Thursday, April 24, 2014

My exultant eyes burst into tears, 
He knows not the meaning of which.
Crimson half moons rest on my neck, 
His sharp nails dug in a shade too deep. 
He is my pink mascara,
His lips smell of poppers, 
He can keep the regret colour memories....
I just want to smell of freedom,
I have always been the topper.

22. 04. 2012

Bombay Blues

Our arms weren’t strong enough; we ripped the roof with our hearts. The road was dark but dreams had lit our way. There wasn’t space enough but we made space in our hopes. We brunt like stars at the end of this world. Packed a bag with everything we needed and left the rest behind. We caught the blue bus, boarded the train to hell, elevator to heaven, somewhere in an ocean of skin, somewhere in the sky of sin…. wandered the city like lost dust particles in a storm. Gasping for air and sanity we looked at the sea. 

The sea looked like the sky. 

Sometimes you look like me!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Cheers !

From across the table Megh Balok watches Jhora Pata's hands clenched to the wine flute; his finger’s long and neat, much bright in comparison to his own dusky skin. A part of Megh Balok leaves the table as his thoughts take a flight. Every time Megh Balok speaks to Jhora Pata he tells himself this is the last time, every time he receives a call he reminds himself tomorrow his phone might not ring; every time they meet he fights with himself ....the darkness looming over his head on one side and the shuddering pleasure of the meetings on the other.

Jhara Pata notices the changing colour of Megh Balok's face.

Jhora Pata: 
What is it?
Megh Balok:
Jhora Pata:  
What is it that's keeping you so lost?

Megh Balok already has missed what Jhora Pata has been saying so far. It always happens. He always gets caught in the wrong time. He nods a meaningful meaningless nod trying to compose himself. 

Megh Balok:

Jhora Pata knows how dangerous these 'nothings' can be. He quickly tries to change the course of conversation. Anger can often make one stick to strange things, and he knows that. He waves out to the waiter and asks for another drink. Megh Balok's eyes go back to Jhora Pata's hand.

Jhora Pata: 
Auntie Rosa had been asking about you. She has got some new recipes from her Morocco Trip.
Megh Balok:
Tell her, I shall visit her someday soon.
Jhora Pata: 
What all are you going to cook for me?
Megh Balok:
Excuse me!
Jhora Pata: 
Wouldn't you cook for me? What’s the use of collecting recipes if you are not going to cook for me. 
Megh Balok:
What gives you the idea that I collect recipes to cook for you? Just because I collect recipes does not mean I am going to cook for you.
Jhora Pata: 
Whom do you collect these recipes for?
Megh Balok:
Why should I tell you?
Jhora Pata: 
So mean you are.
Megh Balok:
That indeed I am.

Megh Balok laughs in his head. He has always loved cooking. But these days he does not feel like cooking anymore. Not even when friends come home. He calls up Kowloon and gets food home. His mum says, "human beings are creatures of habit". So true. Some habits never change. He does not cook anymore but carries his recipe book everywhere with him. From the folds of the Himalayas to the desserts of Kutch, from the ghats of Varanasi to the banks of the timeless Sabarmati, his recipe book travels with him where ever he goes.

The very thought of travel shakes his heart, stirs his soul inside out for a moment. Whom has he been running away from? ….Only he knows how much he hates to come back home, when there's nothing waiting but an empty fridge with some stale curd rice. Only he knows how he fights himself when he wanders the city streets in those unknown lands. Only he knows those memories of memories, that he does not even have the right to have.

Jhora Pata: 
I am so so confused.
Megh Balok:
Confused about what?
Jhora Pata: 
Can't decide about the Ph.D.
Megh Balok:
What can't you decide?
Jhora Pata:  
I think I am too old to start all over again.
Megh Balok:
Age is just a mental number. But if it's just to keep you busy then there are better things to do.
Jhora Pata:
Why? Is your Maya only entitled to have a Ph.D.?
Megh Balok:
Get a life sweet heart! Why do you always have to make Maya a yardstick to judge your own life? It's not a movie that you will make him into your competitor.
Jhora Pata:  
Relax. Whats wrong with you?
Megh Balok: 
Things are wrong with you. You are behaving in a way as if you wait for my permission for whatever you do in life.
Jhora Pata:  
But your decision matters and you too know that.
Megh Balok:
I don’t have any problem as long as you don’t have to leave your job.
Jhora Pata:  
Suddenly you sound so grown up.
Megh Balok:
Do I have a choice?

''Off course you do honey'', Jhora Pata wants to shout back at Megh Balok, but as of now he holds back these words. He often gets petrified thinking of how much anger Megh Balok is nuturing inside him. He knows that talking to Megh Balok would not help; certain things are best left unattended. He hopes things would change with time, with time Megh Balok would realize. The promises, the songs, everything fails.... Jhora Pata feels very helpless at times. The hesitation in his steps, the worry in his voice exponentially increases when he sees this reckless anger in Megh Balok.

