Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Horizon

the yellow sea and
the blue Sun,
the floating island
and inert yacht,
where zephyrean shores
are still,
there’s a horizon
in the knowledge
of infinity;
delivering nimbly
a possibility
of being more
than a hazy arc
that meets with nothing
but a limiting eye;
but nontheless,
without ends,
or abutment,
no  shape, form or content
and yet,
believed in. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Faker and the Maker

It's been said; and said over and over again. Our society is made of only two types of people. The fakers and their makers. Friends and forsakers (read reverse for the correct allusion, i need things to rhyme well). The fakers wouldn't exist if it weren't for people like you and me who decorate their evil design consistently and quite rewardingly too. The makers are the ones who till their soil and make their harrow move smoothly through the ground of association. There may be a fair number of people who would enthusiastically put me in the first cartel but due to my ever-increasing urge to write candidly and with my tongue stuck permanently in a non-condescending cheek, I might as well be sprinting my way towards the other piggy-pen.

Now, getting back to the original thought and subsequent clarifications. Why the brisk categorization? Ummm...just because I thought so and also because this blog is about thinking aloud. So, that's the first qualifier. The second, and less important one is that having dodged many such people in my own life, and still being hounded by one of the either; it is a foregone conclusion that there's no third type. 

Here're the thoughts then, loud and clear.

#1 The Part-time Indian: These are found mostly in metros, or big cities (and I guess mostly in India too, as I haven't had the opportunity to live in a better economy yet)and are always on the look out for rehab. From country to country. They will grow up in their country of origin, consume and abuse her resources, gain the least required qualification to get out of there and to thriving economies, only to land back on home-turf when they're conveniently laid-off during economic crises in their 'so-called' heaven. They are the ones, you'll find deriding every single aspect of the country's existence as they shout out from holier-grounds about lack of good-quality stuff, any quality of life, and the wretched moral standards of all those who call themselves natives. And given an opportunity, they won't forget to remind you of your natural inferiority to them as they are now 'foreign' passport holders of God's favoured land. And their makers : the veteran fakers who have been done and dusted and now acquire a place on the mantel, validating and enjoying the conversation rich with annoyance for the home-state and starry-eyed reminiscing of their 'foreign' merit.

#2 The Frenemy: Who hasn't met one in a lifetime? A friend who makes you want to trade her/him for an enemy. Earlier, considered to be an epidemic rampant only in the fairer sex, it has slowly and silently raised its head in Martian land too. They are the ones who will make for the most boisterous parties at your place, guzzling down your booze, never forget to call you at least a dozen times a day and will shower you with unsolicited love and advice through puberty to parenthood. Behold, the frenemy! You might, one day, wake up to a telephone call from a distant acquaintance, checking with you if all was well in your personal life as they mouth off their condolences for your utter misfortune. Binnng! The frenemy has been at work, tirelessly and relentlessly. 
Their makers: Those who savour every bit of juicy gossip about other 'so-called' friends, doled out to them in strict confidentiality. Such people may give their ear-drums a sound beating as soon as they discover that they have been the juicy subject in their frenemy's interactions with others.

#3 The Keep-Everyone-Happy type : These are actually the good ones. Till the time you get to know them up, close and personal. They're the moderators in a group, the peace-makers and quietly suggesting to you about their aversion to being totally counted upon in a situation. They will never cross paths with you, or anyone. When confronted with a passionate demand of a show of loyalty, they will probably shake your hand, eke out an air-brush of a kiss and inch sideways towards the door. That's the good part about them. They never become sticky notes in your life. The makers: The ones who themselves, border dangerously on acquiring the same trait as they refuse to see any potential flip-side to a non-adhering friend and do not wish to ruffle feathers themselves. Life is ever so long and low, for flightless birds.

#4 The Mask : The most intelligent of the lot. That makes them equally dangerous too. They don't think progressive. Rather, they will decide on the final outcome and work their way backwards towards it, while keeping you guessing about the funny and ridiculous turn of events. You'll be in the dark till the day it suddenly dawns on you how conveniently you've been fooled and led into their trap. Dig and probe as you may, but you'll never find any light in this tunnel. Their thoughts are like long, dark and winding drain-pipes and you'd rather stay out of them than trying to find a way towards a decent end. And this comes from a really stubborn me, who refused to give up trying to see the good in one such "Gloria". Guess what happens to people in gutters.
The makers: People who identify and/or empathize with stubborn 'me'.

