Monday, December 30, 2013

Dil Akhir tu kyon rota hai?

जब जब दर्द का बादल छाया
जब गम का साया लहराया
जब आँसू पलकों तक आया
जब ये तनहा दिल घबराया
हम ने दिल को ये समझाया

दिल आखिर तू क्यों रोता है?
दुनिया में यूहीं होता है

ये जो गहरे सन्नाटे हैं
वक्त ने सबको ही बांटे हैं

थोड़ा गम है सबका किस्सा
थोड़ी धूप है सबका हिस्सा 

आँख तेरी बेकार ही नम है
हर पल एक नया मौसम है

क्यों तू ऐसे पल खोता है?
दिल आखिर तू क्यों रोता है?

Monday, December 23, 2013

A letter from Santa

Courtesy Bill Watterson

My hands were all shaky,
My face had gone pale.
A letter from Santa
Just arrived in the mail!

It was hand-written
In old-fashioned ink pen.
It was handsomely printed
And dated twelve ten.

“Dear Calvin,” it said,
“I’m writing because
This year I’ve repealed
My ‘Naughty/Nice’ laws.”

“So now, I urge you:
Be vulgar and crude!
I LIKE it when children
Are boorish and rude!”

“Burp at the table!
Gargle your peas!
Never say ‘thank you’,
‘you’re welcome’ or ‘please’.”

“Talk back to your mother!
Don’t do as you’re told!
Stick your tongue out
At your dad if he scolds!”

“Drive everyone crazy,
I really don’t care!
Act like a jerk,
Anytime, anywhere!”

“I’m changing the rules!
The BAD girls and boys
Will be, from now on,
The ones who get toys!”

“Good little kids make
Me sick, it’s no joke.
Sincerely, signed Santa.”.
..And then I awoke.

I hate being good
(or trying to fake it).
Six days until Christmas!

I don’t think I’ll make it.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

One of us cannot be wrong

I lit a thin green candle, to make you jealous of me.
But the room just filled up with mosquitoes,
they heard that my body was free.
Then I took the dust of a long sleepless night
and I put it in your little shoe.
And then I confess that I tortured the dress
that you wore for the world to look through.
I showed my heart to the doctor: he said I just have to quit.
Then he wrote himself a prescription,
and your name was mentioned in it!
Then he locked himself in a library shelf
with the details of our honeymoon,
and I hear from the nurse that he's gotten much worse
and his practice is all in a ruin.

I heard of a saint who had loved you,
so I studied all night in his school.
He taught that the duty of lovers
is to tarnish the golden rule.
And just when I was sure that his teachings were pure
he drowned himself in the pool.
His body is gone but back here on the lawn
his spirit continues to drool.

An Eskimo showed me a movie
he'd recently taken of you:
the poor man could hardly stop shivering,
his lips and his fingers were blue.
I suppose that he froze when the wind took your clothes
and I guess he just never got warm.
But you stand there so nice, in your blizzard of ice,
oh please let me come into the storm.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I know we haven't seen each other, or even talked, in a long time but I've been doing a lot of thinking lately, and I want you to know that I miss you.
Not like "I regret what happened" or even "I want to see you again", just "I miss you" Period
Its strange to think someone I used to know so well is now a total stranger, that I sometimes go entire days without thinking of you even a little. Most of the times I let myself forget, because its easier. But then I find something.
An old letter, or a picture you drew, slipped in the pages of a book I haven't read in years.. and the full weight of what was lost comes crashing down on me.
But this isn't regret. We had reasons for ending it. And those reasons are as valid as ever.
But back at the start, we didn't need reasons for anything. It all just happened. We didn't have common interests or similar goals. We didn't even really get along that well. But we didn't need a reason to fall in love. We just did.
The reasons came at the end, and everything that's happened since then has been all about reasons.
And that's good. It means that one day I might find somebody I wont have to say goodbye to. But part of me just misses loving someone, and knowing they love you back, that's all.
I guess what I'm saying is, I hope things are great with you. I hope everything's good. I hope you find a love that is everything ours couldn't be. And I hope I find that too.
But a small part of me hopes that you still remember what it was like before all the reasons.
And that you miss me. too.

