Mar 9, 2012


Ever lived with people who feel like impossible? The certain people who have unbelievable power over you? The ones who make you feel and act crazy, even though you are an otherwise balanced person? The ones who push you over the ledge and let you come back for more snubbing?

The kind who make you feel lost to yourself and to the world? The kinds who leave you dazed? The kind you have no defenses against? The men and the women you love even as they kill you? In your moments of madness you look back and see you have not behaved this way in any other relationships but in this particular relationship you seem to screw up royally every bloody time!Welcome to the world crazy makers. Well if you’ve read so far I am sure like me your addicted to them. And you’ve not been sure whether you should be killing them or killing yourself.

Let me give you the good news even as you sulk in the grey clouds of their recent company. The good news is there are very few of those crazy makers around.( not like one is any less to completely screw up your life but that’s another thing) At one time there can only be one crazy maker operating in your life. And recovery from them is possible.

So let’s go over and understand the symptoms first and then go into rehab together.

Characteristics of Crazy-Makers:

On the face of it the crazy makers and nice people:
They act nice, altruistic, empathic, concerned and caring because this is what they want people to know them as. They may have the softest voices and the most graceful personalities that you have encountered! When you first meet them you will have instant rapport because they can turn themselves into whatever you want to see, but only long enough to lure you in. Once you have been lured in you will see all things end up in arguments and your general emotional state becomes one of frustration and anger. Because they still have that ‘nice’ side you will continually justify your relationship with them and live in a world of confusion. It is a process of getting mad enough to leave the relationship to getting lured back in over and over.

Their time, schedules, energy, drama, and life issues always outweigh yours :
Crazymakers thrive on drama, and melodrama requires a sense of impending doom. Everything is an emergency, a deadline, a matter of life and death, or something they will get to eventually. Read ‘never’ … Nearly any situation can be cast as melodrama to support a crazymaker’s plot lines.

Lack of reciprocity: These people want life to be full of fun, leisure and excitement. Anything outside of fun is not their thing. They prefer for others to take care of all things boring or difficult. In other words they are allergic to the words responsibility and/or accountability. They are not in relationships to see what they can put into them. They enter relationships to see what they can get out of them or to how much they can get someone else to take care of them. Beware, they always get more than they give and they really do not care much how you feel about it.

They are selfish: Crazy-makers do not operate in relationships with an ounce of empathy or fairness. Their idea of fairness is they get what they want exactly at the moment they want it. They feel entitled to this. It is always their world and you are always just a visitor.

They expect special treatment
They demand special treatment in their daily lives:
■Ever met someone who grandiosely insists the dining party sit a certain place in a restaurant?
■Ever had a friend who insisted always to set the agenda of the conversation no matter what you are going through in your life?
■The ones who keep talking about their love lives and how many women/men fall for them each day?
■The ones who know exactly which part of conversation to recall for making you vulnerable at important points of your life?
■The ones who forget your birthday every bloody year and involve you in their celebrations in some way which is unavoidable?

They belittle and downplay your achievments and your life
“Crazymakers discount your reality. Your pressing agendas – however real – are never as real, as important, as critical as a crazy maker’s drama of the moment.” Your biggest achievements are discounted. The last really cool thing you did is something that they’ve seen everyone do! Whereas what they achieved they were the only ones in their times.

They praise other people in front of you and how
When you are in the company of a crazy maker everything other than whom you are and what you represent will get praises and accolades. Every other person they have worked with is creative, every other woman they have met was attractive( she had that special unexplainable something which you need to hear about off course) Every other project than the one you’ve got is cool and off course we haven’t even started about their world touring and Hiring plans yet!

They are not wrong EVER:
These egocentric creatures live in a world of complete distortion where they see themselves as the victims of their circumstances. From their perception they never make mistakes, they are never wrong and their motives always have pure intent. These people will not take responsibility for their own behavior. One of their more maddening qualities is they are unable to distinguish important from unimportant matters, making it difficult for them to give in on unimportant matters. Instead they argue over nothing, often reserving some of their most intense concerns for issues that are of very little significance. This deflects their responsibility off the issue at hand in an attempt to pull their victims off target. They will use anything to justify their anger and point of view and let you know why you are wrong. They only see certain facts and eliminate all other useful information. They are completely out of touch with the big picture and there is no one who can get them to change their thinking.

