This Boy, This Man



This boy,
This crooked eared, half toothed smile boy,
His shoulders so broad,
With this tiny crook for me to rest my head and offload,
Looked quite comfy from across the road,
Those eyes, travelled for years, not yet bored,
Stories and stories untold
Where you going, heart? Hold!

This boy,
This honey eyed, silk voiced boy,
He moves with such grace,
Leaving me in a daze,
How can he maintain such a casual poise ?
His fingers entwining in mine like the most exquisite lace,
“I mango you too!” responding in all earnest, he holds me in the softest, warmest and safest embrace.

This boy,
This animal taming, baby stealing boy,
Melting hearts of man, woman, child and pet with such ease,
Smiling his big smile, it’s a clean sweep.
365 days without crease,
There there Vijoy! You got me! Can you just stop it please?
He holds me tight, “ it’s alright! I am here! Don’t be scared now. You’ll never forget to breathe”

This man,
This protective man, this nurturing man,
He gave me a prescription with a ring recently,
Tight unbreakable hugs for the anxiety,
Tall strong shoulders against the jealous eyes of society
Eyes of conviction for self-doubt no matter how mighty,
Calm soothing voice for the times the voice inside is too flighty
From now to infinity.

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Shh let’s not say it,

it hurts but why express it.

its killing me and you,

but the roads were different for our blues.

let’s not think it too hard,

because its not approved until its an Archies’ card.


Shh lets wipe off those tears,

it doesn’t matter, those years.

that my shoulder was once your home,

but suddenly its an abandoned zone.

Was my love not enough?

or his or his or ruff?


Shh stop it already,

lest it be known to the wary,

that its as absurd to me as them,

that you left me in absolute mayhem,

without a message or a note,

you left me with a tragic anecdote.


– For Vijoy


Painkillers for the Heart

Pain. Doesn’t it hurt. It actually is just pressure. I don’t think neurons go running to the brain screaming youch.
Pain is just a sensation that our bodies can’t take it anymore. What is this mental pain? Too much pressure on the mind? How do you deal with this sort of pain? I don’t know. Unlike physical pain you can’t even diagnose it to accuracy. Imagine a doctor coming in and telling you, you are suffering from the broken heart syndrome or lonelyvitis. You can’t even attribute a cause to it. You can just forget about having a remedy. Psychologists say having somebody to listen helps. But I am sorry 50$ an hour is not listening to me. Unfortunately listening is not a skill for a common milieu. Atleast not the milieu I have been amongst.
Tears have a job similar to blood.  Cleansing. But unlike bleeding, crying does not form a protective scab over the wound. In fact it might open the gates for new vulnerabilities. Sometimes it let’s us be pushed around by someone we care, sometimes it makes us watch as the person we love falls out of love with us, just because we feel too weak to finish the war within to be able to control our environment.
People attribute emotional pain to people. Personally I feel it’s not the person, it’s the situation. It’s not that your best friend is insensitive, it’s your vulnerable condition inflamed by the insensitivity of that moment. Insensitivity in isolation is quite harmless. I don’t know whether letting go is a remedy or whether keeping on trying is. But I wish there were painkillers for the heart for the process in between just as much as I wish people never changed.



Pets. Most of us have them. It might be a regular cat or a dog or it might be chattel of a dangerous kind like a reptile. Given the regular functions of a pet, even some humans are known to carry out the same. Some of these humans are called spouses. This does not imply that all spouses are pets neither are pets, spouses.  But it is a practice all the same.  A friend once told me she would gladly swap places with the pet of the house. Oddly love thy animal said no religious text ever.  Take care, yes. But love. Nope. Then what is this strange bond that binds interspecies?

My first pet, a dog named Remo, was gifted to me on my 3rd birthday. I don’t have any memory of him. Pictures suggest that we were close. My mother states to the contrary. Apparently Remo was often spotted hiding under the dining table to evade my tyranny. Remo didn’t stay my pet long. He gladly shifted to another home soon enough. He changed two households after that. I wonder whether he missed my benevolent monarchy then. My feelings at that point are unrecorded.

My second pet was a kitten we named Bilquis – An utterly boring feline in comparison to those owned by my friends. Maybe the fact that she was a few days old was the reason. Her mother left her in our balcony and we took her in from there. I was just beginning to get a sense of pet-ownership when her mother claimed her.  My brother scares me by saying that the cat who took her was probably going to eat her. Not a consoling thought. I had nightmares for some time.

Staney was my aunt’s dog. He stayed with us for a month. But in that one month I probably made the strongest connection with any animal I had come across including my brother. From the annoying bully at school to my best friends and our fights, I told him everything. He was the most patient listener I have ever come across with woofs in appropriate places. I wish I could keep him forever. He had to go back home eventually. But I am never going to forget him and I know neither will he.

So I had never had a pet successfully for over a month. I doubt any human would want to take up the opportunity either. So Toopie was born in a Bistro in Koramangala, Bangalore. I would name the bistro to those who ask me personally. He is purple, yellow, green and orange. He is the easiest pet. Only scary thought is if he breaks. He is made of clay you see. But I carry him with me wherever I go. He seems like a new chapter in my life.  He loves to travel, eat, listen to music and he thinks he needs to lose weight. I was recently asked whether he is a personification of me. All coloured on the outside and hollow inside. Maybe. But then aren’t we all glazed colourful turtles. Painted in colours of the visualiser and born with hollows which we fill with our experiences. Toopie isn’t hollow either. He has adventures and he might just share.