Saturday, December 31, 2011



uncooperating edges
pieced together to

make love.


worlds collapse again
my heart bursting with an ache
i cannot claim

your pain

s             p          l              i           n      t        e               r              s

my words

not even a single poem comes out whole anymore.


paying daily reparations

for not showing up
nor leaving

for not knowing
and refusing to know

for denying
and for hoping

for being unable
to stop loving

and refusing
to show

for relying on the pale thud
of this sane heart

that will not feel
for the sake of tomorrow
and tomorrow
and tomorrow

so all due reparations are paid

and regret
can forever fade into a grin

you win.


no amount of conversing

makes me literate
in the language of violence

the body is just a long pause of baffled silence
where this unending, coiling, strangling telephone line delivers



real love
never ends

po raichha.

same intensity
that same lub-dub, lub-dub crazy beating of the heart.

the same stars looking down
on you

smiling at us
on behalf of
me and you.

silly stars, sillier their permanence too.

silly us, sillier our silences too.

lujjaa i will smile through it all. je parla parla.

luh luh chiya biskut pani khaam yei upalakchhya ma.

lessons to be learnt

this is what my new job will have taught me when i'm ready to quit:

trees bleeding
of  paper


in bulk

will help mount
derived from corrupt

unworthy of being told
will be finger-exercise
for sedentary bodies
as human hands
brush against
wilting pages.

there will be momentary contact

there will not be much reading

who is going to emancipate wood pulp from this existential crisis?

news will continue to be made
just to keep the cycle of waste
in motion.

Friday, December 30, 2011

it says shit about me to me

sometimes i miss you with an
that wants to disregard

all the walls
we've erected

with our silences.

nobody knows
understands me better than


yet you cannot stand me.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

porcelain princess

bukowski was an odd fuck
as ordinary as fuck he was

i bet
bukowski would have liked a fuck
with me

ordinarily i don't like to fuck

every now and then i meet a man
who'd like to fuck me very much
and my vagina finds that odd as fuck
my vagina can't stand his cock
my vagina'd rather stay shut

i think what he wants
is to make some true, meaningful love

but bukowski was sacred as dirt
bellowing out words sending
brittle girls into erotic rage
he'd know to do me right
he'd fuck some sense into that frigid vagina
i'm sure he'd set it alight

and ordinary fucking would crack through the clay
maybe even save the day

but bukowski's been dead since i was eight
and fucks these days don't come the right degree of odd.

but god - cohen, at 77, is very much alive
and still looks handsome as hell.

take three

ours is a frail civilization
breaking hearts
are comforted by the broken hearted

ours is a failed civilization
that never tires
of its failures.

take two

this morning when i
stumbled upon my mother
crying as if someone had died

- when in fact no one had died
no, dead people don't drive
you to tears of those kind -

i let her spill into me
naive empty container
of longing
that i am

now an awkward
uncomfortable sorrow

is trailing into my

things yingyang

december is the month for pining for things that cannot be 

days of endless wanting, wanting. 

december is also a month 
when contradictions 
hold hands and play lovers. 

everything is 
in december.
some days just come like this

shrouded in sadness
i cannot escape.


all day i walked
with an earnest smile

bleeding a trail
of sorrow

like a vagina
without whisper wings.


life is
a strange
kind of drowning
where her
form my world.


i miss you with
an ache

that goes back
beyond the time
when i was

all my longings
are like empty containers

with labels
that have your
written on them.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

epiphany my-chance-to-get-it-before-the-world-comes-to-an-end

oh my god

beauty is a feeling?

when i see you, what do i feel?    

the interaction between my heart
and your being?

that's all beauty is?

energy suffusing
into spaces between bodies?

contained in matter, mass
things that levitate -

that is beauty?

so beauty isn't alone
doesn't seem to happen in isolation.

just another kind of

should have known.

Friday, December 23, 2011

notes on the head and the heart

1. they came into my world
in awkward, blaring briefs.

awkward bodies carrying
a familiar grief.

2. unenchanting,
unwilling to look into the eye

like monkeys but human.

to make music

then why unending?

3. were the birds singing outside of view
and the river flowing,
foams whispering to each other
like restless little schoolgirls?

did they just chirp along?

4. you can hear the knocking of knuckles on a wooden log
if you listen carefully

5. the voices merge and blaze like hot gasoline
jolts of magic

5.5 they look away.

6. like pajama players
they're never-ready
music always makes itself available though

7. every song so sweetly delivered
brings success
and even if you didn't ask for it
being loved by many
and becoming big -

just wait
we will corrupt you

that's inevitable
or you can also
fail endlessly.


and make sweet inconsequential music
that explodes in my heart

i will promise to hate you.

8. which one is my favourite?

i can't make head or tail.

my taste is diffused. like your gaze.

9. children play in the park. noise bombs
making some music of their own.

10. like they've answered the question i'd been directing at the universe all this while?


11. solid like bricks falling on my head
real too. more real than real.

like a flower

accidental encounters with poetry


let's meet up soon again
i'm just putting it out there

i don't want to make plans 
because planning is
ugly and futile 
and never materializes
and even when it does 
it's boring

but when i can't keep it to myself anymore, 
i will burst with longing at your door.

and then we will do
whatever we have to do.


what's mine and what's yours

there's a hole in my bucket

from it drip things

straight into yours.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

also known as 'why fail maths in school?'

