Evanescent Happiness


Through my bedroom window the other day, I saw it was only a little time left for the Sun to set over Rock garden – and my favorite spot over there.

I left home hurriedly & crossed the road to enter the garden located on the opposite side.
‘Hurriedly’ because I knew it was a fleeting, evanescent moment that I had to catch. Universe painting the sky with its blue, pink & saffron crayons to remind us again that the nature is the biggest artist of all. And we both watched it together all those times, pausing for minutes, letting our silence appreciate that moment; for we knew it was a transitory one. We knew that something so beautiful would last only for seconds before the darkness conquers the sky. 
But honey, we let the nature fool us by its artistic sorcery as if it would not return the next day.
It did, right? And we watched it again, enthralled by its magic. I watched your face yet another day, lit up by the golden sunshine and the wind complimenting the scene by gently flirting with your hair.

Today I ran away to reach my spot and thought of all the times we could rewind the sunset and beat the so-called fleeting happiness. The other side of the bench was empty though, as I let myself to be tricked by the Universe again, as if I was Vikram & nature, Betaal.

The warmth of the setting Sun reminded me of your nudging me when I used to be lost looking over the horizon. And then you would shake your head like you always did, before you smiled, showing an even row of teeth. I would ask how your day was. And as I rummage through this past, I realise that the biggest trick the Universe ever pulled on us was not hinting that ‘us’ sharing that time and space was the only evanescent moment of them all.

You know, I desperately bleed ink on the paper tonight, gasping for thoughts and hoping to preserve our memories before the darkness conquers the sky yet again. Because every time I sit at my favorite spot, I remember so much and yet forget a little. That little is a scary part. I keep wondering if you remember the part of the memories that escaped my fingertips. For I am just a writer with only a limited power to immortalise the part of us that I can recall. I sometimes wish you could lend me few of our laughter & fights that I must have forgotten now.
Because I’m just a lover with an aching heart. If only we could become those purple sunsets and make a pact with the Universe to let us meet behind the horizon. If only if we could blindfold the Sun and trick the time into thinking that it isn’t yet the time to set apart. Because girl, I am just a writer, not yet a match to beat the nature’s art.


The Prisoners


This is a story of the imprisoned 3.
They sat together in this big round chamber.
First one – a mischievous little boy of 9.
Playing with a Rubik cube he held firmly in his hands.
Twisting & turning, pondering, making mistakes & restarting.
Trying to remember the yellow squares, green ones & the red.
Laughing at his own failed attempts,
Not able to solve the cube, not able to get out of the chamber of secrets.

Sat next to him a young teen of 16.
Knowing he has learnt things, not knowing there was so much more to it.
On his flushed cheeks, reside anger, passion and desire to step out in the Sun.
To experiment his own version of right & wrongs.
Wanting to see new faces, fall in love and rebel against what others teach.
He paces up and down the chamber, plans & replans the ways to be freed.

Onto the bed in one corner of the chamber, lays a boy turned man of 23.
Seemingly at peace, yet battling an armada of thoughts he thinks,
He thinks of things that made him who he is.
Of the mistakes, the decisions – he took & the ones he refrained from making.
He senses a bigger picture in his mind, for himself and the ones he loved.
Rearranges the boxes of dreams inside the cloud of thoughts that hovers around like a bumble bee.
He doesn’t have a plan to unlock the chamber, yet.
He focusses more on getting all of his ducks in a row.

In a cubicle of white walls, air smelling of worldly tasks & an air conditioned wind;
Is sitting a man of 30, wearing a neatly ironed shirt he bought with his own money.
Trapped in a repeated pattern of 5 working days, for the sake of remaining 2 of the week.
He watches the hour hand & minute hand mocking him, parting ways & meeting over the time.
He gulps down the coffee with extra caffeine to euthanize the 3 in his head,
His head so restless with the imprisoned 3.
The 3 unknown of the illusion, of freedom of secret chamber they are safely tucked in.
The freedom, the man of 30 envies.


Romantic Poem

You look up with tearful eyes and I tuck your hair behind your ears.

You stare at my face and fail to read it. You ask me, why am looking at you like this.

I glanced into your eyes in turns and say ‘nothing’ with a grin on my face.

You ask me the questions you ask, about the future and the present.

You roll your finger around my chest and I reply with nothing more than a racing heart.