Monday, October 28, 2013

To This Day

When I was a kid
I used to think that pork chops and karate chops
Were the same thing
I thought they were both pork chops
And because my grandmother thought it was cute
And because they were my favourite
She let me keep doing it

Not really a big deal

One day
Before I realized fat kids are not designed to climb trees
I fell out of a tree
And bruised the right side of my body

I didn’t want to tell my grandmother about it
Because I was afraid I’d get in trouble
For playing somewhere that I shouldn’t have been

A few days later the gym teacher noticed the bruise
And I got sent to the principal’s office
From there I was sent to another small room
With a really nice lady
Who asked me all kinds of questions
About my life at home

I saw no reason to lie
As far as I was concerned
Life was pretty good
I told her, “Whenever I’m sad
My grandmother gives me karate chops”

This led to a full scale investigation
And I was removed from the house for three days
Until they finally decided to ask how I got the bruises

News of this silly little story quickly spread through the school
And I earned my first nickname

Pork Chop

To this day
I hate pork chops

I’m not the only kid
Who grew up this way
Surrounded by people who used to say
That rhyme about sticks and stones
As if broken bones
Hurt more than the names we got called
And we got called them all
So we grew up believing no one
Would ever fall in love with us
That we’d be lonely forever
That we’d never meet someone
To make us feel like the sun
Was something they built for us
In their tool shed
So broken heart strings bled the blues
As we tried to empty ourselves
So we would feel nothing
Don’t tell me that hurts less than a broken bone
That an ingrown life
Is something surgeons can cut away
That there’s no way for it to metastasize

It does

She was eight years old
Our first day of grade three
When she got called ugly
We both got moved to the back of the class
So we would stop get bombarded by spit balls
But the school halls were a battleground
Where we found ourselves outnumbered day after wretched day
We used to stay inside for recess
Because outside was worse
Outside we’d have to rehearse running away
Or learn to stay still like statues giving no clues that we were there
In grade five they taped a sign to her desk
That read beware of dog

To this day
Despite a loving husband
She doesn’t think she’s beautiful
Because of a birthmark
That takes up a little less than half of her face
Kids used to say she looks like a wrong answer
That someone tried to erase
But couldn’t quite get the job done
And they’ll never understand
That she’s raising two kids
Whose definition of beauty
Begins with the word mom
Because they see her heart
Before they see her skin
That she’s only ever always been amazing

Was a broken branch
Grafted onto a different family tree
But not because his parents opted for a different destiny
He was three when he became a mixed drink
Of one part left alone
And two parts tragedy
Started therapy in 8th grade
Had a personality made up of tests and pills
Lived like the uphills were mountains
And the downhills were cliffs
Four fifths suicidal
A tidal wave of anti depressants
And an adolescence of being called popper
One part because of the pills
And ninety nine parts because of the cruelty
He tried to kill himself in grade ten
When a kid who still had his mom and dad
Had the audacity to tell him “get over it” as if depression
Is something that can be remedied
By any of the contents found in a first aid kit

To this day
He is a stick of TNT lit from both ends
Could describe to you in detail the way the sky bends
In the moments before it’s about to fall
And despite an army of friends
Who all call him an inspiration
He remains a conversation piece between people
Who can’t understand
Sometimes becoming drug free
Has less to do with addiction
And more to do with sanity

We weren’t the only kids who grew up this way
To this day
Kids are still being called names
The classics were
Hey stupid
Hey spaz
Seems like each school has an arsenal of names
Getting updated every year
And if a kid breaks in a school
And no one around chooses to hear
Do they make a sound?
Are they just the background noise
Of a soundtrack stuck on repeat
When people say things like
Kids can be cruel?
Every school was a big top circus tent
And the pecking order went
From acrobats to lion tamers
From clowns to carnies
All of these were miles ahead of who we were
We were freaks
Lobster claw boys and bearded ladies
Juggling depression and loneliness playing solitaire spin the bottle
Trying to kiss the wounded parts of ourselves and heal
But at night
While the others slept
We kept walking the tightrope
It was practice
And yeah
Some of us fell

But I want to tell them
That all of this shit
Is just debris
Leftover when we finally decide to smash all the things we thought
We used to be
And if you can’t see anything beautiful about yourself
Get a better mirror
Look a little closer
Stare a little longer
Because there’s something inside you
That made you keep trying
Despite everyone who told you to quit
You built a cast around your broken heart
And signed it yourself
You signed it
“They were wrong”
Because maybe you didn’t belong to a group or a clique
Maybe they decided to pick you last for basketball or everything
Maybe you used to bring bruises and broken teeth
To show and tell but never told
Because how can you hold your ground
If everyone around you wants to bury you beneath it
You have to believe that they were wrong

They have to be wrong

Why else would we still be here?
We grew up learning to cheer on the underdog
Because we see ourselves in them
We stem from a root planted in the belief
That we are not what we were called
We are not abandoned cars stalled out and
Sitting empty on a highway
And if in some way we are
Don’t worry
We only got out to walk and get gas
We are graduating members from the class of
Fuck off we made it
Not the faded echoes of voices crying out
Names will never hurt me

Of course
They did

But our lives will only ever always
Continue to be
A balancing act
That has less to do with pain
And more to do with beauty.