- 10 + 9 =  - 1


- 1 =  + 1

and then, here especially,

zero plus zero plus zero plus zero makes us feel like we've got a whole lot more than before

pile on.

so much of
happiness in
mere miscalculations.


promise us ten hours of loadshedding
and deliver only nine

unfulfilled expectations

that's all it takes to make us Nepali people happy.


i know 
there were/are/will be many more

but you should know
that you're the one
i've been waiting for.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

fucking victory

one country enters another

penetrates air, earth, building, glass, garden, city, village, child, water supply, ladle, flower pot
penetrates the heart, the psyche, the soul
penetrates the body, the body, the body
penetrates innocence of the flesh
penetrates collective memories
penetrates third party bystanders even

leaving stains
leaving scabs
leaving an utter, uncomprehending silence
leaving a theater of the absurd for none to see
leaving -


where does the equation for justice
in the rape of a nation?


one day we get married

another day we divorce

one day the US enters Iraq

another day it leaves

no amount of ceremony
can dignify all the crap
that falls in between.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Aatma Bal

Ke ko aatma bal

This ego knows
how to
curl up like a ball

No strength in this
gutumutu pareko dallo.

Monday, December 12, 2011

so cold

december is a terrible month

it makes me feel so cold and lonely

esso december ko laagi matrai hire garna paye hunthyo ni euta lover.

new faces

you know

love doesn't ask for
the one

it's an empty cup
eager to fill up

and keep warm
whatever goes in it.

new faces arise
but the same old cup

there's no new way to love.

the thing about gloves

is that

my fingers feel so lonely
in individual pockets

all they want to do is
huddle together

and be family again.

the thing about gloves

is that they do nothing
about the cold.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

6:33 am

living in the gray areas

when the sky does not know what to do
with concepts of
day and night

there is more music
this time between pigeons
soft sounds warbling

from their empty little bellies.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

nowhere near the throat

the formula of life
tucked safely between vibrations
that roar out from
deep within your belly.

who does sing?

the sound of these wailers
like sandpaper
grazing against the insides of this heart

cracking, breaking, splintering
to fill up ears

we all die a thousand deaths
and are born again
inside voices like these

because just singing
is no longer enough

keep wailing, sweethearts.


every now and then

mini earthquakes rattle
things hidden
underneath my skin.

the foreseeable future (in euphemisms)

if i take one more step in this direction

i will stumble into music making

and get tangled up in strings
i know not how to strum

and things may get ugly for a long while.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

new gmail

new gmail
you SUCK!

and you'll suck
until you're old
and they replace you with something new
which'll suck
even more.

it's like i'm on facebook again.
yuck. yuck. yuck!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

from earth (ii)

the earth is my body; my head is in the stars.

climb down, my teacher says.

she is so beautiful, my teacher, in that body of hers.

from earth

somebody said to me obsessing with the earth
is akin to obsessing with death

but being a hindu, with hindu blood and hindu ancestry
with a history of denying the hindu in me

who will listen
(except the voices in my head)

they are probably going to burn me as my skull pops and i disappear into smoke.

in this country
it is air that carries the waft of death

not earth.

earth brings to life
feeds the soul

keeps me calm
keeps me whole

pay attention to the earth
i hear those voices say

pay attention to the earth
live in it
live out of it

dig in.

remembering (iii)

you and me
are the best example of
how idiotic a combination of
one plus one
can be

Saturday, December 3, 2011

dear musicians

keep singing
keep making music

never stop sharing


who is better off than dead

this is nothing sane
this is a wild melting of the heart
disappearing into fizz

lemon powder
be kidding.
you kidding me

who you

wonderlust whore

share. share. be there.

and be gone.

you are cruel
and unkind

and i am ruthless
just in time
to make you
i am happy
to be this miserable

or is this just my shadow

or does this make any sense

but there is this thing
riding inside me
that wants to shoot out
and kill the world dead
in one breath

so what do i do with that?

what do i do with
this thing
bursting inside me

a strange colored banana clogs my brain

and the shadow of death
again and again

and moments
that are ripe
with snow
and ice
and picket fences
and lines
and arches
and beaten eggs
and beaten memories

and no more waiting
and no more wishing
no more waiting for you here
on my roof
up against the sky
and suppressed
and repressed
and repressed
and suffocated
this sky
that does not levitate
don't go
don't go

but you have gone
and there are magic wands
waving around recklessly
and i cry
and i sound
like i am
inside the ground
and i see
but it's me
and there's nothing holy
inside the body

and there is a dream
and in the dream
i am silent
and i am broken
and i wake up

where i am silent
and i am broken

and all the cello tape in the world
does not help
to put together
and heal
and there is a joy
in the memory
of having lived before this lifetime

and all the accumulation of all the suffering from the beginning of age
cannot be discarded
so there it is
here it is

where will it possibly go

and lou reed
shooting heroin inside his skin

while i am mean
and ripe
with vengeance

i am clean
and i am a compromise

i am the destiny
of the destroyer

i am your body's gloom
thick and misty

i am a kiss
on the bird's back
as i climb
onto the top

and i hurl at you
stones and sticks
and picket fences
and stars
and snow
and hearts in shards
and a hero's welcome

your stardust is dusty contaminated bruise scattered senseless.

now go.

kill screeching melody scream
kill heaven glory four times over.

kill. kill.
soft voices against shrill sounds.


eat my heart out in a bowl, einaudi.

scoop it out of my chest
and drink it like soup
spill it like beans

your music speaks to me like truth.

like a wild race
a wild chase
into the ether

i disappear
into the grim
slipping, memory of a song
you wrote
on the keys

in a rush
with my blood
gushing out
outside my veins
in a rush

wanting to reach out to you
to touch you
with my mind
with my hand
with my body
with these hands
i want to steal your music

listen to that. listen to that.

will it never stop
the rush
the beating of this heart
the crazy beating of this heart
the jamming of all things precious
inside a head so small
a heart so wrong
a deed so broken

look. look.

who are you, einaudi?

where does this music come,
where does it come from?

and where does it fly to
when it has flown
my heart flees along

the story is too long
too fast
stretches beyond my capacity to exist

i'm waiting to snap
but the song
does not end
it keeps on bending
from corner to corner
from moment to moment

a mad rush
you me and our stupid reality
and so many things
this is it.

this is it.

wow. that was an ugly end
to something that started with
a soar

you dropped me right into the dirt.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


do it.

do it again.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

sexual epiphany

there is no sense of humour
as long as there's repression

and right now
all is repressed;

trying to make a flower bloom
between an iron and a tabletop.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


what happens when two mirrors look into each other?

is born out of happiness
and joy multiplies to fill up quiet corners.

dimensions as yet undiscovered
begin to murmur numbers

as infinity learns to count itself.

