Letter to Chhuti XXIV


This is strange, a beautiful strange...my fingers turn from numb to shivery to numb...I write to you :) Maybe it is the chill in the air, maybe it is the warmth in you...

Chhuti...how I have missed you, and how desperately I have ignored you, trying to forget you...as if one can ever choose to not listen to one's own voice...silly, that's what I have been...

But look, here you are, and here we are -- soaking in wintery afternoons of pale orange sunshine and friendly squirrel tails; listening to flights descend and trains depart and car honks add bass to the lyrical rustle of tall tree leaves. As I patiently wait for the tea steam to disappear from the spectacle lens, things clear out, you appear. The necessity of you in breathing, and being. Oh, how I missed you, loveliest!

What is this hourly bound that we are, "earning" a living? Such a lie. We don't. Whatever happened to enriching the living experience? The hours are yours, sudden and slow; the metaphors unfurl meanings and there is life in everything mundane. Negotiations with the unnecessary are absolutely and easily forgiven. You are here.

Sometimes, I have to roll back the pages of our exchanges like a family-album, reliving our journey. Sometimes, I have to take four steps backwards, to move one step ahead.
Sometimes, I have to command you, desiring you.

Yet, each time, like a favourite song, you bring the colours to my empty palette.

What would I be without you? Without writing to you?

Happy holidays love,



As if landscapes weren't enough already,
As if love wasn't too,
My shadowy demons fell short,
And here I write of you.

In a far-off careful bundle,
Your broken promises remain,
In the shape of a shirt,
And humbly stays shun.

I have defeated the ache often,
The nagging ache of you.
Yet sometimes, oh sometimes,
When the burden of memories
Reaches from within,
And spills warily without,
I wear with humility,
The smell of you.


Worms in the Book

You know I stopped reading...
It felt like hands creep up,
From the pages...
Of any book...
Laughing at me...
A mean laugh...
And then,
The words dissipate.

They move towards the margin,
And collide at the centre,

I close the book.
Firmly down.

"Where's yours?" they'd say.
Where are mine?
The worms chewed upon them.
They turned into one.



Have you ever counted,
The number of words,
You exchange,
In a day?

Have you at least,
Made a note,
Of how many you uttered,
Carelessly away?

No? The words,
They sit like dew,
Some strike thunder,
Lilting at bay.

Greater than those,
Remain the silence.
In another universe,
Unheard, unspoken.


Our Song

There are songs,
Singing our life,
And there are some,
Even as we ambitiously try,
We cannot forget.

The song that was ours--
Its depth kissing our souls,
And cadence caressing,
Wingfully, fluteishly,
Finding us there.

We were sinking stars,
Happily tied to the song,
While the night ran out
Of its darkness,
We were awake,
Forgetting the rest.

Today is here, and bright,
Today is you without,
Even as I forget the rest,
Ours was a song,
I long to forget.


The Upper Hand

Hours hunched over papers,
Hours spent devising,
I want to write this,
And for that.
Yet, nothing leaves the ink.

Once I wanted stacks of money,
Then I wanted undying fame,
Soon I wanted boundless love,
I had to rewrite my dreams
Again and again.
The words ran out on me...
Who was I to blame.

Once I tried to work at it,
As hard-work is meant to be,
Then I tried to feel like others,
And soon forgot my self.

I waited for consents,
I longed for praise,
I become another of my kind.
Bright for a day,
Soon forgotten away.

Till that day when I shed,
The mask of civility.
Embracing back
Like an old friend,
Long lost and well loved --
My insanity.

I should have known better,
Language is an art,
Born of its whim.
You fondle it too much --
It calls upon itself
An untimely death.

Days engulfed in sloth,
And deliberations,
And conditions,
When it bursts out rushing,
It does,
In spite of everything.

It unwombs and becomes,
Teases the mind,
Builds the voice,
Out on its own.
Shining, burning,
Slightly smiling,
Always knowing,
Who had the better,
Upper hand.


When it Rained

Some monsoons back,
A garland of clouds
Showered life on me,
As I breathed in love.

Humming strolled in,
Love song like.

Afternoons were alive,
Thundering abound,

A symmetry of smells.