Thursday, May 07, 2015

Realizing who you love.

That awful moment when you realize who the real love of your life is. And it's a was. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Why Sandy matters - to me.

The thing is, a hurricane on the East Coast of the United States *is* a bigger deal than a lot of other natural disasters in a lot of other places in the world (not just India). And it’s not always about numbers, it’s not about 100 people dying versus a mere 16. It’s not because American life is more precious.  It is a bigger deal because it is a bigger deal, as deals go. And maybe if you sat down to think about it, you’d get my point. If you got all your information in place, you’d see things from my perspective. Maybe if I had all the facts, I'd see your point too.   

It’s a bigger deal to me because – there’s no one in my world who doesn’t know someone who lives on the East Coast. It’s a bigger deal because the impact on the world economy will be something to reckon with. It’s a bigger deal to me because it directly impacted my job. It’s a bigger deal in India because it directly impacted a LOT of jobs in the financial world and in the BPO industry.  It is news, not because of the people who died, but because two of the biggest stock exchanges in the world shut down trading for two full days.  
[Corollary: I’d have expected NYSE and the Nasdaq to have better disaster recovery plans and kept trading going through the storm. But they didn’t. So this storm matters more.]

It’s not that I don’t value human life, I do, and it’s as important or unimportant to me wherever it exists.  And yes – all things remaining the same – 100 people dying is a bigger deal than 16 dying. All things remaining the same.  But the truth, and you know it as well as I do – is that if the same storm happened in Boise or in Melbourne, Australia – you and I, sitting in India – would not care as much. This is New York. It’s the financial capital of the world. Things come to a standstill there –it impacts all of us.

So no, being more interested in Hurricane Sandy than the Assam floods is not a sign that I’m a yank sell-out who isn't patriotic or that I can’t understand basic numbers. It just matters to me more because of my lifestyle, my job, my people, my interests. Thinking it’s only about death-toll, is perhaps the most closed-minded way of looking at it.

And of course, you know, maybe we need to start talking more about climate and less about the weather now. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The five influences

The one I encounter everyday. The one who listens to my problems and mocks them for being childish.The one who wants to be a part of my world, but isn't, can't and will never be. She's the one who lies to herself and possibly everyone around her. She feigns non-chalance and a cold exterior. She feigns strength. She's overly-opinionated and aggressive and loud. I want to squash her. Bitch.  

The one I meet on weekends. The one who hates me and loves me. Wants me and despises me. The one who builds me up to break me down. She doesn't lie to herself, just everyone around her. She knows the truth about herself and she knows that letting someone come close enough will expose her. So she hides behind phrases like commitment phobia and high-standards. She is just waiting to live up to the impossibly high standards of her father, her brother, her sister, her mother and most of all, herself. 

The one that wants to do everything. She wants to be a part of all my plans. She wants to say yes to more education, to more love, to less pain, to breaking ties, to building bridges - everything. She takes all my problems on and then falls apart. Fails me more desperately than anyone else. She wants to be there for everyone, spreads herself too thin and then she crumbles. 

The one I hate. She's the one with ALL the advice. Do this, do that and be amazing. The one that has no sympathy for me when my body hurts, and who says so without thinking twice. The one who always needs to be looked after, but doesn't know how to give back. The selfish one. The one I need the most. 

And then there is you. You break my heart and leave me to pick up the pieces. Then you come and make it all okay. Toughen me up, soften me, toughen me, soften make me.  

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

ir(s)onic boom

Being here feels like landing. 
The slow descent 
It feels good.
It's scary and it's rough, but you know deep down that it'll be okay.
The thing is though...the thing is...
That on some sick level, you
Want it to not be okay.
You want things to just blow up. 
Everything. Needs. To. End.
You want this proverbial plane
To crash.
Because returning to your life back home
Doesn't make sense now, 
A piece of you has gone away.
So blow up.
Just end.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011


If people are rain, I am drizzle and you are a hurricane. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I wonder, do you miss me or us. Do you miss our conversations about the stars and rainwater harvesting. Do you miss my crap cooking or my messy room. 