Friday, November 18, 2011

grabbing life by the ass when you think you're holding it by the face

all my initiations into love
shut down at the door
of self loathing.

the fall

last night
the headquarters of pain
shot me messages

i transmitted screams
that taught me of the life
i'd forgotten i had
on the right edge of my left foot

when i fell off my scooter last week
i hadn't intended on falling right into the hands of doctors

now i will be pissing purple stains of

what does that mean

how did we come to
being anti-life to being healed

how did we figure out
a way to survive
by squeezing life
within this uncomfortable paradox

last night
i screamed through my sleep
i will be sleeping into oblivion

once again
the life lurking inside of me

there is hope though
isn't there
that some day
having learnt my lesson
i will wake up to
the sum of infinite
ordinary things
inside me
that await being acknowledged
even without the pain

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

way across the universe

it's harvest season
on planet poetry
the moon a-full
the stars a-gazing
the genius a-drizzling
on you

you with pointed finger

gifted stranger
you paint the world a-new

it's abundance season
on planet audience
the blood a-gushing
the heart a-beating
the smile a-spreading
across my face

if you heard all the cheering and clapping
on this side
you'd know how well it complements
the music in your words.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

dear milk

one of these days
i will dedicate
one of these
to you

be water (v)

be water
stand upright
with pointed shoulders
flaring up at the sky
be firm
and crystalline

be cold
and white
breathing out vapour
deflecting light

be water
not the sweat
we will need to
wipe from the earth's brow

be water
but be the
that's ice


the ominous gloom
in the clarity of water as ice 
melts in the warmth of my hand

remembering (ii)

where memories are vivid
and sparkle with a blueness
that spells out eternity
on a songbird's tail

to forget
is to find a way to survive

remembering (i)

memory like a suitcase with limited storage space

I find myself trampling all over old memories to make
space for new ones.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

take this

in justice, there is infinite violence.

always, my nails screech

"It's. Not. Fair!"

as they claw their way across the wall.

always the wall
a wall

justice is the impatience of an uncouth lout
as he turns away from the mirror
to point a finger at a world
that no longer includes himself.

i turn away from the mirror
to point a finger at a world
that no longer includes myself.

i no longer include myself
i myself

"You. Ruined. Me!"

but justice is fueled by
the illusion
that anger placates sorrow.

justice is fuel
justice fuels

"Fire. Fire. Fire!"

you rub against justice any longer
you'll watch yourself burn
and fade into ashes of

Thursday, November 10, 2011

saathi lai nimantrana


you are invited
to come and share
to come and be

tea and biscuits
munching and crunching
phooing and sipping

our desire
of creating and destroying
and meddling forever with the alchemy of the universe

and amidst
all the talking, talking, talking left to do

you are invited
to come spend the whole day here

so we can finally make bread together!

and hopefully, even in a country like ours,
God will be kind enough and say, "Let there be light."

and there will be light
so that all the ovenwork will be completed on time

and in that bread, wont we also put
a secret ingredient -
that same stuff that hearts are made of?

only, when we break the bread
and put it in our mouths
broken hearts will melt and heal
chewing mouths will dance and squeal
merry bodies will twirl and kneel
mended hearts will begin to feel

i miss your presence, saathi

can't wait! can't wait!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

song of the queen of the night (in progress)

the queen of the night is here too
in my backyard
blistering with flowers

along with her fragrance
escapes a whispery song
called "Nostalgia"

which goes more or less like this -

"In me is a longing
to bloom beside your river
the water crushing against the rocks
the rocks nestled against each other
the path next to the river
those stone walled cottages
with golden light glistening outwards
and people inside them
with golden light glistening inwards.

Inhaling through their snouts
people intercept my message to you
and keep it in their hearts.

The fragrance dissipates before it reaches you
but in me are tightly knotted memories
that I let loose
every night
when the world goes dark.

In darkness, I like to bloom the best
In darkness, I can be honest
In darkness, my heart is free
to revel in your memory.

I hope my yearning to reach you
will reach you someday

I hope my longing to be with you
will come true one day."

walking away from her
i lose contact with what she sings
but in me trails along a melody
(is it mine or hers this time)
it echoes, "Take me back there, take me back there"

the roar of a wave could drown the whole word

all day, beating my head, my fingertips
copywriting for a corporate company

the only voices i hear in my head
repeat the same drab chorus

"Never again! Never again!"

what it amounts to is

copywriting means to copy writing

yeta bata chorne, uta bata chorne, 
ali ali taaltool garepachhi ready!

selling products with unique selling points
in recycled packaging

but even when i write from the heart
always, always
all i seem to do is

yeta bata chorne, uta bata chorne

selling personal experiences
in public vocabulary

borrowing from others who penned down things that resist being worded
depending, gleefully, on their experience, their courage
their sheer stupidity at attempting the impossible

like this song by Bob Dylan

this song; a hard rain that's a fallin' on my being
beating, beating
attacking the length of my spine
and my heart
waking up goosebumps all through my skin
before my head can make any sense of it.

my insides are itching with a strong drive to write
what is true.

what is true
plunges in and out of silence.

words, words, when will you be ready to wear my story?