Experience, they say, makes you richer. Experience, in my opinion, makes you an acerbic writer. And just for that, I shall have to offer my gratitude to such fakers to have walked through my life and given much body and substance to this post. And just for such freebies from them, I shall continue to be an indulgent maker of the faker.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

सुन री छोटी, मेरे बाद…

कुछ  पाक़  परिंदे उड़ते भी 
बुन  साख़ जज़ीरे मुड़ते भी 
कुछ ख़ाली से
कुछ भारी से
पर लाखों बादल जुड़ते ही 
ये रोकें तो 
तुझे टोकें तो 
मत रो देना तू धीमे से 
बस घुलती जा 
और बढ़ती जा 
फिर सागर पर तू मदिरा सा 
बेबाक बरस, बेबाक बरस  !

कुछ लौट के आयें तस्वीरें
कुछ खाली, बेसुध तदबीरें 
कुछ गाली सी 
कुछ काली सी 
फिर आज की फ़ैली झोली में 
हर इक  रुत पर 
हर उस बुत पर 
जो झूठ बताये तेरा अक्स
उड़, और लरज
पुरज़ोर गरज
बन पैनी तिरछी सच्चाई 
हो ख़ाक बरस, कर ख़ाक बरस ! 

Dear readers: This poem is an emotional yet motivating note from a mother, who knows her end is near, to a daughter, to help her keep going far and strong in her absence. She speaks to her little one, alluding her to a baby cloud. For my English-reading friends, I'll try to put up the translation too.

Translation ( as honest as my muse would allow )

White gulls fly out
from islands
that have been,
and made an impression
they move too
some laden, some light
as the overcast sky wells
and tells
you to stop
or wait your turn
don't cry softly, meekly
hang on there
and continue
to merge
to grow
and then one day
like wine on a salty sea
fall fearless, fall free!

There may return
some images, some deeds
black ghosts of the past
you face the day
and to those who say
you're nothing but fluff
don't believe in airy stuff
you rise to your form
shake the skies
become a Truth undenied
unhindered and scathing
Fall fearless, fall free
Fall fearless, fall free.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I do not take
either in heaven or hell
give Me less
or give Me more
but give it to Me well.

no shades of grey
My heart desires
no hues or tints galore
I look for pure
I seek the one
elemental act, J'adore.

if truth it is
then truth it be
no clauses
no fine print
if lie it be
then lie to Me
with passion
and, no guilt.

When I send out
a cosmic swirl
a blessing or a bane
it touches hearts
it purges souls
leaves no feelings inane.

I am your God
I do not judge
by all your standards fake
I love the ones
who soulful do
and half-paths do not take.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sunny side up!

Bollywood has new talent. And the lovers of serious, or at least seriously entertaining, cinema  now have hope. Very expressive hope. Going by the internet stats on number of searches of bollywood celebrities, the clear, undisputed queen of inquest ( internet-quest, not to be mistaken with incest), goes by the name of Sunny Leone. Tadaaaa!

We are the fastest growing economy of the world. And really fast too. You know, like when during our school days, guys used to categorise the girls "This one is a behenjee ( a nun - colloquial translation ), but this one is really fast." Yup, that kind of fast. We are now open to receiving....whatever we get. And now that we know that we do have an 'open' reputation, we also don't mind enjoying it every bit.

So, Sunny Leone, welcome aboard the ship of frigid chics and demanding d****. You are bound to holler up a storm here and have everyone running for cover. Literal or otherwise. Not that we haven't had thaw material like you in the past. But they were not as lucky as you. Look what happened to Kimi Katkar, Mandakini and Mamta Kulkarni. They all went down the hall of shame, rather inconsolably. Despite their innocent looks and noble intentions, they were shown their place in tinsel town. Could they ever imagine the glory that you have received; or the status that has been thrust upon you so adoringly? Please don't take this personally, Sunny. I am quite a fan of your 'woman of substance' proclamation. And why not? You have served hungry and starved mankind all over the world.

As if life already wasn't difficult enough for the average Indian housewife, we now have you. The beginning of a new end. The shining star on the horizon which is already causing inglorious flares in many a household, stuck in a sexless marriage. And you may also be the mascot, as also the bleeding martyr, for the cause of legalised prostitution in India. If Thailand can, Bhailand can too.

All said and done, the business of cosmetic as well as prosthetic surgery in India, is sure to boom now. Can't alter the shape of your breasts? Boom! Here's a fresh, new pair of SL look-alikes. Mr. Willy Wongka, can't do much with the little dilly-dally? Voila! Order an SL-endorsement online and get it on the line.

Good luck there, you saas-bahu (read household melodrama) serial watching ignorant lady of the house!

But Ms. Leone's entry on the scene has its advantages for these women as well. Atleast the cases of marital rape might go down, when the fans get back home all worked and spent watching her in action. Now, that does sound like a win-win.

So in all fairness we can say, Bollywood's sure got its sunny side up this time. 

P.S.: For the uninitiated: Sunny Leone is a U.S. based porn star, of Indian origin, respectfully called Adult movie star here. Recently, a reality T.V. show gave her the crown and the throne in the Indian movie industry. Btw, I have nothing against her. Just that the actors who have really worked their way towards their places, have fallen far behind in popularity( going by the statistics quoted in yesterday's daily), as compared to her. 
And I think I just made her a tad more popular ;P

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Voice of Insanity

There's a tiny voice in my head. With a big bass- the bad ass. I guess, many of us have it. The kind that can't sit down on its bottoms , with a finger on its lips. And if you do force it down, it keeps fiddling with your sanity. Is there any way to mellow it down and make it behave? Little chance. Must be phallic...the freak! More importantly, is that really a good idea because the last I heard the specialists speak, suppression is really not a good thing.

I have come across all sorts of people in my life. From the overtly clever, to the opportunists and diplomats, the emotional rhizobium as well as the social pests (No, no darling, you don't fit in here. Very few of your warm, intelligent and sensitive kind out keep reading). Amidst the daily business called life, and trying to make it profitable through cheeky humour; I also recognise the more serious issues that are floating about on a daily basis. I do have a choice though, to turn my back and carry on with the profitable business of my life. But that voice. It feeds on my free time and begins the needling. The annoying chatter that doesn't let me keep my peace.

I'm no Mother Teresa. Nowhere close. In fact, I'm quite the opposite. However, I have this natural flair for running into people who are going through issues in life. And I jump right in. Perhaps, because once upon a life, I was too. And in an effort to pull them out, I manage to take in some of the heat. Call me stupid, and I still won't stop. I'll quote an example:

A few days ago, I got engaged in a conversation, with someone I didn't know but is known to a friend of mine. Now, despite the set rule to not get involved in online interactions with strangers; I do make exceptions now and then. That day too, I decided to break the rule as the person's expression caught my attention. And I'm someone who does get impressed  by a thought well-enunciated. And there was a vested interest. He came quite close to the male character of the book I'm currently working on. Understanding him would give me a greater perspective on fleshing out the character of a man who's been with many women.

Now, during the course of discussion about writing, love and man-woman relationships in general, the words that popped up were 'emancipation of women'. My chat-mate believed that emancipated women are the nemesis of a relationship since that's what kills the man's primal instinct of being in command. Being a woman, and an i-think-i-am-liberated one myself, I should have jumped to the defence of my kin and kind. However, that did not happen because #1 I had promised not to judge and #2 I did agree with him that when a woman overtly nurtures the male side of her, the man doesn't need her any more. Unless he's gay and he is happy in a you-wear-the-pants equation.

Having said that, and agreeing silently( no ladies, I did not give him the satisfaction of a 'Yes, you're right! ;P ) to it, we went on to discussing various things. Later that night, I couldn't help but wonder how does a man process the word emancipation. While the alpha-male, who has emerged from the primal too, looks for greater sexual expression and an independent partner in his woman, why does he feel threatened by the liberation of thought and a certain feistiness in her, that become obvious by-products of the process? And is it that while sexual emancipation is a welcome thing, the same in other spheres of life is an undesirable trait. And if the evolution, which was brought on by the unfair treatment of women by men to begin with, doesn't work positively/favourably for women, why would women want it in the first place? To me, self- validation and identity-issues are the obvious, and rather clicheed answers. The see-saw again. Is it really normal for men and women to feel that they don't need to bend for each other's needs any more for a fulfilling, balanced life? The voice in my head scrabbles deeper.
So, what are the choices that women have in such a scenario where a well-educated man thinks that a healthy society needs women to be loving partners than free-thinking, self-asserting, sometimes dominating, individuals? The following:

Option 1. To label such a man as a chauvinist and rubbish him. You win, he loses (probably only you).
Option 2. To try and understand his point of view and play along as desired . He wins you lose ( and so do all the pro-feminists, who've spent their lives butchering the male ego)
Option 3. To try and have a split-personality that's commanding in bed and a duh-who-dunnit otherwise. I don't know who that helps. The psychiatrist, perhaps. 
Option 4.  To foster your feminism enough that you become a strong nurturer; and not just an enduring baby doll;   and therefore, a reservoir of patience and forgiveness. That sounds too old and fraying a thought, isn't it?

So what is it that women really want and can be happy with? And do men ever think that why is it that women want what they do want? When all of us know that women want emotional fulfillment, love, loyalty, flattering compliments and expensive gifts; while men look for mind-blowing sex(yes, the two equate); then what is it that stops them from giving it to each other? The voice hasn't stopped talking. And there are hardly any set answers. I hope Darwink* returns soon.

The questions kept me awake most of the night and the next day, I reacted to my chat-mate's general disregard for women that came across from his statements( and I was told to run an NGO for the neo-liberators). He said I was a bad writer, for being all opinionated about the male perspective. It would be easy for me to dismiss him as another gender-bender but being Freud's psychotic alter-ego, I obviously can't, while I'm constantly trying to access his view-point. I'm now drowsy with sleep and no answers in sight. And my book's villanous hero is glaring at me for not paying him any attention. The MCP!

Any answers anybody? Yeah, yeah...too much free time on hand. I know!!

The chase ( a view in the rear-view... )

in the raindrops
on the reflector
the speeding road
darts away from beneath
The sky ablaze
with violet 
and velvet
and an orgasmic Sun
come after me
Oh ! the chase, the chase

The drizzle on
the other side
of the divider
mute trees
and running through
a stranger too
jump into
the silver
up close and far
swerving and
but the Sun
in the mirror
closing in
the chase, the chase

Come, the circle
of people
and wheels
going unnoticed
the mutating sky
or love-making
wind and clouds
only seen
in the virtual fiery haze
the rush, the surge
ah! the chase, the chase.

Running amok
the blacks and whites
pebbles and grime
specking the Sun
not yet still
the convex view
leaving behind
the sultry prance
and advance
to the turn
a lost sojourn
The chase, the chase.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I've been adulterated!

Confession time. I'm in a clandestine relationship. Have been for the past three years. It's unbelievable how innocently one falls for someone; and somebody as romantic as me, is almost always walking on slippery sands.

I'll tell you from the beginning. He steals you with a song. Actually, it all started with the singing. I met him in Switzerland when I walked into this shop and there he was whistling a tune. It was a split-second catch-you-in-the-eye kind of a contact and I knew, I'd fallen. But like a committed married person, I thwarted my attention to the other stuff. And he was no cheap stake either. Totally indulged me, the charmer that he was! Thank heavens, my spouse didn't notice those exchanges.

I thought that would be the briefest fling ever and I'd put it behind me. Hubby went out into the street with my daughter, leaving us alone, quite innocently. I tried to tame my beating heart and stepped out quite hastily but he called out to me, from that window. That was my undoing. Despite having harangued many a friend on the backlash of adultery; there I was, neck-deep in it and no where to run.

Throughout our holiday in Europe, I couldn't stop thinking about him and that song I'd heard. I may have even come to terms with it and later eulogised him somewhere in my poetry but things were not to end there. I returned to India and Glory-be-Thy-name, guess what happened? He followed!! Really!!!