I know I do. I miss the days when you would just call me after a fight with a great joke up your sleeve, waiting for me to smile over the phone. The days of apologies and half-hearted explanations. The days when you would say that I was your favourite person in this small city, where we both live, where I don't think I will ever see you again.

We never know when we are making memories. I never knew I'd miss your irrationality, my tantrums, the pressure you put on me, my whining, our arguments, our goodbyes.

Maybe someday, I'll miss these days too, where I'm quietly comfortable, where nothing hurts any more, but nothing soothes me, where I don't cry, but I'm never happy. I'll miss these days, where all I do is miss you.

Monday, July 04, 2011

seasons change

There was no way for me to reach you,

this past season.
I wrote you pages and pages of love. 
Poured out. 
Now that summer is here,
I wonder if my words are worth sending. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

All this and more.

Love is wanting you to be okay, even though you hate me and I hate you.
Love is still wanting to hold on after. Love is hot. Love isn't always pretty. Love brings crazy to the table, it brings jealousy, irrational fears, rage. The best love stems from faith. Love is respect.  
Love is getting angry when someone tries to hurt you. Love is complaining about you, but not letting anyone else do it.
Love is someone giving a shit about you enough to argue. Love is the ability to annoy. Good love is not passive. Love is being honest enough to say “don't touch me right now.” 

Love is my fingers in your hair, a tug of war, a bowl of noodle soup, a knowing look, a funny story, a backrub, a mindfuck.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

wild things.

Think about the girls you still dream about, the ones from your past, the ones you never wanted to settle down with. They were irresistible to you, their messy lives were a mystery, their skin had always had too much sun, their hair was unkempt and their voices raspy.
You couldn’t touch these women; they had all their walls up. So, when they asked for your understanding and your advice, it was amazing. No, it was magical. Fucking them as they looked up at you, pleading with you not to stop, made you feel more like a man than you ever felt before. They needed you.
These women were your playthings, yours to use whenever, your very own bitches. Then one day they didn’t return your call or maybe they fucked someone else or told you that they didn’t need you. Oh dear God, the names. The names you called them that day, they make you ashamed even today. You were so angry. Your defences were broken. All of them. How could they leave? How could they not need you?
You talked to them at a later date, trying to play it cool, all the while wanting to scream how they broke the amazing relationship you had. Not realising that the only reason it was amazing was because they made it amazing.
These women, they loved you without clamping down on you. They loved you, but not like a mother or a wife – loved you like a lover should, like a girl should. Hard. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

We'll See - a phrase I never want to hear

Remember when we were kids and we asked our parents for something and the reply was 'we'll see?'  It was absolutely the worst! You KNEW it was a veiled 'no can do.'
Now that we've grown up, not much has changed. Parents might not say 'we'll see' anymore, but we do. Our friends do. 
When someone asked me to join him for a movie last week, I knew I didn't want to go. I don't enjoy his company, it's taxing to talk to him and he doesn't smile a lot. People who don't smile piss me off. The movie would not have been a date, if it was, saying no would've been easier. Then I'd have a real reason, like "I'm not interested." This was just a friendly hang-out. You have to be a genius to lie your way out of a hang-out session in this day and age. If I say I'm working, they will somehow know that I'm not, if I say I'm out of town, they will know. Everyone just knows everything. Take a bow - facebook, gtalk and bbm.
So I said - "We'll see, I'll let you know?" I was buying time, trying to think of a good reason to say no, a good non-hurtful reason. In the end though, I didn't let him know. I just pretended like I forgot. Bitch.
We think that things like 'we'll see' or 'maybe' are safe answers, but they must suck for the person at the receiving end. I've been on that end. They're worse than an outright no. A no is definite, it prevents wondering, questioning and limbo. Limbo sucks. A no is closure. I respect people who know what they want and more importantly, what they don't want.
Perhaps this is a good answer :
"No, I can't commit at the moment. I want to keep that night open for something incredibly sexy and fun. You won't be invited to that. But if it falls through,  I'll call you and we'll do our stupid movie."
No? Jokes. 

