Tuesday, July 17, 2018


in and out of dingy rooms
in dirty old hotel buildings
where the bathtubs have slimy grime in their cracks
and the sinks are leaking
where the floor sticks to your feet,
she weaves her broken body,
gives it to one and all,
trying to find what people mean by love,
every mouth that she tastes,
is bitter
and every hand that touches her flesh,
is rough
still, she looks for it,
that elusive thing called love,
lyjng on the creaky bed,
she stares at the fan whirring noisily,
beyond some stranger's shoulders,
beyond the frantic pounding of men's bodies inside her,
with her hair fanned out below her,
sometimes pulled,
but never admired,
'do you love me?' she asks the betel chewing man who has started asking for her by name,
the fourth time this month,
he laughs in her face, 'i m giving my love to you, this is love' he breathes into her mouth,
grunts as he releases his stickiness into her,
'this is love, my love' he laughs as he rolls away making for the door
while she rearranges her clothes,
for the next in line
'i am lovable then?'
she asks, but he is already out of the room,
and she waits for the next knock,
the coded tapping,
'someone will find me worthy of love,
just you wait and see'
she mock-scolds the fan, frowning,
and the day passes into night
and the night into day


she wove fantasies around him
spent nights longing for him
lasted for days on nothing but thoughts of him

when they met - she wanted to
delight in him
savor him
experience with him
talk to him

he fucked her and left

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

make believe

you could have been, you would have been,
but in the end you didn't
she hopes you carry a piece of her with you
she hopes you will remember her in times
when you have no one else to think of
how she trembled in your arms and
you gathered her up into a bundle until she was calmed
how she blushed hot inside every time you looked into her eyes
how she looked away for fear the world would hear her thudding heart when you were near
how she moved away quick for fear she would be unable to control herself from flinging into your arms everytime you passed her
but most of all she hopes you will remember how she smiled when you told her things
that you told a hundred others before her, and will tell to a hundred others after her,
how she smiled when she believed all that you told her
give her this, this hope,
this little cheap trinket of hope
that she will be a part of you
even if she isnt
it took her ages to find all the pieces of her heart that broke when you
like all those before you,
stomped on it with iron boots
it took her painstaking hours to fill it's cracks with cheap glue that would melt the moment someone like you came in, blazing like the sun and offering burning passion
so when she looks back at you and smiles
know that it takes her much effort to not let those tears brimming in her eyes, fall
at the sight of you
give her this,
this little trinket of hope.

seduce me like this

talk to me about nothing
talk to me about everything
tell me things
and I will savor them
tell me what you think of when you can't sleep at nights
tell me why you twiddle your thumb when you can't decide what to watch on TV
tell me about the things that make you happy
and the things that make you scream
let us crawl into each others' minds and get lost
talk to me over hazy rings of smoke
over the steam rising up from cheap hot tea sold in dirty steel tumblers on roadside kiosks
talk to me of the earthworms you squished as a child
talk to me over overflowing beer mugs and I will swing my old monk rum straight bottoms up
talk to me until my ears fall off
and my brain is full of you
and my mouth is full of your words
talk to me till I fall in love with you

not enough

i wrote for you
but my words were not enough
i sang for you
but my songs were not sweet enough
i tried to make you laugh
but my wit was not humorous enough
i have you all the attention in the world
but it was not enough
i then cried for you
but my tears were not enough
all I wanted were your talks
but for you even that was too much to give
in the end i found you to be too little
and you found me to be too much
so here we are
me, happier
you, more miserable
and i now find that satisfyingly enough

Monday, July 09, 2018

claim my bones

put your mouth to my ear
tell me things about you
seep into my bones
with your liquid thoughts
and let them freeze
near my cold heart
and when my heart begins to thaw
with the warmth of your embrace
i will put them this way and that,
my bones and your words
my bones and your thoughts,
crack some, join some, remove some
until you can roost in them 

Let me be

Let me be
If you find me bursting out into tears
because a puppy yelped in the middle of the night, let me be
If you see me buy a plate of chaat
from a gross looking street-side vendor
just because I want to, let me be
If you see me thinking I am worthless and
sinking into bed all day
and remaining there, let me be
If you witness me breaking into a dance
because I heard my fav song of the moment
from a passing taxi, let me be
If you see me jumping in excitement
because the courier guy is
bringing a new pair of socks for me, let me be
If you see me hugging the beggar woman on the street
because she has an infant tied around her swollen belly, let me be
If you heard me say a dying street dog deserves dignity
and see me sitting up all night
with its head cradled in my lap, let me be
If you heard me refusing to enter a temple
to perform ablutions where your god resides while outside
poor children eat mud, let me be
If you see me crying
because I think crying solves all problems, let me be
If you see me spending five thousand bucks on old books
instead of a Zara dress, let me be
If you hear me snub well heeled people
but make best friends with the maids and housekeeping staff, let me be
If you see me breaking twenty eggs
because I still can't figure out how to
get the stupid egg white for my face mask, let me be.
If you feel I am neither here nor there
neither in your world nor in mine
neither as yours nor as mine
let me be.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018


