Saturday, September 01, 2018

Letting go

After 30 years, she finally decided to let go of the handles and felt herself fly on the cycle☺️. Life still had a few unanticipated smiles, after all.

Monday, August 13, 2018


When death is no longer sacred, or secretive.
When it's details are made into a formula
And the act itself reversible.
Like a chemical reaction...


Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Saturday, July 21, 2018

When a shoulder is missing

If I cry out to you, tell me that you will come back in his dreams and let him know you are there forever for me.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Signs of life

Clothes hanging out from balconies...

Monday, June 04, 2018

Not funny, J.

Mister - it is not funny to be across the globe and change your phone, social handle, address and become incommunicado out of the blue. There are people who think and worry about you. kindly call on seeing.

Friday, June 01, 2018


The first city that i visited as a professional with my father. We visited the meenakshi temple in the evening. He had said that we would see the temple elephant, but were told that it had gone out just then. A bit disappointed, we saw the goddess and the lord, admired the 1000 pillar mandapam and then prayed at the kalyanasundaresar sannidhi for an early and happy marriage for my then 23 year old self. As we were going out, we saw the golden chariot being drawn. And then, we saw the baby elephant.

I remember my mother chatting on yahoo chat, saying that she had a terrific experience, with my father being completely unreachable for 2 days in madurai.

I remember staying at college house and visiting tafe with my father after returning from the US, thinking what a whole lot of tractors!!!

I remember visiting for Raj's wedding, when my mom had a really bad back ache for the first time.

Madurai - very fondly remembered.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Chindu chundakkai

I remember being put to sleep on my father's shoulders - he used to walk around the garden singing abcd... After my brother and i grew up a bit, he used to tell us stories and put us to sleep. Or rather, he used to fall asleep telling stories!! We would try waking him up or prodding him to tell us the story correctly. He used to reply that the protagonist of the story had gone off to sleep or was busy in a meeting or had taken the train and it could be continued only the next night. The stories would evolve every day based on what was happening in the city, in house, office, with his friends etc. We could also actively contribute and turn the story which ever way we wanted. Our favorite story was that of the chundakkai, a tiny bitter berry, which was always taking off from his mother plant and running away to explore the world.  In his honor, i present Chindu the chundakkai story, as it is evolving with my brats. I am just writing out the rhymes, leaving out the tamil story portion. Will try to get it out in a bit.

ஒரு ஊரில், ஒரு farmer தாத்தா இருந்தாராம். Daily, அவர், .தன் வயலில் வளௌந்த காய்கரிகளை பறித்து, தனது கூடையில் எடுத்துக் கொண்டு சந்தைக்கு

To the market, to the market, to the market off we go!
In a basket, in a basket, in a basket off we go!

Here comes a red car
The market is so far
Will you please take us along??
We will sing you a beautiful song

Carrots, beans and peas
Baked in cottage cheese
Yummy yummy yum
Thank you, my dear mum

Oh my, oh dear
You came without telling your mum?!!
She will fret and fear
search far and near
Wont rest till she knows you are safe and here.
What have you done, you naughty baby bum!!?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Baby answers...

What will you have for dinner?
I will eat light!

And i discover an innocent answer can lift me out of darkness!!

Monday, September 25, 2017

And they stopped buying news paper.

The note book lay forgotten amidst the numerous momentos and trinkets collected over the years. The metaphors rose and fell as the pages lazily turned under the breeze.

The rustle, more than the movement caught her attention. She snatched the book out of his reach, just as he was about to get it. It was snacks time!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


The first signs always show on the hands.

Friday, September 15, 2017

The butterfly on her breast.

The scar was there for all to see. The dark red lines etched deep over her skin. Emblazoned just above her blouse. Left anyone who visited her wondering how deep it went and how such a frail body had withstood so much.

No one would have guessed the tattoo to hold so much pain inside.

