Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wedding Woes

Everyone who heard about her engagement came to her and asked, 'We didn't know you both were in love!'. She was tired of telling everyone that it wasn't. Nobody believed it anyways. After all, they have been in the same college for years now. So now, she just smiled at them in reply.

"Love is the last thing that we have for each other', she mused.

Monday, March 13, 2017


A few weeks back, on a lazy Saturday evening in Hyderabad, the out of sync beatings of drums brought me to my balcony on the fourth floor. On the road below me was a procession. A procession of about a dozen men, dancing to the discordant and incongruous thrashing on dead skin stretched around the hollow of wood, as they led a white clad body to its pyre. Cheap flowers adorned the body that lay motionless on the makeshift bamboo stretcher, the weight of death borne by four men in their damp loins. Petals of flowers were thrown into the air as the dancers screamed and celebrated death, the petals making a slow, gliding descend to be strewn on the hot tarmac. What were they celebrating? Death? Or the life after death?

It brought back thoughts of Rudaalis in the havelis of Rajasthan. Clad in black skirts and cholis, face covered by black duppattas, they would wail and beat their bossoms out as they mourned for a loss that wasn't theirs. As they stripped the newly widowed woman of her jewels, and reduced the vermilion on her forehead to a distant smear, did they feel grief? Did they feel for the woman who was going to be shunned from public life for the rest of her life? What do they feel? Sadness? Sympathy? Empathy? Joy?

Simultaneously, it brought thoughts of death. How do I feel about death? Scared? If it is fear that we feel about death, what do we fear more - one's own death or the death of a loved one?

I watched as the drums faded away into the evening sun as a pyre somewhere far was readying itself to embrace death and burn itself to a handful of ashes.

Monday, May 16, 2016


The key clicked inside the lock with a hesitation. Even the door didn't want to budge. It was drizzling outside, but the air inside was hot and suffocating. In spite of that, he realized that her scent lingered thick in the house. He moved inside in no hurried pace. He threw the wallet and the key to the car onto the bedside table. The bed was unmade and the sheet was still crumbled. And wet from her towel. He went to the refrigerator and took out a bottle of water. And then he noticed the bottle of wine, half empty. He kept the bottle of water back and took the wine bottle instead. He moved to the kitchen to fetch a glass. The dishes weren't done. Their lunch, cooked but half eaten, was still on the stove. He took a glass and poured himself some wine. The red liquid splashed and swayed against the crystal of the glass. He moved to the living room. It should be called a dead room, he thought. He noticed the packet of cigarette on the table. He had quit smoking. There was just one left in it. He took it out and brought it to his nose. He smelled the length of the cigarette and stuck it between his lips. He went out onto the balcony and took a deep breath. Petrichor. Or a long reminder of that. There was a chill in the night and the sky was starless. He took out the lighter and lit the end of the lady in the white. He took in a deep drag as the end of the cigarette glowed in the darkness. Treat your cigarette as you'd treat your lover, he had said to her earlier that day. He exhaled a cloud of smoke into the unknowns of the night. He took out the cigarette from his lips with one hand and brought the tip of the glass with the other. He let the wine splash inside his mouth before letting it drown in his feelings. It's just the rain and me tonight, he thought.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Wedding Invitation

Mr. I-Told-You-So and Mrs. Emotional-Dramabazi

cordially (read because of society and because you invited us for your daughter's marriage) request the pleasure (yeah right!) of your company on the occasion of wedding of their son,

Mr Bechara Bakra, B.Tech (Obviously)


Ms. Emotionally Blackmailed, B. Tech (Again, obviously)

D/o Mrs. & Mr. Soon-To-Be-Kangaal

Address Is Vague Because We Don't Want You To Enquire

on Friday, the 13th of May 2016


That Big Marriage Hall in the City with Air Conditioned Halls and Little Parking

and for lunch thereafter.

Please consider this as our personal invitation and graze the occasion with your esteemed presence. Please make this occasion memorable with your hushed whispers about the bride, her dress, her make-up, the amount of the jewellery, the food, what you heard about our family in the grapevine, and other gossips you heard in the rumour mill, because the food and the drinks are free, the hall is air-conditioned, and we are paying for everything.

Also consider this as our personal invitation to speculate on and/or discuss the future life of our son and our bahu from day 1 including when they should have a baby, whether our son is virile, or a gay, or whether the bahu should see your gynaecologist or any other matter you find worthy of your discussions during the next marriage of someone you know.

Your presence is the best present!

(But yes, we are keeping a tab of the presents because we had our son's marriage in mind when we gave you all those presents on different occasions)

(Because we have to inform the bride's parents whether they will have to mortgage the house too)

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

That One Time In Paris

"Why did we meet? I mean, the virtual meet. Why did you comment on my blog? What were you looking for?" 

She asked him, as she sipped her citrus crush from the comforts of her wicker chair. The joint was an extended balcony overlooking the balcony, with old and ruined red brick half walls, overgrown with vines. It was called Paris. Her eyes returned from the sea and stared into his eyes for a moment, searching for an answer that didn't matter.

"Nothing in particular." He paused for a moment before continuing. "Why did we meet? Maybe because of the Butterfly Effect. Maybe because, somewhere, a butterfly flapped its wings!"

