Monday, December 26, 2005

For Keta

I miss this beautiful girl...

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

It's Billy the Kid!

Thank you all for helping with the wonderful suggestions. The puppy's vet Dr. Karkare loved each one of them, and wonders if he could keep the name suggestions in his name bank.

Sanjana, thank you for mentioning Fibbles and Tweedle, as the names took me back to Enid Blyton days. Doodle is my friend Rishi's pup in Miami and it drives everyone dizzy by running full tilt all over his garden.

Dinesh, your cue on Amitabh Bachchan had us all watching the Amitabh Bachchan movies on tv (we were on the phone all night as the movie was played!) .

Suniti, you more than anyone else has helped me stay rooted, hearing me blab on about puppies and separation from their mothers, so have no words to say thank you.

David, Vanilla Bean is a cool name!

Hey anonymous! Classical suggestions like Charulatha, Troy, Taramati compared well with Vikramaditya and Bajarangbali and Ghatotkach, but your suggestion of Chiquita had friends call the poor pup Bababanana (in the manner of Barbapapa).

Townreporter, i dont know if mash has wronged you in any way, but this is an innocent pup you are helping name. such a pity you make so much room for venom in your heart, when the Blue one offers nothing but love. you too are made in his image, so please accept my namaskaar to you.

It was a daunting task, but the kind Vet helped us through the names. The puppy responded to Mirza, Billy, Baajirao and of course Ghonchu. Sunil Mohite, who got us this beautiful pup from the Breeder Mr. Vidya Ratan of Pune, was calling him Baajirao, but the puppy merely raised half an eyebrow on hearing 'Baaji'. The Doc and I loved the idea of calling him Mirza, but he would not even offer us that half eyebrow. Ghonchu he responded to was too silly to contemplate so mash was voted down. That left Billy.

So Billy it is. A tribute to all the Westerns one has read when growing up. A tribute to the dreams of riding with the winds and inspecting fences. A tribute to a character at once hated and at once loved...

Billy the Kid, it is. You are welcome to come and bless the puppy!

Have a wonderful Christmas, and a new year filled with Bliss.

Thank you all for being so kind.

Monday, December 12, 2005

my new baby

thank you Suniti for taking pics of my new baby. we are having a tough time naming him. he has inspired many. his dad (mahesh), shashanka ghosh, and his doc loves the idea of calling him William Lee, in short, 'bill-lee'. peter griffin has offered 'mirza' or 'ghalib' or 'slinky'. the last one inspired by the spiral staircase in my house and the flight of his imagination which can be described as 'tumble down puppy horror flick'. on similar lines, rashmi mukhi offers 'flip'. since the puppy is only 40 days old and still hasn't found its orientation, walks in reverse gear, mash also calls him 'ghonchu'. suniti and i love the idea of kissing the puppy called 'depp'. (and our mind images vanished the moment pete suggested having to 'clean up after depp'). jugal offered several south park crossed with science names...and my sleep deprived brain does not remember any of the names except that i laughed much.

agni wanted to call it einstein or beyblade before the puppy arrived. after the big arrival and we got cameras trained on agni for his first reaction (we expected sqeals and hugs), we found agni lifting tail etc and inspecting the pup. we lowered the cameras and tried to quell what we thought was his curiosity. but he asked me with a straight face, "mommy, where is his plug point?"

"what plug point?"

"So we can connect it to the computer?" Upon seeing the horror on our faces, he added an explanation,"So we can train it, naa!"

our next vacation is going to be on a farm.

suniti has kindly offered to share the pics of my baby with all of you:
help with names please. and soon.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


looks like you had time,
time on your hands,
my Blue one,
you play such games
with me!

if you thought
any name,
other than yours,
made any sense to me,
you lost!

if you thought
the merry dance
you led me to
would make me lose
faith in you,
try harder!

you’re toying with me
my Blue one
but i am stupid
all i know
is your name,
nothing else matters.

i inhale because of you
exhale when you want me to.
i win because of you.
if i lose, why worry,
i lose only to you.

how we change...

for as long as i can remember, i have always lit a candle on Bruce Lee's birthday...until yesterday.

my keyboard is soggy now. and have walked around with the jeet kune do hand book all day.

it's a change from wandering about the house talking to the Blue one all day, i guess.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


stay away from me,
all you rational folk!
for i have caught a fever
that won’t go away.

smell my burning skin.
my flesh consumed by desire,
turning slowly to ash,
to be blown away at his whim.

watch this fever race
through my veins,
turning everything blue
in its wake.

feel the anger,
fueled by the fever,
i tremble as i rage,
how much longer
do i need to grovel?

you will hear me no more
whispering his name,
again and again.
this fever is brought on
by his cursed name.

a name that tastes bittersweet,
honey to my thirsty lips.
what would become of me
should he choose
to hold me in his arms?

Friday, November 18, 2005

it is quiet tonight...

ice from my veins
flows so blue on to my palm,
you cut deep, my love,
and i know the count
by heart.

your every look,
your every touch,
your every thought,
is reflected in the cold
betrayal cupped in my hands.

don’t be afraid,
i wont tell anyone.
it’s all right now,
see? sleep envelops me.
in her comforting arms
i will be warm again.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


take soap, mix water,
take hanger,
dip in bucket,
blow gently,
wear it at once.
it will go far with you.

i wish people with bubbles
would share their bubbles,
with people who tried
this simple recipe and failed,
just for a little while
exchange places.

difficult you say?
impossible even?
bubbles are custom made
as tough to share,
as fingerprints,
or dna even,
a bubble is sacred
designed to protect
only the one person
it was created for.

then why do some people
have them and some not?
why do some suffer so,
and some float through life

i hate you for the bubble
that keeps you safe,
hate you for not sharing
that safe space,
hate you hiding from storms...

but dammit, it also keeps you
from hugs that could have been yours,
had i been the kind who hugs.

so i am going shopping
maybe i shall find a pin
or maybe i shall find myself
a great big bubble to call my own.

(acknowledge EC's bubble and my envy of the same)

Thursday, November 10, 2005


togetherness is catching.

i have started to string
words, just like you do.

hunch my tired shoulders,
exactly as you.

and raise my hands
to cover my eyes
at the end of day,
just like you do.

i also hold on to that phone
as if it were an anchor
connecting me
to some ridiculous reality
as you.

so am hoping
somewhere along this journey
you too find yourself
doing things
just the way i do.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

no body

horizontal wrist,
vertical line,
with the ginsu
saved for the
occasion, for the
perfect cut.

bare bottom.
bare back.
feels cool
on the marble floor.
room lit by
flickering neon
from neighborhood
chinese takeaway.

the warmth

Monday, November 07, 2005


is this my home?
pillows everywhere
except on the bed,
sheets embarrassingly
entangled, uneaten pizza
and champagne,
chocolate on
white Egyptian cotton...

oh is this me?
in a curtain,
and a smile,
and miles of ache,
and sighs to match?

the lillies still smell fresh
i sink into the big
yellow chair
and hug myself.

so it is true!
the ones you hold
in your eternal embrace
also turn blue?