They know your strings!:. Their other favorite way to throw you off balance is to not acknowledge your presence. They can make you feel you do not exist. They will make noise in one form or another all in an effort to get you so far away from your rational mind that you will either attack back (so they can blame you for your “anger”) or you will give in because it is not worth the fight. Either reaction perpetuates the process because either way these annoying people are getting their way.Crazy makers behave in a covertly hostile ways so no matter what reaction you have it will be wrong. Some of their provocations show up in chronic forgetfulness. They are masters at using insincere apologies to appear innocent, such as “all I said was…” or “I only meant that…” which passively places the blame on the victim for being ‘too sensitive’ or ‘taking things the wrong way.’

They sow the wind, while others reap the whirlwind
A crazymaker is constantly stirring up storms.” Normal’ doesn’t serve their need for power.” “Everything is always their problem, but nothing is their fault.” They are often grandiose people with the flair for the dramatic. That’s why we want to leave our plain lives and run under their wings to get more out of life. What we end of however with is an empty feeling. A loss and sence of extreme bitterness out of failing at human friendship and equality.

Theirs is a world of trumped up conflict, confusion, and chaos.

RX-Prescriptions for dealing with them.

Observe- Look over above points. Keep a diary and tick each time above behaviours are repeated. Crazy makers are experts at using misdirection and confusion to get you off balance. Their whole objective is to get you on the defensive so you will begin to explain yourself. It doesn’t matter that you are 100% right these people get a rise out of you explaining your side and this is when they go in for the kill. The more you talk the more power they feel, the weaker of a position you will continue to create for yourself. Crazy-makers live to get people squirming. Because these people love attention, control and power

Don’t worry they are this way with everyone. It is not unique to you, regardless of what they may say to make you believe it is only with you they have ever had these issues with. Your best bet is to limit the amount of time you are around these people and/or to get them out of your life black and white. You will never change them.

Jan 23, 2012

For the love of silk cotton trees

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree
                                 Joyce Kilmer

I haven’t met too many people who have fallen in love with trees. I didn’t even know I would be one of them till the day I read some strange book from the musty attic in my house. The book was borrowed from the Punjab Agricultural University. No one in my family went to that university. It remains a mystery how that book got in my bookshelf.

So this book had pictures of the flowering trees in bloom. I saw this one particular photo and was absolutely blown. It was like recognizing from the shadow a face an old loved one. This I realised much later was the same tree that appeared in my dreams of heaven, where an avenue of cotton silks spread till forever connecting this world to that.

However the first time I really found that rapture of  delight was in 2006. I was staying over with friends at the DSSW Hostel in North Campus and was very sore and heavy hearted after a bad crush. We had gone out to the community canteen to get some chai right at the fag end of the evening.

Standing dispirited I suddenly noticed this hearty silk cotton tree standing with grace. I must have looked at it for some ten minutes in the mad stare that lovers give on recognising that first sight of each other. My heart stopped. Dropped its complains. Stood Still. Like a deer struck by headlights of a car. Many clouds passed through my life and bad spell broke! I feelt like a pink baloon growing bigger and lighter and lighter with this old/new love.

From sad tired and weary I felt reassured and and in love with the world again. Like an old friend from far away had suddenly visited with all his gifts and memories. Like a tall graceful spirit stood there in the campus calling out to my love

It didn’t do much or make any effort. It just went on being itself, big majestic and forever a silk cotton tree. And I struck by thunder stood there and stopped feeling cold and had this sudden strange urge of hurling myself at that tree and hugging it. I didn’t do it for fear of scandalising others!

The memory of that day still warms my heart. Just thinking about how this tree had followed me there, in that disappearing patch of sunlight always stays in my memory.

That’s the thing about silk cotton trees. They’ll appear in the strangest of places. Peeping into your tea from the picture window on a 6th floor of an apartment while you sit through an interview. In the dark shadows of an empty ground where road rollers hurl around earth to make a new building, standing tall and silent in the impending doom. In the junk yards of childhood where little girls with pig tails ran over their fallen flowers burying dead butterflies under them.

Much later I read about how D.H. Lawrence would go naked and climb mulberry trees so that the muse would strike him. I can completely understand the urge. The big smooth silver trunks of a tree do call for petting. At least the pulchritude is not alien to our species. We love butterflies peacocks and tall handsome trees!

But there is something more than sheer physicality. This tree talks to me! Everytime I pass them I sense warm whisper, and conversations much more heartwarming that human conversations. It affects me when it changes shapes, sheds its leaves, bounces sunlight off its glistening bare branches and then grown little fist sized buds like a teenaged girl growing breast. And then suddenly it would light up with those majestic big flowers and then blow the flowers and carpet the earth. Its tides affect me like moon affects the seas.

