Monday, January 30


I'm sleeping early tonight.
So I can catch more of the day tomorrow.

I love chai and I think chaiwalas are interesting people full of tales.

This that day

This day was many many many days ago. I like to know that it was many many many days ago. Because my present state of mind is very happy. I'm blissfully floating a bit, steadily, so I won't fall all of a sudden.
And I have so many things to write about but I don't feel like writing them down here anymore. Perhaps I'm just too lazy.
Perhaps I'm just really happy and content.
Perhaps I don't want to break the spell...

Tickets and a flower

Friday, January 27

This is an incomplete drawing made for a poem written by a friend.
I hope to finish it one day.

I love mosquito nets.

Wednesday, January 25

A day.

This morning when I opened the door to get the newspaper,
Winter barged right in and gave me a tight tight hug.


On my way back from the Ticket booking office,
on a cycle rickshaw moving along slowly.
The empty road reminded me of
sleepy summer days of my childhood
in Kamptee.

the rickshaw-walah swerved to the left
we entered a hot lane bustling with activity
nervous frenzy
freaking vendors
maniacal road crossers
frenzied cattle

all the forty different sub-tastes of the bite of guava in my mouth
were drowned in the two hundred and three people/traffic noises.

Last night...
while scanning funny textbook drawings of fruits and vegetables for my film, I came across some rather interesting drawings.
Take a dekko.


I stumbled upon 'Getting there' (a semi-autobiographical novel) many years ago. I knew about manjula Padmanabhan from her Target magazine days but eversince that went underground (to be replaced by the hideous Teens Today), there was no news of this celebrated Artist/illustrator/ writer (except for the unfortunate death of her child in a road accident).
So I bought Getting there and gobbled it up quickly. Thereafter, I heard about her comic strip that appeared in the Pioneer newspaper in the mid 80s and as luck would have it, I came across a whole, (that time) new compilation of her comic strip called Double Talk, at the little bookstore at

I've read and reread Suki more than a hundred times since. And always go back to it when I need a laugh (not like the laugh Dylan and the Beatles often went for). Double talk is a comic strip with a difference. The protagonist is Suki, a semi-autobiographical character made by Padmanabhan. Suki is, well, funny and well, different (I'm obviously not great at descriptions).

Here are two pages from the book, that are by far, my favourite.
Padmanabhan got a lot of flak from the readers of the Pioneers because they didn't understand
this humour. See if this goes down well with you.

Tuesday, January 24

Friday, January 20

Atul tagged me. I have to write 8 things about what my ideal partner should be like. So, I'm going to sit back for ten minutes (hopefully it won't take me more than that) and write this out.

This is about a: Male

Er...without much ado, here's the list.

Male in question should be/have...

1. Intelligence. Not just bookish. A scholar/ doctor/ even a management scientist would not impress me if he didn't have the sense to talk to someone who needed to talk to him.

2. Compassion. Very important.

3. Sense of humour that enjoys atleast most of my bad/ non-joke jokes.

4. Atleast a bit bohemian in nature, and this means, besides other things, he should be willing to stay up all night with me just so we could go away to the Sun temple, to catch the sunrise, walk back from the theatre in the late afterrnoon, if I so wish, not be too finicky about the mess I work in ( it's clean but messy), cook silly, goofy (non?) meals for me and let me do the same for him, cycle around town with me, etc...(longish list, actually) :)

5. The ability to tackle any situation without getting rude/ violent (this does not include the very filmy, but possible getting mugged situations. Films are based on real life, no?) :)

6. Live with me most of the time.

Can't think of any more things right now.

I'm sure I'll remember them as soon as i post this.

8. Oh yes! Should love me lots.


Okay, I posted this and felt I was forgetting something. So, I'd forgotten to tag anyone!!

Here's the list of people I'd like to tag.


Jugular Bean
Finny Forever
Lost Doll
4th Dwarf

Thursday, January 19

It was a big, beautiful silver pendant with a luminous white stone

Why is it that when I finally sit down to write stuff here, all the things I wanted to write about,(even the sentences I'd formulated in my mind), evade me.

