Monday, December 31, 2012

Remember me?

Long long ago, when leisure was luxury, I had given an hour to your thoughts. It was a precious hour, earned after a day's hard work tackling the immediate. Back then, we were hunters and gatherers. We hunted for moments of solace and gathered half-formed, ill-defined, hazy dreams. The future was not a blur; it was darkness, stark, fierce, dangerous and unknown. Back then, we were small. We were fearing. We were awed. We were worshippers. We were warriors. We were nature. 

Then one day, the hunt led me to a full stomach, a safe abode and leisure, and I stumbled upon the vast mystery that was you. You were unknown, frightening, exciting; you were an ache, a part of me that was missing, that I needed to find. You were the dip in the centre of my chest when I looked at the dim moon, the tinge at the roots of my hair when a sudden chill would shock me, the emptiness inside me on a warm afternoon that I could not explain no matter how much I tried. You frightened me, and like everything else that frightened me, I was on the verge of worshipping you when I actually saw you. You, the strange foreign person with the shine in your eyes, you, who smiled way more than the whole tribe smiled in their collective lives, you who talked in a language I didn't understand, you who inexplicably were the answer to all my questions. I didn't want to have babies with you. I wanted to protect you, to hold you, to smell you, understand you, be you.

Back then, we didn't love or dream. Back then, we didn't create what wasn't needed. But I created a whole world with the idea of you. I was ridiculed initially, and then banished, left alone in the wild with the idea that possessed me. And I survived. I survived the real because I learnt to dream. I found music in the wilderness. And tucked poems on the branches of lonely, banished trees.

I died a young poet. One of the first. 

Do you remember me?

Friday, December 21, 2012

It's not men who rape women. It's women who rape women. Every time you wished you had a son or a grandson, every time you let your son watch you become meek and bear an insult at the hands of someone, every time you stayed silent in self pity, you raped another woman. You gave birth to the society that rapes. You are not weak or small or helpless. Be an individual before being a woman. Demand to be treated like an individual. And settle for nothing less.

Friday, December 14, 2012


Something I wrote for the office magazine: :) 

Today, as I took a moment of break and stumbled on the intranet page, I found the topic, "Things you love about Bangalore". I knew I had to write about it. How could I not? Bangalore has been the object of my affection ever since the day I arrived here, with nothing but an offer letter in hand, a million hopes, and a heartbeat-speeding, breath-stopping excitement about the unknown.

It was January, and the city was at its best; a mixture of blossoming spring and yellowing fall, cozy winter and sweet summer. The nights were breezy, sometimes chilly, but never in a hostile way. So, I guess the first thing about Bangalore that I fell in love with was her weather, which was kind, playful, and sometimes, unpredictably moody. I spent months exploring the nooks and corners, realizing that the city was never going to satisfy my curiosity. I was right. I found myself lost in and surprised by the history and heritage of her buildings, the mind-boggling choices of her shopping streets, the random pleasant encounters with the parks, varieties of vegetation, and flowers! I love how you can take a turn on an innocuous street and be greeted by a giant, bright bunch of yellow or pink flowers.

And then, I discovered Blossoms, the tiny little used book store at Church Street, and it stopped my wanderings for a bit. I mention this place because I discovered it by serendipity, and it is one of my most haunted places in Bangalore since then. It consumes you for hours together with its never ending piles of sweet-scented pale pages. As I blended slowly in the ten million, I too found my niche, places where I would shop, places to unwind, places to meet friends, places to flatter the taste buds, places to go, places to be. And Bangalore never falls short of options. She has lakes, gardens, chocolate factories, craft melas, flea markets, book shops, churches, electronics markets, and of course, tech parks; something for everything in you. Slowly, but surely, I became a Bangalorean too, with a phone camera pointed towards the tracks and a broad smile of inexplicable joy pasted on my face when Namma Metro made its initial trial run.

However, what I love most about Bangalore is not her weather, or her history, or heritage; it is her diversity and acceptance. There is a simplicity about her that never overwhelms you like a faceless crowd of human bots in a concrete jungle. Mumbai is often called a city with a character, but to me, Bangalore has a distinct character too - the quality of never being imposing on her people. She does not try to change you; she accepts you for who you are and offers you a tiny little space of your own to live your life on your terms.

As I sit at my desk by the window and type, a waft of breeze brings me the scent of moist earth, and I smile. I love Bangalore. It's my favourite city in the world, and it’s home.