Tag Archives: love

Love for all seasons


This virtual home of mine has been lying neglected, untended. Blame it on an infection and subsequent fatigue I have been fighting hard against. But I have been thinking of my home quite often.

When the chips were down, I received a package from my friend who’s a wanderer. I call her ‘Tuk Tuk.’ In the last few months, she has been to Turkey, Greece and Vietnam. The package had this beautiful card from Vietnam, a packet of Lotus Tea and a Turkish tea coaster-cum-fridge magnet. The card lifted my spirits immediately, brought a huge smile on my face and the Lotus Tea gave me the warmth I so very needed. The Turkish beauty is the new charmer in my kitchen.

No matter how hard life is, love, kindness and thoughtfulness make the sailing little smooth. So, here’s a little note of love to the world. I know, I am late.. but here’s wishing a Happy 2018.

Let us just love. Just love. Without questions, theories, explanations or logic.




Why do lovers fight?

I often wonder why do lovers fight? Even when there’s no reason.

I think, now I have an answer. They fight without reason, they sulk for days because it feels intimate. It feels nice to know that the heart is old but not cold. That piercing feeling  in the heart is still there making living meaningful in times of instant love and noodle.  A strange sense of belonging when you are talking but not in your usual way.

In your heart, you know there’s no threat to your relationship. You have come too far. You have experienced vagaries of life together. Joy, sorrow, smiles, tears, sharing a meal from the same plate, going hungry because you are missing the other one. All in the canvas called love, life.

In between silences, sighs, uttering few words of comfort, he asks, “Why are you doing this? So much of time is gone in the few days. Don’t do this.”

She answers, “What’s time in the end? It’s 25 years since we know each other. You are my time. ”

Suddenly the heart felt warm.

And she knows ‘naraz’ is her favourite word in Hindi. It’s so difficult to translate this word in English.


Grey love

They were on skype. He said something, she said, “What do you think? I have got grey hair for nothing.”

He smiled and said,  “With every new grey hair, my love for you grows and deepens.”

The next morning, she received an sms asking, “Wanting to get rid of your grey hair. Our product assures that. Contact us… ”

She simply deleted the message.



When the mind cuts like a knife

In many ways, words become living beings in the course of our life journey. Words assume a life of their own when we listen deeply to our inner self.
She thinks of the word ‘Pining.’ And thinks of him. He taught her the word — through  his presence and absence.

Both of them feel they should have been together. It would have been wonderful to read, write, dissect, reflect and exchange ideas and world views. Night after night. In the midst of ordinariness of life.

Even though their  interests are different, they share a very strong sense of adaptive intellectual and cognitive connectivity. After all, all you can now only hear cacophony around you. There are so very people  with whom one can talk these days. Don’t get her wrong. She doesn’t believe in intellectualizing human relationships.

People think she’s flamboyant. They find her cool. But you see people see themselves differently. She feels the flamboyance is actually a kind of cover up for all the years of longing she has kept within her.  Lest the brutal world will shred her soul.

Over cups of black tea and Farida Khanum’s soul-stirring music, she tells to her friends, “Love and loss mean the same. I have loved only one man in my life and lost him so many times that in the process love and loss are intertwined.”

One friend asks, “What makes you stay attracted?”

“Tenacity and ability to look at the world like a sharp knife. It’s gratifying to see someone to cut the flab/the excess and hold on to the essence. Something like holding a knife and peeling the yellow skin of a mango.  A simple yet meaningful act. There’s immense beauty in it. Probably, that’s why I am always attracted to austerity, melancholy, bareness. Excess is vulgar.”

There was silence in the room. Silence can be sharp too.





I want to hug the Bay of Bengal

I woke up today morning, telling my husband, “I want to hug the Bay of Bengal.”

The Bay of Bengal is an emotion for me. An intense emotion. It’s much more than an ocean. I have grown up with it. I remember crying as a child when the rising waves took away my little shoes. My mother consoled me by saying, “The sea will not take anything away from you, it will give you back your shoes. Remember to always love the sea.”  The sea returned my shoes. The love lingered.

Both my parents loved the Bay of Bengal. We immersed the ashes of my father in the temple town of Puri which is home to the Bay Of Bengal. I feel, parts of my parents’ soul now remain in the Bay of Bengal. So, I feel at home with the rising waves, the falling waves, the rolling waves, the mellowed setting Sun suddenly disappearing in the horizon leaving no trace of its existence till the next morning and the cool breeze that strokes your cheeks as the dark nights become darker.