Friday, November 04, 2005

soul flake

attempting to write fiction...on a blog called 'soul flake'.

some of you asked me why i had not posted a link to the blog. technically challenged people ought not to be punished so...and by friends too.

here goes:

Monday, October 31, 2005

sky people

i used to be like you
wary of those
wayside wanderers,
of their manic mutterings,
their tattered appearance
was distasteful.

i would cringe too,
exactly as you just did,
afraid to catch their germs
hated the smell
that would linger
long after our paths crossed.

but i’ve been touched
by the Blue one now you see,
and i guess most of you
who now cross my path
miss me completely.

you saw me stare at the sky,
bump into street lamps,
you rolled your eyes,
and crossed the street.

you spotted me,
in deep conversation
at crowded coffee shops
and thought me strange.

you did not see him at all!
all you heard was muttering,
you thought too much coffeecino
had driven me crazy.

you bumped into me
at the bookshop,
my nose buried
in a brand new
book of love poems,
you moved away
a patronizing smile later.

you don’t know,
how he smells of nutmeg,
of snow lillies,
and the elusive clean
of new books.

i am sorry i missed
the questions
your eyebrow raised.
would i really care
if the sun and the wind
were roughing up my body?

the stars in my eyes,
and the occupant
of my heart, leave no room,
for anyone or anything else.

Friday, October 28, 2005

flu season

and throw.
and throw.
and throw.
and throw.
and throw.

how little it matters
to you, my friend,
whether it’s kleenex
or people.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


i feel positively
because i want you so.

its not just skin.
the need goes deeper
its pace is inelegant
crazed? i don’t know.
but there it is,
frantic, directionless.

this mortal need
to hear your laughter
in the hollow of my bones
once again
is driving irrational
thoughts deeper
into my head.

it feels as good as
that usually uncouth gesture
when one drives
the pointing finger,
manic, and unheeding
of any warning,
uncaring of damage,
into the ear.
to scratch rapidly
that unseen
but heartfelt itch.

it is as satisfying as
that demented stretch
of the neck,
and with closed eyes
curling the tongue
to smoothen
the raw edges
inside the throat, when
voicing your forbidden name.

Monday, October 24, 2005


trophy boys don’t ask,
are you bleeding?
don’t call to ask,
do you breathe?

trophy boys should not care
if cold cuts of accusations,
so cruelly served,
on a platter of silence,
were fatal or not.

trophy boys should
stay safe, nine to five,
in a predictable world.

it’s a risk to be out there,
wayward women
might tell all,
in drunken giggly fits.

or the conspiracy
of the stars,
might just reveal,
how angels get drunk
on chocolate
and forgot to fly.

no, no don’t bother
to translate pixels
on the screen
into casual concern.

nothing will happen to you
no finger pointing.
no languishing and decaying
nothing will happen

take comfort in your safety,
and uncross those fingers.
mouth those mundane
‘hello, how are yous’
only when you are ready,
really ready to hear the truth.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

cleaning up after

she was gone. dead. buried.
with no one mourning her.
the cleaning crew
for muchos dolleros
came in to clean house.

they could've dumped it all
in gallon cans
for a curbside pickup.
but one of the chaps,
an aquarian with a pony tail,
stumbled upon a thought.

a tiny random one,
but not unfamiliar to him.
did she fill holes
with memories too?
so they all sat down,
and used six work days
to sift through them all.

the brown button on a khaki shirt
the crease upon a brow
the remnants of a laugh
the touch of roving hands

ghost text messages
and used coffee spoons
napkins used to mark
the tyranny of waiting

mental pictures of shared sunsets
and accounting of tears
a bill book of anguishes
a notebook of fears

would anyone else understand
the need to remember
gestures, words, promises?

they could fill boxes of those
but who could want them now?

the clean-up crew knew
one day upon a distant landfill
these and many other
hoarded desires would flower.
and the earth would smell
of nutmeg and coffee,
of honeysuckle and lillies again.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

why blue m&ms are blue

have been sitting right here,
under the dappled sky,
solving little mysteries
of this thing called life.

see the vastness of the sky?
it includes all the flaws,
of this erring earth,
of the faltering moon,
even the lying promises
of distant glimmering stars.

sink into the deep of the ocean,
with me, if i don’t cling
to treacherous breath,
it will accept everything,
your bonds, my insanity
it can turn us blue.

ever close your eyes
and hear the eternal lover
play a tune? He’s blue too.
when love shattered me
into a thousand crystal faces,
each reflecting your color,
he scooped me up,
made me safe. whole. blue.

so close your eyes
and kiss me now,
share this blue m&m.
it’s a sweet universe
in a bite of chocolate.

Monday, October 17, 2005


every morning i see my love
and sit him down,
for extended complaints,
over creamy Malabar Monsoon.

(he doesn’t always listen,
he's distracted by my singing anklets,
but i sit him down nonetheless,
and open my heart for him.)

sometimes my love,
i think you’re here
only because of the coffee.
i complain, daring an answer.

he laughs, and emboldened
by the kindness I hear,
i stop him from spooning sugar.
the spilt grains of sweetness
melt in my tears.

where were you
when the motorbike boys,
put wind in my hair
and drove me away from you
at thought deafening speeds?

where were you when
the drummer boy played
fast and loose with
what i thought was my heart?

or when the traveler
carried me away
across sunsets and moonrises,
but could not reach
the far corners of my mind?

don’t you dare smile
and give me an answer
that you always do.
they were shallow waters,
and i was but learning to swim.

if indeed they were, and i was,
tell me why you wait now?
when my heart is truly touched
by one who laughs
just the way you do?
by one who makes soul renting promises
you know he will never keep?

tell me how much further
do i fall, until you save me
from myself?

how much longer
do i have to wait?
how much do i suffer
before you deem me worthy
of your eternal embrace?
before you color me Blue?

(malabar monsoon is a wonderful new coffee i have recently discovered...)

