Monday, June 30, 2014

Fiction and Reality

Why do I spend so much time
Reading and thinking
About people who never existed?
About worlds that don't either
Or if they do, are far removed from mine?
Because figuring out why so-and-so did this
and what he was thinking or feeling
helps me figure out what I feel and why
What I want from life and from people.
And what kind of world do I want this to be.
And thus I go full circle, from fiction to reality and back.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Do I miss you, my friend?

Do I miss you, my friend
or just the way you make me feel --
how you say my name
and envelop me in a hug
as soon as you are near me
giving me a rush of delight:
Are you so happy to see me?
The way you smile
and ask how I am
as if the answer is important.
The way you tell me
what has been troubling you
and listen to what I have to say
even though I have nothing new
nothing helpful.
The way you listen
to my petty troubles
as if they had been your own.
And remember to ask next time
what happened with that?
Did you manage to do so-and-so?
You listen to my confessions
when I reveal my dark side
with a calm air, sympathetic
yet not flippant
and show me you believe
I am better.
I miss the laughter
I cannot recall
what was so funny.
Nothing probably.
but the sheer joy
of being with friends
makes the giggles bubble forth.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Short Story: Brothers

I realize I'd never shared this short story I wrote a few years ago, published on the Assam Tribune.  So here you go: Part 1 and Part 2.

I am not very fond of this story: I was too busy making a point to write a good story! (And I'm not even sure what the point was.)

Monday, June 16, 2014

The First Drizzle

It's dark this morning.
We have the curtains drawn
And it's harder to wake up
Difficult to tell it's time to go.

Outside it is less hot than usual
As humid, but a cool breeze blows:
Not a speck of blue sky can I see
Amid all the gray.

It has started drizzling.
Oh, will it rain hard?
Is the monsoon arrived?
Should I go back and change
Out of my thin cotton clothes
Worn for the heat and not for the wet
That will make them cling to my skin and become sheer;
The office will see my underwear.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Blogger tells me I get more visitors from the U.S. and Germany than I do from India: in fact, nearly twice as many from the U.S. as from India. I'm surprised at this because most of my regular commenters are from India.

So, what I'm asking is, who are you guys and why do you read me? Would you care to delurk in the comments?

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Three Months in the City

It's been three months
in the city.
That's a whole season.
Not enough, no
to have explored it
nor for it to no longer feel new.
But it's growing warm now
too late to go on walks during the day
we had too little time.
Already it grows too stifling to breathe
and sheets stick to me at night.
Previous note about the city here

Sunday, June 01, 2014


Earlier story on Boromir here.

I miss Boromir. I keep expecting to see him turn the corner, to hear him call out when I go home at night. But home is so quiet now.

I push myself harder every day, trying to keep the enemy out of our walls, trying to regain lost ground, trying hopelessly to gain my father's trust. I see the men looking at me and wonder whether they too, wish my brother were here instead of me. I know my father does.

I will never be as good as you, brother, I say in my head. Who will now keep our people safe?

I know what he would say. You have skills I don't. You have diplomacy and wisdom. You are calm in a fight.

I know what he would say because he did say it.

Your greatest fault, he told me one day, is that you try too hard to please others. Especially our father. Do what you would, Faramir, and he will come around. Don't circumscribe your life for him.

But Boromir is gone now, and there is no one to comfort me, no one to praise me. No one to intercede between me and my father. I think of living in that long hall for the rest of my father's years, in uncompanionable silence punctuated by muttered reproofs, with resentment hanging over the walls. It's not just my father who wishes I had gone in my brother's stead, that he had lived and I had died. I do too.