Saturday, November 29, 2014


It is fascinating and almost a relief, finding delight in oneself. Some months ago, I found myself deeply troubled, grappling** to find a plausible answer to what was the fundamental purpose of living (as opposed to life or simple existence), of doing anything at all, really. I was questioning the basics of work, routine, taste, recreation, vacation ― what was the underlying reason that we did those things and if living, every single component of it that we call 'doing' something, meant anything, or whether it was supposed to mean anything. After days and days of looking into myself I felt that the only purpose to living (as it happens to us, not as we go ahead and make of it) was to come to know oneself better and as a corollary 'replace' oneself. For some days this 'deduction' helped,provided some relief and I started to test it against my everyday actions.

**Grapple, because I was fast losing myself to the idea of complete futility. I still think part of it may be true. And now as I look back, as much as a part of me did accept how futile things really are, the rest of my self rebelled against it and it was this bit that struggled to find that which would justify the status quo by arming it with a theory, to be subsequently tested.

(In conversation)

Friday, November 28, 2014


I am good. Delhi is the same as you left it. Dreary mornings, warm days and cold nights. I go for a walk everyday like I used to. It is also my favorite part of the day.

I am not reading any particular book presently. Either go through a huge book on human rights or read poetry on the net. This year I mostly read Hindi books and Urdu poetry. Agyeya I liked. Have you read him? And this another lovelorn Pakistani poet called Jaun Elia.

I have realized this new thing or should I say a new-found pleasure, which I could share. I was always secretly proud of my flexible ways, of being fine with my clothes in luggage bags even though it was an year since I had returned to Delhi, (because the cupboard had no space for my clothes), of being okay with sleeping anywhere, eating impatiently, working in a mess as long as I had the bare minimum. My focus was on substance not form, or such was my refrain.

Couple of months back we got wood work done in my room and now I have a double bed (in place of a single bed), two bedside tables, wooden almirahs in place of the old wall-unit to keep my clothes in, and a new book shelf is on the way. I also bought a bedside lamp for myself which I use at night. To my surprise, I now take pleasure in hanging my clothes (with care) in the cupboards, I have started taking care that my bed stays clear of knickknacks, I also have a money plant in an old liqueur bottle on my table and I like to see it grow. I would now take a moment to place my earrings in the box on the bedside table or duppatta in the third drawer. I know people live like this generally. But the fact that I am doing these things with a certain care and nafasat, believing that a small act of securing little things is also as important as the next article I am reading, is something that gives me a quiet sense of equilibrium and poise, before I return to my routine.

(In conversation)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Tujh Se Gilay Karoon Tujhe Janaa'n Manaaon Main

Tujh Se Gilay Karoon Tujhe Janaa’n Manaaon Main
Ik Bar Apne Aap Mein Aaon To Aaon Main

Dil Se Sitam Ki Be’saro Kaari Hawaa Ko Hai
Woh Gard Urraa Rahi Hai Ke Khud Ko Ganwaaon Main

Naadim Hoon Woh Ke Jis Pe Nadaamat Bhi Ab Nahin
Woh Kaam Hain Ke Apni Judai Kamaaon Main

Kyon’kar Ho Apne Khawab Ki Aankhon Mein Wapsi
Kis Taur Apne Dil Ke Zamamon Mein Jaaon Main

Ik Rang Si Kamaa’n Ho Khushbu Sa Ik Teer
Marham Si Ik Wardaat Ho Aur Zakham Khaon Main

Shikwa Sa Aik Dareecha Ho Nasha Sa Ik Sakoot
Ho Shaam Aik Sharab Si Aur Larr’khraon Main

Phir Is Gali Se Apna Guzar Chahta Hai Dil
Ab Is Gali Ko Kaunsi Basti Se Laaon Main

- Jaun Elia

Saturday, October 25, 2014


Apne Maazi Ke Tasawwur Se Hiraasaan Hoon Main
Apne Guzre Hue Ayyam Se Nafrat Hai Mujhe
Apni Bekaar Tamannaon Pe Sharmindaa Hoon Main
Apni Besud Ummidon Pe Nidaamat Hai Mujhe

Mere Maazi Ko Andhere Mein Dabaa Rahne Do
Mera Maazi Meri Zillat Ke Siwa Kuchh Bhi Nahin
Meri Ummidon Ka Haasil Meri Kaawish Ka Sila
Ek Benaam Aziyat Ke Siwa Kuchh Bhi Nahin

Kitni Bekaar Ummidon Ka Sahaaraa Lekar
Main Ne Aiwaan Sajaaye They Kisi Ki Khaatir
Kitni Be-Rabt Tamannaaon Ke Mabham Khaake
Apane Khwaabon Mein Basaaye The Kisi Ki Khaatir

Mujhse Ab Meri Mohabbat Ke Fasaane Na Poochho
Mujhko Kahne Do Ke Main Ne Unhen Chaahaa Hi Nahin
Aur Wo Mast Nigaahen Jo Mujhe Bhool Gayeen
Main Ne Un Mast Nigaahon Ko Saraahaa Hi Nahin

