Sunday, June 10, 2012

things i can't explain

on intellectual curiosity

i would like to think
that the world is mostly
an experiment conducted
by white mice.

you, me, your neighbor's best friend
we could all just be
tiny pieces of jigsaw
lost from different boxes.

is the colour you see
the colour that i see,
and is the mountain we know
a molehill for someone else?

if my life is indeed
written on a palm leaf,
does it say in BIG BOLD LETTERS
"don't panic"?

most importantly,
is the object of my
intllectual curiosity
curious at all

about me?



creeping bougainvilleas in my house:
so wrapped up in each other,
you can't tell one from the other. 

this only leads me to wonder:
how do trees fall in love?
what do they do when they get lonely?



it was when i was very young
that i learnt to keep my world
hidden inside my head.

first, it was just stories.
then, it was fantasies.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


A story was sitting in my bedroom, naked.
It was new story, even a sexy story,
but a strange story and I didn’t know
what it was doing on my bed, naked.

Now it was writing in a book at my desk, naked.
The fountain pen was squirting ink on it,
I could hear the voices coming from it but
I couldn’t imagine what it was doing there, naked.

It was laughing like a mad woman, naked.
It had tattoos on its face and neck
but magic was coming from its fingertips
and it was singing to me softly, naked.

Memory is imagination, naked
so ask me what I did there that night
and I’d smile and mysteriously tell you
a story was sitting in my bedroom, naked.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


there's three bottles of basil and one bottle of thyme
all of which i threw out when i thought of this rhyme.
when, instead of old herbs, i tried to use lime,
the pasta was so boring, i'll use something else next time.

Friday, February 24, 2012

silly story orcs


i think i'd like
to smell your cheeks
and listen to your heart
and drink you right up
if i were a vampire.
(let's watch twilight,
i'd like that too.)


"don't be silly,
it's not like i'm asking
for your soul or anything -
it's just a kiss"
said one dementor
to the other.


a conversation between two orcs:

"amma, where do babies come from?"
"from storcs"


if i am
what i read
then i am


(what? you thought my bad humor was restricted to offline spaces? fat chance.)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012



along corners of buildings,
in shadows of crowded streets,
as red lights turn to green,
people hurry.

a broken button, a stolen purse,
a fallen slipper, forgotten books,
the city gathers these
like a magpie.

it picks up distractions,
expressions on faces
just before laughter,
lingering smells of
the tired and the melancholic.

obviously, cities can tell
quite the story.


the familiar know
the inviting lights
of marketplaces,
the fading greys
of oft used roads,
the sound of snores
on busy afternoons.

and i, i am
but the enraptured audience
of a master story-teller.

i watch hagglers of prices of cloth,
their tricks and counter-tricks,
like a game of chess
between two best friends
always playing
the same first moves.

children crossing roads
with habitual precision,
fruit vendors on roads
or people sitting on park benches,
reading the newspaper.

nothing puts them off,
not even the rain.


when everything is new,
there is no guilt in loneliness.

for amusement, i walk
old streets with older stories,
i sit by myself
in coffee shops
to read magazines,
i scout bookstores
whose every book
the owners know,
in cinemas i look
at people's faces instead.

as souvenirs, i collect
evidences of stories.
i wonder where couples
come from in the trains,
what worries line
the child's face,
whether the man
in the tight jeans
has had sex yet.

i take pictures in my mind
of pink houses with no doors,
of homes in slums
with air conditioners,
of the woman sitting
with big bags
in the bus stop,
of old people riding rickshaws
on crowded streets.


the wind is but
an old acquaintance.
it carries a tune
from times past -
a gentle reminder
of my own song,
one that my heart
once sang to me.

new people in old cities,
we always sing our songs

if i could whistle,
i would have done.
i hum it instead
that my feet will follow.

like nostalgia,
the notes are made
of warmth and
gushing emotion
that surely belong
to some time else,
having the edge
of something completed.

reworked from here:

Monday, February 13, 2012


I am Sita.

Why do you ask?

Is it because
of my silence
or my rebellion?

Which offends you?
Which takes
your breath away?
Which makes you
want to brush me away
or take me for granted?

Tell me, why
do you think that I
would wait within boundaries
you draw for me?

Why would I not flirt
with strangely garbed men
who come knocking at my door?

If they spout ten heads,
would I scream in a fit of rage,
or cower submissively,
and let myself be taken away?

I am Sita.

Why do you care?

Is it because
of my seeming conformity,
my life within a life?

Which soothes you?
Which makes you feel
I am like any person
you would encounter
on the road?

Answer me, why
must I not go where
I please, dream of
love-making in forests
while monkeys and trees watch
in voyeuristic nonchalance?

You would protect me,
you say, you with more
than just Bala, you
who have experienced Atibala,
you would hold me dear,
fight wars for me.

You would abandon me,
just when I allow myself
to be tamed: a Queen,
by any standard?

Let me not lie to you then,
I am she,
and yet, I am not.

I am Sita.


reworked from here:

Saturday, January 28, 2012


love letters in my mind
are all for you, i find.

i don't mail them or tweet them:
quite like secrets, i treat them.

i push them into pink envelopes
patterned with blue hearts and empty hopes.

pages and pages of length comes easy
(but the same for work would make me queasy).

what would we do, if we were lovers -
kiss, flirt and give each other flowers?

true, while i don't care for you -
in my mind, i write to you.

i wonder if you know
that i write to you so.


(this came out of a bet with A who wanted me to write something rhyming "flowers" and "lovers".)