Wednesday, 29 April 2015


Lemons are passé. Life may as well throw you bananas. What will you do then? 

It was the Christmas of 2012, just about three weeks after I had turned 19 (with much  fanfare and drumroll.) I was on an AIESEC internship to Malaysia for a community development project. Ours was a group of 15 interns from diverse lands. We had worked ourselves to pulp, and hence to celebrate Jesus’ birthday (hallelujah!), took a breather off to a town called Malacca. Now, Malacca was this non-mainstream, gem of a town, with a strong Portuguese influence from its colonial days. It was famous for its water inlets and pub streets.
We spent the whole of Christmas Eve in one of the pubs; discovering new drinking games. Soon, midnight came and the streets erupted with classic Xmas carols and we joined in the revelry. Slowly, almost everybody from the group retreated back to the guest house, and it was just the three of us left; Mark, Vay (Vaibhav; shortened to convenience foreign tongues,) and myself. We decided to roam around and explore. But it was 3 AM now, and people had already made themselves scarce. Disheartened, we passed empty streets through arrays of closed joints before we struck gold! Our pub from from the eve was still open! (Hallelujah!)
The three of us marched to the entrance door with relief and glory. (I remember wearing a t-shirt with "SWAG" printed loudly.)  The crowd was all chic and some great beats were playing in the background. Good vibes. One of us remarked on how this was going to be the best night in the entirety of our Malaysian trip.
Some free advice regarding the above statement. Never, I repeat NEVER make superlative claims on how great something is going to turn out. It will be jinxed. Trust me on this. Be optimistic, of course; but keep it to yourself. Saying it out aloud is music to the ears of your lifetime’s piled up bad Karma. 
Once inside, something seemed subtly odd. The lighting was dimmer than before. Shady. Fifty 'shadys' of grey. But, hey! A strange environment cannot stop three young men from having fun, right? Vay and Mark disappeared to scan the place, while I decided to be company to this lady who was sitting all by herself at the bar. 
With as much mojo as my inner baniya could summon at that short notice, I walked up to her and gave a casual, “Hi!” She turned towards me and smiled, and I looked into her eyes. HIS EYES! That was a man, elaborately dressed as a woman! (SURPRISE!) I looked around. Any and all signs of womanhood were actually men wearing drag! Vay came running and  informed that we-actually-might-be-in-a-gay-pub! But we were here just an hour ago! It was so normal then! We immediately made our way to the exit, (hallelujah!), but wait a minute. WHERE WAS MARK?
Now Mark, being all Dutch and exotic in an Asian country, had caught the fantasy of a man who apparently owned the place. The owner was flanked by two super-human bodyguards and multiple (drag) queens. Mark, signalled us to his table. We went; and along with Mark, were tried to be wooed through free drinks and inaccurate cheesy English. Yes, I was made passes upon by a 50-year-old-man and objectified by countless others around me. Not the kind of stuff you dream to check off your bucket-list, eh? I noticed the super-human bodyguards making their respective dibs on Vay and me. Scared for life would be an understatement here. As scared as we might be, we gulped the drinks that the owner kept getting us. Vay and I hinted at leaving, multiple times, but were defeated by angry stares of those two colossal bodyguards/creeps. 
Finally, Mark, on the pretext of changing into something more proper and smelling nicer got the three of us out, "We'll be right back.” We walked as fast as we could. Walk of shame. Then we ran. RAN FOR OUR LIVES.
Next day, over a breakfast of shrimp omelet and shandy, we wondered how a totally normal place turns all shady after midnight.

Do you remember yourself sulking on that particular Christmas? Atleast Santa got you better gifts than mine. Duh!

Saturday, 18 April 2015



"I will cross that bridge when I get there," he resolved to himself.
But he didn't.
And it doesn't matter. 
Because who is to know?

*    *    *

"She used to scrub the floors in one of those for years."
"Dull work."
"Not really."
"Her son later bought her all of it."

*    *    *

    "Come see me. I am where we first met."
"One last time?"
"One last time."

*    *    *


She always knew she would save the world. But not today. 

Today, she needed a bit of saving of her own. Today, she needed to stand up to her bully.

Or maybe there was no bully. Because, in his defence, and rightly so, he was "just trying to pull her leg."

*    *    *

Our bodies should be our temple. His was his cage.

He was learning to break free from inhibition. And he did.

That day, he danced as if nobody was watching.

*    *    *

He didn't know the procedure. He had never inflicted pain on himself before. He would improvise, anyway.

There is good news too for all the religious people in the house. 

For all that is worth, he had joy written all over his face.

*    *    *

Friday, 2 January 2015

Goodbye, Goodbye

Have a look,
But do not stare;
My demons are contagious.
And I have seen them off for good.

How I wish we were vessels!
Our souls would leak as we wandered
In those punctured bodies, 
Leaving imaginary footprints across  globe.
Spilled wine and comfort food,
Manic indulgences in all things that we call life.
Permanent misfits and glimpses of charm school:
The proverbial fork in the road.

Toasting to yet another chapter of existence,
Us becoming worthier of us.
And still no pompous declarations of farewell,
Because here is a plain and lousy goodbye, goodbye.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Fall Already?

The pristine blueness

Of the morning sky,

The mystic coolness,

Of the breeze rushing past the rye.

The manifestation of sepia ,

In the leaves of every a tree.

The surge of freshness in the bronchia,

Effected by the winds of sea set free.

Everything suggests it is already fall,

Even the glow of the sun;

But season’s are not known to ignore time’a call

Whether it is winter or autumn or none…

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Skewed Nation: Grey

The constipated pastor left out an air of relief; as the non-punctual groom limped hurriedly to his blushing bride. Soon she would officially become the happiest girl in the world. After all, he was the stuff that girls often dreamt of! He had promised to take all those lyrical pains away. Enough of the dark life. Things were now going to brighten up. Gods had specially sent him to put the stars back on her barren night sky.

The local news didn't report of any survivors from the ancient church whose building collapsed during some wedding ceremony.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Skewed Nation: Black

She was a young inhibited girl in a family of little or no means. She had never had friends. She wasn't unfriendly, but was too timid to talk to anybody. Somebody convinced her that sharing food helps make friends. So she took a leap of faith next day, and shared all her little food with a stranger. Voila! They became friends. She tried the trick again but with an another stranger. And it worked again! She was euphoric. She now had the secret that she had always longed for! She was soon trading away all her food for new acquaintances. The peak of social popularity was soon conquered. Everybody loved the food and her.

She died of malnutrition a few months later.