The Start

You grow up thinking love fixes everything. But it doesn’t.

You fix you.

G waved her doobie at the imaginary audience around her in her Castle of Joy, what she named her struggling house. She’s dressed in a kaftan, heavy-lidded eyes imagine herself to be a witch of sorts. A goddess and then she just imagines all the munchy food content in her house and is subsequently unsurprised when she remembers there’s nothing in the house. G contemplated the line, savoured it on her tongue and giggled to herself, ’you are so wise G.’ She grabbed her phone and threw it down again. Shaggy was out and at that moment all she wanted to do was be with him, even if the closest to him would have been through a phone.


Ask her friends ask her colleagues, ask her family, ask her people-Everybody knows Shaggy.

She had met him for the first time at a get together in her house. They were celebrating their First Saturday in the Castle of Joy.  They would be G and her elder sister, let’s just call her SisterG for convenience sake. SisterG was the perfect elder sister; she would smoke with you, have a brutal opinion about everything you and of course vehemently hate any man who comes into your life. ‘On Principle Only.’

The house was named such as on the first day they moved in, the first thing the two sisters did sitting in their struggling flat on a tiny, narrow cot surrounded by their luggage was roll a hash doobie and so the house was christened. ‘The Castle Of Joy you shall be.’

He had to bend in to enter into the charmingly crumbling flat they had set up already. SisterG had thrown a mini party with an old friend of hers, who brought along two of his other friends. Shaggy was one of them. Suzie, our friend was quite a tall man himself. I didn’t expect a taller, bigger man to walk in behind him.


Gruff, scruffy he brought his own beer to the house. G bullied him into a roll-off with the other friend who was there. Shaggy won it hands down, he rolled quick and he rolled beautifully.  SisterG was in her element that day, her charisma lit the party. G sat back and would quip some funny, awkward line in between the conversation. Shaggy would gruffly say something serious and straight-forward, his contribution to the conversation.  He sat back too.

They started talking amongst themselves, G and Shaggy. G had her heart broken last month, that night sex with him was the farthest thing from her mind. She asked him to help her find a job, he instead went on about how much he loved his job. One thing you must know about Shaggy at this point of the story is that at that very moment in time, the boy had zero game and zero timing.

SisterG who incidentally can’t stand him now, was the one who made G exchange phone numbers with Shaggy. First few times he hung out with them, he would keep complimenting their bathroom. A tiny corridor of a bathroom, with walls broadcasting the neighbour’s lives, a chunky, contraption of a commode, a concussion waiting to happen shelf right above the door-that was the bathroom he would praise every time.


Turns out he had been at a concert I had been at, before I knew him. Turns out a broker had shown him, Castle of Joy once when he had been house hunting with his friends.

Turns out a lot of things weren’t like how G thought it would be.

Especially about Shaggy.

Maybe it was G. Maybe it was him. Maybe it was both of them or maybe it was the great granddaddy of all love stories-Fate.

They stuck on each other. G was convinced he would bore her but every time they talked he intrigued her even more.

She dragged him along on an expedition to get weed from her friend, who also incidentally happened to be roommates with her ex. They got drunk, swapped stories and danced like no one’s watching. G and Shaggy danced with abandon as if they knew it was just a matter of time before they fucked. The ex forgotten, the friend ignored. G sprawled all over him the cab, only now she was intoxicated enough to admit to herself she had wanted to try him since day one. Shaggy pecked her on the forehead and dropped her home.


If you had asked her then, she would have never admitted what she would blush and gush about now.

If you ask me, I think it was because of the peck on the forehead.

That night was the first time G realised she liked this big, floppy haired bumbling man boy.


Family Curses

My grandmother’s curse fell on the child,

the day she was baptised.

‘You won’t give her my name,

but her nature you shall see

will be no less than another me.’


Early on, she took after her grandmother.

Same likes. Same quirks.

As she grew into her own,

her temper did the same.


Clear as day, it became to us.

We could only watch helpless,

as she turned into a mirror

of the woman who had cursed her

on the day she was baptised.





The Start of the Seven

His mother would tell the same tale, sixty years later each word the same as the first time.


‘He didn’t make a sound when he came. I was so young. I was so numb.’

‘I saw them dip him in two bowls, one of hot water and the other cold.’

‘I was so young and small. He didn’t get enough air to breathe when he came.’


He is her first born.

Blue born He,

he lead the brood that followed.


