Monday, November 15, 2010

My Rules of life or just everyday Arunlekhaisms - 1

  1. Have empathy for everyone. Everyone.
    [ It makes every bitching session very long winded as you end up switching sides because you feel like you understand the motives and that had you been at their place, you wouldnot have done anything too different]
  2. Don't be ashamed of the truth. Truth will set you free.
    [No matter what we have become and how much society has conditioned us at being average and have homogeneous aspirations. Truth remains the same. However, Any sentence beginning with “According to me” is not the absolute Truth. It is your opinion. Truth is that CO2 is a pollutant.]
    p.s: If you have a low self-esteem, admit it. To yourself. That will help stop you from hating others who seem to have high self-esteem]
  3. Apologize for your mistake.
    [It feels great. And not only for altruistic reasons. Make your apology in clear words and sentences. Say what exactly what you are sorry for. And what you are not sorry for and if you want to dicuss things further, you should. You will feel strong and completely in charge of your own actions.]
    p.s: It's O.K to apologize to yourself if you are the person whom you have let down
  4. Don't make the same mistake twice.
    [You will be embarrassed about all the apologies you will be making to others and mortified about the ones you will be making to yourself. Learn from your mistake and resolve to never repeat them again. Analyze your mistake and learn about yourself from it. Make a note of the patterns and try to change them if you can't live with them]
  5. Listen to yourself.
    [All of us who can afford it, have a prickly soul. We cry and get upset or depressed or alienated. Take time out of the things you have to do, like, study, work, eat and the like and get to know yourself. Check for your instinctive reactions. Don't be alarmed if your natural reactions are very different from that of the societal norms. That is your truth and we can't be ashamed of it. Never let your conscience stay guilty. Never. Never. Do whatever you have to to make amends and then make peace with the situations and promise yourself, to never let your conscience feel like this again.]
  6. Remember in Minute details.
    [In order to learn. You have to remember your life in details. Plus, your life is worthy of being made into a movie or a sitcom at least, wont do you good to forget]

To be continued...

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Relatively Dark

I was about 5 when I realised that I was darker than my younger sister. And immediately my 5-year old me deduced that darker probably also meant coarser, uglier.....

I would go around comparing the colour of my skin to that of my mother's and my grandmother's and would still come up with the same answer. I was clearly a brown skinned little girl whereas my sister, my mother, and my grandmother were yellow, cream and almost peach, respectively.

My even fairer mashi would come to visit Kolkata every winter with my rosy-cheeked boy cousins and the four of us would play and have our pictures taken and I stood out as the darkest and I felt almost unclean. I would try to scrub out the 'moila' but I still remained as brown as ever. A day in the sun would turn me coffee-coloured and them red.

Looking back, I saw that I was well-loved, pampered and almost spoilt by my parents and grand-parents. There were never any direct negative comments from them regarding the difference in skin colour. Looking back, I saw that my family tried to never make me feel bad about being dark. My grandmother would sing 'Krishnokoli Aami Taare i boli' to me all the time. 'Kalo ee jogoter aalo,' was a oft-repeated line. There was an anecdote about how the Doctor who delivered me told my mother that she now has a 'Pauroma Shundori' daughter. And then with their faces etched in difficult-to-hide disappointment, my mother or her mother would lament how I then grew darker because of the hot-oil massages they'd given me as an infant. I would then joke, saying good for those encounters with Hot oil, for I was a much healthier kid than my sister, and I rarely caught the sniffles. No, there were never any negative comments.

I was positively taught to consider being dark beautiful. But, sadly, if not for that I would have never known I was dark.

They tried too hard to make me accept myself, whereas, at 5, I had not yet looked at the mirror then and had not had any notion of the beautiful or the not.

With all the love and all positive reinforcements in my childhood, despite them, I grew up feeling ugly and coarse and ungainly (till I was about 11 or 12 when a very dear friend's casual comment about how pretty I am, made me relook in the mirror)

Of course, this is not a linear story. It has circular repurcussions. Since, I was not as good-looking as my sister (it's not only the skin tone – She is prettier), it was again and again said, how I was smart, and how I was such a precocious reader and the like, and my sister grew up believeing she is stupid.

