Tuesday, October 12, 2010


New York is dark gray and black and occasionally, wears red high heels.
The sun is brighter here and blue bounces off the crisp whiteness of your linen.
They wear dark glasses in the high fashion of the underground.
We sip iced venti lattes in cutting edge silences.

Fraternal and communal, organic and asexual
Beautiful and banal and shiny like vinyl.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sarkozy and taxis, new friends and fading memories...

Paris is the perfect scene of a crime
Revisited in retrospect, black and white, and all mine.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Red, red wine...

London is like the cold, wet drizzle of my cubist, wild dreams.

London screams at me, in fifteen foreign silvered tongues, each more candied than the next.
London stares at me, as I stare at the words on its walls, purple and red with fire and swollen grime.
London makes love to me, as it sings three balconies away from me, touching my head, my hands, more intimately than any lover could. Feeling and looking deep into my filled heart, coiling itself around me. Drinking the deep red night in, after and breathing the long and langourous drags of smoke that unfurl with heady, sudden rushes.
London is soft, slow, sweet jazz, as sexy as the dimmed city and its glorious long legs. London is techno and the feeling of electronic desire, pulsing through your fingertips.
London is the old market of what is never on its way out and hardly ever in. What matters is the refurbished.
London takes its time. Even as it threatens to hurry you out of its way, afraid you will spill its morning coffee, steaming at its edges.
London is warm, like sex and good food. London is ice and whatever else is cutting edge.
London is the papery edges of a rare shop around the corner, hidden like the olive nestled between our martinis.
London is my midnight, the one I cannot sleep through. London is my new friend, who I share my tea, and laughs with.
London looks at me over the heads of those we do not know, but see. London winks at me, as glib as a stranger, intimate as a sock.
London is my lover, the one I never may know.
London is my fantasy, the one I easily shock.
London is their style, as they walk across these years.
London is my freedom, the one I may not tire of.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Old hat, new hands...

The problem with fanning yourself near an old flame, are the inevitable small fires that are bound to rush up at you.

There should be a permit to get all childhood fantasies flushed from your list of want-to-do, before one fully grows up. Chocolate houses, the beginnings of rushing adrenalin and the desire to smoke a cigarette/ jump off a cliff/ drink local hooch.

Instead, I now have a wild thought.

Every time I see you, I wonder what would have happened, if we had kissed one night and figured it out, in whatever way.

Every time I see you, I have this crazy desire to take your hand, and propose that you get out of my system, once and for all. Not immediately. But immediately after we have gone our separate ways.

I wonder what it is, that still worms its way into my thoughts, even as the next day, I rush around in my life.

I wonder why I never think of you, otherwise...

Someday, I should complete my incomplete. How, is a funny question.

And then, after that, we can be pals.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


I have eight hours of spare time. Free to wander about, trapped in transit, between one country and the next, in a giant coloured ball of an airport.

I have not slept in eighteen hours, but this glitzy, cotton-candied ferris wheel has me awake.

People have slowed...dragging their languid eyes and heels... because their bodies have said that the time is dark night.

Almost morning.

Work breathes deeply, finishing with me in tired satisfaction.

I make lists.

Starbucks, after months.

And desire. Or some such thing.

Monday, May 03, 2010


I can be perfectly, mostly, absolutely and importantly in joy at my present...
I can be morally, informedly, entirely and so consciously at peace for having moved on...
I can be superbly, supremely, so rightly, fanatically relieved that it wasn't meant to be, that I made the right decision...
I can be bodily, heartily, sensationally, savagely a better, brighter, happier, hotter whole for having left the past behind and lived life ten fold...

What is it about love that never fully goes away, even after I've left the room and locked the door behind me.

What is it about a photograph of you...or a sly touched up memory... that solicits a grudging wry smile...

What is it about our past that has never fully ceased to exist...even when it is so wonderful that it is not our present...


And yet, you shameless, painted peacock. A picture of you can still make me smile.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Its crazy how hard forgiveness can be
It's crazy how much you are worth
Feel me up underneath my raw skin
Make me remember that you are the earth.

Understand my existance, undermine my warts
Walk with the fears in my handles.
Feel me and thrill me and play me by sleep
Brown babies of sweet ripened candour

Love is a many spendoured angry white beast
The quick fuck is our one horned shy wonder
Please tell me that story, the one with the deed,
the fences, the fancies down under.

Slice me a moon, and pour me your wines,
lets dividend your return from our share.
Silent night, anxious breath and freedom in the air,
I love you through each word and each stare.

Friday, April 09, 2010


You whisper hard into my angular bent ears,
forever the delicious little gossip
You breathe in me lustily, claiming tomorrows,
you are always falling right out of pocket.

Untangle my ears, release my white toes.
You free me of every one of my whims.
Unshine my boots and muddy my green heart.
I will love you till the end of sin.

Kiss me again to the music of whores...
teach me how to count with my heart.
Make movies of my dirtiest fantasies and faiths...
Show me what what it really means to be apart

I'll promise you my freedoms and unmend my sexy ways
I'll forget each story from into its middle.
Three coins, a stamp and a fridge magnet for my time.
I'll remember to relearn every riddle.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The very sexiest of them all...


Repairing Brindavan...

Friday, September 18, 2009

In honour of Hilda...

Would it be better if I didnt know how to sing?
Darling, do you like my new moan?
I've recently discovered a perfectly good candour...
Sweetheart, I've forgotten alone.

With feeling...

Jack Johnson, my brother, my fevered young lover...
Would you do me a favour and goddamn just shut up?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Grand Girl at Habitat...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Reflections on Ice-Breaking

Is Dandy
But liquor
Is quicker

-Ogden Nash

This Nash guy is a philosopher. He's on to a lot.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Bye Bye Baby...

Moving into a new apartment...

I'm excited. Its a lovely space that I look forward to calling my own. It's also odd, the way my second flat was, with nooks and crannies that seem inexplicable and fun and the result of an architect's stab at having a good time induging the random quirk in an city that cant breathe. It's also...large. Not large. But feels large. A thousand square feet that will set me free and allow me to have the luxury of us wandering from one room to the other.(Us meaning Jam and I) I cant explain the miracle that is space for me.To have the freedom of defining one corner as my writing desk and the other for my afternoon attempts at yogic fitness. To have a hat stand, with all the hats I've collected...to have a favourite chair where I can breathe in my chai and cigarette...It's going to be the 4th flat I call my own, since I moved out...one for every year of independence...2 cities, four homes...and a truckload of memories...and maybe, I'll stay longer this time...

Goodbye old flat. I probably wont miss you because I'm not that kind of girl. But it was great. I'll always remember you. I've had some incredibly special moments with you. And some pretty extra special, crazy ones we wont tell anyone about. And I learnt how to be alone and not lonely in this city, with you. You're very good looking, and it felt right. Till last month.
It's not you, it's me.
I just need a little more room.

It's lovely, this bit. It makes me want (want) to get up early.


This bit is meant for me to write...but...

There's an orange cat downstairs and they sort of eyeball each other....
No, she never goes out/down.

My cluttered kingdom...

For J, who thinks I'm endearingly psychotic. And who immortalized the couch. Futon. Whatever.

It's very strange, this is the only picture I realize I took in my bedroom...


Update : Please read this.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Flashing in my pan...

People interest me. Watching them has been a hobby for the longest time. I meet so many that while it may not have the extreme and evocative consequences that a new, wonderful meal is almost certain to have on me, it gives me great pleasure to discover new, wonderful personalities all the time. Sometimes they’re ones I would never have the chance to gravitate toward in a crowd. If you work in a very cold building with great coffee and large plaques celebrating the single handed inception of the first automated sliding door, chances are, even if we have some bizarrely mutual friend and end up in the same room somehow, we wont head straight for each other to have a fun chat on why I like Indian stir fry on my fusilli. However, if by some second bizarre chance card in my pack or yours, we end up faced with the prospect of small talk and opening lines, I may just discover that you’re the first woman I’ve met who strangely loves absolutely anything made of wax as much as I do. And we may talk for a while and then a lot longer, and realize we speak the same language. Often it’s not about what you do have in common.
Some of the most fascinating people I’ve ever met aren’t nice, just very interesting. Some are friends, dear and distant, some are family. A couple of boyfriends, colleagues, senior professionals, an old teacher, old flame….

