Archives for the month of: August, 2012

On the evening before the beginning, of yet another conquest, the Emperor sat with his old Teacher.

Later that evening, the Emperor called an assembly of his Generals and told them to rest their weapons, and to prepare for peace instead. These were brave men who loved nothing more than a battle well fought, not unlike their horses straining at the leash, at the promise of speed.

“How can there be peace until the whole world accepts you as their undisputed Sovereign?” they asked.

“Can you tell me”, the Emperor asked his Chief of Staff, “how much more space do we really need, for wars to stop and for our people to be happy?”

The General remained silent, sensing that it was a question to which His Majesty had already found the answer.

The Emperor replied, simply quoting what his Teacher said, “Whether you be just one man, or, a whole Kingdom, you only need as much space as you can create for yourself, inside!”

One returns to the very same landscape, again and yet again, seeking to reclaim those moments of pleasure, that have the nasty habit of burning holes in your pocket and falling through.

With the taste of the past in the mouth of the present, one returns to whatever has left such an imprint, only to find that it no longer fulfils, in quite the same way.

We have mapped ourselves so completely, to this changing field of our body, working over time, to stop the flowers that grow there, from losing their fragrance.

I’ve finally got it!

Every time I try to think of something,

holding my pen to the empty page,

I can’t think of anything at all.

It’s only when I try not to think,

that thoughts come flooding in.

I could choose to stare

at the empty page,

or, at the lamp,

burning at the altar,

trying not to think

of something to write.

It was monsoon. In the twilight, when the first star appeared in the evening sky, I lit a bonfire in my garden and set ablaze, all the cards, photos, negatives, journals, drawings, emails, tapes, CDs, gifts that were rattling behind me like a skeletal woman from my past! It was soon dark and a canopy of stars witnessed my prayers. I continued to offer all the memories that were binding me to my past. Both happy and sad moments danced their way into the gaping mouth of this enigmatic fire. Somehow, in the burning of it all, a huge memory got magically erased from my consciousness, just like that. It was like an emptying of a very full cup.

watched I.

all nostalgia
and agony
turn to ash.

a gentle breeze
the most delicate
and fragile
greyish-black wisps
in the space
around me.

the sky
thundered open ⚡
lashing out rain
swallowing pain
into the red terrain
forever and ever!

watched I.



Slipping down

upon colours





This morning

Listening to


Toes tingle
Pupils widen
Lips gasp
Breath deepens
my consciousness,

An inward smile
Cell to cell
Vein to vein
Artery to artery
Muscle to bone

Deep into the
Marrow of my


In a world without secrets, everyone finds their rightful place.

We return, invariably, to unfinished business, tripping ever so often over our own shoe laces that we should have tied, at the very moment of their undoing. Our secrets are our undoing. What lurks behind the locked doors of our hearts and our minds is our undoing. Because no secret lies still, forever. What we hold, holds us in return. Like Shalini and Zarin, holding each other, we are held hostage by our own choices in life. The secret could escape into the light of day, or, die once and for all, but there is no release for the one who has held it, not unless they can unravel the fine embroidery of their lives, painstakingly put together, and begin again, holding threads that are free to come together, in a whole new pattern, avoiding the least stitch meant to deceive, themselves, or, others, willing to unravel and to retrace at every moment, a weave that is flawed. Shalini, Ram, Amit, Aarush, Rushi, Nana, Marzia, Ammijaan, Shakutai, Joshikaka, Aunt Kathy, Lara, Sophie, Murtaza, Tulsi, Zarin and even her son, fine threads in an extraordinary weave of a novel taking us on a journey to that field beyond right and wrong, where ultimately, the only orphans are the secrets no one cares to hold, unlike Rushi, unlike Aarush, both children, living in the light.

In a world without secrets, everyone finds their rightful place.

I’ve been tickled to death by a tale of love, full of intentionally funny lines,

in the mouths of intentionally ridiculous, vulnerable characters,

in a cartoon style courtship, without a single deep moment,

that’s not reduced to a laugh.

I wonder if there’s anything we take away from a movie like this.

Perhaps, it’s as empty of substance as Coke, and for that very reason,

attract the same fan following.

Would you not wait six months

for something you’re going to keep

for the rest of your life?

Does it not take years sometimes,

to build a home,

to find that special someone

who makes you feel like you’re the one?

That’s what you’ll need to remember

once you’ve become engaged

to taking home someday,

Your own Royal Enfield Motorcycle.