Sunday, December 2, 2007

Dont Walk Away

It's just about people liking each other but not saying until one has to leave.

She looks at him. Today he leaves, to do new things. Today he leaves.

Without her. She has so much to tell him, but she doesn’t know how. She wants to sit down next to him, and confess exactly how she feels. She can't. He's leaving, and all she can do is sit back and watch him leave, not being able to say anything, because she's just too shy. Too worried about what he'd think. She never used to worry about what people think. Until him. She looks at him again, and smiles.

He looks at her. Over the time he's known her, he's become very attached to her. He can't believe today has come. The day he has to leave. He doesn't want to leave her. He wants to put his arm around her, and kiss her softly. He wants to make her smile when the world makes her feel down. He was instantly drawn to her and didn't know what to say. He wants to tell her everything, but now it's probably too late. He returns her look, and smiles.

They look at each other again. A loudspeaker blares. It snaps them back to reality. People go by in a whirlwind of luggage. But they are quiet. Awkwardly quiet.

He looks down at his bag, trying to decide if he should tell her how he feels or not. Bending down, to zip up a partly unzipped pocket, he decides not to. 'What difference does it make anyways?' He thought. 'I won't be back for a year, and she probably has her own plans for the future.' He sighs, and stands up. He doesn’t know where things are headed, where they'll end up, but he has to have her. He loves her.

She watches him bend down, and sees the way he gently zips up pocket. She's going to miss him so much. Thoughts start running through her head. 'What if he doesn’t come back?' a fearful voice in her head asks. Another voice, this time jealousy, asks, 'What if he finds a girl and falls for her, before I get to tell him?' She shakes her head. She has to tell him. She loves him.

They look at each other, and smile. She takes a breath, and opens her mouth to talk. She stops, and thinks...,'Do I really have a chance?' He looks at her, wondering what she was about to say. She shakes her head, and Looks down. 'It's nothing. Just my imagination playing tricks on me again.' He thinks. They make eye contact for three seconds then they blush and look away. "Uh! There's something I have to tell you...” He says. "...I don't know how you feel... or what you're going to think of me after I say this..." The loudspeaker comes to life again. "Flight IC764 to New Delhi, now boarding", it says. "Passengers are requested to go to Gate no 4"

He sighs. Just when he was going to tell her everything. The way she looked at him, was it just a look, or more? It felt as if she could see his very soul. She looks at him, and says, "What were you going to say?" "Never mind... err. Never mind.” was his reply. He looks at her and smiles. She looks at her feet, shyly. "Alright then...I got to be going...Cheerio! ", He says. She looks up, and says, "Okay...take care of yourself. Don't be getting into any trouble up there okay?" He nods, and starts to walk away. She looks down again, and then makes a decision. "Hey, wait!” she calls. He turns around. She looks up, and goes over to him. She looks into his dark brown eyes, and smiles. In a soft voice, almost like a whisper, she says, "I don't know what you were going to say, but I'm going to miss you." She kisses him softly on the lips. Before he could say anything, she was gone.

Friday, November 2, 2007


I see them everywhere in shards...who picks up the pieces once they're broken?

Have you ever heard the story of the little girl and the old lady?

Briefly, one evening walking home, along the river, the little girl meets the old lady sitting alone. The girl goes and sits with her for a while. The girl compares the shape of her heart to that of the old lady. The old lady’s heart is scarred and tattered; the old lady tells the little girl that it’s so because of the love and experiences she had gone through in her life. In the end, the little girl tore a piece of her own heart and stuffed the hole produced with a piece of the old lady’s heart. Wonderful story, But the old lady forgot to tell the little girl about the pain and the suffering that came together…

…He walks slowly along the winding cliff road and through the torrential rain. The only thing separating him from the drop down to the cliff is the flimsy metal erected along the edge. His iPod was playing songs about the heart, making him feel even more painful. The phrase “like a knife stabbing” couldn’t be more accurate in describing it. Clutching his chest, he looks down at the place where his hand gripped, only to see a spot of red slowly growing bigger and bigger on his white shirt. It didn’t take long before a hole forms in the centre of his chest. Out drops his heart, except it isn’t the bloody pumping flesh and blood variety. This heart was made of glass and it’s cracked; split into several pieces. Within each piece, a reflection of different person can be seen, but he can’t make out who is who. All he could do instead is cry as he sees each of them being reflected in the glass. Slowly, he tilts his hand and lets the glass heart slip, as tears stream down his cheeks…