Thursday, June 09, 2011

I can't see my legs.

    You said you can't swim into the ocean. Not because you can't swim, but because the deeper you go, you can't see your legs any more and that scares you. Not knowing where your legs are? I never had irrational fears like that. Never thought about it. My legs are attached to me. Kicking. I can feel them, so what if I can't see them? 
    I would swim deep into the grey sea, alone. I'd call out your name and tell you to come hold me. You'd never come, I'd keep swimming, squinting, eyes burning. I'd come back sometimes and try to pull you with me. No, Zan, you'd say. I never liked it when you were firm with me. I'd call you a coward, pinch you and go back, swimming till slowly, I started to scare myself, till I couldn't see you when I looked back. I'd panic, just the way you taught me to. Oh God, I can't see my legs. Why is the water so black? I'd swim fast, imagining all sorts of things holding me back. I'd swim to you.
     When we'd meet on the shore and play in the waves, I'd never tell you how I panicked. You thought me to be so brave. We'd fall over the water, over each other. Sand everywhere, in everything. I'd start to burn, you'd hide me under your arm and tell me to go inside. 
     Now, when I'm swimming, not even in the ocean, I panic. The water is clear, I can see my legs. I can see the tiled floor, even in the deep end. I'm scared and I want to swim to you, but you're long gone. And you've left me with these irrational fears about not being able to see what I can feel...  

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

bes and don't bes

Don't be - the person who smokes weed all day, hates the world, is bored of everything and knows nothing. 
Be - the one that eats fresh fruit, exercises, tells a good joke and speaks the truth.
Don't be - the person who doesn't know where his or her life is headed, who is fucked in the head, needs a constant distraction. 
Be -  aware, interesting and interested.
Don't be - sad, irritable, a drifter. 
Be - awesome. 
Don't be - insatiable
Be - complete.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

i mean no disrespect.

He's amazing, I keep telling her. So amazing. He's got lovely eyes, you HAVE to see his eyes and his hands are so big!
Stop being obsessed with size, she says.
I AM not! I just mean that mine look tiny in comparison and I like that. I have big hands. See? Awkward hand twirl follows.
Is he a nice person?
I'm sure. He seems quite nice.
Like, the normal amount of nice. He loves kids and all that, but not like 'I spend all my free time doing good things for other people.' 
Well, don't forget, she says to me, looking me straight in the eye, he's still single. And he's OLD! Not just older!
So what? Good for me, right? I'm not into the whole 'let's steal him from that girl' thing. And older men have always had a special appeal.    
Maybe he has commitment issues, she offers.

--Well, who doesn't? In this day and age, which half-happy/sane person doesn't think twice about sharing their life with one person forever and ever and ever. That is a lot to commit to. It's not as if someone decides for you, it's a huge thing, to take responsibility for changing your happiness like that. I think commitment is really easy for miserable people. Pass the buck, right? 
And women, I'm sorry, are generally passive. So many women are ready to get married, ready to get into relationships, ready to make a promise, without thinking it through. And then they're ready to blame the guy when it starts to fall apart. I only know from my own experience and that of friends, I'm sure there are exceptions, or maybe these women are the exceptions. I think it's pretty unfair when women judge men for having commitment issues. I judge women for not having them.--

Anyway, I continue. You must look at his eyes the next time you see him. 
Dude, he's a fucking celebrity. Grow up. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


it's so hot and humid and sweaty. i can't wait for the rains. 

so now, do this, 
without words
with your language
with your eyes
into the sunrise
into you
till i bite my lip
on a hot night
so i'm eager
when i'm quiet
on the cold floor
without your socks
with poetry
and music
till it hurts
till my eyes shut
with your lips
without smiling

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

in light of current happenings...