Abuse is never just physical.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Two is just right!;

What two little people have done to my life...
Taught me patience and loads of love
Laughter like no other, and bruises that are cured with kisses
To share and wake up thinking of one another, just so they could fight and squabble as soon as they are up
Wonder at ants and lady bugs and run around till the world goes round
Nursery rhymes on you tube and mysterious muscles and aches while making them eat
That pee and poo comes only when we start the car
That i will endure a thousand pains to make sure their world is sunshined!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

of toes and fingers

Do you ever observe people's fingers and toes? They have so much appeal and personality. almost like a person's face. You can imagine what kind of work they do, how clean they are, how they might dance and fantasize how it would be to be touched by them. 

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

my precious...

It weighs so heavily on the soul...

Happy friendship day

There are a handful of people who have been there in my life - not just to hear me out, but who have given me good advice, shown me how to laugh at myself and at life, who have told me to square my shoulders and stand up. I may not keep talking to them or keep in touch for ever, but they know that they did me a good turn and I hope I have done them at least one too. I want to tell all of them that they have enriched my life, gifted me a smile without their knowledge and given me memories that I hold dear today.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

the notebook

It is a dark thought that you will not be able to write any more. That there is no more poetry or music or dance left in you. That day after day will turn out to be a blank page and you can turn only one page at a time. That you know you have to stare at all the empty lines and only once you are done observing the emptiness, can you turn the page. You do not know how big the note book is. Only that you hope somebody has written beautiful words or music or painted a pretty picture in between the covers and you are patient enough to not tear it all up before you see it.

And you keep turning and turning. 

Friday, April 18, 2014


Unshed tears and unsaid apologies. 
Unexpressed love and unsaid forgivings.
Unforgotten squabbles and overrated egos. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

kuruvi saththam...

My grand mom used to explain how to find out if the ghee is done melting.  "kuruvi saththam Onji pona nei aayidithunu arththam" If you heat it any more, there will be a burnt smell. The same sound would hold good to tell you that the muruku and thattai and seedai were done frying. No more sparrows, no more murukku / ghee done in the house; let alone - metaphorically comparing their chirping to sound of stuff getting deep fried.

New age metaphors - like the rapid sound of keyboard firing away and the adrenalin rush of checking the number of messages after a two hour break of posting the new photos on facebook will soon rule the day. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014


I opened the window and in jumped a chameleon! What a start to a friday :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Indian spice

Asefodita - sounds like a greek godess. smells like body odour when raw! 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Life is a lonely bitch - Dark chocolate alone makes life worth living.

My butterfly hero

The bangle was handed down one generation to another on her maternal side. It was a delicate openable one with screws to tighten it. Deep somber red rubies alternating with smooth creamy white pearls set inside alternating flowers and leaves in gold. Since it could be opened and closed, the bangle itself was smaller and used to bind her wrists a little bit tighter than normal bangles.

She liked it when he tried to clasp her hand and put on the bangle. This time, he tried to tighten it a bit more than required and the connection between the leaf and the flower snapped. Though the jewellery as such did not have much value for her, the fact that it held so many memories hurt. As endearing as it was, she wished he could be a bit less clumsy.

They were driving back. She was humming long lost tamil songs.She could never remember the lyrics. Only the tunes got stuck in her head. After the first two lines, any song turned into lalala or nanana... He was enjoying the drive and her music at a steady 120 kmph.

The butterfly was black with blue spots and got caught in the wiper on the windscreen. He pulled over to the side and gently plucked it out. It flew away.

She clapped her hands in delight and wondered if he had indeed broken the bangle. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013


It is difficult for a natural cook to bake. I love to cook spontaneously, using what ever is available in the fridge. It is extremely tedious to read recipies, ensure that you have baking powder and baking soda and sodium bicarbonate and maida and corn flour... aaahhhhh... The devil lies in the details. For a person who thinks any powdered grain - rice, wheat, kadalai maavu and if nothing is there in the house, a bit of powdered almonds/ pottu kadalai will do and add a bit of flair to the sambar - you can imagine how hard baking is.

Not just the ingredients - you have to be so precise about their measures. Some people talk in cups. Others in gms and yet others in ounces/ pints. So many measures!!! I am a person who just tosses in the rice in the cooker and adds how much ever water looks right. No half measures for me! You can imagine my frustration when the recipie asks you to add 160 gms of all purpose flour. Why cant it be any purpose flour instead?