remember those three days
you went blind
crying your heart out
thinking that
it was the end of the world
him leaving you
the thought of him not coming back ever
the three nights that you were stuck to your tear-stained pillow and holding in your sobs
the big wrecking ones that
made your stomach hurt
the breathlessness that
made you gasp and curl up
the swollen face
the sullen eyes
but look at you now
three weeks later
beautiful and laughing and dancing like no one is watching you
bursting into songs
look at what happens to you
when you get over it,
move on and
leave it behind like a bitter piece of cucumber you bit into,
in a salad;
and now you are in love again
thinking of doing the same things you did with the last one
the things that led you to those three broken days
but guess what, you will overcome them too
in fact you will overcome another three thousand broken days and nights
and another three million heartbreaks
and another three trillion men who will treat you like shit
but you will never give up believing in love
even though society's idea of love is so very different from what is in your mind
but you will seek and seek and find it one day
when you finally realise that
no one can give you the love you want
except yourself
and no can love you in the way you want to be loved
except you
so until you realise that you are your own lover and your own true love
go on
and seek love
in everyone
and everything

What use is all this?

Who cares about your diamonds
or your expensive cars
Show me your bookshelf
and tell me which book you read non-stop all night
Who cares if you travelled to a new place in first class,
what is the point if you went there and ate what you eat at home
Tell me did you mingle with the localites and learn about their culture
What is the point if you didn't pick up any words from their language or didn't try to learn the history of their existence
Who cares whether your kanjeevaram saree has pure gold threads in it
when your maid uses dirty rags during her period to save money
Who cares about the interiors of your house when you don't let your children draw on the walls and they are left alone all day in your pursuit of more wealth.

Where will you take all this to when you die?

Monday, July 02, 2018

death of a marriage

under the so called visual symbolism of a wife
under the plastered smile
under the fearful coyness
under the embroidered clothes
under the wrathful eyes of a husband
behind the forced coupling at nights
behind the emotional neglect
are hidden the scars of a marriage.
how can you blame her for choosing death
when you refused to let her live?

Friday, June 29, 2018


I gave you my words
but they were left unread, unacknowledged
were I born centuries ago
I would have dedicated sonnets and poems to you
I gave you my heart which
after you finished breaking it,
lies in pieces at my feet
but it is glue-able, super-glue-able
and I will glue it and reglue it every time I hand it to random people for the rest of my life
but what do I do with these words?
I have written them and put them out for the world to see
and now everyone knows I am in love with you,
no, wait,
and now everyone knows I was in love with you
for even if I were to erase them and throw them into the air,
they would still smell of the remnants of our love
that never was
I sit here near the shredder with all the letters I wrote to you
on those sleepless nights and restless afternoons and aching mornings
not long ago

but is there a shredder for memories
that I could use to rid my mind of you, of us?

Thursday, June 28, 2018

some happiness pls

yesterday the vegetable vendor's five year old daughter
painted my nails yellow,
with some cheap local nail polish.
at first i wanted to laugh saying it looks like, to borrow my son's words, potty
then i looked at her scrunched up little face and pouting mouth and how involved she was in it
'your hands are so pretty' she said
while the truth is they are ugly
i have old women's hands I think,
no i don't have old women's hands,
but i think i do,
it comes from my mother's dad's side of the family
and i always ask her peevishly 'why didn't you give me the milk-cream and hazel eyes and light brown hair genes from my father's side'
instead of mountain feet and bony hands
as if the sperm would have a lengthy discussion with the egg
and finalise on what all genes to put in
and sign papers after
and applaud at the successful design.
but the little girl thinks my hands are pretty and i believed her all evening
until the sun came out today and I saw them in the light next to my friend's hands.
'i like you', the vegetable vendor's daughter says, 'you are very kind and the clothes you gave my brother, they are nice, he refuses to take them off'
'i will buy a frock for you, on your birthday' I offer
'what will I do with a frock', she asks, eyes round and sad
'what if you buy me one eclairs toffee everyday for the rest of my life?'
'but why?, don't you want to twirl in a new frock and look pretty and be happy?' i ask, amused at her naivety and innocent bartering of a pricey frock for cheap toffees
'no, you see if you give me a frock i will be happy for only one day, and my happiness will run out the next day, but if you give me a toffee everyday,  i will be happy everyday, only a little  happy, but a little happy everyday'

i wonder who teaches children about sadness and happiness,
and injects so much sense into them
that they have to choose between
two measures of happiness - 'so-much-happiness,

i wonder who told her that happiness is doled out in quota, and that it runs out.

Come home.

for a long time
i waited
assuring myself
you would come home
that no matter where you went
and for how long
you would come home
to me.
so I waited while everyone said
what is gone is gone
and I told them instead
to shush and keep quiet.
so I kept the food warm
and the fire lit
and I patted down the feathers of our sparse bed
every night.
and I went and stood at our favourite spot
down there under the trees
where we counted the stars and fell asleep
inside each others' bodies.
what is gone is gone, they said
but I shushed them, hush,
so I waited
while you were gone.
i remember how you caressed my chin and said my body was your home and how could you ever not want to come home?
so here I am,
your home,
now ruined and empty.