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17 Jul

I recognize

this choking sensation

from the last time she

snuck up on me,

fingers lingering

in caress,

grasping in


clasping, tightening, crush-until-you-


You still your senses,

then struggle to heave,

break free, fling away,

drag knees like leper beggar,

clamber inner walls of

moss-lined minds

and dis-engorge your spleen;

but don’t look back

oh don’t look back,

she’s waiting hungrily still.

Sadness, feline predator,

she’s a right jail warden bitch.


16 Apr

There is nothing lonelier than lying awake next to a deeply slumbering person, counting moments to the rhythm of their breath.


8 Apr

Lalit. It is difficult for me to speak. Words halt and shuffle under sentiment and I labor to breathe. All was as usual today when I hopped into a cab and was on my way to the sonography. Dr. D awaited me, it was just a routine scan, there wasn’t much thought to it. The fools they call staff around the place made me pee first and then guzzle four more glasses for the procedure. That brought my total to 14 since noon. I even looked over my shoulder a couple times, half expecting the BMC to rap my knuckles for excessive water consumption. Finally, I was in.

Good, good, murmured Dr. D as the cold gel spread over my belly, the smooth end of the pod bearing down on an alarmed bladder. Just mildly polycystic, she said, as she continued to examine my ovaries. They’re well-behaved, as you know. Haven’t ever been cause for trouble. So I lay back and let her earn her fat pay cheque.

Kidneys, check. Urinary tract, check. Uterus, the pod dug deeper. I casually turned my head toward the screen. Emptiness, naturally, stared back at me. A cavernous space, quiet and unused, minding its own business for three routine decades.

WHY AREN’T YOU HERE? I WANT YOU TO BE HERE. WHERE ARE YOU? WHY AREN’T YOU HERE, WHY, WHY? Half roar, half hysteria, the words flung themselves at the screen. I turned for Dr. D’s reaction. She was dictating away. The nurse in the corner hadn’t noticed anything amiss. The being formerly known as me pleaded with the blackness, willing my eyes to see a shape, railing in unreasonable hunger, consumed by a bodily need no logic could perforate. But baby, you’ll say (and I’ll pardon the terrible pun), you’ve never had a child! You aren’t planning one now either, so why the agony?

I don’t know, Lalit. I wish I could say it took me by surprise. But no emotion save blind urgency was permitted to address me while the virgin longing coursed through my body and held it utterly captive. In that moment, nothing else mattered. The room melted away. Dr. D travelled into another dimension.  The nurse ceased to exist. I did not obey my own body. All that excess water pricked the back of my eyes and flooded mountains in my throat. Atlantis drowned all over again and oceans rose to demand a tenant. For the first time in my three routine decades, it was just me and a baby I wanted to exist. I fear motherhood, Lalit. The erasure of carefully constructed thought, plan and reason.

Back at baseline, I reacquaint myself with consequent emotions and catch my snatched breath. Maybe what happened this afternoon was an aberration. Oh well, now we know I have somewhat healthy ovaries.


3 Apr

That which doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger. want to do the deed ourselves.

It’s Been A Long Time Since 22

3 Feb

The Boy is currently in the U.S. of A. My old home. The one of mixed feelings and an avalanche of memories. The one I gift-wrapped my twenties for and offered with all the good faith only a 22-year-old who’s never left home can muster. The one that flung me in the air, picked me up, let me down, set me free, tied me forever. And four years after I left on that flight from Logan, I plead the same pointless questions on repeat: How is it there, tell me… How is it, the vibe… How is it, the feeling… How same, how different… knowing full well that my former Europe-dweller can only see it with the eyes of a frequent visitor while I crave a resident’s perspective. Specifically, my own.

You see, it’s not as simple as buying a ticket and hopping across the pond. Some things are like the unclaimed parcel you know not to touch. So you may wonder, and hanker, but leave well enough alone. And ask questions about the weather and the food and how many pairs of shoes he’s getting you. While you sneak onto Mapquest and roll the names of New Jersey townships off your tongue. Parsipanny, New Brunswick, Cherry Hill. Moorestown,Trenton and Belle Mead. Signboards from another lifetime, because hey, you were an upstate New Yorker, hicktown Pennsylvanian, too-proud Bostonian and Jersey’s for the desis with their H4 wives. And then you listen to John Mayer singing this

(via MM) and something forbidden unfurls deep inside and you know the marshland has begun and you’re one foot in.

The Boy comes back late tonight. And I’ll ooh and aah over my shopping list. But all I’ll be wondering is how it is there… tell me… How is it, the vibe… How is it, the feeling…. How same, how different… And some part of me will be glad not to know.

Still Home, Still Heart, Still Horror

26 Nov

Time has done nothing to heal this wound.  I still come perilously close to tears each time I pick at the scab that has barely formed. What did help, though, was putting myself to use.  And it was only as I spoke about it at a couple of media interviews this past week that I realized how blessed I am to have found this route to sanity. With me in this journey have been 39 wonderful people in 5 countries around the world. For our stories, head to the India Helps blog where some of us will write about the year that was, beginning today all the way up to the India Helps anniversary on December 3. Wish us luck in the times ahead. Join us, because we need you. Tell your friends to spread word of our movement. And before you go, answer this: Whom Have You Helped Today?

No OJ No Cry

17 Nov

First break-ups are particularly traumatic.

After that, it’s a matter of practiced pain.

~Me to Aunty G, during an online conversation


Oh Mad Mommaaaaa, I’m by the phone!! :mrgreen:

Q & A (ii)

13 Nov

Q: So what if you can’t stop the tears?

A: Locate the nearest salon and get something, anything on your face threaded. That’s justification enough for overflowing eyes.

Q & A (i)

29 Oct

Q: So what do you do not to cry?

A: I guzzle a litre of chilled water, then I have to urgently pee and the water comes out the other end.

Death Warmed Over

21 Oct

One wonders if all endings begin this way. When, as if by mere routine, words are spilled, severing frayed ropes, and the universe doesn’t come crashing down, and remains in startling suspension instead. Particles flash-freeze whilst orbiting the present and you join them willy-nilly, mouth agape, eyes puzzled, the back of your voice small and bewildered.

But I haven’t finished washing all the curtains yet, you want to say. And there’s that curry still out of the fridge. Aren’t you proud I put on the futon cover all by myself, cursing softly as my back strained against its cottony bulk? There are tea lights wrapped on the dressing table, you point out, certain he won’t notice, although the baked-apples-and-cinnamon scent would give away their hiding place to a more observant soul. And the cook has a new green dish to match his Thai curry. Stacks and stacks of diyas in traffic light colors. Mounds of pedas and jalebis with their burst of sweetness. Marigold garlands to match the centre chattai, its gilt edges complementing the patterns on the cushions. The missing urli I coveted with the single-mindedness of the barren.

Who will receive that call from Westside, asking to pick up the new jali bench? Will you tell the man I hounded all week before Diwali that I was an apparition and am now exorcised? Can you tell our friends in passionate detail how the pearly white of its new cushions was meant to offset that of the futon? Put away our pictures, take down the lights, the faux toys of the lamp hanging mock the silence, the plants remain unsung to, crumpled at the edges, the sea we gazed at spooningly an outsider in its home.

But you’ll see me in the fold of the coverlet, hear my song in your drawer of holey socks. My toothbrush lies there, brittle and waiting, and the shampoo you used to smell of me. You’ll discard slippers in defiance, but my voice won’t cease to drone. And my spirit will wander in that restless hour when the sun’s last rays grudgingly dim.

Maybe all endings begin this way. But those curtains, they’re only half washed. Put them in a spin cycle, won’t you? For I am frozen still.