Their father was a man, more seen than heard.

Their mother took care of the house for twelve long years-

two families she bore on her teenaged shoulders,

the one she started and the one she married into.


Their father died six days after I was born.

He liked mutton soup and he sold tobacco.

That’s all I ever knew about him.


The stories of the seven they had,

could fill lifetimes seven fold seven.


I will tell you all I know,

whispered to me when crinkled hands held mine so tight,

those I overheard behind the doors

and as I pretended to sleep,

those I grew up with the oldest of them all.

I will tell you all,

to the best I know.

C for Chicken on A Tree


whisper the first part,

drawl the rest.

Let it wash over you,

like a wave.


It tossed and turned in her,

she cried she laughed

awestruck and then crushed.


She hadn’t lived long enough

to recognise the plurality

She cried and cried

at the strangeness of it all,

of her all.


People told her one version.

She saw another version in the mirror.

Family grew up with an another of her.

And then on the bluest of days,

when time just gushed with reminders

she would remember each and every version.


She will break with the guilt

of all their regrets.

She will shy away

and cower against the bed.

Tomorrow is the darkest,

stained with her fear of what it would bring.

the same, staid colours

or those she had never felt before.

Feeling too much had

never scared her before.

Now she was terrified,

too hurt to forget all the times

she had been crushed.


Chicken on  a tree,

couldn’t go anywhere

except whimper from side to side.





Love Story

Before him,

I could never stand people

like him.

They were never my friends

or they never stuck around.

And then I met him,

And then my friend he became

And then my lover.

After him,

my world shifted a bit,

it spun to the grooviest jig,

a constant smile tickling at my lips,

All of me

even the most secret of me,

He saw, like a mirror

As clear as he saw himself.

With him,

I beamed the brightest,

ear to ear.

I can never dim it,

all this happy I feel.

As constant as the waves,

as timeless as the oldest tales

is what I feel for him.


my best friend,

my lover,

my balance.

The Words of Now


like shoes that fit perfect on one foot

and pinches on the other,

like an itch that acts up in the placid of placid times.

like the rut pulling me in,

like quicksand,

of my own doing.




like the last flop a

fish out of the water feels.

like the last time

I loved my first,

like the paused stories in me

like the fear that comforts me,

like the coward’s way to abandon,

like all that was never completed



when they believe

even when I don’t,

when they love

even when I rage,

when they accept,

even when I deny.

when the lion giggles at me

and the whales lull me to sleep.



from the girl staring back at me in the mirror.

Did I do you good?

Did I fail you?

Did I sell your soul?

Did I not love you?

The Condition of Sandpaper

My hands feel like sandpaper

bristling at every contact

with this strange world,

its magnitudes increasing

every day,

as I slept each night

more frightening it became-

This strange world

I try to be a part off.


My lion helped me for a bit,

but then he too was a scaredy cat

albeit more determined than me

to conquer them frights-

and off he went leaving his heart

behind in my care

to find his adventure.


And here I still lie

sandpaper feels in a gloomy rut.


Alpha helps every time

but in between her life and

all who awaits her help

my number often comes too late

and help is not what is for me.


I know what must be

for sandpaper to become silk.

Breathe and Dream

and all will be.

I must not worry.

I must not fear.

My friends wait for me

at the path,

wait for me to move on.


All that love will transform

into love for me

and then sandpaper shall be the

farthest I ever feel.


Beans falling from the kitchen counter. Clang, the plate falls down Thud, my mother falls after.

The lady clasped the bag of beans closer to herself, the bogey swayed and shook its way out of the station.

Both of us got out at the same station. Her husband and two tiny mite children waited on a sputtering scooter.

Long, curved green-they fell in slow motion, a dance to a symphony another world heard.

Only the husband wore a helmet. I stood watching them at the stairs of the station.

I imagined them to skid off a slippery turning and crash into a bus. Only the husband lives to see his family dying below a bus.


If you look for it hard enough, you will find it everywhere. Once you see it, you see it everywhere. Stitched in the fabric of the life you live. The places you see, the people you meet.

For me it was- Beans.

truth #3

I saw your face in him.

As he made me come,

I saw you in him.


Once a strange girl

I had the fortune to meet,

warned me about the people I let in.

“You won’t be able to give again,

if you’re not careful,” she said.


When will I be free of you?

When will your face not be the first

I see when I close my eyes?


When will I be able to love

without you?