Mujhko Kahne Do Ki Main Aaj Bhi Ji Saktaa Hoon
Ishq Naakaam Sahi Zindagi Naakaam Nahin
Unko Apnaane Ki Khwaahish Unhen Paane Ki Talab
Shauq Bekaar Sahi Sai-Gham Anjaam Nahin

Wahi Gesoo Wahi Nazar Wahi Aarid Wahi Jism
Main Jo Chaahoon Ki Mujhe Aur Bhi Mil Sakte Hain
Wo Kanwal Jinko Kabhi Unke Liye Khilna Tha
Unki Nazron Se Bahut Door Bhi Khil Sakate Hain

- Sahir Ludhianvi

Saturday, October 4, 2014


Don't know what it is. But my mind seeks time. Some time and lots of books. Just books and time and patience. Books and coffee. Many reads and my mind. CONSUME. The way it's your fantasy to make love on a tabletop.. sweeping random objects off the surface with a single continuous thrust of the arm, before swiftly placing your lover on the counter and then go on, go on loving..

Roll back.. rewind and revisit the sweeping part in slow motion this once. Feel the strength of a man's arm, the relentless, the careless, the reckless gesture as things 'important' tumble down one after the other, slowly charging down against the weight of time and bursting into tumultuous fractures on the tiled floor... making a deafening (defining?) clatter - the clamour of the broken pieces and the din of all that breaks loose - hell as well as your own mind. Heedless of the mess, unmindful of the broken pieces of glass on the floor, blotched sheets of paper lying about - some crumpled some not, stationery, knickknacks strewn about. And on the mind just a blurred frenzy, a stupor in a spur.. a ruffled fazed uncomfortable delicious odyssey..

Wanna do that. Just that. Right now.

Wanna sweep off the tabletop all that claims its place there... all that impedes my flow.. and obstructs my path. To renounce everything and every thought that was so far the 'subject'.  The path! As if the landscape is itself evolving. That everything else is a distraction, a disturbance, a speck in the eye.

That there's only one thing you're accursed to do. And that you must do. And what peace in such damnation!

- Reposted from Nov 2011, London

Friday, September 26, 2014


I miss writing. As if I have lost it somewhere - I don't know where I have kept it. I come to you looking for it..but it is no where to be found.

Friday, September 19, 2014

मेरी जान फक़त चंद ही रोज़

चंद रोज़ और मेरी जान फक़त चंद ही रोज़
ज़ुल्म की छाँव में दम लेने पर मजबूर हैं हम
इक ज़रा और सितम सह लें, तड़प लें, रो लें
अपने अजदाद की मीरास है माजूर हैं हम
जिस्म पर क़ैद है ज़ज्बात पे जंजीरें हैं
फ़िक्र महबूस है गुफ्तार पे ताजीरें हैं
और अपनी हिम्मत है कि हम फिर भी जिए जाते हैं
जिंदगी क्या किसी मुफलिस की कबा है
जिस में हर घड़ी दर्द के पैबंद लगे जाते हैं

लेकिन अब ज़ुल्म की मियाद के दिन थोड़े हैं
इक ज़रा सब्र कि फ़रियाद के दिन थोड़े हैं
अरसा-ए-दहर की झुलसी हुई वीरानी में
हमको रहना है पर यूँ ही तो नहीं रहना है
अजनबी हाथों का बेनाम गरांबार सितम
आज सहना है हमेशा तो नहीं सहना है
ये तेरी हुस्न से लिपटी हुई आलाम की गर्द
अपनी दो-रोजा जवानी की शिकस्तों का शुमार
चांदनी रातों का बेकार दहकता हुआ दर्द
दिल की बेसूद तड़प जिस्म की मायूस पुकार

चंद रोज़ और मेरी जान फक़त चंद ही रोज़ …

फैज़ अहमद फैज़ 

(अजदाद = ancestors, मीरास = ancestral property,  माजूर = helpless) (महबूस = captive, गुफ्तार = speech, ताजीरें = punishments, मुफलिस = poor, कबा = long gown) (अरसा-ए-दहर=life-time, गरांबार = heavy) (आलाम = sorrow, शिकस्त = defeat, शुमार = inclusion)

Monday, September 1, 2014


What would you cook for someone if you knew it were their last meal?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Untitled. Incomplete.

हक़ तुम्हें भी है 
रोने का 
बिलखने का
अपने आसमानों से सवाल करने का 
और बादलों के बरसने पर खामोश हो जाने का

हक़ तुम्हें भी है 
मर जाने का.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

on living and dying

Why do I continuously want to die? I try not to think of it but I find peace in the thought at times. I do not have the courage to see the future, to see more people, to suffer more lies, to break my heart some more, to see people I love die and to still go on. 