I met A a long time ago. A’s ability to get things done is immense. He motivates and manages and manipulates, all with the ease of the performer that knows he is too good to slip for even a second and break that perfect illusion created in that moment. A is a tiny man, and under ordinary circumstances, might have been nondescript. But under no circumstances, is A ordinary. His eyes glitter; his small, imperfect body is so alive it could catch fire. In fact, A is on fire. He loves success and he knows he is the glorious one, adored for all the wrong reasons. There are those around him that see the shrewd, cunning man he intrinsically is and the many masks he has perfected over the years. And they, like me, would work with him (under certain conditional terms born from the wisdom of experience), in a heartbeat. Because A can extract from a performer like no other. Because A knows exactly what you are capable of, as an actor, and I have realized, as a human being. Some strange power dancing in those amused eyes sees through you and knows if you are lying about your lover, your lines or your linen. A just knows. And the way to handle that is to simply let him know and not waste your time and his fabulous energy in confirmations, denials or anything but what he can give and take from you. I hate to admit how devilishly attractive A is. And so is the devil I’m sure.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Pablo's 'Three'...

Somebody explain to me why it takes a swift kick on one’s metaphorical butt to realize that one is worthy of better things? Better everythings. Better music, better hair, better bottomlines, better sex, better life. Even better jokes. Better boundaries. Better definitions. A better body. More logic. Better heart. Better head. Better butt. Hm.

Here’s today's crossword.

A met B. Thought B was just fine. Better than any before B. Best therefore. Without a sell by date. A and B became AB. B was thrilled.

Cut to first 5 years. A and B are at each others throats a lot. A lot. But had forgotten life outside AB. Sailed along. Mostly without much talking to each other.

Cut to 5 years later. AB going strong. A is fatter, angrier, a little brash. B is fatter, angrier, and more than a little silent. Seething too.

AB acknowledges The Boat isn’t doing its smoothest sailing. One conversation occurs. Things are better for a day. Then AB go back to their usual. Squabbles, silence and sporadic sex.

Cut to 2 years later. AB has AB Baby. They’ve also stopped talking, stopped smiling, and stopped doing it. Well, they do smile and talk a little, but both are really angry inside. The other has no idea. They love Baby AB though and coo a lot at the crib.

Cut to six months. A meets C. They discover they fit. Like. Never. Before.

Ct to six more months. The fat is in the fire.

You’d think that it would be a simple life eh? A simple logical set of proceedings?


A has had 12 years with B. A has had 6 crazy, kick ass amazing months with C. A discovers life and love, aren’t easy like Sunday morning. A discovers he loves B. More than he thought. More than ever before, when faced with the prospect of A-B. A also discovers he loves C. Like. Never. Before. And now, there’s Junior.

B and C are no wilting asparagus. Just in love. An inconvenient truth. Mean merry go triangle. And A's no macho villain. Just a sad person.

And I thought I was sad.

T s k.

All pals. All good people. Que sera sera guys. Maybe not.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Lola undercover...

I’m on a long-ish flight. The kind I’m usually bored intensely by, and the kind that usually has a very victimized Mother and her indignant Baby on board. The kind I’m constantly looking for anything to entertain my self with. Today, however, is behaving itself. On the way to the airport, I kept thinking highly focused thoughts, all of which I hope to swing speedily into action as soon as I land. I was booked on one of the only 2.5 decent airlines in the country (I have turned into validly bitter snob refusing anything else after much misery aboard the rest, I assure you). No rush at the airport, the latte guy didn’t screw up, boarding happened pretty much on time. Then we hung around the tarmac for an hour politely indulging all aircraft traffic ahead but I still managed to amuse myself with my extra special James Brown and usual fantasies of a yogic bodied self performing to his tunes. It’s still reasonably early in the morning, we’ve taken off, and breakfast was a pretty good bite. I have yet to fulfill my fantasy of meeting someone really interesting next to me on a flight (Not 3 aisles down, thanks very much) and having a fabulous resulting time. However, centre seat is empty and gentleman in aisle seat is not earnestly striking up conversation or reading my screen over my shoulder. Instead he is wearing fancy headgear obviously designed to facilitate some serious shut eye. Also, on my way back from the loo, nice steward (or is it air host?) with charming smile and twinkling manner, asked if I wanted to help him in the kitchen. A little sunshine with that coffee and I think it’s going to be a good day.

These days, a good day is a great day. Baby steps. Kid gloves.

I’m going to be blogging a lot more regularly. And I think everyone should. Especially those of you that I read often. Now that I’ve told you what to do, Zen, Rae, Sourapple, Hari etc etc, tell me to go take a hike. Which I’m doing soon by the way. A real one. With fellow adventurers, all highly superior in their survival abilities.

Sunshine is back, offering me candies before landing. Pity I’m picky. About sweet things. Sigh.

Jam was catching up on some reading. I don’t blame her, my Vogue covers are delicious. As for the snazzy Santa shot above, I was being forced into ho hoing for the birdy, in one of Bombay’s disco autos.

Soon I will be buying my first, probably tiny car. And praying while I relearn the math of driving. Driving in Bombay city. Stop laughing. Now.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Eating my heart out...

So I'm getting hugged a lot these days. And it isn't just online. Although those feel just fine too so thanks y'all. And the coolest bit is, no explanations required. For why I look like my sweatpants gave birth to Shylock.
The truth is, when things happen, they hit us pretty hard. And I'm trying to figure out where I went wrong with security blankets. Without blaming myself or cycling around in vicious circles (since that was so much fun in the first place) and how real, or unreal they can be. This will be my last musing on misery for a while... because sometimes, when something is really painful, you need to grit, grin and get a life. And that is real. That is life. I'm not faking repair but I am saying that it is hard enough being overwhelmed with feeling pain all the time. Healing lies in writing/ talking/ figuring out the rest of what is great about the one life you have. It's quite far from being easy, but it really is the must-do this season. Particularly when I realize that I had been living in a bubble. And I had nobody to blame for the bubble getting pricked, because thats what bubbles (and pricks) are prone to do. I also realize it's hardest to lose a friend. Any other relationship, business, romantic, maybe even family...is simpler.


Very few people know how much I love food. Food has changed for me. I’m only just figuring myself out where it is concerned.

I have a bit of a history. Most people gape when I order the most at a table. The most. Enough to feed the next table too. Friends have given up, and try and look the other way or distract mildly amused/surprised company and my usually being a very average eater doesn’t help. My earnest belief in doggy bags seems to not lessen their burdens either. But I cannot explain the connection that I have with food. Menus talk to me, they do. Long after the main course has been ordered and conversation has resumed its usual energy, I enjoy the details of each italicized explanation on which greens lie alongside what fish and what berries line the delicate middle layer of the in house special cheesecake.
I read food blogs daily. And have my favourites. And gaze for long minutes at each glorious photo. And read their archives and wait for updates as expectantly as I watch the breakfast news. I eat at new places constantly. Tiny, undiscovered eateries excite me. Their smells and sights and menus and salt-of-the-earth food meke me happy. I live for discovering and rediscovering different little places, known for the best in what they make. I’ve eaten as happily off tiny carts as I have exploring different cuisine. Japanese food sings to my soul. Sweets make me feel like I may never need to eat them, as long as I can just look. Indian food is like the museum I can never finish making glorious, wide eyed discoveries in… ….I’ve lived my atlas through menus and just writing about how I feel about looking, tasting touching and even creating food makes me feel a deep, warm excitement inside.

Only lately have I embraced and fully respected this feeling. I’ve become more aware of my interest, read about food with more pleasure than I can describe, looked at food more closely. Eating, as strange as it may seem, is an integral but secondary part of what I’m trying so hard to articulate. It’s the food itself that really, really speaks to who I intrinsically am.
It's a big, big part of me, and it's beautiful, not at all wasteful and needs the right company. And happily enough, I have one ally in edible arms. Together, we gaze meaningfully into menus and everything wonderful falls into place. We must, must eat together more often my friend.

I miss Mono. Who loves food like I do, is a true gourmet and never leaves room for people to stare at my overflowing table.

As a present to myself and anyone else who feels this deliciously, I've linked up all my favourite food blogs. These are the best ones and I must have visited, revisited, forgotten, loved hundreds more so I'll keep updating regularly. Secondly, please pass on your own delicious pages that you write on/visit often. Make my day, why dont you;)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pop went the weasel…

I don’t feel like it at all. Not right now, not in bit, not yesterday, last week or tomorrow. Writing has always been personal, even when it’s about someone else’s something else. However, I don’t feel personal at all. Or rather, I don’t feel like being personal at all. It’s been a sad, stressful time…and I feel like I would like to bury my sand in some cool, clammy sand, legs blissfully stretched out behind me and a martini that I will drink when I wish to, within reach.

The truth is, I’m one of those people who quite hate being miserable. Its quite simple, when someone or something gives me grief (the special sort of heartburn that only the chosen few can inflict), I just cant get it out of my head. Or heart, system, mealtimes, workplace, dinners, drinks, flights, books. I’m miserable. Period. And you would never guess it. Because I’m also talented. And supremely so, when it comes to covering up. Every performing skill that the greats have ever talked, written or thought about, I have watched myself demonstrate with perfect words, a warm smile and a slightly superior tone. It is an out of body, akin to floating kind of dance that you watch yourself execute, noiselessly, formlessly…If I knew how to do the exact same onstage, this might have been chapter two of a bestselling biography.