…the car didn’t see the lone figure standing in front of it. The roaring of the engine could be heard together with what seemed like a wail of despair. The flimsy metal flings out as he goes airborne…

…the glass of water slips from her hand, shattering into numerous pieces on the ground. Feelings of guilt, sadness, and loss sweep over her. A single tear drop forms at the corner of her eye. Wiping the tear away and shrugging the momentary feelings, she crawls back to the bed. She will wake up early the next day, sweep the broken glass and throw it into the dustbin. It is, after all, just glass.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Personal Ad

Gender: Male
Age: 22
Ethnicity: Other
Religion: No comments.

I enjoy long walks in any weather, with company or without. Beaches will do. I can swim, but I don't swim well. I am an expert drowner too, though.

I am physically active in intervals: I go through periods of my life where I can't be bothered to maintain my health, but I suffer from an inability to gain weight, so people think I'm always fit or anorexic.

I'm fairly interesting one on one, but place me in a group of strangers and I fade into the background.

I do enjoy dancing and going out, But I'd rather sit at home and have a conversation with you. I will, however, on occasion, be known to give in to the charms of a female.

I am simultaneously egotistical and unconfident, which means I'll be too stubborn to take your advice, but I'll depend on you to make me feel needed.

I hide my sensitivity and compassion by appearing to be abhorrently apathetic.

I lose interest easily unless I am continuously challenged.

I am quite hygienic for a male. Not obsessively compulsively so, mind you. Excuse me while I wash my hands.

Despite my impeccable hygiene and lack of religion, I often practice anti-tidying beliefs.

I can be moodier than moody females during PMS. On an unrelated note, I am also considering a career as a geek.

I am a terrible lover. Just horrendous. Okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration; the way I see it, if you expect the worst, any small romantic gesture I make will be that much more appreciated.

I don't have any strange fetishes, but I'll try anything twice. Contrary to what you may hear, I don't have a foot fetish; I simply appreciate the way some feet look.

I can be shallow, but for the most part I don't care what you look like as long as you're a real female and you know how to take care of yourself.

I don't believe in physical or emotional abuse, but I do appreciate a woman who can punch me squarely in the face and expect me to retaliate.

I don't try to be controlling, but I have been known to implement psychological control measures; if you ever find me resorting to such measures, I insist that you kick me swiftly in the testicles until I stop. I do, however, suggest that you cease all kicking at the first sign of blood.

I have a tendency to push people away, no matter how close I want to be to them. I may even disappear for weeks. I always come back, though.

I am not afraid of insects; I simply do not enjoy them in my personal space.

You must like bunnies *narrows eyes*

If you use words like "inexorable" or "errant" in proper context during conversation, I'll probably fall in love with you.

If interested, please contact me at +91-9971-152951

If severely uninterested to the point of murderous rage, please do not find my address and hurt me.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A Belgium Tale

I don’t exactly remember where I have heard this fairytale, I think it was my granny or perhaps it was my mother. I’d sit in awe as I listened intently, of how Belgium used to be long ago. But this is a story about true love and fantasy.

Centuries before now, every night at twelve, a girl and a boy would meet on the old cobblestone bridge overlooking the lake. She would sit on the stones, legs tucked under a long, crimson dress, hair tied back away from a pale face, showing off her defined features. Her tapering fingers would fiddle with a golden pendant she wore around her neck until her prince would arrive.

He’d stand on the cobbles beside her, blue eyes watching his ashen beauty stand to embrace him. Each night he would plant a gentle kiss on her left cheek, before walking hand in hand across the bridge. At the time when the town slept, the pair would run through the lanes and past the little houses. Just to feel the night breeze rush past them, and the moonlight caressing their skin so softly, it was perfect.

Eventually, they would slow down and walk calmly down one street lined with trees. It felt never-ending, that’s what they loved most about it. When it really did end, he would produce a shimmering apple from his robe and place it in her cupped hands, awaiting the favour. Hidden by the shadows of the church courtyard, he would kiss her more passionately, until their time to part once again loomed.

It was a beautiful romance. However, all things turn sour eventually. The young prince’s brother adored the beauty of the pale girl, and craved her touch for himself. One night he decided to poison the apple his brother took as a gift each night. If the girl could not be his, she could not belong to anyone.