Don't rejoice in his defeat, you men
For though the world stood up and stopped the bastard
The bitch that bore him is in heat again

Bertolt Brecht

This was written with reference to Adolf Hitler. It's harsh and brutal and in your face, but true I think, especially now. It isn't about one man, it never was. It isn't about one country or state or religion. It's everywhere and it's everyone. It's the unthinkable evil our minds can come up with, the mad lengths people go to. It's the human condition.   

Friday, April 08, 2011

just diaries. no sex.

sometimes a whole day is spent doing nothing. sometimes it just consists of random conversations with random boys who have no balls. i hate these days. i woke up to a slew of messages on chat from him. he is unhappy with his choices, yet again. big surprise. so, i spend hours pacifying him even as he leaves me for another woman. it doesn't hurt, that's a first. i tell him she is good for him. she really is. he is annoyed that i won't fight for him. he's known me for years and doesn't know that i never really loved him. he wants me to stop him. so i ask him to not be with her. he asks if i'll stay with him, i say no. he is clearly annoyed. he makes me promise him all sorts of things. i agree after an appropriate amount of protesting. i dont mean it, dont feel it. i just want this conversation to end. i try to hurt him. he tries to hurt me. it's interesting. it's sick. i love it. he says things to rile me up. calls me names and tells it like it is. brings up the past. brings up my future prospects. calls the cute guy i have a crush on, scum. says i have no taste in men. "yeah, no shit. that's why i was with you." he tells me to be honest. i am. i want to be responsible and not hurt him at first, but an insane urge to break him overcomes me and i tell him he's not good enough, never was and never will be.
but the thing is... 
he won this one. i don't want to say how it ended, but broke me in the end.   

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This happened on the internet; I wrote none of it

Someone wrote this :