I do not have it in me to go on - not physically - not mentally. I find myself arguing with life itself. Wrestling, grappling myself out of its clutch I want it to free me and let me decide for myself. Like a sane person should. We should have the right to the ultimate exit without causing pain to anyone. We should be able to go as unquestioned as we were born. Is this whole 'life' thing not an imposition?

They say, and you might also say it is a gift. I balk at that. I am unable to fathom, I am unable to enjoy this gift, it is difficult to breathe in the mornings. Why can't anyone see it is difficult? Humiliating when I see those names in my phone's contact lists and call up people just to distract myself. My mind knows what I am doing, the whole 'act' of it is disgusting but I fear going mad. And so I make the call, very reluctantly.

And as I write this I realize how big an irony it is and what a big fraud I must be. On one hand I shiver with anxiety, afraid for my safety, afraid for everything I have including my mind, and on the other I talk so carelessly (thanklessly, if you will) about life itself. On one hand I am afraid something bad will happen to me - on the other I want the worst (according to common belief) i.e. death itself. 

You see the conflict? Where do I take it and who do I share it with?

And then enters the greater ignominy of it all. The idea that others are suffering more and here I am bestowed with so much and yet complaining? Do you see the layers and layers in which this 'thing' is operating on me? Not allowing me to live, not allowing me to wish to die, not allowing me to breathe, not allowing me to be?

I am tired. Is there no end to this bitter conflict in me? 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

:) It is fine now. Like an idiot I stood outside, tears trickling down my face. I had arrived at 9 actually, and I read and waited till 9:45. It was then when I enquired about you that I was told that you were not in. And it dawned on me that all those people were not there for you at all. One by one everyone left and I couldn't bear sitting there any longer. Would you believe me if I were to say I felt you abandoned me? (Now I am laughing at it.)

But then you had me at "Bachey, I am stuck". I was still crying but I was reassured.


Last evening I went to Prithvi theatre with a guy friend. I had already been feeling a little jittery in the legs, soon my heart was beating very hard and without telling him I ran to the bathroom, trying to calm down. I came out and we immediately left the place. Walked to Juhu beach and sat there. The cool breeze did me good and we parted ways.


Can we meet soon? I do not want to leave without meeting.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


I am feeling extremely nervous as I type this. I don't know what will work and what not. I don't know if any therapy would help me. But I want it to help. I was fine all day and evening.. in fact I even enjoyed my company today at a coffee shop where I sat and read my book after a hard day. But all that is gone now and I have fallen flat on my face again. I feel crestfallen and so humiliated, because I dared to feel fine for a bit. I am afraid for my future for my life to come. I fear I might go insane and I do not want that to happen to me.

I wrote to you some days back also as I cried the whole night. I didn't send you the mail. I wanted to appear strong. As if not addressing will make it go away. But right now I am panicking. And trying to write calmly.
Why is this happening to me?! I want to be healthy in the mind. I am having trouble breathing easy and the fear is making me want to cry. But I can't cry right now.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Ode to a naked beauty

With chaste heart, and pure
I celebrate you, my beauty,
restraining my blood
so that the line
surges and follows
your contour,
and you bed yourself in my verse,
as in woodland, or wave-spume:
earth's perfume,
sea's music.

Nakedly beautiful,
whether it is your feet, arching
at a primal touch
of sound or breeze,
or your ears,
tiny spiral shells
from the splendour of America's oceans.
Your breasts also,
of equal fullness, overflowing
with the living light
and, yes,
your eyelids of silken corn
that disclose
or enclose
the deep twin landscapes of your eyes.

The line of your back
separating you
falls away into paler regions
then surges
to the smooth hemispheres
of an apple,
and goes splitting
your loveliness
into two pillars
of burnt gold, pure alabaster,
to be lost in the twin clusters of your feet,
from which, once more, lifts and takes fire
the double tree of your symmetry:
flower of fire, open circle of candles,
swollen fruit raised
over the meeting of earth and ocean.

Your body - from what substances
agate, quartz, ears of wheat,
did it flow, was it gathered,
rising like bread
in the warmth,
and signalling hills
valleys of a single petal, sweetnesses
of velvet depth,
until the pure, fine, form of woman
and rested there?

It is not so much light that falls
over the world
extended by your body
its suffocating snow,
as brightness, pouring itself out of you,
as if you were
burning inside.

Under your skin the moon is alive.

​- Pablo Neruda​

Oda a la bella desnuda​​

Con casto corazón, con ojos
te celebro, belleza,
reteniendo la sangre
para que surja y siga
la línea, tu contorno,
que te acuestes en mi oda
como en tierra de bosques
o en espuma:
en aroma terrestre
o en música marina.

Bella desnuda,
tus pies arqueados
por un antiguo golpe
del viento o del sonido
que tus orejas,
caracolas, mínimas
del esplendido mar americano.
Iguales son tus pechos
de paralela plenitud, colmados
por la luz de la vida,
iguales son
tus párpados de trigo
que descubren
o cierran
dos países profundos en tus ojos.

La línea que tu espalda
ha dividido
en pálidas regiones
se pierde y surge
en dos tersas mitades
de manzana
y sigue separando
tu hermosura
en dos columnas
de oro quemado, de alabastro fino,
a perderse en tus pies como en dos uvas,
desde donde otra vez arde y se eleva
el árbol doble de ni simetría,
fuego florido, candelabro abierto,
turgente fruta erguida
sobre el pacto del mar y de la tierra.

Tu cuerpo, en qué materia,
ágata, cuarzo, trigo,
se plasmò, fue subiendo
como el pan se levanta
de la temperatura,
y señalò colinas
valles de un solo pétalò, dulzuras
de profundo terciopelo,
hasta quedar cuajada
la fina y firme forma femenina?

No sòlo es luz que cae
sobre el mundo
la que alarga en tu cuerpo
su nieve sofocada,
sino que se desprende
de ti la claridad como si fueras
encendida por dentro.

Debajo de tu piel vive la luna.

​- Pablo Neruda​

Friday, June 20, 2014


I am back from Amalner. Albeit with a sprained ankle. I am with my friend pretending to watch the television, but my heart is sinking and I am struggling to keep it afloat. 

Yesterday night just before I was to leave for the bus stop to board the sleeper bus for my journey back to Mumbai, I tripped and fell from the stairs outside Bharti ji's house. My ankle had twisted pretty severely was beginning to swell. Bharti ji and her daughter were quick to get ice cubes I asked for. I was in unbearable pain, and yet it was sadness and breathlessness that felt more excruciating. I instantly felt fear gripping me and a sense of failure soon tiptoed behind it. I was trying to fend off tears not knowing their source - were these tears from the pain I was physically feeling or were these from the sense of failure that the fall seemed symbolic of? I knew it was the latter as I also tried to reason with me it has to be the former.

The research project, the traveling, the interviews, the fact that my family doesn't really understand what is it that I do, my being on my own for almost all the trips I have made professionally were already taking a toll on me. Because everything was an effort and yet I was forcing myself to go on, instead of feeling satisfied after two hard days of work, I was still feeling lost. Keep working, I would tell myself. And keep smiling. But my tripping and collapsing on the ground broke whatever I had salvaged of my spirit. I again felt I had failed. I felt I did not have it in me. I again felt my head swoon.

I asked Bharti ji to hold my hand. (I had trusted her from the moment I had met her an year back, so it was ok to be vulnerable in front of her). I told her I was ill at ease and nervous and if she could just hold my hand. She held out her hand and then she hugged me. Patting me softly on my back, as I sat on her sofa and she stood holding me. She could feel I wasn't near tears for the twisted ankle but for something else. Five minute passed and soon I recovered. The pain was there but I could take that. A doctor soon arrived, turned down all possibilities of a fracture, sent for an injection and some medicines and it was all taken care of.

Post Script:

I read somewhere that there really is something called a broken heart syndrome. I do not know much about it - but that term perfectly describes how I feel. As if something is physically broken inside of me and try as I might my heart/mind isn't functioning normally. 

Please know that I hate to have to written this, nay, I am ashamed to have written this. THIS when there is so much of real work to be done. When there is so much I am capable of and yet this is what I come up with? I need to understand myself. Discover my place in the universe, truly understand what I am here for and feel life's worth again. Either that happens or I will be doomed to live through this, as if a curse is upon me.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Everything I have ever believed in is turning around and laughing at my face. And so here I am writing it all down and disgusted with the reality of it all. 

Work is work. It is not necessary that it reflects what you actually studied or makes use of your ideas, qualifications, passion and the like.

Work is work. It is supposed to pay for your food and lodging and that is about it.

Work is work. Leave aside all passion and just earn.

Work is work. Stop expecting to enjoy what you do. In the end it is all the same.

Work is work. It gives you a routine. You, who are so afraid of not having one.

Work is work. So you can tell people where you work and they can make a guess about how much you earn. 

Work is work. In the end perhaps everything really is a fluke.

Friday, May 9, 2014

a lot of me talk

Interestingly, all my 'prospective' blog posts are being converted to letters and being sent to a couple of friends. Friends I know nothing about personally but who I have begin to trust and listen to. Corresponding with them, knowing that they are far away from me, and in a way have nothing to do with my life is reassuring and adds to the trust factor.

Upon my return from Hyderabad I immediately left for Jim Corbett and Nainital with both my sisters and their husbands. At Corbett we stayed at a luxurious resort and as usual I enjoyed the breakfast spread on all days. In Nainital we stayed at a small hotel on the Mall Road which allowed me to sneak away anytime I liked and go on a walk to explore the area on my own. I remained eclipsed from the world and though at times the 'family' time became too much for me - me being not used to so much of it - but it was mostly distracting (in a good way) with all of them around. Yet, surprisingly I continued to feel like an outsider within my own family. Every now and then I would have a strong urge to leave, which I would suppress - calling myself an ungrateful wench now and then.