The lovers felt the rain patter on their flesh that night. As their clothes and hair began to dampen, the prince handed his angel the apple, and watched her lips touch it’s smooth exterior in order to take a bite. To his shock, she began to choke. As her breathing grew more and more uneasy, her body fell to the cobbles, and the rosy apple was released from limp hands, only to roll into the lake they used to so fondly gaze into.

The prince sunk to his knees and gathered her up in his arms. Kissing her cold forehead, he cradled her body in his, weeping on the steps of the church. The legend goes that he died there, holding her still, frozen from the cold and rain. Yet their souls were united again.

Perhaps one day, when I am in the land of Flanders, I will remember this story when I look down from the bridge onto the lake. The town may have changed, but sometimes the past can be resurfaced, especially whenever an apple floats in the water under the moonlight of a fairytale Belgium

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Just another Day

Sitting under what cover the overhanging roof gave, I watched as the rain lazily dripped down and splashed into puddles lining the concrete sidewalk. I pulled my legs up to my chest and sucked on the filter of my Marlboro Light. The air wasn't warm, as it should have been in the middle of July, but humid. The wetness in the air made my hair and T-shirt stick to me annoyingly.

I checked my wrist watch hanging across my skinny hand. I still had thirty minutes of my time left and I had nothing better to do than destroy my lungs and watch the rain fall. The thought of going back home early to complete my assignment made me cringe. I've never been the go-getter in the family.

With a soft smoker's cough, I flicked the butt out onto the street and pulled another from the pack lying beside me. Just as I was about to light up I saw someone familiar; my stomach clenched up and I pushed the nervousness down with the will power that always deserted me when I tried to quit smoking. I looked down at the cigarette quickly, trying to make myself look busy. Too late, she had already seen me.

She walked over to me, exhibiting as much grace as one would expect from an acrobat walking a tightrope, every step looking calculated. Before she sat down beside me on the Bench, she brushed some wet hair out of her face and smiled. I grinned uncomfortably and took a hard drag, making myself cough.

Looking at me with amusement in her eyes, she said, "Smoking is bad for your health."

"So is walking around in the rain," I wheezed out between coughs.

"Touché." The small smile on her face made me more uncomfortable than I already was.

"So what’s up?" I asked her sharply, wanting her to leave so I could go back to being calm and collected. This happened every time she was around me. I hated myself for allowing the mere presence of someone affect me in such a way.

"Nothing much," she replied nonchalantly. "Just thought I would stop by for some tea. You should try it sometime." She said pointing towards a small tea stall nearby.

"Well, actually I like coffee and with all..." My train of thought wandered off and I didn't bother trying to retrieve it. My stomach felt like it was going to implode.

"Oh." Was that disappointment? "I understand." And again?

I risked stomach implosion to look at my long time friend, to her perhaps just another acquaintance. She wasn't looking at me. She was staring at a coin lying near her right foot. It was heads-up. Good luck.

"You should put that in your shoe." My voice had changed to an almost friendly tone. When she smiled at me I looked away and took the last drag of my cigarette before flicking it as I had done its predecessor.

"It reminds me of someone else, who does that, too," she said. I could hear the smile in her voice.

I shrugged and was relieved to find that the watch on my hand was telling me I could go back home without being considered a wannabe good boy. She was startled as I collected my cigarette pack and got to my feet quickly. "I should be getting back home."

"Oh, yeah." She too stood and we stewed in awkwardness for a few moments. She suddenly squeezed my hand and said, "Well, give me a call sometime. See you later."

My mouth had gone dry at her sudden touch and I'm not entirely sure how I managed to force out a strangled okay.

"Bye, dude," she said, calling me what my pals usually called. She was gone as suddenly as she had appeared and I walked through the gallery, directly to the bathroom.

I closed the door, went to the basin and rested my head in my hands near the tap. Why was it always like this? I collected myself and splashed my face with cold water from the tap. After making a partial recovery in the bathroom, I continued to the elevator. Instead of going down I got out at the next floor and walked myself back to the gallery.

The penny that had been lying at her feet was now gone, perhaps resting happily in her shoe.

The weather was clearer now; the rain had stopped near two. I rode for ten minutes before I reached my classy apartment building on Deccan Street. I walked up the flights of starirs and down a neat and tidy living room to my shabby room. I tossed my bag on the chair, startling Alice, the lab that we had.

"Sorry Alice," I said as I flopped down on my bean bag.

