Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Trying on faith for size

Imagine leaping off a cliff, into freezing water five hundred feet below. The water is choppy and the waves break against the cliff wall.

Imagine preparing to jump. Calculating how far you should push yourself off to avoid smashing your skull on rocks beneath the surface.

Imagine tensing your muscles. Your gut screaming at you that you're a fucking retard for doing this. Bending your knees and pushing off.

Imagine the moment, stretching into eternity, when your feet first leave the ground. Simultaneously glorious uncertainty and resignation.

Imagine the water. Getting closer and closer. You can almost feel how cold it is already. Rushing towards you like a hungry lover.

Imagine the moment just before you hit the surface. Where you shut your eyes and hold your breath, bracing for impact.

Imagine that time stops around you. And you're frozen there, right above the surface. Unable to move. Welcome to my life.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

When you're blind-sided

Yes, I'm at work. No, A1, this is not the post you're looking for. This is me trying to screw my head on straight. I need to think a little, and to think, I need to stop thinking for a bit. I don't know if that makes sense. So instead of thinking of something to write about, I'm going to tell you an obscure story that just popped into my head. I don't know where it came from, just that it's here in my head right now.

This dates back a few years, when I was still in college. I was participating in some or the other college festival (I forget which, at this time, and the objective here is not to think too much), and the event was a combination of a treasure hunt, a murder mystery and an elocution. (Muduu, were you with me for this event? My brain has gone all fuzzy.)

Anyway, the point is, you had to go running around for clues; after this, they gave you information about a crime and you had to decide who the killer was; and then in the last round, one of the team members had to present the story as a newsreader talking about a solved crime. Ours was the first team to finish the treasure hunt (I pride my skills with puzzles and running), and we sat down with the story. As we hashed out the details of the story and applied the clues that we found in the treasure hunt, we realised all the facts seemed to point towards one particular person being the killer. But we wanted to be sure that we had the right guy (those of you who know me know how thorough I like to be with some things. Like grammar, for instance). So we went over the details again. Same result, but something didn't quite fit. And you know what happens to me when something doesn't quite fit.

We went over it again and again (did I mention we were the first ones done with the treasure hunt? We had extra time to solve the crime). And that's when we found it. I don't remember the specifics of it, but there was one little detail that didn't sit with the rest of the incriminating information. Most teams discarded it as bad data, but we went to the organisers with it, telling them that the person that the data was incriminating could not possibly have committed the crime. They were a little taken aback, but refused to admit the mistake (from an organiser's point of view, I can still somehow bring myself to understand this), and told us to make what we could of the data we had.

So we did. While everyone else presented how the case has been solved and the guilty person apprehended, our team's newsreader read out the report of how circumstantial evidence was being used to hold an innocent man guilty. The last round was judged by some special guest, who had, of course, been briefed about the case and told that one person was guilty. Needless to say, we didn't win that event (this, I don't understand. After we had broken their facts and proved our case, we should have been the winners if they wanted to maintain the illusion that it wasn't a mistake). But we walked out of there happy. The scorecard didn't show it, but we bested what was possibly a couple of weeks of an LA team's work that day, in less than an hour.

I don't know why I'm posting this, or even why it's in my head. But there, I got it out. Now, back to work. Hmm. Pleasant distraction. And a mildly clearer head. I like.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Every time someone tells me they're proud of me... my head, I hear, "Wow, I totally thought of you as a loser who wouldn't ever be able to that."

Good to know you think so highly of me, thanks!

Monday, 5 September 2011


My birthday just ended.

A lot has changed in the past year. I got out of a five year long relationship, spent six months simply not knowing where my life was headed, then got back with The Li'l Lady. Job scene was tense, then looked better, then got questionable again (more on that later).

And just yesterday, I moved. Packed up my stuff and left the house. Just so I can know what it's like to grow up, to run a house by myself. Here's what I'm going to be calling home for the foreseeable future:

(If you don't see a pic there, leave me a comment; I don't yet know how this blogger app works)

This is scaring the shit out of me (not to mention burning a supermassive hole through my pocket), but that's the point. I want to be scared witless. I want to get to a point where I'm terrified and hungry (possibly sick), wondering what the hell I was smoking when I thought I could survive on my own and wanting nothing more to run back home and let Mommy keep house for me.

And then I want to endure. I want to entertain the possibility that I will crumble, fall apart and then I want to rebuild myself.

So hello, Andheri E. Be nice to me, okay? I promise I will bitch less about you. Okay, maybe not. But I will try. And I will do this. No matter what. So, Universe, Murphy, I know you're reading this. Do. Your. Worst.

