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.