Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Milkweed Seed

There is only so much cold wind one can endure. As I stood up from my table to close the windows across the other side of it, a milkweed seed with lovely little 'feathers' made its way hurriedly into my room. If it were a person, I am quite sure it would have been panting- huffing and puffing. 

But it floated gracefully, inspected for a nice spot on my table and lovingly descended on to it. As it decided to rest there for a while, I closed my windows; "how far it must have traveled, let it be here for a while". After staring at the lovely white carrier of the tiny seed, I could not hold myself any longer and touched it gently. I feared the white carrier might break- although the carrier had to be shed by the seed but I did not want to be the one to do it, because then it would stay with me forever; and where would I keep it? Would I be able to give it everything it would need? Probably not. But the urge to touch the beauty of the untouched milkweed miracle overtook every other feeling that I had. I slowly hurled up a the small wisp of its white hair and mobilised it, out to the window. I opened the window and pushed some air in the direction of the wind. Before I could heave that sigh of relief, it came back, floating and dancing. Its elegance and loyalty touched me. 

I tried sending it back again, to where it could belong, to a better place to shed its white carrier and settle down. It was back again and this time it did not stop at the table. This time it its flight was decisive and rapid. It landed straight onto my lap and settled in the fold of my skirt. I knew for sure this time that it wanted to be there. So I stood up again, closed the windows, gazed at the little beauty and removed its white hair-like carriage. The seed almost smiled at me as I did that. The detached tufts flew away, bidding goodbye and a beautiful future to their little friend.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

कुछ वक़्त मिलेगा?

आदत थी मुझको, सौ दोस्त अज़ीज़ जो थे मेरे,
कहीं अकेले जाने का तो सवाल ही नहीं था.

आज अकेले , अपने शहर से इतनी दूर,
इस coffee-shop में बैठी हूँ,
फोन की contact list में जाने पहचाने नाम ढूँढ रही हूँ.

बड़ी शर्म आ रही है, कैसे पूछूँ? कैसे वक़्त माँगूँ किसी का?
कोई पूछे तो किसी अजनबी की सोहबत को दोस्ती बताती हूँ.


आज रुक नहीं रही मन में कुछ बातें हैं जो,
भाग रही हैं, इधर से उधर, मुह तक आती हुई,
कि हर बार उम्मीद करती हैं की किसी तरह
आज निकल ही जायें.

मैं वापस भेज देती हूँ उन्हें,
कि जहाँ से आई हैं वहीं रहें,
पता नहीं बाहर आ जायें तो क्या हो जाए,
न तुम फिर आओ, न तुम्हारी ख़बर ही आए.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

No Time for Words

After the 'diary', it's now 'blogging' which will die a slow death. Every one of us has a way of expressing (or not) how we feel about things in our lives. For some it's singing, for some it's dancing and for some it's the love of writing. Writing makes people feel like their opinion matters. It gives them the satisfaction that they are being heard, whether or not it is true.

Posts longer than two paragraphs start to bore us and we avoid reading anything beyond that limit. Owing to micro-blogging sites like Twitter, our mind is now adapted to all sorts of information reception in just one way- 140 characters or less! In a scenario like that, what future does this generation hold for blogging? Another unfortunate thing which Twitter has done, at least to me, is making my thought process intermittent. My thoughts are no longer penned down by me because after a sentence or two, I start to lose interest in the post or the flow is broken by some other thought which also demands to be written down immediately. The patience which writing requires is vanishing, just like it is disappearing from any other aspect of our lives. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

How I Lost Her.

I hesitate to kiss her. I am pretty sure she feels the same way for me but I still hold myself back. Will she like it? Will she make fun of me for having feelings for her? Maybe she will never speak to me again and I might lose my best friend forever, my only friend perhaps. You see, neither do I talk to a lot of people nor am I appropriately expressive. So I approach with caution, breaking down the barriers of morality in my head, surpassing my urge to suppress my passion.

I finally place my lips on hers, not caring if we'll ever be together, in a grossly selfish act, and she, unsuspecting and unprepared for, shouts, “what is wrong with you, woman?”…

Monday, June 3, 2013


That Day:

On one end of our bed, I am sitting and laughing uncontrollably and on the other end is my elder sister, terrified and confused. My sister has been trying to take me away to a separate room since a few hours now. She is determined to make me understand something. She often tells me that I should enjoy these few years before I start bleeding. From the looks of her face it seems she doesn’t expect me to understand. But I understand fully. I have bled before too- when I fell down while playing in the field or when I accidentally cut my hand while attempting to imitate my mother in the kitchen. How can she possibly ignore all those glorious wounds? I have complained to my mother a few times and so today my sister has taken up the task of explaining the whole bleeding process to me. Ignorant naïve fool, hah! Let me hear what she has to say.


