Ode to a University that was.

This place is mine

Pink sunsets
Dark nights humming with insects
Mud squelching between clenched toes
The sheer inky vastness of the night sky
Seared into my mind’s eye
With post orgasmic clarity
The red earth
And the rocks
Hot against my thighs
Heavy with the night’s philosophy
Slick with the lubricants of thought
Pregnant with the potential of tomorrow
Words and thoughts drenched in passion

This is all mine

I left.
Bewildered by potential
Unable to hold in me
Your vastness
Your depth and breadth
I sold you in
For walls
And comfort
Pillows over rocks
Electricity over lightning
TV shows over genuine connection
I shrouded myself in fear
Gave it a name
And a kind of power
And retreated into the little hole of my head

Can I be part of you again?
Can I lose myself
In my own utter insignificance
Can I be playful
And learn again,
How to hold thoughts,
Ephemeral, as water slipping through fingers
And how to share thoughts
To fearlessly expose my ignorance
And through this begin to chip away at it?

Can I, again, claim this space?
This vastness
This wildness
This possibility.

May I?



I know full well how to write of pain,
And of love, of loss, of joy…
But how to pen down
This bleakness?
How to give shape to
This haze of gray
That obscures my unraveling,
To make it real,
So I don’t feel fake,
An imposter seeking an excuse
For my own laziness.

I was once a person, in myself
I miss her, as one misses
The closest of friends
Through a blur of tears
Shed for no reason
Desperately seeking distraction
Through the electronic devices
Strewn around me,
Leaching an existence
Out of remembered joys
And luxuriating in the anxieties
That keep me hemmed in here
For at least anxiety is a feeling
Distinguishable from the bleakness
That suffocates

I wish I could be her again
So that I know she was real
And that I am, as well.

memories of you

anything can wake them

the memories of you


today it was a leaf

falling from a tree

i was sitting under


later the particular way

a boy at the chicken shop

glanced at me

looking up from his chopping

droplets flying off

the cleaver

that he was too young

to be wielding


sometimes it is the breeze

that makes me


in remembrance

of your breath

on my ear


or the confident stride

of the girl

in the long straight blue skirt

with the short cropped hair

and black eyes


anything can wake them

a little breeze

nudging at the edge

of a folded paper


and there is a choice

let it blow away

or dwell on the moment

and unfold the memory

and soak it in


sometimes there is dust

to be blown off

and smudged charcoal details


like the shape

of the rocks

by the lake

with the mosquitoes

we tried to ignore

that night


other times

it is as clear as it was

or perhaps clearer

with details sharpened

into focus

and the background



like the pattern

of fish

on the bra

you shed

when i didn’t look away

as you changed


sometimes details fade

with disuse


your voice

is clear in my head

but not your words


and other times

they fade

with too much unfolding


the smell of

another woman

on your skin

i cannot now recall


all it takes

is a moment


and my head fills

with memories of you


every one of you

who lit a spark

in my heart


i sink deep into

that delicious loneliness

of what-ifs


but in the end

it is the memory

of a memory


an idea of you

that you never were

and never will be

On Distance

Touch me in the rain,
And I’ll inhale the scent of you,
As we kiss.


The remembered joy of moments we shared
Animates my daily existence
And time spirals around a longing
For your electronically transmitted voice-
A window into that mystical shared space
We build, moment by moment-
Inadequate and ephemeral
To the desperate reality of blind clawing need;
Memories, leaving a bitter-sour aftertaste of dissatisfaction
Like forgotten black coffee.


You come to me, my love,
In the depths of the night
And in the reality of darkness
We relive and forge anew
Our inextinguishable passion.


And in the watery light of day,
A vague shadow of my self navigates
A pale meaningless Existence,
Hinged on the promise
Of the tantalizing sound
Of your voice
Beamed across the vast silent spaces
Between us.