‘Nothing’ could be a perfect answer for am too afraid and weak inside.

And I finish the leftover courage to belie the sensitive-me with just another witty tale.

You laugh your heart out and shake your head like you always do.

Before you know, it is a poem being written in the drafts folders of my mind.

‘Nothing’ but a poem, with too many feelings tucked inside.

You wish for more answers and I fray with own self.

‘Nothing’ is what we started off with, you say and I stare at the ceiling.

The kaleidoscope of our memories starts to play.

Our feelings so intense, of love, possession, jealousy and hatred.

We’d love to kill each other, with no arms, no weapons, just words to express.

 Rainy afternoons and the orange sunsets, walk by the beach and your window pane.

I saved you secretly, in the songs you like and the things you hate.

Yes or No were too narrow to explain,

How beautiful you are when you look at me and say ‘nothing’ and I…

I tuck your hair behind your ears and whisper ‘as long as we are here together’,

And you complain, as long as sounds so little.

Left is Right

left handed

Mom was cooking biryani and I was standing next to her, trying to remember the recipe.

“Wait…How much salt did you put?” I asked not having been able to keep up.

“You can use it as per approximation” came her reply.

“Yeah, that is the answer I don’t like. Does not help the person trying to learn to cook.”

She smiled and handed over the cover plate to me, indicating it to be kept on the side. And in the process, the plate slipped out of her hands.

With a reflex action, I caught it deftly in my left hand.

She watched me do that and exclaimed, “Oh..!”

“Oh…what?” I asked.

No reply.

“Oh my god” I looked at her and said, “I was left-handed, wasn’t I?”

She gave out a sigh. “I am sorry. I didn’t know. I didn’t force you to be right-handed or something. But neither was I sure that you were left handed…sorry, really.”

I just smiled back and nodded my head at the same time.

I was not angry. And I was a little maybe. Not with her, though.

“I knew it!” I said to myself.
I thought of all the times I felt I was better at writing with my left hand. The times when I felt my left arm was stronger than the right one. And back in school, when I played as a goalkeeper, how smoothly I could dive onto the left side.

I suddenly recalled everyone whom I knew, know and had come across – who were left-handed. It was sort of a minority. It wasn’t a taboo. It was not a bad omen anymore. And yet it was not considered normal somehow.

I thought of the seminar I had once attended on ‘Use of both sides of the brain’. Recalled the articles I had read on how left-handed people use the right side of the brain the most. How right side of the brain is related to artistic work as compared to the left side, which is more of responsible for analytical skills. If left-handed is not a bad thing, I wondered why ‘they’ were a minority. Statistically (ref. Scientific American) left handed people only make up 10% of the population. Am I left handed or shall I call myself ambidextrous now? I wondered.

According to a study published in Neuropsychology in 2006, researchers at the Australian National University believe that left-handed folks can actually handle large amounts of stimuli better than their right-handed counterparts. No wonder I could beat my friends at video games. Or maybe because Arsenal ‘was’ a better team even in FIFA game back then.

I smiled a hopeful smile when I read that lefties are more likely to pursue creative careers and are better at multitasking. “Aah! That explains a lot” the dreamy cloud hovered above my head.

The dreamy bubble was punctured into an exclamation mark when the internet told me that left-handed people are more prone to develop schizophrenia as compared to right-handed fellows. But then I just asked my other personality to shut up and not to believe everything that web says.

Interestingly the holy bible also mentions left-handedness almost 25 times, all the times in negative light. Thankfully I was not born in medieval times when they considered Devil himself to be left handed. Except maybe medieval time soldiers, for whom spiral clockwise constructed staircases of castles (designed so in order to give advantage to soldiers on top to attack with their right hand while maintaining balance with the shield in left one) did not pose a problem.

Well, evolution has been kind. For we not only adapted better to the environment but also culturally we evolved into better human beings. I reaffirmed this thought while typing the article with both my hands.  Left. Right. Left. Maybe the diversity nature offers is meant for better appreciation of what we have.
*Self High-Five!*

Cheat codes of Happiness – Black coffee & Ilaichi chaai


7 am.
Alarm started to sing a song. ‘4th tune’ that Shahid had set as an alarm ever since he bought the clock. But it had not taken more than few weeks for him to think that the tune was depressing. Some people can never get used to waking up early. He was these ‘some’ people.

