January 25, 2013

Our Moment

Early hours of the late night. A lamp made from a wine bottle and ferry lights stood pretty in one corner. And we lay in our lazy beds, looking dazed at shiny dots scantily scattered over the walls. We stared long and hard and conversed with our thoughts. We shared our stories and our silences. Wove timeless tales lost to music from old faithful speakers and shared a little part of ourselves. With each other. Closer. Held hands and held intimate liquid moments that slipped into reveries. In early hours of the late night, we dreamt, together and woke up sudden to the threat of dried cold air. Lost.
Found. We watered our parched throats, held our hands closer and resumed our moment.

Although this time, our moment bordered scandal, rather naively.

January 23, 2013

Are you?

Hot water shower
for a pained back
Are you, my love
like cold cream
dipped in my tired feet
Are you
the winter sun
the hued sky
and that vastness
I see from atop
Are you the
morning air that
stretches expands
and fills me in
that mid night
and that dream
I wake up to
Are you
that link between
my body and me
that smile
that smell
that puts me to sleep
after a hot water shower
for a pained back
Are you, my love
like cold cream
Are you
My love?

Quote Pant

I have Lost my Senses in my World of Lovers


January 18, 2013

Emtea Time

Before opening my eyes, I knew it was too cold to bathe this morning. Still groggy, I stepped three flights down with a face swollen from the night before. I battled the cold  and stared blank at the world. Standing at the bottom of the staircase I looked to my left. Right. Started walking to the chai shop with two friends who weren't in the mood to take my morning tantrums. We quietly walked down a narrow gali. This gali can not accommodate cars. It allows cycles and motorcycles. These two wheelers dodge pedestrians, who in turn dodge two wheelers. The cycle-human traffic manages to keep the pace fast if not smooth. The lane also accommodates open mouthed fashion shops, shops for clothes, shoes, eye wear, medicines, electrical, atm machines and an insatiable variety of different eating joints. All shops have confused wires hanging loose on top of fashionable pedestrians. Ghetto.

I walked, lost in my mental notes of where to order from next, reviewing wall menus on the way. Like always, I marveled at how much the street had to offer. I admired morning office goers and laughed at unbathed faces. We walked silently. Morning time is not the time for friendship. So, I didn't know what my two friends with their unbathed faces were thinking.

We reached our spot. Our shop. Waited for fresh hot tea to pour out of a spout, into our tiny cups. Bread pakoras fried themselves on the stove. The radio whistled. Bhaiya ji sang. A pleasant hindi voice reminded us of an old song. Three of us, monosyllabic, stood, stared, blank, floating in our thought-less morning thoughts.

Reluctant to make conversation, I quietly watched them sip their tea. As if in slow motion, I imagined sugar and warmth going down their parched throats, in to their empty stomachs. I took a sip myself to reassure that feeling and stared long at their throats. Morning tea does wonders to spinning heads.

I stared long at my friends, letting the radio song simultaneously play in my head. Suddenly I caught myself smiling. Such random thoughts! I looked head down and shook my head. I realized I had been in my emtea time all this while. Useless moments with myself.

Almost shy, I looked at my friends to see if they'd caught me too. They hadn't. They were, of course, floating in their own emtea time.

January 16, 2013

Sometime Somewhere

Somewhere I had said
Lets last for a while
And we did

Somewhere I had read
Postcards from another city
Sent to me with leaves and love

Somewhere I had met you
And how delightfully
I had met you

Sometimes in one tiny corner
I tell myself I miss you
I miss you

January 10, 2013

Frozen Tales

Today my mother came to me very distressed. She said she was guilty of not being a good mother because she has kept the warmest blanket of the house for herself.

January 09, 2013

Raat Ke Rasiye

For as long as I can remember, I have had to fight with my father about letting me stay out late in the night. In the early days of my struggle my deadline was 9 pm. Over the years it shifted to 12 pm. I lived in another city for four years in the middle. At that time my father didn't care what time of the day or night I was returning back home. I can't remember a single day when he checked on me. But I remember days, during my undergrad, when I used to be out having fun with friends and I'd get a phone call which would totally spoil my mood. I would get angry. My mum would get angry. Because my father was angry. Drunk angry. Same arguments. Same explanations  Same fights.

Overtime I realized that it was not so much about my safety as it was about my image in the colony. I was told to beware of my neighbours' judgmental eyes who saw me being dropped  by a car in the middle of the night. So it didn't matter if my parents knew every minute details of who I was with, where I was, who was dropping me back home etc etc etc, all that mattered was what others' would say about me. Ki ladki kaisi hai. Raat raat ko bahar ghoomti hai. Gadiyan isse wapas chhodne aati hain. I obviously didn't tell them that on several occasions I did (and I still do) use buses and autos to come back home after dark.

Sometimes my father used to make blank statements like he wanted to see me in front of his eyes when he returned home. There was no logic and no negotiation. It was a typical aggressive north Indian way of operating where men make blank statements and women blankly submit. Although I must admit, in spite of my father's objections, my mother never threw a fuss about my timings. She was just afraid of my father creating a ruckus around the house.