So right now I’m stewing. Cooked to perfection in a still simmering sauce of bitterness and resentment, and roasted for luck by malignant misery. Dear one, of years of trust and love has turned out to be the royal rat. And things are not black and white as I would wish and pray. No, things instead are every peachy and ugly and honey and brown, all in the same twisted chuckle of the coughing crystal ballerina. Go figure.

So there’s rage. Names that I cannot stop calling in my head. That are making me a sad, sad, lesser person. A tremendous amount of hurt that I cannot begin to deal with. And a desire to leave these images behind. An image of the beloved past having turned into an ugly, cruel present. Images of the laughter shared, the pure, child like quality of the moments. And now images of something that for me, has truly changed. Foe the first time in my life, I have regret and a feeling that I mistook a bad human being for a good one. Because to be terrible sometimes is human, to be devious, is an altogether different proposition. And when you meet that apple in your basket, the idea is to run Lola run.

I do know things are never quite so simple. And that everyone has some good. But I’m genuinely not interested anymore. I’m tired of looking for beauty where there was none. I’m tired of a bicep flexing reflection being a stronger memory than a conversation. And if someone else finds the needle, good luck to them and their roll in the hay.

I’m glad I wrote because I have deadlines for certain other writings that this might just help begin and people who may not feel indulgent of my martinis, cubist scribbles or sand. The past needs to be left behind rightfully. It really is time to change the music and get on with it.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Your Song...

I met two interesting people, that I enjoyed and felt like writing about. With due thanks to Gin Soaked Boy.

I’m the feeling, the old fashioned high collar,
I’m the princess, smiling getaways with murder
I’m wanderlust, the roving eye you never had
I’m wanton beauty, the beast you can’t deny.

I’m the perfect wordsmith, the mighty muse of your moment
I’m pure addiction, sweet hunger and hallucination
I’m the knowing fortress you cannot wait to destroy
I’m the fierce freedom that eludes you every night.

I’m your deepest shallow, the inescapable delicious shame
I’m the drumming rain on your drizzled window pane
I’m the remembered fantasy, that exhilarating long scream
I’m the shot... in the dark of your dream…

I’m the fire in your art, as you grapple to reignite
I’m the inconsistent canvas, the fury keeping you alive
I’m the naughty in the snapshot, that’ll never wink from your frame
I’m the hat that you wear, for the smell of my hair.

I’m the scrupulous irreverence, laughing at your shackles
I’m the simple, in your convoluted complicated
I’m so pertinent especially in the impertinence...
The relevant seduction of your inarticulate questions.

I’m the height that makes you dizzy with fear
I’m redefined rules, forgotten to adhere
I’m the furtive rearview, that forgets to have and to hold
I’m Salvador’s Gala as he sold his soul

I’m the greasepaint dream, stirring violently awake
I’m the beloved crib you can’t make your peace with
I’m the fleeting impression of original sin
I’m the softness of skin against skin.

I’m the well behaved discretion by day
I’m the thrill of a secret memory
I’m the inevitable parting of our ways
The delicious Billie must resume her Holiday.

Monday, August 27, 2007

After all...

I'm supposed to feel a song
Pour fifty five tears down her reel.
The Boss is busy feeling up the fourth in line,
we're out fishing for the driver's wheel.

Complicated and all in knots,
the aftertaste of the unacquired taste.
Love's a bitch and wish you were here,
its fun when we make love in haste.

What's the problem, ask's Doctor Teeth
Would you prefer a life less lived?
Excuse my language, I quite like my frog
especially in his moments of Prince.

Jack tumbled down the hill last night,
Jill suffered vertigo in silence...
True love is far too much fun these days.
lets Bonnie and Clyde this past tense

Rigmarole and Routine eloped,
the last ones expected to pine.
Make tea in the mornings, then dinner past midnight
and retext me that fantastic line.

And what a surprise the Mad Hatter feigned,
a padlocked diary of barter?
Kisses and chants with five coconut bars
We're going to live happily ever after.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

H for Happy....

It’s been close to six weeks since The Move. Jam has had several life altering experiences in her otherwise peaceful existence. She wonderfully remains the naughty, intrinsically sunny kitten she is. Being plump does wonders for her disposition. Falling out of my third floor apartment (The kitchen window was open and she who has sat and sunned herself on it a million times, leaned too far forward in an excited attempt towards a mocking pigeon) and being chased by my well meaning watchman looking to score brownie points with me, resulted in a day of sitting quietly in her previously irrelevant basket and hobbling around with a severely strained muscle in her hind leg. She’d never seen the outside world and this unpleasant initiation coupled with a hysterical, tearful me and an unknown (but nice) vet, made for a somber deflowering. I was the traumatized one however. The next day, by evening, she was playing with her ball, using only upper body. Leg’s healing and so am I.

Home is now a nice, warm, colorful apartment. Being alone, feeling alone and wanting company many miles way is becoming a less vehement voice in my head. Despite working late each night, initially I dreaded the days off. Invitations to drinks that I did not want to drink, with people I was determined to not enjoy, were becoming hard to deal with. Secondly, being alone in a house that wasn’t home yet, suffocated me. I missed home and its people and the cool dark drizzle outside my French windows. Work, the reason I’d moved, is great. However I’m one of those people who need play too. So I resented work for being so nice, the same way I had yelled at play last year, for being perfect, for holding me back.

I traveled insanely. I planned the move during a period I knew would be hectic. I’ve done enough packing, unpacking, hotel rooms and room service for a long time. I love the excitement of it, I detest the thought that it’s a bit of me running away from settling into a city that I’m going to have to live in, for a very long time. A city that never sleeps, that makes me afraid of being unhappy. A fighter city.

I’m still not all there. I’m still traveling. I like the people, even though I haven’t met a potential great friend yet. But often these days, when I get home at night, I find myself looking forward to an established, comfortable routine that smells suspiciously like home. Jam greets me noisily at the door, we cuddle for a good 15 minutes, I get myself a shower and something hot or cold. Dinner, emails, television, book, calls, bed….

There is hope yet.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Meet Jam...

Moving to another city has been tough. Jam and I miss home immensely.

Friday, April 20, 2007


So Super decided to Karaoke last week. And after many soulful renditions in the living room, to our cat mostly, he goes for it.
And Super was super. All sexy and moves, with Bob Marley. Here’s the review. First article.


Er, note phrases “Marry Me” and “ Pick of the night”.

You are officially a rock star now baby!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

For Mono esp.

The much belated pictures from the new year thing. I was too ill to go out so some came in. Lovely it would've been had the illness of a lifetime not preceded the following few days.

Few points of interest.

1. All, and I mean all, candid pictures have Superstar in suspicious pose mode. Even when he is supposed to be taking my temperature.
2. Being married obviously implies constant displays of camera affection.
3. P's attempt at interesting black and white has wonderfully enhanced the effects of modern medicine. I look drugged mostly.
4. Mono is being big, warm, friendly in all photos.
5. The Poet and Mono look happy to be together.
6. Photography cannot capture the drama of Anand beng drunk.
7. I think the Poetry Recital is the most effective one.
8. I like the shaky hand ones so much.

About as candid as Hillary Clinton

Thursday, March 29, 2007


When I was leaving for Delhi, I was asked to eliminate all shawls, sweaters, jacket [note, singular] from my spartan duffel bag. In fact all warmth, all protection. What if it’s a little nippy in the nights? No, I was warned, the city was “scorching”… Okay then, I was nervously prepared for this arid desert with sufficient anticipation, since I burn far better than freeze. And then I went off to the airport. Where I was summarily told that the terror alert was rocketing to the top of its chart, even as I argued, and no moral support would be allowed in. I was going in all alone. Now, I don’t sound this way for nothing. I was going to have to live with 15 people I’d never met before and I had spent a week having premonitions. Besides feeling horribly under qualified for the whole thing, I was suffering the thought of several artistic temperaments bull fighting each other for the next few weeks. Now I like artists. They’re my favourite kind of fascinating people, whatever it is that they do, whether painting, pottery, performance etc. But they are also almost always troubled, dramatic and moody people and I am one of those people mortally afraid of other people’s scenes. My own are not up for discussion right now.

I sulkily bid superstar goodbye. Bombs on planes apparently mean that one’s bags are screened before one even enters the airport. I put in my luggage, my handbag and the organizer that has, for the past 5 years, contained my whole life, career, cash and cards. Also items of sentiment and return ticket on this occasion. Foul mood unchanged, I collect boarding pass and return to pick up handbag. Am told that Terror Alert has made screening a long process and it seemed as though the last set of items would need rechecking.

I cheerfully contemplate the thought of a bomb turning up in my bag or my pots of lip gloss sparking mortal fear, and say so to fellow passenger who is also deprived of his laptop. He looks disapproving of such flippancy yet accompanies me to coffee place, bookstore etc. I remove earplugs as missing flight this time would be of serious consequence. (At some point I will put up post on How to Miss a Flight – Like Never Before) Then security and sitting around. My absconding bag and diary begin to worry me at this point and no amounts of reassuring from officials placate me. Particularly since boarding had begun. I rush around and finally retrieved the bag. The all important organizer has disappeared! Despite being promised that it was definitely somewhere (!) and that I would be the first to know when it was located, I panicked. If I called anyone, I knew they would tell me to not take the flight. And missing this one was not even a remote option. I was the last to board and I have never cursed as much, albeit mentally, as I did the airport and this bewildering madness. A crazy 2 hours with some exceptionally bad food pass excruciatingly slowly and I land. Switch on phone while people rush around as though local bus will restart movement in a few seconds. I have 21 missed calls from unknown number. I am informed upon calling back, by a cold voice called the Bangalore Airport Manager that a black organizer is waiting for me in that city, as I sit in another, trying to imagine what I will do without any money, identification, credit or debit facility etc. The next morning I was to reach Drama School but before that I was on my own.

I did what I haven’t done in many years. I called Dad ( who incidentally lives now in a different time zone) and bawled out my sad victimization by the cruel world. That took about ten minutes, without him getting in more than a sentence edgeways. And then, from halfway across the world, he flashed his magic wand, told me to go collect luggage, and wait outside. Some kind person arrived in 20 minutes, whisked me away to lovely food and shelter and gave me more money than I started out with.

5 years ago, my pride and independence would’ve been severely damaged. Here, I was just plain happy. Kind person in question kept asking if I needed more money, food, towels etc. And I was rescued.

The next morning, after much earnest navigation I found the school, only to be told that the programme was to be at a farmhouse on the outskirts since such blessed work was hardly to be conducted in the middle of the city. I suspect they were afraid of temperamental people as well and wanted to be as inaccessible as possible. In any event, all was forgiven and forgotten on reaching aforementioned farm. It is a sprawling, vast, green haven with peacocks and orange trees everywhere. It was as though Delhi and its swearing drivers and pomp, had disappeared.

Apart from our invasion, the farm was equipped with several studio apartments where artists from the across the world came and lived in for a year or more, to create their work in complete peace. Among the people I met ( Breakfast, tea, lunch, tea again, and dinner were in a common dining hall that one had to walk half a kilometer of beautiful stone path to reach) were a Japanese painter and his visiting American lecturer partner. Both entirely desirable and Tor, my Japanese friend is truly gifted at what he does. The others were Martin an English cartoonist (uncanny resemblance to what a cartoony, stiff version of Prince Charles would be like), Jane, the English writer, Carol, the American painter, Queenie, the Korean tai chi expert and Navjeet, the Sikh, Bharatnayam dancer( I was astonished at the combination of his profession and community and then, later, at his incredible grace and masculinity as a performer) . There were also two Russian women dancers who came to watch our rehearsals but never spoke a word to any of us.

My personal connection though was with Gwyn, the Australian potter. She’s 61, beautiful and can tell the most amazing stories though her work. The fame and money achieved through gallery showings in New York is important to her, and a means to stay in a place like the farm for a year and in that stillness, breathe life into the most exquisite creations I have ever seen. One of her instillation pieces is called ‘Breath’, and is a series of bottles and pots in a pale rose porcelain, that when put together seem to breathe out one long sigh. When she holds a pot in her lovely, wrinkled, mud-stained hands, and talks about its inner movement and energy, it is and was for me, incredibly wonderful to watch.

The first day and night were hard. I missed home and my friends terribly. Despite all the conversation and exciting energies, it took me a few days to really submit to these people, all of who were so entirely wrapped up in what they had chosen to do with their life. And once I did, the joy of being allowed to talk, learn and listen continuously, all day long on the one thing that mattered most to all of us, was a freedom I’ve never had before. It didn’t matter if some of us spoke different languages, except at rehearsal, where it did matter and tempers frayed. But even that was exciting and we tested so many boundaries that in ordinary settings, would be difficult to get past.

The magic was very inspiring. What was not inspiring, wonderful or magical was the bitter cold and freezing rain that schizophrenic Delhi chose to shower on me. After must nastiness over the phone, Super and Anand remorsefully couriered shawls, cap, woollies etc. Braving what was an extreme temperature for me at least, we began going out in the evenings to see the city, and some of us grew very close. It is however, the first time I’ve been in a situation where every one of us liked and respected the other enormously and while I have no doubt that things would naturally change if the situation were to extend to a year, it added an important connectivity to the whole thing. I made personal bonds with two people that I’ll always keep in touch with. And I came back with an incredible amount of clarity for the future, a result of the long walks and unspoilt quality of that perfect place. I’ve tried not to gush but I really do feel so much for my time there.
In a few weeks, I will move to another city, leaving behind all that is familiar, loving and reassuring. And this trip, while certainly not making it any easier, has inspired me to have the necessary strength.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Lets go...

The other day I read an article on guilt. Apparently, it’s the new love. Makes the world go round. Apparently, it’s what the Great Indian Family Bond is based on. A large dose of sentiment, in the right, quavering tone, with a tiny reminder on duty thrown in on the side, is all it takes, assures this well informed journalist. We the people are consumed by our desire to be holier than thou. We even marry people we’ve never met, sacrificing far more interesting partners we may or may not have fallen in love with. Children are forced to eat because there is no middle ground between discipline and domination. Our parents never did it, and instead, Immaculate Conception, or its desi, purer equivalent, is firmly believed in till at ripe old 15, Bollywood or Playboy, whichever arrives first, make things impossible. Sex Ed is off the internet or music videos that work just as well. The article also talked of the sexual stigma that defines our blurred sexual identities later on. Deepak Chopra’s illustrated Kamasutra at Crossword is opened guiltily by a young woman. In fact, come to think of it, the Erotica section is the least visited corner in any bookstore. Same sex partners and AIDS are clubbed together and both accepted as a strange westernized phenomenon that affects “other people”. All this while we evolve from mithai on Diwali to Rocher, champagne and eBay.

Initially, when I read the article, I rubbished it. There are far too many of us who like finger pointing because it makes for intellectual hoo ha. And I know plenty of nice families that have set up new Indian ideals where it doesn’t really matter what the norm is, and if you want to do something, you’re free to do it after or despite discussion. Grudgingly or otherwise, many Indian parents today balance freedom well with authority. This writer kept saying how proud she was of being of Indian origin, which was quite ridiculous given that she seemed to think that as a nation, we symbolize one huge guilt trip.

But I’ll give her this much. The guilt that she spoke of is something we do without even realizing it. I have strong women friends defined by guilt. They’re vibrant and independent and full of pride, but at some grass root level, they’re feeling guilty. Of being independent in a family where women don’t need to work and a job is viewed of as an impediment to the natural duty of child rearing and husband feeding. Of never being able to explain why freedom is important. Of never being able to escape the shame of having felt claustrophobia. Our television feeds complete garbage into the minds of its viewers. The representation of Indian men and women is something I’m fiercely ashamed of. Rae’s post last week was a funny read but has a far deeper truth that despite endless debating, fails to really outrage our accepting sensibilities.
Generation Now is evolving into funny, interesting people that screw up relationships occasionally, find jobs and partners they love deeply, or in the least can live with and suffer stress, smoking and bad cinema. Couples have children after having spent enough time enjoying each other’s company. Marriage has stopped becoming a spiritual goal.

But guilt is still a big deal. I have my own. Every now and then I tend to mumble my way through family weddings where explaining my unconventional career and life is fearful. Suddenly my intense love for what I do, is guilty. I’ve watched my amazing dad try to explain my decisions and cringed. A friend is slowly trying to work his way through a mess of having been the obedient son for too long. Having sacrificed what he’s wanted for a really long time, extracting oneself from well meaning, but suffocating families where duty and sacrifice are synonymous with family honor is a task. Another friend cant get out of a marriage that lasted as long as the wedding because she’s afraid of the literal heart attack back home. A third will complete the mandatory education in the chosen field for 7 years before going on to get a job she doesn’t want. The thing is, we’re still not free. There are very many of us who are stuck in pools of inexplicable guilt that defy logic. Fashion becomes something to be ashamed of in a country where choices are judged in a matter of minutes.

I know I sound a little confused in this post. Its because I am, on the subject. There's a lot to understand where brass tacks are concerned.