Years ago, I spent a mildly cool December morning all by myself on the shores of the Bay of Bengal to clear the cobwebs in my mind. My heart was full of agony, hurt and pain.My mind was a cluttered one. I had lost my way. I was afraid to grab tomorrow. I sat down to just look at the waves even as wild thoughts moved in a synchronized rhythm in my mind. I just sat there looking at waves. I didn’t know then anything about the ‘Art of Just Being.’ By the time I left the waves behind, I was clear in my heart and mind to move forward. The Bay Of Bengal gave me the strength, the wings to leave the ruins of the past behind and embrace the light of a journey ahead.  Sometimes the sound of waves on an otherwise silent morning gives you strength to listen deep within.

I go back to the ocean now to feel the presence of my parents. I go back to revel in the memories of my mother buying me delicate shingaras (known as samosas in masculine parts of India) filled with little cubes of potatoes with their almost silk like smooth skin, melt-in-mouth sweets that go by the name of Madanmohan, fiery, salty, seductive jhalmoori with a dash of mustard oil and cups of coffee which sometimes carried a faint smell of kerosene. I loved the sight of my mother taking out the money from her purse and then indulging me with these lip-smacking delicacies. The fiercely independent career woman within me took a backseat as I soaked happily in that moment of tenderness. I happily let myself to  become a little girl.  The ocean was a witness to the unconditional love that defined my world.



Sometimes, the universe feels the thread of emotions that run deep in our hearts, deep in our veins. The universe comes like an guardian angel to hold us, comfort us, soothe us. As I was longing to roll in gay abandon in the wild embrace of Bay Of Bengal, I received a photo of my niece holidaying in Florida in the company of Atlantic Ocean. The photo soothed me. She’s a 15-year old bright, intelligent, creative girl. In the pic, she’s enjoying her solitary moments with the ocean. Albeit a different ocean, I grew up with. I don’t know what thoughts are running in her mind. But she’s having her moments of solitude. By the waves, by the shore. It’s necessary to have your moments of solitude. Certain emotions are universal. And certain legacies are always carried forward. Even without any realization.

My Father

I love men who can cook, buy handloom saris for their women, write long letters and look after trees.

My father did all these beautifully, wonderfully and elegantly.

No, he was not a superman. He was a man.

I miss him dearly but looking at people around me, I love him more intensely.

Even when all that I have of him is memories.

Memories of a Father.

Basic Instinct

Love can be a heady feeling. So also sex. When you are in your 20s, this combo can be a cementing factor among your friends in the hostel with whom you share a meal, a cup of tea, a newspaper and most importantly, a bathroom.

Cut it to the pre-liberalized India. In a bougainvillea laced  exposed brick campus called JNU — Third World’s Harvard (as it was called then). We were all young and many of us were in love. Matters on heart were exchanged at regular intervals. But somehow, for us love was less about sex more about heart. At least that’s the way we all pretended. We chose not to talk about our kisses, hugs, close embraces. These are things that we kept close to our heart. To ourselves.

But then Sandra from Barbados who stayed on the ground floor of our hostel did not think so. A thin girl with thick lips, she was passionate about washing clothes. That too in the middle of the night. Somehow, she took a liking for me from day one. Probably this was something to do with my curly hair. One night, as I was struggling to open the lock on my door, Sandra took a look at me and said, “You are glowing. I bet you are a woman in love.”
I laughed the way she asked me the question. And then she entered into my room. And
said, “Darling, I want to talk to you tonight.”
And came her next question, “Are you a virgin?”
I almost fainted hearing that question, but then I answered, ‘Yes.’
Then she held me hand and said, “Tell me is it by choice or by force?.”
That was a difficult question to answer cause I had never thought about it.
She did not mind when I couldn’t answer her question. She told, “But you should go for a
French lover. They are the best.”
I looked at her, “What about a Bihari lover?”
She said, “No idea dear. Never had one on bed.”
She could talk about sex. Openly. Without any inhibition. But I, along with many of friends, could not talk about it.  We still carried the burden of our childhood within ourselves. Even in a campus as liberal as JNU.