Chief Editor of Deccan Chronicle. Shahid’s business card sat proudly across the study desk next to his bed. After switching off the alarm, he turned around to watch Sana. Still sleeping. She was hardly bothered by the sound. He watched her for some more time. He moved hair off her face with his right hand and with a quick reflex to that, she cuddled up into his arms. Kissing her forehead, he whispered ‘Good morning’. With closed eyes, she smiled.

“Got to get up. Have a board meeting” he said gently putting her arm away from his.
“Hmm. Yeah, go take a shower. I’ll make something for you to eat”.
“Cool. Black coffee and bread toast” Shahid stretched his arms, getting off the bed.
“8 year since our marriage, Shahid. You think I don’t know?’ Sana was up too, tying her hair into a ponytail.
“Hmm. And you’re not late?’ Shahid asked.
‘Working from home today. And I’ll take kids to Mumma’s place later in the afternoon”.
“Oh yes, their summer vacations are on. Forgot” Shahid looked at both of his cheeks in the mirror in turns, until he was sure he didn’t need a shave.
“Now, Go. Get ready” Sana pushed him out.

7.30 am.
With his left arm resting over the bathroom wall, Shahid was inviting water droplets to dive on the back off his neck. “It helps relieve stress and calms your head” Priya’s voice spoke sweetly in the corners of his mind. He remembered her gently pressing his head and then resting it on her heart. Turning off the shower knob, he put the towel across shoulders and tried not to zone out.

Dressing up and shoving the matching tie inside his bag, he moved to the kitchen.
Sana was waiting for him. She knew 8 am was time for him to have his routine breakfast.
“So haphazard and clumsy my husband is otherwise. But it has always been surprising how timely you are every morning” Sana watched him takes sips of coffee out of a small mug.
Shahid just smiled in reply to her question and watched both the kids coming out their rooms, rubbing their half opened sleepy eyes.
With arms stretched, he hugged both of them at once.
“Go you little monsters. Go back to sleep. And don’t trouble mommy too much” he kissed them.
Putting the bag over shoulder, he let Sana come along till the door. Then turned around and kissed her gently onto lips.
Sana watched him all the way – the Merck strolling out of the parking lot and taking over the road.

8.30 am.
Shahid left the house for office.

The meeting was to start at 11 am.
Merck moved smoothly through early morning traffic.

In less than twenty minutes, he had parked the car outside her house.
She opened the door and said ‘hey’ like she always did. Shahid got in with a smile as big as his lips could have managed.
“So ready for the meeting?” She watched him sit back on the sofa, pulling the shoes off one by one.
“Yes. No. Both. Don’t know” he replied.
“Relax. What do you want to eat?”
“Is pancakes a possibility?” He asked with both his eyebrows raised.
“Yes it is!”
“Cool. I’ll make some Ilaichi chaai for us” Shahid spoke happily.
Priya and him moved towards the kitchen.
“You know, Avni is growing up fast. She is a clever kid. I would want her to meet you someday” Shahid looked at Priya for her reaction.
She took her own time.
“And do what, Shahid?”
“Just. I think she’ll understand”.
“She doesn’t need to. No one does. Apart of us. No one can”.
“Hmm” Shahid poured hot tea into glass mugs.
Sitting across dining table, Priya watched Shahid. She loved this part of the day. She loved the simplicity of this period of time.
Girlfriend and Boyfriend of past. Back in college time. Kept fighting till they got separated in 2 years. Shahid says, they actually fell in love post their break up. She felt love was a small word to describe them.
“Umm. This really kills my stress” Shahid said wiping his mouth.
“Me or Pancakes?” Priya made her eyes big.
“You know the answer”.
“Pancakes!” he said and they both laughed.
The laughter took a minute to transform into a smile.
Priya lifted his bag and removed a tie of it, like a bunny from the hat.
Putting it around his neck, she tried not to look into his eyes.
He held her hand into his.
“I think am ready for the meeting”.
“And you’re not going to office?” He asked her on his way towards the door.
“Working from home today” she answered and Shahid turned around with a surprised expression on his face.
“Nothing. Just” he said laughing a little.
“Go you weirdo. Go. Am sick of you. Move out” she nudged him gently.
“Bye” one of them said and the other one just smiled.