Have you seen the deep red of its flowers? Just the color an Indian girl dreams of her trousseau to be one day. The way its bare branches divide the sky. How the sky in frame of these branches gets different shades of blue and deep blue and white cotton fluff. Have you seen the size of its flowers? The plonk with which they fall on the ground AND STAY THERE for days till they finally become the ground on which they’ve fallen.

I talk like a love sick person. And I am lovesick for silkcotton trees. I hope someday they find the words for those of us who’ve felt the Eros for trees. For those of us who’ve blushed with delight at watching them…For those of us who write these love letters to trees.

Dec 31, 2011

Bihar Chronicles-2011

The year bumped me back into attention as I brought all my grey matter in line to  Line Produce in Patna. An amiable documentary filmmaker Richard Fung who resembles a character of Wong Kar Wai's Happy Together wanted a local 'guy'  to help him shoot the badlands of Bihar.

So I was hired. It was just February!  I remember the lovely Tarumitra Ashram where I arranged us to stay. The lovely campus was like a Tropical Jungle.  An oasis in the mundanity of Patna. The Laurie Baker Style Organic Cottages. I lived in the Winter Hut, where Father Athikal would brew lovely South Indian Coffee running in and out. A complete charmer.

Then there were other community members and students from Agricultural university from Panama who would make cool Italian Food and Potluck Dinners at the community kitchen at Tarumitra. There over vodkas splayed in mint and ice around a bonfire we'd discuss our lives. Who we were and how we spoke.

My favorite memory is sitting inside the gauzed Verandah and watching Richard and Tim( Richard's partner) walk in the golden sunlight being. Its a picture of them togther that has stayed with me. Its very seldom that you get watch couples who carry that peace around them when they are togther. Richard and Tim had a golden light following them that evening. Just looking at them at that moment brought such profound peace that the picture latches onto my memory as a postcard.

Then in a early morning haze we drove to Bodhgaya. A city of peepul trees. We checked into a hotel that had 5 stars in the Lonely planet guide rating and from my toilet window I could see the Burmese Monastery, A peepul tree with a small Hindu Shrine under it.

It must have been 7pm when I finally entered the Mahabodhi Temple complex, distracted as I was with the antique trinkets from the whole of buddhist universes.

As I walked towards the tall building and the magnificient Bodhi Tree, a strange Deja Vu came over. I had been here before. With my surdy parents? Not likely! Maybe. Not really. Must have been in dreams. Strange then..Just like any person walking to Varanasi cannot really visit it for the first time. You always have memories of it from erstwhere!

There were monks from the yellow Asian world. There were musty smelling converted Indian Harijan monks in there. And they all became a part of the majesty of the Prince who found the ultimate High under this very Tree. There were cameras and prayer assemblies with live telecasts all over to the Buddhist world.
And here was I with my camera clicking like crazy to take home some glory of this magical place. The aura of this divine tree.

The next day I went to the Japanese monastery and tried Zazen. Between a group of young yellow faces and a monk in black robes instructing in Japanese I don't think I got it very right but what the hell. I sat stretched and straight like a penis. It gave me a cervical like pain and made me feel very cool!

I came back in Mahabodhi Express and by the time 2011 had run away!

Sep 5, 2011

Its love love love that makes the world go round!

‘I had a lovers quarrel with the world. ‘- Robert Frost

I never forget the last scene of Wonkar Wai’s film ‘Days of Being Wild’. The devastatingly handsome Hong Kong lothario who seduces and forsakes women without compunction is with a man who asks him if he remembers Su Lizen a woman who he ditched and left to suffer and the Lothario replies ‘how is she’ what she does at 9 pm.

Then he says looking worried ‘Don’t tell her that I remember her’ Let her find happiness somewhere else! At that heart breaking moment for the first time in the whole film it becomes clear to one that this difficult strange man did indeed love the girl whose life he has forever broken in two parts.

The hero dies shortly afterwards in a train gang war and you are left with a deep wound. The wound of seeing lover’s suffering longing for each other in helplessness. That short sharp shock in the film I believe added to the pain of the world that cries for a resolution/closure. I won’t stop thinking about it till the closure is reached!

I also never forget the story in my 9th standard Literature course called ‘Love Love Love’ by VS Naipaul about a black young neighbor they had who had an alcoholic husband who would beat her up blue and black and how she escaped saving her life from him only to come back to him and get beaten up and feel happy about it. There was something about how Naipaul narrated that story that captured the mind of a 15 year old to think so deeply about the compulsion/helplessness of love.