Thursday, October 13, 2005


when you put me on hold,
i counted the beeps,
i sang silly songs,
imagined how long
it would take, for
strange roots to grow
from my palm
into the phone.
but I waited
to hear your breath
on the other side
of the earpiece.
you see, you had promised
to set me free.

the coins ran out,
and so did the time.
i held on foolishly,
allowed the anguishes
to simmer before they grew,
and then came the pain.
it racked my soul
ribboned it
and flung it afar.
buffeted by pitiless winds of logic
it was strung out to hang
on a shabby string of trust
like torn Tibetan prayer flags.

you didn't see how the phone cord
rebelled at my patience
and strangled my wrist,
my neck, my desires,
and drowned me
in the vast blue
of the endless waiting.

the gods were jealous
when they knew i wanted
a mere mortal more.
'you've been used!
'your faith is pointless!
they said, then
they rejected me,
offered me no haven
no respite, no rest...

i've wandered since,
looking for a place to hide,
where no knowing laughter
would mock my foolish effort
to pause that fraction in time
when you said, 'brb'.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


they say, "he's dark,
your Krishna.
dark as the stormy night
he was born."

i used to turn away,
had no answer
to their taunts.
wondered why
others were made so fair.

the years have passed,
and I've stopped looking
at people, at their gods,
and learned to look inside.
i know now, why, my Krishna,
you are the dark one.

so great is your love for me,
to cleanse my soul,
from its darkness
you took on its colors
and made me new.

Monday, September 19, 2005

not your cup

leave the loving
for us insane ones.
go build a white picket fence,
and save your little house.

being in love, my love,
is not your cup of joe.

it's no decaf americano,
this love,
it's dark, mysterious, sweet,
it drives you to lick cream
off plastic spoons
eyes closed, oblivious
of stares, ignorant of
'what ifs' and 'buts'.

at its darkest, it's desire.
a free fall from the sky
into white waters
that end in a whirlpool.
and you don't know how to swim.

at its lightest, it's caring.
watching the waves on a beach
lit only by a thousand fireflies
waiting for the sliver moon to set.

it's bitter too, and addicting.
there are no time outs
in this ritual dance
of two steps forward, one back,
holding close to let go,
and letting go to meet once again.
delicious storms in the coffee cup.

so, you, my traitorous one,
can go dilute some other
espresso. come back
when you've learnt to drink deep
from this coffee cup
called insanity.


i have had this saved as a draft for ages...outgrew it, i guess. but here it is.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

five seconds of fame

as i look at the production schedule in my hands, looks like i am in the motion picture business.

i plan to blog the entire watch this space!

Monday, September 05, 2005

I’m breaking this habit,
Of kissing you in my dreams.
For when I do,
I wander through my day
On autopilot,
Smiling at appliances,
Bumping into closed doors.

Even turning the pages,
Of a newspaper spread
on the cold morning floor,
(lying on my tum),
Becomes an explicit experience.

Just the other day,
I stood under the shower
Re-living the dream,
Until the city water supply
Announced a crisis.

When the coffee that was touched
By dark, bitter chocolate
Touched my lips,
and I exhaled your name,
Friends turned into enemies,
And left the table.
And our favorite coffee shop.
Turned into one giant
Neon-lit fantasy.

I ought to drop my high heels,
And take to running shoes,
Write ‘I’m sorry’ notes,
To friends and family.

Stop laughing at my confession!
Don’t even think about
Offering a spoonful
Of the whipped delight
Of your cappuccino.
Your grin is bad enough
To weaken my resolve.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

A trip to the mall

I’m buying self esteem at the mall,
Look at me and say you’re fine,
Says the damned mirror on the wall!

The boyfriend dumped me after all,
Makeover to hide that too bright shine,
I’m buying self esteem at the mall.

When will you use the lace, doll?
You’re wasting time, stop that whine,
Says the damned mirror on the wall!

I’m hoping against odds he’ll call,
Or message me to say he’s mine.
I’m buying self esteem at the mall.

Your eyes did sparkle, you did walk tall,
He was a mistake, try calvin klein!
Says the damned mirror on the wall!

Visa’s loyal, although he’s awol,
Go out, get drunk from nine to nine.
I’m buying self esteem at the mall,
Says the damned mirror on the wall!

Its a Villanelle!

You don’t want me to say, ‘I love you!’
But your smile says you can relate,
Tell me what I should then do?

You bring me joy, I’m living anew,
I found love, and you want me to wait?
You don’t want me to say, ‘I love you!’

Knowing that you reciprocate,
Drunk on kisses, just see my state,
Tell me what I should then do?

This drunkenness, if only you knew,
Is a reason to live, yet, my mate,
You don’t want me to say, ‘I love you!’

You do not see my point of view,
You do not believe it’s a thing of fate,
Tell me what I should then do?

I hoard but one desire, that’s you,
But you insist I get over this state.
You don’t want me to say, ‘I love you!’
Tell me what I should then do?

Monday, July 04, 2005

honest effort!

how unfortunate can one get!
step in front of a bus,
its brakes are working fine.
no nudge, no fall.
only angry commuters,
and muddy clothes.
death would have been
a mere hiccup
in their everyday lives.

step out on the ledge.
realize one is not wearing
matching underwear,
so step back in.
malt is borrowed courage,
but doesn't drown
ingrained Cosmo rules.

walk beside the churning seas,
with an intent to walk into them
and never look back.
but self styled baywatch bhais,
drag me out, wet,
and my hair is so fucked!
oil streaks, sand and beach debris.

see, it was easy enough to
destroy my words
that go with my name,
the delete key proved very handy.
but you want silence,
complete silence.
but each time i close my eyes
i feel your arms around me,
and my plans are postponed
for the next moment without you.

i'm trying, i'm trying hard
(cross my heart!)
to give you the silence you asked.
just that damned love keeps
getting in the way.


wish i could steal
your laughter to add to
my hoarded desires.

wish i could sneak
into your head
and plant dreams

wish i could walk
in the rain with you
like once before

wish i could
offer you silence
without missing you.

(credit for phrase 'hoarded desires' goes to khuto. wish i had thought it up.)

Sunday, July 03, 2005

khisiani now

Every time I open the bloody newspapers, sunday or otherwise, I come across the whiskey set complaining how tough it is to get home from the airport in this rainy water-clogged season. i bet if he were asked to donate the money that he spends on just one bottle of whiskey towards a 'take your city in your own hands' program, he would be the first to slink away in the shadows where he really truly belongs.

i am a nobody but i am going to give it a try. i am going to start this process of finding out how many people are ready to not put up with the bullshit the BMC feeds us any more. fed up with rubbish that we are fed day after soggy day about everything.

if you happen to read this and have ideas, share.

am usually mild mannered. but right now i am wagging an angry tail.