I honestly don’t know if it’s more specific to us, owing to our heritages, or a widespread feeling that better masked elsewhere. Whatever it is, it’s too much baggage to grow with.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Something I intended to post but forgot last time.
A couple of days ago I was asked to decide the dramatic potential of some professional institutions. The festival was organized by Bangalore’s best and India’s second best management college. Undoubtedly aware of their prestige, they snagged a very hefty sum from sponsors and managed to invite the celebrity cream among musicians and quite a bit of corporate glitz. However, as far as managing the event went, the future of corporate India seems quite bleak. They treated us very sweetly but seemed quite helpless and uninformed most of the time. Things were heavily delayed, no one seemed to have the required control and the few that looked informed were far more interested in barking into their warlike talkies.

What made up for the lack of structure was the quality of theatre that came out on top. I would’ve paid more than I usually do to watch those plays at our auditoriums that frequently grace badly rehearsed, fundamentally unsound scripts.

Monday, February 05, 2007


The myth of The Standing Ovation has finally shattered for me. It’s rare that an entire audience actually gets up together, in genuine tribute to the witnessed performance.
What I’ve long suspected and recently confirmed is that, as in most shows, there will always be the few that truly believe that the performance in question deserves nothing less than a prompt clambering to one’s feet. And this select lot is, evidently, infectious. People sandwiched between them rise, half in confusion, half obligatorily. A few rows hurriedly follow suit, perhaps in their desire to be good members of the theatre. Several more follow, in a messy Mexican Wave manner. Finally, the remaining few who wish to not hurt the troupe’s sensitive emotions, or disbalance the sensibilities of the discerning crowd, rise. And what you have is The Semi-Standing Ovation.
Of course, there are instances when the phantom of the theatre erases such scarce grit and compels even the yawner/ grinner/ indifferent onlooker to stand in shared social grace.
And then there are the real ones. These are so far and few in between that it’s hard to predict their arrivals. But they’re pretty amazing. A whole hall full of faces that you instinctively know have loved every moment can be a real turn on. Even being a part of The Real Standing Ovation is a kick in itself.
One thing though, in a city like Bombay for instance, sometimes the desire to encourage fresh talent or surprisingly good work that seems sporadic, instills a commendable spirit of appreciation in lovers of the theatre. Enough to make them rise in true support.

There is an actor that I admire greatly. And it so happened that my time and purpose in Bombay allowed me to gaze worshipfully around him every day. I finally did manage to muster up enough coherence to go and gush to him about his work. Without making most of the intellectual points or questions I had debated for so long. It was still, A Moment. Sigh.

Hunger, I have discovered, is an ideology. One that I will have to live with and appreciate all my life. I’ve discovered the best way to combat my sweet jaw. Just give in to craving and its complete slavery. Not literally, as that would spontaneously combust all monetary incomes. But in spirit. There’s a certain sadistic pleasure in staring at a cheesecake or a jalebi, or chocolate and wanting it, yet not willing yourself to not want it. You cant have it, but lust, I’ve discovered, comes a close second to actual realization.

Well-wishers are only allowed to buy me flowers and books. Nothing edible, with cinnamon, apples or any such provocations. Gelato is fantastic.

What does one do with a friend that can’t see? How scared he is. And how running away doesn’t help. And what do I do with my idiot self that won’t give up or allow peace when I see too much. Why can’t I just let it be? Things would be easier for him.

Superstar has become an adorable alcoholic. Scotch bottles line his conscience.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Heh heh heh...i'm gonna make you famous!!!!!!!

Severely talented artist.

Also owns a restaurant.

Enfield-riding, maverick type.

Warm, fuzzy heart.


(People should hire me for this stuff)

Friday, January 12, 2007


Sometime last year, a friend told me her marriage was in trouble. Now, I don’t know much about marriages but I do know that when it gets to a point where you feel like a lesser person and worse, look the same, it certainly could be time to leave.
We’re close, but it’s really her cousin that’s closer. So when she simply talked about what living with someone who didn’t seem to like her much anymore, was, I mostly offered an ear and stayed out of the advice department.
At the time, she also had a little person in tow who seemed to adore his Daddy. The kid was adored right back, I was told. So, I figure, two people with a child in common and who must have liked something about each other at some point, had a fair chance at making it work.
Turns out it didn’t work. Turns out, that verbal abuse, when administered slowly, and over a period of time, works as well as any form of poison. Turns out that this particular brand of abuse is equivalent to any physical damage inflicted and the shape of the scars involved, bear a curious resemblance to each other.
I think that over time, as I heard her out and listened to accounts of what she was going through from other sources, what happened was that I began taking a stance. For me, the issue became less about what the problem was and much more about what she refused to do about it. There lies a curious devil inside some of us, who torments us into believing in false sanctities and instills a consuming fear of external animosities. External animosities and something else. Something completely separated from logic or sanity. A fear that seems to be completely against telling it like it is. A fear that fears truth and freedom. Or views it as selfish.
And that’s just her. Then there is her family, who, after witnessing eight years of the same bullshit, still want her to “work things out”. They cant bear the thought of a divorce and it’s impending doom on their cultural castles. Instead, they insinuate the effect that single parenting will have on a child and seem to liken it to being visually or otherwise impaired.
Okay, I think I’m a little prejudiced. Happiness and ensuring it has almost been a vital organ for me. They’re nice people, and they really love her. There are few parents that feel that much. Whether it’s sharing joy or sorrow, these guys want to do it all, all the time. That’s a good thing most of the time. Sometimes, it can get claustrophobic, if their other children are to be believed. But in my friend’s case, it’s about a life lived for two extra people. Any decision made affects them and their health issues so deeply, that it cannot, at any cost, be an independent one. So she’s reached a stage where she can’t take any.
Dissolution is something she’s been brought to the brink of, every other day. To put it plainly, she’d probably be single if it weren’t for the guilt of what she’s supposedly doing to her son and parents. If it weren’t so sad, it would be laughable that her family want to know, understand and patiently justify what makes her husband irrational enough to not be able to keep a job, treat his wife so badly and be irresponsible with regard to the kid. They haven’t been able to bring themselves to actually talk to him and demand to know why he’s being so rotten to their daughter. Incidentally, she’s the earner in the family. Other little trivia include the fact that he’s plainly suggested she leave (which in my opinion is makes him the most coherent of the lot) and that he makes the financial decisions. It’s interesting to not be able to buy the pants and yet wear them.
This is where I come in. A year down the line, I’ve told her siblings and cousin what I think. And I tend to not be the well phrased, understanding type when I get outraged. To me, they were not just not supporting any decision she could make, but actually forcing a life of unhappiness and more medication on her. She’s hardly over the hill, she’s attractive, smart and can have a great life, single or with a man who can make her happy, if she so wishes.
About the child, I grew up with parents who are terrible together and much happier and better people apart. I was hardly deprived being parented by a dad who taught me Abba and not nursery rhymes, because he knew so few. And he became the foundation of my life. This, in my case, mostly worked great. Example apart, what child would not be healthier in a peaceful home rather than a violent one?
Would it be different if she were male? Are we, as urban Indian women, as victimized as some of our rural counterparts?
I’m so tired of nothing ever happening.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year Bloggers!


I spent new years being ill and germ infested..

Will put up pictures soon. They're...entertaining I think..

I want to never be sick.


Friday, December 22, 2006


Am inspired by article in paper to make Wish List. Apparently, some secret Santa type individual, (who will first have to read my extremely subtle blog) will do needful.

* I wish wish wish for miracle project that will not be pretentious, downright business like or inane and will instead be mind numbingly perfect and hencefoth change my life.

* Make that two.

* Magical potion that fights flexible Indian hips and will allow me to eat absolutely anything. This wish to also be merged with being stuck in Hershey factory for very long.

* Three months in lonely English mansion holed up with a certain author, and writing his memoirs. It must be raining outside and we must not ever need to go out for anything. There must be no doorbell either.

* Closetful of pretty flat shoes. Refer to Piggy's post for exact description.

* 5.45 a.m must become bearable. I wish to not start every morning with desire to sleep till 12.

* Anand will magically enjoy Japanese food and proceed to get drunk on Sake.

* I will wake up one morning magically fit and not be reduced to humiliating puffer on track behind runners. I will also attain insane flexibility and show off stretches at the stadium that no one else can do. (Warning that this surpasses the rest where possibility is concerned and must therefore rely entirely on magic.)

* Superstar will call me patient, organized, calm and paragon of virtue. And will bow before my tap-turning-off ways.

* Love will continue to amaze me.

* Superstar will decide to take us to Vienna for all expenses paid trip.

* I will be able to bake extraordinary dessert.

* All paedophiles will rot in collective sewer for rat type people.

* I will have overcome fear of heights before thirtieth birthday.

* Also marriage.