Instead of her usual habit of dancing around me, she stood near the table where I had kept my cell phone.

When the canine sat near the phone and stared at me with those dog eyes, I shook my head and said, "No, I’m not calling her, Alice." The sound of her soft whining could be heard from where I sat on my bean bag. "No," I sated firmly. Knowing I was being ridiculous, I averted my graze from her only to glance back and sigh. "Fine."

Alice wagged her tail to her victory as I leaned forward and picked up my cell phone.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Going Home

His full number was 15835 and he (or she, or it) was just an army mule. But 835 had more service and had seen more campaigns than all the other mules in his company, and certainly more than a lot of the men who for the most part were youngsters. Except, of course, his own driver, Kali charan, who had led 835 through the streaming fever jungles of Mizoram and along the treacherous snow precipices to Drass in Kashmir. 835 and kali were inseparable comrades and during the daily grooming, they had held long and quite intelligent conversations which none of the other mule driver thought strange. I do not think it strange either, for too often do the army folks owe their lives to the intelligent mules and their gallant drivers to harbour anything but the loftiest opinions of them.

835, along with five other mules formed the animal transport section attached to the remote station, where my dad was posted, and often provided us with welcome diversion when they broke loose from the picket ropes, careened madly around the perimeter like a circus team. While sweating, blaspheming soldiers tried to round them up. It was all just a game, with the mules whining excitedly and kicking their hind legs high, like equine ballerinas, as they cunningly dodged their caretakers.

At other times they stood patiently in the picket lines in the rain and bitter cold. To shivering sentries in the lonely watches of the night their soft nickering and occasional stamping were comforting sounds. At time the mules fought amongst themselves, squealing and biting until a soothing word or a burst of abuse from the driver on duty quieted them like reproved children. Ah yes, they were very human indeed. No wonder their drivers grew to love them like their own children.

One day, orders came transferring kali charan to the pension establishment as he had completed his service in the Indian army. He spent most of his that week grooming 835 unnecessarily whilst they reminisced for the last time over the many hardships they had shared together. He volunteered for the extra ration duties for that week, so that he could make the long trip to the brigade headquarters and back with 835. And when he said goodbye to us and went down the trail, Bansi ram, his good friend went with him; and old 835 carried kali charan's bedding roll and kitbag for the last time. A week later we were shocked to hear the tragic news of kali charan's death. The 'Three-Ton'(truck) carrying the leave party had fallen into ravine, killing the occupants.

One stormy night shortly afterwards, Bansi Ram woke us up with the information that one of the mules was ‘Bahut Bimar’ (very sick).

I rushed to the picket lines with Bansi Ram. He had by then rigged a tarpaulin between two trees as a rude shelter over 835 who lay panting on the wet grass, looking up with large pain stricken eyes, wrenching the heart out of us because of the helplessness. The storm had blown the telephone poles down, so a patrol was dispatched to fetch the veterinary officer. It would be four hours before they returned. All the while the rain lashed in under the tarpaulin and the dim smoky, swinging lantern danced on the glistening raincoats under which we were huddled.

'We have done all we can, Saab.' said Bansi Ram. 'It must be the colic.'

The Himalayan storm slowly but surely subsided. The Stars were fading when at last the gate sentry's challenge announced the Vet's arrival. Quickly and efficiently he set to work but it was too late. 835 suddenly quivered violently all over, raised his head in a brave effort to stand again, then lay back tiredly and moved no more.

'Dead,' announced the vet regularly, washing his hands.

'Nahin Saab,' said Bansi Ram, ‘Not dead. 835 has gone to serve with Kali.’

We all knew he was right.

And From a distant village across the border came dawn's mystic heralds of cockcrow and the high chant of the muezzin.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Her slender shapely form glided across the room and took a seat next to me.

“Hi.”, I despondently greeted.

“Hey what wrong?” her word caressed me with loving softness.

“Bang, I’m dead.”

“Hey, come on what’s eating you?”


“Could you maybe narrow it down a little?” the laughter behind her voice tried to tug at my own, but it simply didn’t work, not this time.

“No.”, a moment too late I realized how the word had a cutting edge I hadn’t really meant.She sighed, the laughter gone now, ”Fine, if you don’t want to talk I can’t make you.”

“Yes, you could… if you want to push the issue.”, I sounded like a petulant child, wrapped up in my own pain.