I remember one night in particular when my father threw a fuss and made me come back at 11.45 pm from a mid night surprise birthday party.. He lectured me on how I should come back home after dark because...wait for this... because even birds come back home after dark. Yes my drunk father, that sounds like an extremely legitimate reason and I am totally going to follow you and the birds home from now on!

Over the years, number of calls from home post 10 pm have reduced. Things have changed. I have become older. My parents have aged. They have supposedly become 'cooler' with all my 'reconditioning'. But it is hard for people to loosen their grips on their daughters. So my parents may not stop me from going out now but there is always a deep discomfort in my absence from the house. For me and for so many of my friends, although less now than before, this has been a constant headache. It is a headache to remind your friends that your parents are conservative, to arrange for someone to drop you home, to leave a nice evening earlier than you would like to and above all to brave that walk from the main gate to the door of your house, walking quietly in the colony, saying a silent prayer, standing outside the door and not ringing the bell but whispering calls to someone in the house to quietly open the door. It is a headache to explain and fight and sometimes even shout over something as simple as wanting to be out in the night.

The last few days have been very interesting. There have been many talks in the house regarding the recent rape case in the city. Every one has been enraged with what happened with the girl. This one seemed more brutal because the girl was middle class, a pre-med student and someone who accessed the same locations and modes of transport as any other girl like me. My parents encouraged me to go for protests everyday. They didn't stop me when I wanted to go for two protests on the same day, not when they saw my photographs shouting slogans in front of police barricades, not when the police charged lathis and threw tear gas at students and not even when I decided to join in a mid night march and walked the streets till 2 in the morning. They were very encouraging and for once, I was happy about finding my parents on my side of a political argument.

A few days back, I was out with a couple of friends. I decided to leave because it was becoming unbearably cold. At that very moment I got a phone call and an attached scolding for not being home again! Before I could say I was planning to leave anyway, I was told that I was doing the exact  opposite of what I had been protesting for. Apparently I was protesting against rape but I was not taking enough measures to come back early and save myself from getting raped!

I decided to not go home that night.

January 08, 2013


I wrote about you
and decided 
I didn't need to
But I have
And if this is what I have
I'm glad for this winter
And all the fog!

January 05, 2013

Living with yourself

There are things which are screwing up with my frozen brain. Small things. Capable of screwing up big. There is short term pleasure and long term damage. I know it. And I still go ahead with it. Because there is short term cheap pleasure. And cheap thrill, dangerously bordering depression. I wonder if people disapprove of things they are indulging in. And once they disapprove what do they do if they still continue??

This is one of those shady posts that don't mean anything.

On another note, how important is it to meet old friends? Make old friends your new friends? And how important is it to associate friendships with cities? Because at the moment everything is topsy turvy and I am screwing up my frozen brain and frozen self image.

January 02, 2013

Baby its cold outside!

I have a feeling. The cold has frozen my brain. From the inside and the outside.It is a solid mass of hard cold rock with a thick layer of snow on the outside. Enveloping this layer is a semi solid water bag with tiny bubbles of frozen air too cold to move freely. On the extreme outside is a thin layer of ice which can be cracked with a soft poke of the finger. The skull doesn't exist, I think. I can't think actually. Severe weather conditions inside my head have made it a little difficult to make sense of the world. Everything is foggy, smoggy and sleepy.

It has been four years since I last spent substantial time in this wintered city. I am still trying to find traces of November romance in adverse January. Having returned after so long, I am also being returned to some thoughts, theories and experiences which have been timelessly typical to Delhi winters. They are as follows:

1. People who claim to bathe everyday or bathe in cold water are liars.

2. It is very important to spit out the green phlegm that winter cough and cold throws up in your nose and throat. I know it is very cold and you would rather park your ass in your bed and blanket and swallow the mucus back, too lazy to throw it out at the moment. But you just have to battle that feeling  Every Single Time! 

3. Don't feel shy blowing your nose in public. Remember to use paper tissues. No sweater sleeve please.

4. Make use of bonfires. The trick it to light up post midnight. Stand really close facing your palms to it. Once the front half of your body is warmed up, jump around to heat up the back. Switch back when required. Don't try too often or too fast, you may feel dizzy and fall into the bonfire. (remember to trip over the beautiful embers though)

5. Do not try to weigh yourself in the winter. The only way to know your reality is to stand naked on the weighing machine, early in the morning, right after taking a hot water shower. 

Among other things:

6. Cuddle up shady with the person next to you. Body warmth does wonders.

7. Find ways of keeping the toilet pot warm. 

8. Find an electric hot water bottle. Don't share.

8. Fight with your roommates, friends, siblings over hot water they used which you had heated for hours.

9. Count the number of chai/coffee cups you consume in a day.

10.Talk about the cold like you talk about the heat in the summer

11. Curse the sun. Love the sun.

12, Take care of your frozen brain.

13. Enjoy the song: