Wednesday, 25 April 2012


I was pecking at a grain
Of golden wheat
You chase behind me
I squawked and leapt but never flew
White streak across the backyard
Too slow my stubby legs
To escape, caught
And dragged into
A darkness
I cannot comprehend
But I see suddenly
And cry
Flapping desperately
Kicking your
Muscled arms
To no avail
Comes impending doom
I sees the swift
And heavy blade
My neck breaks
The sink a red river
Bloody and gushing
There was no pain I recall
As I watch over myself
In your arms, twitching
Bloody and gushing
A hot water tap is opened
The steam engulfs 
The dingy room
The odour almost
The knife was not enough
You drown me now
In the scalding hot water
The ruffle of my mane
Melts away into a puddle
The coarse, white overcoat
Gives way to
Tender pink skin
You fondle it with care
Feeling every bump
There is something
Kinky about the way
You do it
As if you know
I am watching you
You clean me
Preparing me
For my funeral rites
The horror is not over
You close your eyes
Take a deep breath
Bring the heavy knife 
Upon me once more
Crack my bones
Separate my good
And my bad
Categorised by others
Exactly like you
I am now
A meal
I am now
As a life, or a being
I am now
Just a price
Displayed in a supermarket
Chicken pie for dinner?"

--I love Three Word Wednesdays!

Monday, 23 April 2012

The Real Write Ups -- Anna

As I wrote write-ups for my friends for the College Yearbook, I realised how hollow it is to attempt to compress into three sentences the relationships I have built over three years. Here are the Real Write-Ups.
Shock of curly hair. Splash of colour. A laugh that frolics and resonates the halls like the patter of rain on a roof. An excited sense of animation that takes its form in the bubbly movement of hands and a light spring-like gait. No picture of you can be complete without these things and so, no picture of you will ever truly be complete.

I don't remember what day it was or how we ended up sitting with each other, but I do remember realising (and quite late, too) that we have a lot in common, a lot we could relate to about each other. It's a good thing, I feel. We still have a lot to do before we can rest and say, "yes, I know most everything about her." In the way that we worship our fathers or how we enjoy Maths, in the way we hug and leave vehement kisses on each others cheeks, in the way we talk each other through exams, in all these ways and more, we are quite similar, Annamo.

But you are more careful, more meticulous than I am when it comes to the important things. You are less reckless and more organised. This truth makes itself most clear about a week before any major exam. You will have a plan, you will stick to it. I will adopt your plan, fool around anyway and breathlessly manage to keep up with you somehow. We will both walk out of the exam hall though with the same expression on our faces. Sometimes it's disgust. Other times it's relief. There is also happiness, anger and quite often a look of absolute nonchalance. "It's over dude. Screw it."

No, I am not a real Malayali. I don't know the movie dialogues and the colloquial phrases. I can't read that well and watching the news in Malayalam sounds to me like aliens trying to make contact. But what do I have you for, then? In the same way you explain a difficult Trix question, you will explain these things too, but of course, you will laugh your insides out as you do. I have my share of bad habits and strange notions of life that you would most vehemently disagree upon. Despite this, we are the best of friends. I will still come to you, disheveled, unbathed and unapologetic after a night at Vijay Nagar and you will give me that look of utter disdain with your nose all scrunched up. In less than five minutes, we will return to laughing out loud at new nonsense.

The lazy afternoons we spend sitting in your room will be my best memories of Rez. Conversations ranging from Cherai beach to South Africa, punctuated with gossip and random anecdotes. I doubt we will ever stop having things to talk about. We don't need a Rez room to be who we are. We will do the very same things in Paroor, Thrikkakara, Padivattom or Thevara. We're going to be calling each other when we teach our kids Maths and reminding each other the tips and tricks we used in school and college. I feel our dads should meet and congratulate each other on the fantastic impression they have made on their daughters. As beach-lovers, I know that I can always count on you for a quick ocean swim.

You are a resilient rainbow. You don't fade even when skies turn grey and the sun hides behind the clouds. Instead, you will resonate even brighter and act as an assuring band of confidence. Oh, and when the sun is out and the rain has just given way to a misty coolness, you will beam across the horizon infecting everyone around you with an excitement that's hard to resist.

