little creature without so much as an approving nod from my animal-loving conscience.
All I could think about on the dining table, following my murderous action, was about what Charles Darwin would have said if he would have seen me squash the worm. This wasn't me "adapting to survive" or anything. I could have very easily and comfortably chosen to throw that litchi away and just go ahead with the rest of my bowl; but I suppose humans are still, at their very core, animals.
Our very essence is still untamed and unchanged by the rules of society and the centuries of domestication, and sometimes, even a tiny little gesture or expression gives us away and we reveal our beastly-selves. We locate a threat, and we do what is needed to contain it. Spot threat-kill threat-walk on.
This might seem like a very silly thing to be writing about,  but I'm kind of obsessing about the conversation I'd like to have with Mr. Darwin just about now. While being simultaneously aware of the fact that the caffeine has finally crossed my blood-brain barrier.
I'm afraid I need to go and detox. Or maybe just revel in the caffeinated goodness and work on my book?
Okay, I'm out. I've already said too much.
Till the next rant, keep reading.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

A Source Of Journal-esque Release

I am currently in that frame of mind where my active consciousness is stealing ideas from all around and morphing them into fitting a mould that I have laid out for a story that has held me in its iron-tight grip for over a year now.
The mind of a writer is a very crowded place; but I find that I feel most peaceful when I'm turning my mad hyperbolic thoughts into tangible sentences.
There are few things in life that you know in a manner of certainty; things which you know to be true despite whatever else has thus far let you down and fooled your belief and raped your confidence. For me, perhaps the only thing I believe in, is that I was born to write. Nothing more, nothing less.
I may not have the brains to turn the earth around its axis and change the face of humanity or even the face of the literary world. But even if I manage to write a book some day that even five persons read and fall in love with, I will know contentment and that shall be my greatest conquest.
Anything and everything beyond that shall be God's overcompensation, and a sharper taste of success than I ever dreamed of.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014


I am but a tinker
Dancing around a fire-
The moon makes me a merciless drinker-
And then laughter pretends to lie...
Tinker tinker tinker;
Colourful clothes draped around a thinker...

But I'm a rootless little tinker
Dancing around your funeral pyre-
You don't need a flame-builder-
While your lover falls and dies...
Tinker tinker tinker,
Black coal to hide burnt cinders...

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Brevity And Boldness


Friday, 23 May 2014


I have always had major trouble falling asleep on plane-rides.
While I'm a fairly deep and sound sleeper at home on my own bed, while I'm traveling, no matter how long the journey might be and no matter how many sleepless nights have passed before I boarded the plane, it's virtually impossible for me to fall into that NREM sleep that ensues after the many mad/ psychedelic dreams I get to see every night.
I lie wide awake on such flights, hunting for something interesting that I might read, or try to engage myself in the in-flight entertainment, but I find that the only thing I am capable of doing at such times is stare at the people around me until my eyes get tired and my contacts feel dry and exhausted from all the staring.

Recently, I was on a plane flying from Los Angeles to Shanghai, packed with passengers that seemed to be flying back home. As luck would have it, I ended up being seated on the last seat on the aircraft which basically meant three things: I was seated right next to the toilets (STINKY!), passengers were constantly (and impatiently) waiting next to my seat for a turn to hit the stinky loos, and for a little over 15 hours, I couldn't recline my seat. My back hurt like I had mercilessly lifted some serious weights, and I was cranky and hungry (it doesn't help if you're a vegetarian on a Chinese airline).
You know how some people are just blessed and end up sitting next to attractive co-passengers on such long journeys? Yeah, I'm definitely not one of them. I always manage to find seats next to some seriously obnoxious/ terribly gassy old ladies.
But this time, on this flight, my luck was a little bit different.
Being the only Indian on the plane (I think) also made me the only person on this huge Boeing aircraft who couldn't speak or understand Chinese. When it appeared as though we were almost done boarding from Los Angeles, I was doing the tango in my mind because despite having to sit on the last seat on the plane, the two seats next to me were empty. But my mental tango was interrupted when an old Chinese couple finally appeared and took the two empty seats.

