Within and without


Only a few days back, I started flirting with a story idea, surrounding the journey of a tree that would only grow in roots and never have any leaves or flowers. The intense struggle in the private corners of a person’s life makes them more rooted, I thought. After all, the ulterior motive is to take it all in and internalise life’s lessons without making it obvious.  The colors and flowers are just a mere distraction that I should stay away from at all cost.

I changed my mind. I cannot write this story like how I had imagined it earlier because something has really moved me today. For the last two years, I have been like the tree in my story, rooted but not flowering. I have grown and become intense but I have forgotten to be a fool who once enjoyed the endless sunshine.

And I thought to myself today, there is enough warmth in the trunk of my tree to just grow in roots, it has to spread. It has to celebrate. Let it grow some leaves and flowers too because I will only be beautiful when I make others feel that way. I stood up for myself and I stood up for others. And in this melancholy, I feel whole again. There is no point in learning if you cannot share your knowledge in beautiful ways. Roots would never grow if there were no leaves to sustain them.

Image: Embryo by Xetobyte.


Eye contact.


I am not waiting for something intelligent or wise. Just tell me something beautiful. I want to know why you are trying to wash away the drunkenness of your eyes with shots of coffee. They are trying to tell me a story. Don’t wash away your tale.

How will I ever know you then? What kept you up in the night? Were you thinking about work or you met someone interesting? It’s okay to let your eyes do the talking. They have stopped smiling the way they did when we departed for the weekend.

Yes, I know we have to work through the week but I refuse to do it with my eyes shut and high on coffee at the same time. I refuse to drown into work without drowning in your eyes first or else you will never know how my eyes light up when I have accomplished something at work or how they tear up at rejection or failure.

We are moving in these physical spaces of cubicles, desks and our minds without looking at each other into the eyes. Do you see me? I want to tell you something. Look in to my eyes and you will know. But I am aware that years will pass and both of us will be stuck looking through files, papers and computer screens but not at each other.

PS: Anyways, I want you to know something about me and my eyes. I have this fascination for bright and glowing objects. I once read in some magazine that the only place where the stars are the brightest in the sky is in Central African Republic. This is because it is the least polluted by light. I would like to go there and see the stars in the open sky. I know, it’s going to beautiful. Only if you could see it in my eyes. Until then.

Take a wet, smelly animal and cook it in a curry with some incense sticks. That’s exactly how I feel about eating Thai food.



My dad says a lot of interesting stuff. Like this:

  • Arranged marriages should be banned. Those who cannot find spouses for themselves don’t deserve to get married in the first place.
  • You can have all the books you want in the world but I don’t want you to be that child who flaunts a massive walk-in wardrobe.
  • Why do they make these tablets so big? It is impossible to swallow them (Tries to swallow two or more than two at a time. Always).
  • I am your mother when she is not around but she always is and that still makes me your mother.
  • Snakes make ideal pets because they are so beautiful and harmless.
  • I need a new ringtone. Kindly download the latest BBC news countdown music for me, please.
  • Who is Priyanka Chopra?
  • I will only participate in the Master Chef challenge if they invite me as a Judge.
  • Stop dressing your best friends as monkeys and chimps for a cause. They are not animals like you!
  • I hate Hyenas. I never feel bad when Lions kill them in those animal shows.
  • You don’t deserve to adopt a pet. Chotu ( a tiny flowering plant in our balcony) died because of your neglect.
  • No, you should not go to see your sick colleague in the hospital. Hospitals are not a place for small children.

Photo courtesy: Judith Loske

Their crowned goddess


The words I am about to express: They now have their own crowned goddess. ~ Leandro Diaz

And just as I read these words, the crowned goddess showed up. These are the opening lines of  Garcia Marquez’s novel, Love in the Time of Cholera. I picked up the book while I was on one of the most legendary ships of our time, the Rainbow Warrior. The journey started with an excuse for work and turned into something magical from the time I read the above mentioned line.

It was in the middle of the night and I was just done writing about livelihoods, the birds and the beauty of Papua.  I was there to document the abundant beauty of nature. We had hiked to the forests and snorkeled in the Indian Ocean during the ship tour. It beautiful and really beautiful I mean. But what I witnessed that night has left me enchanted for the rest of my life.

As I opened Garcia to retire from work, a colleague pulled me out from my office cabin and took me by the hand. I followed her in the dark. She took me downstairs, to the deck and asked me to look down at the waters.