He's settled 'nearabouts' now and we have these love moments when nobody is at home. I can't seem to help it. When I caress him lovingly, he sings out in pleasure. I waltz dreamily with his body rhythm. I chuckle as he chimes. If it is any vindication at all, I'll say we have a totally platonic relationship. Boring and incredible? But that's what most truths are nowadays. Seriously. There's nothing more than a snug, comforting hand-holding. Besides the occasional demand he makes of me to get going. Gooseflesh.

 Sigh, my darling Mr. Cuckoo Clock (lovingly called Cuckoo Sing(h)), I can't imagine a day without your happy song :) :) : )

And my dears, what a lark of a morning today! Before I get back to my darling Mr. Cuckoo, whose pendulum demands some winding up again (now get that silly smile off your face), would like to share something that I found in my old, old diary:

                                                   Fields of corn,
                                           like childhood friends,
                                      the breeze made gently sway.
                                      Little was the knowledge then,
                                             littler the gloomy day!

Have a happy day, m'dears

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Love-bites and flowers too

I'm back. And I came in flying. On Cupid's wings. Sounds too saccharine to you? Wait till you see the love birds fluttering around your neighbourhood today. It's really sweet. The smothering-your-throat kind of sweet. Especially because, if you're in your thirties like me, you really can't manage to enjoy that being-silly kind of love on the roads any more. Or can you? I wonder.

We went to a pre-Valentine's Day gig last night. It was my favourite singer Mika , doling out all the hot numbers that I totally love to gyrate to. But guess what the odds were? I was heavily drugged, had been advised to take it easy for some time as far as physical activity is concerned, no alcohol-not even a shandy and in a city like Lucknow, where you lose your right to be fancy-free the day you get married.By God, I'd been waiting for this evening, since last month. And I'd even bought myself a new outfit! We were made to sit in the first row when Mika came on stage. I so wanted to scream like I was fifteen again. But such courage is hard to muster without a shot of vodka. So, the first number got rolling. People are generally too sophisticated in this city to let their hair down very easily. By the time the second song came through, the dance floor in front of us was howling for attention. My husband, who is my all-time favourite dance-partner, had forbidden me to exhaust myself, owing to the food-less days behind me.

What the hell! What's a party without music and what's music without a shake? Who needs a validating reason to be happy and celebrate? And I hadn't waited all these days to sit through such a pulsating performance. I got up, pulled my daughter along ( who was anyway waiting for the slightest push) and took over the dance floor. Hubby couldn't resist for too long. Got a thumbs-up from Mika and in a few minutes, the dance floor felt it was worthwhile to exist on the planet. We had the Lucknow crowd grooving!!!

Moreover, my baby was invited on stage with a bunch of other children to dance with the singer. Oh, the joy and confidence on her face.The highlight of the evening was the team from the local T.V. channel coming up to us on the dance floor and asking for a byte on the evening (even though I couldn't understand initially when the interviewer said in murdered English,"I want your bite!" Glad my bicep-flexing valentine couldn't hear it over the din). It was funny how each question was essentially tagged with "So, what are you feeling?" It was a perfectly entertaining evening!

Now, before you go ahead and begin to think, I'm on my show-off spree again; I'll make the point. And the stubby point is that when we see people younger than us having a good time, we either judge them for being whatever they are, or feel regretful that we can't be them anymore. Who does that help? Who set the age-limit for unpretentious, child-like joy? We keep building walls inside us and consequently, as we start to confine others within those walls, inadvertently, we begin to confine ourselves the most. Even though, I'm not a proponent of the 'I don't give a damn about anyone' attitude; I do believe that it is possible to be sensitive to the expectations of those around you and still have fun. Loads of it!

Therefore,  each time you see those droopy-eyed love birds flutter by, don't feel envious. Go hug your mate and whisper the sillies in their ear : ) (and try not to bite their ear off while you do so. It doesn't qualify as a love-bite). Do something crazy. Love is work-in-progress.
Happy Valentine's Day to all.

Oh! by the way, I told hubby not to bring me any kind of cut flowers today. I prefer potted plants, if at all. I'd rather have the gesture of love, blooming happily and thriving in my garden than withering away in the vase. Just a thought to share.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Good News. Bad News.

Good news. Bad news.

Folks, I am on a see-saw ride. Have been all my life, but lately things have become kind of head-spinning swingy.