Friday, August 19, 2011

kareoke tonight

a hermaphrodite's voice
wishes to gurgle through my soul

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Things behind the sun

This is an unpalatable evening, when the whole body is senseless, and every pore wishes to be shut. I enter my parents’ room hoping to watch a little bit of television before sleeping off the day’s exhaustion. I crave for some entertainment—maybe a raunchy comedy, maybe one of those predictable detective shows. But my father is bent upon watching Discovery Channel where they are showing an episode of the BBC documentary series titled Planet Earth. Seven minutes into the programme, my father has fallen asleep and is snoring loudly, while I am left to watch the entire show alone.

Alone. It is in the process of looking at wildlife on screen that I realise how impossible it is for us to ever really be alone. Trust a mosquito to be perched on a windowpane, or a silverfish to be lurking between the pages of books stacked on my shelf. Every sleepless night as I sit in bed and listen to the world fall into a temporary lull, there is always a soft trill emanating from insects that seem to come alive just at night. Silence is never absolute. Neither is solitude.

And yet, the facts in this documentary rattle my brain. Numbers and figures leave permanent imprints on my mind. One third of the earth’s frog species—gone. Too many pores in their naked bodies. With their entire body a single sense, do they absorb destruction through their moist and vulnerable pores?

The television that sits in this room is proof that while the number of wildlife species is dwindling, the diversity of technological gadgetry is ever expanding. All day, I drown myself in a world where on a daily basis, new species of technology attach themselves to us, inside pockets, dangling from ears, tucked firmly within our arms, underneath moving palms, pixels dancing to the swift movement of our fingertips. In our busy lives, we are constantly drawn into a network of busy people. We are caught in a web of communication where we’re in touch with people we never dare touch for real.

But I am tired of always finding myself in this cybernetic world sandwiched between hard and soft wares. Always available. Always a green dot online, on screen, in chat boxes. This is a different kind of aloneness—where I am constantly surrounded by the minds of other people. Where there is absolutely no scope for solitude. Where green is just a colour—it does not belong to nature, not even symbolically. But there was a day when all that was different.

It was a delicious evening, when the whole body was one sense, and imbibed delight through every pore. In the summer of 2008, I too experienced my own Walden, my private paradise brimming to the full with wildlife at a residential school I was teaching at in rural Andhra Pradesh. Nature was abundant and each leaf seemed to be inventing its own version of green. After spending many silent evenings with a group of students atop a hill looking out to the sunset, I felt solitude finally thicken around me. The magic of life seemed to buzz inside every cell of my being. Silence was teaching me things words can never express. And all around me, the natural world was making a big affirmative nod. Embraced in its lap, I found nature nourishing me, healing me, encouraging me. I wasn’t just growing up. It felt more like I was growing into nature.

The opportunity for solitude is abundant where nature is abundant. I had to go bang into the middle of nature to understand how well it complements my search for the inner self. So much of it has got to do with the sheer magnanimity of it. But perhaps, it is also due to how the creatures, the mountains and rivers, all the elements that constitute nature live in harmony with one another. This is not a coalescence of infinite egos like the human civilisation is. It seems like every stone, every drop of water, every grain of sand, every living species is in a meditative state, contributing to the creation of a larger whole, this universe.

In a book I cherish called Old Path White Clouds by the Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddha’s search for transcendence is shown to share a great affinity with his reverence for nature. “He saw that he needed only to look deeply into a speck of dust to see the true face of the entire universe, that the speck of dust was itself the universe and if it did not exist, the universe could not exist either.” Perhaps enlightenment is merely about looking deeply, and finding, in the absence of ego, that you are also that speck of dust and that speck of dust is also you. Perhaps enlightenment is the joy of finding yourself inside the core of every being.

As the human world is continuously expanding, our earth with real life appears to be imploding. Every creature that dies an unjust death must alter the nature of the universe. Something about how precarious this diversity of life has become makes me feel like I’m participating in the biggest tragedy human civilisation has perpetrated. I can feel the weight of our sins pressing down on my conscience. Our collective karma is tainted by the genocide of entire species. And we’re bypassing it like it isn’t even happening.

We are all allowed to make our share of mistakes. For how else will we learn? But look at the cost of the mistakes we’ve cultivated a habit of making—each extinct species is gone. Somehow, we seem to fail to make that translation in our heads, that extinct means irreversibly gone. Forever gone. Every evening, the sun sets with a promise to rise the next day. Imagine the reassurance in that! But the fate of these creatures is sealed behind the sun, beyond the horizon. We are all allowed our share of mistakes, but at some point, we need to be willing to learn from them.

As I go to sleep, in the distance, I can hear the tireless croak of frogs celebrating the monsoon that feeds life into them. Two thirds of the frog species still alive, still here to share in our solitude, still here for us to attend to.

Think of how delicious an evening, when the whole human species awakens to one sense, and delivers compassion through every pore.

(From yesterday's Kathmandu Post)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

on sexual pleasure

what else is it but an itch
constantly craving to be scratched?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

like water VII

this time in the swimming pool
with the water
clogging my nose
making me

my arms
flailing in dramatic motions
my face
crinkling into a painful frown

i wondered if
i could
ever be
as dignified about the water
getting into me

as the water was about me
getting into it.