This post was written after a 4am cleaning session. Also, discovery of a new species: Ninja Ants.

Yes, that's a sealed, airtight bag of sugar.

Thursday, 14 July 2011


Yet again, last night, Bombay was tested. Three bombs in meter boxes and a car at Zhaveri Bazaar, Opera House and Kabootar Khana respectively.

Our brilliant news channels dazzled us with their complete inability to see the point, yet again (and frankly, despite all the practice they've had). We didn't want to know when the previous attacks were (we remember, jackasses) or the 'science' behind their dates; at that point, we didn't care if it was a failure in intelligence; and we most certainly didn't care what Israel would have done had this happened there (seriously, Gul Panag, wtf were you thinking?). All that mattered was if everyone you knew was ok, and if they were out, getting them home safe.

And twitter came through beautifully. I have never been so proud of the fact that I'm active on twitter. Almost without exception, everything else was dropped and the prime concern became connecting those who needed help to those who were offering it. And there were SO many of the latter. People willing to let strangers into their homes and offices, offering lifts to anyone who needed them, tracking down people who couldn't be contacted, traffic updates, information on hospitals, lists of the wounded, numbers to contact for blood banks, links to public spreadsheets with numbers for people to contact by area... I must make special mentions of @sidin and @b50 for rallying information, quelling rumours, matching up the #needhelp and #here2help hashtags, providing accurate, up-to-the-minute traffic updates; essentially keeping twitter from turning into a large group of headless chickens. I'm glad that in whatever little way I do, I know these people. All their efforts went together to ensuring many of us got home safe and sound.

And all through today, I've heard one word being tossed around. "Resilience," everyone is saying. Yes, I saw that resilience take the form of ruthless efficiency last night. And I can't help but think: is this what it's like for people in Kashmir? Is that the degree of desensitization we've reached in this city? Yes, despite how we all acted yesterday, I choose to use that word. Because as a city, as a singular unit, we have reached a point where three bombs were detonated in crowded areas and literally within minutes, we were rallied and ready. We're like the broken woman who's reached a place where she knows that at some point, the wife-beating husband is going to come home drunk again and has a first aid kit hidden in the bathroom because she knows there's no way out.

And just like that wife will patch herself up and go straight back to making his dinner, we've gone back to our lives. It's been a day. One day. And we're back at work, sending each other angry emails; back online, watching videos of cats with bowties; talking about gigs and haircuts and Harry Potter.

I want out. I don't fucking want to hear about the unbreakable spirit of my city. Because you're making Bombay out to be that wimpy kid who picks up his bag and quietly walks home after he's blind-sided in an alley by four bullies.

I don't want to be that woman. I don't want to be that kid.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


So I've been away a while, yes. Lots has happened in the time I've been missing:
1. My team of eight at work dwindled to a team of three.
2. I stuck around, plus I've been slogging my ass off, so I got a promotion (not what I was hoping for, but I still took it)
3. As a consequence, work has become more hectic.
4. Turbulence in relationships (euphemism of the century)

I may be missing a couple of points, but that's irrelevant. In good news, I've just bought a new phone: the spanking Nexus S. Being an Android, there's a truckload of apps on it, and being a child of Google, one for Blogger, too. Hopefully this means more writing on the move.

I sure as hell hope so, anyway.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

The first thing I did when the new computer arrived was to check the keyboard. It wasn’t even plugged in, but I put it on the desk and started typing. I had to get a feel for it. See if it was conducive to writing.

And it is. The keys just melt under my fingertips. I think I type faster than I ever have before. And this makes it MUCH easier to write. Because now I can keep up with my thoughts. I have a thought, and it reaches the screen almost as soon as I think it. All because my hands glide over these keys.

So why the fuck haven’t I been writing?

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Black ink. Black thoughts. Black words. Black tongue. Black, dark, thick, oozing, bubbling, simmering, melting. Tar. Molasses. Sludge.

I am wading.

Sunday, 24 April 2011


I was at a colleague’s computer a couple of days back, discussing a website. I needed to reload the page to indicate my point to him, so I looked for the refresh button. To my horror, the browser was IE, so I was struggling a little (hey, I haven’t used IE in four years). So much so, that I actually said out loud, “Where’s the damn refresh button on this thing?”

With the gallant smile of an old lion teaching a young runt how things are done, he brushed my hand off the mouse and clicked refresh. To answer for myself, I tried to say, “I’m not used to IE, it’s a terrible browser.” I never got past the first four words. He cut me off, saying,”Yes, I know. Windows 7. It’s new. That’s okay.”

