Monday, January 30, 2006


She likes melancholy. She likes sadness in romantic songs. For there are so many ways to describe sadness and yet so few to capture happiness with originality. Songs of joy are rarely new and rarely capture the moment. For happiness is best when it is one's own to feel personally.

She likes sadness in romantic songs. Of those loved and lost. Of those that drifted away. Of those who are lost forever to what is called Death.

She likes sadness in songs when it isn't personal. When certain lines capture you. When the song is yours in parts but never in whole, for it isn't your story that is being sung.

She likes sadness in songs that speak of that which she can't relate to in entirety.
Because there is a certain comfort in liking the sadness which isn't yours.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


She looked away from her books, as she noticed a figure moving by her window. She pulled the curtains apart to see an old man walking painfully slowly with a baby's pram.

Everyday at 4pm.

She swallowed with difficulty as she watched him yet again on his afternoon walk, pushing the same pram. The chilly Canadian weather didn't seem to bother him as much. But his legs seemed to.

She noticed his thick woollen hat and remembered her own Baba's Nehru style winter hat. She felt the same pangs of..... She didn't know of what. Longing, p'haps? For that which she had missed.

She wondered why it had never been her. She remembered her grandmother, She who had passed away many seasons ago. She, whom she willed herself to forget. She, whom she thought she had pushed away from herself in her thoughts. And She, whose memories were so simply invoked at the sight of an aged, soft, kind-faced Indian grandmother in saree, bringing many tears to her eyes and the same grief that she thought she had willed herself to forget.

She wondered if perhaps, she had been white, that they had not lived many seas apart, that if they hadn't been who they were, perhaps then she might have had the same fortunes.What if she hadn't just been loved, but had seen it too?

Perhaps she too might have been the baby in the pram, with her grandparents on a walk on chilly Canadian sidewalks.

Everyday at 4pm.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Mehendi memories- Part 3

Acknowledgements: A big thank you goes out to Z for her helpful critique for part 3 which tied in a few missing points and made me edit my work on Mute for the first time!

Part 1
Part 2
What is Mehendi [Here you are Keshi :)]

I stop looking at my mehendi and come out of my childhood memories. This mehendi which hides you in their colours. This mehendi that started our friendship very many years ago. That introduced a toothy 8 year old dashing boy to a 7 year old wise ass that I was.

This bridal mehendi that adorns my arms.

As the bride and groom are asked to take the phere* around the fire, I stand up. I walk slowly like a shy bride but my head is bowed for it is whirling with memories.

"I wrote to you two summers ago", I say in my thoughts. "Do you remember?" ............

Sometimes I wish I didn't feel the way I did about you. That I could just give my heart to someone else.

Someone closer. Someone who isn't at the border. Someone who didn't answer the call to his patriotism.

Could you not be like Mohan Chacha and serve our country with literacy programs or some women upliftment reforms? Or by improving our water resources or their rural availability?

I wish I could have an affair with someone else while you're away. I tried to but I couldn't stop searching for you in every man. Atleast with an affair I wouldn't miss you.

Or look for you in the fields, the terrace, the chowk, the bazaar.

I wouldn't have to stop eating mithai or halwa or ras malai because everytime I try to I'd remember how much you loved sweets and how you're not with us to share them.
How can I have them when I know you can't and you are so fond of them?

I am not faithful because I want to.

I do not wait for you because I want to.

I am faithful and waiting because that is the only way I can now be. Because I am bound by the way I feel for you.

Why must you work with such dedication? Why can you not take leave and come visit us? Mummy says I must write more comforting thoughts to you but I am not at peace so I have nothing comforting to share with you.

Do you not miss us?

Do you remember how we used to play in my aangan where we first met over my mama's wedding festivities? I like to sit there because I feel us there.

I feel that the four corners of the aangan have bound our childhood in them, p'haps saving them for me to live on while you're away.

Do hurry back for we all miss you so much. Even I do.

Me ---

.........The harvest was bad and Mummy had been pale. Very Sick. But we didn't know that. Not then.

I wrote to you two summers ago. Do you remember?


*phere = Parikrama or Pradakshina or Mangal Fera- The couple circles the sacred fire seven times. This aspect of the ceremony legalizes the marriage according to the Hindu Marriage Act as well custom.Further here

Update: Mehendi Memories Part 4

Monday, January 16, 2006

This time

Haven't you ever wished time would take a hint. Freeze when you thought, " Nobody move. This is perfect".

Wished that you could stay longer in a moment.Wished that the earth would stop rotating. The planets would stop revolving.

For us to be suspended in this moment. Just a simple pause.

Wished for a comma in your life. Because commas can make the full stops seem farther away than they are. Because commas in your life can let you forget that your end, someday, is eminent.

Wished you could freeze these people that come and go in your life. Wished they would remain as young, as content. As far away from their own ends.

Wished that full stops didn't exist. Because they conclude stories. Stories that you don't want to end like bedtime tales when you were young. You'd rather keep hearing them, keep playing them than be put to sleep. Forever.

Because full stops mean goodbyes. Saying farewell to your stage, other characters in this play of yours whom you've grown with. Without whom the story just wouldn't be yours.

Don't you wish this time was more friendly.

Wished that you could chain it. Fat chains that bind it in place, holding it tightly.
To lock it like that and throw the key far away. Into space, far enough to be lost in some corner of the expanding universe.

Never to be found again, never to be unlocked again.

To let this moment, just be.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Have you ever seen a picture, a beautiful one and thought that you really can't bear to see it?

Because for all it's beauty there may be something in it that is extra. Or missing.

A picture that may have brought smiles once upon a time not too long ago. But nostalgia reminds you of what was in the picture.

The home, the people, the family in it, the plants that made the garden, the pool that became a childhood weekend habit.

Each bit of that memory so precious- of what was. And just one missing element. One missing tree.

One missing person.

Is all it takes to make the beautiful picture land in the bottom-most drawer of the corner-most chest of drawers.

To collect dust over what once was- to forget, for it is no more.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


We'd laughed over your exaggerated description of them.

I liked how carefree you sounded. Like you once did - when there hadn't been a collapse, a weak heart and deceit.When you were careless, easygoing, laidback and so boyish.

A smooth talker when you wanted to be - or was it only around me? Yeah that's what I like to think in my world.

My silent world where I do the talking. I write the scripts for our dialogues. For our conversations. Where I put the words in your mouth.

I feel my wings once again and I see myself fly into the wind outside my window. I'm no longer me. I'm back in my silent world waiting for you to speak what I tell you to, to do what I want you to.

But you don't hear what I say for my words are clear and my desires are in a mute.

There's a sting in the air,
Ice on the sidewalks

Many inches of snow
Black ice on the roads

Yet as i sit beside my window
There is a lightness I feel

For it is
Spring in my heart.