* By some strange inheritance, Cinema Paradiso will turn out to be mine and so will my three favourite bookshops.

* I will still love everyone I do today when I'm ninety and they will too.

* Santa will turn out to be entirely desirable sports personality with red hat and charming smile, whose whole life's mission it is to make me happy.

Friday, December 15, 2006


Last night we saw something beautiful. Naturally perfect, sitting there, on that smoothly polished surface that seemed created uniquely. The angle was just right, the lights softly caught the odd imperfection put there to assure one of reality. Reflections of a glassy red ashtray shone through with friendy ardour. The single engraving, almost a dent, dimpled up at me enchantingly. Coffee gold is a colour, I sighed to myself.
We were a little wary though. Perfection is misleading and often has disturbingly disappointing interiors. We gingerly listened in silence. And the sounds lifted us up, enveloping in their simplicity and full of promised intensities.
This is the one we want. Or at least the kind that deserves to be longed for.
Why would he have terrible feet?

Separately, I felt a bit sad with something I discovered yesterday. Also slightly glad. I had been really confused for a bit. I couldn't get how someone could go from being dedicated and full of potential to average mediocrity within a few days. I could be terribly brilliant at dancing tonight and really bad at it tomorrow? How does that work? I was reading one really bad poem that had this decent last line when it sort of made sense. How good or awful I am as a dancer, really has to do with how I feel about dancing. Reverence, honesty, commerce, conflict, love, lust...how you treat the art form/ person/ even object, is returned or rewarded in full force by the art form/ person/ even object in question.
Scary I say.
I cant dance, but there are plenty of days I grudgingly do something connected to what I love.
And I've seen very closely how easy it is to slip into being average despite having potential.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Pepto Bismol anyone?

I'm going to archive a bit. This is a bit of a gummy pasty collage that I want to not forget or lose within the various journals, scraps of paper ( My biggest moments are hastily scribbled onto various flyaway sheets!), photos, letters etc etc collected over the years.
These are the ones that stuck, that always make me grin, the nauseatingly sweet ones, the funny sad ones...the bits that I'm afraid will drown inside my cellphone rehearsal noisy life.

Sand...big, huge, sporadically wet piles of it in school, that I allowed to invade my black shoes and white socks..

Lying on wet grass in the only garden home that I've ever lived in. Clean fresh air and my dad's alarming attempts at barbecueing.

Swimming when I was tiny...with dad in the sea. One palm against my middle was how he ensured I didnt get washed away by a wave.

Winning. I've always loved the feeling since I was old enough to win. Even if it was a small birthday party game. It gave me a thrill that only my work has replaced over the last few years.

My wobbly little sister , following me around and earnestly growing up wanting to be me. ( Now she wants to be Angelina Jolie. )

My grandmother. We were both certain that neither of us had kissed any single person as much as each other.

Finding books that would change my life.

The first song that was sung to me. Oh I loved this absolutely. Stars in my eyes in the moment and all that.
Now that shes back in the atmosphere
With drops of jupiter in her hair,
She acts like summer and walks like rain
Reminds me that theres time to change,
Since the return from her stay on the moon
She listens like spring and she talks like june, hey, hey

Tell me did you sail across the sun
Did you make it to the milky way to see the lights all faded
And that heaven is overrated

Tell me, did you fall for a shooting star
One without a permanent scar
And did you miss me while you were looking at yourself out there

Now that shes back from that soul vacation
Tracing her way through the constellation,
She checks out mozart while she does tae-bo
Reminds me that theres time to grow

I wish it were possible to feel that age again.

The phonecalls with my best friend in school. No conversation was enough.

"You capture my imagination."
Person in question currently does not notice if I get a haircut. Or a second head I think. It must be all the glamour. Snicker.

A 56 hour conversation with a stranger that stormed into and out of my life.

Feeling freedom.

My first cat. I made him smell of peach shampoo.

January and the telephone call that promised Someday.

Discovering that food and creating it was intoxicating.

Discovering the Pencils.

Laughing with Superstar.

My first flat. The feeling of ownership and possession.

Feeling. Wondering if I'm in love.

I suppose there'd be more if I tried. I dont want to. They'll come.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Airplane story

I think I'm a little too absolute about my Pencils.

Its who I am. Ever since I've had formed thought, they've mesmerized me, and drawn me..towards a lifetime of worship and adoration. They define me and define the life I live, the food I eat, the relationships I forge, break, endure, exhaust. They are me, I am them. They give, I hungrily take. I give, they seem fed and nourished by the constant love I feel. They freely possess me, just as I possess them. There are my moments of doubt, despair, suspicion, angst. They reach out and reassure me with the sacred connection we have.

I've met people over the years and been close, or held hands, or felt indifference or boredom or thrilled....and the Pencils have always had something to do with it. It was how they had influenced the bond, that defined the worth of it to me. It was them that I wanted to be nearer as I drew nearer to men and women. It was them that kindled conversations and more. And them that led to diffidence or suitcases. If A loved a Pencil he had seen last year, and B used to collect them in school, I was excited. If C had a lucky Pencil and D drew for years, I was hooked. They, and their fleeting images in the faces that I met, became all I wanted and held on to. And the minute I saw that connection slip, the minute I felt that reverence fade, even a little, I felt nothing or less for the face or film in question.

And then I met the rest of us. Every now and then, as I grew and sought, I discovered kindred spirits. That adored and were ignited similarly. It was like finding a home. That I could not bear to be separated from. Or even momentarily parted with. And I carefully, painstakingly built that home and that life and within that, a me, that nobody could take away my beloved Pencils from. My world revolves around them and finally I had filled my surroundings with the few that could see and sustain me.

One day, a very special one left. I was bewildered, confused and hurt. The Special One had loved them just as much as I did. The rest loved them, but were not replenished and exhausted and dependant on them as we were. And for the first time I had found one of them that would and had, given his life to the Pencils. What could possibly replace that? What fantastic occurence could change a devotion that had given us more joy than what most people are entitled to? It seemed that I mattered more than the Pencils and that I was expected to have a life where they took second place?? We etched out a long, bitter parting that will haunt us both forever. and violently , suddenly broke into two halves.

Life went on. The Pencils were there and all I needed. The rest was found in strong connections that if not equally, did cherish, in their own way, the magic of the Pencils. I had, however, begun to feel a nervous fear. I guarded the pencils jealously. Nobody was allowed to degrade them or taint my sacred shrine the way The Special One had. Weaknesses were intolerable to me and only the Questions prevented fanaticism.

The Questions were what made the Pencils beautiful. People asked and the Pencils softly answered for themselves, smiling indulgently at our collective outraged arrogance. They were so true and pure and gentle in their stature, that most people fell willing slaves. I laughed with joy to see the inflow and its quality was of no distress. As long as I and a few others and those far greater than us stood still in our cause and the joy it gave us, the Pencils were safe. I was safe, and happy. they had made me a better person.

Then I began to want it again - the companionship that sharing brought. Where the wonder for the Pencils was the connection between two selves. Where the joy was mirrored at the discovery of that fantasy world....and where nothing mattered more. I guess a part of me needed to see that image in someone else, for the strange shared fulfilment that love translates into.

I saw a friend form. I saw a growing attachment in her for the pencils. And that peculiar talent to understand them as only a few of us can. I saw her revere those great men and women, lovers of my loved ones, with some strain of what I felt. Something in me wanted that desperately to form wholly and be bigger, brighter perhaps, than what it was destined to be.

She glimmered in the potential of shining and seemed to reflect that light of purity that defied age and boundary and represented instead only greatness in the future.

I saw it eagerly once, was captivated on the second, third glimpse and had greedily convinced myself of the third.

And then it shattered, when I saw that it was not the Pencils, that fuelled her, and instead, the words they could write. For her. The tragedy lay in how simple it was, how undramatic sorrow is and how deep disappointment can dig.
I got greedy. And in some ways I think the Pencils punished me. She will find her own path, and I have found mine. Its all mine and perhaps for some time to come, only mine.

I think she saw some part of my hurt. Not all or most of it because she hardly understands. But some part.I loved her deeply and will continue to do so. I have grown and suspect that this will be one of those permanent bonds. And in that, perhaps The Special One was right. There is more to life than the Pencils. Its just that, the Pencils are my life. More, is what they bring me.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Well, travel and much illness has followed me around faithfully.

Yesterday, for the first time in a very long time, I atually felt like I was recovering. I actually felt healthy. I kid you not, to someone who's been that ill, this is a step short of salvaton.

And a little sad because I was going to be letting go of a part of me that represented purity and innocence and a 3 centimetre dream that I suddenly, insanely wished was real.

