Saturday, December 24, 2011

two cards

raise a few, drop them cold
bluff a bit, hold on tight
play it slow.. let them go..
you have two, i have two.

step it up, once a while
hide them good, fold them hard
read that tell, tip them well
pay for the flop, fold the river

either way, remember still
the luck lords always have their fill
and if you thought it was all about skill
you might end up losing more than nil :)

the past and the present

I 've earned and squandered
I 've lived and wandered
and not one time pondered
what life would 've been - if i hadn't meandered

been a gander.. been a player..
walked the line... lived them layer
and never once in all these year
have let it seep deep past the veneer

left some square.. followed some long
lost them along.. and found some again
and it all with none some flair
for men desire what we not deserve

a penny's worth is what we are born
and a penny's worth is when we leave
and all that's gathered in the midst
is what we leave and what will live

Gather wise and gather in numbers
for memory serves only the ones touched.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

the wait

I used to come here often. This was the only place i could be by myself and not think about her. My Tanya. At least not all the time. We hadn't been here together. There were memories all over almost everywhere else - which painfully came back. I did not have memories of her from here. For an island as small, its tough to have spent almost seven years together and have not been everywhere. There might be a few other places, but there's something about the waves that soothes. There's something about how whatever i scribble in the sand, the waves will always make it right again.
It had been almost five years to the day. That fateful day when my world turned upside down and a part of me died along with her. She was murdered. Murdered by some mad men who thought flying a plane into a building on some random tuesday morning would somehow justify their cause. I know all about forgive and forget. I am just not there yet. They stole everything I had.

This was when I met Jane for the first time. She was walking alone along the beach, the waves receding around her feet. Quaint, vulnerable - the resemblance was striking. I had to make sure i had not turned crazy. I had to go find out if it was Tanya. As i walked closer, a million things were racing through my now wildly confused mind. It had to be her - the same radiant hair, the same almost lazy walk, the same physique. And then she turned and I saw that something was different. The facial features were almost the same too but there was something missing. I tried hard to figure out what it was as i continued pacing towards her. She had seen me walking towards her and I could see the question form on her face. I quickly apologized and told her i had mistaken her for someone else. She smiled and said "Its ok. I hope it was someone nice. You look like you 've seen a ghost!". I smiled and said it was someone really nice. And that is how our first conversation started. We talked for a long time and all through it felt like I had known her for a long time. She said the same too. And as we started back, I told her i would be back here tomorrow.
I got through work real early the next day and drove as fast as i could to the beach. I parked awkwardly and ran the length of the boardwalk to the beach. She was waiting for me. My heart raced as i ran to her and I could see the same feelings in her eyes. Life doesn't always give second chances. Especially if its true love. It had to be that. I had never felt this way with anyone else than Tanya and she seemed to be having the same feelings for me. It felt like this was meant to be. We were meant to be together. My heart brimmed with a happiness i had not felt in a long time as we kissed. As i took her beautiful face in my hands, I realized what was missing had come back to her. Happiness. I could see it in her eyes now.
Over the next few weeks, I was happier than i had ever been. We would take every possible chance to spend time with each other. But all along, a feeling of guilt was growing in me. I had to tell her about Tanya and how similar they both were. I knew it would be trouble - but i had to tell her some time. We were at dinner at Aureole. She wore this stunning black dress with a turquoise pendant on a simple chain and matching earrings.  She was gorgeous. And all i could think of was how stunningly similar she looked to Tanya.  I confessed. I told her about how i had lost Tanya on the September 11th. How I had come to the beach because that was the only place i did not have memories of her. How i had run to her the day we met, thinking i had seen Tanya.
I could see the grief grow in her eyes. I saw the same face I saw on the beach two weeks ago. I saw the tears roll down her now pale cheeks. She stood up to leave. I tried to stop her. She said 'No John. I can't.....' A long painful pause. and 'Sorry - we cannot see each other anymore.' And then she left.