Megh Balok reminds himself, love is a losing game. You have to be strong; you can't loose your name. Be prepared with answers, you have to give it back, things can change anytime. This evening might not come back to you. It’s a strange feeling and Megh Balok knows it; he knows what it feels like to make a mistake, while realizing at that moment that he is making one. He tries disconnecting himself from everything happening around him. He tries looking outside the window. He tries consoling himself .... Like the rangoon vine bends in the wind, twists and turns before it touches the sky, he should also not regret the mistakes, he too one day would reach the sky. A retarded smile lights up his face.

Jhora Pata: 
Joy-r je lekha ta diyechish porlam, bhalo laglo tobey kosto-o holo, kosto chara amake kono din kichu-e dili na tui.
Megh Balok:
Ami dileo je tui seta grohon kortish emon kotha kothaye lekha aachey shuni ?
Jhora Pata:  
Diyei dekhtish.
Megh Balok: 
Aar ki ki je dekhtey baaki tai bhabi majhe majhe.
Jhora Pata: 
Bhebey dekhechi bhebe kono laabh nei! Bhabna gulor ki kono sesh aachey?
Megh Balok: 
Laabh kshoti diye ki shob kichur bichar hoy bujhi; naki shob kichur shuru-sesh thakey?
Jhora Pata: 
Kichu proshno emon hoy jar bhitor-ei uttor lukiye thakey.
Megh Balok: 
Tor shongey toh amar kono lukochuri nei.
Jhora Pata:
‘Nitantoi e sojasuji’ o toh noy.
Megh Balok:
Shahittyo bechey pet chalano jaye kintu jibon choley na, keno bolish emon kotha jaar kono maaney nei.
Jhora Pata:  
‘Kothar maaney bujhtey holey chena pother bairey cholo’....nei bhabley nei, aachey bhablei aachey; proshno ta holo tui ki chash?
Megh Balok: 
Ei kabbyi kabbyi khela aar koto din khelbi tui?
Jhora Pata: 
Amake bolli na nijeke?

The very idea of leaving the city is not sinking in Megh Balok’s heart. He has already started missing Jhora Pata, though he is sitting right across the table. He knows he will be missing Jhora Pata. He knows no one else will wait for him in this city. He knows no one else will bring him smashan chnaapa and email him from the work place and no one else will buy him drinks and kaleidoscopes. No one else will paint his days. No one else will tell him stories.... night after night, story after story. Stories that flew him to unseen lands, unknown worlds, stories that swallowed him up, stories that broke down the sky, stories that gave him courage, stories that aided, stories that mended.

Megh Balok:
Ruu ekta kotha boley, ‘What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us’. Amar kokhono kokhono mone hoy khub deri hoye gechey; bola koyowar urdhey choley gechey jeno shob kichu.
Jhora Pata:  
What the mind cannot fully analyze to perfection, the heart can still enjoy…. Why are you always so analytical? Shob kichu ke eibhabey dissect korar tendency keno rey tor? Design School e na giye science pora uchit chilo tor.
Megh Balok:
Design science noy emon kotha ke bollo tokey? 
Jhora Pata: 
Things that everyone admires, you must spot a small part where it’s erroneous. The concept of looking at situations as a whole and not dissecting was clearly not inculcated in you.
Megh Balok:
Hah hah hah…. I am slowly picking it up, but not sure if I should even; because if there is a better way, I genuinely don’t want to know yet.
Jhora Pata: 
My little stubborn bitch! Opps designer!
Megh Balok: 
Jibontake sajiye tulteo design lagey, jaak sheta tui bujhbi na, that’s something beyond your intellect! Shahittyer adhyapoker mukher ki bhasha! Dhik dhik!
Jhora Pata: 
Ki aar kori, na bhasha na choritro, kichu e aglaitey pari na.
Megh Balok: 
Choritro bostuti onek durer, bhasha ta ontono….
Jhora Pata: 
I am not gifted with words like you, but I do feel humiliated when people's confidence cross their limit of decorum!
Megh Balok:
Onubhutir limit hoy jantam na kintu bhashar limit nischoi hoy.
Jhora Pata: 
Ekdawm thik kotha, ekbar bhebey dekhish bhasha diye ki onubhuti shob shomoy bichar kora jaye?
Megh Balok: 
Bhebey dekhechi bhebe kono laabh nei! Ke jeno ekbar bolechilo!

They have always thrown back angry words at each other. But this evening, Megh Balok is feeling ashamed of himself for throwing back words at Jhora Pata. He knows it’s a vicious circle. He knows how the lightest of words are powerful enough to make your heart feel the heaviest. He wants to leave the table and run back home, pretend to sleep in the silence of his home, sob in the comfort of his room.

