Sunday, November 20, 2011

Can I help that you find my gravity irresistible?

We sat feet tucked under, beneath a dusty starless sky. I braided your fingers and you played your beat on my ribs – or was it my knees? 1 2 3 4 5 6, 1 2 3 4 5 6. To the beat of six you said, and I couldn’t quite hold it. Rhythms are hard, I said. But you were just swaying to it, you said, feeling the wiggle of my toes in your belly through layers of jacket and inners.

Why were you leaning in on me like that? It’s not very platonic, I said later, feeling slightly displaced and awkward, shifting on my axis ever so slightly. Away not closer. Gravity is a hard fact of life and defying it takes volumes of reserve and experience.

Not at all, you uttered, genuinely shocked because your youth allows you to be confused about such things. We’re just chilling. I have a girlfriend. She’s a dentist, you know.

I know. I said. And I’m a writer. An underconfident plumber of words. And once you are done chilling platonically, drumming on my knees, your warm hand leading my cold fingers in the dark, and my innards have been patted and thrummed into a ripened persimmon, you may take your leave to get your fucking teeth probed.


I’m so angry with you, duck. None of this would happen if you’d just play along with physics. 

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

On music

Don’t you wish to just consume some pieces of music – fuse them with your atoms and motives, so their intricate compositions infect your being thoroughly?




I’m unable to tether sound to memory. So that pretty sound you created yesterday? It unravelled itself from your elaborate arrangement and drifted away the moment you released it. All I was left with was a sense of you playing, the tenderness you put into it and of course, the memory of finding it enchanting – this intimate drama of you, your softly flitting fingers and the prettiness of the sound – you created such a moment of magic. This will stay with me. Not the music.


To emerge from the safe shallow silence of ignorance into a world of music is bewildering. It is alarming. It is frightening. It is, possibly, also liberating.


You have no idea how defenceless I am, do you?

With your fucking crotchets and quavers and your sixteenth fucking notes, you wield your melodies and rhythms with impunity while I cower in cold spots, my skin hanging off me in bags, collecting sweaty pools of incompetence.


I would relinquish a few words, about 250 grams of precious punctuation plus an inch of grammar to be able to sing mellifluously to the beat of your flawless rhythm, sweet merry music maker.


Music can make you write pretentious things without shame. It is that classy and irreverent.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Frank and Foilin’

After breakfast, we created a monster from the debris.


Meet Frankenfoil, the soft board monster.

Foiler of wily world domination coups and queer sentence construction, it bears the general demeanour of disarming openness and social ease.

It can, however, be convincingly menacing under client pressure.

It likes the occasional lick of inspiration. Especially with a glop of elaichi chai soaked glucose biscuit. And it wears an all-pin crown.

It might still have traces of cheesy boiled egg sandwich sticking to the walls of its head, making it capable of profoundly good breakfast ideas.

Beware trespassers. There’s a Frankenfoil on the soft board.

Monday, March 07, 2011

For my best friend

Darling bestie, kick some ass, soak some sun and don’t forget to paint your toes. Love you.

To X, Postbox: Asshole
Stick your notes
And text messages
And sundry sweet nothings
– Because that’s exactly what they are –
In that precious little sunless place
Where you store the rest of your shit. 

Relationship hangover party trick
Electric toes
And a busy nose
Can a heartache cure.

Dump it
Take a moment
Catch your breath
You won’t even notice, I swear.
One tiny push
A plinking plonk
Flush it, don’t stand and stare.

Hello, yellow moon
Waning, waning
Forever fading
I’m so sad to watch you shrink
Pluck up the nerve
Convex your curve
Time to be whole again.

Yes Moon, my best friend’s watching you. Time to start waxin’ yo!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I’m generally an honest person

Ever since my diary – yes, yes I wrote diaries – ran out of pages tenteen years ago, I’ve taken to eructing little pools of vomit in unswept corners of my work files.

It's not uncommon that on occasion an unaccustomed client – actually not really, more the studio really, and not even them, my boss mostly – has discovered, in a word file detailing the content of a brochure on the range of tooling devices at an automotive glass company, an edifying piece on the goings on in my abundantly rich internal life, as A says.

With memory fuzzing embarrassment I remember – hazily – an impassioned never-to-be-read-piece addressed to an author by whom I was/am much infatuated, which my boss read out to me over the phone, followed by a scathingly torturous “this isn’t part of the script, I hope?”

Well anyway, here’s one such piece I discovered nestled among notes I’d drawn up for a senior client’s scrotum-fondling bio.

Looking back, I’m certain it was the wrinkle birthing brow furrowing distress of scripting a collection of half truths, quasi untruths and blatant fictions about his sterling leadership and visionary influence that provoked this. But I’ll be honest – I can’t be sure.