I felt it again. For a second time in my life - I felt my heart ripped into two. I did not see why. I tried calling her. She wouldn't answer. I stood outside her apartment until way past midnight. She did not come out. I dragged myself back to mine. I tried to convince myself. She would not be mad at me for ever. This was special. She knew it too. How could i get to her? Tell her how special she was and that we are meant to be together. I would Email her! I opened my email. There was a new message from her. It said

"Dearest John.
This is the toughest thing i have ever had to do. But it is the best for us.
I shouldn't have walked away from you tonight. I should have told you this in person. But i don't think i will ever be able to gather the strength to do that. But, you deserve to know this.
I used to come to the beach to re-live the many evenings I spent there with Mike. My husband. He was a fireman with the New York Fire Department. I lost him the same day you lost Tanya. The beach was the only place where it felt like he was beside me. The day I saw you running towards me - I thought i saw him. He looks a lot like you. I don't know now if i love you because i see him in you or if I love 'you'.
I need some time. I need to figure this out. Please do not come to see me. Anything you say or do will not help. I need to figure this out myself. When i do, I will come and find you. I will understand if you move on.

I have been waiting here every evening ever since.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Overheard at the alcoholics anonymous:
"Ek zamaana tha jab hum jiya karthe the..
Woh zamaana tha jab hum piya karthe the."

The ex-philanthrope:

"Ek zamaana tha jab hum jiya karthe the..
Woh zamaana tha jab hum dhiyaa karthe the."


"Ek zamaana tha jab hum jiya karthe the..
Woh zamaana tha jab hum liyaa karthe the."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


kuch likhne ki saazish mein..
kuch rakh dhee kaagaz pe..
naa socha kya ho jaaye..
dho shabdhon ki doori mein..
ab lag jaaye shaayad zindagi..
paar karthe ye tanhaayi..

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Javed Akhtar - sublime

Javed Akhtar at his best in Zindagi Na Milega Dubara (courtesy:

Tu Kyun Rota Hai

Jab jab dard ka baadal chaya
Jab ghum ka saya lehraya
Jab aansoo palkon tak aya
Jab yeh tanha dil ghabraya
Humne dil ko yeh samjhaya
Dil aakhir tu kyun rota hai
Duniya mein yunhi hota hai
Yeh jo gehre sannaate hain
Waqt ne sabko hi baante hain
Thoda ghum hai sabka qissa
Thodi dhoop hai sabka hissa
Aankh teri bekaar hi namm hai
Har pal ek naya mausam hai
Kyun tu aise pal khota hai
Dil aakhir tu kyun rota hai

Pighle Neelam Sa

Pighle neelam sa behta ye sama,
neeli neeli si khamoshiyan,
na kahin hai zameen na kahin aasmaan,
sarsaraati hui tehniyaan pattiyaan,
keh raheen hai bas ek tum ho yahan,
bas main hoon, meri saansein hain aur meri dhadkanein,
aisi gehraiyaan, aisi tanhaiyaan, aur main... sirf main.
Apne hone par mujhko yakeen aa gaya.

Zinda Ho Tum

Dilon mein tum apni betaabiyan leke chal rahe ho, toh zinda ho tum
Nazar mein khwaabon ki bijliyan leke chal rahe ho, toh zinda ho tum

Hawa ke jhokon ke jaise aazad rehna seekho
Tum ek dariya ke jaise lehron mein behna seekho
Har ek lamhe se tum milo khole apni baahein
Har ek pal ek naya samaa dekhiye

Jo apni aankhon mein hayraniyan leke chal rahe ho, toh zinda ho tum
Dilon mein tum apni betaabiyan leke chal rahe ho, toh zinda ho tum

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


crescent waves and crimson tides,
curvy roads around clumsy hills.. 
remembrance of a land i left behind..

a cozy town by hills and caves..
lazily lies wrapped in green and blue..
this, I see, through all that's changed ..
hidden behind busy lanes and endless lines..

And then it dawns unto me. life and people around me are what they are i see them to be. The more good I see in people, the better they become. The better I think life is, the better it is. Simply said - Its all in the mind.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

building bridges

Some long, some short, some rickety, some strong - bridges, like human relationships, come in all shapes and sizes. complicated as they are, its not ever easy to build them right. But its been done - and people have learnt to do so - some from mistakes and missteps and some from pure brilliance of foresight and carefulness. 

