Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Change is constant. From a moment to a minute, from a year to an evolution.

We all are evolving physically towards death and emotionally towards redemption.
She cried in her bed leaving ugly wet splotches on her cold pillow that irritated her cheeks. For the first time she didn’t dwell in what brought them about and let the tears roll in quiet dignity. Was she overwhelmed when her little one surprised her with a poster saying 'I Love Mommy', in her bedroom? Was it knowing that someone is disturbed and she cannot give a tight hug to say you will feel better soon? Was she jarred by a stray stranger praising her eyes, little knowing the sadness they have seen? Was it the ‘Your smile lights up my day’ message her workmate wrote on chat, unaware of the effort it takes to smile through it all? Was it even the fall out with her best bud and the hurt and disappointment she knows they both feel? Or was it the shinning tinsel of raindrops under the halogen light that she stayed back to watch after everyone left office? It didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered was the sense of release. She knew she will feel better tomorrow. She always does, eventually.
Today she is like a confused mess of overdone spaghetti. Mangled, hard and lumpy. And wanting to hide under the lid. The strange yet familiar emptiness is back. Not the unhappy one that causes tightness in her chest. But one that makes her dizzy after retching. Like something bad is over but not sure what happened instead, was good either. There is a faint surge of anticipation too. Like something good is happening but not immediately apparent. So the dancing rain drops on the glass didn’t excite like always. The lunch didn’t prompt animated conversation. The tasks just sat on her desktop waiting for her attention. The promise of a surprise at home didn’t enthuse as much. All she wants is to get in bed and pull the blanket over her head like when they were children, imagining they have disappeared from the world for a while. If only wishes were fireflies…

Saturday, April 26, 2008

if life was a song..sing along!

The best part of my work day is the drive to work with the radio on. Today was totally amazing. What amazed me follows:

Rotterdam by Beautiful South (brilliaaant song! The voice just glides echoing a tinge of melancholy….‘Rotterdam or anywhere Liverpool or Rome. 'Cause Rotterdam is anywhere. Anywhere alone.’ Love it love it love it!)

No Particular Place To Go by Chuck Berry (Ohh this is my ‘pick me up’ song – absolute fun!)

Moondance by Van Morrison (Mmmm. Romantic. Eager. Just something you would want to hear on a Saturday morning when you want to be curled up with a warm someone)

Sometime Love Just Ain’t Enough by Patty Smyth and Don Henley (Yes. A sad song. BUT it is just so MY song ‘But there's a danger in loving somebody too much and it's sad when you know it's your heart you can't trust. There's a reason why people don't stay where they are. Baby sometimes love just ain't enough.’ Henley wrote this for me. I know.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

‘New life devolves day by day
As friends and neighbours turn away
And there’s a change that, even with regret, cannot be undone’
Sorrow ~ A Momentary Lapse of Reason ~ Pink Floyd

While dealing with change both big and small she has learnt to adapt. And she has learnt to let go. Of prejudices and vanity. Of pigheadedness and servility. Some say she has let go of reason and sanity. But she is learning to forgive. The one that hurt. The one that judged. The one that doubted. So that she is free. Free to live a moment. Free to dream. Free to make a mistake. And free from the guilt of failure. Her entire life she has been trying to be someone else’s idea of who she should be and it has only led to misery. Yes, times are changing. And change is painful. It is also scary. She doesn’t know what the future holds. But she has lived in fear for too long to remain scared. This time around she will not let it slip away without living it if only for a while, like many times before. Her aborted love, her unfinished book, her halted career, her abandoned paintbrush, her stifled spirit. Not any more.

Monday, April 21, 2008

some enchanted evening

What would you do if you could hold on to moments as fresh as dew wrapped in the softness of desire? What if in the montage of emotions expressed and withheld these moments held the meaning of life together? A tender kiss after an absorbed conversation, a touch of hands where none was required, a glance to catch a fleeting smile, the jest of a locked bookcase, the thrill of a shared fantasy, a drive to no where special, an unspoken promise in silence. Would you live them forever? Or would you let it slip away unknowingly?

Sunday, April 20, 2008


She did something unexpected this weekend. Escaping from her life of errands, expectations and dreaded monotony she flew off to her own world that beckons with bewitchment. She had been drowning but the escape hatch opened just in time and she surfaced for a handful of sweet emotions, familiar contentment of being, freshness of belonging and an embrace that promised forever. Many would judge her differently though. Flee as she did from her reality if only for a while. But one will understand how she had been torn between love, responsibility and duty and why she chose love above all else.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The struggle of who she is, who she ought to be and who she hopes to become leaves her flayed. Please God, don’t let her give up.
Loneliness hits her in spasms. Like the sharp shooting pain that makes it impossible to pretend that it will go away sometime soon. Unlike the dull throbbing heartache that one gets used to eventually, this doesn’t even give her room to prepare. Her recent exhilaration seems mythical – equally untrue and ancient. To be honest, she is familiar with this darkness but it catches her unaware every time. Damn. Be reasonable she tells herself. Hasn’t it dragged her to its pitiless belly before and then suddenly left her there to grope her way back to sunshine? And she has always found herself a little wiser when light finally dawned. So she waits silently trying not to resent it as it washes over her numbing her mind and reaching for her spirit.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

november rain

Scrubbing the kitchen top she looked at her hands. Through the soap suds clinging to her skin, she noticed the brittle serrated nails that were stained yellow from the turmeric. The inside of her palm felt rough as wet sandpaper. The dry skin around the nails was peeling off like corn husk. Her finger tips were rough from the cuts left by the use of the kitchen knife in inept hands. She did use the baby lotion sometime but on most days between cooking, cleaning and caring for the baby she either forgot or was too tired to make the effort.