The ultimate test is however when I need to take the cake out of the oven. I am never sure about whether it is done. Neither am I sure about when it is cool enough to turn out of the dish. I keep telling myself that I should trust the recipie and leave it in for as long as it calls for. It needs a lot of faith and a strong will to resist the temptation of doing things immediately. Baking calls for patience. A lot of it.

However - end of the story is very beautiful. I baked a wonderful eggless red velvet cake with wheat flour and butter cream icing and made a beautiful angry bird icing on top of it. :) And my nephew loved it!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

what is there to choose?!!!

Hell - a state of permanent want and desire.
Heaven - a state of complete satisfaction with no wants.

I wonder why people would choose either! and I wonder why I wrote about hell before heaven!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The season has begun

There is no place like home. No place that I enjoy so much. Just the months of November, December and January are sufficient to make madras the best place in the world. There is so much art and culture happening live in the city that it takes my breath away. I love the evenings with the crisp cool air, that favors the women airing out their traditional kanchipuram sarees. I love stepping into the serene atmosphere of kalakshetra - witnessing a performance there is akin to a transcendental experience. Music academy is the snobbish crowd. Narada gana sabha is for the aam-aadmi. Brahma gana sabha, mylapore fine arts, vani mahal, hamsadhwani - so many art clubs. How I love chennai! Much as I have enjoyed living in various places, this is certainly where I feel the happiest! 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

growing legs...

My mom used to scold me when I used to ask her to join me in my search for my math homework notebook just before starting to school. She used to tell me "where could it have gone? Search in the same place that you used it last. It could not have grown legs and walked away some place..."

Some times, it really feels like things are willfully hiding from us. Part - 5 of a tamil book series was simply missing for two weeks. We searched in all places and then decided to buy another copy. So, finally on sunday - we went all the way to higginbothams, which was one of the few shops stocking this book and got another copy.

Today - exactly 3 days later, it turns up beneath the inverter in the new house.


Monday, December 17, 2012

When pity hurts more than hurt...

Well meant pity hurts more than hurt itself. It is like the rest of the world has acknowledged your defeat, even when you think there is a standing chance. It makes the fight that bit more difficult. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A star in the house

My cousin's husband used to tell me, that you just need to figure out if the person you were interviewing would be managable by you. If so, you should say yes and get married. You could not get the perfect man, because he would be a gentleman in some aspects and an a*****e in some...That if you felt a click for some reason, you should go ahead. 

Though most of the time, we make each other tear our hair out, I sometimes get a glimpse of totally unexpected warmness, beauty, appreciation and happiness, that it makes me feel that the person to whom I said "yes - I will", is "the person" in this world for me! 

He surprised me with a white and silver christmas star to hang outside the house yesterday.

Friday, November 30, 2012


He said he wanted to drink with me some day!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

you will understand when you grow up...

The first time, I heard somebody use a swear word, I could not understand the meaning of it. I must have been all of ten years old. A bunch of sixth/ seventh standard kids were fighting and they yelled "bastard". Since the conversation was on very heated terms, I thought he meant something derogatory, but did not know what it meant. I asked my mom what it meant and got scolded for being around people who used such words. I asked my dad and he said that I was not old enough to understand the explanations. Since there was no google with auto-correct options to look it up, I searched a dictionary - for quite sometime. (I did not know the spelling either...) The word would not go away.

Later, when I finally learnt that a bustard was "a big terrestrial bird" and that a bastard was "a child born out of wedlock", I was able to understand what it meant. But, by then, I also knew that it was supposed to be a slur on some body's mother and according to the tam culture, insulting a person's mother was worse than insulting the person himself. Like damning somebody even before they are born!

So, what is it about the word bastard, that people use it as a derogatory term? I might find the parents irresponsible for bringing a child that they knew they would not be able to care for. In most cases, I might find fault with the father for either being irresponsible or for abandoning the woman without sharing parenting responsibilities. Why in the world is it used as a swear word? Why is there such a mania for people to know their roots so exactly? Why is it a fault if we are unable to establish our complete parentage? Why would a single parent child be looked upon more favorably than a bastard child?