From experience, I have learnt that the ones that are the strongest and last the most aren't so because they have been built well in the first place - but also that there is constant work involved in keeping them intact. It is the same with relationships - you need to make the effort and constantly so to keep them intact. 
My better half told me that its not about making more friends - but its about spending the time on the few that you already have - that makes you happier. She, as in most cases, is right :)

It's a lonely place - this home away from home - and I guess the place we call home wouldn't be any better too - if there weren't people/friends to share with. I think there is solace in family, but social animals that we are - there's always the want for more. I have been lucky enough to find a good group to work with. Considering that I spend atleast a third of my weekday at work - its actually super nice that its the way it is.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Baarishein baarishein...
barse aaj .. ashq bhanke boondhein...
tarse aaj phir.. rooh tere aah mein...
bheege aaj phir... naina tere raah mein..

sochoo milke kyu hueh hum judhaa
tha nahee kehna mujhe alvidaa...
tum gaye tho tham gaye ..
yahee hothe ghum gaye..

ab dho saawan ho chale..
abh tho hat jaa ei baadhalein..
hone dho phir subhaan..
khilne dho phir aasmaan...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

two left feet..

two steps right and a swoon backwards,
slow her down.. drive her wild..
walk with her .. a thousand miles..

two steps left and a swoon forward..
wait for her ..end of the aisle..
make her yours for life's long line..

stretch them arms wide..
hug them tight..
they are yours ..all yours..

dance your dance.,.. ride that tune..
waltz the line..
life's best danced.. hand in hand

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

boys of men

'A boy who won't stand up for himself becomes a man who can't stand for anything.' - Khaled Hosseini - The Kite Runner.
These words keep ringing back in my thoughts.. and I shudder every time they do. Expectations are an evil lot - they bring with them their weight in stone and tie themselves around your ankles even before the race begins. I ran away once, and have been running ever since - or so it seems. I wasn't much over eleven then, but then you needn't be. People apparently remember and do remind.

It was one of those things that changed me - I think - at least it started to. It changed me into a listener. I used to talk - talk like there was no tomorrow. I could sit twenty people around me and tell them stories on the fly - I could make them up and keep them interested. I stutter now. I talk slow. I am the guy who eats his words. In my brain a thousand thoughts go unsaid every day - and there has been a conversation where I could have said them and they would not have been out of place. But they fade away, into where they came from - a dejected lot.

'Open books' are an ill informed lot. In an ideal non-judging world they could make sense. But that world never existed. There's a few ways to dealing with it though - one of them is from another of Khaled's lines - another mis represented lot - 'A man who has no conscience, no goodness - does not suffer'. Basically it means, a man who does not care does not suffer - as in if I don't give a damn - I don't lose a dime. This is so because goodness is a relative term. As Dickens would put it 'We forge the chains we wear in life'. It is time to understand that breaking free is an act done unto self and needs no hands of help.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


 "The world does not revolve around you"... in fact - it does not even rotate around you.. unless of course .. you are at the axis.. and mind you... the axis is a darn cold place to be at...

btw.. if its any consolation at all... the moon does revolve around you.. but the last time i checked there wasn't anything worth bringing back from there... all the Americans could get from there after travelling ~380000kms ... was some rocks and dust.. so.. you know.. go dance your little dance..

Thursday, February 24, 2011

two otters on an autumn night [potential]

I have been sitting here for what feels like ages now. I have been here yesterday evening and the one before. It took me a long time to figure out what her words meant. But now i know. Which is why i am here. Waiting.

In another world i 've been known with a different name. A name that has got more to do with what i do than what i am. You would not want to know the details of what i do. But i am not that person. I should not be doing that. But i do it anyways. It started because of what happened before. But still is - even though what happened before has faded. I like many of you live a life shaped by my past - but what defined the past is long gone.

I order the slow kill. It might be another long night here. The first night i was here, there was excitement. I had deciphered her words - I had figured out what it was I wanted in life. It was divine. Meant to be. I had ignored the obvious for long enough. The bar is almost empty now. The bartender has more time to kill. He comes over and says "Who is it?" How did he know. I must be an easy face to read. I had believed otherwise forever now. It must be her. I was changing. "No one" I blurt out. He takes the hint and leaves me to myself.

Two hours have passed and the sinking feeling is seeping back in. Am i late? Have i taken too long or did i really not decipher it right? It isn't the last option. I have proof. Its got to be here. I take out the copy I have of 'The Autumn night'. I had chanced upon the book a few months ago - but had thought it was a mere coincidence. It was her book. She was reading it when i 'met' her for the first time. It was boring to begin with. I have never liked romantic novels. But i was searching and somewhere in my convoluted mind I thought what i was searching for was in there. That made the pages flow through.

