To Memory and her friends


And when I am old

I may not remember much

but you will turn into the flowers

that fall in rains of bright yellow petals,

to dress the road

outside my home

and I will look at you fondly


Milk and Cookies


Milk with cookies is a personality. The milk – hot, cold, or sugared – and the choice of biscuits – are personal and meaningful choices. How soggy you like the cookies, the number of times you dunk them in the milk – these are little signs that make us. 

Back at home, everyone in my family had a different method. 

Mother liked sugary milk, and ate two biscuits at a time, dipping them all the way in. Dey, my young sister, only had salty biscuits with tea. And aunt Ella preferred plain milk with a single, decadent chocolate cookie. They’d eat these at their own times, in their personal favourite corners –  nudged on a chair late at night under the white tube-light, curled up on the swing when lonely, hunched before the television in the afternoon. 

You made milk and cookies something people did together. 

One summer, as we were crouched on the teapoy doing math sums, you brought in biscuits with two glasses of milk and put them between us, no questions asked. And here we are, years later on movie night, hands sticky with softened biscuit flour and mouths covered in cream-staches.  

This is simple, and quite nice. 



I wish we lived in an age of letters and radios and playing in the parks in the evening. An age of passing smiles to strangers and reading poetry out loud to share your favourite lines. Having to go out to buy flowers and fresh beans for tonight’s dinner.

But in the pre-computer age, how do you tell someone you miss them when they are miles away on their birthday? Shall I write you an e-mail at midnight, and pretend to have loved you in letters? Let technology save us sometimes when I want to show you the colours of dusk in my sky





In some lives, you are slow, as you watch the watercolour spill softly across the grass. Turning from blue to white, then meeting pink and red pools and quickly quilled into flowers.

On other days, hurrying, a paraphernalia about to turn into a painting waits spread across the living room floor. You leave violet fingerprints on the knob as you leave home.





One day they will be convinced that you do not exist. One day they will know for sure that you cannot be.

And hence they will think that I am mad, Pam, crazy as a bat to know for sure that you are and that you will be.

They will drug me, and electrocute me.

They will penetrate syringes within me.

As if it is no crime Pam. As if it is no crime to separate Romeo from Juliet and lover from loved and friend from friend and dreamer from dream.

It is a crime. They must know. It always has been.

They will be certain that the cage of your persona keeps me from being free.

But that cannot be. For isn’t a dream the part of a dreamer as much as you are a part of me? You are indeed.

But how will they free me from the drug within my mind, you?

How will they detach me from the worm that curls within each cell?

How will they erase your memories, Pam, when they live in me and flow in my blood?

One day I will think I am delirious. For believing in your existence. I will know one day that you are no realer than the air. You are yet aren’t there.

But my love for you wouldn’t change Pam. I will know in a subconscious corner of my heart that I had a friend who loved me, who held my hand when the night skies were pink, and the ground was hazy, and lived with me through locked doors of asylum. I will know Pam, I will know.

I may not remember but I will know.

Do not leave me then Pam, do not go.

Stay where you are, within my mind, inside my body and in my soul, and we will survive the drugs and toil through, but stay put Pam, do not go.

Stay in my brain, even if that truly is where you always have been, and like a secret I will keep you there.

I promise, no one will know, no one will know.

Leaving [Behind]


It would be fair to call today’s piece’ title fugitive or inconspicuous for that matter. Underneath however is an exploration of truth. I am no defeatist, yet I often come to terms with the understanding that people do always leave. The separation is of course tough, like the pain instilled by the insertion of a strong syringe. But it is not their leaving itself which hurts as much as idea of what they leave behind- memories that imprint themselves on the mind’s eye- which stays with one like the shadows of an immortal scar.

Sometimes, when people enter your life, they gradually gain importance and claim space. Certain things become bounded rituals, to be shared with only particular personalities. They help us create our own stories, and a treasure chest full of personal jokes. It is with the people we meet in our lives, that we paint memories and live moments that we later come to recollect, smile and weep instinctively at the thought of. Secrets get filtered, and the darkest ones are reserved for sharing with a few closed ones. We break our walls, we trust them with blind faith, we save the currant on our priced pastries for them. Had we known, that distance will grow us apart from those whom we are closest to, I wonder how different our respective paths of friendship would have been.

At times, when people leave they leave behind spaces that are probably too large to be filled. The time we spend with people – friends, family, strangers- is the strange leaf from the oak tree. It dries with passing time and weakening roots, but it never leaves the branch it hangs on. It stays there, the shade of mud, to remind you in pensive stroll of the times you still have with the people you have lost.

I wish people came with statutory warnings. That would have made things so much easier, but I guess it is this difference which makes us all human, causes of each other’s suffering, and fragile in our own way.   

People always leave, they said. I kept my head high, and like mice to the piper’s tune, followed the beat of my heart. I wept in heartbreak, and struggled through rejection. I stumbled and stuttered when people left, yet I believed I could go on. Not everyone leaves; the ones who are supposed to stay always find a way to, I told myself. But more than once on occasions of separation I have inwardly doubted my own optimism.

Yes, we all would agree that it hurts when people leave. There is deep sadness when people go away from our lives. But for me, there is no pain greater than that of realising once and for all what it is that they have left behind.

So then, are people who come into your life nothing but impersonators? Are people always meant to leave?  And do they deserve the space we give them? Do questions even make a difference?

I have to tell you, I do not have an answer to any of those. But then, I am afraid of finding these answers myself. The possibility of their not being to my likes troubles me. So for now, I choose to believe in a version which makes me happier. No, people do not always leave. But when they do, they always leave something behind. And that bitter truth is the only consolation we can afford.