Her voice was soft again, tender, comforting, “Please, talk to me….”

Silence hung in the air as I searched for the words. Then it exploded out of me, rapid fire, like an accusation, against her or myself, I couldn’t say. “Okay, you want to know what’s wrong? It’s you. You’re what’s wrong. You’re not real, you’re a figment of my imagination. You’re everything I want, everything I need, and you aren’t real.”

“I’m as real as you make me.” She didn’t even hesitate in her answer.

“No, you don’t get it. I created you from the fabric of my mind, to be my perfect match, a soul mate, a perfect everlasting love … and there’s this … this void of reality that separates us. As much as I want you, you can’t be flesh and blood. I can’t make you a part of my reality.”

I collapsed into her, folding up like a fan, and the tears came.

Her fingers were gently running through my hair as she cradled my head.

“Shhh, it’s okay, it’s okay.” She paused a moment, “Perhaps, I can make you a part of my fantasies.”

Thursday, June 7, 2007

An Unsual Journey

My tribute to one of the greatest writers of india. Mr ruskin bond, a heartfelt gratitude for all the wonderful stories you have written and making me understand the importance of little things in life.

I had the compartment to myself up to Solan, or I thought. Then a girl got in. The couple who saw her off were probably her parents. They seemed very anxious about her comfort, and the women gave the girl a detailed instruction as to where to keep her things, when not to lean out of window, et cetra et cetra.

I was little oblivious of the people around me. She got up to adjust her luggage, in the overhead luggage shelf. She was standing very close to me, so close that the perfume from her hair was tantalizing. I wanted to raise my hand and touch her hair but she moved away, only the scent of her perfume lingered where she had stood. It would take me some time to discover something about her looks, but I liked her voice. They called goodbyes and the train pulled out of the station.

‘Are you going to shimla?’ I asked

It was a pleasant morning but the girl had a shawl thrown across her shoulder. Her feet were in a pair of ordinary sandals and she was wearing a purple coloured Salwar-kamize. But she was young and graceful.

‘Yes, my aunt is meeting me there.’ the girl said.

She had peach-blossom complexion, set off by shiny black hair and dark eloquent eyes, typical of hill people.

‘Where are you going?’ she asked

‘To Solan, and then to Kasauli.’

‘But you could have gone by road.’

‘Yes, but this is the best time.’ I said recalling my memories. ‘The hills are covered with wild dahlias, the sun is delicious so a trip by train is much preferred.’

She was silent I wondered if my words had touched her, or whether she thought me as a romantic fool, or just another weird guy. She looked out of the window for sometime and neither of us said anything.

‘Quite a misty morning, isn’t it?’
‘Oh! Perfectly misty’ I said making a pretence of observing the landscape.

I turned from the window and faced the girl, and for a while we sat in silence.

‘ You have an interesting face.’ I remarked

I was becoming quite daring, I thought. But it was a safe remark, few girls can resist flattery.

She laughed pleasantly – a clear ringing laugh.

‘It’s nice to be told that I have a interesting face. I’m tired of people telling me I have a pretty face.’

Oh, but you do have a pretty face I thought: and aloud I said

‘Well, an interesting face can also be pretty.’

She looked wonderingly into my eyes, as though searching for something. I don’t know if she found what she was looking for, but she smiled.

‘Thank you’ she said. After a moment or so

‘But why are you so serious?’ she asked

I thought then, I would try to laugh for her. But the thought of laughing made me feel troubled and lonely. So I just smiled faintly.

‘We’ll be soon at your station’ she said

‘Oh, yes we will indeed’ I said glancing at my watch

‘Thank god, that it’s a small journey’ I said ‘I can’t possibly think of sitting down for more than 3-4 hours’

And yet I was prepared to sit there for almost any length of time. Just to listen her talk. Her voice had the sparkle of the mountain stream. As soon as I leave the train, I thought, she would forget our brief encounter; But It would stay with me for the rest of the journey, and a little more after.
The engine’s whistle shrieked, the carriage wheels changed their sound and rhythm. I got up and began to collect my things. The train drew slowly into the station. Outside there was the shouting of porters and vendors.

‘Goodbye’ said the girl

‘Bye’ I grinned ‘have a pleasant journey’

‘Yes, thank you’ said the girl

The guard blew the whistle and the train moved off. We watched each other till the signal box came in the way, and then the train took a turn.

