Saturday, June 11, 2011


Don’t stuff that into her mouth. Don’t.

Don’t you touch her like that. Not her feet. Not her hands. Don’t assume you can do that. Who are you, anyway?

The gold bangle sits there dandling on her wrist. Just sits there. Dangling. Her hand is still warm. It is. Isn’t it?

Who are you, again? Stop discussing her. It’s rude. She is still here. Talk about the weather.

Or something.

Don’t look at her. Don’t.

That bangle goes all the way back to my childhood. And her wrist is still warm. Don’t tell me it isn’t. Don’t talk about changing what she is wearing. That Saree still has turmeric stains on it. It’s hers. It smells like her.

Her papier-mâché like hands. The imaginary lunar terrain for the toys from my childhood.

What do you mean by ‘Am I alright’? Why would you ask me that?

Don’t ask me to tie her toes together. What a ridiculous thing to do! No, youwon’t do it. I will.

Her head is not lolling as they prepare her. It isn’t. ‘Prepare her’? What does that even mean?

This is still her. These hands are hers. Her fingernails have dirt underneath them. How many times do I have to tell you to cut them?

Someone else is at the door again. Why is it open? Go away. There is nothing here to see.

She is not lying here on the floor. My stomach is rumbling. I haven’t done my laundry. I’ve forgotten to call Abhishek again. The smooth contours of that bangle. That mole on her palm.

I can’t find my shoes in this pile. Tell these people to go home. What do you mean I can’t take a walk? This day is just like yesterday and the one before it. Just like it. Why can’t I take a walk? Yes, for the last time, I am fine. I am fine and she is still here.

She looks resplendent. Why is her bindi that way today? Don’t you know she doesn’t like it that way? Who are you anyway? I’ll do it. Not you. Smaller. Smaller, still. There. Now, it’s right.

The ambulance is white. Why am I saying this? What a ridiculous thing to say.

Remember when I was 12, I said ‘ridiculous’ all the time? You laughed at me every time I did and I’d pinch your hand. And then you’d laugh at me some more.

Everyone’s peering out of their homes. With cups of tea in their hands. Why have you made a spectacle of yourself?

DON’T take that bangle off. Don’t. I am yet to memorise how it looks on her wrist. I am yet to memorise her hand. That mole on her palm. Those circles I drew on her belly when she was asleep. She woke me up at 6 a.m. once, when her last tooth fell off. She held it in her palm and laughed at it with me. Her palm is cold. Cold.

She smells like incense. This vehicle smells antiseptic.

Wait, will you? Who the fuck are you to start that engine already.

That earlobe. I have to touch it. Once more.

Do you know I haven’t eaten since morning? Do you know I haven’t taken my walk? Will you ever cut your nails, damn it?

Drive slow. Go back inside your homes. Don’t stare. Don’t.

Go. Before they stare at you any longer, go.


There ridiculous white ambulance is gone.

There. I said ‘ridiculous’ again.

Laugh. Please.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Your body doesn't know mine tonight.

Not even by the stench of my armpits as I stretch out my hand across you. Not by my touch either. I have become unfamiliar to your stubble. Or perhaps, too familiar.

My lips are against yours in sleep. You lie perfectly unperturbed. And something in our intimacy lies changed forever. It has covered itself up in shame.

Two hours ago, you said ‘Later’, turned your back to me and slept. I feel like a whore now. Sitting up, naked and waiting. Naked, like leaves with their veins bleeding in the rain.

I feel a little debased. For I know, when you will finally feel like reaching up to me, I will come to you. Like an instinct. No questions asked. Gasp, as you cup my breasts. Moan, as your hand rides up my thigh. Shudder, as you come inside me. And then, you will forget to ask. If I came.

And then, you will shrink away from me. Like I am something to be shrunk away from. Like you alone want to have every bit of the peace we just created together. As if my body against yours will violate it. As if your want is a need. As if my want is just a want.

Perhaps you are simply tired. Perhaps you feel better this way. But when you turn your back to me, untangling our limbs, I feel abandoned. A little given up on. As if I have no business being there. And the room smells like offal.

I feel dejected in my own body. My nudity stings me.

I feel frigid. I feel infertile. As I spend the rest of night watching the games an empty room and the shadows play.

The curtain has closed on this monologue.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Review : Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma (Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom)

There is much that has been written about this movie and there is no way in hell, practically speaking, this 'review' should be of any interest to anybody. Normally, this fact alone should have dissuaded me from writing it. But after days of seeing this movie,I am thinking about it...which is the reason i will give this a shot.
Pier Paolo Pasolini's last film is set in Nazi-controlled Salo in 1944,where four dignitaries round up sixteen perfect specimens of youth and take them together with guards, servants to a palace which is essentially to turn into the 'Antechamber to hell'.
For 120 days, three middle aged prostitutes recount arousing (?) stories from their past as the captives are subjected to every perversity imaginable by the the end of which, every 'human being' involved has spiraled into hell, real and otherwise.
I felt nothing throughout most of the movie. Nothing at all. Which is essentially the essence of it. It's horror lies in the slow, perverse descent into depravity and nothingness of its characters.In a sense, every sexual act portrayed is an act of necrophilia. And it wasn't the infamous 'Shit Eating' scene and others featuring extreme acts of physical violence that I felt were the most horrific.
For example, One of the captive boys kissing his tormentor with a seductive smile...A highly effective portrayal the victim's acknowledgement of the hopeless hell from which there is no escape. For anyone.The scene where the 4 fascists determine who has the 'Best Rear'...As they examine the captives who are bent completely on their fours.Some of the sexual ( and otherwise) acts in the movie are so depraved that they seemed ridiculous to me...and yet, the perfect portrayal of the sheer stripping down of humanity to something that is beyond the realm of evil that it is 'nothing'.
The cubist / Minimalistic set design is fabulously apt. The narrative which is unremarkably linear,drawls on and effectively conveys the horror of its empty, 'pointlessness'. The Cast is frighteningly brilliant . I for one, had to remind myself that this was not a documentary I was wishing was not real.The movie, of course, remains banned in many countries and has predictably been buried under the controversy of the acts portrayed. Typical, I would say.
There is, as Pasolini himself has admitted,a lot of symbolism that runs throughout the movie...which has been talked about a lot.But I personally believe, which is why i haven't mentioned it all here,that the films works effectively without the conscious realisation of the same.
Will I ever watch it again? I am not sure. But should you watch it atleast once? Absolutely.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Solitude is a ragged piece of cloth. 
Just enough to cover the sagging breasts of a moment. 
a moment going unclothed without a cry or a gasp. 
the night will drape it over her after she has slept. 
exhausted from beating her chest

Thursday, December 4, 2008


somewhere from under the door
monsoon crawled in
and memories seeped out
to become tomorrow's mildew.

the lone candle that broods inside
is soggy from the flame
and silence sits and scratches the old vinyl
for it wants to hear
the tin roof lament in the rain.

that night when the cricket sought shelter
I kept the door shut
as loneliness and I
sat smoking the same cigarette.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

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