What is it about marriage that gives sanctity to birth? And I am left with just more questions than ever...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

of all the things that never happend!

Remember when your uncle used to scare the life out of you saying -" goodness, you swallowed the orange pips! Now, the tree is going to grow out of your stomach." I used to think that the tree roots would go through my feet and I will be stuck in one place forever. My hands and head would become outstretched as branches. That I would be rooted to the spot and will have to pick my spot in the garden before the roots grew through my feet. hmm - so much for that! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012


"Oh! that is your husband's name? I used to wonder who this new name was that showed up on the wifi list!"
"Oh - you wear saree?! I couldnt recognise after seeing you in pants and shirts!You look good!"

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

and you may now update your status!

I used to find it scary that a person had to have a credit history to be acknowledged by the socitey. Now, people need to have an online presence and social network. A friend of mine found it funny that my husband and I are not connected on facebook.

We are not friends! - on facebook... Whatever for?!!! We share a hundred thoughts and moments. We weed our garden, go to work, decorate our house, groan over tax returns, throw parties and grocery shop together. What more will I share with him on facebook? And what I do want to share, I would rather share with him alone and not with the rest of the world. And so it is for me! :)

Monday, May 07, 2012

Being a happy woman

"Dont spend. I will take care of the bills. You can keep all the money that you earn as savings." 

Most men, whose mothers have not been working women tend to think that their role in a family is about being the provider. If they happen to marry a woman who works, they have a very hard time getting used to the fact that the woman might not necessarily like being financially dependent. Or being told not to spend. Or being told how to spend their money. 

Each person has a sense of control over their lives, by being financially sensitive. By knowing their earning potential and how they should plan their lives around it. It is not just the man's domain to earn money. Women also have developed a taste for it. Let alone the financial aspect of going to work... A woman's life today does not revolve around the kitchen and keeping a beautiful house and picking up laundry. More so, for a woman who has seen her mother raise her, take care of the house, go to work and multi-task in a 100 odd ways. 

It becomes very demeaning to be told that I should not spend my money. That he will take care of the bills. That he will take care of the EMI. That it is sufficient if I plan the vacation. He will pay. I do not need to own a house. I dont need a car. I dont need a 100 dress wardrobe. I did not get married because I needed somebody to support me financially. I did not get married because I needed a social licence to have sex. What I want is a person who lets me grow in my natural way. Who feels proud of my accomplishments. Who appreciates/ criticises my work with honest interest. Who takes interest in the people who mean a lot to me. 

It forces a woman to become fiercely competitive and earn at least equally as her husband, if only to gain his respect and interest. If we were left to ourselves, without getting married, I think most women of today would not be bothered about earning so much above their needs. We women do not have great aspirations of wealth. A supportive family which respects our opinions and freedoms will leave us a lot happier. We would probably be a lot happier writing poetry, painting, dancing, singing and feel happy at the progress of our families. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

appreciate it...

Ever wondered on the things that we appreciate? books, music, dance, food... Indians specialise in likening uniquely cultural / scientific things to things familiar from the home land. Like - minestrone soup to rasam, tetziki to raita, refried beans to rajma, evolution to dasavatharam, ballet to odissi/ baratanatyam, why this kolaveri to subapantuvarali, anything nice that the wife cooks to his mother's cooking... Books are the ultimate in terms of proportionality of familiarity to appreciation. We predominantly read from the protagonist's point of view. Where they react in the manner that we might ourselves react, we read with greater interest. When the author thinks differently, we say the book is boring/ outrageous/ irrational. What a narrow mind it is that refuses the person who has thought and written his words...

Maybe there is a subconscious compulsion to compare every thing that we see to things that are familiar to us. And we appreciate only those that strike a resonant chord. Would this mean that sufficient familiarity with any given thing would make us appreciate it? How then do we form our dislikes? Other than instanteaneous allergic/ unpleasant reactions, how does one know that something is amiss?

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Not so bad a world to be in.