I looked down at the waters and saw the most psychedelic thing ever! The waves created by the ship moving forward were glowing with luminescence. It was disillusioning to witness this while being sober because it’s felt like I was in another world. It was beautiful. Watching the ship moves forward in waves of florescent green was a sight one could only imagine in sci-fi movies or fiction novels. ‘It is phytoplankton. Don’t ask me why it happens or how it works but I just got you here because I wanted you to see this thing.’, she said. I am so glad that she did that.

And then suddenly there emerged a small school of flying fish from the ocean and back into it. They were glowing too. It was not a dream, it was real and I felt blessed by the crowned goddess. Life is beautiful. I am pilgrim of that beauty and a follower of that crowned goddess. She exists in my words, in my eyes and my tears. That day, my tears merged with the glowing waters of the ocean and became holy, forever. It was like flying in a boat.

Creepers of hanging words hold my soul by the birds. Birds of neon and the words of eon.

In an event of truth


Billows escape the lips,

Some word in a lisp.

I said it, a tear down

 And with a heavy crown.

 The casual word

meets the curious eye,

Gravitating worlds,

far beyond the lie.

Smirk, should I?

Flying kites in the ocean,

Fighting fishnets in the sun.

The bondage undone.

It shall burn.

Burn of gratitude and grief.

Feathers behind ears,

Innocence that was brief.

I am not the one who will fall easily, so you don’t have to pick me up but I will not pick you up either. Stand up for yourself. Walk in your own shoes, not mine.

Portrait of a girl.

The earth smelled of Summer. Frangpanis whispered to her soft curls from above as she took cover under them. She was waiting for him. Her joy left a tinge of blush on the cheeks. Her dress was that of the tangerine too. His artist’s eye would be delighted to see such brightness and warmth in her. She was waiting for him, eagerly.

She sat down and removed her diary to write him a letter. In it she wanted to pour all her love and blessings. The precious moments they had shared and how they had come so close to each others’ hearts. She wrote without effort or a scribble. Often when she wrote something very close to her heart, she cried without her even realising it. Today it happened again. As she wrote the last line, a teardrop fell on the letter and drowned the red inked word with it. The word was lost but it looked beautiful. The smudge embossed a faint halo around it of the color red and the word. The halo was her love. The purity and the vastness of it that could be merely expressed in words.

Then the most bizarre and the beautiful of  ideas came upon her. With a quick glance at the letter, she looked up and as if looking for a treasure, looked around the garden inquisitively. her eyes met with Frangipanis in shades of yellow, white and warm pink. She gathered a couple of them of each color and once again sat under them to rewrite the letter. Only that she was going to rewrite the words with the bits of Frangipanis. She knew he would understand each hidden word behind the flowers.

She held her breath for a long time and subtly released it like the scent of the flowers she was working with. Carefully she studied the words in the letter and then the bunch of flowers as if they were the same thing. Then she plucked out the petals and began dissecting them into smaller pieces. She did this until she had a satisfactory volume of what looked like soft pieces of solid paint. Then she placed a small piece of pale red on the chap stick to only replace it on the first word of the letter. Dearest was that word. She held up the letter to look for the word and was satisfied to see the color imitate the word on the paper. That is how she felt about him, warm and secure, like pale red. She struggled with the second word, the name by which she always called him. It was everything to her. She left it as it was and moved on to the other words in the letter to seal them with the colors of  Frangipanis.  Each word carefully sealed with its matching colored petal’s bit. At the end, the letter looked like an ode to the gods.

She kept peering over the letter and the more she looked at the colors, the more absorbed she got into the emotion behind the word and its meaning. It was a different world. Just then, she heard her name at a distance. ‘Pippa, am here darling!’

She got up in haste and ran towards the gate of the garden, from where he had called out her name. Holding the letter close to her heart, careful not to destroy its contents she watched him wave at her from a distance, near his bicycle. Just like old times, she thought. He has come to take me on his bicycle. Nothing has changed, I will never grow up for him. She reached for him and hugged him tightly and gave him the letter. He looked at it and smiled. He had understood, she could see that in his eyes. He hugged her tightly and kissed her forehead.

They stood like that for sometime. Both happy to be with each other. Then he was telling her so many things but she couldn’t hear. She just kept smiling and nodding at him. It had been a long time since they were back to their garden meet like this. He had rather had a long spell in the hospital this time, she thought. But she will always be his little princess. Then suddenly she thought of the letter again and the word she had missed pasting a Frangipani on. She smiled, she had no regrets to leave it like that. Not a thousand colors could describe that word. The word was Grandpa.

They call me loony but that’s what makes me pure.

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