Friday, July 01, 2005

turn to shah rukh

have chased,
have trusted,
have discovered,
have found,
have given,

hey! stop right there.
who asked you?
who forced you?
don't whine now.
about desires,
about connections,
and don't even mention
that overused word
called 'lurrve'.

its a game, you know.
and you're getting
boringly predictable.
if you can't play the game
step out, save yourself.
you're too old,
and look needy.
that's pathetic, you know.

so no writing
lovelorn lyrics,
on ridiculous blogs,
about passionate kisses
on rainy afternoons.

get yourself a haircut,
and shiny dupattas,
for flowery salwaars.
go join a kitty party,
and have very loud
fatty aunty lunches.
and watch shah rukh
bathe topless
in inane movies.

Thursday, June 09, 2005


i will let you be poet,
paying homage
to another you call muse.
i’ll stick to prose.

i will let you be poet,
find passion
in her arms, her eyes.
i’ll stick to prose.

i will let you be poet,
won’t hold you
to rash promises.
i’ll stick to prose.

and when she leaves you,
as muses are wont to,
i shall, like one starved,
help you gather the pieces
and write prose.

Saturday, May 21, 2005


i wish someone has hissed that to george lucas...the fans would have been spared the 'revenge' which should have ideally been called 'the let down', and he would have rested upon his laurels as asked.

ssssith down! i wish someone had told me to do just that...the dinosaur exhibit was soooo huge, i felt my age. my arms ache from carrying the souvenirs. my two enthusiastic mates were busy touching fossils and feeling footprints...after my first scream (jurassic park, when the t.rex swallows the lawyer), i've never really been comfortable around dinosaurs (even if they are just a bunch of bones tied together with giant twisties. i realised that my stomach was twistd up in knots when we were walking back through the park and i wanted to upchuck in the Shakespeare park. (thank goodness i was spared that ignominy by the larkspurs and the last of the tulips).

i wonder if broadway plays are supposed to have so much over the top acting...i know 'The Producers' is supposed to be an exaggeration, but when the words are so clever, why exaggerate the body movements? but i seemed to be the only one in the audience who winced at some of them...and i apart from the 'adolf elizabeth hitler, descendant of many generations of english queens' the gay jokes in the play are stupid. i have way too many gay friends, some flamingly so, but none of them are so typecast as in the play. i wonder of the coffee and cheesecake have dulled everyone...

apple crumble at the europa cafe is incredible. ta!

Friday, May 20, 2005

the revenge of the sith

methinks John Abraham's 'Karam' was a far better film than Revenge of the Sith. Admitted, it steals swordfights and gunfights from all kinds of films, but at least it does so unashamedly, without pretenses. in 'Star Wars', george lucas simply uses fiery lava landscape to distract us from sad sabre fights. too many hands and legs get cut off... and it's not as fun as in Kill Bill. I was so disappointed (i have been a big big star wars fan) i wished i had seen the finale of CSI directed by Quentin Tarantino instead (i hate watching tv).

the review of the film in the new yorker magazine and the village voice is so good, i shall not say any more...shall find out if one may reproduce bits from it and post it here...

meanwhile i am off to see the dinosaur exhibit at the natural history museum...

Sunday, May 15, 2005


i planned the lace,
i planned the face,
hair and hands
and legs as well,
where and when,
were planned and how!
but your time and mine
somewhere, somehow,
could never really jell.

but just that day,
upon a whim,
when i was locked out
in the summer sun,
i called to hear your voice.

you asked me where i was,
and walked up to meet my sighs.

the dust, the heat,
had had their fill,
and my lips were
burning dry,
my clothes did smell
like a battered day,
and i know i looked like hell.

but then i kissed you,
and you kissed me,
i think it went quite well,
so danger be hanged,
and planning be damned,
i'll have it this way again!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

california dreamin

it's strange. coming back to a country that once classified you as mere H4. i want to desperately feel that wide-eyed wonder tourists feel about a new place. i want to enjoy the wide open spaces and my anonymity and forget about overcrowded streets of mumbai, the claustrophobia inducing family i have left behind for a few weeks...

i am hoping something will snap me out of this weird 'untouched' mode i am in right now.

buy 'made in india' linen dresses from the petites section
calfornia chinese at 'pf changs'
new comp at fry's, the one i am using right now
starbucks coffee
new DS games
seriously think of starting india's first 'public storage'
bought spongebob squarepants the movie on dvd and shall we dance (original japanese)

theres the new exploratorium to be seen, friends to be met, chocolate to be had. but why do my thoughts go back to an unfinished

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


was it a bad idea
on that humid
hot afternoon,
to turn
a crumpled shirt
with a brown button,
wince on a funny bone,
smudge on glasses,
arms everywhere,
undone hair,
funny moans
escaping locked lips,
taste and smell,
trembling hands,
a whispered promise
'some other time',
into a memory?

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Wakt. comic timing, but little else.

as with most hindi films, one is supposed to leave the brains resting back home. when someone suggested Wakt, i thought it would be a welcome relief from the flood of the telegu movies i have been viewing lately (don't ask!).

if you are still waiting to see the film, here are a few dos and don'ts.

take your 'amitabh bachchan hai to film dekhnee hee hai' button. (remember to hide it in the wallet on way back home, then invest in 'boman irani is funny' button).

do not forget to take a calculator (or someone who can add for you). that's for counting the number of times akshay kumar breaks into tears. i'd rather see him beat up baddies in b-grade action flicks. one forgets to count simply because one gets sidetracked into debating whether the effort of squeezing out tears is actually acting or just a hidden camera thing of a constipated man.

amitabh bachchan hams it. but i am a big fan, so i could see only his impeccable comic timing. he should not be wearing abu jani sandeep khosla stuff. maybe just armani.

speaking of comic timing, i loved boman irani.

the deadpan servant thing got to be too much after a while and one began wondering what he chap is going to say that would be completely unrelated.

one could happily carry on a conversation with a pal on the cell phone (without tuning it to 'silent' mode) because the soundtrack is so loud, even the neighbor would not hear your conversation.

i think there are a few songs in the film but don't remember them, and i dont think anyone else will either.

the mom in the film wears very nice sarees.

if you have to see the film, take a few happily drunk friends along. fortify yourself with coffee or whatever (the last hour actually tests your 'stay put in the seat' skills).

the film actually uses the principle of 'suspension of disbelief' to the fullest. film schools may use it as an example in the future. am glad i do not have to study for credits any more.


i saw a scene of the film being shot and was wowed by amitabh bachchan's skill. this is the scene where amitabh bachchan is at the hospital, and akshay comes to see him but then gets annoyed at his taunts, hands money over to the mom. one minute the big b was teasing me about how his fans have switched over to become fans of his son (i mentioned Dhoom a couple of times), and the next minute he had slipped into the role. absolutely effortless!