On one end of our bed, I am sitting, terrified and confused and on the other end sits my elder sister, giving me a comforting and reassuring smile. “You are a woman now”, she says, as I begin to recall and realise all her words I earlier used to ignore. So I am a woman now. Hmm.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


I would have loved to listen to you for hours, the sound of your perfect laughter, the stories of your past and the women who broke your heart but tonight I have a task to fulfill. I have to mend a broken heart.

Not so long ago I had promised somebody that he could count on me whenever skies seem to close in on him, whenever it rained black or whenever he felt unloved. He had laughed it off, convinced that such a day would never come. Tonight was different as I got a call from him. He spoke in a hasty tone, in dire need of breath and attention. He asked if I could visit him tonight. It was a question but only technically so. Of course I told him I had to see you first as we have been postponing our quality time due to heavy work schedule. He paid scant attention to the details and just asked me to come as soon as possible. So here I am, at the door of our house, asking for your permission if I could go. Again, like his, this is also a question but only technically so. I have only one thing to ask of you, please don’t try to find my whereabouts if I don’t return. You have been a good man and I have been a good wife to you. I know I will not get your forgiveness, irrespective of whether I come back or not. Had you known this man years ago and had you seen me with him, you would have understood. I have to go.

Before I go, I just want to let you know that I would have loved to listen to you for hours, the sound of your perfect laughter, the stories of your past and the women who broke your heart but tonight I have a task to fulfill. I have to mend a broken heart. My own.

Of Dreams and Nightmares.

There lives in each of us a golden dream,
Day in day out we carve it, weave it,
Nurture it; whilst it plots to get further away.

It gets hazy, it gets dark, assuming that it’s you,
I begin to draw us in the air, with my finger.

Dreams are designed that way, like a movie,
We know who is who, watching
From the city of angels, you’ll know.

You were no friend, you’d be no friend,
But you visit me when I’m deep asleep,
Whispering in my nightmare, the deadly secret-
‘Bold treason is greater than wavering loyalty’.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

When Life Scribbles Love.

There weren’t too many people on that railway station, given how small it was and how infrequently trains stopped there. She was already dreading the excess baggage which she’d got from home. Eatables, spare grocery, woollens for the far-fetched winters, fragile gift items as gifts to future friends she’d make and the list went on and on. She was already regretting being called the ‘responsible’ and the ‘organised’ one in her family. Twenty-two years old Meera was struggling to keep her stuff from falling when she noticed, form the corner of her eye, a kind face smiling at her. 

“Do you want me to help you?” a young man offered help. The home-inculcated alarm alerted her instantly- “don’t talk to strangers and refuse all offers for ‘help’! You know what they will eventually lead to, Beta!”. “No”, Meera said, “thank you though”. She acted against her wishes, she realised she did want his help, not because she couldn’t manage her stuff but because she impulsively imagined his company to be a relief from the long tiresome journey she’d had. Her thoughts were interrupted by a chuckle. It was the same man again- “Alright then! Tough-independent-woman and all that jazz? Do take care though” and he started to walk away. 

He reminded her of a guy she used to like years ago, probably she still did. He had the same laughter. Would it be too much if she told that stranger just how familiar he seemed? She decided to concentrate on getting to her new institute, the famous Florence Institute of Arts, where she had secured a full scholarship and was going to pursue her Masters in cultural-studies. How proud she was of herself! She never really got the time to congratulate her own self since the university had declared the results. It was her dream institute, situated in a sleepy hill station Maleguri. She started moving towards the exit. Little did she know her whole life was about to change in those two years. Upside down. Irreversibly, unknowingly, unintentionally and irreparably.

Shyam, 35 years old, a newly appointed cultural-studies lecturer at the Florence Institute of Arts was a jovial young man who, after completing his doctoral research at the University of Birkbeck in London, had consciously chosen to spend his next few years in the sleepy town of Maleguri. His interest in the cultural studies was a subject of amusement for men around him in India. Being an Indian man, he was expected to become an engineer, or maybe a lawyer, doctor, chartered accountant or some other ‘masculine’ professional. And what does culture have to do with being ‘manly’?- they used to say. Upon having received world-class education and exposure to philosophy and arts, he knew that if he wanted to settle in India, which he fully intended to, he could not live in a conventional native surrounding. 

He had heard about the Florence Institute of Arts before and it seemed like the perfectly customised choice for him. He had been divorced once from a French wife and today she met this young lady who reminded him exactly of her. She was clumsy too. Fidgety much, but beautiful. He usually would have offered to help her a second time had she not resembled his ex-wife so starkly. Laughing to himself, he walked out of the railway station but his thoughts were still stuck on the young female struggling to safeguard her luggage. He guessed she would have refused the second offer of help too. Little did he know that she wouldn’t have! His life too, just like Meera’s, was about to change soon. Very soon.