of mice and women

when I was 14, I was crazy about books. fiction, obviously. My neighbour had this new 3 in 1 Famous Five book she had just bought. Her parents were the rare sort of family that actually BOUGHT books, instead of letting their kids haunt the local lending libraries. She was a bit older than me, but we were both still at the Enid Blyton, Nancy Drew (Case Files) stage of womanhood. I had stealth access to my moms Mills n Boon stash, so I had only an impending sort of concept of titillation. A lot was remarkably clarified in the Sidney Sheldon phase a year later.

Around this time I had also borrowed another book, a Three Investigators I think, from a school friend, who had taken a month off from school to go for some holiday. I brought both books, my treasure, to school, to have something to do during Hindi class. The 12th class students were just clearing out of the morning session, when I plopped my books on the desk and went for a wander. I came back 10 minutes later, and the classroom was cleared. The books were gone. One of my classmates, a boy I barely knew saw me search, and said, are you looking for the books? Some 12th class boys just took them. I was at this time, very upset and very frightened. Mommy would be very angry if she found out I lost them. So would my neighbour. So would my classmate a month later.

I marched to the Vice Principals office with the boy witness, and asked that he get the books back. He said he would have us in the 12th classroom tomorrow early to identify the culprits. boy witness said he would come early. We all scanned the 12th classroom the next day, but boy witness couldnt identify them any more. we tried for 5 days. he still couldnt tell. no one came forward to return the books.

The next month passed in a kind of thick ether, through which I couldnt manage to thread my voice. My neighbour asked for the books once, but I stalled her. I was sick with worry and fear, although I probably looked about the same to the rest of the world – morose. But my days were filled with nightmares of being called a thief, sinking my family in debt and being expelled from school. I tended to dream big.

Then a month later, my classmate returned. A week later she asked for her book back. I stalled her. Then she started asking every day. My days were filled with reasons for how I lost it, why I couldnt find it. Then another friend of hers broke the coconut. Dont you know? She lost it. Part of my fears came true. She got very angry and called me a liar and a thief. I didnt tell her my story. it sounded thin, even to me. It was humilating and sunk my non existent street cred a few feet lower. Even polite chit chat with the other girls ground to a halt and I just sat inside my ether and waited for my neighbour to go next. She didnt. I think she realized I lost it and let it go. For a fellow reader, who hadnt yet read the book, it was a rare kindness.

That story never got better. I was already weird and awkward and the kid who always had stains on her shirt, but now life at school got much worse. My school friend always treated me with contempt since then, and she was a popular girl, so that meant, all the other girls, except the confirmed kooks, avoided me too. No one would sit next to me in the bus, and any trips to parks or museums meant hours of planning for me, to appear like a normal part of the school group, and NOT walking by myself. darting behind group after group before they noticed I was there. taking refuge with a fellow confirmed kook during bus rides or presentations.

I swam in that ether for a long time not knowing how to cross to the other side I saw every day. Laughter and jokes and a shared reality, common ground, a stake to the same life.


is only real
if you can read by it
it is among
my greatest sorrows
to never truly know
what thats like
explain it, share it
and yet watch it
fill my every dream
understand it relentlessly
become a creature of sight
when I close my eyes
refuse to listen
or speak, withdraw
and not become addicted
to detachment
or afraid of being right
or wrong, of being


a home spire

that becomes magical
by just existing
and of course
I spend all waking moments
pretending its not real
but its been so many years
when all I hoped for
my fellow creatures
was to just keep
bloody carrying on
with life the glorious
I had quite lost hope
of any leftover progress
for my walking years
that it was even possible
for me to be any more
or less

like exquisite ripped lace

tell me from the place above
or below, is it duller than here
say hello to the other
of whom I do not speak or hear
does your omnipotence see
your value change, without breathing
are you immortal now, happier
than your flimsy human fate


Secret and private are hopelessly mixed up in the IP address world.

Damn all the privacy freaks and leaks, they’ve made pointless security a big business today. Everywhere is a cornucopia of outrage about the country and all that it knows about you, that it shouldnt and how it manipulates your life to suit its convenience. I have no idea what these countries and their peoples know about me, or what they can possibly use.

My identity? Its not in a piece of paperplasticrock, take all of em away, I’ll make more.

My life? I am human, I am woman. I love, I understand, I write, I drink. How is it unique?

My privacy? I have a stalker, had one for a few years now, not sure why, but sure means my life’s had meaning. Hey, it pissed off some random dude/babe enough to stalk me, thank you darling, kiss kiss bang bang.

I pay taxes, all of ’em, no cuts, no attempts. I also rage, fight, I am a street urchin with a purse.

Um think I have not a damn thing to hide, or maybe yes, ask again when im sober. On my own, just private, my deepest feelings are mine, guarded, not for sale, not for any price, but not particularly afraid,

If some cunning con did get hold of them. so be it, so be life. Their loss, of the marvel of life, not mine. I tend to view threats to my freedom very seriously, but privacy seems hyped in the average life, mine.

