It’s quarter to six, the sun is still warm on my legs.

A ticket for one and some samosas to revive me,

I wait for the warning signal, my FL-12 is due.


No ladies coupe for me, I need leg and breathing space.

Light blue checks in pink, two bangles in each hand

Those nimble hands looked for the familiar clap.


Father and daughter, tender moments of catch-catch.

Generous, they shared their seat with me at 2nd’bad,

“What is your name?” from a weary heart to a warm one.


This little bag of bones goes to a blind school in Malakpet.

Does not like the curd-rice and rasam they serve there,

Her laughs are feeble but full of life.


It’s summer vacation, the school called.

She is gonna be home until June 20th, err 12th (she corrects).

Father’s youngest and dearest.


Even stoned faces after a day long work smiled.

She sees what she feels and lives what she feels,

Her “abbo!” for every shy expression and delight.


Father and I talked about Hyderabad and Delhi, Maharashtra.

They speak Telugu, Hyderabadi Hindi and are Kannada,

Preeyanka wants to grow up to teach Telugu.


One brother works in Satyam, brings home 6k!

Another in the printing press,2k less!

Father has a plant, from a humble 5k to 15 lakhs.


Asked me how much rent I pay?

He imagined my salary, I laugh gently. 

The vis-a-vis of the complex and the simple, their humble thrill.


Her little hand slipped into mine, played a few games, talked.

Asked me if I can come for tea, uhmm…

Hitec came, bye and be good. I should have.





a listless dying

dying is an art, believe me.
it can be passive, it can be quiet.
it can be national news, it can be anonymous.
it can be routine and in doses,
for all you know, it may be cheerful and not morbid.

you also have everyday dying,
where a lil' part of you ceases in various forms.
a small part of you gets bored and corroded
another part of your thoughts gets used to things and patterns,
habits and likewise.

like today, something died
the fairytale reality just took a U-turn
sensibilities and attitudes change
in the name of accommodation
many become martyrs.

my belief shook a lil, my fears a lil exposed
close ones go and those living live on
you choke on your own tears
a lil worried to share what i feel
lest, i am judged

so, dying becomes easy and
frowning cowardly.
you die in a crowd or on a hill top
you die alone, and misunderstood
like i care to explain why i die.


I watched Arundhati, a Telugu supernatural thriller. This movie eluded me for a long time. Since there was a power cut on a Saturday mid-day, it was a good idea to spend the afternoon watching a movie. The plot is beautifully woven with mythology. You can see the essence and power of Shakti at its regal best. The fable of Lord Indra’s weapon, the Vajrayudha (made from the backbone of Sage Dadichi) is borrowed here. For a Telugu movie, the role of the protagonist is one of the best I have seen, author-backed and believably real, that too for a woman!

Anushka’s alternate roles as the regal Jaijamma and the modern day Arundhati is beyond description. The supernatural spin might be a lil’ too much but she handled it so well. There are a few aha moments. I especially liked young Arundhati, with her doe eyes and when they spewed anger, they sure were full of fire. She was a delight to watch when she danced, when she practised fencing, horse- riding and also, when she pronounced the death sentence (almost with that finality) to her dangerously errant cousin and brother-in-law, Pasupathi (Sonu Sood). The ritual of entering the water to wash away the temporal-ness of her present life and take up the mantle of the kingdom was a strong poignant moment. There is a confident aggression which converts into a steely determination later on.

This lady loves red, her red saris and the self-portrait.  As long as things were under control, they were. When famine and disease afflicted her kingdom thanks to the mischief of Pasuapti’s pret atma, she wore the saffron robes and gave up her life to fight the ultimate battle. That is another moment. She didn’t flinch at her painful, slow and self-inflicted death. Those kohled eyes and the patch of vermillion, they are images that stay with you.

I won’t discuss the plot with you, it is up there for everyone, pretty predictable. Sonu Sood was good, extremely menacing and maniacal. I would hate to meet his mother (in the movie), she looks very hideous and scary. The Aghori Babas added that exotic flavour. The rest of the cast are the usual uncles and aunts, children and parents. Sayaji Shinde as the ghost buster Anwar was reassuring. Not as spooky as a Goosebump read.

school shoes

I hated the buckle girlie-shoes from Bata, I loved Naughty boy shoes, but when I got kicked, I got kicked badly. Admired Liberty shoes but never got to wear them. I used to reach school early and I normally sweat my guts out playing ready-ready with a few others. Before even Assembly began, my shoes were a dusty brown. Never got penalized. I had ways to get them cleaned. Running them on your black socks by the shin was such fun and easy, and if you dint want to dirty them, then use some thermocole. You have to bear that funny annoying noise but it works. 

When Papa was away and Ma was busy attending to 2-month old Bunty, she caned me one afternoon with the clothesline bamboo for getting my shoes dirty before Assembly. It’s funny because she got the longest stick which was difficult to maneuver and I hopped from one side to the other. I never dirtied my shoes after that. I only made them worse in the rainy months. The instruction is never to step outside, your shoes will tell the truth. I used to step outside only during the 3rd period for a toilet break and it used to rain heavily and my shoes go soggy. I tell the truth, if I had played in the rain, I would have caught a cold or a fever. Papa threatened to not send me to school if the shoes don’t dry and I was never allowed rainy boots.The sun alwys unfailingly showed up. 

Once I was a big girl, that is class-5, I became super finicky about my shoes. Nobody should even step on them by mistake. After that, Papa never had to use much polish. Classmates laughed at me that I don’t polish my shoes and that I make Papa work. I fought with them many times. But hey, Papa has taught us how to polish shoes, just that he enjoys doing that for his children. Today, Papa misses doing those small lil’ things for any of his children, because we have all grown up and we have our ways and means of cleaning, polishing and maintaining them.It is another ritual when after breakfast I go and stand infront of Papa asking him to tie my shoe-laces. I always trusted him for that and also, that I will never trip on my shoe-laces if Papa did them. I learned doing them when I was a big girl :)