I've been living a fairly bohemian lifestyle for the past several months, no, wait, several years. Now, before these several months, this bohemia seemed to make perfect sense. Suddenly, at the height of tension and other woes, it seems absurd to be staying up all night, night after endless night to do my work. I mean, there are other people I know who also have work to do and they take it easy. And of course there are poeple around me who don't even sleep the number of hours I do. I know it depends on several things but just this evening I got thinking. Nothing seems to be moving in the direction I wanted things to move in. But then again, I haven't specified this direction either. But you know ....too far east is west.

So, I'm supposed to leave for USA after 20 days. I am not prepared for this hiatus right now. I mean, of course I want to spend time with my family there, but there are so many things on my mind. It just seems like the wrong time to be going away from all that I've wanted to do, when I'm finally going to be free to do all that. Why do paradoxes surround us?
So, if I don't want to go there right now, why am I going? Simple, because that's what everyone else wants me to do to and I don't have the heart to refuse. I've been a nutcase all my life, done things the wrong way, done them too late, left too many things incomplete, done too many things too soon and not done anything, I said, paradoxical... I don't want to be a nutcase all my life. I want to make people happy. Of course I'm going to have a great time, long vacation and all, we'll travel around and do lots and lots of fun stuff, etc. But.

I want to work in the social sector and I've finally decided what I want to do. This realisation makes me very happy. I'm going to move away from the educaton I have got for so many years, and pursue something that I know I must. It seems to be my calling and I hope I won't disappoint not just my family, but also myself, anymore.

Is it true that we create our own limits? Really?
Now, what else did I want to write about? I can't seem to remember....But these are some things I'd like to do tomorrow...and I know I can't, no time now.

~ Go to the National Gallery of Modern Art. The last time I went there (after years) was with a schoolmate I was meeting after a decade. He's in the army now. I love Amrita Shergil's work and seeing her canvasses in person is just too precious an experience for me. Each time I enter her gallery, I sit in the middle and look around, spellbound and then look at each painting carefully, in due time turning my gaze to my favourite.... Bride's Toilette. Why am I writing about all this? Because when I went to NGMA with Capt. Schoolmate, I wished I could run away from there! He had below zero knowledge about art, any of the paintings in the gallery, any of those painters, and when we entered the Shergil gallery, he went on (as he had been going on in all the previous galleries) about how a certain fruit in a certain painting was so funny and O, look how stupid this is, and what was the painter thinking when he made this ugly painting, and that's no way to draw a house, that's not how hands and feet look, etc. It troubled me no end. It was terrible. Finally, I had to stop it and began to talk about whichever painter's painting we were looking at, about his brush strokes and his self-portraits, etc. I think Capt. Schoolmate then realized that those paintings meant something else to me. It's another matter that the captain liked me in school and I figured he liked me even when we met (this happened some months ago), when he gave me something in a jewellery pouch and asked me to open it only when I got home. That's exactly what I did...
Anyway, I digress. I want to go to the NGMA.

~ Sleep
Ah, that beautiful thing...haven't slept well in what seems like forever.

~ Meet some friends. Since this is a wishlist, perhaps I should say more aptly, I want to meet the only boy on my mind, even though he isn't in this town...
I'd like to laze around with some friends, maybe drink some beer, sleep, talk, go out for a film, buy some books or just browse around in a bookstore...just very normal things I haven't done in very long.

~ Go sketching.

~ Have chai at a nice roadside chai-shop and talk to the people sitting around. I love striking up a conversation with fellow chai-drinkers, sometimes when I'm sipping chai at a roadside chai-shop. If I'm not feeling too chatty, I'll just eavesdrop! :)

~ Eat what I want to, however little I want to.

If I write any more, I think it'll just seem like I want my old life back. And that will make me nostalgic and ....soppy!

Must look ahead...must look ahead...must look

Wednesday, January 18

For some people we'll be people,
flesh and blood or transparent,
talking of visceral notes,
strings, words and numbers.

For the rest
we'll only be


they met on a ladder
over a coffee
near the door
through the fishbowl
at the counter
in the queue
at the neighbor's party,
shared a laugh with (a la The Beatles and Bob Dylan)
drew some moments with,
made some long distance calls to,
chased bubbles with,

but didn't manage to cross over to the other side
as flesh and blood.

We will remain numbers to most.

(One of these days I am going to bounce back with gusto and write only about the lemon tarts I made, books I am trying to read, number of glasses of water I drink in a day, shopping I will never do, coffee mugs that I love to collect, all the other things I love to collect, etc. Till then I'm afraid it's going to be somewhat soppy.)