Friday, July 1, 2011


i will always be loaded with a history
that is you

each new relationship i enter
is colored by what we had
and what we lost

especially by what we lost.

there is a corner in my heart that is untidy
it is in that corner
that we set up a stall
and gave away our innocence
for free

we took our time getting bruised
and yet, what's left tastes
mostly sweet.

inside my heart there was a pocket for you
that is not there
it is not there at all
it is missing
it followed you out.

when you left
you tore through the stitches
leaving a hole deep and wide

now everything i put inside
comes tumbling out.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

so in this story

everywhere becomes so beautiful
when you are around

but sometimes when you aren't
this turns into a sad little story.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

now that the time for writing has come

last night
with myself on a scooter and the rain all over me
and my thirsty tongue pointing towards the sky
the rain and i
we made a beautiful poem

on my tongue it tasted
wet and sweet

i've forgotten it now
but i hope the rain still remembers.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

so in this story (ii)

my baby is lost
is sleeping on a frown
while god sits beside him
and looks upon him with wide eyes

my baby with sunglasses
turns away from the light

baby, you are my pot of gold
take off your glasses
for me
start to shine.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Be Water (iv)

For us, adulthood meant uncoiling from each other, crawling out of the skin we were born into and drifting apart, taking part of the journey with new people, but mostly just alone. Unwinding the common placenta from our necks, we've arrived at a true flowering of ourselves; we are finally free. When we're face to face, it is not his face I look at; weary of looking into the other's eyes, afraid to find ourselves all too familiar, living inside. Looking away, I wonder what's really true in our flowering and whether where we've peaked at isn't merely a plateau.

When it began, we toddled into the school gates together dressed in uniforms that looked like sailors' suits. With delighted faces, red cheeks fit to be apples of mother's eyes, we entered rooms - walls covered in colored paper, furniture aligned in rows unlike anything we'd seen at home, chairs filled with young faces just as delighted as our own.  We tumbled along, learning alphabets, climbing grades, letting sharp shrieks emanate from our tiny bodies as they bobbed and swooshed around the playground. When we tripped and fell, we picked ourselves up clumsily and that innocent grazing of a knee healed quickly. Endlessly we chattered about things of absolute importance in our abundant, little lives while adults looked on with awe, listening intently.

We should have known that entering these gates would lead to a slow and steady departure from the innocence of childhood. Each passing grade left us decidedly more knowledgeable, disciplined, self assured – as if the formula of life was written between pages of our alphabet books. The more we wanted to speak, those in charge of us lost the smile on their faces until we learned to keep our questions to ourselves. We burrowed our little heads in textbooks, although they did not contain any answers. When my parents decided to change schools for him, we knew little about how expensive this boarding school education was going to turn out to be. Maybe he ended up speaking more than he should have there, maybe not enough, but when we weren't looking, they beat him up. And while the intent was to beat him into shape, I think all the shaping left scars so deep, even those unwounded could not forget.

Before institutions like schools tainted our experience of life and while our half aanaa backyard was still the entire world to us, did we ever make mistakes? I don't remember either of us ever doing anything wrong, although consistently notorious we were.  As children, unschooled, we were our own teachers and our mistakes always led us eventually to the right places. In school we learned to identify our mistakes as wrong. Each mistake we made turned us a little sour, humiliated, ashamed, staining our consciousness, eroding into our self esteem.

When being ourselves began to feel wrong, we took refuge in facades, facades that hardened into personalities helping us become unique, identifiable, socially acceptable. We clung to those identities like we still cling to the edge of our sleeves in winter to prevent the warmth of our bodies from escaping. We couldn't afford to let our real selves escape out into the real world. We could no longer embarrass ourselves, make mistakes, admit defeat. At any cost we had to prevent the real from spilling out of us.

Like everyone else, we are made of yearning, curiosity, love; we are made of creativity, imagination and the capacity to relate. But most of all, we are made of water – and it is inherent in us, the desire to flow. When things couldn't flow, they began to leak out anyway.

He drew. I wrote. We let insanity pour out of us in unreasonable proportions through our mediums. During late nights free of institutional obligations, we confided to sheets of paper printing on them our versions of questions about life, love and the universe. We also confided in friends whom we invited back home because school time, cut into equal portions of academic 'periods', did no justice to the potential friendships offered. While sipping coffee in our dimly lit kitchen late into the night, we talked and shared our thoughts, let ideas infuse and grow. We talked about One Hundred Years of Solitude like it was a book that could change your life from the moment you touched the first page. Back then, books still changed our lives. Conversations oozed out of us, pricking our minds and bodies, giving us goose bumps, making our synapses edgy.

With a misplaced priority, academics attacked us to make us ready for the world. School replaced spontaneity, grades replaced inquisitiveness, mediocrity replaced metabolism, duplicity replaced authenticity, half hearted replaced wholesome. Within thick and shiny exteriors, we carried fragile, distorted souls. Our commitment to hypocrisy strengthened in spite of ourselves. By the time we exited school we realized the real world was a cruel, demanding, oppressive, prejudiced, and reductive place. Cold, docile, submissive, incapacitated, we were ready for the world.

Nowadays, it takes courage to look into him. In the rare moments that I find the courage, I can spot a crack on his shell and peering in, I see pale shadows of the real thing. Like today, when I saw remnants of the six year old boy I once used to know with gleaming eyes, unsure of himself, asking questions he's unable to answer, as if sowing seeds of unanswerable questions today will bring forth fruits of wisdom in the future. He says he is painting again, but how it's difficult to remain true to art while coming up with a politically motivated agenda for creating it.

Look at your eyes gleaming. What are they gleaming with, but water?

Be like water; let it flow out of you; stay in tune with your emotions and you'll know exactly what to do are words I offer.