I’m generally an honest person. In fact not generally but very specifically honest.

But I can’t help making up all sorts of shit every now and then. I’ve become alarming prone to spinning untruths that are dangerously close to the truth, and then believing them, because really, there’s no other way of making sense of the million shades of grey that just refuse to be verbalised.

There. I did it again. Million shades of grey? Whoever fucking heard of them? Whoever fucking bothered to count up to a million? Well okay, maybe someone did. And if they did, I haven’t heard of it.

And there’s a lot I haven’t heard of.

So there’s a lot of shit I have to keep making up to compensate for what I don’t know, well not for a fact at least – hearsay and finely calibrated logic notwithstanding. And there’s a lot of THAT out there.


At which point I lost the plot and resumed work on the bio, because there's a lot of THAT out there. 

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Story time

Memories depart on deft toes. Softly, lightly, stealthily. Before you’re aware, there's a gentle hollow where a memory once nestled taking with it the faces that crowded it.

And they return, often, with the sharp illuminating crispness of a crack of lightning, and suddenly your life is a fuller place.

That’s how I met S yesterday.

One day she reappeared, real as a biscuit in an eff-b email. Remember me H? We went to college together.

And then, not two months later, yesterday, we sat across each other grinning.

I thought I was the only one who had grey and did nothing about it she said giggling.

N reached out her finger to count mine. Masi, you have ten. N is six and she’s a Delhi bred baby tyrannosaurus. Controlling her mother, telling me I should let the kitchen decide how much sugar goes into my fresh lime soda because that’s their job, not yours and how she’s going to get lots of rakhi gifts out of her little brother. She turned to S and said it’d better be a girl or a boy, not some mixed up girl-boy thing or we’ll throw it away. And masi, liiiightly she said removing my hand from where I’d placed it on S’s belly, don’t disturb the baby.

But soon we became friends because I put salt into my fresh lime soda and it bubbled over because I will never learn the exact amount no matter how old I get so I said to shift blame — oh no my glass has done susu and N squealed.

You’re her favourite now S said picking N’s fingers out of the sugar. She was worried that her gestational diabetes would affect the baby. She was tired of having no house for the last one year since they shifted back from Dhaka into her in-laws’ house and she was not looking forward to the baby coming early because she’d thought the March delivery would’ve fitted nicely with N’s spring break.

Amid all this, N discovered to her delight that mummy was older than H masi. So that means you’re going to have to listen to EEEEEEEEEEEEVERYTHING mummy says because she’s older, na? She grinned. Nooooo I said. Who EVER told you it’s about age? I’m taller so mummy has to listen to me. Nooo. Yessssss. Noooooo. Okay then tell me N, why do people say you can do things only when you grow UP, not when you grow OLD?

For the first time N was flummoxed. She looked at mummy, but useless mummy was giggling yet again. She turned back, perplexed.

Game change she decided. Masi, tell me a story. Okay, I said. Okay. But first the magic word. Pleeeeeeeassse she squealed, and with nostril flaring delight I was reading her a story. I love when children look up at you, hanging on every word and you can stop in the middle and say – but do you know what rustle means? And they’ll say no, and you’ll explain and they’ll listen with that same spellbound expression and you can pick up the story from anywhere and know they’re still listening closely with their mutant-Delhi-tyranny slipped away leaving an innocent kissable sweetness on their faces.

I could’ve hugged N and not let her go.

You’re good with them S said, smiling not giggling.

I laughed, embarrassed --- not if you leave them with me for 24 hours, I’ll be as cranky if not worse I said, a warm glow spreading inward.

Later S leaned over. I wish I was working too sometimes she said, patting her belly. I’m so glad to see you’re so independent. You’re really happy doing what you’re doing, aren’t you?

I looked down at little N’s hand in mine, and said yes, that’s true.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Love poems for you

A little over a year ago, I spilt a bunch of angry words and dignified them with the title: ‘Angry poems about you’.

I’m all about playing with your mind, see?

And now, so you know I’m not all pissiness and mutterage, here’s something less virulent, more bewildering and just as unpoetic.

Written on a cold late December day, for Duck.

Be kind
Tread gently
My heart’s still tender from the arm you lent me last night.

Creepy me
So, when you look back
Twice not once
Are you reassured I’m watching you as you go?

Your lips
They tease and they please
Keep talking, I’m watching.

Cruel me
Those times when I’ve said that you’re vain
And pretended I can’t hear what you say
When I’ve taunted you till you’re close to tears
And acted like I don’t care that you’re here
I’m actually fighting this crazy-ass fear
Of being complete-farkin’-ly undone.

I were a poet
I’d say this eloquently enough
I think you’re the shit, duck.
Fuck me, I think I’m in love.