And he smiled.

Monday, September 21, 2015


Movements in the hall woke her up from her troubled sleep. She slowly pulled herself out of the bed and took a deep sigh. She slogged her way into the hall, leaning onto the walls for support. It was dark and the lights were all out in the house. She could make out his silhouette at the head of the dining table.

"What's for dinner?", she mumbled in a barely audible voice.

"Justice", he replied in a straight voice.

She looked at him, startled.

"I served justice for dinner", he clarified.

She slowly walked towards to him. He nodded towards the plate in front of him. On it was a head, severed and bleeding.

Even in the dark, she could make out the face to which it once belonged. It used to belong to one of her tormentors. She took a fork from the stand on the table and poked it deep into one of its eye socket. It slid deep inside, as thick fluid oozed out of the corners of the hole.

She left the fork poking out of the socket and grabbed his face in her arms. She kissed it lightly with bruised lips and whispered slowly into his ears, "I'm still hungry!"

Friday, September 04, 2015

No, Not Today

She looked at her reflection in the full length mirror one more time. The large, red bindi, dark kohl, bright red lipstick. She looked perfect, she thought. No, not perfect. She was not perfect. Not today. She corrected herself. But yes, she looked beautiful. She grabbed the pallu in a bunch and adjusted it around her sleeveless shoulder. A good amount of her cleavage was showing over the loosely thrown pallu of her white and red saree. But she didn't care. Not today.

Eric Clapton was singing Wonderful Tonight in the background, in the old gramophone she had inherited from her dadu. She took a deep puff from the Black and stubbed the rest of it in the ash tray on her dressing table. She made a mental note to empty the ash tray when she got back. She took the bottle of perfume she kept on the table and opened its glass lid. She tilted it gently and took a little of it on the glass applicator. She dabbed the perfume on both her wrists and took a whiff of it. She looked at the mirror again and smiled at herself.

"Look at you!", she said to herself.

She turned off the record that was playing and moved towards the door. She slipped into her sandals while balancing herself against the wall. She took the car key from the key stand by the door. She paused for a moment. No, not today. She didn't want to drive. She hung the key back on its hook.

She unbolted the door and stepped outside. She looked to either side of the veranda on the floor. No one. The next moment, she reprimanded herself for doing that. Why was she behaving like a thief? She headed straight towards the staircase. She didn't want to take the lift. She literally ran down two sets of stairs. She had a spring in her steps, a glow in her eyes, and the naughtiness of a 5 year old in her grin.

The watchman on the apartment woke up from his slumber on hearing footsteps. He was very little used to hearing footsteps. Nobody took the stairs unless the lift was not working. Not even the people on the first floor. He could smell her even before he saw her. The evening breeze carried the scent of her perfume way before her. And then she emerged from the building. And she was a sight to behold.

He ogled at her shamelessly. She looked alluring. Her sumptuous cleavage and high navel made him drool. He was so mesmerised and carried away that he forgot to look away when she neared him. Usually, she gives him a smile whenever she passes by him every day. But no, not today. Today, she didn't even throw a glance in his way.

She hummed the lines from Wonderful Tonight as she moved towards the gates of her apartment. She wondered if she will get a taxi in time. As she emerged from the confines of her building and stepped into crowded street, she drew the attention of more people. A teenager who passed by her muttered some dirty remarks in Bengali under his breath. She pretended not to hear them. Not today.

She stepped out of the footpath and onto the road and extended her arms out to hail a cab. An old, black and yellow taxi slowed but moved past her. It had passengers in it. For one moment, it looked as if the taxi driver was willing to ask his passenger to disembark then and there itself, and take this new passenger to her destination. She wasn't that outrageously beautiful for a Bong. Or bold. But today, she was different. She was voluptuous. She was vulnerable. And she oozed a boldness she had never known.

A couple of minutes passed and a taxi slowed down to a halt in front of her extended arm. The driver was an old man. He peeped through the passenger side glass and asked, "Kothay jabe?"

"Dada, Princep Ghat", She replied, leaning closer to the window. She didn't want to be heard by her onlookers. Not that anyone could hear her. But nevertheless, she didn't want to take a chance. Not today. You never know who will follow you.

The greying old man nodded his approval. She twisted the handle of the old Ambassador and got into the bucket seat in the back. Old velvet, she thought as she brushed her hand against the seat. She leaned back onto the seat and closed her eyes. Thoughts came running towards her, and soon, she was drowned in them. She didn't realise that she had drifted into a sleep and was dreaming. She was in an open place; too crowded  and noisy for her taste. Amidst all the chaos, she heard his voice booming over the others. Princep Ghat, it said.

"Meye, amra pouchhey gechhi." It was the old taxi driver's voice that shook her up from her dream.

Did he just call her beti? Not didi, but beti. She smiled. For the first time this evening, someone had held her in a non-amorous way. She smiled and asked, "Bhara kato?"

She paid the driver and got out of the taxi. The taxi sped away with a loud noise. Once again, she looked to either side. She prayed that no one she knew was out there tonight. Not today. Nobody was there. The ghat was deserted except for a few couples. She took a deep breath and walked towards the ghat.

(Might be continued....)