I don't care what people think. Chiranjeevi decked up in a mythological costume drama. 'Manjunatha' looks heartstoppingly good! The man has legs!

Saundarya died too early. if one had to compare her to Priyanka Chopra, i'd choose Saundarya as she would look today, exhumed, any day. maybe we could offer Priyanka Chopra instead and throw in Neha Dhupia for a bargain with the devil and bring Saundarya back.


Thursday, March 17, 2005


the more i yearn,
the more you laugh.
the more i chase,
the further you fly.
the more i need,
the more elusive you are.

where is my pride?
where is shame?
what is this bliss i seek?
what magic is in your name?

if only you'd pause,
you'd see, my ache,
my want, my hankering,
is only for thee.

but your eyes are closed,
your thoughts elsewhere.
i ask for but one instant,
will you open your heart for me?

Sunday, March 13, 2005


operating on apathy? me?
i admit, i used to lose
my shirt, my temper,
the change in my pocket,
and many an hour, rescuing
books lying on sidewalks,
their spines torn, pages unglued,
imaginary suffering of friends,
their tears and travails,
beer bottles buried in sand,
empty and broken,
idols immersed in oceans
overburdened with plastic,
singing birds in cages,
and performing monkeys,
outstretched skinny hands,
starved for food,
little fish from big ones,
scared cats off fences,
but i realised, tho late,
you had planned it all.
a simple ruse to distract me.
am wiser to your tricks now,
i'll let my need rule me
plain and true: i need you.
shan't hear anything but your name
see nothing but you
feel nothing but love
until you show yourself
take my hand and make me yours.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

another review!

was standing in the queue for tickets to 'the aviator' when i heard two twenty-somethings ahead of me, squeal something about going to the movies together. now films have always been a lonely occupation for me. just the screen, the coffee in my hand and me. used to hate the incessant chatter when movies have all the magic. but hindi films are another creature altogether. you need company to slay it, caress it, keep it or throw it. anyway, here they were to twenty something women discussing a new film which i was certain i was never going to see it, because the woman who usually drags us to these films had just found herself a new job. so i listened in happily.

"did you know he got it lasered?"
"yaa men. now he is all chicknaa. warnaa he was so hairy!"

(aah! so they are talking about anil kapoor, but why? i thought zayed khan was more their generation, but i listen on...)

"how could you see it without me!"

"sorry yaar, i had to take my mother!"

"how could you! you could have called me at least. i would have come with you! your mum knows me!"

"no re. sometimes she is just verrrry low. its been seven months since dad died naa. so she needed to be a little pampered."

"yahi film you got or what to see?!"

"aare baba but it was sooo baad! i'm telling you, tera sau rupaya bach gayaa!"


"aare...kareena's clothes are the only good thing about the movie!"

"lekin the promos are sooo hot --"

"they must have shot the promos separately!"

"aare...bol to rahee hoon, at least shbd they showed sanjay dutt's bare back. this one has nothing. poora waste of sau rupya!"

"what are you saying?!"

"there's no bewafaii in bewafa at all!"

(at this point they notice a huge smile across my face, and realise that i have been listening. they put a hand on their mouths and start giggling. i motion them to move forward as it is their turn to buy tickets. predictably, they are going to watch 'sins'!)

Monday, February 21, 2005

Tetherballs of Bougainville

The New York Times describes 'The Tetherballs Of Bougainville' as: lava seems lukewarm compared to Leyner's red-hot riffing on the ephemera of popular culture."

now on a normal day i would have ignored a review but the back cover enticed me with:

'Say you're thirteen years old and your father is about to be executed by lethal injection for a murder committed with a shoplifted hand-blender when you learn that you have only one day in which to submit your entry for the prestigious Vincent and Lenore DiGiacomo/Oshimitsu Polymers America Award, which is given every year for the best screenplay written by a student of Maplewood Junior High School. The problem is, you haven't come up with the title. What do you do?

If you're a kamikaze humorist Mark Leyner, you turn your predicament into a demented product that might be called a novel, if that definition can be stretched to include a hybrid of memoir, screenplay, and movie review (with a little classy poem thrown in). Navigating the remotst tributaries of popular culture, airing our most appaling and outlandish appetities, The Tetherballs of Bougainville is all the funnier because it tells the truth about who we are, right now.'

i dont care what the truth is as long as i did not have to defend not reading yet another indian author writing in pretentious english (about eminently unsuitable boys or achaar scented incest in the backwaters), or a non resident indian penning more ghastly short stories about the indian experience and then dissing india because they were so 'nu yawk'...

this book made me forget every cliche and recreated the magic that fiction could really be.

i even stole one book happily from the extensive library aboard Carnival Cruise Lines (after they conveniently lost my laptop), and thank god i did as the book is not available on amazon or powells any more.

other books by Mark Leyner are:

Et Tu, Babe
I smell Esther Williams
Tooth Imprints on a Corn Dog
My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist

like a rabidly hungry canine, i devoured all his books. after tom sharpe he is the only one that managed to convert me to putty.

altho i do freely admit to reading and being completely absorbed by Across the Nightingale Floor and all its sequels... some morantic part of me that refuses to be squished i think...and also to having read all the No.1 ladies detective agency series (positively hated the short stories by the doctor though)...

but then i absolutely watch all big bee and srk films, and write love a few brain cells are clearly not breathing.

however...partially distrcated by 'trishul' on sony, i have realised that i do not remember why i wanted to write about Mark Leyner in the first place. maybe i need to sleep. but the sins one is about to commit will keep me awake i am sure...

Friday, February 18, 2005

Light on Black!

It was early morning when the telephone rang. not having prepared myself for a social lie ' i'm busy maybe some other time...' i happened to answer, 'no...i'm free, bolo!' to this friend who happily proceeded to take advantage of my truth and rope me into seeing a film with her. Black!

as my friend Vee from Austin explains..."it's another version of 'The Miracle Worker'. Having read the play and watched the original theatrical release with 2 award winning performances, had aboslutely no desire to see another re-interpretation, albeit a desi one. So much for all the hype about something completely different, something that had never been done before.(?) Et tu, Bhansali?"

