/open mind

One day, just like that, in the soft pastel light of the sun, my body spread like old mango peels on a jute cot, a realisation will break into my room and whisper in low tones,
you were always enough.


I don’t know right from wrong
so thought we’d walk along
and figure it out; make our own rules
but we played against each other,
like young lovers playing fools,
i wish i hadn’t left that dinner midway
when you couldn’t keep your thoughts down
and talk; i wish i had stayed,
and played
the right way
i wish you had run down the Lodhi road
and called me,
but we are s

“our misery has come. It’s in our wait for morsels of meaningfulness to ping us on Facebook, or drop a text when free. Today i read about mahashveta devi’s exchange of letters with anand, the noted Malayalam essayist and writer and sahitya akademi award winner for his translation of some of devi’s works. It said that the exchange stopped when phones came in; they were economical, it said. What will they discover when you and i die? The wait! So close, so far away. Our misery happens on Wednesday mornings at 3 am when someone puts a status revealing something real about themselves thinking Facebook really cares”

“i know i am ambitious. I like to grow, extend, occupy spaces i think i deserve because they reflect parts of me like i were a whole person. So i end up extending my arm in a room full of people having neat shots off each other. I over reach. I swear sometimes i have swallowed extra flight of steps at once because ive been so hungry to relax in thar space as soon as possible. Lately, I’ve begun to find myself at loss of saying the simplest of things. I’ve become so used to reaching out that I’ve forgotton the touch of my own body as it shivers in cold shower. My most proud moments have been begotten by simplest of thoughts. How do i paste these fallen bits of skin back on my body like an old art file? How do i undo years of lies fed into us as a collective consciousness that Truth is elite, esoteric, difficult, complicated? I dont even know what I’m saying”

| i can’t believe
even as you
turn away to leave,
i stand here
laughing at myself
and everything else;
my mother was right
I am shameless.

To be certain of storm settling down and fires burning out, of waves receding into secret caves , and sand streaming over footprints, of melodies rushing back into the flutes and words melting like wax on tongue, I wish I could hate this world and invest in beliefs that


They came, they went. the songs remained.


orever swinging between loss of hope in humans swarming about her and a complete surrender to love to the point of annihilation”

The first thing they do before killing you is to kill your resistance.
They will make you so afraid that you will cower at their very sight.
Their primary agenda will be to sanitize you of any trace of anger. Anger is wrung out of your body, your mind, your soul.
The first thing they do before killing you is to make you get used to things; to them; to their habits; their abuses; their filth; their oppression; their politics.
They make you get used to things, so that you don’t guard yourself when they come to kill you.
And you know what you must do every day to resist this? Do you know what you must do every moment as a mark of your militance, as a mark of your refusal to surrender?

It is simple.
Start getting angry again.

all of me

To stand up,
To my broken pieces,
My chequered history,
My unrelenting mysteries,
My open cuts,
From where,
A last deep sigh of surrender
Is evacuated daily at midnight,

I know, will require all of me,
All of me.

But all of me,
Has these lines running across my body,
Of all the paths I took to reach the right one,
Lines of struggle, lines of militance,
That sometimes make the fair pale stretch
Of skin from my ear to my shoulder
Look creepy
These lines, not veins,
But lines, like cargo trains,
Rush like a last deep sigh of surrender
At midnight,
Raging and desperate
Wanting to reach the stations.

All of me has these blood clots
Hidden somewhere deep,
Far deeper,
Yes deeper into the skin,
Beyond the dermis and epidermis,
Maybe settling on my bone cracks,
Like garbage between two railway tracks,

Yes the garbage, the filth, the scum,
Pumped out of my dusty bags,

All of me,
Is not a beautiful place,
All of me has faceless begging hands
Wanting they know not what,
Like, not greedy, but needy eyes
And coarse cries,
Of those you reject,
The intersex
The dark,
The penniless,
The unbathed,
The wantings,
The rantings,
The lonely ones,
The wallflowers,
Their cacophonies finding
A way into your ears
Through the temple bells-

Yes, all of me,
Has more of these,
Than deities,
All of me stretches beyond
These temple gates,
Like a wild lonesome flood,
Destroying all day’s work,
Like a last deep sigh of surrender at midnight,

And what a gorgeous irony,
That now all of me,
Will stand up
All of me.


They dug in,
looking for respite
like I was
a mulberry ice-cream.

They dug in,
looking for a home
like I was
a warm furrow

They dug in,
looking for broken artefacts,
to discover
my ancient civilizations,

They dug in,
to build,
but I was a ruinous curse.

They dug in,
looking for something,
like I was,
that something,

But I was napalm
in our war,
I burnt their skin;
I was the gasoline
spreading like w

those who could,
the rest,
whisked away


To free my words,

And gently place them
On that spot of your stomach
From where rise dunes of flesh
And let them wiggle,
Like a serpent

To unload them
In oceans of hunger
And let them soak
The Atlantic,
Melt the Arctic,
And dance with the tides
Of the Arabian Sea,

To spread my legs in labor
And let my celestial bulk
Hanging heavy and low from my belly
Ooze blood and life

To free my words,
From temperance
And conjure them up
In monstrous extremities,

To free these words
from the scales of mathematical terseness
of kilograms, metres or ounce
or constitutional sedition,
or social perdition,

To free my words,
from explanations,
of how “right” they are,

Ask me.,

Ask me,
who I am,
where I come from,
What I want,

Ask me,
how they define ‘love’
back home,
and how many moths
have flown in
and fed on our history,
torn its pages to make their saffron banners,
Ask me,
How hard they work,
to keep the ‘normal’
from wavering
into queer shapes,
(like Chughtai’s lihaf on the wall).

how to die

it should be an act of desperation. but such as you take in equal measures with breakfast lunch and dinner, as prescribed by your physician. it should not come like a sudden revival of a long forgotton memory sitting on the top left margin of your novel shocking you, forcing you to leave the reading and attend to it. It should be desperate, but a calm desperate, such that you come home from work, put your bag on the side table, take off your shoes, put your stinking socks in the bucket to be washed the next day, wash your face, put the kettle for tea on the stove, walk across the hallway into your room, and jump off the window,

there should be no rush, no rush at all; this world made you a lot more patient than you think you were. so a calm desperate. hoping it will only be another temporary lapse in your uninterrupted consciousness, that after you wake up the kettle must be taken off the stove, and the stinking socks be washed, as a matter of duty.