- Shane Koyczan

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Vanity Card

Perhaps I've read too much science fiction, but I can't help thinking that the way out of this protracted battle over universal health care is a good ol' Edgar Allan Poe/Michael Crichton-style plague.
Who's going to bicker over access to medical care or insurance deductibles if one wet cough from a busboy kills all the rack o' lamb-eating small government advocates in the restaurant? Who's going to fight against pre-existing condition coverage when it becomes frighteningly clear that we are all, rich and poor, smart and stupid, cute and inbred, swimming in the exact same bacterial soup?
I'm betting no one. Because when that day happens, helping a sick person get well will not be an act of mercy or generosity. It will be the very definition of selfishness. And if history has taught us anything, selfishness rocks the casbah.
Of course, there is plenty of sci-fi literature that takes this story down an even darker path. It involves everyone with a wet cough getting rounded up at gunpoint and trucked into "rehabilitation camps" in North Dakota. A privileged young man, raised on rack o' lamb, sees their suffering and sacrifices himself in order to lead them to a free clinic in Canada. When things are looking particularly grim in their march out of viral bondage, a small government advocate smiles cruelly and says to the young man, "Where's your health insurance now, Moses?"

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hypocrisy, thy name is politics

मज़हब नहीं सिखाता आपस में बैर रखना

I'm confused.
There are articles doing rounds of social media, promoted by extremist anti Congress groups, which, it appears, are comprised primarily of Hindu Extremists and Loyalists.
These articles talk about the Nehru bloodline and how corrupt and anti Hindu (and therefore anti India) its always been. I dont know, and frankly dont care, about the degree to which the information stated in the articles is true. It just creates one rather confusing paradox.

I realised this while watching a documentary about operation Blue Star, the assassination of Indira Gandhi and the ensuing riots of 1984. Surviving Sikhs interviewed by the filmmaker quoted the Hindu mobs (comprising, I presume, to a great degree of the same breed of Hindu extremists as the ones dissing the Nehru bloodline now) saying :

" इन्होंने हमारी माँ को मारा है, जला दो सब को "

(They've killed our mother, burn them all)

referring, as is obvious, to the Indira Gandhi assassination by Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, two of her bodyguards, both Sikh.

You see the paradox emerge?

While we're on the subject, here's something whimsical I was idly thinking about earlier today.

Preventing communal violence 101, The options :

i) Genocide - Feasible. But not sustainable in the long term due to population growth rate exceeding genocide rate.

ii) Forced Atheism - Likely to escalate religious identity. We are all little brats, always want what we cant have.

iii) Public execution (or at the very least excommunication and deportation) of anybody how politicises a communally sensitive issue. Now there's an idea.

ज़िन्दगी  मौत  ना बन जाये, संभालो यारों!
खो रहा चैनो अमन,
मुश्किलों में है वतन,
सरफरोशी की शमा दिल में जला लो यारों!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

When it rains it pours.

My house got broken into today. I walked in and surprised the thieves and they bolted, leaving my room behind looking like a war zone. Everything pulled off the shelves, drawers emptied out, cupboard door wrenched open.
I was on my way to the roof to fix a faulty cable dish, had my tool bag with me. Quite a fool I must have looked. Cussing and screaming at them, waving a hammer, as they jumped on to the neighbours’ roof and ran. I don’t recall being this angry in a very long time. It was bloodlust. The fear and anger, the sense of violation, capitulating to an overwhelming rage.
And it’s still burning. I don’t know what to do with it. The loss and pain of the last few weeks seem to have found an outlet in the form of this anger that I can’t quite handle. I half feel like going out there and picking a fight with somebody, just to feel my knuckles skinned against a jaw.

I think I just might go for a ride.

Friday, August 23, 2013


I set myself ablaze and shine
Illuminate the darkest part
of you; that guilty, smothered sign
of longing by a desperate heart.

