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Dirge

I woke up this morning, and realised,
the romance in me had died, sometime in the night.
It was a peaceful demise,
Like a death from starvation, disease, old age,
Just wasting away behind the scenes, without a fight.
I am no longer the ashes on my pillow,
Just memories moving through a murky past,
The sinews of my being move me to look away from the remains,
Afraid to know if it was an end he deserved,
But I think he would have liked that.
I move on with my being,
Taking pleasure from what is here and now,
A cold drop of water pleases more my shoulder,
Than the scribblings of a mind, fevered,
With visions beyond mankind,
With sweat on his brow.
The bed lies empty as I come back,
The room frozen in a wanton sigh,
I clasp the folds of the blanket, afraid,
Of a shroud debased by my existence,
To lay down my head, and cry.

Disconnect

06:45 The alarm rings. My hand flails in the dark for the phone on the countertop, to turn it off. One eye opens crookedly, as if remembering the existence of light, and peeks across the bed to the edge of the screen. No messages. 07:00 The second alarm rings. This time, the hand knows where the sound comes from, and turns it off in a second. The erstwhile lazy eye betrays me though, and hoping against hope looks again at the screen. No messages. I get up, and get ready for the day. 7:45 The hand, smelling faintly of aftershave, grabs the shirt from the hangar. The shoes are scrubbed and worn, as the eyes look askance at where the phone is charging. No messages. 9:30 The tummy, quite full from breakfast, waddles merrily on its way to work. It flutters as the lady at the security check asks for the phone while it passes through the kiosk. It sinks when it reaches the other side. No messages. 11:30 The sound of a message. A camera couldn't tell if the hand reached out faster than the eye tur…

Hypocrite

Don't act like you don't know me. I'm that man from the backalleys of your brain. Yes, that very same guy! The decrepit being who goes through the vicissitudes of life thinking a longer and more convoluted word, wrapped in a compound sentence filled with reactionary double-entendres is the only way to say it right. 

The one who thinks he deserves the woman he loves simply by virtue of being the only one not making any outright effort to get her, in a sea of men looking to make her feel special. The one who believes that every woman deserves to be fallen in love wih, and leads the crusade by example. The one who sees himself seek solace in the sound of a typewriter rather than in the company of her who he so desperately finds himself craving. Too classy to be vulnerable, and too timid to dominate; or so he tells himself.

Life becomes a lot easier to tolerate, once you get past this arbitrary concept of it being "fair". That the universe has nothing better to do than…

Diwali

It's that festival again, and try as I might, my mind wanders back to this day two years ago, in a three-bedroom house in a nine-storied building, with the smell of rajma and sounds of laughter coming from within. It was a nicer time, with friends separated by walls, not time zones; estranged lovers come back to meet; an evening of shopping for kurtas and talks of mulmul pajamas; and no sign or warning that soon you would be celebrating this day alone, fevered, bereft of the happiness only the presence of almost everyone you love being around you can bring.

I've searched for the meaning of this love in many places; from the deepest of drug-induced psychoses to the desperate, lingering sensuality in the crumpled folds of a bedsheet. Nothing. It just seems to be one of those fundamental flaws of being born as this species: that no matter how much you try, some memories always remain, some to fondly remind and some to haunt you out of the merest shred of sleep for days.

Maybe it wa…

Reel Life

Ever since I was a kid, a "good" movie always had a clear definition: one that made you think something you hadn't thought before, and one that made you want to be part of it; as the protagonist or one of the leads in some of them, or just a curious observer in others.

Growing up, try as I might, I still can't rid myself of that second definition. In fact, the only that has changed with the passage of time is the level of detail I can create around a world which, in the reel world, offers little information out of the ordinary. It's childish, and maybe the vicariousness of it all is slightly depraved, but it still keeps one of the nicer things about movie-watching intact: that there are people in this world who have a similar pattern of thought.

The latest flick to afflict me in such a way was The Perks of Being a Wallflower. A lazy evening with not much to look forward to the next day resulted in an uninterrupted watch, one of the more memorable ones lately. An…

And when did you last go to Goa?

And when did you last go to Goa? When was the last time you decided to break off all connection with the rest of humanity and go wandering off among the waves; the sea and the sand your only refuge as you made your own lonely way to peace and salvation? When was it that you thought you had had enough of living your life through the lens of someone else's perception and decided you had to get back in touch with the only person in the world whose actions you wouldn't first be cynical about before accepting?

I last went to Goa when I had faith in myself. When, through some series of fortunate events, I had ended up having the confidence to believe in my existence and a rainbow across the promised land where I would have lived the way I always thought of myself as having envisioned to be.

When I had a basis of survival, and something had reminded me that no experience in the world is undergone in isolation; that there always have been and always will be people who have lived and los…