Half way through, it hit me. The city is a beautiful place by day. Pristine brick streets separate gorgeous Victorian buildings adorned with delightful street lamps.  By all along the plush cream walls lurks a 'dark' side. More so because people like me hid behind polished suits and pointless hats......


Thursday, February 17, 2011


Is wine the answer? hmm.. gotta think this through.

I am not a big fan of cold drinks. It makes my nose stuffy and what not. I have had more trouble with stuffy noses than hangovers. You can tell, seeing that i order my pearl drinks hot. So - beer is out of question. Can't have warm beer - it just doesn't sound right. half my heart stopped working after hearing that :(
The congnac's and the lot - am not there yet. And somehow, I don't see myself holding up a glass and saying 'aap, mein, aur bagpiper'. So can't do that.
Not a big fan of shots. basically don't want to be drunk. Just want to have a drink.
margarita's - cant do them warm. If you know otherwise - let me know.

The only thing - i know of, besides sake that can be worth taking in a glass at room temp or above is wine. Wine    [not the latter part of divine "entha tagithe antha balam" as Brahmi would put it] - my savior.. my lone friend who makes me a better person -- Face it, you are a better person when you are half drunk. They should make that a rule or something - Everyone should have a glass of red wine for breakfast. Now the wineries should give me a case of their best reds for saying that.. and i mean once every month :)

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Jumping Jack

The gates were closed. The watchman was his usual self. Nothing would budge him to let you pass through. He knew how to get through though. There were other ways to get through. It was a short wall - easy to climb. But the fall was longer. Not to worry. He had done this a thousand times before!

The bag was heavy. It would have to go first. He threw it over. The wall had turned green with moss. He made sure not to taint his clothes as he jumped over. It would show on his whites. Wouldnt be nice to get caught. He had been caught before. Hadn't been a nice experience.  He landed softly.

There was a short alley right behind the first building. That was the fun part. No one would be there and if there were - it would be the 'sick' ones in the rooms whose windows opened to the alley. He knew the regular ones and they him. There would be a sheepish smile or two at most. But at the end of this alley lay the open end.  

The open end. where the best of them had been caught. He knew this well. It had to be quick and timed to perfection. One quick sprint and you could hide for a second or two behind the two shacks that were in the open end. But he could not stay there long. Its not good manners. And then the gathering was right across with only the second building between them and there were windows here too. PT would be making his rounds and it would not be too much fun caught loitering around the ladies loo :) One more quick sprint.

His back was to the building now. He could hear them singing. He inched towards the window to his room. He made a few quick glances in. No one. He shoved the backpack in through the window. It fell on the floor next to his desk. mission one accomplished! Now he could use a few excuses if caught. They wouldn't be too clever or anything. Which is why they worked. One more sprint and he was at the corner. The whole gathering stood before him right across the corner. The guardians had their back to the building and the whole other lot in white faced it. He was in luck today. The chorus had just finished and were starting to walk back to their lines.

He walked briskly right towards them and made a quick left right into his room. Darn!!! He walked right into PT! The sad puppy face comes on. 'Headache sir. It is very hot outside in the assembly today. I have been studying all night for the maths test.'. Sympathy usually works. PT smiles at him and says 'It's ok. Take some rest. You will need it for the test.'  and walks out. Bingo!! How wonderful it would be to be twelve again!

Thursday, February 03, 2011


For seasons now, of which i 've lost count, there has been an effort underway. Sometimes in the background - Sometimes the prime goal - the effort has had its influence. Unrealized or not, I think it is a prime component of each of the journey's going about. It is a deliberate effort in my case. One which i sometimes hide from others, but know to be. The effort is to redefine who i am.

Years have flown by, decades have passed, centuries have changed and i 've been in a new millennium for a decade now. But the effort seems to be have no end in sight. The funny part is despite all this, that is about the most exciting part of me to me - the hope to see the best me before i am history.

Change - the over emphasized constant - is what excites and makes me endure the mission. And i am hoping its going in the right direction. Because, as i 've noticed, you don't know you are lost until you are lost. and then there's little turning back, if any.

And so, at the broadest my waistline has ever been, and at the most there's ever been of me - I embark upon another year, another season of the search for me. I hope to make it a lot closer to understanding what i am aiming for and become a lot lighter by the year to be able to make the jump to reach where i am reaching for - come 2012. Cheers and good luck to 11 fresh months to come.