Annamo. You will always be my rainbow. Not just because of the range of colours in your wardrobe but for the vibrance with which you have painted my life. You will always be my horizon, not just because you are the standard I set for myself but because you unconsciously teach me that there is always more that I can become, greater dreams I can fulfill. You will always be that fluffy cloud holding me up with the lightness of your laughter and reminding me not to crease my forehead with lines of worry. I don't like black and white, neither do you. Let's stick together and make sure we never have dullness in our lives. As I always say, the kettippidichummas are for life. 

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Fiery Autumn Leaf

I am the fiery autumn leaf
Flitting outside your window,
Just another one in your line of sight
Whose elevation increases
Every time you inch closer.

I am a snowflake on your tongue
That melted in an instant,
Whose angles and contours
You never noticed
As you devoured my existence.

I am the tune you sang
That night as your spirits soared,
Forgotten the very next morning
But forever transformed
By the way your lips held me.

I am a beached starfish
Silent in the palm of your hand,
Never moving or protesting
Yet writhing inside with
Every immobile nerve.

I am the cherry tree watching
Over you in your backyard
Battered, familiar, taken for granted,
The most loyal canopy
Of comfort you will know

Friday, 20 April 2012

You Two Are Strange

I can tell I miss the both of you because I just caught myself Facebook stalking you. Oh, the horror.

Then: When purple pants were cool
There are days when we have the most colossal arguments. Some are explosive (especially the ones with Ma) and some are like thin ice, quiet and solemn on the surface with chaos just beneath. There are days when I just refuse to do what I have been told, when I disappoint, when I am everything you don't want me to be.

Now: New clothes but still the same old crazy family
When I think of you both right now, though, it's with this brimming sense of pride that I couldn't really have hoped for better parents. With the vehement streak of rebellion always coursing through my veins, I can't imagine what kind of nightmare it must have been raising me. Since I can remember, I have been losing things. From wallets, to glasses to notebooks and everything in between. You teach me the same lessons over and over again with a patience that I can only hope I will develop someday. 

Both of you have your own ways of reading my mind; Pa, with almost identical gears working in the machinery of his brain as mine, does it without even knowing and Ma through her careful and meticulous skills of observation. Even though I am selective about the information I reveal, you offer the most apt assurance and support in exactly the way that I need it. You never expect much in return or boast about it. That is just the way it has always been. 

At the same time, you have also let me solve many of my problems alone. Like how Ma left me no other choice but to learn to travel by bus to meet my friends or how Pa got me to draft every single DD I ever had to send for college admissions. That "you're a girl" thing that we can never agree upon has me storming out of rooms and slamming doors all the time, but I am thankful that your reins weren't so tight that I could not find out for myself the ways of the universe. What you have made me is, very simply, independent. It's not just by making sure I know what happens in the bank or letting me learn to drive but also by example, showing me that problems can be quickly sorted with a clear mind and that if you want something done bad enough, you don't wait for anyone, you just go out and do it. 

"Elton Jayan" as he calls himself
Old School Christmas, 2011

The most beautiful lesson you two have unconsciously taught me is how fully life can be enjoyed if only you let yourself enjoy it. The stories that you brim with tell me that I am the flesh and blood of two people who will almost never say no to having a good time with friends and family. How many fifty-year olds will dress up in bright purple shirts or a white chattayum-mundum and throw embarrassment to the wind just to celebrate? There is still that sparkle in your eyes and a spring in your steps after all these years, which assures me that the child in me isn't ever going to fade away. You have taught me to enjoy my music, my food, my travel and my company as much as I possibly can. You've taught me that doing things not often done might just lead you to the experiences of a lifetime. 

We're all flawed, aren't we? I can't write about you and hope to pen down everything I owe you for. That wasn't the point of this anyway. What this was, I now realise, was my way of trying to mop away how much I miss your daily phone calls and your assuring voices in my ear. Unfortunately, I've been unsuccessful. 

Look what you've done over these 21 years, Zach and Sheba. You have made yourselves indispensable to me and now there's absolutely no way on earth I can function without you. Great. So much for being independent. 