You lock your doors and draw the blinds
And paper up the skylight too
and shut your eyes and drown in lies
But still my light keeps shining through.

It comes to pass, your doubts and fears
They overrun and blur your sight
The sudden wrath, the unshed tears
Make you lash out with all your might.

You douse me with your pent up bile
and then deride with jeers and quips
So now i burn in darkness vile
You've proven to be my eclipse

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A physicist's apology

When I heard the learn’d astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,

How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

All that was left unsaid.

I missed you today. An errant thought triggered by a stark reminder of the fragility of life. I thought about the last thing I said to you, I wished I'd said more. Told you just what you mean to me; the words come so easily to me now. They never did before.
You knew, I know you did. We both knew, in that unspoken, oft forgotten way that people who've always loved each other know. But I the heart still aches. It aches for all those little things that there will always be time for, till there isn't.
I missed you today. And shed a tear, or two. You were my shelter. My hero. And your memory will always make me smile, and well up. As all happy memories do.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Here we are, out of cigarettes,
Holding hands and yawning,
Look how late it gets.
Two sleepy people by dawn's early light,
And too much in love to say goodnight.

Here we are, in a cozy chair;
Pickin' on a wishbone from the frigidaire.
Two sleepy people with nothing to say,
And too much in love to break away.

Do you remember the nights we used to linger in the hall?
Your father didn't like me at all.
Do you remember the reason why we married in the fall?
To rent this little nest and get a bit of rest.

Well, here we are just about the same,
Foggy little fella, drowsy little dame.
Two sleepy people by dawn's early light,
And too much in love to say goodnight.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

I miss you already.

I miss you when we say goodbye for a month because I am going home and because I admit I need help. I already miss you in the cab to the airport and at the airport waiting in line to get on the plane. I miss you when the plane lands and when my dad hugs me tight and says, “You’re gonna be okay, sunshine.”

I miss you when you call and I go outside and sit on the grass in front of my house so we can talk in private and when you text me late at night as I go to bed in my mental health quarantine. “Goodnight, my love,” your name glows on my screen. I miss you then.

I miss you when you go home for the holidays and when you see your childhood friends, your long-time ex who taught you everything about trust and who is the reason you hesitate to get close to people, because you loved her so much and she spent 10 years stomping on your heart and making you work for it in a way you swore you’d never do again. I miss the you you were before she did her damage and I didn’t even know him, but I wish I had. I miss you when you were 16 years old and I was inappropriate for you anyways but you would have been more vulnerable then and maybe you would be less scared of what we have. I miss the you I never knew, who died after the third time she cheated on you, who died when your parents got divorced, who died when they told you it was your fault.

“If anyone else was acting this way about you, you’d think they were crazy,” I say.

“Yeah, but the difference is I like you,” you reply. “So I just like it.”

Perhaps this is more normal: I miss you when I leave your apartment. I walk down the steps, five stories, and when I hit the fourth floor, I already miss you. I miss you when I can’t smell you, when the t-shirt you let me wear because it was summer and I was sweating through the one I brought and I hadn’t been home in five days because we were so wrapped up in finally being together that we never thought to separate — well, when I ran out of clothing — anyway, when it stops smelling like you. I miss you when I can’t see your funny toes. I miss you when your hair is in a knit cap. I miss you when you say you miss cigarettes because I’ve never seen you smoke one and who you are depends on when I met you. Did I show up too late? I couldn’t have been any earlier. I would have been a baby then.

I miss you when your lips don’t touch mine. When you’re across the room playing video games or watching Girls with headphones on. When you’re organizing your meticulous record collection. When I am in the kitchen eating ice cream and listening to podcasts and you are in the shower. I miss you because of the age gap and because we will never line up that way and I don’t know if we would have liked each other in high school — the sad-girl overachiever and the raucous punk know-it-all. I miss you whenever we are apart because I don’t know what the next encounter will bring and I want it to be better than the last.

I miss you when you are right next to me. Nowadays. I miss you when I spoon you in bed and when you close your eyes on the couch. I miss you when you are clearly thinking about something but you can’t express it or won’t tell me what it is. I miss you when you pull back from me even as our arms are around each other. I miss you when you’re putting up walls, building defenses because you have no more trust left. I miss you when there’s fear in your voice. Fear of giving in. Of showing your hand. Of missing someone.

I miss you, of course, when you leave.

One night, I say, “Tell me everything.”