We part for the day, but are there invisible threads tying us together again?

(Published in today's Kathmandu Post. Lucky me.)

Friday, June 17, 2011

wild nights and mild epiphanies

last night the moon, it was so tender
and all it seemed to be telling me was to let my body move.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dhobi Ghat from February | this blogger experiments with prose

You walk into the movie theatre wrapped in an invisible cloak of silence. A 120 rupees ticket is more than you'd expected to pay at this shabby looking cinema hall. The small yellow ticket is thin and translucent - you're immediately suspicious of whether it will get you a real seat inside the theatre.

As the movie starts, you're glad you came to watch it alone. Often, your own words and commentary are so abundant and abrasive, you barely get time to absorb and appreciate the films you watch. But not today. Today, you've come to face a film one on one.

Into the first scene, you feel the distance between yourself and the screen evaporate as Yasmin begins her story. Yasmin is easily the most captivating character in the film, presented to the audience in a collage of visual fragments she creates to send as letters to her brother. Viewing these clips from the same positions as those Yasmin shoots from, you find yourself slipping into Yasmin's shoes to feel as she feels, to live has she lives.

As the most pervasive presence in the film, Shai is in the vulnerable position to be the least likeable. You're not going to say that anything is unlikeable about her. The young woman whose name you don't know has done a great job of playing this role. But by the end of the movie, you've almost forgotten her. The actor has been getting a lot of praise for her portrayal of Shai, but you wonder why nobody has bothered to mention anything about Yasmin.

For it is Yasmin's smile, her laugh, her voice that clings to you. There is an earnestness in her tale, an innocence. It is almost as if she doesn't really belong in the film, but being part of it, she manages to infuse it with new life.

For the first time, you find it effortless to like a character played by Aamir, a reclusive voyeur who is enchanted by the elusive Yasmin available to him only through video tapes through which she consciously constructs herself. Aamir's Arun speaks barely anything through the course of the movie and it is in the lack of dialogues that his acting achieves a rawness, a freshness that is still untainted by his stardom. In the film, Aamir is invisible, and thus Arun blossoms.

It is not the decided worth or quality of this film that captivates you. Your feelings towards the film are just as ambiguous as the film itself. But by the time it ends, you are packed with emotions. Empty of the understanding of the plot, but packed with emotions.

The film is less a story, more an evocation of feeling. And as you walk out of the theatre, amidst dissatisfied viewers who feel cheated of their money at the movie that showcases no tantalizing lives, no charming characters, and tells no tangible story, you feel as though you're a segment of the film trailing on in real life long after the movie has ended - without a tantalizing life, with an incomplete sense of self, and an ambiguous, intangible story many may feel unworthy of being told.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

mutilate (ii)

this body is a collage stitched together by gazes that pierce.

so in this story...

the rain came down
and tickled my memory

and inside it
i found you giggling.

because you do not own a phone and i miss you and wanted to say hello and i know you'll eventually come here snooping around looking for a poem about you. so there.

you do know that
whenever you're dancing
i like to watch you

as your frail body flaps back and forth like a white sheet of paper
and those untidy curls bounce on a head like medusa's
a smile sprouts from within the forest of your bushy beard

that smile
is a smile that tells me
you've finally caught on to the cosmic joke

you must know that
i like to watch you with envy

you really have risen to the occasion of god with arms open
haven't you
you infectious thing

it's too late to hold on to just envy
isn't it

i like what i can taste on the tip of my soul's tongue.

Friday, June 10, 2011

be water (iii)

i sat between rocks
facing the river
my bottom cold
with the sand underneath
wet with dew
but tightly packed
like grain hugging grain
locks warmth

next to my large feet - tentacle-toes included -
a tiny photograph
with only the pudgy toed feet of my master
lazy pixels held together
a tiny, grainy photograph

the wind curdled behind my back
wet things gurgled underneath the water
half invisible - distinctly alive

on that side of the hills
dawn was long
and journeyed into all shades of gray before
it touched the sun

i let the ganga be wind and grain and the shadow of trees
toes curling - grains in between
i let it be the alternating rhythms of
movement and calmness
sound and silence
i let it be what conspires between source and destination
i let it be something on the edge of which i sat

anything but water

had i stretched out my hand and touched it
had i made a move
and moved and moved
into the water
i might have known

with water

you must start shallow
before it turns deep

my solitude has been a
yearning for depth
while i forgo all things deep

i resisted washing

have turned to

Thursday, June 9, 2011

like water VI

at ease.

like water V

our faces as they turn towards the sky
mouths open
waiting for the rain.

like water IV

sipping conversations with tea
at dusk

like water III

looking out the window of a tattered bus
on my way from madanapalle to bangalore

the rain, it brought out the true colors of the earth
and pressed wet memories into my heart

firm forever
memory of rain sealing cracks
healing hearts
penetrating sacred spaces
where nothing fades and none can be forgotten

every time it rains like that though, even here in kathmandu,
water deepens the color of memory
and hearts find new comfort in breaking for old reasons.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

like water II

like water
clinging to your skin

like water
waiting to evaporate

like water
clinging to cycles of eternal life
and eternal doom.

like water

like water
so keen to touch
like water
irreverent of boundaries

spilling, seeping, soaking, wet
therein lies my desire to possess

better than good keeps us together
together we grow worse
better no longer is good enough
and soon it's best to stay apart

at the end of the day, it really doesn't matter who we end up with

on some days, i turn into water
and while i touch you with the palm of my hand
and my fingers stroke your cheeks
you probably think they are just tears



feeling like water these days
like i'm made up of water
like i'm being washed over and over again
like i'm always ready to dripdrip

i've been listening to all these new songs lately
and i dont know...
it makes me want to be mute
and wear these songs on my body
like clothes
and let that be my face and my eyes and my words and my smile to the world
between its hellos and goodbyes.

might i mention here how much you tire me, world.

something needs to change now
this needs to turn towards
documenting authentic living

i think i met a love bomb today
which is why suddenly being watery and lost and frail falling apart like i've been all this while
amounts to a beautiful thing
where i'm flowing
and sparkle every which way

something needs to change now
still hasn't changed
into something where what we lose isn't the authentic.

it's a good thing these songs never seem to end.