Let me begin by telling you the good news. We moved into a new city recently and left many wonderful memories and experiences behind in Mumbai. However, despite the best efforts of a few cynics, we managed a picture-pretty life here. The optimism helped tremendously and things started to happen , just the way I wanted them. Talk of self-hypnotism. Warm people, gorgeous traditional food and tolerable traffic. We knew we'd be O.K.
So, the exciting news came about ten days ago when I got a call from the Director of a theatre group to come and audition for an upcoming play. Yipeedoodah! Of course, I went somersaulting and landed myself a place amidst that wonderfully funny set of people, for a comedy to be staged in a premium club on 2nd March.

So far, so good. We had started rehearsing, waking up at 5: 30 a.m., driving through thunder-storms, chai-shai in the rain and happy flirting through rich baritones and squeaky laughter.

This went on for a week.

And then, kaboom! I woke up at 3:00 a.m. two days ago with a crippling pain in my abdomen. With a phenomenally high pain threshold, I would've just hobbled(the pain-dance) through it until it subsided and told my husband about it only in the morning. However, this one was an over-achiever. It made me wake him up and insisted that 'it' be taken to the hospital. After getting a pain-killer needled into my system, my cave-age stance didn't go away and we were told to get a few tests done. Later in the day, an ultrasound confirmed appendicitis.

Ha,ha and bah! that's the reaction it deserved. Now, on liquid diet and rest for ten days. This means no aerobics, no physical training and certainly no food frenzy ( actually, the third one is not so bad as I won't have to spend too much time cooking ). I'll have to go for an elective appendectomy, possibly next month, in order to avoid any kind of emergency which might occur in the future. Needless to say, I had to break-up with my new- found boyfriend--the Lucknow stage. And we didn't even get that last kiss : (

But; yes, there's a but here too; the happy and sunshine day that it is today, I'm back on my feet and already flirting with my all-time partner- the P.C. ;P Other than a few show-downs because of my disloyalty; when he chose to hang up on me (I told him how fulfilling the new i-phone was. That download didn't go down very well with him)or even packed up and threatened to leave me for good; he's been quite a doting mate : ). And even my partner-in-crime, sometimes.

Therefore, in the see-saw scheme of things, I guess I should be getting some good news pretty fast. Unless, 

what I 'saw' is what I shall 'see',
 which actually can't be,
coz the saw and the see,
in the cosmic spree,
can only last 
till see becomes saw
and saw becomes see.

Totally stupid. I know. If laughter is the best medicine, stupidity is the nurse.

Laters, my dears!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Flight of fancy

Green and white,
crisscrossed by black
the tiles on the floor;
some drooping shy,
some free and wild,
spring-flowers through the door
the staircase then
leading to when
they hopped over the fence
the cobbled snake
moved on to meet
a sprightly wilderness.

A look about
and furtive search
for rabbits in the dark
mushrooms and twigs
and berry things
not found in the park

climb up a tree
that doesn't know
its nature, name or fruit
hang upside down
and try to see
the world with wandering roots

the beehive or the weaver bird
don't spare a look or care
the clumsy vines,
the unkempt hair
who needs to stop and stare?

the frenzied brook
and the broody nook
with cradled rocks ahead
the deer, the doe
that briskly go
to the princely tiger's stead

then run askance
and leave behind
all glories
and the chase
if one would stop
to ponder much
they'd lose their wondrous gaze

hop, skip and jump
and lo, behold
the house is back in sight
what joy, what fun
in the winter Sun
and a chair-bound aimless flight !

Of love and loving

This is something I wrote a long, long time ago....29th day of December 2001...on my first date with that man who I met on the train to Delhi.

I wonder why he still wanted to marry me...this should have been enough to scare him away :D

Anyway, putting this here just for the record:

There comes a time in every life
when dawn to dusk do take flight
the sun-kissed birds of love and joy
fall prey to a lurking serpent night...

...but life goes on from dusk to dawn
and who can turn the tide of time
the venom that the night did spawn
flows rarefied by the morning light.

Life has been an enriching journey so far; making me believe time and again, in miracles; and hope it continues to be so.

There's nothing more beautiful in this world than a heart full of love.