My first night here was full of fears where I would transfix myself at one place unable to move lest some calamity should occur. I am lucky to have a best friend who hears me out and is always there. I sometimes wonder why - yet there she is, so is my sister. 

In continuation to the last post - the offers have been coming in yet nothing really truly excites me. I might leave for Jodhpur before which I have back to back meetings the whole of the next week. I was far happier working for free for the same people that I now am working for money. truth be told I have been disappointed in people interviewing me except for the last interview where the conversation was so crisp and smart that it made the entire interaction feel like a page out of a book. I did make a couple of cheeky comments which i hope would be taken in the right spirit. 

There is a lot I want to write but I don't for the fear of being seen as someone who is trying to be different/thankless or thinks too highly of herself. If only I could put to paper how these are the very contradictions that have kept me disturbed. It was easy for me to work for free and still is - but extremely tough to work for a meagre nothing. I think so highly of myself that I wouldn't allow myself a single mistake - and yet I have corroded my self to an extent where I have no confidence in my self. 'No' being the key word. I dislike the idea of being alone yet I am always seeking to be away from people. I can't at times stand the night being alone in my room - yet I equally do not want to meet anyone. I badly want to work - as in the routine work, not the kind I am doing right now. And yet I have no enthusiasm, no hope, no purpose, nothing that I am now looking forward to. 

Sometimes I feel I am waiting for a miracle. Sometimes I feel since I am soon going to die anyway what difference does my working not working, responding to emails or not responding, meeting people or making excuses not to meet, really make? Why do we have to go through life? They tell me it is something to be grateful about - ok I am grateful - now can I please leave this drama I have no interest in being a part of? Make a clean exit? If I have life I must have hope (at least enough) to subsist. If I do not have it then what is the point in this lifeless rudderless thankless hopeless existence that is so in contradiction to anything I respect?

Since I obviously cannot take my life -  it is better to stand still and do nothing. But doing nothing is always more difficult. If only I could do that I don't think I would be writing about all this. I would be a monk.

This is an escalator that is not really going anywhere. But there I am. On it and heavens would fall if it were to make a move! Though I must continue to believe that I am moving.

Beherhaal, I will try to simplify things for myself by either making some sort of a map or flowchart or something. I might come back here soon. I am liking the taste of it here.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Hi! I leave for Hyderabad tonight. From not being able to take a walk down the road from my own house, I am now able to make a long trip by myself. Though not as confident as I would like myself to be, I am learning how to push the anxiety further. I am thinking more of the new places I am about to see, the long train journey on which I am going to finish watching what remains of House MD episodes and perhaps read up on the paper I am going to present. I am also reading Vikram Seth's Two Lives these days.

I will be starting on a job soon after I return. I am not overjoyed about it yet but I think it will be interesting, I will be taking up a complete different topic of research. I am also looking forward to meeting the experts at the conference and perhaps write to them upon my return. 

I am a bit more hopeful on the academic front too as I just received a very encouraging note from a professor from a university in the UK. Things are looking a bit better for me and I hope I don't relapse.

A couple of days ago I made a trip to Rajgarh, my nani's place in Rajasthan. I do not know what it is about that small sleepy town-village that helps bring me back to myself. We also visited the small temple of Ramdevji, a place much revered by my otherwise non-temple-going family. I secretly prayed. I fervently prayed. Not to the Gods, for I do not know if I believe, I do pray though sometimes and I don't know if it is really a God I pray to or just have a need to be really vulnerable sometimes. 

In Rajgarh I also met my maternal uncle. Interestingly he now has a cow her calf at the backyard of his huge house. I made friends with the cow, and actually had fun rubbing her back and feeding her on jaggery and fodder. I have always been very afraid of cows especially after an incident in my childhood when I saw a bull go mad and attack a kid from behind. So befriending this cow was a big thing. Funny too.

That is all for now. I am liking the fact that I am for once writing lucidly, away from the obscure way I had begin phrasing whatever I wanted to say. I will be posting some pics too. From Agra and Rajgarh.

So long!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


It is okay. It is all going to be fine. I am going to get back to being who I am and there is a lot to be happy about. I love youuuuuu!


Monday, April 14, 2014

The end.

I remember writing about death when given an assignment on it for the spirituality page of the newspaper I worked for. I remember knowing nothing about it and knowing enough to be able to make up something that made sense to my barely out of teenage mind.

My first encounter with it, happened when Jimmy died. I was 13 and the loss was bigger than the sense of death. I cried each night it rained because I feared he was buried somewhere int he earth outside and getting wet in the cold rain. 