I am sure all of have had men/women around us whose daily love calls were more frightening and annoying than any horror films that we could have attended. The drama of cutting fists for lost loves, the crying the weeping the hysteria all make for some very alive memories in my head. A girl in my hostel in Nashik who would cry everyday for two hours after speaking to her boyfriend. There is a dialogue that she used to shout at him that stays with me forever. After a few guttural sounds like some beast had opened her belly she would shriek to the man on the other end ‘majha traas naku deu” ‘Don’t give me pain’ The problem apparently was that the guy wouldn’t marry her soon enough even though they had very elaborate plans of eloping.

There was another who everyday would beg her boyfriend to not suspect her as she was being completely faithful. Why she cried why trying to explain this thing is a simple thing that I never understood then. Now maybe I do! The story went like this..the girl had a long affair with a guy of a different cast and the guy was a goon back in Jhansi and this girl struck to him because she was afraid that he wouldn’t let her marry anyone else! The same girl is now happily married to another guy. I don’t know her phone routine is anymore peaceful than earlier though!

Another person who stays in my mind for his love story is an editor who would take half hourly breaks every consecutive hour to talk to his girlfriend/wife. He would come back with a red face and teary eyes. I always wondered what was happening between them that made for the frantic nervous calls. I could never tell and I could never ask because he was a fiercely personal sober kind of a person. But just the fact that there he was known more for his breaks than anything else is something I never forget!

Recently I was reading Thich Nhat Hanh’s book on Love called Understanding love where he recalls his short love story. The story is about how this Noble Monk fell in love with a young nun and she too fell in love with him. They however bound under their bows to reach Buddhahood decided not to bite into the temptation and keep doing their duty as a monk and nun. Thay talks about how his agony lasted less than 24 hours before he became aware of the fact that love could even continue long distance and love didn’t mean matrimony or conjugal bliss.

I laughed a hollow little laugh after I finished Thich Nhat Hanh’s book. The sad part about me(and most of the rest of us) is that we are succors for pain and drama. The scale on which Thay speaks is nursery level for us, who have struggled in the worldly love. And for the first time I felt myself falling on the side of these mad people who so far only amused me. I really now do believe that the journey we mortals experience in the dark night of the soul that comes after heartbreak is as noble as any other kind of spiritual journey.

What kind of hardship have you experienced if you haven’t torn your hair apart and wanted to sew the earth and sky so that nothing in between moves to cause the pain that love causes. I hate how we homogenize love and put labels on how it should only lead to the homogenized happiness. You love me I love you equally back. Measured, sane and facile! Thanks But no Thanks!

I suppose the only reason people should be together is very beautifully described by Elizabeth Gilbert "People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave. A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master..."

Having lived for so long off course one knows that love is a sad song and yet "I like to see people reunited, I like to see people run to each other, I like the kissing and the crying, I like the impatience, the stories that the mouth can't tell fast enough, the ears that aren't big enough, the eyes that can't take in all of the change, I like the hugging, the bringing together, the end of missing someone." Some of us are born of hearts more stubborn and stoic than average people. Some of us have more knack for drama. Some of us don’t fall apart despite numerous knocks. Some of us can deal with love despite all the mess it creates! Some of us go round and round and round in love and never stop!

Aug 10, 2011

A letter to Indiffrence

Indifference is the strongest force in the universe. It makes everything it touches meaningless. Love and hate don't stand a chance against it.-The Snow Queen

