It creeps up on you slowly.
Slowly, slowly, slowly.
It creeps up on you.


And you stand in the sun and blink.


Blind man.

You claim to see so many things. You do, you do, and you're not entirely wrong. That's why you can take a piece of paper and rip it up and then neatly stitch it back together with clean bold figures printed on them without ever having put pen on paper, that's why you can talk endlessly about subjects that other people don't even consider, in your clean and clear, slightly posh but not too posh accent. That's why you can pick up tears and roll them lightly down your finger, twisting your hand this way and that to keep them on course. That's why you can tear and rip and hurt and still have people nestling against you for warmth. That's why you can drive through a black tunnel and your headlights don't blind.

But if you can see so well, how can you miss the pounding, the heaving, the flashing, the topsy turvy on a boat in the middle of a storm, the light that continues to spin spin spin mindlessly, a firefly trapped in a glass jar, desperately hurling itself against its invisible prison, towards an inviting darkness that whispers promises.

No, you can't see.

Or are you wise enough to see and not say anything? If you are, then we all give you less credit than you deserve. 



One essay. Two marks. First division. Post-grad at a university that will make everyone go ahhh. Not sure what comes after that, but if everyone's ahh-ing, then you assume it will be something good.

Basing your whole life on someone else's ahhh.

It's terrifying. 


Sari night.

 With Supurna in the first one, and Mawii in the next two.


They don't know what love is.

They talk about it for hours. Sometimes they are eloquent, drawing on images and words and carefully etched thoughts. Sometimes they struggle, trying to find the right sounds for something within them that is nothing more than a shadow, a smudge, the lingering impression of an unknown colour.

Does it even matter?

That's the question that scares them the most.

Long drawn out days, with sunlight grazing their shoulders, hands clasped together. There is laughter, sometimes harsh words, sometimes a soft nip on a ear, sometimes a mouth exploring secret crevices unknown to everyone who lives outside their honey tinted world. There is friendship, companionship, and sometimes - understanding. It's the understanding they appreciate the most because is there really anything more wonderful than being able to articulate thoughts and feelings that have long been asleep, or perhaps in hiding, and watch them travel through a smooth stream to be grasped, wholly and completely, by another human hand.

It should be love, they think. Because if this isn't love, whatever this is, then there is no such thing.

But what happens when the time comes to leave the room? One day, the walls soaked with honey will lose their warm golden glow, and will begin to oppress them until they are covered from head to toe in unbearable sticky sweetness. And then they will leave, with a firm shake of their hands, or a soft kiss for old times sake, and maybe hitch a lift from someone on the highway and depart in two different directions, leaving the little room to crumble.

That's the question that bothers them. Eventually their room, like their love, will fall, and as time and distance dims their memory, they will look back and wonder if it ever existed in the first place.

What scares them is not that this moment - a moment of hands, hips, low voices, and new thoughts - won't last forever. What scares them is this: that years from now, they will look back and smile wisely, indulgently, dismissively, at the remains of something they once thought was love, though by then they will know better. 



Two bearded men flash on the screen. You can tell they're Muslims. Curly beards without moustaches, caps and sherwanis, dressed in Indian colours. They're cheering like mad, leaping up and down, because India just scored a four and Pakistan looks thoroughly fed up.

"That's weird," someone says. "How come they're wearing Indian colours?"

No one reacts. They're too busy watching Zaheer Khan attempt to hit a six.

They taught us in school how India is a secular country. It echoes everywhere, despite the turmoil, despite the unfairness, despite the saffron tinged jaundiced newspapers.

It only takes a stray comment like that, from someone who is oh-so-smart-doing-her-MA-reads-a-lot-you-know-always-up-to-date-with-the-news-strong-supporter-of-this-and-that-just-what-a-twenty first century-modern-girl-should-be, to make you realise just how ugly the faces underneath the masks could be.


On the bandwagon.

I was watching the World Cup final at the pg. Some of the girls brought beer, but I decided to stick to Red Bull which was a mistake I think. It definitely didn't help my blood pressure.

The mood was euphoric during the first twenty overs. I've never seen India field quite so superbly. By the end of that innings though, I'd returned to my room to calm myself with a never-you-mind because I was convinced we were going to lose.

Second half. Sehwag was already out by the time I went back upstairs. Everyone was shaking their heads and muttering about how he really doesn't perform when he should, but people were still calm. That's because Sachin Tendulkar was at the crease. But he didn't last long.

I didn't think he'd get his coveted ton that day. It would have been too perfect. But in the end, it didn't really matter, because after all the ups and downs (and man, were there a lot of downs) and a lot of desperately smoked cigarettes, Dhoni hit a six and we had the cup.

It's difficult not to sentimentalise sport. It's even more difficult not to be sentimental about a player like Sachin Tendulkar.

Virat Kohli said something afterwards, and I thought it was a pretty accurate sum up of what many Indians have been feeling recently. He said that Sachin Tendulkar had been carrying the Indian cricket team on his shoulders for twenty one years and now it was their turn to carry him.

That's the beauty of it. He didn't get his hyped hundredth ton, but in the end, it didn't really matter. The younger players kept their cool and guided India to victory - a good omen for the future. And it was a team effort. And it reinforced the impression I got throughout the tournament - this was Sachin Tendulkar's world cup, but it was for him, not because of him.

There was one scene from the final that caught my eye.

It was soon after Sehwag's dismissal. Gambhir was looking terrified and he was struggling. Tendulkar had a few quiet words with him, and Gambhir hit the next ball for a four. He eventually went on to make 97 runs, even though Tendulkar got out soon after.

They carried him around the field after what was probably his last World Cup match to thunderous applause. So what if he'd had an inglorious personal exit from the World Cup stage. He's done more than enough already and I'm glad, glad, glad, glad, that Indian cricket could do this for him.