Monday, May 16, 2011

This is just to say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold.

by William Carlos Williams

one of my favourite poems. always a delightful read for the little thief in me.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

bring it on

in a world where vengeance is our best friend
betrayal is a swell way of paying it forward.

caution II

don't read promises into my lips.


i make promises i don't keep.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

defected poem intact with title in disarray

a love that frees
is also a love that inevitably confines
is also a love that flees.

i wish for a love that binds
like the bending metal
of a ring that curls
and holds tight a finger on my hand.

so even when you're not around
i'll always feel held.

i haven't been held for five months
months that have stretched into infinite forevers
skin shriveling incurably.

silent corners of my body
are waiting to be heard
in quiet desperation
for some body
to return a greeting.

the love i desire to feel
is also a love that
before my eyes
before it earns the name
of love.

something along the lines of how
before it's birthed
it dies.

the love i remember
is also the love
i tried to make
both raw and overripe
and just as you'd expect from me
i took a bite.

ashes in my mouth
taste like a distant dream
of someone sleeping whom
i should not have woken.


when you touched her hand
the sun shone

in your eyes

in mine
you won't find
even the madness of
the moon

only tides.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

on a day like this

i wish i were a mitten
that fit your hand only.

only you would have
those special number of

and i'd fit you so perfectly
you'd keep me on
all through the summer.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

flah ni em dlof

emit hguorht depael lrig a
htrof dna kcab redro gnippilf

did you feel it -
like an itchy baby scratching his chin
inside his mother's belly

the sound was invisible
the deed was innocuous
thgirla dlrow eht degnahc ti tub

soahc fo tib elttil taht deyojne i timda tsum i
esnes emos ekam ot nageb yllanif sgniht 

things like you
and me
and age
and glory
things also like faith
and flexibility

for a second i was just a thought
and then - bleep - that too was gone
(esle erehwemos devirra dah i  naem tsum enog)

s_o_m_e_times ||    being 
not always         ||








                 everyone's          while

Friday, April 22, 2011

my ego is a banana peel i trip over constantly. some lessons we don't learn through trial and error.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

everything deserves a name so I gave you this

everything deserves a name
and so shall you have one too.

it will simply be lovely.


just like you
it will have the most beautiful beginning
and be altogether witty
and when people read it aloud it will roll off their tongues
and roll right back in
so that it can come out again
and again.

that is how the good ones go. people just read them over and over. ask anyone you know.
and with a name like this, you could never go wrong.

and when you are tired of you
your name will still be there printed in public memory
like a logo on a little girl's shopping bag as she carries it with her when she goes out to buy potatoes.

and you will think to yourself.

" name is definitely better than 'potato'."

but you know inside
that even boiled and served without salt or pepper,
potato tastes better than you.

but you have a name, a dear little name, a happy home, so you cling to it with all your might.

and you remember how not so long ago, a 25 year old girl gave you a name as she wrote you down on her moleskine notebook that was a little too small and cluttered for her liking, but that rested comfortably on a Bukowski book she'd been reading and was taking more than just physical support from, a book which rested on her panties that had been drawn down to her thighs as she sat on the toilet pooping leisurely at about four in the afternoon while feeling her teeth with the tip of her tongue and thinking how they'd need to be brushed soon.


on most days you're a friend
but sometimes you're also a rambling little mouse.

thank you for rambling things that would probably mean
nothing to everybody else

like daily vitamins (which i don't take)
you're essential
and nourishing.

and you're still rambling while i write this as an aside.

somebody blew my trumpet and it made a fine sound

and i snapped
like a rubber band
i burst
like a balloon
i fluttered
like a pack of cards
let loose
by the contracting fingers
of a magician's hands.

i must have turned into many
many little pieces.

i don't feel liberated from ugliness

but from this tense atmosphere that licks the corners of each page as it flips through my book of narcissism.

my narcissism is always too aware of,
always a little incompatible
with my ugliness.

but today i encountered
the ugliest beautiful man.
he was so ugly
and so beautiful
at the same time.

i think it set me free

tomorrow i will begin to worry
about how to let my ugliness
go unnoticed
but today i feel free.

and that is how i let a lot of sloppy ones (like this one) flow through me.

i know you're all sad fuckers staring into your screens

i am too.

so much of tenderness
this intimacy on the internet
with potential strangers

should i be happy i made my grandmother laugh in spite of her anger and that i did it face to face? all she wants is a little bit of attention. all we deny is a little bit of attention. when she told me she wanted to tear her mouth to shreds and hurl it away, was she just asking to be heard? my grandmother is a rumbling belly, full of sadness. she gurgles, and grumbles. acid burns inside of her, sounds tumble inside of her,  full of sadness. she wants simple, little things to be happy. we will not make concessions.

always ready to leverage
to take for granted
to carry you half full
no, to be brimful of you
to salivate over you
to think you are the answer to all the universe's unanswerable questions
you are fulfillment, you are contentment
you are celebration, an affirmation of the good things in me
you make me beautiful
you, tender you.
ultimate you.
you you

to even think you are.