Dear Indifference,
Never thought Id ever write a letter to you. After all what difference does it make to you whether I write to you or not. You I suppose will still insist on denying me the attention that I demand as a human being, as someone who cares! And we're not quite on talking terms really!
Well I have been meaning to speak to you,You know how you look through me. Defeating me like nothing else does.
Now don’t think I am getting clingy or anything! I am just being a human being who bonds with human beings and finds happiness in relating to others around me! Its not a crime when you are not around to make it all so Toxic Mr Indiffrence’
 What a sad scene we humans make when fighting you. Its like a bitch slap. It stings its unjust and its just there! And no one can help. Not friends, not strangers no one can take away the gloom that you leave after you walk over sentient beings.
But today I am at your gate to get to know you better. Where do you come in our lives indifference? Exactly what are you made of? Are you kind of a shield that covers the soft parts of those who wear you around them? Are you a bandage for pain? Do you work in easing the pain on one side of a relationship while hurling it on the other side?
How long do you stay? What do you do the hearts where you make a home? Do they go back to their original natures or are indifferent people forever indifferent? How do you erase the memory of sunny warm days? Do you temporarily disable them or do you delete them forever.
How many lovers have you killed? How many mothers?How many dads? How many friends? How many strangers? How many humans in total?
How does it feel to peel of human beings of their essential nature? Where do you stand and watch one human being looking indifferently at the others sorrow? Is it a high is a low or is it an indifferent feeling for you? How does it feel to see them suffer for their humanly affections? How does this going numb on the pain of same species happen? Do you forget that all humans are made of the same clay and everyones tears are salty. How exactly do you possess and strangle hearts Mr Indiffrence?
You must be related to death in some way no? You bring along all that death brings along. Forgetting and ceasing of emotions or all feelings.What is left in humans after that anyway?! Really?!
It must be a good life being indifference no? Nothing affects you, Nothing hurts you, you remember nothing, you miss nothing, you feel nothing! Causing a deep hollow spot wherever you strike!
Go on as you do indiffrence! I see there must be heavens willing somewhere for you to pitch your tents into the human hearts!
Much love
A human being who suffers from your presence!

May 24, 2011

With a morning heart

You have to have a dream so you can get up in the morning.
~ Billy Wilder.

 I have always wondered about what makes a good morning.

Is it the bed you slept on? Is it the last thought you had the previous night, which decides whether its going to be one of those peach coloured mornings, when you get up with your body juiced up eager and hungry for another day.

Is it about the city you get up in? Whether you hear the birds or cacophony of morning traffic, that makes or breaks a morning?

Is it about the bed you slept on? Whether it was just right for you back, butt and neck? Whether it smelled familiar and felt good?

Is it about the person you slept with? Wrapped around each other like a spider’s net, moistened with kisses and tender conversations, which made your eyes heavy and pushed you into a slumber

Is it about what you dreamt? Whether a distant loved one came walking into your dream, held your hand and took you around a rainbow.

Most of my good friends have in common with me this preference for getting up late. We dont stress ourselves with what the clock says. We check inside if its morning ding dong or not yet! It doesnt necessarily match with 6am, 7 am, 8am or 9am. A lot of oldies I love think its some kind of a plague that we younger generation suffer from(this not getting up in the morning to the call of duty).  I remember my war with my dad started on the subject of getting up in the morning. He likes to make his presence/ authority felt in those magical hours of the morning. Its when I am crooning in my sweetest hours of slumber and tangiest dreams; that he wants me to be up and about and and cooking breakfast!

Yes maybe it is about the breakfast I never cook which irks him! I being the female of the species must confirm to my duties by reporting in the mornings to the authority of parenthood. And Even though us girls have been raised like  boys, having been sent to school and being told to have 'careers' I see this inherent discomfort in the males in my family looking at women sleeping till late. What a blasphemy to see the girls streching languorously on the bed dreaming of who knows what! Surely they must never be found sleeping in the mornings.' They ought to up praying and cooking for it to be a good morning for them!'

So much for the Talibani hopes of my dad(Although I suspect if I had been a boy I would have suffered the same fate as well). Offc ourse I never get up early and feel terrible about it too! Years and years of not having anything motivating enough(I neithe pray nor make breakfast for my family) makes me sleep till late and avoid getting up if at all I can avoid it.

Gradually I realise off late all my good mornings have come from sleeping at unfamiliar places away from the routine of a dragging schedule and people who play like old records, the same tunes every day. I hate them. They make me not want to get up in the morning.

Slowly the itch of wanting to see new colors in that same old sun excite me more and more as I loose years. To think that there can be a different angle and diffrent windows, from which I see the sun everymorning brings on a wonder which brightens me up. When eagerness wells up to gape at the patterns that clouds make is the sky I am greatful.What joy to simply wake up on mornings when the sun doesnt bark out from an alarm clock.

Its only in the rawness of mornings, smelling my own stale breath, that I am at this emotional vantage to turn upside down, all the things I don’t like face up! In the day everything is too much of what It is already, to do anything about it. Its when in the morning I come down from my dreamland and touch the ground, that  I dont like to  break my sleep.
But I cant do it on all mornings. Only some mornings does my morning heart triumph over the wicked indifferent forces of this world.

I think what’s so special about mornings is that they are the only time of the day when you have the chance to choose between a dream or rationality. The choices are (a) take cognisance of the hard unyielding ground that you stand on and throw the dream in a dustbin.(b) feel the dream in the little of your palm and leap with it. 
Whether you sink or fly is the buisness of the other part of the day. But the morning dharma surely is simple.