Monday, January 16

The Bang is here.
It's reached me.
I've reached it.

'Those' days,
are long forgotten,
they are,

Sunday, January 15

Will someone please serve me three dollops of white and a small one of cyan

Saturday, January 14

with ease and a phantom, platinum pair of small tongs i have lifted this from the november archives and set it down here.

it's terrible.
i'm using lower case.
don't have the patience to use upper case or caps.


they enter
your life
they enter
slowly they fill up your thoughts
one call a day
from far away
is enough
to make you blush
and two?
that would be beetroot
on your cheeks
and three?
you'd be flying
yippity yee!!
oh gee!
it'd last.

never does!
a loud loud LOUD bang
in just a few days
it'll all be gone
far away
you won't know what it was
that hit you.
it hurts.
just when you're thinking
and that
one finger at a time
you begin to give
yourself away
one thing
at a time
one smile
one teardrop
one smudge of mascara
one letter from the alphabet
one page in the green hand sewn book
one call
after the other
one thought
one person
one life
one dream
one language
one another

till the BANG!

and then it's all gone.
seems like it's gone now.
i'm cheesed off. i want to shout, pull out large wads of grass from the lawn
make it bald in a patch
i want to starve myself
because i don't feel hungry
when i'm


damn you!

(i don't wear mascara. neither have i been receiving calls from someone, everyday. this isn't me really, at this point in time. but it makes sense to me, still. )

E is for...

...eyes (outside an envelope)

Friday, January 13

(I'll say what I want to).

(Tape conversation translated by a novice.)

Thursday, January 12

You know what he sang that day?

He said, You are my sunshine....

I saw some things on the way...

Wednesday, January 11


I need drawing tutions urgently.

Does anyone know of someone who can teach me how to draw


Look what I found!

Discovered this great artist/illustrator called
Carson Ellis. And then I discovered this....
ta daa!

Tuesday, January 10

It's been a nice day. Eventful and productive. I got my visa. And a surprise, too.

I'm going to watch a film now. I've got a pile of them that have been sitting in the case for months and I haven't watched them. So, tonight is going to be my film night. I feel like watching Triplets of Belleville again. Perhaps I'll watch bits of it. I also feel like watching bits of In the mood for love, and also, Chunking Express. Wong Kar Wai is an awesome filmmaker. He gives the term serendipity a whole new perspective by letting his audience discover little hidden nuances in the film, by watching it several times, carefully. I noticed, in Chunking Express, the big cuddly Garfield that Faye buys for the cop in the second half, is actually shown in the first half as well, when the blond wigged woman is looking for those 'Pakis' frantically. She crosses this toy store and that's when you see Faye walking out with this huge Garfield toy. Films like these can be watched several times without ennui setting in. I'm already watching Chunking Express, as I write this.... I love it!!

I also feel like watching atleast bits of Waking Life, as well.

Monday, January 9

Congress grass
and touch-me-nots
remind me of
alcoves of my childhood
hopping around
every two years.

And why is it
after spending nearly ten dotted years
in this house,
in this city,
I still don't feel belonged?


I went out to get my visa picture clicked. It's come out horrible, as most mugshots do. After that I went to a general store to buy biscuits and stuff. While I was at the toothbrush rack, a boy came up and began to arrange the toothbrushes. I bought biscuits and noodles and the same boy put them in a bag for me. I didn't have the guts to look at him. I'm sorry, you have to work when you should be out playing with your friends, eating monkey nuts and dangling your legs from walls and trees branches. How long will I keep looking away and apologising later for being part of something undigestable, but being part of it, nevertheless? It cannot be denied, only feeling for something and doing nothing about it, counts as nearly being patronising about it, no? How long will I keep extending my plans to work on things I feel for?

The old stationers's shop was warm, as all stationers' shops should be. Not warm because of several room heaters. No, it was a small shop and the door was open. Warm because of the old stationers, themselves. Now, I've had this fetish for stationery ever since I was a child. So when I go to these shops, I try and extend my stay there as much as possible because it's a feast for my eyes! So I ask for something that I know they'll take a long time to fish out. I asked for sablehair brushes today and luckily for me, this shop wasn't well arranged. Which meant, they took nearly ten minutes to fetch the brushes from a drawer full of a lot of other paraphernalia as well! A man came in and said, "Reynolds' refill", to which one of the old stationers said, " Billu?", to which the man said," Billu". End of conversation, a blue Reynolds refill was handed out to him.

