Sunday, 25 October 2015

Somedays bring it worse than other days.

Somedays are worse than other days.
Those days when it's warm in the sun and cold in the shade, when a familiar situation moves you in unexpected ways, when all it takes is a shadow on the wall cast by a tree formed by the Sun, a shampoo brand, or a memory resurfacing to make you tear up.
Pain is never bittersweet, change or nostalgia or tragedy even is never beautiful. You'd be kidding yourself if you said so. Life is not literature . But it was, it was. It used to be.

Started writing this poem the second day I moved here, which would now be a little over 2 months ago. Didn't complete it, kept waiting to write the perfect third stanza. Then I lost the notebook I had written it in. I should know this by now a piece of writing once abandoned is seldom completed again. Here goes:

This is the room I grew up in,
It no longer feels like home.
Without the collective laughter there once was,
These walls here are having a hard time standing on their own.

These are the friends I grew up with,
We don't all share the same interests.
In the pizza circle we are,
I am just a fraction of the crust.

See? A third stanza is needed.

Who am I kidding. It was home. Still is.

It's home to the point that in comparison nothing else feels like home. 

Saturday, 5 September 2015

This one crossroad.

Recently my friends and I had to choose between A levels and The choice and the move turned out to be harder than I expected. It was directly in contradiction with the spirit of my infatuations with the possibilities of the future. (I'll grow up, step into the real world, get some real education, save the planet.Bingo) This was a response to a conversation I had with a friend who had gone for while I stayed in our old school for A levels.

Is there a word for the moment you reach the top of the mountain, how even though you have surmounted the peak, achieved what you wanted, but instead of peace as you expected, you find confusion?

Is there a word for the moment you have an argument with a friend and you walk off all triumphant, how even though  have won the argument you almost wish you hadn't, because you ended up with strained communication and bitter laughter? Is there a word for it? Is there?

I wish there was. I would have used it now. Now that we've reached the point, (at least I), longed for. To be grown up enough to actually consider career paths. And now that we are finally here, I ended up with the hallways and the memories that haunt them.

And you, you ended up with the crowd and the dare-devilry that accompanies togetherness in a system that does more harm than good.

You know that night, that night when I called and you cried, I wrote this then rewrote some and scratched that and rewrote again. All because I did not want it to sound too despairing lest it left you worse than before.

Of course this is what we inherently wish as writers, don't we? To have our writings affect peoples' emotions in real time, but as a friend?
It's an entirely different story.

Monday, 24 August 2015


Waiting outside in the car

he brings the chali.
the salt and the warmth sears my lips
the stickiness of the lacha clings to my hands
yet it is not an entirely uncomfortable experience
unevened pathways
not streets as much as alleys
 deserted plots,mounds of earth
a recognizable face here and there
 small houses with almost too small doors
a crisscross of chaos
cloth by the meter, yarn by the yard
a hullaballoo of waving men
and bargaining women
a world within a world

*lacha is cotton candy

Monday, 29 December 2014


So much for us holding MUNs, so much for me idolising United Nations as the 'guardian angel,' the 'white knight'.
They keep their quiet when our people and our men and our children get killed and as soon as we hang 6 terrorists, SIX CONVICTED AND PROVEN GUILTY CRIMINALS Mr Ban KI-Moon tells us to call off capital punishment.

Friday, 26 December 2014

Hanooz Delhi Durast

Your indifference appals me,
For isn't there so much to do already
If we are to keep this country steady
The noose is tightening that will spell our death,
But have you prepared to fight it off as yet?

I see not
For you are as jingoistic as your fathers,
Proud -and stubborn
with their Chagatai chadars.

You think it's far away-the danger's not near,
But let me assure you otherwise my dear.
Do you remember the tale of the drunken Sultan of Delhi,
When he cried Hanooz Delhi Dur Ast*
And went on with his cup of wine.

But they did not spare him did they,
Not even the deers in his courtyard-
leaving a mountain of decapitated bodies to decay

So take heed and pull a fast one,
For time and tide waits for none.

*Muhammad Shah Rangeela was the Sultan of Delhi who was completely enamoured with drink, music and women to notice that the once powerful Mughal empire was crumbling around him.
 He was drunk to his gills, in the Diwane Khas in Delhi, when a courtier arrived and told him that Nadir Shah of Persia had set out to invade India . From the haze Rangeela was in, he muttered, "Hanooz Delhi Dur Ast".’Delhi is still far away’.
 When his courtiers told him that the Persian army had reached the borders, he replied "Hanooz Delhi Dur Ast". When the Persian army reached the castle gates, the courtiers once again brought it to his notice, to which he again repeated "Hanooz Delhi Dur Ast" and went on drinking until the army entered the castle itself, looted the royal treasury, killed a hundred thousand people and built a mountain out of skulls.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014


 You want to go, live, make your life, settle down there.

So go.

Go and live your life in a country where you'll always be a second-class citizen
Go and make your home -a place, where you'll always be the consignee of Paki slurs.
Go and pay taxes to a government who'll squander it on military jaunts -Vietnam, Bosnia, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan to quote a few.

Go and work for a country, whose red and blue flag continues to encroach upon our green and white one.

So go and you have my wishes. But let me tell you I've met people who went there to score the American dream but ended up at doggie parlours or wiping dishes at country restaurants.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Dancing girl

I've never seen the red light area, nor have heard any accounts of it. What I wrote below is purely from my imagination.  A short story written on a deadline for a competition. Didn't win anything though.
I scan the crowd. There is not a single young man in sight.  The youngest you would find here would be a 35 year old.
They are all rich men, corporate bastards, my stage manager likes to call them, with bratty wives who control their lives, women whose social obligations donot allow them to give their husbands any time.
As a result most of them turn up here, in the slums of Lahore, to sate their hunger.
I stand on the stage, waiting for the lights to dim. I wear a fitted red bodice which flares at the waist and stops just above my knees. Bright orange stockings make my legs stand out. My hair are put in elaborate curls and silver bangles dangle from my arms. From the kajol in my eyes to the Ghungrus,which jingle at the slightest movement, on  my anklet, my manager makes sure I look as provocative as possible.
The song starts. It's a slow melody by Reshma Ji. I raise my toes and begin. My arms lift and my waist bends in well practised moves. Now and then, someone steps forward and showers money at my feet. Tens and Twenties. Sometimes someone more generous, or more intoxicated, throw hundreds.
My six minutes are over. I climb off stage and head towards the left side of the room where we are required to sit until the show is over. I make my way through the nearly packed room when a man, well above 50 with a paunchy belly and a balding forehead, stops me.
"Care for a muffin,Chanda?" he asks coyly.
"Too much sugar Sahib,"I joke.
We've been instructed not to accept any eatable from customers after an incident two years ago when a man fell madly in love with a girl on stage, after he realised he couldn't marry her, he poisoned her through a glass of milk.
I sit down against a wall and watch the others perform. Occasionally someone from the crowd would offer me an inviting smile. I seldom smile back.
Through my peripheral vision, I spot the man who approached me earlier, talking to my manager.He keeps gesturing towards me.
I have successfully sold myself for the night.