Anyway. One day I grew up, after years of hearing my family debate about whether I was Shyamla or wheatish or just a bit 'moila,' I relooked in the mirror at 11 or 12 and realised what an attractive -looking girl I was and how I was barely even dark. Especially in Hyderabad, my home-city

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


And it may hurt me, I suppose. It may hurt my individuality I suppose, to realise that I am not unique. And that the life I have just lived, which in reality I have not yet finished living is not just my life, but that myriads of children like me, have had the exact same childhood. Parents arriving in their lives from the same stock of 'culture' and 'value.' Diluted by the 'beliefs' and 'education' of similar grandparents. Peppered by similar 'cunning,' 'benevolent,' or simply 'indifferent' aunts and uncles and smeared with same cousins. Cousins who are exactly what I am, or exactly what I could have been had I been born in their family instead of mine. And my childhood plays out like a film I suppose. Colourful, rich, filled with pathos and irony, all seen through my vulnerable, powerless, 9-year old eyes. My childhood plays on and and on in a loop. I change. For I have grown up and moved away from the film of my childhood. But there is still a multitude of similar children stuck in the film that is my childhood, that is also their childhood. Childhood, wherein, no thought sticks out (or it does, but you have to quash it in order to fit in, and you will want to fit in, for you are still a child) and you live in fear. No No, there is Joy! Joy, happiness, surprise, but there is an underlying patina of fear – Of helplessness – Of rightlessness – of not knowing how to fight back (in a world filled with stupid stupid adults). And as soon as you perceive some strengths, some height, some rights within yourself, you rebel. And the adult world will label you, 'Rebel without a cause.' But of course, there is a cause. An umbrella of causes. For everytime someone was unfair to you. And someone was. Most of the time, it was your benign, loving mother or your silent, reserved but adoring father who wronged you. They wronged you by simply being themselves. They wronged you by the virtue of not being perfect. By being parents without really being God. By just being Good, which simply wasn't good enough, when it came to raising a child. Any child. Every child. Me. Everytime, an adult in power said something stupid, something casually, something lightly, without realising that it is going to stay with me my whole life, for I heard it as a child and my clean slate of a mind, simply absorbed it like a sponge.

And then one day I grew up. I learnt to tell the truth even at the cost of not being liked by my peers, I learnt to tell the truth even at the cost of sounding exactly the same as my peers. I resisted the urge to fit in. I resisted the urge to stand out. And I grew up. And for all my failures in life. I try to chase every thought and analyse everything that enters my ears and my mind and what comes out of my mouth, for I never want to do what my adults did to me. To create false ideals and then not living up to them.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

And there you go
I am beautiful again.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Every night,
The Idol in my head
and I

9 yellow moons
and resurrect themselves
and smile

Bud like Bruises
Open up
shop on my chin.

Blood vessels burst,
a van Gogh
in the canvas
of the whites of my eye.

I crack a rib
I crack two
I crack quite a few.

It hides
making tents
of my bed clothes.

I wander from
pillow to post
pillar and bed
for the next round of hurt.

Friday, August 27, 2010

I bed hopped last week
lost my earrings and sleep,
and all your pillows and sheets,
reeked of treachery and me.

The demon caught me knee-deep
in other women's desperate dreams
In vain I tried to feel dirty
even as the cross singed me.

As winged hordes danced and leaped
and counted last night's bruises on me
I shook with laughter as I pretended to weep
(as I sat on my favourite god's knee)
and still god's favourite child I continued to be.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


My swollen wrists
fingermarked by you
bruised thighs
black and blued by you
images of last night
hijacked by you.