The second happened when I was 23 and Panther passed away. I watched him die for a month. I watched him thin, his teeth became even bigger and menacing because the gums were decaying. He lost 15 kilos of his 30 kilogram frame and became skeleton thin. I watched him die as I sat near him with a diary in my hand as I tried to talk me out of it. That night I didn't know if he would make it through the night. He was panting more than ever, as if he wanted to still breathe as much as he could. He lay on a blanket that was mine from when I was very little. A kids blanket. and then it started to happen, the breathing became thicker and he was now gasping for breath. His eyes became bigger and he was in so much pain that it was hard to look at him. Very soon a strange sound started to come out from his mouth, the sound of death approaching and as if he could see it. I do not know if he knew what had happened to him. Perhaps he did, perhaps not. He moaned in pain as I lifted his head and placed it on my lap to comfort him. I remember my silent tears and fervent praying for his pain to end, even if it meant he would be silent forever. My mom, ever the religious person she is, ran to get some Gangajal. Considered the holiest of water among us Hindus. She poured some drops of it in his mouth as he was taking his last breath. My mother even made it a point to recite from the Gita to him. Another one of our holy books. I found myself reading from one of the prayer books too. To keep myself from losing my mind perhaps. And because I didn't want to take a chance with him. 

And then just like that he went silent and lay still. His pink tongue lolled out from one side of his mouth and I shut his eyes. I must have sat with him, petting him, loving him, kissing his head and most of all talking to him for an hour before we were to take him away. It was past midnight and we placed him on a bed-sheet and lifted him up. We took him to the garden near out place where our house help had dug the earth so we could bury him. He was slowly lowered down. My mom emptied some packets of salt so as to keep other animals away. And we put the soil back in the grave, burying him. I didn't know what was happening then. But the scene plays on my mind quite often and I do not know how I managed to remain calm through that time. It has been four years but Panther refuses to really die. My mind refuses to accept he isn't here and I have to stop myself from asking my mom every now and then if Panther has had his meal.

I didn't mean for this post to be about Panther as much as about death. I have feared it a lot these past few months. And I want to get over it. I want to tell me that if it has to happen it will and such fear is unnecessary and crippling. 

I wish to face each fear and stare in its face till I fear no more. I do not know what will work. I only wish to get stronger. So much stronger than what I pretend to be.

Sunday, April 6, 2014


भागना जारी है। खत्म ही नहीं होता। चलता रहता है साँसों कि तरह. बिना किसी बात के, मकसद के। शब्द छोटे हुए जातें हैं। पर भागना जारी है। 

in anticipation

A piece I wrote for a news magazine has been published. It can be found here. Sharing it here in anticipation that it I will return to myself seeing my name in print, even if only on the internet. 

Friday, April 4, 2014


Everything is falling apart. And I am the one ripping the stitches off. Falling through the crevice as each thread is severed, cut, abandoned. I can't seem to be able to make a move. There is a stoic silence in the mind, the silence of a thousand screams that cannot be heard. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ted Talk

I wanted to post this Ted Talk here that is so touching, especially the first 10 minutes or so. I felt as if someone was sharing my story. I also felt relieved that it is not only me but there are many who feel the anxiety I feel, ergo there are ways out of this, ergo I will be able to either manage it or be out of it one day.

PS: sharing things here is not easy for me. I fear being dubbed lazy, mistaken, attention-seeker and what not. I deeply fear not being understood and I do not possess the resilience to make a counter-argument. At times I am not sure if simple words that I have spoken are comprehensible. That is why also I prefer to write.

This once I am allowing myself to come out of 'it' and not be afraid. Not be afraid.

Sunday, March 30, 2014


Imagine fear gripping you at every step you take. Imagine you are walking in the park and you panic, your feet, your gut, your hands shiver from the inside and you can tell there is something wrong - but you can find no logical reason to it. You feel nervous - so nervous as you might feel if someone held a gun to your head, or told you your house was on fire and all your belongings were burning to cinders. Your logical mind knows nothing of the sort has happened, yet your body is still reacting to the fear, as bodily reflexes do. It convinces you that doom is upon you and only this feeling this feeling of panic is true and nothing else. You end up a nervous wreck. ok, may be not a wreck at all times. But nervous and anxious and on the verge of tears.

Medicines help for a bit but you are afraid of those affecting you permanently. You gasp for breath but none is forthcoming. You realize there is so much hatred in you for people around and you try and try but are unable to get rid of it. And then starts the judgment. You criticize yourself about every single thing you do or have done. The criticism becomes hatred in no time and you hate every bit of yourself. Again convincing yourself that this and only this is the truth. The voice in your head that defends you grows meeker and meeker till it totally fades out. Leaving you with yourself - your biggest fear - your monster.

Soon it takes on your confidence. You stutter and cannot face people anymore. You want to remain eclipsed and you pray to die. You want the struggle to end, the voices in the head to go quiet but they don't and when they do you are too busy anticipating their return that you can barely live anymore. The voices further convince you that everything you have ever achieved was a fluke, a chanced occurrence or a mistake, that in reality you are a fraud even when it comes to something most sacred to you as your work. It hits where it hurts the most and you feel you know how it will end. 