10.15 am.
Shahid left home for office.

Cheat codes of Happiness


“Six years, really?” Savio’s friend Ishaan and now a roommate had asked him when Savio talked about his relationship with Maya. Savio smiled his a proud smile and nodded yes.
“We are in fact getting married in February” he said.
“Wow! You don’t even need to. I mean six years is like a mini marriage already.”
“To you it is, Mr. Playboy. You change your girlfriend every month” Savio said and Ishaan had simply sipped on the leftover scotch in his glass with a naughty smile.

Today Savio was just getting free from his office. ‘7pm’ the Fossils watch said.
3 months it had been since Ishaan had shifted in. Maya and Ishaan were already good friends now. Savio noticed how she always wanted to know how Ishaan manages to charm so many women. And then also noticed how Ishaan would hold onto the secrets for some time and then let out the tricks in an impressive way.
“Bull shit, that works!” she would say with a smirk.

But Savio wasn’t stupid. He had seen it already. Them stealthily looking at each other. He knew it right from the beginning. He knew she was sharing lot more than sneaky looks with Ishaan. He knew her from six years. He knew her too well not to know it. It was the first time she was doing anything like this. She kept saying, she still loves him. But Savio was aware of it all. No, he was not mad at her. He just wanted her to stop on her own. He just wanted Ishaan to confess on his own.

Savio was getting free from office. He dialled Ishaan’s number and asked him if he would like him to get a few beers on the way back. He dialled Maya’s number. He asked her if she wanted to come to his place for three of them to hang out tonight. She let the whole ringtone play before answering the phone finally. Finally, before Ishaan had asked her to pick it up. She said ‘No’ the way Savio had heard her say in his head 1000 times already.
“You boys have fun” the routine sentence closed the conversation. She wouldn’t be able to lie so well, Savio knew. Not as smooth as Ishaan. Because she did love Savio. Still.

But she was taking off her coat now in Savio’s room, as Savio was catching the metro for Malviynagar. 40 minutes ride back home.

She must be opening her hair, with a clip between her lying lips. He must have cupped her from behind. Savio held onto the hand-rest in metro tighter than before. His fist turned round as he thought of Ishaan kissing her, where she’ll surrender herself to him.
Maya slid her hand inside Ishaan’s shirt now. She was biting gingerly on his shoulders to leave marks for later. ‘Marks’ Savio and Ishaan will laugh at the next morning, while Ishaan is narrating a story of his own with a girl he met online.
She was just lying on the bed now, as Savio utilized the last fifteen minutes they were left with. Maya’s breathing started to race fast as he moved her hair off her naked back and held her close and tight.
The metro slowed down at Green Park stop. Savio was playing the heavy metal track in his Sony experia headphones as if that would calm the venomous snake in his heart. It just kept blowing fire of envious thoughts.

Sitting at the corner of the bed, Maya was taking a drag off a dying cigarette. Ishaan came forward to kiss her on her cheeks. She silenced the cigarette in an ash tray and his attempt to cuddle her. Putting on her jacket, she asked him to wear clothes.

“He will be here in sometime” she said in a cold voice.
“Yeah” Ishaan replied.
“Am going. You boys have fun” the routine sentence closed the conversation.

Ishaan watched her go all the way and tried to remember her scent, the rush of her hair and her…till the next time. He was in love. For the first time.

Savio got down from the metro. He had decided to let it go for one more time.
“We all make mistakes” he told himself.
“Six years is lot bigger than this. Friendship is lot bigger than this” he murmured inside his head.

Two pints of beer met each other back home, as they said ‘cheers’, shared jokes, laughed and talked about old times. Ishaan didn’t confess. Neither did Savio ask.
You boys have fun” they both remembered her voice.