I woke up alone
starved naked befuddled
once again by you.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Not always for me the unspoken. 
Not always for me the subtle. 
I am a brown girl from the earth. 
I grew in the middle of everything. 
I grew in the corner of everywhere. 
I grew being big. Strong. Wilful. Lazy-limbed. 
Not for me the mildly hinted. 
Not for me the whispered.
I thrive on the oft-repeated. 
In the shouted. In the brutal honesty. In the Bald truth. 
I can gleefully chomp on the borrowed. 
I can woefully cry for the unknown. 
I can roll with the punches. I can take that hit. Again and Again, and Again. 
I can carry off the black and blue with the brown. 
I dont tuck my hair behind my ears. 
I dont decry my burden. My Brownness.
I dance. Drunk with the power of the transparent. 
I sway. Heady with the scent of me. Known. Common. Citrusy. 
Men fear. They laugh from afar. Or think me someone else. And hint at something and run away. When I roar at them with my eyes. 
I snap my curls and it rains camaraderie and I gather them in a knot and friends grow foe. My tense calves flex at my bursting energy.
I scatter secrets with my eyelashes and gather love stories with my ears. 
My heart is in the right place and mind sinks in the weedy waters of my neighbourhood pond. 
My intentions are always kind and my actions lost in the serpentine lanes of the monday markets of lust. 
I was born into a maze of thoughts. Into a melting pot of identities. Into the back alley of modesty. Into the slum of morality. But I grew a giantess. And chandeliers glittered in my hair. 
And I can barely see where my feet land. But I stomp on. And on. On rubble of pulled down vanities. 
On the down filled dream of the ancestors. On the mud filled gullies of a silly hometown. And sometimes I fall in puddles fiilled with rainbow. 
And sometimes I fall in trenches of the polite. 
And I grow strong and die. I grow weak but survive. 
Hope eludes me. Hope is in my pocket. Hope is my best friend. Hope deceives me. 
And I wipe my eyelashes on my torn heartsleeves. 
And I fly again. Blind. Scared. Stupid. Hopeful.

Monday, August 09, 2010


For each time you looked away
For every time you said no
For every time you came in uninvited
but left before  i was ready
little pieces of my eager heart chipped away

Many a times my fingers itched to touch
that nonchalant hand so close to mine.
My rejoicing finger would graze your back
as i adjusted to your nearness in a cramped space
And that would have to be enough for the night.

For every time you canceled on me

For each time you postponed
For every time you wrapped your hand around me
but you kept your head turned away
Tender Tendrils to that place froze grey

And I hurriedly answer every time you call
And my ears still prick up with your name
And I still remember, and I still remember
And I still hope you do too
But for each day you seem not to care....

Heart chipped......Tender Tendrils........Grey...

Saturday, August 07, 2010

This Time With Less Trepidation

I dreamt that you gave yourself to me

walked into my bed without your mask
that you abandoned the nights of old
And I gave up the disgraces of my past

That Sheets no longer smelt of that blue deluge
I watched you dream of me watching you.
ghosts threw pebbles at our window
and I dreamt that you gave yourself to me.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Us Still.

Underneath it all
Hand in Hand,
we 'live' blindly.
Falsely. People
laugh. Underneath it
Along with it
hand in hand
I glide along.
Real life bones
to teeth in an urn.
In tandem we fly.
You died years ago
I died too
except I live still.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Love is like the reflection you see on the surface of water. It looks exactly like a thing you already know. Something that looks and seems recollectible. But you cannot really touch it. You cannot really remember it in your heart. You cannot really feel it at will, can you? You feel something in your heart and your body. It is lust. You know it. When does that become love? And what are the signs? And how do you not confuse it with friendship or lust?

I have always been a believer in the notion that once you say the word Love out loud. You feel it in your 'Heart.' That it is that easy. But I am not sure anymore. What is love really. The stubbornness of the word is so confusing. It refuses to budge. It's as if it can have no other meaning. Is crush love? Is infatuation love? Or is love referring to something long-term? But then when at the onset one says “I have fallen in love,” how do they know it's long-term?

I still think of these things. Yes I am that juvenile. I feel so much. So passionate I am and so confused. So inward-looking. That I am constantly looking for a marker which will show me what love is. Purple for Love! Yay! Yellow for Crush and so on and so forth. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

28 and still at it.