Now Vee is a movie buff,I mean she can 'movie sequence' like she programmed the damned game and in comparison, i can barely connect two or maybe three films...(the game is film sequence and you can download it from the lifetimetv web site), and when she has this opinion about the film when everyone is gushing, I thought it would be a good film to catch.

i am in the theater, and six coffees later i have no desire to use the ladies' as the damned water has been released through tears. my head is so heavy from the obscene color maniplation (not to be confused as copying off the big K's three color coded films red, white, and blue) of black and white. i have a headache and i feel grossly manipulated.

headache because everyone acts over the top. the dad hates the disabled kid, the mom is over the top illogical (one minute agrees with the dad, next minute she's kowtowing to AB), the house where the kid stays is like a library or a museum (the photographs are far too many, placed too high... did people in the house climb up ladders to view the photos?)...

I love films but i am very suspicious when copious tears are deliberstely induced by the director...looks like the dialog writer was directed: aisee lines likho ke har line par aansoo aa jaaye! close your eyes in the film and you might see shades of kadar khan there...give me sholay or deewar or even veer-zaara's 'aisa des hai mera' for that matter for dialogs that touch the heart! why, i can still recite dialogs of AB's old film Trishul...

i think the almost knee-jerk reaction to films like this one is "wow" simply because it deals with disability. hence the assumption it must be good.

"how can you laugh aloud at rani's chaplinesque walk? she's blind!"
" see how beautifully she's trying!"
this is what someone said to me as i got up to get my nthcp of coffee. i was hoping the bloody story had moved forward by the time i got back. it doesn't it gets worse! one of my friends is visually impaired, and i DO NOT SEE HER WALK LIKE THAT. and its not 'cute' or 'good direction' to have a slly chaplin film (very obviously a directors cheap trick)play at the stupid cinema theater..who's he 'kid'ding!

and what's with the weird clothes? if it's a period film then AB's clothes are buttoned all wrong. too few buttons on his jacket. and the stupid kid (sorry, just rolling the eyeballs skywards and behaving like a cheap exorcist imitationor even throwing food about is not acting, it's being a brat) wears skirts. what kind of mother puts skirts on an accident prone disabled kid? she should be wearing pants! the horrid princess leia hairdo on rani is just as bad as it was in star wars...

at film school one is taught to write out character definitions on a page to help understand progression or growth of character. eg. how will he/she dress, react to social situations etc..try figuring out the dad and the'll go crazy!

has anyone seen kamalhasans hindustani, chachi 420? or govinda's movie with multiple roles? sunny the spy or even anil kapoors fat-man make up...the prosthetics were far far superior in any of those films than this one, and this one happily gives credit to some chap for his obvious and hence shoddy make up. and what a horrendous white wig has been given to amitabh bachchan so it matches the hospital white! one did not know the disease wasted hair color as well as the brain!

given that there's nobody like amitabh bachchan. but he limps too the moment he starts doing a shake-the-head a la veer pratap singh from yash chopras latest...

forget about black. i'm betting long names for movies are soon going to make a comeback...after all black did not work, neither will sheesha or bewafa or any of the stupid movies... and we'll continue to put or hands on each other's mouths, and confound the dumb waiters at restaurants by mouthing "woaaater!"

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Get Off!

Get off that merry-go-round!
It’s for people half your age!
Get off that table!
Stop that dancing!
Stop that drinking!
Stop that singing off-key!
Join the matrons now!
Your turn is done!
The sun has set,
on your parade!

Cant you see?!
We were just,
Too polite to say it!
But now it’s time,
To hang up those dancing shoes,
To put away your clown hat,
To pick up that walking stick,
And settle down quietly
in that rocking chair.

It’s time to complain
About the nasty weather,
of tired aching joints,
and sudden pains,
faltering eyesight, fine print,
And lack of civilized company.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


my dreams are too endless,
my mind knows no fatigue.
i do not want peace with you,
i want you.

Friday, February 04, 2005

the prophesy

the awakening

when water shall touch you
you shall be marked with fire

he will walk with you in search of words
and you will sift the words for him

you will heal his fractured spirit
and he will bring to life yours

the acceptance

and you will want for nothing
if you begin to accept this your fate

fight you must for unpractised are you
the ways of fire may singe your soul

for the fire could blind you to the calls
the fire could take away the healing

temper the fire with your cool waters
let willingness mingle fire and water

the realization

fire shall rage stronger by day
memories of water soothe the nights

waters in turn shall be tamed and calm
for fire shall make strong the healing

just fifteen days before a year is marked
the water shall with fire willing meet

all else shall be put to wait
water-fire fire-water shall part not again.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

coffee, you and me

Once, I hid safely
Behind smirks of coffee
And crackling conversation.

Once, my dangly ear-rings
Distracted those wanting
To look deeper.

Once, my brazen hair
Outshone happily, everything
Between my ears.

Once, my eyebrow
Raised artfully, quelled
All attempts at intimacy.

Still wondering why,
I let you unravel
This carefully knit personality,
Over mocha and samosa.

(an apparently better version of this is on caferati...)

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

page three, dahlings!

i would absolutely hate to have a sullen, unhappy, miserably made up, badly dressed reporter wander thru my beautifully turned out page three party. even tho she is the daughter of a very very dear friend of mine, who would rather be seen dead than wander about a party dressed like a JNU drop out. yes, yes, dahlings. I finally saw 'page three'.

and loved the film. really really loved the film. the drivers were real, their language was so cool i wish i had taken down some of the lines. i wish i had written some of those lines. i cannot stop laughing about one of them calling his boss 'doberman' because i am reminded of not so long ago when a friend called her husband 'gabbar'...i absolutely luuurrrved the cop with a short fuse and a degree from ferguson; he was so sooo manly, i forgave him his profuse perspiration. i loved the creepy movie director who asks in a deadpan voice, 'degi kya'. i loved the karva chauth party. i loved the socialites. i loved when dolly thakore says, "show me something in white". i loved the snivelling secretaries of hunks. i loved sandhya mridul. even loved the ingenue from dilli. i love atul kulkarni walking to lecture konkona in kolhapuri chappals. i wish i had written the maachis exchanging scene between the policeman mister bhonsle and atul kulkarni. i loved everyone except our oily bengoily babe who was practically in every frame of the film.

don't know what madhur bhandarkar was hoping to get out of having the 'jhi'-like konkona sen wander around the brilliantly shot parties. she was so sullen i wanted NOT to gossip with her...i suppose he probably needed approval from the arty set...but she was so yukky i wanted to make a 'cold cream mein kitnee chipchipahat' wala 30 seconder...her make up was oily, i checked my own t-spot several times thru the film. and so many close-ups! shudder! atul kulkarni looked cleaner than her. hasn't anyone informed her of an oil-free face-wash?