In a few hours time he would be off to another country, in a tiny room on the 10th floor, up in a street in Pritam Nagar…. Time after time he would ask himself, how soon is now? Cause he knows, no one else there would ever say, “Fuck it dude!”, when he is tired. When he is tired of being in a house where everyone loves him but no one understands him. When he is tired of carrying the burden of his family’s respectability. When he is tired of living up to their sky high expectations. When he is tired of being the boy who lives in daddy’s big house. When he is tired of being the party boy. When he is tired of everything around. He knows no one there would say, “Fuck them all. Don’t go back. This is where you belong.”

Angry tears burn his eyes.

Jhora Pata:                                                       
Don’t try to get away with tears. Stop creating a scene!

Megh Balok does not reply. He does not want to reply. Jhora Pata's cruel words clang repeatedly against his chest and he loses more of himself with each breath he breathes. He doesn’t want to create a scene, but he has no place to hide his tears. And he knows that Jhora Pata too knows that. He can feel the veiled concern in those unkind words. He tries to overlook the sadism of those words and throw them in oblivion. He tries parrying the brutality of those words with his silence. 

Megh Balok knows he is wrong and he has no time left. He knows Jhora pata will call him cheesy and filmy. He knows Jhora pata will call him non pragmatic and insane. But tonight he wants to be cheesy and filmy, tonight he wants to be non pragmatic and insane; cause tonight’s only what is left.

He quickly smears a smile on his face and orders for another drink.

Megh Balok:

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I get up from sleep,
Fail to recognize my own voice,
I scream. 
Drown in words, 
I never knew I had.

I push the hurt further deep,
The deeper it hurts,
Down inside.
Hurt those parts of me, 
I never knew I had.

I am stuck with a melody, 
That had faded with time.
I listen to your songs in loops,
Not wanting to, 
Yet feeling compelled to.

I know that feeling,
When there is nothing left to feel.
I smile and giggle and talk and laugh, 
Hide that bitter taste, 
In my mouth and go to bed.

I drive down with you, 
The street I once had lived,
Memories come back home.
I try rolling up the windows, I try stopping the world, 
And then you stop me,
"Even wounds need air to heal". 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Boy-oh-Boy !

Tonight is the time boy tonight is the time.
Tonight I'll listen to no reason, no rhyme!

Come to the point boy come to the point.
Roll me a joint boy roll me a joint. 
Pour me a drink boy pour me a drink. 
You don't need to think boy you don't need to think.
Tonight I have gotten dressed in my best pink!

Take me in your arms boy take me in your arms.
Tell me you are mine boy tell me you are mine.
The night's still young boy the night's still young.
Give me your song boy give me your song.
Tonight I don't care, what's right what's wrong!

Give me your hand boy give me your hand.
Lets play on the sand boy lets play on the sand.
We will go running boy up on the hills, up on the hills,
Cherry blossoms, tulips and gaint wind mills.
Tonight I don't care, I wanna feel the chills!

Write me a letter boy write me a letter.
Sing me of the river boy sing me of the river.
I won't ask for anything ever, anything ever.
Kill me with the shiver boy kill me with the shiver.
Tonight I don't care, it's now or never!

Take me for a ride boy take me for a ride.
Let me show you my hidden, darkest, deepest side.
Lock me with cuffs boy lock me with cuffs.
Throw me a noose boy throw me a noose.
Tonight you decide what you choose!

They call me loose.... I have loved and lost.
They call me whore.... I'm paying the cost.
They call me mad.... It doesn't make me sad.
I am a brown boy. I don't sing the blues.
Tonight I don't care, I have nothing left to loose!

2oth March 2014

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


The smell of kalo jeeray in mustard oil,
The shock of shukno lonka phoron in ghee,
The kirtan evenings in the reverine islands of Majuli,
The night screeches of the peacocks,
Close, now far, now surprisingly close,
Cutting through the silence in the lawns....
Like all these I long for you.

A part of me leaves the kitchen, as I peel oranges in the counter.
I think of those mango trees in my mamabari's backyard,
The tiya pakhi rodh mornings in the baranda,
The carefree afternoons in the chaad,
The ghorano siri, the purono Dodge gari,
And the pukur paar....
Like all these I long for you.

The white chnapa on the way to my office keeps me thinking,
I try so hard but can't remember the word, the scientific name,
Alstonia Scholaris comes back, phirey phirey,
I clearly remember that's chatim and not shmashan chnapa,
I call up maa on my way back from office,
Ask her if kingshuk and polash are the same?
I remind her to get a sapling of fagun bou for our garden.

I sing myself a lullaby every night.
Winter fades into spring....
They play Holi.

17th March 2014.