Tuesday, January 23, 2018


When she looks around, she sees everyone busy with their own agenda. Sometimes, that agenda doesn't make sense to her at all. The targets they're chasing seem futile. Many of these people are the ones she considered closest to her and who she always thought her world would revolve around. In some sense, it does, but then she asks herself if it's really worth living her life for any mortal except herself. Because when she looks at them, that's what they are doing - living for themselves. 

She is the picture of the perfect employer, wife, mother, and daughter. But she has achieved this with more help from people who are really nobody to her, yet are the only ones that truly understand her pain and let her have some time for herself. And they do it with utmost sincerity and loyalty. She still hasn't understood why. At times when she feels terribly weakened, both physically and mentally, these are the ones who come to her aid, more than the ones she thought always would.

Who's she, you ask me? Of course, you know her. You meet her everyday - you call her "mom", "honey", "sweetie", "boss", or simply "hey you". She's today's working mother, battling all odds just to get through a day without breaking. She's her strongest version even at her weakest point. Why? Because she has no choice - that's just who she has to be.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


Her lustful eyes wear glasses of woe,
Her hungry red lips adorned in the lightest hue,
She walks with a gait, slow and gentle,
Hiding her cunning in her quiet mumble.

A seductress - the kind he fails to fathom,
He worships her like the queen of his kingdom;
Oblivious to her tactics, he surrenders his all,
Believing she'll catch his every fall.

She decorates his halls with rags that shine;
From juicy slow poison, she makes him wine;
Dazed by the sparkle, he's struck with awe;
High on liquor, he dances till grabbed by death's jaw.

Ripened with age, she stoops her back
But holds her head high, her scheming mind intact;
"I do not need your gold," to his kids she says,
While scooping diamonds from his bays.


"There isn't a thing I won't tell you"
I made a promise that day
To someone who I thought I knew
Would never hurt me, come what may.

My soul was naked, I bared it all-
My darkest secrets, my rise and fall;
Not for a moment did I hesitate
To walk into a trap and take the bait.

Not your Best Friend

"But mom, I am only asking for some more cheese on my sandwich. It makes your yummy sandwich even yummier! Parth's mother lets him eat as much butter and cheese as he wants, and they don't even tell his dad about it. She allows him to stay outdoors after 6 pm. They also goshup when he doesn't feel like studying. He says his mom is his best friend."
"'Gossip', not 'goshup'. Do you know what it means? Dig into the dictionary and find out."
"Why can't you just tell me? Parth's mom would have!"
"Because I'm your mother, not your best friend."

A couple of minutes after rummaging through the pages of the dictionary, his face lit up.

"Mom, I found it, I found it! I know what it means. Yay!" 
"Great. So how do you feel? You learned a new word today!" 
"I feel good. But I still want my cheese."
"Sure. Once you make your bed."
"But Parth's mother..."
"Always makes his bed for him? Got it. Now hurry up before I change my mind!"

20 years later... 

"Mom, you've already met her a couple of times. Do you think she's the right one for me? " 
"What do you think? Dig into your heart and find out."
"Just like the meaning of 'goshup'?"
"You still remember?"
"Of course. It's just that...we're in India."
"Well, the whole saas-bahu thing is a big deal. All my friends have gotten their wives 'approved' by their mothers."
"You're the one who's going to share the rest of your life with her."
"What about you and dad?"
"What about us?"
"I can't leave you alone. I mean, sooner or later, we will be living with you. What if you can't get along with her?"
"Your dad and I enjoy each other's company. Do you think we'd let you guys move in and ruin our privacy?"
"Oh, come on mom, I'm serious!"
"Fine. Even if the four of us have to live together at some point of time in our lives, as long as we respect each others' boundaries, we'll get alone just fine."
"But I want you and her to be best friends!"
"What's with you and forced friendships? It's the most spontaneous of bonds; it'll happen if it has to. Besides, I think she already has a best friend."
"Who is that?"
"Oh, so you and dad are conspiring to drive me away from home. But what if I want your special cheese sandwich? You can't email it to me!"
"Drama queen! You already know how to make that; I taught you."
"You didn't say you will teach her."
"Should I?"
"No. I'll make them for her."
"That's good to hear."
"I've been meaning to say something to you."
"Thanks for not being my best friend, and for being the best mother in the world instead."


It was one of those kindergarten days when a classmate was distributing the customary birthday goodies. This time, the goodies comprised of candies in assorted flavors, and of course, each student was allowed only one. The entire class had their eyes fixed on the chocolate candies, and Nia was among the few who got one. She was on cloud nine, but she also felt bad for her classmates who didn't get the chocolate candies. One of them named Ruth offered to exchange a pineapple candy with hers and Nia felt too charitable to refuse. She regretted it almost immediately. She was crestfallen and complained about it to her friends. She decided to ask for it back and Ruth said no. Nia was so disappointed that she didn't want to keep the pineapple candy either, so she returned it to Ruth. And then, she went home to her parents, teary-eyed and thinking how it wasn't fair that she didn't get to keep even one candy.

Twenty years later, nothing has changed, except that it isn't kindergarten anymore. Her loving heart is the chocolate candy, her self-respect the pineapple candy, and life, her classroom. And Nia still thinks that it isn't fair.

Not Me

One step, two steps, three steps, four-
Steps I took till my feet were sore;
Leaving behind a chunk of innocence,
A dab of mischief, a slice of romance;
Some tears, some laughs, some anger, some glee,
Some things that made all, not some of me.


Phials of tears, angst and sorrow,
Phials she carried like there's no tomorrow;
Today, she walks among the dead
And hides one phial under each head,
Wishing no living would find her phials of folly
And live like her, lost in melancholy.