An added thought:

...and thereafter,
never did a day yet dawn,
nor fawn a purple night
your vision when it left the eye
sans amorous hope beside.

When Mars meets Venus

Diamonds are a woman's best friend. Used to be. Once upon a gender-biased lifetime. As luck would have it, Darwin's theory of evolution is evolving too as it copes with the fading differences between Adam and Eve. And so applicable on Earth, Mars and Venus alike. Other than glorified carbons, there are quite a few tips that may help keep the Martians and Venusians together for another couple of eons.

I had a visitation yesterday by Darwink* -the God of the Theory of the Relationship Revolution. In my dream, he endowed upon me the responsibility to unveil to the world, his cataclysmic exposition.

1. Men rejoice! It's diamonds no more. Flattery is undisputedly a girl's best friend. It's a timeless classic and no recent development, this. Just because you guys were unable to discover this secret yourself, you've had to pay the price with diamonds all these years. The best things in life come for free.

2. For the guys who just read  #1 and brought out that crooked smile, and also probably the first deep sigh of relief in years- hold on to that breath. Flattery at the cost of indulgence and thoughtful flair, is going to fall flat. And on your own face at that. Therefore, while flattery rules the roost, diamonds still come a close second. When you fail to sound sincere with flattery, diamonds will become YOUR best friends and lead you onto light.

3. Ladies, what makes a woman a man's trophy, an asset? If you said 'eyes', you've never met an honest man. Until this revelation. Now, smarten your, and learn to identify the real ones from the fakers. Eyes, hair and other such irrelevant facial contours are YOUR fixed deposits, not his. Anyway, now that you ARE an asset, with whatever you believe, you must remember that assets need to perform on a continuous basis. The term 'set in stone' works well for the Constitution, not your hips. Go salsa, zumba, tango and keep that rear moving, if you know what's good for you. Your looks won't last a lifetime; or even a relationship. Those hips will.

4. For the romantically challenged men: It's touch, kiss and that order. The reverse never goes to stage. No, not even after a decade of dress-rehearsals. Reading the script backwards never worked for anybody. Not even Amitabh Bachchan.

5. O.K. So, you are the most macho among your breed. And you are also the Suneil Shetty/Sylvestor Stallone corporate prototype. But seriously, a little humour never killed anybody. "I just died laughing" was not meant to be taken literally, and shunned forever. Time to lighten up the romance. Humour her. Not at her.

6. Girls, drop the 'I' from the talk sometime. Take the focus elsewhere. And ladies who believe that it helps to carry their man's attention on to other women to keep the sizzle in the drizzle- You're star-smart! And if you think that attention means maid-talk, new friend's ugly secrets or how your mother-in-law victimised you today,  then please go ahead and rip that star-smart tag right off your shoulder.

7. Ladies and gents, crude as it may sound, it really does pay to bring an outsider into the partnership. And don't go penny-pinching on that. Certain pleasures are meant to be bought. Ditch the guilt, shame or sacrilegious joy that you might feel at entertaining such thoughts.A pair of outsourced helping hands does help spruce up togetherness. My husband and I did just that. We could kiss those hands. Yes! Such are the joys of a professional baby-sitter. Your love-life goes from sprawl to sprint before you can holler 'Go!'.... We on the same page?

 That's all to quote and unquote for now as Darwink* took a pee-break here. I'm waiting for him to return tonight(he's the third one in my marriage).
Lead kindly light...

Untill then,
go rehearse

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

First Crush

The throbbing stars
suds of soap
raised hope
of a shiny night.

Type-cast moon
like a vagabond
stealing light
from the curried glow
of the lamp post.

Rainy noons
and misty nights
take us up the
terrace steps
the drill…
first crush
breezy chill
the look, the wave
and doe-eyed blush.

The distance
and the soul in it
the speechless talk
the flighty thoughts
that unattended
rolled in it
the puff of air
the cigarette smoke
across the chimney
and road between
the stealth, the flair
unheard, unseen
and oh!
the best friend’s envy.

Come back
and fill
the vacant spot
the curried dot
washed off
since long
and patted smooth
with spotless new
neem-clean buds
'Gin return to me
the vagrant moon
and starry suds.