everyone around our sullen (someone slap her! she has a job, and she cribs and cribs and cribs!) reluctant page three girl grows up as a character. the dilli girl, sandhya mridul, the various boy friends, the editor, and why, even the socialites manage to grow as characters. while crib queen just wanders about in clothes my bandra maid would not wish to be seen dead wearing. i mean what's with khadi gramodyog type kurtas? looking at her awful clothes, and worse ear-rings, i know for sure that she would not have the sense to figure out if wore a dated armani or a brand new araiya outfit to the party.

i know page three reporters who are so smart, so quick on the uptake that she looks out of place. she has no special dialogs, so when she makes that one smart crack as she tells the 'mate' 'lock the door next time', it seems like someone else said it.

sorry i sniggered when i saw her best mate and her boy friend make out. 'bound to happen!' cooed a silly co-ed sitting in the row behind us. 'they are so sexy and she is so eeeek!'

and i protest vehemently if anyone calls this acting:

she lands up in a madh bungalow where children are 'working'. her expression as she opens the bedroom door should have been that of a suicidal fish surprised at the worm that came with the hook, not as if she really expected a puja.

she is at an underwear shoot as a reporter. she looks like shes auditioning for balika bodhu, she simpers and smiles so coyly i want someone to tell her there are page three reporters who could tell you they've seen naked pool parties and would never bat an eyelash in surprise.

she even reacts badly when she is asked to be crime beat babe. i would be thrilled, because that's what i wanted, and to be training under the newspaper's best crime guy...she looks as if she were being made to drink castor oil.

so, should you see it?

But, of course! if the film were so bad, would i have wasted my time sitting through it? have walked out of naach and have asked people to stop munching popcorn when we were watching schindler's list, so would i tell you to see it if i had not loved it?! with neverland in the theaters which is goooood? i would have told you go see shark tale, or even the incredibles in hindi, or watch a re-run of kuch kuch hota hai- on sony tv...

go see it! but spend only the morning show money. 50 bucks is way too much already for the torture of seeing the sullen babe.

maybe she should be cast in and as 'phoolandevi II, the return to death valley'

maybe i would cast the girl who does the society pages for the Mid-day instead...

maybe i would cast the decomposing body of parveen babi instead...

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Blame it on the kimmam

methinks the khan and karan johar ought to do a 'lata mangeshkar' on the errant nandy babe. on the other hand maybe the entire film industry will automatically do a 'lata mangeshkar' on PNC...

what's a 'lata mangeshkar' you say? our very catty nightingale had once effectively killed competition from bole re papihara babe from the south by simply saying: shan't sing for anyone who asks her to sing.

i was also wondering why we have not heard a peep out of that pony-tailed self-styled management guru who insisted he was going to storm the film world by his well-researched film...the film came and went and no one including the audience cared...i don't think people even bothered to review it...only khunnas is, why are we so tolerant of fake guys like arindam chowdhary, and don't ask him to go back to his books or in the very least stop calling himself an expert or cut his pony tail off as an old fashioned prayaschitt...

maybe we should have a little more decency or self control and not show beautiful women in a state of decomposition... am speaking of parveen babi...even if it sells newspapers...

have suffered this control mechanism within that will not allow alcohol to get me off balance, neither will it allow the weed to work...but have discovered an old fashioned high called kimmam. it's going to help me thin-slice everyday life. and if you have not read blink, you will not understand what i am talking about. so until then, i leave you to fester...

Monday, January 31, 2005


I wandered about the house silently mouthing the name we had made up for you. I wondered how your pudgy baby arms would feel around my neck. I hugged myself. I have been doing that a lot lately. And smiling. I unwittingly walk into the room we have painted for you. Swirls from ‘Night Sky’. Yes, we want you to adore the same pictures. Listen to Bhimsen Joshi and Nusrat. We have even decided that you have to hear ‘Ode’ in German and not the crass ‘joyful, joyful’. Then I smile as I look at my image reflected in the glass that protected me from the cold January breeze beating down Council Crest. Portland was beautiful in winter, baby, and daddy will take you skiing on Mount Hood or maybe Rainier. Mommy would be waiting at the Lodge, memorizing Scrabble lists (so she could beat daddy at the game once again), until both would return, so tired from playing in the snow, you would sleep in the car on the way back home. I smile again. The word ‘mommy’ was far cry from the swear-a-sentence Armani clad creative director who could quell arguments with just one raised eyebrow. But I did not mind it. I know I am not cut out for diaper smells, or strewn toys, or baby burps or even bawling babies. I have never ever held a baby in my hands before, never wanted to. But you have changed that already. I have willingly stepped out of my stilettos and silk tights into hush puppies and track pants. I will never buy a baby bag with teddy bears and pink elephants but your diapers would be happy in the black Calvin Klein baby tote, I think.

I frown. Why was the phone ringing so much? What had happened to the answering machine?

Ah… the girls had not given up on me yet. We are going shopping, baby! Vee masi and your momma were going shoe hunting at Nordstrom. Maybe we will check the Rack out as well. The difference between Vee masi and momma was that Vee masi bought shoes when she was unhappy, and momma bought shoes just because she could.

The drive is fun, 108 fm is playing Bad Company again. I must remember to take the chunk of clay rolling about the trunk and dump it at the Community College. Mommy is not allowed to sit at the wheel any more. But when you grow up a bit, I shall teach you all about glazes.

Daddy is going to meet me at Powell’s after I’m done shopping. We’ll have cookies and chai and maybe not resist buying one more baby book, and then come home.

I buy three pairs of flatties. How much Vee and I laugh at the change. But I cannot resist that sexy two-toned slingback, so I give in. Maybe I can wear them after you are born…

Powell’s is so crowded I cannot find your daddy. My feet ache, my back aches and I am in the Blue Room, leaning against the bookshelf. Where is your daddy? Suddenly everything seems to recede. Thank god your Daddy materializes. What is he looking at me like that for? Why are so many crowding me? Go away all you people. I am just dazed a bit from shopping, that’s all.

I tell you baby, your daddy is going drive me crazy with his concern. He has left his car in the parking lot and hey he’s driving me to St.Vincents’. Maybe I should just lean back and close my eyes. Why is my back aching so much?

He’s talking to Doctor Arvind on the car phone, does not want to listen to me. I am going to be fine, let’s just go home. Don’t crash the gears; it’s a sports car sweetie, not your Montero.

St.Vincents is cold. My head hurts. The stupid nurse insists I sit on the wheelchair. Really! I am pregnant, not ill. But I feel so tired. I do not wish to argue any more. I feel silly being wheeled around like that. And will someone listen to me? The wheelchair is wet! It’s making my clothes wet. See hon, touch this, it’s wet, isn’t it? Why am I am feeling so tired? Someone will please someone get me off the wet chair? Why are you shouting my name? And why is your hand bloodied? Hell! They made me sit down on a bloodied chair! My white Gap pants will never be the same! Oh Doctor A, there you are! Sorry about all this fuss. What? Just that my back hurts like hell. Huh? Too late? What are we late for?

