Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I painted myself a new pair of shoes.
With ninjas and purple heads.
That come with hidden superpowers.

Friday, September 25, 2009

But you see…

You are the nouveau riche.
Self respect
Self afflicted boundaries
Duck taped heart
Barrel of hope
Sack of good old fashioned love
Well polished
With a shimmering outer
And a guilt free inner.
But don’t you see?
You are the nouveau riche.

Vintage. Somewhat.

Clockwise (from top left): Woody Allen, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop, Johnny Depp, Kate Moss, Yoko Ono via FFFFOUND

Saturday, September 19, 2009

For E, who introduced me to the very wonderful Hanif Kureishi

Writers are often asked - and they certainly ask themselves - what they would do if they were not published. I suspect that most writers would like to think that they would continue as they do already, writing to the best of their ability without thought of an audience. Yet even if this is true that most of the satisfactions are private you might still need to feel that someone is responding, even if you have no idea who they are. Until you are published it might be difficult to move on; you could easily feel that nothing had been achieved, and that by failing to reach another person - the reader - the circle had not been completed, the letter posted but not received. Perhaps without such completion a writer is destined to repeat himself, as people do when having conversations with themselves, conversations never heard by anyone.

Yet father would not stop writing. It was crucial to him that these stories be told. Like Scherazade, he was writing for his life.

Where do stories come from? What is there to write about? Where do you get material? How do you start? And: why are writers asked these question so often?

It isn't as if you can go shopping for experience. Or is it? Such an idea suggests that experience is somehow outside yourself', and must be gathered. But in fact, it is a question of seeing what is there. Experience is what has already happened. Experience, like love and hate, starts at home: in the bedroom, in the kitchen. It happens the moment people are together, or apart, when they want one another and when they realise they don't like their lover's ears.

- Excerpt from 'My Ear at His Heart', Hanif Kureishi's memoir about his father

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Insights from an afternoon of saree shopping

After a couple of years of committing gratuitous dating blunders and more recently, having spent countless afternoons shopping for the sister’s wedding , I wondered … If only we could shop for men the same way we do for sarees.

Salesperson: “What range are you looking at, Madam?”
Me: “Umm … the 26 - 30 age group, preferably…”

Yes, that would be acceptable - Men and sarees, off the shelf, with the color/ pattern/ border of choice and of course, at a slightly discounted price.

Note to self

There are far too many leeches in this world.
Remember to carry salt.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My Perfect Memory of 1989 - '91

I remember it very perfectly.
Those dirty khakhi tiles and brick roof,
Flanked by yellow, blue and red wooden posts at either end,
With little semi circular seats,
That seated four of us six year olds,
And our colorful double-decker tiffin boxes.
The IA classroom at corridor end - left,
And my kindergarten class at the other end - right,
From where we pushed opened our big blue door,
And peeked into the long brown lane,
That reached the foot of the peons quarters -
Dark brown walls and empty black rooms in the day,
Where, rumor has it,
The old witch from the skinny alley took refuge,
When little feet mustered bravado and invaded her den.
And then the canteen of 1991,
Where the UNESCO club held their fundraisers,
And sold delicious samosas for Rs.2,
From oil stained brown boxes.
The same place from where,
Two years later,
Mrs. Pathan would treat us to chocolate vanilla ice cream balls,
To deal with the depression of turning,
A year meaner and older.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009