I stood there for some time. There were so many things happening on the platform, and yet I could not rid my mind of the picture of the girls face and her dark, smouldering eyes. It was then that it dawned to me that, our relationship was rather unusual. It was like two logs meeting in a river and then parting only to meet never.

And the words of Ralph Hodgson came out of my mouth:

‘Time, you old gipsy man,
Will you not stay?
Put up your caravan,
Just for one day.’

Friday, June 1, 2007

A Book And A Cup Of Tea

Pick right...

Imagine, if you will, a rainy afternoon, a book you have been saving up for special occasions and a mug of fresh brewed tea. Imagine the feelings that course through you as you brew your tea and anticipate the pleasure of shutting yourself off from the world for an afternoon. A retreat into your own private world, a drawing shut of the curtains between you and everyday, hectic, busy life. Can you imagine a pleasure greater than this for a book lover? I cannot. The sweet aroma of tea curling around while you weave a web of fiction around yourself. The gentle joy that words give you as you sip on your Earl Grey or Darjeeling. It can be the ultimate sensory experience. A book for your eyes and brain and imagination. A cup of tea for your stomach. Tea for the body and a book for the soul.

Clear your schedule so you have a small space for pleasure in your otherwise humdrum day, pick your favourite author, better still, pick two or three. Brew your tea. Settle down in your favourite spot. It could be a window seat, your bed, the floor of your mother's kitchen. I'd suggest the loo, but it's not hygienic to take your tea there. Wrap your self in a world created specially for you by the book you choose. That is the way to instant heaven.

Picking the book is important. If humour is your thing, you can go down an imaginary river with Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men In A Boat. P. G. Wodehouse is not a bad choice either. An afternoon spent at Blandings Castle or in London society guided by that unique Wodehouse creation, Jeeves, is an afternoon well spent. One could also turn to the epic book The Lord Of The Rings for an afternoon of action swathed in fantasy spent in a world never seen anywhere but in J. R. R. Tolkein's mind. If you have a hankering for murder and mystery, if you want to catch up with the much moustachioed Hercule Poirot or the fluffy Miss Marple then turn to your collection of Agatha Christies. Maybe you like your stories with a twist? Then Roald Dahl would be just what the doctor ordered. Arundhati Roy, Salman Rushdie, Khalil Gibran, Sidney Sheldon, Jeffery Archer, Erle Stanley Gardner and John Grisham are all good authors for an afternoon meant for fiction. It all depends on what you like to read. Pick a book. Any book. But make sure your book suits you. The worst thing that can happen is finding out that you are in the mood for science fiction when you have settled down with a detective novel.

The tea is just as important. Tea comes in more varieties than you'd expect. There's black tea, green tea, oolong tea and the very rare white tea. You could even pamper yourself with an herbal tea like chamomile or peppermint. Take your tea with or without milk. It's entirely up to you. Just make sure that your tea is the way you like it. Take it with biscuits or take it with cake. Take it with anything you like. Whatever you do, this is your afternoon and it should suit you. Forget about everyone else. And please yourself this afternoon. You could even make your self a cup of coffee or soup. But for the best results, tea cannot be beaten.

Then we come to the all-important question of where to hide away for the afternoon. A window seat is a lovely place to read. You can take a couple of cushions along for the ride. And then there is the added advantage of natural light. Whenever you get bored with your book (shame on you if you do), you can come back to reality and watch the world go by your window. It can be quite a surprise to find that while you were away with your book, the sun may have set and the afternoon is no more. If you do not have a window seat of your own or if someone else has already booked the only available window seat, then the best course is to retreat to your bed. Everyone has one. Curl up with your books and pillows and your cups of tea. It can be one of the most satisfying experiences in the world. You can last the day through with all these adjuncts to a delightful experience. If you have a room to your self, you are really lucky. You can go the entire day without being disturbed by anyone.

Rain is always a welcome addition to this afternoon. The sound of gently falling rain is one of the most soothing things in the world. If it is pouring cats and dogs, all the better. You are safe and dry at home while the rest of the world is scurrying around in the rain. It does not have to rain. It could be a bright, sunshine day. It could be any kind of weather. If you are one of those lucky people who do not have to work for a living, spare a thought for all those fellow human beings who are out there working to support the economy while you are wrapped in your book. If you do have to work, then thank your lucky stars that you have an afternoon off to spend with a book. Even if you do have to work, escape for a day... You will never regret it.