You laugh, “Like what?”

“I don’t know,” I sigh. “Start at the beginning.”

“The beginning? The entire beginning? I have memories from when I was like, three,” you whisper.

“Okay,” I say, smiling. “Start there.”

- courtesy Gaby Dunn, via Thought Catalog

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A day for love

And I want to play hide-and-seek and give you my clothes and tell you I like your shoes and sit on the steps while you take a bath and massage your neck and kiss your feet and hold your hand and go for a meal and not mind when you eat my food and meet you at Rudy's and talk about the day and type your letters and carry your boxes and laugh at your paranoia and give you tapes you don't listen to and watch great films and watch terrible films and complain about the radio and take pictures of you when you're sleeping and get up to fetch you coffee and bagels and Danish and go to Florent and drink coffee at midnight and have you steal my cigarettes and never be able to find a match and tell you about the the programme I saw the night before and take you to the eye hospital and not laugh at your jokes and want you in the morning but let you sleep for a while and kiss your back and stroke your skin and tell you how much I love your hair your eyes your lips your neck your breasts your arse and sit on the steps smoking till your neighbour comes home and sit on the steps smoking till you come home and worry when you're late and be amazed when you're early and give you sunflowers and go to your party and dance till I'm black and be sorry when I'm wrong and happy when you forgive me and look at your photos and wish I'd known you forever and hear your voice in my ear and feel your skin on my skin and get scared when you're angry and tell you you're gorgeous and hug you when you're anxious and hold you when you hurt and want you when I smell you and offend you when I touch you and whimper when I'm next to you and whimper when I'm not and dribble on your breast and smother you in the night and get cold when you take the blanket and hot when you don't and melt when you smile and dissolve when you laugh and not understand why you think I'm rejecting you when I'm not rejecting you and wonder how you could think I'd ever reject you and wonder who you are but accept you anyway and tell you about the tree angel enchanted forest boy who flew across the ocean because he loved you and write poems for you and wonder why you don't believe me and have a feeling so deep I can't find words for it and want to buy you a kitten I'd get jealous of because it would get more attention than me and keep you in bed when you have to go and cry like a baby when you finally do and get rid of the roaches and buy you presents you don't want and take them away again and ask you to marry me and you say no again but keep on asking because though you think I don't mean it I do always have from the first time I asked you and wander the city thinking it's empty without you and want what you want and think I'm losing myself but know I'm safe with you and tell you the worst of me and try to give you the best of me because you don't deserve any less and answer your questions when I'd rather not and tell you the truth when I really don't want to and try to be honest because I know you prefer it and think it's all over but hang on in for just ten more minutes before you throw me out of your life and forget who I am and try to get closer to you because it's a beautiful learning to know you and well worth the effort and speak German to you badly and Hebrew to you worse and make love with you at three in the morning and somehow somehow somehow communicate some of the overwhelming undying overpowering unconditional all-encompassing heart-enriching mind-expanding on-going never-ending love I have for you.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hard Sun

When I walk beside her,
I am the better man
When I look to leave her,
I always stagger back again

Once I built an ivory tower
so I could worship from above
When I climbed down to be set free,
she took me in again

When she comes to greet me,
she is mercy at my feet
When I see her bitter charm,
she just throws it back at me

Once I dug an early grave
to find a better land
She just smiled, then laughed at me
and took her blues back again

When I go to cross that river,
she is comfort by my side
When I try to understand,
she just opens up her hands

Once I stood to lose her
when I saw what I had done
Bound down and threw away the hours
of her garden and her sun

So I tried to warn her,
I turned to see her weep
Forty days and forty nights
and it's still coming down on me

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Broken Rose

Tearstained cheeks and a broken smile
Lying unconvincingly
"I'm alright", then slipping
back into the same bump and grind.
Fading out roots, black leather boots.

You hold my hand, grateful for the touch
that did not judge or label.
Longing to be seen,
praying you could disappear.

Elaena, you stranger, you lover
"Take me with you", you said
I could not, I was
too afraid of consequence.
"Then buy the next round", you snapped,
stone faced and silent.
Your tired eyes betrayed you,
leaking memories of what was,
and what if's
and hopeless dreams of a knight.
"You're a good man", you said.
I smiled and kissed your cheek
Tasting the salt.
and held your hand.
I kept the flower you pinned on my shirt.
crushed petals and all.
In memory of the day that I
could only be a good man
but not your knight.