You stop taking calls. You mentally distance your closest friends and family because you cannot trust anymore. You stop meeting people or when you meet you are so aware of the 'act' that you have nothing much to say to them. You pretend some more. There are times that you totally forget all nervousness around some people. You forget what you were going through and have a good time. The next moment you turn to yourself and there it is - standing in your face and laughing at you. It has you in its grip once more. Each moment of peace then becomes the lull before the storm. Even as you laugh you are aware that it is lurking behind you and this laughter will only make sure you fall from greater heights into deepest of pits.


I have been suffering from severe anxiety since past one year or so. It is the worst thing to have happened to me and I am trying to get out of it. Most people around me, actually everyone around me, haven't felt it and so I am unable to talk to them about it. It is difficult to share something that you know the listener would never be able to empathize with, no matter how hard they try. They try nevertheless, to give logical solutions to a seemingly illogical medical issue, which only adds to your delusions.

I am going to write more about it here. I am going to help myself get better. This is also just another effort at that. My most non-cryptic post ever.

Friday, March 7, 2014


Where to take this fear that lives with me, lives in me night and day. It is difficult each step, each breath, each cry for help, each tear that is tearing me from the inside. I mourn. But what? Who? Is it not demeaning to even mourn? Demeaning to the very soul and thus lies the carcass on the guillotine of my heart, decapitated, decapacitated, putrefying. It reeks of the self eating. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


I am sitting at home with a lot of work to do. Work that I am not actually doing right now. I wish I could apparate myself to the library at my law school. I want to be at a library. I want to be surrounded with books, I want to be able to have the right books around me and I want to study. I want to then take a break for chai and then be back and read up some. I wish I were enrolled in a course. I miss research and I think that is a step ahead. The other day I checked at the ILI that for 25 rupees I can access their library. Going to happen soon.

I know I am blabbering but my laptop is finally working and I want to never stop typing. Hence the nonstop action.

By the way, the other day I realized that I may have been using a word - the metaphor 'anchor' - in this instance, in a limited sense. I have always seen it as a positive thing, something that stabilizes or calms one. I had forgotten that the same metaphor can be debilitating, a restraint, fastening one to things one wants to be free of.

Yeah, I want to be free.

PS: that previous post was very helpful to me. I happened to have written it around four years back when I was going through a major set back. It helped to think of pain as physical. I could take that then and I can take that now. I love myself for having written that (the few times I allow myself that).


It is the worst part of your life. Take it, accept it, live with it, drench your skin in it, let it permeate your body, let it reach the core of your sanity, your soul, your being..let it run through your nerves with the same ferocity as blood, let it crush your heart in a zillion pieces, let it rule you..don't run away and don't you try to evade. Like a marsh let it swallow you and like a marsh you swallow it. No good trying to find a way out. Give in. Stand still.

Give in for you know you won't ever be this sad again. Give in, for once you recover, the worst would have been over. Once it is over, you shall never be this way again. You prefer physical pain over this one? Then consider it physical. Consider it a whip ripping through your flesh. Consider it a bullet that hits your head and leaves you all bloody, consider it a boulder thrown at your face. But while you do that, consider it momentary, consider that it will go away, consider your mum will come and save you like it were promised in childhood. But first accept.

Never think of justice. For that you will never get. And why should that bother you so much? Everyone has reasons..and reasons are aplenty. Rub it off your memory and your soul. Die if you have to and then re-emerge. Love shall save you and love you have. That's the cleanser, the tonic, the nourishment. The worst shall be over soon, my darling. Till then hold me tight and you shall find me here when you open your eyes and realise the pain is gone. I'll be there. I am there.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


I sit. Lost and composed at the same time. Both my feet are ice-cold and my finger-tips jitter slightly as I tap the keys. It is not the first time either.

I sit as words beautiful and not, walk in and out of my mind. I wanted to write, but I am holding myself too tight. I find myself too cautious, too protective to be able to write. I lack the sweet abandon.

Time has never stood so still as it stands now. Separated from me. Perhaps in wait; for me to take notice. One glance and I feign how cheeky I can be, even as my heart races, afraid I will miss the bus.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Tippy, I am just 26!

I have just returned from the doctor's. My throat is aching pretty bad and I am a little sleepy because of the medicines I have just taken. I should not have taken all those doses by myself. Noted.

I had taken a little nap just now when I woke up to realise there was not that usual noise about that Tippy keeps making. Surprised, I sat up and looked around. No Tippy. I strained my ears to hear him breath or make a move. No Tippy still. I have looked under the bed and have been to all the rooms in my mind. There is no one there. No shadows. No tigers. No Tippy. Really?!?!

Am I really by myself? Has he left and left for good or is it my mind playing games?! Whatever it is, even if he is to return to his usual place in my head, I am not complaining. I am feeling better already. I am actually smiling. So was it THIS that was missing!? Unbelievable.