Unlabeled Pleasures


It was like a chocolate syrup over vanilla ice cream, you can’t say no to.
Having conquered my senses, by those hands running wild through my hair,
a question was raised.
“Do you want me to do anything else? I could give you a massage, you know!”
I opened my eyelids after devil knows how long and mumbled,
“I think it’s enough for today”.
But destiny had some other plans.
I leaned behind and that caring hand moved its fingers around my head, stroking them in at few places and gently strolling them at the rest.
My lips whispered what was inevitable anyway.
“Fine. Let’s just go for it”.
A smile rose in response as if I was thinking too loud in my head.
A sensual cold stream found its way through my hair, my veins and took over my brains.
I believed in magic all over again, as the fingers comforted my strained muscles. Relaxed them, pressed them and even stretched them. Strong and weak points. They were all put to the test.
The track of time was lost already. I wondered how many times hour and second hands had met each other and parted ways.
It was one of the best feelings out there.
Better than the ones we talk about. Only if we could label it.
But then it got over. The curtain drew down. The end. Just like the best things in life. You could only wish for them to never end.
I opened my eyes to the real world again.
“That will be 150 Rs. for haircut and 80 Rs for head massage!”
The barber guy in Men’s saloon said.
Money exchanged hands and my feet were out in the real world again.
Searching for routine happiness.

One hungry African kid


I have a theory I like to call One Hungry African kid. The concept took birth from hatred and anger poured forth by people around us, every time someone did ‘something’.

The theory says, no matter how much you contribute to the society, to the environment or simply to this fat blue planet we reside on; there will always be one pseudo intellectual pointing their critical forefinger at a hungry African child you did not help survive. And they are right. You did not. Because you were busy helping somebody else. Doing ‘something’.

Did you express your heart out over recent bloodshed at Pakistani military school, where school kids were butchered?  That’s okay if you did. Did you also join a candle light march later to show you are united against terrorism? That is also fine. You did something you felt was a right thing. But did you follow the news later on? Because there were more victims of terrorism elsewhere. In your own country. You mister are an asshole, if you did not. Because now you are a biased human being. According to someone who did…well nothing. But then they did watch you do ‘something’.

Did you join PETA and help hapless animals find a home? Did you adopt a kitten or a puppy and fed them nutritious food? You must be a heartless person who did not see beggars on the street, who needed to be provided with shelter and are starving every night.

You might be little disturbed over how many trees were cut for Xmas this year? But make sure you are equally disturbed over the amount of noise pollution during Diwali and ruthless killing of animals during Id. If not, then you are a pseudo secular. Make sure you hate all religions at once or don’t hate them at all. And don’t think of eradicating superstitions from society and minds of people. Because there will come along someone who shall enlighten your mind telling you how many more superstitions exist in other religion, other casts. Your ‘something’ will help somebody see things clearer but according to most, it will be ‘nothing’.

If you surprise your mother on Valentine’s day with flowers, they’ll ask you why not do that on rest of the 364 days. Turn a deaf ear mate. And continue to do your sweet little ‘somethings’.
If you’re an avid football fan and happen to support & celebrate the inaugural year of Indian football league, expect to hear the following next day.
Indian Kabaddi/Badminton team won gold/silver medal. Why did you not watch that? Why did you support only football?
Because I find game of Kabaddi boring. Yes, there I said it. And nobody can dictate which sport one shall enjoy and advocate.

Sure there are a million good things in the world, awaiting a helping hand. But you’ve got just two. So continue with your own sweet effort that you are best at. Adopt that puppy; someone else will feed the beggar if you cannot. Because those who raise their fingers are doing neither. And no matter how many you feed, there will always be one hungry African kid left for them to argue on. Don’t worry, one of us will eventually take care of it. Not them. Let them do ‘nothing’ and burn watching us do ‘something’. Together we shall weave these ‘somethings’ into a string of big HELP for a better tomorrow.

A bright green parrot with a red collar around its neck


The owner fed its bright green parrot a pomegranate.

Because he was a loving man.

He offered parrot a home adorned with golden bars around.

And a small door, that occasionally borrowed freedom from the wind.

The owner fed its bright green parrot a papaya.

And parrot spoke the words he liked to hear.

The bright green parrot with a red collar around its neck.

He told his pals that they envied his comfortable life.

The owner fed its bright green parrot a mango.

Because he was a caring man.

And the parrot sang the tune, owner asked him to.

The owner brought his friends home the other day.

And fed bright green parrot an apricot.

The bright green parrot with a red collar around its neck.

He muttered curses under its breath.

He told his pals he envied them.

Every time his wings longed for a flight.

 He spent his days banging himself on the golden bars.

And a small door, that occasionally shared its darkness with night.

The next morning it was swung open.

By owner to collect bright green wings, gone numb with time.

If possession was a definition of love,

The owner would have been the most romantic of them all.