Date a girl who doesn’t read. Find her in the weary squalor of a Midwestern bar. Find her in the smoke, drunken sweat, and varicolored light of an upscale nightclub. Wherever you find her, find her smiling. Make sure that it lingers when the people that are talking to her look away. Engage her with unsentimental trivialities. Use pick-up lines and laugh inwardly. Take her outside when the night overstays its welcome. Ignore the palpable weight of fatigue. Kiss her in the rain under the weak glow of a streetlamp because you’ve seen it in film. Remark at its lack of significance. Take her to your apartment. Dispatch with making love. Fuck her.
Let the anxious contract you’ve unwittingly written evolve slowly and uncomfortably into a relationship. Find shared interests and common ground like sushi, and folk music. Build an impenetrable bastion upon that ground. Make it sacred. Retreat into it every time the air gets stale, or the evenings get long. Talk about nothing of significance. Do little thinking. Let the months pass unnoticed. Ask her to move in. Let her decorate. Get into fights about inconsequential things like how the fucking shower curtain needs to be closed so that it doesn’t fucking collect mold. Let a year pass unnoticed. Begin to notice.
Figure that you should probably get married because you will have wasted a lot of time otherwise. Take her to dinner on the forty-fifth floor at a restaurant far beyond your means. Make sure there is a beautiful view of the city. Sheepishly ask a waiter to bring her a glass of champagne with a modest ring in it. When she notices, propose to her with all of the enthusiasm and sincerity you can muster. Do not be overly concerned if you feel your heart leap through a pane of sheet glass. For that matter, do not be overly concerned if you cannot feel it at all. If there is applause, let it stagnate. If she cries, smile as if you’ve never been happier. If she doesn’t, smile all the same.
Let the years pass unnoticed. Get a career, not a job. Buy a house. Have two striking children. Try to raise them well. Fail, frequently. Lapse into a bored indifference. Lapse into an indifferent sadness. Have a mid-life crisis. Grow old. Wonder at your lack of achievement. Feel sometimes contented, but mostly vacant and ethereal. Feel, during walks, as if you might never return, or as if you might blow away on the wind. Contract a terminal illness. Die, but only after you observe that the girl who didn’t read never made your heart oscillate with any significant passion, that no one will write the story of your lives, and that she will die, too, with only a mild and tempered regret that nothing ever came of her capacity to love.
Do those things, god damnit, because nothing sucks worse than a girl who reads. Do it, I say, because a life in purgatory is better than a life in hell. Do it, because a girl who reads possesses a vocabulary that can describe that amorphous discontent as a life unfulfilled—a vocabulary that parses the innate beauty of the world and makes it an accessible necessity instead of an alien wonder. A girl who reads lays claim to a vocabulary that distinguishes between the specious and soulless rhetoric of someone who cannot love her, and the inarticulate desperation of someone who loves her too much. A vocabulary, god damnit, that makes my vacuous sophistry a cheap trick.
Do it, because a girl who reads understands syntax. Literature has taught her that moments of tenderness come in sporadic but knowable intervals. A girl who reads knows that life is not planar; she knows, and rightly demands, that the ebb comes along with the flow of disappointment. A girl who has read up on her syntax senses the irregular pauses—the hesitation of breath—endemic to a lie. A girl who reads perceives the difference between a parenthetical moment of anger and the entrenched habits of someone whose bitter cynicism will run on, run on well past any point of reason, or purpose, run on far after she has packed a suitcase and said a reluctant goodbye and she has decided that I am an ellipsis and not a period and run on and run on. Syntax that knows the rhythm and cadence of a life well lived.
Date a girl who doesn’t read because the girl who reads knows the importance of plot. She can trace out the demarcations of a prologue and the sharp ridges of a climax. She feels them in her skin. The girl who reads will be patient with an intermission and expedite a denouement. But of all things, the girl who reads knows most the ineluctable significance of an end. She is comfortable with them. She has bid farewell to a thousand heroes with only a twinge of sadness.
Don’t date a girl who reads because girls who read are the storytellers. You with the Joyce, you with the Nabokov, you with the Woolf. You there in the library, on the platform of the metro, you in the corner of the cafĂ©, you in the window of your room. You, who make my life so god damned difficult. The girl who reads has spun out the account of her life and it is bursting with meaning. She insists that her narratives are rich, her supporting cast colorful, and her typeface bold. You, the girl who reads, make me want to be everything that I am not. But I am weak and I will fail you, because you have dreamed, properly, of someone who is better than I am. You will not accept the life that I told of at the beginning of this piece. You will accept nothing less than passion, and perfection, and a life worthy of being storied. So out with you, girl who reads. Take the next southbound train and take your Hemingway with you. I hate you. I really, really, really hate you.

And then, someone else wrote this :
Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.
Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.
She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.
Buy her another cup of coffee.
Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.
It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.
She has to give it a shot somehow.
Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.
Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.
Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.
If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.
You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.
You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.
Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.
Or better yet, date a girl who writes.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Wisdom from mother.

Stop being so squeamish about things. What will you do when the tsunami hits?! 

Friday, March 25, 2011

I want your funny back.

I've learned recently that it's important to have the same sense of humour. It has become the the most important thing in my friendships. It sets the pace for a lot of things. It means taking offence at similar things, letting similar things slide. You'd be sensitive, because you know what you're okay with and therefore the other person. It's not just about a joke, it's about a lifetime of knowing looks and laughter. 
You are funny. To me, your jokes aren't offensive or obnoxious. I just love them. You make me laugh. Your face, your expressions, your beautiful voice. You know me. Know my funny bone. You impress me with your heart. The way a little girl has stolen it from you. Your voice when you worry for her, your face when you describe her. I know you know how to love. It makes me believe in you. I love our friendship. I would never jeopardise it. 
I wrote this for my best friend, my confidante, my favourite person to share my sammiches with - life is not the same since you've left my city. So, come back. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Just because I think you are weird, doesn't mean I don't absolutely love you.