holding, touching, caressing
my mind is a double decker circus emporium street fashion super market carnival thingy.
can't keep track.
my mind is active with you.

you are paint, furniture, wood, transparent, you are warmth, a light fixture on the ceiling, a naked ant marching on its solitary journey, paintbrushes, half burnt candles fading color, fading perfume, dust, permanent, shadows without stories, to-do lists on mirror made with temporary markers, you are that warped window and that empty mug with memory of last night's impetuous storm and yesterday's rancid coffee, you are my clothes, unwashed, bed, unmade, book, unread "sifting through the madness for the word, the line, the way", you are an old path that winds and unwinds in the alternate universe i've kept folded and tucked away in the corner, you are also last night's dream where the sky was the shore and the rain was a wave and i looked at you and i drowned. then the moon turned into a boat, and i sailed into the morning, and when i woke up, i was still a little wet.

i've booked that special room in my mind for you

for you are familiarity.

and i am empty handed.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

my mind is oozing spaghetti.

what drips between my thighs

obviously has got something to do with you.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


stay off contrivances.

how is it that words attack the soul with all their determination to mean?

stay off words.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Rhymes of Another Summer

music. wind. I think I'm beginning to fall in love with the sounds of the night. and they sound better in the presence of yellow light.

tonight. mass. momentum. levity. action without purpose. crescendo. yet another crescendo. a series of crescendos. and this song will never end.

Galapogos:    here and there                   I try not to mingle
                    a sweet song                     this sweetness with memory
                    hits my ears.                     but that face...                                                        

I am a complete aesthete. I see everything in terms of beauty.

twig to twig.
leaf to leaf.
flower to flower.
soul to soul.
we all are
microwaveable elements.
when music enters soul
flowers fetter
leaves tremble
twigs spin
my young head feels a dizziness
resulting from its own absence.
is it a charm?
no, I don't think so
it's just this state of normalcy
an ordinary moment
that has become all too rare.

what does one say when one wants to say all that can be said.

                poison. mono.
fingers, gasp for breath
the meaning obtuse
the single sorrow of this diverse humanity
this piece of music.
it wasn't created
it came to be.

earth. rooted.
floating. buoyant.
simple. crisp.
utter solitude
multiple solitudes
when ten digits perform their dance macabre
on the stage of black and white keys.
like the drip, drip of water
and then a dog whining.
bass. low
then high pitched pain
the fingers press out their cries.

one person
two hands
ten fingers
perform a symphony
one person
two ears
so many minds
all grasp the single essence of silence

unified. solid. collective. together. we. us. gathered. whole.

mastered                                                                                naive
innocence                                                                               ignorance

why is naive so appealing to me.
naive as a state
that supersedes innocence.

am I that child smiling
at you when you're playing the piano?

these are the things I see
when I hear the solo.

solo concerto                                                       I am always unaware
solo symphony                                                      of formalities. Readily     

The Colours of Music

            'Comptine d'un autre ete'

purple. yellow. green. red. turquoise.
                                                      maroon (?)                maybe maroon
                                                                                       after all                                               
                                                                                       maybe not.

I cannot move.
I wouldn't put anything past this music.

it's a fountain of whispers.

I could not move.

I'm listening to the amelie song
and the breeze.
my heart is going crazy.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


If it is your eyes that are dissatisfied with my face
Why should I be the one to look away?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The story of your life

So I met the love of my life
And that would have ended as a happy story
Had not the love of his life
Been that other girl
The love of whose life
Was this boy
Who was absolutely certain
He was in love with me.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


the body is a psychological burden.

sometimes i want to be naked for myself without having to give a fuck about you and you and you and you and you.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A stranger to my style

This morning she gave me a fist
When I asked for a smile.
All day I've been walking with a bruise in my heart.

Poetry doesn't have to be bigger than the thing it contains

I choke within myself, straining to find a voice
that does not want to be heard.
Meaning is a rope tightening around
my neck; a daily strangler.
A little I gasp for breath everyday.
A little I watch myself die everyday.

Whenever I put paper to pen,
Reading my thoughts
Means looking through the paper of my mind
On to the other side
And reading what's written there, backwards.

This page, printed,
Is a blurred, tasteless, memory
of minds full of illegible meaning.

Experimenting with shape

The rectangular mirror
Reveals a form untamed by geometry;
A gurgling shape.

I stare at my eyes.
My eyes draw me
Out as they stare me out
Spilling shapeless over form.

I see my eye.
A single eye with possessions
From both parents,
Deposited in me; temporary safekeepings.

Not my own, my own existence -

I shift shape between man and woman
Lingering along lines,
Uncertain, certainly not defined.

On silent nights, when sound is a fragile friend
Waiting to exist in its own right,
Is that me, you hear, gurgling into amorphous unity?

'O Clock!

My body goes tick-tock to the 3 A.M. wisdom of night;
A snip-snip sound comes from the sharp scissors of time
as they cut my life into more and more bits of age.

this monotonous life

all night I stared at four
unattractive legs of my three
dimensional chair
to take a break from my
flattened existence within two
dimensional computer screens.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

on secret loves


How is it that
simply listening to a voice
belonging to a man you do not know
dance to a tune that he did not create
with you in mind

makes you feel so loved?

Friday, January 7, 2011

this beaming heart

i want to be fortunate enough
to encounter at least one smile
that i did not cause
so that
a smile i did not cause
can cause a smile in me.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

inside this wormy little head

inside this wormy little head
are seven sparrows twittering out a song
that is your name
backwards and forwards.

forward and backward
your name
is an endless song sung by a host of sparrows
that know not how they got
inside my wormy little head.

your name
is also my love
is also your absence.

inside this wormy little head
curls only your memory.