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Is my safety a privilege?

I consider myself privileged in many areas of life. Being born into an upper middle class family, being given a good education, and therefore being equipped to not only function but also succeed in the modern world. Many people, especially women, do not have such luxuries. One of the signs of privilege is to be... Continue Reading →

A 3-month haiku run

Around this time in 2016, I was struggling to keep up with a daily writing routine as other commitments took charge of my day. So I was thinking of doing something different with words as a part of my free writing schedule. Often, when writing students would ask for advice on how to improve on... Continue Reading →

Why everyone should learn to write well

Without written communication, language would be lost in a dark alley trying to find its way back. The ability to construct sentences that are clear, concise, and easy to comprehend, is underrated and rare. In this post-literate world that we live in, the written word has more value than it ever did before. The internet... Continue Reading →

Yellow-paged love

I find you to be demanding today. Demanding to be eternally read and remembered, while thousands more continue to be born and bred, taking up shelves in bookshops and libraries that I may never get to see, touch or smell. Pages unflipped, will yellow before the dust settles. I find you to be wanting today.... Continue Reading →

Of Light and Change

Things are changing. I can feel it in the air. I can see it through the mellow light. It is that weird time of the year before winter sets in. As the sunrays seep into the cracks in my wall, I welcome the light. The soft, soothing kind that pacifies the anxious, comforts the distressed.... Continue Reading →

Three walls and a curtain (4)

A.. B.. C.. D.. E.. Blink. A.. B.. C.. D.. Blink. I recite the entire alphabet over and over and wait for the eyes to blink. My voice trembles the first time. I've never felt so desperate. Letter by letter, blink by blink, we form words. We slowly put disparate words in context, trying to... Continue Reading →

Between

Are you out of pain? Is your mind clear? Your heart free? Do you grow and age? I often wonder. Do you hear the fights? We lack your strength, your resolve. We are still finding our way. Do you watch over us? I often wonder. Do you recall memories? Have you moved on? We haven't,... Continue Reading →

Travel Telltales 

Travel to me is road trips. Rocky roads and really long drives. A car trunk flooded with luggage, and some more in the rear seat. And by the feet. And on the lap. How it all fit into our little car, I'll never know. I've been traveling for as far back as I can remember.... Continue Reading →

Reading, Writing and Growing Up

My grandmother was a collector. She collected stamps, coins, postcards, letters, souvenirs, photographs, diaries and books. I was not allowed to touch any of that. At the most, she'd let me play with her jar of coins under supervision. But her books were never off limits. They were mine for the taking. She was an... Continue Reading →

Spectacle

Each night Her vision grew indistinct Smudged with soot Smeared with smoke Beclouded by gloomy fog As the thick rims came off. After some fumbling And clumsy toe-stubs She would reach out To turn the last lamp off In a failed attempt To function Without help Without clarity Without glasses. The eyelids dropped Like iron... Continue Reading →

Travel

A majestic sun Plays hide and seek With dense clouds Impervious, yet so clear. Below sags a lowly hill Crowned with crystals Yellow, purple, Orange and blue. The cement structures Grow smaller And smaller Until sight leaves them Deserted To take in the vast fields Of cotton pieced out From the clouds above. A stork... Continue Reading →

Beauty

Black heels on the red ramp They walk the catty walk Graceful, insidious, charming Hungry curves and supple moves A killing smile, a sensual look Onlookers gasp and sigh They model their beauty Fair, tall and lean Because beauty sells. Grey clouds battle over the sky Round, pregnant rain drops Fall like bricks The makeup,... Continue Reading →

Categorical Friendship

Friendship is a strange strange thing. People associate it with values like happiness, love, closeness and success. To have friends is a big social positive and to be friendless is to be an outsider, a misfit. Like everything in the world, friendship is hierarchical. Best friends are seated at the top of the pyramid. The... Continue Reading →

In Memoriam

There is little satisfaction in communicating without speech. Some things just need to be said. In her last days, my grandmother ceased to speak. She would nod, look around some times, pass on a smile too. But not utter a word. I wondered whether she chose not to speak. Whether she was content with expression.... Continue Reading →

628 (3)

"It's okay. It is. Okay?" Peering behind curtains, searching for a face. I have 5 minutes. Tick tock tick tock. A lungful of intoxicating smell. I've known this face for longer than I can remember. He's half asleep. I could just stand here, forever. I touch his shoulder, not knowing if he would respond to... Continue Reading →

Grey Skies (2)

It is a wet, grey evening draining itself into darkness. I get a call. There has been an accident. I sit there. Then I pack. It is a misty, early morning in Mumbai. As I wipe the fog off my window, I wait to arrive at my stop, unaware of how often and for how... Continue Reading →

Pieces (1)

I haven't been able to write because I do not fully comprehend what I attempt to say. During a time when I hold on to things fragile and distant, I wonder if something has changed. Something that has escaped from my being. As fragmented as the thought is, I write for I know that the pieces ought... Continue Reading →

Reading

The smell of dust clung to the room while they sat back and stared at me. I think I almost saw them pout. Or maybe that was just me. With every step, a tiny convolution took shape. One that brought back memories of  pages yellow and white. Black symbols afloat, mingling in and out of... Continue Reading →

Yellow

With feet up on the marble bench seat under the shed, she read Morrison, in the most delightful, quiet and secluded garden she'd ever come across. It was a discovery she chose to keep to herself. Wainwright played softly in her ears. She had had a dull day. These were the few precious moments of... Continue Reading →

Treetop

Waving its branches In greeting, Each morning The palmy head Tilts. I take it as a Laurel bedeck. The treetop In sole company Of the blue expanse Retains all power There is to offer; Magnifies it Each day And reinstates it Into my eyes. Until daybreak.

Books

At the end of Each hagridden day, I came to you Seeking a quest, To look forward to. You, I opened, To that page Which held me last. Being released into A yet other world A megacosm That never failed me. In the hope To never return, I read on.

Caged

Whispers By silence, Smiles By conventions, Light By shadows, Clarity By choices, Dreams By desires, One By four walls, Straightjacketed.

To throw

Growing up, I left behind certain traits that I had as a kid. I outgrew some clothes as well as some actions and started being adult-like, very consciously. To carefully sit, to steadily walk, to be compulsively polite, to 'act' rather than to 'be' - these are the things adulthood gave me. Recently, I realized... Continue Reading →

Blocked

Something stirred her awake. Maybe it was the neighbor's cat again. The wooden table wasn't a comfortable headrest. It took her brain a few minutes to go from blankness to sight. Every muscle of her body screamed ache. With half-opened eyes, she stares at the screen. A blank page. White. It makes her eyes hurt.... Continue Reading →

A Familiar Stranger

What am I doing here? I wonder, standing amongst a crowd full of devotees, being elbowed and cornered, with hands joined in prayer and in gentle deference to my upbringing. My shoes are off and my feet burn on the heated marble. A priest's wet finger appears out of nowhere and aims for my forehead.... Continue Reading →

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