I am not exaggerating when I say that for the greater part of those 15 hours, all that this old couple did was fight and yell at each other. There were bouts of silence every now and then when either (or both) of them would fall asleep, or when the air-hostess would arrive with some refreshments; but these bouts didn't seem long enough to the headache that was slowly taking over me.
It amazed me how such loud and angry sounding noises (noises because I couldn't understand what they were yelling) could escape such an old, frail person's mouth.
They fought and they fought, and all I could think of was how these two people who seemed to want nothing more to do than to strangle each other, could have managed to stay married and grown old together. Of course, these were all possibly silly assumptions considering the fact that I didn't have a single conversation with my neighbors because of our language barriers. I sat there conjuring stories of what they may be fighting about, trying to deduce some sense out of what could anger someone that bad, and my imagination completely failed me.
It hit me how we always tend to paint a picture in our heads about how old people are always gentle and kind, without a single mean or angry bone in their aged bodies. Perhaps that's why this is the one memory that stood out for me from that long and uneventful flight. I suppose it's normal to have a broken perception stand out in one's mind, and appear like a highlighted hoarding in your brain's collective memory.

When I finally got home after my super long journey, and hit my dear old bed, I passed into a dreamless sleep, only to wake up after 12 hours and feel grateful for all that I am blessed with.
Perhaps I was most grateful for not having to see angry couples fighting with each other for extended hours, or for having a bed to stretch my weary bones and creaky joints on, or for having a kitchen where I can cook edible vegetarian meals in.
Or maybe the gratitude was actually for that Boeing 747 that flew me home to everything I love, despite its noisy neighbors and smelly lavatories.
After all, what is it that they say about journeys that bring you back home? Ah yes-those are the best ones.

Monday, 19 May 2014


We live in a well-structured cobweb that has holes and gaps that seemingly allow for human error. But once we make those errors, there's no looking back, because the only way to go now is down. Gravity plays with you and mocks your mistake as you fall. It's a downward spiral through and through.
There is nothing left to do and nowhere left to go.
The friends and lovers have laughed at you and walked away.
The family stands by you with folded hands and confused, reluctant expressions because they don't know what to do anymore.
You've reached a point of no return and yet you cannot see the path that got you here. The fog is too thick, and your vision is too myopic.
You are alone.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014


A writer tends to think,
And imagine romance
Even amidst a sordid circumstance
That doesn’t support drama or magic.
Beans of imagination sprout
Despite lack of nurturing
And water,
Turning shades of grey and black
Into flowers and cups of velvet wine,
As if these writers, they know
A secret spell
That hides behind mundanities
And dirty streets
That the rest of us walk on,
Spit on, fight on.
The secret spell that only they know,
And protect, like members of ancient cults do
With their secret hierarchies and
Their secret rules—
No one knows the mind
Of a writer; not even he, himself.
It’s like a box of matchsticks
Oriented the opposite way,
So that they never burn and die,
And all they get to see
Is a glimmer of the real world
Whenever the matchbox slides

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Island Living

If you look closely at me, even if you don't know a thing about me, my personality or my past, you'll see that I am an island.
Essentially, I live an isolated life as a singular block of flesh and bone. I have a giant ocean of people that bear my weight and support me. They keep me from sinking.
But if you look closely, you'll see that I'm an island.
Every morning, the sun falls on my grains of sand, the waves wash my golden shores, my coconut trees dance and swing about in tandem with the gusts of wind that my ocean blows towards me. There are days when the tide is high, and nights when the waters recede far behind, showing me yards of my own self, like a mirror that doesn't lie. Sometimes there are tidal waves that ravage and plunder my innocent beaches, and after those, the only thing left to do is rehabilitate and recuperate. After all, moving forward is an option we must always choose in life.
If you look closely, I am an island and there is no civilization anywhere close by. All you see around my shores is the salty blue water. Ships come and go like expendable answers to a multiple-choice quiz. Anchors never manage to dig deep enough to not sway away with the winds and the waves.
If you look close enough, we are all islands. Singularity is a constant that's always going to accompany you. Along with that gorgeous ocean of your people. They'll never let you sink.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Brownies And Their Trippy Songs

At the intersection of right
And left,
A corner shone like
A golden turret, in
A field of coal and char..
There were lies, and there
Were voices
That betrayed sounds
Of a story that never reached
The peak of the peak
It was meant to rise over
And burn..