I saw this person... He was a competitor at a vendor meet during the opening of the tender. A bit elderly. Not particularly tall. Was wearing neatly pressed clothes. Just a faint outline of vibuthi was visible. Whatever little was remaining after the morning of travelling in the sun and sweat. His face was radiating warmth and peace. I broke into an automatic smile of acknowledgement and happiness on seeing him. Did not get to speak to him.

After we left the place, my cousin asked me who he was. I replied that I did not know. Sometimes, we come across people who glow with peace and happiness, who walk around with a smile - like they have the buddha inside them. We feel happier to have just seen them. I guess, it taps something inside us and reassures our belief in goodness of the world.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Fairy tale ending

And they got divorced and lived happily ever after...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

why do you want to dance?

"What do want to dance for?!!"

"I want to...? Is that sufficient reason?"

"You have your priorities all mixed up. You know your age? We should be looking at having a baby. What will people think? Why do want to waste so much money on an arangetram? I dont think your parents will be happy. Neither will I be. Nor will my parents...I am not at all comfortable with you going ahead with this. Please drop the idea."

Is it insanity that makes a woman want to go and do exactly what the person who declares that he loves her does not want her to do? Is love always about giving up what is dear to you? Is love always measured in tears and heartbreaks? What an irony for a happy feeling... I dont want to be loved like this.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Waiting for the moon,
I failed to see
the forgotten stars were
staring back at me...
They each asked a hundred questions,
at my unwavering stare
wondering what I was
searching for.
Their questions reached me -
a hundred light years later.
Now, When I try to reply
they are no longer there.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A year gone by...

The last year has been satisfying to say the least. I tried earnestly to be the person people wished me to be - a handful of people who really matter to me. In doing so, I forgot that I had take care of myself, be happy with myself, if I were to bring any real happiness to any of these people. And I fought for my space, time and priorities, without even knowing what and who I was fighting for. It was hard.
We struggled, fought, came out with a few resolutions and are still living together. I decided against cooking south indian meals, if i did not feel up to it. I actually baked some amazing breads, made great salads and dressings. I planned a vacation for both of us as per my likes - a backpacking vacation and he actually does not disapprove. Dance has been going on great... I feel so thrilled to dance, to emote, to be able to move with rythm and grace. I finally finished the paintings that I started last year. Have given them for framing, so that they can be hung in the new house. I have decided on starting a small stacked vegetable patch and a couple of other projects. He saw the seedlings today morning. We were completely thrilled. It struck me that it has taken us nearly four years to discover a common liking... He said he would not divorce me till I turned 65.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

So English!

Got to hear "Morning, Miss!". Am so charmed and thrilled

Saturday, May 08, 2010

the tale of the buddha

He was thirty seven years old and blessed with a beautiful wife and two equally, if not more beautiful girls. He was talking about the time when he was in the US, some fifteen years ago. Had to stay a night at his friends place in philly. Since his friend and his girl friend shared a studio, he had to share their bed for that night. He was saying that it was the most freaked out thing he had ever done in his life. "Nothing happened", just so that you know...

Is it not such a heavy burden to carry one thought with you for fifteen years? Especially - if "nothing happened"?

Thursday, April 01, 2010

So, I did not hire Jaseera.

I am a great advocate of the feminine right to wear whatever a woman wants - from shorts, to bikini tops, to nine yard sarees to train dresses to whatever not, as long as it is her choice. Infact, I thought that the french ruling on trying to ban burkas was completely absurd. So, it came as a pretty big shock to find myself kind of hesitant towards hiring a petit, pretty moslem girl in a burka. 

And I got to wondering what it was about the dress that made me uncomfortable to having one at work. First of all - chennai is hot. Hot as in sweaty hot, sultry hot, the kind of hot that makes you discover you can sweat out of your hair tips and finger nails. So, when I see a girl in a big black all covering dress, it reminds me of masala vadas. (They use a couple of days old masala vada as bait for the rats - supposedly the aroma is simply irresistable!!!) So, the idea of having a sweaty person in the office is not completely alluring. 

Also, it is so unpleasant to the eye. Though I do not expect any major head turning dresses at work, I still expect to see something that is pleasing and welcoming. Not something that will make me think twice about talking to the girl. I dont mind the vohra burkas - Most of them are handworked, embroideried and very tastefully done. Infact, I have worn one myself... 