So go ahead and find heaven. It's only a book and a cup of tea away.

Ps- Warm thanks to lady C.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Thoughts From Beyond The Line

Silken Nights

Some days, you walk through velvet trees down purple midnight roads, and you look up into an unfamiliar sky, and you see the seven sisters, clearly, like in a book of celestial magic. And then you look down again, and then up, at the northern star, burning in that purple, silken sky like a fervent wish. Something tinkles inside you, shivering, quivering, and then it breaks, shattering like a crystal constellation. You wish you hadn't ever looked up, because the loneliness of the world, the emptiness of the world comes cascading down upon you until the cold air freezes in your lungs. Things are happening, farther away than you can ever reach, on the very edge of your three-span wide existence. And your infinite smallness encompasses you and your eyes well up with helplessness.

But some nights, walking through that very same corridor of trees, you look into the eyes of the sky and smile, because it is within your reach and within your dreams. And sometimes, you cannot see the skies, and you cannot see the trees, and you cannot see the black of the horizon.

It's on nights like these, when my work is done and the next day holds no attraction, that I feel a little lonely. Not lonely for a particular person, but just a sort of deep-seated aching for a girl who could simply exist alongside me, filling my void with her activity. Someone to pick up the phone in between chapters, or sums, or thoughts, and share in a distracted, introspective kind of way the lessons just learnt. A familiar voice that gives a sense of before and after to my timeless evening. An unconscious statement for me to dwell over, or smile at the thought of in later moments. Something to look forward to, something to look back upon, even if it is only a half-moment in somebody else's life. When she finishes…. Before she starts…Knowing that in a room apart from mine, a life I love is burning with the friction of to and fro, of thought and motion and action, makes my own inactivity seem less wasteful.

Empty room in an empty world, Full of things and thoughts and sounds,How is it I only see and hear,The emptiness around?

Where did the time go?
It dissolved in unfinished actions.
It disintegrated in wasted evenings.
It burned in futile retrospection.
It corroded in moist self-pity.
It fell apart in forgotten moments.
It melted into shapeless figures.
It changed into another of life's regrets.

And emptiness remains, a filling void…

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Outpour in a downpour

To the beat of ‘Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head’. To the smell of ‘Saawan’. To the mayhem of ‘Malle’, To the essence of the rain that I see from the perch of my chair in my room, I try to match the clicking of my keyboard. A Strong wind was blowing and a quick peep outside the window was enough to make me smile, even though it was 3 am.

Something about the rain inspires introspection [and creativity], so I took a trip down the memory lane. That’s the power of rain. It somehow brings back to mind things that seem to have, supposedly, lost their very essence. There are hopes that take birth, misgivings to clutch on to. A few smiles and some tears. Happy moments are relived. They threaten to break the threads of reality and transport you to a world that is private. And yes, enormously accommodating.

These showers are perennial. They have seen us running around excitedly with paper boats and playing in their cool waters. If they have brought smiles to the faces of farmers, they have managed to bring tears to the eyes of street dweller. Often they make us rich with the lush greenery and colorful surrounding but rob us of the shining sun. Silently they beckon us to think of all the lessons life has offered.

Of good times and bad. Of days when we wished time stood still. Of loved ones who are no longer around. Rains also supplement a unique transformation of our tastes – our likes and dislikes. Sipping coffee in a dark room suddenly seems dearer than an evening out with a group of friends. A slow walk in the drizzling rain seems heaven then going around on bikes. Long, lazy drives suddenly become thrilling. A rainbow is considered a more beautiful work of art then a Mercedes Benz.

Rains can change moods, moments and people. That’s probably why one would prefer to dig deep into some heart warming love stories than Salman Rushdie’s Shame. Country music, too, scores over rock or pop. Don Williams ‘That’s the thing about love’ could see the magic being emitted within the four walls of your cosy room, while Madonna might have difficulty winning admirers.

So how does a drizzle transport us to a world of make believe, a world where we construct and deconstruct our dreams? How often has the water outside our window made us wallow in self-pity at losing out on some of the best moments and opportunities in life? Thoughts just rain down and not necessarily superficial ones. For rain promise to let us relive those childhood days when there were smiles and splashes while returning home from school, simply because it was a weekend. Days when going to college was better than a vacation, otherwise long awaited. Times when you rushed under a tree to escape the sudden burst of rain to fade away. Moments when walking with your loved one in a stormy night observing lighting was the best thing you could ask Mother Nature.