Looking back, I feel, probably the times were different then. This was much before India went mobile. And “r u fne… tc” as a whatsapp message had not become the mode of
communication. Much before everybody you know have a Gmail account. Actually not one. But more than one. This was much before  virtual friendships pretending to look more real than real. This was much before  the onslaught of Facebook, Hifriends, Twitter, Tinder in our living rooms and bedrooms. Day and night. For different purpose. For official. For not so official. And this was before Mcdonald’s came to India and introduced us to Mcaloo tikki burger and probably gave a swanky image make over to the humble vada pav.
And around the same time Domino’s was actually getting ready somewhere in the west coast to come to India with their branded cheesy pizzas and give serious competition to our very own Nirula’s cheese- mushroom- onion- capsicum pizza. It was much before seeing a movie in the darkness of a  multiplex with caramel popcorn and fizzy sodas. And who would have thought then single screen theatres gradually would become as invisible
as sparrows in cities. And India’s urban landscape would change for ever.

Having a personal computer was only a distant urban dream that time. It was not a necessity as it is now. Only limited offices those days had limited computers which are now part of antique collection. Neon- lit streets of Delhi had Maruti 800s driving past in a languid way. Mercedes or Audis  were still looking  at us from glossy foreign magazines. Not right in front of our eyes. Zooming past on rough Indian roads.

In the midst of it all,  India was just probably getting mentally ready to have its first peg of liberalization. The glass was getting ready for the cocktail. The signs of change were there on the horizon.

That was the time when Basic Instinct was released in Priya cinema in Vasant Vihar.. And it became the talk of a city where men talk about women and tandoori chicken in the same breath. Everybody wanted to watch the film. And everybody wanted to see the much talked about act on the screen in the comfortable darkness of the auditorium. The desire was raw. So very basic.

But you can’t really blame. That’s what being young is all about. But there were so many ways to do it. Each did it the way he/she could do it. Like the way my friend Nitin came to my hostel at 8 in the morning. As Ramlal Bhai, the chowkidar of my hostel called my name and screamed at the top of his voice “Room no 28, Visitor”, I just dragged myself from my bed and thought to myself who could it be at this hour? Then seeing Nitin’s face my heart froze. What’s wrong? Was it something really serious? He was one person who never looked grim. But that day he was unusually grim. And he looked at me and said, “Ashish has met with an accident. You just go and change your dress. We will rush to Holy Angels’ Hospital.” In minutes ,I was back with whatever little money I had with me and on his bike we headed towards the hostel. He ignored all the hundred questions I must have asked about Ashish on that short journey we took from JNU to Vasant Vihar. And when he took me towards Priya after parking the bike, I asked “Why are we going this side? The hospital is on the other side.” And then he did what many young men would have probably done on that day. He looked at me and said with a laugh, “Actually, I have brought you here so that you can stand in the ladies’ queue and get us two tickets for Basic Instinct. If I would have told you the truth, you would have given me a long lecture and would have never come here.” Well, there was very little I could do at that time. I did stand in the queue and got him his prized ticket. And I thought to myself, this can only happen in India, the land of Kamasutra. A young man had to resort to this trick just to watch a film which was up for a screening. But making up for his superb acting, he treated me to Crispy Fried chicken and 21 Love in Nirula’s.

And for some in the campus, probably Basic Instinct came in very very different way. Nonetheless interesting, I must say. When you are young, you see the world differently. You are not young if you are not irreverent. About the way the world thinks. Behaves. Or Acts. So when the world around us was getting so excited about Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, JNU students not only produced reams and reams of term papers on all possible angles of the invasion which even Saddam Hussain would have never thought of before doing it. They also added their own version of ‘invasion’. So, suddenly the campus had jokes circulating around—– not through sms/whatsapp or chain mail. But through words of mouth.“Why women like Saddam Hussain so much?” Even as you scratch your head for long for a possible witty reply, you could be stumped with this one, “Because Saddam doesn’t withdraw quickly.” And what does Saddam look for when he goes for late night walks? The answer was ‘BUSH’.

It might have been a different story now. When MMS clips are so easily available and porn
films can be seen on your mobile phone and Sunny Leone is the most searched celebrity in the virtual world,  why bother cooking up a story for a film which in the end did not actually deliver much though its name promised some thing more.

Trailers sometimes don’t live up to what they show. They are just teasers. Life’s something else. Much more than just a trailer. But the show must go on. Within the dark theatre. Outside the theatre. Painted dreams will always be there to titillate you. And sometimes it can be too quick too. Just like instant coffee. Instant noodles. Instant rajma masala in a packet. You can heat it and have it. It’s a different kind of heat we are experiencing now. In the coffee shops. In the malls. In the pubs. In the closed hotel rooms. Within the four walls of home. All in the name of instant pleasure. So I actually laughed when a friend told me the brand new liberalized version of the poster many of us had it on our hostel walls in the early 90s.

If you love a man, set him free,
If he comes back, check him out again,
If he doesn’t, shoot that bastard
And find another one…