How old am I? 26. 
How old? 26. 
How old again??? 26! 
And how old is that?! 
Twenty fuckin six!

That's just TWENTY SIX, Tippy boy!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Everywhere I go, everything I do, I look over my shoulder and can feel your hovering presence. As if having you follow me around was not enough, soon you entered my dreams, leaving me cold and helpless. And since then and it has been quite a while now, you would agree, there is no getting rid of you.

I don't know why you choose to hang around, I have tried for you to lose your way. I have put on loud music so you won't hear me, I often changed my route to work, so you wouldn't follow, I dressed up different so you wouldn't notice me but everything failed. I even stopped writing so you would have no access to me. I stopped smiling in pictures, I stopped eating, I stopped walking. I avoided being alone. I locked me up in my room yet I knew you were lurking near my door, your nose twitching for a waft of a smell that might be mine.

Crazy as it may sound, I have no option but to meet you now and perhaps know you better. I have been so busy avoiding you that I never even took a good look at you. Enough of chasing and dodging - I want to now sit with you over a cup of coffee, no foam. Just you and me and all that we have to say to one another or have already said without really acknowledging the other's presence. There must be so much we want to talk about.

So there it is now. I will give you a name my stalker, and you may call me whatever you fancy. I will write to you. I will write about you. Here, I have already come up with a name. I will call you Tippy, suits you about just right. 

to myself - an old post.

Too much thinking has been happening and much less doing, lesser writing. A thought would give way for two weeks, only to be replaced by another despondent thought. This can't go on.

I need to feel free to write, to err. I must keep working, keep going on..perhaps all this is in the discovery of the self, if nothing more. I observe too much (or so I feel) I see too much and a conflict of thought is always in wait. It never bothered me before, but now it cripples me and weighs on me instead of setting me free. Even if one were to know one is a devil inside, the 'knowledge' of it must be liberating, no? May be not. All knowledge is not good. Or it could be that I am not ready to face myself yet. I might never be. And that is also perfectly fine, I want to tell myself. These chinks of self-doubt debilitate me. 

At times like these I think of the old self. Where so much commotion was there and because everything was happening for the first time I had the heart and the courage to face all of it. I knew nothing better than that. There was no real fear of falling or failing. I wasn't even thinking on those terms. I was earnest, yes and in that earnestness I would grill myself too. But I was not so conscious in expression. I was free from myself, my own bitter censure.

And so here I am. Making this effort to write. To talk to myself once again. To make me speak to me. To make a fool of me, if need be.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

My infinite playlist

I am supremely emotional right now. For a change it is in a good way. I am not going to tell you what did it. But i am going to do that thing I once did on this blog. Tell you some things about me. In the present, from the past, may be to be. Will have one go at it, no sequencing, no thinking.

1. I have always wanted to be a father to a small bring her up like a father. Love her like a father would or should. (And because that can't happen I would be happy being a witness to this). I have wanted to be a mother too.

1.1 I have a mortal fear of tigers. I love them and adore them. But I have an irrational fear that a tiger might just walk in the door in any room I am in and attack me.

2. I took off bike riding with a complete stranger in Goa. He happened to be a young doctor from Kerala. I gave him a real bad time because of all the questioning I subjected him to. We were both stuck in Goa for an extra day so we hired a scooty and he taught me how to ride it. I accidentally accelerated the bike and before he could sit behind me, the bike and I took off and had a fall.

3. The same day just before I was to take my bus, I injured my toenail which as good as came off with all the blood and grime. And who rose to the occasion? The doctor.

4. I was recently driving and checking my blog when my car grazed past an auto. I was the one completely at fault - but just to calm the autowallah down I insisted it was not my fault but his. The fact that I had also had some beer and a little Brandy (for my sore throat) was soon forgotten.

5. I wore a saree in Philippines. My mom had made the pletes, pressed it all nicely and pinned it for me to wear. All I had to do was to ask someone to make sense of the ready-to-drape saree. It came out perfectly. 

6. I am presently aching, physically aching for a dog. Completely different note - a friend and I tried fishing recently. Of course, no luck. But afterwards did manage to bring a semi-dead fish back to life.

7. Got a dreamcatcher from Manila. Have started believing in astrology in a creepy creepy way.

8. Every morning I try to meditate and fail at it. Sometimes I fail because I fall asleep while at it. 

9. A week back spent an entire day at KL airport alone and sent pictures of signboards to my sisters.

10. Even though I am technically home since November, I continue to live from a suitcase.

11. I have picked up many books in the past month - and not finished a single one. I can't seem to.

12. I have a throat so sore right now that I haven't been able to utter a word in three days. All I can do is whisper or whimper. 

13. I really didn't think I would reach till 13 on this list. This is the most I have been able to write in months and months!

I love you, here!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year

Happy New Year! I am posting here a pic I took recently and loved. I can go on looking at it for hours.