Thursday, January 20, 2005


wolves are unforgiving,
but never quiet.
come, bay at the erring moon.


shaam dhalte dhalte
hamara bhi kuch loot gayee hai
koi roko use, wah --
raat mein gul ho chali hai.

Monday, January 17, 2005


under orion's shadow
and a waxing moon
fate did sprinkle
a handful of stardust
on you and me last evening.

"give in, give in," said the stars.
but you, determined to be difficult,
let me drown my desires
in the capuccino swirls,
and the last few crumbs
of unholy dark chocolate
sticking to the lazy curves
of a silver spoon called need.


I'm tired, love.
Really really tired.
Tired of the knowing
And my inability of doing.

Tired of caring,
And healing and giving.
Tired of the voices
Seeking shelter in me.

Tired of it all.

Take me away then
Where the stardust
Shall cover my wounds.

Where the peace of the night,
Shall blanket it all.

Where I shall sleep,
And hear voices no more.

Where it wouldn't matter
If Mars found Venus at all.

Where I could curl up
Once again, in your arms,

And would not need to
Wake up again, any more.



1 part tequila
1 part Kahlua

Use a little pipe. Put the mix in a brandy cup. Fire the mix.
When it is burning, suck the mix faster than you can say,"Cucaracha!"


Fire 'n' Ice

1 part tequila
1 part peppermint Schnapps

Pour Schnapps carefully over tequila. Drink it.
At first it is nice and cool...then, fire!


Poor Fish

4-6 centilitres of tequila in a big whiskey glass with a thick bottom.
1 tiny golfish

1. Place fish on the bar table.
2. Empty the contents of the glass in your mouth.
3. Smash the fish with the glass on its way down from your mouth.


Sunday, January 16, 2005

Tequila Sunrise, Really!

I woke up with this terrible need to pee. "oh gawd, I'm turning out to be a real middle aged fart," I thought, rubbing the stubble on my chin and comparing it favorably to the cactus needles that seem to have sprouted all over my tongue.

I peed long. Hands free. My eyes still half closed to the diffused light forcing its way through the bathroom window. I yawned. And then looked down to get a grip on my wilting John Thomas and almost sprayed the bathroom, horrified by what I saw.

There were fifteen goldfish in there, an unflushed offering to the porcelain god.

And I had just peed on them.

I rushed out to the living room, naked, to confirm that number. Yes, there were fifteen goldfish in the pee-bowl, because the aquarium had none.

What had happened here? My head felt as if it had been on ice for a while. And why was a small giggly voice inside my head telling me to jump around? Why was it calling me, "Mowgli"? I shook my naked? Undignified? Sure. But I shrugged my shoulders. What the hell, who was going to see me do anything? Roopa was away for a bloody Feng Shui course!

Feng Shui? Feng fucking Shui?! Flashbulbs exploded in my brain and I held on to the phone for support. Feng Shui? Vaafuckingstu? Yoga? Art of fucking living? Earth Mother Circle? Clan of the fucking Cave Bears?

Last night the bunch of us had formed the Fed Up With Fads group. And Roopa's goldfish were sacrificed for our protest. A few of my heavy bottomed caballitos were sacrificed too. And four of the five bottles of fermented blue cactus juice as well.

Slam one. Some sputtered. It had been a long time since we had done this.

"Every time I turn to speak with Carla, there she is -- twisted up in some weird posture on the floor!"

"Think of all the action in your bedroom, man!"

"I thought the same thing! But Yoga is getting her close to God, not the husband!"

Slam two. Perfect. Like the memory of one's first cigarette.

"Each time I come home, I see her lighting candles for peace or some such shit. The whole house smells of vanilla ice cream or lemonade...I was a spectacle at the meeting today when I walked in smelling of lavender!"

Three. The salt and lime put my tongue on fire.

"Remember how Sudha hated my poster of Frank Zappa in the computer room? She would complain about his she's torn it down and there's a huge picture of Jesus and of the five Sikh Gurus and a couple of sadhus...they all have beards and it doesn't faze her and she's praying to them all! She's even taking Sanskrit lessons to bloody 'understand the deeper meaning' of the religious texts!"

Four down.We salute the Aztecs and Indira Gandhi.

"I used to complain of Preeti being so she's wearing white all the time and smiles all the time and spends all her time with the Art of Living chaps...the whole house feels alien..."

The fifth kills a few more brain cells.

"Someone called my darling Lolo 'fat', and that threw the whole house in disarray. The freezer is empty. We're eating rabbit food or some bizarre combination of six grains and seven greeens or the other way around. The kids are hungry all the time... We've visited McDonalds on the sly, and I hate lying about it to her."

"Gawd, you mean she is not going to make Chicken Kiev any more?"

We need the sixth now. The stories have become scarier.

"Raji has turned vegan. Threw out all my shoes and belts one Sunday morning. Called me the butcher of Bombay!"

Could we go on? How did the stories compare with the rowdy tequila nights at bars talking of body slamming with Jennifer Lopez? The eighth, ninth, and tenth knocked us all out.

I think I heard about Niki's trips to the tarot reader, and Shalu's sudden fascination with the celestial alignment of the stars. I know Deepak was crying over Natasha wandering about the house in a state of silence because she was practising Vipassana. I knew that fourteen goldfish lay dead on the table, and the members of Fed Up With Fads were lying under it.

Now it was my turn. Like others before me, I fished out the last wriggling goldfish by its tail and looked it straight in the eye. With the other hand, downed my shot.

That took me some time, but who was watching the clocks? I dropped the goldfish on the wooden table. It danced about wildly. I raised my arm and brought it down hard on the table, hoping to put the damned fish out of its misery. That's what the others had hoped too with their fish. It wasn't easy. With each attempt I voiced my hate for the Feng Shui that had swallowed my Roopa whole.


Now Roopa tells me that the bandage on my forehead is the result of her discovering five guys asleep in the guest room (smiles plastered on their faces), me on the sofa ("What were you doing naked with those guys around?! Ugh!"), her goldfish in a very stinky bathroom, the next evening.

She had taken one hard look at everything, pronounced me guilty, and had meted out punishment she felt was eminently suited for the crime. She had taken the last bottle of tequila ("It was sitting on the table, laughing at me!" she claimed.), and had smashed it over my head.

This is not a fish story.

(december 14, 2000)