I met family and friends and strangers who had watched me grow up. Most of them seemed unreal. Wanted to constantly know why I had grown so much. I kept explaining that tragically, there wasn't even a centimentre to add to the medium length that I'd been a year and a half ago. My grandmum thinks I'm too thin. Yet, she keeps bringing up strange men who've never met me, and insisting that the time is ripe to harvest with one of them.

My cousin looked pronouncedly happy as she declared me fatter from my last visit. Her pierced chin was the cause of many merciful distractions though.

I met a writer, who, lke most writers, seemed on the lookout for a readymade muse. Since I had only one small suitcase and a ticket back home, I think I fit the bill. He was interesting in that he seemed to be mesmerised by attributes that I am unfortunately certain I do not possess. However, he made my phonecalls back home more animated. He also gave me a book (The Edible Woman...yes, I have not yet lived that down) with the first page filled with suitably mournful prose and we parted on the note that I reminded him of his aunt.

I also discovered brightly coloured markets that were such a joy to trudge through. And I happily bought gifts at twice their price.

I'm back now. With lots to do and get done. Sigh.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Rubber chicken

Sigh....I hate long flights...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Hmmm...I have no idea how to start this..

( 7 mins later)

Last night I felt bullied. And I've never known that.
I swear, if my school had bullies, they stayed away from me despite the fact that I was capital nerd. Or maybe Dad was overwhelming in the 'all mine' way he scooped me up on Fridays.
Then I went to college and they never showed up there either.
Then I got to work, and I met cheats, leches, bitches, manipulators and even if all these people had a bit of bully in them, I never felt bullied.

But last night I did. By a friend. All he did, was speak sharply, maybe authoritatively. Not to me, but to another, dear friend whom I was laughing with. And the thing is, I instinctively felt it..some sort of violation. I couldn't retort owing to the nature of the gathering and that preservation brought out the worst within me. I fumed and bristled and made sure he heard exactly what I thought and said. I had never felt the emotion and the only way I knew how to avenge the hurt was to go on the warpath. I didnt care how silly or inconsequential anyone thought it was, I had to feel better. I was determined to tell him exactly what I thought, seconds after the group dispersed.

I steamed and stewed and prepared and hurt and boiled away. It wasn't silly. Not for me. It was about standing up for myself.

And then he beat me to it. Came and apologized. And made me feel about two centimetres tall. He wasn't the bully I'd always feared would catch up with me. He was just a friend..who'd snapped in the crazy moment...like I had so many times, and all of us do.

And for the first time, I wasn't able to take an apology gracefully. I was too ashamed of myself.I knew I might have already and would've definitely tried to hurt him back.
I felt like I had to tell him somehow and we aren't close enough for me to blurt out the meannesses I never knew I had.

So I'm going to send him a link to this post. And hope that he understands.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


We were at our usual dinner spot last night. Beer guzzler meets jazz musician meets fervant South Indian, there for the famously great food. Place is owned by a friend who draws like an angel, has a warm,fuzzy heart and resembles a Harley maverick. There are sad goblins on the walls that always make me want to write about them. One goblin gingerly holds a tiny fragile fairy in his palm and is staring at her, mesmerized. I'll never forget that look, of absolute longing and enchantment. It must be nice to be an art whiz with your own pub. Sigh.

Steaming soup arrives and its the best thing I've ever eaten with the rains beating a consistent drum outside.

"What does being in love really mean?"

Huh? Um..entirely wrong person to ask..I..er.. The cornered person in question looks like he'd rather be in jail..

Everyone looks serious. Well of course. This bunch never gets serious about anything! And the one topic that I would certainly mumble my way through, they choose to get philosophical over

Superstar suddenly sheds the style and gets deep. Old girlfriends are drudged up. much debris is discussed. He has a point, a lot of loves are about having fun with someone and continuing to have fun no matter how long its lasted. Most good marraiges seem to be fun.

I apologetically try and remember all the instances where I had fancied the sensation.

Another friend thinks its about middle ground. Yeah, I can relate. Compromise and all that. Your noodles for my rotis. But surely this constant "deal" is not all it's jazzed up to be? Surely it gets tiring? Especially if it's constantly conscious?

My relationship allows me room and breathing space and the random days of cranky solitude that I cannot live without.

Love is...the fantastic high that fades into a fantastic low. We all laugh at her joke. But its true. I've been troubled in situations where my closest friends have said that the pain was too much too bear, that desolation/ anger/ hurt/ weakness was the altar at which worshipping Love, made it bearable. Seems terribly painful..are you sure that this is love..I had doubtfully asked in my head..

My relationship has laughter and teasing and problems that dont become grudges or vinegered anger.

X believes Love has has the properties to heal and restore.
Y wants nothing to do with it, is in hate and likes the armour.
Z wants cotton candy and walks in the rain.

I dislike drama. I found logic and companionship, friendly warmth, even on days that tell me I cannot ever expect salvation. Sorry, Dad.

A likes languid afternoon, makes the time, cooks together.
B believes in driver's seats and equalizing power (Contradictory I know, but exactly what she said)
C is recently liberated from wet toilets and pompous last name.
D wants her to help more at home.

Turning off a tap, learning to cook, watching films alone, watching films together,...adulterous, juvenile, cuddling, candour, sex, hate, loneliness, organizing, bills, trips, fights, make-up sex, fantasies with other people, money, stability...

I chew slowly..my head swims easily. I wish my partner were here. I think we would've both been bewildered.

Love..seems complicated.

Monday, November 06, 2006


I crawl out of my fluid shawl..warm, enraged, pink and red ...sentences written across my temples..blue gelatin suffocating me..and my mother looming over a giant shadow, her angry heat blazing over me..

Can I climb over the iceberg?

Its frozen, its transparent juts will pretend to be meant for your trust and grasp..its ridges will covertly transform into transport and hooded accomplices will talk of safety on the way...and you'll clasp a knife of ice with your little fingers wrapped around it, and just as you begin to hoist yourself, you'll find the ice has held you forever...you're frozen and joint to the monster and you'll never be able to let go..naked and climbing an iceberg? Do you know it took centuries to shape a tiny cube made uneven by a chipped tray.

My rocking chair jerked frantically. The toes that hadn't formed yet shivered in anticipation. The cube was little and unwanted. You see, It had been tainted. At the very centre of its frozen beauty, say an accidental drop of blood. And since then, anger and astonishment had ostrasized the cube. It felt lonely and left out. It felt anger and apathy. It grew..it filled...with neglect and fear and hollow round holes in its enlarged core. And it took on a new name, because now, it had become large and strong and powerful..and had understood superstitions and tradition..and now when it laughed it became a terrible deafening roar that silenced people's hearts and made them afraid to think.

Turgid water balloons burst aginst my puckered angry fists. Silent rocking back and forth. I was the iceberg, the iceberg was me..we have so much in common..
Why couldn't I climb it?

The iceberg knew, and smiled through its slits of vision. It knew I could hear polite laughs and unnatural high pitches..it had known the permeability of amniotic fluid..and that its icy breath had snaked its way in, and curled aroud my brain...it knew my mother's fears..and my ancestral prejudices..it had sneered at the occasional Thought...and clamped its habitual forces around my arteries..I would never be free... free..I would never see the tinkling chains of tiny icecubes...wound around my willing wrists...each with a warm, red centre.

I could never climb it.

Unless I chose to.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Yesterday's post was intended to be about the beautiful, beautiful Indian rain that Mahima talked about.

The thing is, my superstar hates it. And is absolutely foul when wet. Also funny and cranky in a pretty way..but mostly foul..and that evening was no exception.

The post just went another direction, all by itself.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


I was drenched again last evening..
It looked like it would rain..but then, in this city, it always does. And this time of the year, the clouds are usually conscientious about their promises.

Milk ,eggs, lettuce, butter, bread, noodles, mushrooms.. lovely rounded discs, raspberries stained with cocoa..gorgeous sparkling bottles pregnant with their enchanted aerations..guilt, first pangs..steering, veering, giving in..more beauty, soft dough..twisted temptresses...erect french fantasy..more milk, more eggs, chicken, wheat, soup...I breathe,mutter, confess, purge,relieve..relive.....Murky waters filled with fairies...no, no, no... Salt, fish, juice, soap, mugs, scrubs, tea, grapes....mutter, mutter, list, mutter...magical madness away...straight and narrow, focus, focus ..breath, breathe, chant, breath, envisage, vision, light...oh demons, angels, satanic pleasure...weeping, wandering ,wanton..cubes of darkness and danger..nestled in fragile tissue..rustling in my ears, my heart, my mind...fierce lust..fantastic fear...decision, diversion...the redness of pulp, warm, trickling, sweetened by desire, bottled by blasphemy..pure white sinner...shamelessly aged..masquerading ..mocking..pouring out its evil heart...beckoning at my heavy senses... milk ,eggs, lettuce, butter....breathe...