Leap starting the engine of the heart with every round of the sun. No matter how illogical, no many how stupid the dream is. You kill the morning if you kill the dream in your heart. My best mornings have been with completely insane dreams. Standing on a shitmoutian and thinking of Himalayas. Driving on the Ghaziabad highway thinking of streets of Paris. Who knows whether actual Himalayas and streets of paris when they come will bring any real happiness or not!

So I love my mornings with morning hearts. Reality/Duty/Uprightness/Morality/Foresight can you please excuse me in this lifetime? No place for you in my morning with my morning heart.

Jan 30, 2011

Mad in Mumbai- Memoir ’

I remember the early morning bus to Mumbai. Landing up in mist and seeing the sea for the first time. It was such a shame to finally arrive in Mumbai at 25years of age. But it was magic too. I didn’t know what awaited me, but I was in love and felt quite blind. So I parked myself in a city where nothing blew off in alarm when I looked at it absentmindedly. They didn’t know what the alert and same me was. So they wouldnt question me during that zonked period .I would stay here till this sudden blind spot that filled me with wooziness lasted. Till the static of 5000 gongs buzzing in my head died down. Or at least settled itself!

I imagined that’s how elephants fell in love. Madly. Truly. Deeply. There were other ways of falling in love too. Slightly, romantically, flirtatiously, moderately, sexually but none of those options were available to me. I dived into it straight like an elephant would jump into swimming pool. Clumsily. The whole of me at one go, without keeping any other eggs in any other basket. In retrospect it looks like a suicide mission for whatever could go wrong did go wrong. But at that time the earnestness kept me afloat. It was the first time my mind had been pulverised by anything other than mathematics. And it felt GOOD and made me feel blind. As blind as driving a car with front mirror covered in mixed fruit jam would make you feel.

The big authoritative voices that kept shouting at me all my life suddenly became well wishing whispers that would just creep out of mouse holes and whisper and disappear. Career Careeer Career? Where is it going where is it going? Money Money Money. This money will run out run out run out. As soon as I turned to look at them they would freeze like they were hollow echoes’ and had nothing important to say. Anyways listening to them all my life hadn’t made me any smarter or richer. So now I could tell them ‘Fuck you’ at least let me try for happiness.

Suddenly I felt like pretty girl who walked like a drunken elephant on the streets of Mumbai with friends who only thought she was lost because she had no job!I had proposed a man finally after all these years and he had agreed to ‘give it a shot’. I had for the first time in my life walked across a city wearing a blood red skirt with a sleeveless blouse and not felt conscious about it. I had for the first time smelled the vast sea at Versova and breathed the creamy texture of the freedom sitting around the little barista at seaside.

It was another world into which I had unknowingly arrived. What freedom it was from the days of reporting everyday to my mom on the phone truthfully. Every little detail of what was happening. Who I went out with and why I got late and how I got safely dropped back home.Why for the first time in my life I could walk out on the road at 1pm to look for chai and sit beside the sea and then come back home without having to look at any disapproving faces! I could even not come back home for the whole night and next day find that approval from friends who were growing impatient with my oh so platonic notions of freedom! It was the first time I encountered pregnancy kits in the bathroom and it gave me a strange wicked pleasure. Someday I would use these too. I thought boldly.

Then one morning I felt all washed up and cleaned and rebirthed on the 16th floor of a building. I was wearing my electric blue lycra jeans which had a skull on its butt pocket and my Faiz Ahmed Faiz people’s tree Tshirt. It read my favourite poem ‘ aur bhi hain gum zamane main mohabbat ke siva’ But I wasn’t thinking of escaping sorrow! I lay there wanting to just be able to see clearly what was I doing with my life really? I knew it wasnt anything bad, evil or immoral or anything. Just that this wasnt the pace at which I had lived and I had to go back to the old mirror to see the new face.

Too much had happened in a month’s time. I had run away from home. My uncle had died of paralysis. I had hopped on a train reached Belgaun to visit an aunt I hadn’t seen in eight years.

There were pigeons outside and the January morning reminded me of playing with shadows in my childhood home veranda. This wasn’t the city of verandas and I had to rush to office but just getting up that morning it looked like I had gathered all the small playful shards of sunlight to last me entire life to play with. That morning that clarity hasn’t come to me again. But every time I open the little purse in my heart all the little shards start dancing again. I wonder if the will last me till I am old and ugly.
Who knows they just might.