Off it off

I still go to Bangalore
for braindead client meetings

And though you’ve left town
a long time back-
for me Bangalore is still you.

You are always with me when I’m here.
In windowless conference rooms.
In pubs reeking of stale beer.
In streets teeming with anarchy.

You’re the taste
on the tip of my tongue.
Yours is the smell, I smell.

I don’t miss you, bitch!
I am strong like that,

It’s just this fucking ache.

Formerly known
as Bangalore.



Every time
she thinks of me
an overpowering urge to bite
washes over her,
her teeth grinding in the
ancient reflex of want,
and she thinks of me all
the time and her
teeth are only

Gut wrenching

She called me to
tell me that she’s hospitalised
with volvulus.

That’s latin for twisted bowels.

A rare condition when
the large intestine gets
knotted up.

Happens mostly to babies.
And I am assuming also to
adults who refuse to grow up.

Which explains it.

She’s on a drip.
Can’t keep anything down.
Not even water.

Yet she has enough strength
to call me and tell me that
she wants me to cook
her favourite mutton curry
once she’s okay.

From her hospital bed.

She should be in an asylum.

But who am I to judge?
It’s not like I’m sane either.


Twenty one million
people wake up every morning
and snort three lines.

Western,  Central and Eastern.

This coke trip called Mumbai.

And the frenzied mob with a
mad glint in their eyes
pour out to the streets
jostling, pushing, honking,
bitching, screaming, snarling,
scheming, plotting, betting,
climbing, loving, hating.

Helpless nervous twitches
In the clutches of
dreams and terrors.

Lonely fuck
hooked to the hamster
wheel of ambition.

Zombie armies of
efficiency who fuck
out of habit and drink
out of rage.

Running at breakneck
speed just to be in
the same place
till the heart
gives out.

Or the mind.

Expensive habit.
But then nothing is cheap.

Self preservation

Don’t be nice.

Being nice is the most
damaging thing in
the world you can
do to yourself.

Yes, people will think well of you
if you’re nice.
If they think of you at all.

See, nice is forgettable.

Nice agrees to everything.
Nice hurts nobody.
Nice doesn’t lose his shit.
Nice turns the other cheek.

Don’t turn the other cheek.

Hit back hard enough
to break the other
person’s jaw.

Not only does it
help you make the point,
It’s also deeply satisfying.

Learn to say no.
Learn to stand up for yourself.
Learn to not give a fuck.

Do that and you will still
have a modicum of life.

Be nice
and the world
will fuck with you
and walk all over you
till you drug or drink
yourself to death
just trying to deal
with it.

I’ve had enough family
and friends in rehab to
know that the middle finger
is only way back to sanity.


I flew a kite today
after almost three decades.

As the fragile bamboo and paper
contraption caught the wind
and whirled and dipped ,
muscle memory
flooded back and I tugged
at the string with a deftness
quite new to my middle aged

I watched my nine year old
fed on a diet of YouTube and
Playstation clap and jump with delight
at this novel display of realtime
aerodynamics, as I remembered
a tired old man, the warrior
Bhishma, lying on a bed
of arrows in the foggy
fields of Kurukshetra,
waiting for this day die.

This, holiest of Hindu holy days.


The day when winter breathes its last
and the days begin to get longer.
The nights shorter.

Less darkness.
More light.

“Tamasoma jyotir gamaya”

The ancient hymn from
Rig Veda urging us escape
the murkiness within.

To light.
To light.
To light.

See, the problem is..

We are not one species.

We are two species –
men and women.

We may look and
sound like each other.
but we are nothing
like each other.

Not even close.

But this is the fucking thing:
we fall in love.
Or what we both call love.

With two entirely
different meanings
beyond the realms
of language.

Love is the elephant in the room.

And we are
like two blind people,
groping at it, trying to
figure out what the
fuck it could be.

All our fucking lives.