These rumorers and theorists, these tend to be Sheep with an accumulation past tolerance, a graveyard of secrets that burned civilizations and cut hearts, these are real weird growths.

We all like to own our souls, not turn them into marketplace muffins, but some baffle logic, and they persist, and they perpetuate.

For me, its crazy to try to kill someone to hold a secret, what the hell can be so precious? Think about it, yes, no?

Are the regular Sheep so gullible that a state secret in plain sight, revealed on website, television, someday, can convince billions and billions to change direction?

Hah. You must be fucking kidding me, a friend of mine likes to say.

Maybe not, I am no statistician, just one of the derelicts of time, a backwards double jointed crab-pelican creature, one of those wretched soldiers with a powerful will and no innate wisdom.

Damn, I want to be a star wars hero, why are my fingers making me a fucking bunny rabbit with man parts and a god complex?

My laptop is quite cranky today,


I am waiting out a demon of ugliness, stationary like lead inside my heart today, that settled with a word, practically one word.

Dunno why I didn’t beam my pain and anger immediately, it gathers now at the back of my spine like a storm, growing on ignorance, as I pretend it doesnt exist, nothing changed, that I can go back to a state before explosion. But my spine knows, something has altered, something has congealed and become unalterable.

I must I should, have seen it come, realized some visions are always six by one, they take time expanding, time I do not have. And I know, I have been granted a key here, an opportunity has presented itself loud and demanding, grasping both its hands on the sides of my head, forcing focus.

But ive become, somewhere along the winding flower garden road, a myopic house cat, I dunno if I can go off the cream and start leaping the barriers again, dogged, ruthless and sharp. Extending hands grasp my head and force my hand, to see, comfort is a deadly thing, stationary and sure, sitting ducks come to mind. Our guardian angels like to keep us hungry in the pit.

Perhaps, this is why some blind dingbat takes on lifes mantle every now and then, to sweep us change. Ugh, but I hate this side of humanity, hate seeing it in action, hate understanding it, hate admitting to it, hate descending into it, a long dark angry pit of snakes, but it exists, it is needed, it must breathe every now and then, if not for long.

For now I am stationary, I cannot see beyond the word, my vision too has become six by one. I grieve, for life as it was, for a nice sunny ball of wool I was happy swat-tangling, I grieve because I cannot recapture my altered spine, I cannot fight for what has settled in lead, I grieve for the moment I gave up a path I had myself chosen to lead, I grieve because it was thrust on me, and I feel powerless and disillusioned.

Most painful to give up our own choices, since we know the blood we shed to make each one. Most painful to admit to a mistake, a big fat clawing misery of a mistake. Easier to go along with other hands holding us hostage to life, deciding our paths and making our beds, always someone to blame for our failures, our losses, our little broken flotsam boats.

Giving up beyond salvage is always a difficult thing, change is always rebirth, small or big, like regrowing an arm or a soul. Change is always slow and difficult, with constant regression into comfort.

The road flies like a pendulum snapped mid-swing. Right now, I have no idea where it will land.


There used to be a compass in my handbag for a few years. It was free with something, and very nice looking, black and gold and plastic. I liked knowing which was north and the novelty of a compass in my handbag. And I don’t throw stuff away, even the most useless piece of junk from 1992 that I will never look at again is buried carefully somewhere in my home in India

A few days back, early morning, I checked my handbag and the compass was gone. I dunno when I lost it, where I put it, I haven’t needed a compass for 8 years now. That day, I wanted to know where east lay. I was up early and I wanted to see a sunrise. Sunrises are rare for me, I tend to sleep between 2-4 am.

Back home, if I was up early or up all night, I went to the terrace and looked around. It would be silent but for the occasional vehicle, there would be birds chattering excitedly.

Here, I pulled snow boots on my onesie, a giant furry down jacket, yak hair scarf, woollen gloves, and my keys. Then I went sojourning.

The deck, is locked, points the wrong way anyways. The tennis court, is locked. I rode up the elevator to the 24th floor. The roof, is locked. The windows point wrong. I went down to the skyway, walked about for half a mile, then from the angle of elongated rays, I figured out which way lay east.

The only way east for me, on foot and muffled to the gills, was through a parking lot. I went, it was empty but for one dirty white sedan. But the sun was rising. I climbed up four flights so I could see above the skyway.

And I saw it bright and clear and beautiful and timeless. Somewhere above me, birds chirped. I had the absurd urge to cry.

The regret cut deep, that there was no one beside me to share this moment. I’m working on it.

There are very very few people in this world I want to share a sunrise with. I don’t want someone beside me who’ll have to be dragged against their will and sleep, to stand beside me going – dude, its just a sunrise, get over it.

And of course you’re not supposed to look directly at the sun. And of course I looked anyway. Turns out, I am ok with the news item, she went blind staring at a sunrise