But darker thought also intrude. Quietly watching the downpour could also make you relive certain moments which you wished had never happened, which you wish could be forgotten or erased. Times of loss, failure. Watching seamlessly infinite rain can remind you of those who were once closest to you. Of hurting those you promised all the happiness of the world.

But the next time you watch the rain, think of all the people closest to you and the nice times you shared. For, unlike the rains which return every year, once those moments are gone the will never come back.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Impersonally Yours

Nothing can beat The Warmth of a handwritten letter

Does ‘letter’ mean only an alphabet? ‘The Letters’—work by Vermeer? The ‘Letters Patent’- as in patent law or a type of writ? The letter has varied meanings. But to me, it means mere communication.

From the medieval to modern times. Man has moved many a miles, mostly forward. But in the matters of letters, the progress has been mostly backward. Just recall the 14th century. We had ‘mounted couriers’, even ‘runners’, delivering letters. Today we have the poor postman going around the town even villages. Facing the hot sun and the cold winter on an old rickety bicycle. With a sack full of letters, parcels and postcards to add on to his burden.

Letters have been written through the ages. And these are not mere ‘winged messengers of Love’ or just a source of news about the near ones. Letters have added to language and literature. They have enriched human thought. Locke’s ‘The Epistola de Tolerantia’published in 1689, embodied a plea for ‘tolerance in religion’. More than hundred years later, Burke’s ‘Letter to a Noble Lord’ was published. It is still considered ‘as the greatest piece of invective in the English language’. At home Nehru’s letters to her daughter have given insights into variety of topics.

But can one continue to write long letters even today? Have we the time? Or the inclination? Or even the patience to read? Pocket permitting, probably some would still write.

Till Recently, Letter writing was next to nothing. A postcard cost paltry ‘Twenty-five Paisa; a sealed envelope was available for about a rupee. Undoubtedly there has been a steady rise in the rates. During my dad’s time, in early sixties, I remember him telling me, sending a ten-paged letter for a mere ten Paisa. Not merely to my mom but to others too. “Those days were good, there was plenty of leisure. Writing letters was a real pleasure.” He’d say.

He has witnessed a steep rise in prices and steady decline in service. To top it all the postal prices have gone up again. A registered letter is prohibitive, even the acknowledgement is expensive.

I sometimes wonder my parents were lucky in a way. They could afford the luxury of writing long letters to mere acquaintances and even to short-term friends.

My dad being in army, He was not always with me. But he always used to write letters to me, and beautiful. Be it the enchanting hills and dales of Assam & Meghalay, or be it the beauty of Thar Desert in full moon resembling sea of shining silver. These letters are a clear chronicle of events, memorials of bygone days. I can really relive the old days through these pieces of parchment.

While writing letters, one used to pay attention to trifles. Put a gloss on faint deed; add a measure of mystery to even a minor matter. These used to be an expression of affection, some sweet sentiments expressed freely. Thanks to the new ‘Virus’ sent by the finance ministry, it is becoming hard to keep the old contacts alive.

Today, we live in the age of electronic mail. Better known as E- Mail. There is no pen or paper, just the lifeless keyboard and the computer screen staring blankly at you. Everything is written and dispatched mechanically, even picked up from one of the available options. No emotions, no sentiments. It does not give the warmth of a handwritten letter. It cannot be preserved for a lifetime. The ‘Virus’ can attack any time. Then all gets lost. In no time and forever.

Old is gold, It is still true. Even the old system of letters is better.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Nights are the times of misgivings of the human mind. Doubts, fear, insecurities come creeping in…………….

There are others who feel night would hide them like a blanket. Nobody would see them!

Yet, night is like the near to the end, near to the beautiful beginning of another day. It is the last leg of the journey which you travel to get to the light at the end of that tunnel. It is that last desperate attempt you make to cram up before your morning exam.

One last chance to freedom, one last chance to give in to indulgences, the last chance to hide before the morning discovers you with light in your face (literally)!

Can you hide? Can you run? Or do you want to live life till the end!?

No! 24 hours are never enough in a day- to love, hate, weep, feel jealous, be envious, live and die. Feel all the myriad emotions pass you by…..

Night is the time of reckoning, of looking back on the day- Remembering, analyzing, learning and moving on….

So, go ahead express yourself and live life to its fullest!!