A long walk

I took a long walk
All by myself

The air was heavy
With evening smells
Earth-after-rain browns
Leaf dew greens
And a light flavouring
Of little green sprigs
Tipped with tiny white flowers

I sat down on a rock
And took my thoughts
Out of my head
I felt their texture in my hands
Gravelly as the rock
Squishy as the mud-between-toes
Faintly ticklish as a feather
Fuzzy as the underside of a leaf
Purposeful as a little bug

I played with them
Like a rubics cube
Until the crickets got too loud in my head
And I put them away

I walked back
Peering at the fingernail moon
In her pinky-purple sky
And everything seemed covered
With the transparent dust of memory

And I missed you.

Liquid Stillness

Shards of shattered vase reflect
The pieces of a life, once known
The warmth, the dark, the comfort, calm
And all the hues of life and love

Waves of laughter, shades of joy
In plastic cups, arranged just so
With colours poised to spread a smile
Across the face of all the earth

Promises of future joys
And plans and insecurities
The tensions, sulks, spontaneous lies,
Moments of ingenuity

Till all at once, a sudden shock
Sends waves of pain upto the shore
The walls of safety creak and crack
Come crashing down on every hope

Silence spreads like drops of white
Dissolving in the pools of noise
Suffusing every moment with
A stillness inevitable

Words shift round inside blank heads
Like newsprint on wet paper bags,
They stretch, they bend, they theorise
And struggle to encompass life

Time plods on its well marked path
And seconds flow in frozen hours
Till all that’s left are images
So hopelessly inadequate

The world spins quickly, madly on
We play our parts and then are gone
Our fleeting trivial foolish lives
With all our joys and all our woes

A sunburst through the clouds of life,
A rain-shower on the plains of love
Momentary joys and strifes
Perspectives of a universe

Donne Redone


No woman is an island, entire of herself;
Every woman is a piece of the earth, a part of the main,
If a clod be washed away by the sea, India is the less,
As well as if Kaniyakumari were,
As well as any of your friends, your roommate, sister, mother, lover, cousin or aunt were,
Any woman’s rape diminishes me,
Because I am involved in human-kind.
And therefore never troll the internet to know for whom the cameras flash,
They flash for thee.

Finding my way

Frustration seeps into the corners of my mind
Like incessant rain through a cement roof
Dampening the walls
And chasing the lizards off on to the floor.

It fills the boundaries
Suffusing every thought with a must
That dulls incisive clarity
And breeds a cloud of irrational emotional fungus.

A soggy painting on the damp cement wall
The only constant goal of my life-
To make my parents proud.
A humid depression hangs over my actions.

And in everything I do, I seek approval
As a pointless moth flutters around a tube-light
I yearn for the impossible-
That glass-encased, blinding certainty.

My choices, like cobwebs, ensnare my thoughts
In soft threads of lethal possibility
Branching off into the elusive limbs of time
With the occasional scuttling spider.

The rain pounds cracks into my roof
And I stumble out, into the torrential downpour of reality.
Soaked to the core of my being,
I squint against the watery blur of doubt.

Until finally, I cease to fight it.
Arms outstretched, face lifted to the sky, I glory in it,
Embracing the cleansing downpour at it’s splattering best
Unstructured, untethered and tumultous in its beauty… Life.

Coffee in Anonymity

A coffee brownness laps the edges of my consciousness,
As I stir in luxurious sleep
Resisting for a few seconds more, the totality of awakening
“Coffee?” asks her smiling voice,
Rich and dark with shades of brown
As the drink she offers me.

I smile and sip,
In our blue curtained room,
Our cocoon set delicately in the neon noise
Of the anonymous city.

The crisp rustling newspaper
Brings stories from far away
Earthquakes, terrorists and wars
And I shake my head and sigh
Safe and comfortable in my cocoon
Cradled in the garish anonymity of the city.

Honour killings in my hometown, yesterday.
A high caste girl, a low caste boy
Death on the railway tracks,
The vengeful honour of a family.

For a moment I shudder,
As I look at my love.
Her wavy black tresses
Her deep dark eyes
Her lilting voice…
And thank our different Gods
For the anonymity of two young women
Sharing a room, a life, a love,
Blending into the milling crowds
Of the big city.