Over and Out. No. Not Yet. But I am finding it difficult to enjoy the life I have created around me for me. Every bit of it is my doing. And that, now that I think of it, is exhilirating in itself. Especially, this – I accept it's my own doing. However, I am drowning in a vat of unrequited love. I know, I know. Yikes. Sounds artificial and pretentious and brought on by self. Yes Yes. Sounds almost like an excuse to mope. Must Be. But It's back. Omnipresence of Melancholy. I can't see beyond a grey haze of regret, of what-could-have-been and unrequited lust, but of course. Pity Party - But of course. Even as I write this much, I am engulfed by sadness. Sadness, which brings real-life tears to my eyes. The tears in themselves are not not uncommon. But Usually I shed them for fictional life/love/death I see on screen. But of late, all my tears are for me. My 28th Birthday is around the corner of time. I feel the magic of that age will bring some sort of revelation upon me and when I wake up on Monday I will be a different person again and I will be able to cross a gap of some sort and 'Get Over' to the otherside. Where there is no drama, neither within nor without. Where I just am. At peace. Feeling unmitigated joy. Unadulterated. Where lonliness is welcomed and seen as more 'me' time. Where I start again to depend on myself for love (and sex :) and stop trying to fill voids. Let me enjoy the voids. I also want my energy back. I have been sleeping a lot in the past few weeks. And all of this points to a bad thing. But that I am aware of it is half the battle won. Right? So I wake up tomorrow and start to do one thing differently everyday.
  1. wake up an hour earlier everyday.
  2. Thus go to sleep an hour earlier everyday.
  3. Walk 3 kms during the day or night everyday.
  4. Smoke 1 cigarette less everyday as compared to the previous week.
  5. Don't give the friday club night a miss for any reason.
  6. Write in blog everyday.
  7. Get a dog? A cat?
  8. Watch 4 movies every week.
  9. Read 2 books every week.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Late Night Coffee

Idol in my head
and I
start conversations
every night.

We fight minutely
over details
that matter to noone else,
Ideal Idol in my head
and I.

Idle and argumentative
we reach a draw,
For I go for 'Epic'
and it
'for the Time Being,'
every single time.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Gentle Men

With such care you move
this heart within my breast
leaves every old story it knew.

with such care you move
me to tears at every word you say
I have to leave behind my old skin.

with such care you move.
I gleefully jump into an old fire
burn aside all that was easy.

with such care you move,
that i remove soul hinges and
steal into your room.

With such care you move-
away with me still at your feet
dreaming am flying with you.

With such care you move
ghost of your gentle touch
burns still on my back and neck and...

With such care you move
the imprint of you left a hole
which now I plug with earthly beings.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Single Brown Female on Fridays.

Shiny little lights on the ceiling
reflect intermittently what's within
There's no space for our bodies to gasp
and that crude cry's lost in the making.

Shiny skin on my arms
potent with sweat and charms of tonight
we twirl and twist as if in discomfort.
Till the shoe comes off at midnight.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Legs stretch out before me
(encased in chocolate smeared denim)
crossed at the ankle
heels airborne
toes writhing in restlessness
(freshly painted in silver)
make patterns in air
which smell of me
(cigarettes, tea and ... je ne sais quoi)
calves round up on the shin
taut with false tension.
This black book on my lap,
I begin my day.


False red light instead
floods the floor where
once you and I had lain
in abstract darkness.
Everynight's street light
streams in
revealing a face
that's not yours;
and even in the throes of
that otherwordly hit,
I am aware of how it
mocks my fragile fidelity
and I shut my eyes tight.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

She lay. We’d lain that way for... for not more than 5 minutes. We were probably... no definitely, not thinking of each other. My mind was on a moment that had unfolded within that same physical space with another. I was again lying to the right - My left hand on her head quite similar to how it had tried to entwine in his hair. My right hand firmly around her or in between her breasts on her sternum, whereas it had then been loosely wrapped around his waist. My face was tucked under her arm, just as I had wanted to tuck it under his, but instead I had placed it rather tentatively in the crook of his neck, trying to taste the skin there, while he had resolutely turned his head the other way as if his mind had been made up, while I had struggled and drowned and resurfaced within the crook of his body.
Have you ever felt like you were in the middle of your dinner, what you thought would be a 4-course affair; and just as you were half-way through your soup, the other one, the only other one at that table, spits out the cherry pit, licks the ice-cream spoon clean, scrapes the chair back noisily and leaves the table.