Oh lovely breath of rain and tea, sweetened by ginger and post coital-ish candour..

Gorgeous rain-streaked streets soak in their sodium shards..
I'm so late...

Friday, November 03, 2006


Someone I love woke me up today.

Literally..because my semi-largish( I love, absolutely adore being able to say that..no more tiny cubes of sitting room space..yay!) living room functions as rehearsal arena for this friend. And despite spare key, doorbelling plus plenty of thudding/dancing/ yelling/ jangling/ singing (performance piece..sigh..)ushers my scowl into this lovely, awake world. So at 7 a.m , life begins.

Today, he barges into my bedroom with usual flamboyance and outrageous hair. Says something (presumably Good Morning)..I mumble back....open eyes partly and affectionately regard the sweaty superstar.

"I had three bad dreams last night"..I state sulkily, proceeding to explain how weirdly the three were inter-related and yet had had substantial breaks between them..All three had left me with that unpleasant uneasiness that bad dreams produce, as opposed to the cold sweat that my nightmares are happily defined by.

As always, he interrupts me somewhere mid sentence. Unfairly, he takes complete advantage of our platonic bond and remains the only person whom I grudgingly forgive for outrageous interrupting. Probably because he's promised to let me live upstairs with my cats when he has a wife and kids and we're both juggling false teeth.

"Hey! Really??!! No wayyy!!( Despite pushing 30, anything this man says is a sort of exclamation) Me too..I had this horrible dream !"

I sceptically survey the interrupting oblivious offender. But I'm interested. How can I not be? The man is a live wire and a born entertainer..A can of beans that want to audition for Jesus Christ Superstar. Also it must be admitted, full of dramatic potential ever since he began (Good Lord), taking himself seriously. So I am interested. In both the bad dream and what will surely be an entertaining rendition.

"We were in a train and going somewhere"...He starts off and I immediately foresee the rest. There was this one instance when I made a trip to see a boyfriend and Superstar had been uncomfortable with me traveling alone (I had bravely bought a bus ticket)and accompanied me with an injured ankle. Being almost six feet tall, the bus ride and it's tiny seats( large for my frame) lasted a painful 20 hours and then he had hobbled around the city with me ,drowsy on painkillers and full of reproach on my insensitive desires to climb mountains. I predict that the 'dream' would have something to do with the bad karma I accumulated on that trip.

"We were in a train and going somewhere and suddenly X appears"( X is scum bag who tossed me around and broke many things- refer to earlier post )
He continues,"..And all of a sudden, you're going to sit with him, like you used to..and comforting and hugging him..like you used to. And you keep coming to me and saying that you wanted to give him a chance and that it was important..like you used to. And I was feeling really horrible, helpless and afraid throughout the whole thing..like I used to."

I told one of my grandmothers yesterday that it was such a wonderful thing to have no dog, kids, spouse, etc etc..and that while I would be ready for them someday, A responsibility-free life was a beauty.I also operate that way emotionally. I just go ahead and do what I feel like. Hell hath no fury like Tara stopped on her way to doing/getting what she wants. And that includes any friend, family , foes..take your pick. I do what I want.

And that I didn't realize the hurt caused. I'm sorry. All of you.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Other people's babies..

My dad's leaving for five years. It should be okay. I mean, I'm the independant black sheep. Why would it be a problem. Besides, visiting London will be great. All that theatre, delicious pursuits that struggling artists only fantasize about.

I've lived alone for two years. Its been rough at first given that I was clueless about plumbers, potties, bills, other people's noisy animals/babies/ spouses..

Now I have sense, experience(I am FanTasTic at dealing with overflowing pipes)and a maid. Also, nice flat where my bathroom and bedroom are not roughly the same size, shape and colour.

The thing is, I need dad. In the same city, not too far away. Horrendously selfish I know but there it is. He's the place where I feel safest. He's the home I know will always take care of me. Or want to at any rate. He's also the one person who'll probably be completely okay with all my eccentricities. And not think of it as a middle ground.

So anyway, I love dad. And I'll miss him like crazy. We grew up together, a team, just the two of us. This is rotten luck.


I'm a little troubled, a little bare,
nude at the core of its truth..
I'm not supposed to feel this way.
Its why I flew the coop.

So you're leaving. Its only five years..
I'll visit, you'll visit, there's mail.
So why do I feel like I'm five again..
( bitter tears over the blamed airplane)

Photograph courtesy Nyc London

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Monologues (Other things)

In the passion of point A., I forgot or passed by other stuff that came up in the meetings.

Also, since I forsee many posts on this theme, so I'm going to give them separate titles in brackets. Hah. So there, to all those who call me disorganized.

We talked a lot. Her talking had opened up parts of us that prefer seclusion. I'm the reticent one. I talk a lot, but little that really reveals much about me. Maybe thats why writing is such a big part of who I am. While I talk here far more than usual, the general percentage is low. And I guess I also did the same here. But I winced, and felt..and generally, experienced, in a way I never have. The shocking revelation that so many women had faced abuse in their daily lives that my sheltered existence had relegated to "the unfortunate"..

And we talked of healing. One of us has worked extensively with women's groups, another with spirituality that prescribes massage..etc.. I wondered for a moment whether I fit into the conversation. And wonderfully enough, I did. For the first time in my life, I felt a kinship with my own sex. Beyond femininity.

We talked about our appearances. How one gets the silly bimbette roles and the other is constantly forced to be the mother/sister/maid..The occasional director who gratified us with vision was duly showered with praise..

Feeling fat in the mornings..feeling far too skinny every day..Sexy, bitchy, guilty, diabetic, depressed, beautiful, rotten..

I have to be careful or I'll end up on Oprah.

But its true. We, with our crazy mix of all types and stereotypes, represent all women.

I'm loving it.
Wanted : An Old-flame Extinguisher.

The Monologues..(contd.)

I'm glad I got a fresh blog.

Its a little bit like a new adventure..

And I'm determined to have a new set to talk to..read with..

We got together last night.

And this morning for what we've termed 'Technical Meetings'..dreaded subjects like funding and grants and advisory committees and not collaborating with traditional cultural bodies that seem interested{Masochistic since they have lots of moolah}.

Last night was a Creative Meeting. We got talking..about the eventuality of creating a script from the narratives that were forming through our conversations( For the record, the possibility of a set of monologues is slim, particularly for me)

We had chai and admired my photographs and the staircase in my flat that leads nowhere( I love it).

The sixth woman came on board.

Even before she rang my bell,( Allow me a little drama please, it is but natural) I was apprehensive. I'd met her before professionally and bracketed her instantly as "the kind of woman I don't get along with". Yeah, I can be judgemental but I do find men less complicated and I have very deep connections with the few women I can forge bonds with. That was that. She had been frosty, a natural reaction to my indifference.

She sits, smiles and I immediatly know that some of the others feel my trepidition. "Give it a chance"..I chastise myself. But I'm afraid. That the beautiful, open energies here will tilt with the politics that certain people cannot help but bring with them.

We talk. Fill her in on last time - the original script, everything we'd discussed, our individal desires from the project... She looks puzzled. " You're asking me what I want from this?" I nod. "This whole thing about My wanting something is all very new to me", she says, shaking her head disapprovingly.

Uh oh. Trouble. She'll tell us how selfish we and this whole free Indian woman with its struggles and identity are. And we dont want to be chastised or trashed for wanting more from our lives.Not any more. We dont want to be berated and reminded about our existing opportunities and gratifying lives. Not here anyway, not in this private sanctum that accepts and understands. I'm vulnerable here, unprepared. I may not be able to fight you as well as I can in the World outside.

She quietly sliced into my fear. " I've never really had the chance to do that, you see. I come from a world, where since I've been little, I've been told what to do and taught not to want"...

A different world tumbled out. the repression of not having ever been allowed to think for herself, the lack of even a stringent private space, the literal fact that she was never allowed to close her door when alone, the torment of not having the luxury of even a journal that would be respected as private..being called dark and ridiculed by family and friends for the color that defines our wheatish race..

And a childhood of sexual abuse that could never be talked about. The inability to confide in a family that had chained her to mythical ancestral glory. Innocence lasting till the realization in a seminar that one had, after all, been violated and abused. The horror that seizes the mind, that can never be articulated in how much it defines. One becomes the abuse, takes it on, gives it a shape, a form , one's own body. And voiceless, nameless, that choking, abused body cloaks itself, in dark colours, shapeless clothes, adipose tissue.....

And the ugly rebellion that came years later..The confused grappling for an individual mind..The storms, the alcohol, the bewildered, frenzied search for some sort of peace..some sort of rebirth..

I told her later how lucky I felt to have the opportunity to be able to be a better person. Through these women, through our search, I might just end up free.