Finally I bought two HB pencils (even though I don't use HB) (bought them because they're all striped and nice and all...), two paint brushes and one palette. On the way out, I got a comfleement!! A lady who'd walked in before I left told me I have loverly eyes! (big grin)

Next, I sat in my very own chariot, okay not my own but it sure felt like that. Went to book my train tickets and an old man chatted with me. I was reminded of Coyote's poem. The woman standing in front of me in the queue was looking at another woman, I was looking at her, and this old man sitting nearby (it was a queue for ladiss and senior citizens) was looking at me. I don't know who was looking at the old man and who was looking at the one looking at the old man... The woman at the counter, buying a ticket suddenly almost shrieked, " No!! Please don't give me the side berth!! Give me the upper berth, or the middle berth even, but not the side berth...Plisss!".

Oh I also bought some hairpins for my friend, B, who has the shortest possible haircut right now. She's been called Kiran Bedi's sister too many times and the last time we were at Connaught Place, eating some roadside crunchies, a funny man in a red blazer came up to her and asked if she was indeed happening to be Kiran Bedi's sis (hic!) ter, by annny chance? She said a quick and terse, " NO" and turned away.
I told the guy selling hairpins, they weren't of very good quality and that they snap after a month. He insisted they were the best at which point I had to tell him, he wouldn't know because he's clearly never used them! Hawww!! I can't believe I said that to him! He laughed and thought of a retort, too late...

Sunday, January 8

Some more from Aaron Jasinski.
I love looking at his work. It's inspiring.
Yesterday was a first for me.I went to the parlour to get a fruit facial! Har har.

So this is what happened!
I was asked to get into this strappy dress (it's freezing!). Then I was asked to lie down on the bed. They turned down the lights and one girl got working...She put on a hair band for me while I was lying down face up.I closed my eyes...She dabbed on several kinds of lotions and (fruit?) creams on my face and vigorously massaged them in. Then dipped her hands in hot water and massaged it all in. Then wiped it all off with a warm towel. Then dabbed n some more (fruit?) cream. Then vigorously massaged it all in Then wiped it all off. Then dabbed on some cream. And then wiped it all off..... :)

Then she asked me to turn around. Then she unzipped the dress a bit. Then dabbed on a lot of lotion on my back and, can't imagine what came next!She started almost punching me! And for all the energy she was putting into it, she might as well have been jumping on my poor back. And the funny thing is, was, it tickled a lot! So after pounding my back for five minutes or so, I was asked to turn around again. The lights had been turned down so I could relax and maybe even go off to sleep. But the rest of the room was full of women getting head massages with noisy devices, and pedicures and manicures etc. And when I tried to put all these sounds away, the radio told me 'let's do the balle balle'...

Then back to dabbing on some lotion, massaging it in and wiping it all off. Then some face scrub and a massager and wiping it all off again. Then she put two cottonwool swabs dipped in rosewater on my eyelids and left a facepack on. When it dried, she came back with a wet towel and wiped it all off.It was really funny!

But the funniest thing is, the whole business of dabbing, massaging and then wiping it all off, works out quite well and you feel rejuvenated after it.
Sunday morning up with the lark...I think I'll take a walk in the park...

My Sundays are very very different. I have a whole lot of things I want to do by the time it's Saturday. And then on Sunday morn I wake up past 11 a.m. since I sleep very very late on Saturday night. Then I want to catch some nice shows on the tv and make myself a nice pot of lemongrass tea while I watch them! Then I want to sit and do the Sunday crossword too. By this time it's already late noon. Then I sit and whine a bit about how half my Sunday's already flown away.

Forget all that.
Today is Sunday and I have a whole lot of things to do. My deadline draws near, to finish my film and I feel guilty when I sleep. So I woke up with a start and made myself that pot of lemongrass tea and folded the newspaper to the crossword. Couldn't concentrate on it so put it aside. Sat with my father for a short while and when he lay down for his Sunday siesta, I came back to my studio (yay yey I have a studio...well, it is my atelier) and turned on the computer.