Saturday, 14 April 2012

The Real Write Ups -- Aayush

As I wrote write-ups for my friends for the College Yearbook, I realised how hollow it is to attempt to compress into three sentences the relationships I have built over three years. Here are the Real Write-Ups.

What's up, handsome?
Nothing much, pretty woman.

The most awful part of being your friend is the realisation that it took me far, far too long to be your friend. There you were, saying hello to me on that first day of College and it didn't even occur to me to get to know you.

But now my Hindi is better and your shyness has abated and I know that neither of us will ever attempt to get rid of each other (hypocritical as we are). My foodie. I love that we can sit at a table and not utter a single word because we are too busy stuffing our faces. I love your various sandwich inventions and the endless hours we spend browsing Zomato. Most of all, it's the unadulterated serenity on your face as you bite into something delicious that is always going to stay in my mind.

Sometimes, your "chuck it" when I'm upset is the most soothing balm. Because like you, I'm better off driving uncomfortable things under carpets and there is never something that a Hot Chocolate Fudge and (endearing) hyena laughter cannot fix. I could spend hours sitting with you in any given corner of College, just talking about everything, about nothing. From cars to parents to love and the lack of it, the range of our conversations makes it difficult to list or catalogue them into the files of my memory. When my forehead is crinkled with lines of worry, it will always be those easy afternoons with you that, like the gentle rain of Delhi that we so love, wash away the grime of my day.

In the next ten years, whether or not we make big money and find penthouse apartments in New York, the plans we make will always weave between each other like the threads in an elaborate tapestry. We are alike that way, wanting the same things for ourselves. Jaguars and supermodel spouses apart, we will also build schools and visit the dirtiest dhabas. We will goof off in our apartments making cheese tomato sandwiches and swapping relationship advice (that is more often than not stolen from How I Met Your Mother or Cosmopolitan). We will do things on our own terms sometimes, and sell our souls for a fat paycheck most other times. We will travel the world every chance we get (and depending on our relative income levels, one of us will fund the other on occasion). When I map out my life to you, I find so many of our roads crossing at the same point and it's comforting to know that even though we may end up in two entirely different corners of the earth, we will both be searching for the same essential things.

I think you should know something. I will always be grateful for the poise with which you didn't pick sides. You could have, I know. I also know that it would have been easier for you to have chosen. But you made diplomacy look effortless. I have convinced myself that you did this because I mean that much to you. Yes, I do like to flatter myself. It is the most precious thing you could have given me. Because along with losing a lot of things, I came that much closer to losing you and you made sure I didn't.

If you think about it, it's been a long time since the awkward hugs (as is obvious from your face in the picture). Now, our inside jokes span so many different spectra that it's impossible not to remember you on a daily basis. It's a good thing.

I said one day, "If we all end up in D-school, we're going to be friends for life" and you said, "I thought we already were." That will be my favourite out of all our conversations. It will be my reminder to hound you for everything from First Class air tickets to chicken curry at Kake-De-Dhaba.

Without any awkwardness or embarrassment I can say, I love you. I mean it, I do. Now get rich quick. You know I'm only in this for the money.

Twisted Mind

Draft elaborate plans

Old, crumbling parchment
Blue ink blotting
Your past

Run fingers through my hair
Paint my lips red
With teeth

Locate my weakest bone
Coldblooded grip

Salty steel and skin meet
Black, dense terror
Blinds me

Moth eaten, white pillow
Stifling the sound
From world

Lie back on your armchair

Tuesday, 10 April 2012


You took my soul, loved it with all of you
But I wasn't good enough to fight for
You took my soul, squeezed the life out of it
Gently, without you or I knowing

You left your fingerprints to haunt me
When I am sleeping, when I am lonely
You left your sweet tasting fingerprints
To remind me it will never be the same

I cannot forgive you for stealing my faith
Sixteen was too young to find a soul mate
I cannot forgive you for stealing the part of me
That could love without fear of being trampled

You swirl, swirl, swirl like the residue in a teacup
That is meant only to be thrown away
I swirl, swirl, swirl in my own confusion
In limbo between the past and present

If I could go back, I would pry
Out of your hands my most fragile parts
If I could go back, I would take my spirit
And save it for someone better than you