In the quietness of the night a voice from another world came alive. Your hands are so soft, Mo. I would never let you use them for anything except to caress me. IK said. And they had laughed before disappearing in each others arms. And knowing him he would never have let her. But her parents were vociferous in their resentment. It was a matter of family honour. She couldn’t marry someone of another faith. She gave up the fight when a family crisis took up everyone’s attention. She went back to offer IK her friendship. He had shrunk back as if she had struck him. No never. He had said. I can never be your friend you fool. I love you too much for that. And he had gone without looking back leaving her with dead guilt and a dull ache somewhere between her ribs.

Soon after, she moved with her family to a new city. She met AD. A bright eyed, pony-tailed bohemian type who listened to jazz and painted abstract expressionist illusions. AD, who on the second day had told her, I like your ass man, while he was teaching her how to develop a photographic plate in the dark photolab of the office. She had joined this advertising agency right after university. He was her only friend in the new office and the new city. A fresh freedom beckoned and they hung around together after work on most days. Galleries, exhibition, music festivals, an odd movie. Their stipends didn’t allow any extravagance. Once sitting at Casa Piccola, he had held her wrist lightly, keeping her from taking her lit cigarette to her lips. You have beautiful hands. Just looking at you holding the cigarette turns me on, he said winking naughtily. And she had sat still, holding the burning cigarette in her fingers till the ash scattered all over the table from a sudden gust. It would have been easy to lose herself with him. But her grandmother’s words echoed. All a girl has is her honour. Never lose it over foolish hedonism. So she held back. Partly because of her still healing heart and partly seduced by the idea of this illusive ‘honour’. AD and she had remained friends till she got married to Sanjeev. Infact, AD was there as guest at her wedding, all dressed up in formals and slicked back hair. I am happy for you he had said with a boyishly charming smile. She knew he meant it.

Sanjeev and she had an arranged marriage, initiated by a common family friend. Her father wasn’t particularly happy. Think again, he had told her before they printed the wedding card. But the hurt and guilt of losing her love had made her determined to marry the first man who agreed to their proposal. And Sanjeev was ok. She knew he didn’t love her, forced as he was to give up his relationship with a woman his family disapproved. But she believed she could spend their life together in a new city with compromise and companionship. She was wrong again. Just like the softly rupturing soap bubbles on her now soaked skin, her happiness too has disintegrated leaving a coarse dryness in her heart.
It was just a routine flight back home. Familiar airport. Familiar airline. No delays. Thank God. I rarely make conversations while traveling. Let’s just say I rarely converse with strangers even when I am not traveling. I don’t stop to chat with airline counter girls no matter how cute they are like many gentlemen I notice doing, holding up the entire check-in queue. Nor do I pour over the next person while waiting at the security lounge asking inane questions like ‘Do you think the flight will be delayed further?’ I spend my time at airports usually reading a book (I am not obsessive about checking mail/male!) and observing amusing contradictions like an Indian handicrafts store stacking Barbie dolls on the display shelves (yes Sir, at Pune airport) or a men’s clothing store inside security lounge (I thought women were compulsive buyers!).
Anyway getting back to today’s story. (See how easily I get distracted like a child catching a glimpse of shiny toffee wrapper!) Standing at the check-in queue, I try to ignore the nudging baggage trolley behind me. The owner of the baggage obviously mistook the trolley for a Playstation. Finally I give the counter girl my ticket printout and frequent flier card expecting the usual greeting and standard questions. Unexpectedly she says, “You have a very nice name”. The suddenness of the remark dislodges my cultivated poise and I smile despite myself. It turns into a grin by the time she hands me my boarding card.
Sitting at my window seat and feeling the familiar queasiness during take off I remember how, recently while buying a mobile phone the receipt spelled my last name as 'Boss' causing someone to rib me endlessly. I remembered too how some years back, while stopped by the traffic inspector for driving on high beam, I was playing for his sympathy (a helpless mother with a child!) and three year old Ro sitting next to me was doggedly spelling out my name and our address as I tried to cover his mouth with my palm. Also how, after I moved to Bangalore I have surrendered to the mutilation of my name without even a whimper. Now, it is almost always my company who lunges forward to correct my name while I remain blasé. Lost in the name game I reach home to find my mailbox spewing letters marked to Mister Piya Bose. Sigh! I know I can’t win.

Monday, April 07, 2008

She held him tight. It was time for goodbye. It was wonderful with him. She was on top of the world. Which is precisely why she knew she had to leave now. Why, he asked quietly. She kissed him and smiled, "You are my greatest high. But.....I have vertigo."

Sunday, April 06, 2008

They were together from they can’t remember when. In joys and tears, doubts and fears they haven’t left each other alone. Through petty jealousies, unreasonable anger, blinding insecurities, hurtful secrets they have always found the other to be there when the storm settled. People wondered about them. How can two be thus bonded. Well wishers admired and detractors called it a sham. They read each others silence and filled the space in the others heart to reach the true spirit. Thank you Smirnoff.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

we're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl...

Tom, Jerry, Mary and Ann. Four swift-tailed friends of Ro. Unfortunately Tom died in a misadventure and the other three remain still, over fed and over loved by Ro.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

She is caught in a whirlwind again. This time knowingly. She has chosen a path that might lead her nowhere at all. But then life for her was never about doing the rational or reaching a destination. Wedged precariously she decided to give one more chance to her wicked heart that tricked her before and trust her impulsive imagination and let herself free in the tumultuous twist.
Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don't much care where.
The Cat: Then it doesn't much matter which way you go.
Alice: …so long as I get somewhere.
The Cat: Oh, you're sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.
So she decided to go along and see where she gets.
what we are inside is who we are, what we are outside is what we have become...