Finally, I think, girls should be girls. Their innate craving for pretty things, shiny stuff etc. should not be constrained and forced inside a billowy, ghost of a completely unimaginative dress. 

So, I did not hire Jaseera.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

what should I do with all the beers that I owe you??

I remember the smiles
And cheerful banter
I remember all the days of sunshine
and cracking up with tinkling laughter
I remember the times of tarot cards and reiki
Of crank calls and riding bikes
Of wisecracks and bad, BAD puns...
And Morse code swears
Of dancing and guitars
And Taichi and Deutsch
Of envious times of poring over Himalayan pictures
Of wishing “I were living his life”
Now – I just wish
you were alive.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


I wish I could believe,
instead of wanting to know.

I wish I could let go,
instead of being weighed down.

I wish I could simply laugh,
instead of having to smile.

I wish my day had a little bit more,
than just twenty four!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The curse

6:30 a.m
She stood by the stove, thinking how much she enjoyed mornings. He was still warm from the bed, kind of fuzzy and had his head buried in her hair between her shoulder and ear. She was watching the milk, so that it wouldnt boil over.
She was watching the clock and running the laundry. The fool of a man had left the clothes once again in the bathroom. Like father; like daughter.. Idiots - both of them. She would once again be late for the day. Why in the world couldnt they pick up their clothes behind them?!
7:00 a.m
They sat on the dining table, sipping their respective mugs of coffee and drinking chocolate and browsing the news paper. He liked his coffee piping hot, while she liked hers just before it turned cold.
Time was running out. That girl was yet to get out of bed. He had happily left to work, without waking her up. Now, everything was piling up on her plate. "Wake up, will you?? It is already seven. Hey- Isn't it tuesday? Your science assignment was due today, no?? GET UP, damn it..."
7:30 a.m
She went into the kitchen to whip up a quick lunch for both of them and asked him to press her uniform. "Get me another cup of coffee, no?" She wondered how anybody could drink that stuff!
"You! Stop star gazing and day dreaming. It is 7: 30. I am already late. Have you finished your science assignment? Here is your milk. What? You are going to brush your teeth only now? Lazy fool! Why do you specifically do things that irritate me? Act fast. How many times should I tell you? Cant you understand what I am talking?! Or should I talk in some other language?!"
8:00 a.m
She was ready to leave. He came out of the shower and wondered how she could look so sexy in a masculine industry uniform. He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her neck. "hmmm.. No, honey -  not now... Nope. Getting late. Come back early from office, ok?" She wriggled out of his grip and gave him a touch me not kiss.
"Idiot. Cant you for heaven's sake understand what I am saying? You were born to test my patience. One day or the other, I am going to lose my temper and brand you with a hot iron..."
They stood hand in hand listening to the incessant yelling next door. They wondered why that woman had the child in the first place.
She was going mad between her husband and girl. And to top it all, she had to hear all the love talk next door. She cursed them, wishing they had a child to deal with...

Friday, September 04, 2009


Do you know about loss?
It comes in various forms -
the silence that responds when you call out familiar names,
all the conversations you can have only in your imagination
the nearly sterile way in which things never move out of their place,
except by you.

Monday, July 20, 2009

It looks like mexico

It looks like Mexico city,
All colors bright and sunny.
You ask - how would you know?
You have never visited the place!

I say - I could,
for my mind has been there!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


She had avidly followed his writings for more than five years. Had waited for every single post and poem. Had imagined the sound of his voice, the tone of his skin, his weight and book shelves and music racks and his guitar. His evenings with a lonely glass of whisky - and some times not so lonely bottles of IPAs. His walk to the university office and his laptop and his ipod. When she heard his voice for the first time, it was a teeny bit of a disappointment. He did not sound quite the husky, pleasant, unattainable imaginary character, she had envisioned.

Then came the book. She would not read it. She did not want to know his name. As she was picking up a gift for her husband, she asked for it, half hoping that such a vague first time author name would not be there on the shelves. As she read through the foreword, she knew - that it was no pseudonym. That was his name...