Sunday, 27 March 2011


Nineteen on blogger. Eleven on the phone. Five or six more lost to a bad format of the old phone. Three on the new computer. At least another eight on the older one.

All just sitting there. Waiting for me to remember that they exist. To come back to them. To give them shape, substance.

When am I ever going to finish a damn thing in my life?

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

I bite my fingernails.

Down to the quick. This is an important piece of information, because it is the only reason my palms are not bleeding right now. I’ve been clenching my fists way too hard for way too long, trying desperately to hold on to the things I want.

But I’m letting go now. I think it’s time I admit my loss of control to myself. I can’t believe I’m picking a lesson out of a Sandra Bullock movie, but I’m going to control what I can and let everything else be. Let things go and see if they still remain. If they do, well and good. If not, well, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. It’s not like I’m going anywhere.

Yes, this probably means the neurosis will grow even more. I’ll probably chew on my nails more fervently than before. But this is necessary. Self-preservation. Maintenance of sanity.

One thing’s for sure though. No matter what happens, I’ll see you on the other side of it. Irrespective of where that may be.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

There's a reason they call it Chodafone

I usually rant about this on Twitter, but since I never get the chance to do so when this thought enters my head, I decided to do it here, now, before I forget.

Dear Vodafone GPRS, I've always been curious. What do donkey balls taste like? Seeing how you suck on them so often and all? Do let me know. Kthxbai.

Monday, 31 January 2011


It's an odd thing, really. I bought her that chocolate she likes so much, that Rum n' Raisins one. Because I figured, you know, feel-good hormones and all that.

She smiled sadly and said, "Not enough rum."

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

There, I fixed it.

Somehow, he managed to park the car straight. He got out, swaying like an axe-worn tree that couldn't quite decide if it was ready to topple yet. Held an arm out and steadied himself against the wall.


must get rid of. little pink bits. light is busted. fuck it.

He giggled a little. Cried a lot.

Thankfully, he made it to the commode before ritually throwing up, following which, he collapsed into bed with one shoe still on.

Breakfast was silent as usual. He cleared his throat and hid behind a glass of orange juice.

"So, um, Ma. I may have been a little drunk last night."

Friday, 21 January 2011

My humble contribution to a meme.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Your childhood will haunt you. Forever.

Even when he's 40 years old, in a perfectly empty bus, a man will shy away from a seat marked 'Ladies'.


Because he still remembers the taunt, "What, are you a girl or something?"

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Orange clutched the robes of grey. Said, "You won't stop me anymore."

Morning broke.

Monday, 10 January 2011

The worst feeling in the world

It's only been about a couple of minutes, but it feels like hours. Your lungs are screaming, but your brain isn't listening. It's gone dull. Forgotten what it's supposed to do. It's registering nothing but the dull throb of dirty, black blood trudging through it like sludge. There are dark spots in the corners of your vision. You're panicking, but you don't know why and you don't know what to do about it.

Then suddenly, it's over. Out of the blue, you remember how to breathe. It's a beautiful sensation. It's like the stroke of dawn, when the sun's first ray breaks over the horizon, slowly painting everything it touches. It seeps colour into a monochrome world. Everything changes, shadows disappear. The memory of great, big gulps of air returns to your lungs. And you follow that memory, mimicking it.

Except you're underwater and it's dark.

That feeling you just felt? It's nothing. Nothing.
Compared to the worst feeling in the world.

Friday, 7 January 2011


This one’s been in my head for almost a month now. I’d roughly converted it into a 1000-odd word story that needed a lot of polishing, but then realised that I was complicating something that, at its heart, was a very simple idea. Hence, here it is, in original form.

Monday, 3 January 2011


Welcome back, folks. I’m here again, except I don’t quite think the guy who came back is the same one who left a week or so ago.

I’ve had a rare chance over the past few days to simply unplug. To walk away from my life, almost in its entirety, and look at it from a distance. It’s a beautiful gift, I tell you, an opportunity like this. Do it every once in a while. Forget the little things that make up your day, forget the mundane worries that fill every spare moment between dusk and dawn. Look at your life, not as a set of tasks that need completing, but as the beautiful, huge image on the jigsaw puzzle it forms.

I almost lost myself this past week. To myself. To anonymity. To solitude. To sadness. Away from almost everything and everywhere that I have to deal with on a daily basis, I was dangerously free. Untethered. Unanchored.

And a four-year-old brought me back. She and her six-year-old sister made me see what I wanted. Everything is so simple now. So clear.


All of you, do this. Just for a while, unplug from your life. Walk away from it. That way, when you turn around, you’ll see the reason to walk back to it shining brightly at you, clearer than ever before.