to chase it away

May be its cos we were all beaten up as Young Indian girls. Slapped, pinched, ears boxed, hair pulled, verbally abused as young girls for not listening to them, that we grew up with an even more solid determination to not listen to them -To be as ‘mule-headed’ as we could be. Never listen to them. I force myself to be better at ‘seeing’ than them - Better at being wiser - Better at being their parents and giving them advice than they were. But all that physical and mental abuse did change us - Made us more susceptible to feeling loved at similar pain. “Harder!” we exclaim, making beasts out of our men. May be its cos we were beaten up as young Indian girls that we all ended up being masochists.

Saturday, June 05, 2010


Its like I am floating
hooked to the chandelier
Its like I am chained
to an uprooted tether
I might have been sitting
But I didnot really notice
Or I might have been buried alive,
Numbed blue,
Or breathing.
I am in a coffin
I am chained
still swimming.
I am me
me at last,
sometimes I am you still.


Underneath it.
I sit.
a pat
or shove
of familiarity.

Lace overhangs
obscuring my vision.
I wait
For table scraps
of leftover love.

Friday, May 28, 2010


resist subsist
cherish embellish perish
mattered shattered battered

Thursday, May 27, 2010

It hadn't been that long. except of course in her head. but she firmly believes that just cos something's in her head doesn't mean it's not true. so an eternity it's been. the Y at the end of the word, really puts the lengthiness of the word and time in perspective for her. like infinity. eeeeeee. someone shrieks in her head. the window in her room overlooks this rock. it's very like the window and the room in her head. The real rock is big, overwhelming and fenced in by ancient grey-green trees and batches of this, filigreed, hardly there leaves. Unlike the real rock in her head. which looms large and stands like a monster, ever changing shapes and size; it stands on an always stretching barren land, sometimes translucent almost, thats when she's at her peaceful best and at other times made of dark grey pebbles of desire and unfulfilled wants. 

She's  noticed the rock outside her living room window and promised herself that she would take the time out to look at it and admire it. It had been raining that day and the rock in her head had almost melted. it's been 2 weeks of space and time but she hasn't really looked out to admire anything except the hot Hyderabadi summer.

The opaque rock now looms large. Every night has been filled with people. Good people. People with shared history. Brand-new people with potential. and the rock now really looms large.

She has of course oscillated her whole life between her effusive and loner self. both feel so right. so her. both are her 'reality' -  her honesty when she is in them. After moving on, she retrospects and rationalizes. But how much ever she is aware, of her rocks and other rubble within her, she is still not able to demolish them. there sometimes rises this innocent desire to accept that. that it is inevitable. that there are different sides to her. That her highs and lows can reach great elevations and depths than is safe for her heart or mind. she knows of the 2 poles. but she is still unable to control. Swinging back and forth. She thinks sometimes being less aware might have helped. but to to be only aware of the Nizami rock outside her living room and not the more ancient one in her head, seems pitiful. she hates self-unawareness in others, she's horrified at it in herself. The answer to it sometimes seems to jot everything down and make poetry out of it. dark, ugly, frothy, pretty poetry and cluttered prose. She tries, she tries. She churns out poem like structures out of the fissures of her soul. Nobody realises that they are her wounds her welts, sometimes self-inflicted. Or do they?

Sometimes, instead of creating this self-study in words, she wishes she could have a biographer instead. Someone else. Involved in her life. Who would ask valid questions, edit out her narrative and punctuate it with understanding or even an acknowledgement of her uniqueness, only because they love her. And so she seeks this. A biographer. Someone who would rid her off this painful process of lying on her living room carpet with a pink pen in her hand, writing about her rock, which now looms very large and is menacing in its closeness to all her senses. It's shutting her down. It's coming closer.. it's.......