There are mountains of clothes and other things in 'my' room, the one I use only (if at all) to sleep in these days. I haven't had the time or the inclination to put things back in their places. And my studio was beginning to look stormhit as well so I decided to clean it up just now. I don't have the time to unplug the computer and clean my desk that thoroughly, but I did clean up as well as I could in these times!

It's all such a rush. I don't know where my days and nights are flying off to. I can barely tell one day from the next...or the last for that matter. And I have a visa interview on Tuesday. And now I'm beginning to think of what if they don't give me the visa?! My biggest fear is that I haven't planned out what I'm going to do with my life if I don't go to visit my sister in February. I know things always fall into place but the interim is a mighty tough time. Mighty tighty. Mighty tighty whitey

I want to go cycling today. I haven't taken out my cycle in months.
I want to do my normal chores around the house. There's no time.
I want to read a book for atleast an hour. There are lots of books I've bought lately and I've had absolutely zilch time to read them.
Perhaps the day isn't far when I will be able to do all this.

Till then, it's going to be a daze.

And oh! some days it gets so darn cold that I feel like crying!

This is beautiful, isn't it? I love the mood, the energy, the colours and the somberness of it.
Aaron Jasinski is a hero...

Friday, January 6

You know what?
Let's fall in love!
Let's do a cantaloupe dance,
let go a bit
and feel what's going on.
Let's fall in love

You know what...
Let's stay away from all this.
Let's not thnk of anything else.
Platonic is best.
You can chalk out your options
and I will continue to remind you
that we are not hypothetical case studies
real humans
and that
we cannot
wipe out or memory banks
if we wish to...
I'll continue to remind you
that of all the options you chalk out,
we have only one to 'choose' from, really!
Let's keep things diagonal.
Not straight
longitudinal or latitudinal
but aslant.
That works best for both of us...

But enough from me...
You know what?
Now you tell me what you think
and then,
tell me the options you've chalked out...

Thursday, January 5

Curious little fella

Butterfly boy kept coming back to see where the three of us were looking, to hear what we were listening to and also what we were talking about, and what we were doing.

Long train journeys make a whole coach full of strangers, behave like distant relatives of a fairly large family. We exchange pleasantries and later, begin to behave as though we know what the other person wants/ likes/ thinks.
Strange and wonderful.
Sometimes when I'm working on my computer and any given task is taking my machine a long time to prosess, for instance, a render of a film clip, and it makes this roaring sound, and i think, it's going to burst into a million pieces any moment now. That's exactly what I think my mind's going to do any moment now.
Burst into a million pieces.
If I could draw any better, I'd draw it.

PMS is awful.

I can't grow my nails, they're too brittle. Also, it's too girlie a thing for me to do, I don't have the patience to do it.

I must read something. I must write something, too.

Wednesday, January 4

The wedding

Some pictures from the wedding at

The orange lady on the berth in front of mine gave me ample opportunity for filling up my sketchbook...

I'm getting too lazy.
Should've written things down during my vacation itself.
Now I have four sacks full of memories and enough ink to write them down with. But
I'm too lazy.

Also, on the way to Miraj, when we were crossing endless golden landscape, B said, we were riding on the back of a big lazy lion sleeping in the afternoon sun.
On the way back to Delhi, when V and I were arguing about where we'd reached, B said, calmly, matter of factly; we'd reached the inskirts of Delhi.

B is full of life and enthuses me when I need the extra shot of adrenalin.

So, I'm absolutely single and not at all ready to mingle. Called up the only man on my mind, after many months. I was nervous. Really nervous. He was normal. Normal in the way he used to talk to others, not me. I hung up soon, didn't know what else to say. It pains me, this distance. Emotional distance. Pains me very much.

I will first write down memoirs of this trip in my green notebook and then perhaps write it down here. I gather, that will be the right course of things.

It's awful to be back in this city. Drives me nuts.

Can I not stay put in Ganapati Pule instead? I want to drive through the mango tree landscape every single day and when I see all the trees laden with fruit, it will be a happy day...

Last year, the best new year resolution I heard came from a junior at college. He said his new year resolution was 300 dpi.

(har har har haar har har)

Tuesday, January 3

Some more

What is it about this city that extinguishes all the exuberance that I carry back with me preciously guarded from distant places?

For starters

Happy new year!

I've been away for my friend's wedding and then a superb little holiday.
Details shall follow.
It was a great time and very rejuvenating. I feel brand new.
Sketched a lot in the trains and buses while travelling.