i told myself i did not want the moon,
just a little glimpse
and thought i'd capture an image forever
but even that was not to be
the moon, when it came
was obscured by the clouds
It's that time of year: days are short and nights are long. Perhaps it is in these long stretches of darkness that we feel our mortality - and our fragility - the most. Perhaps that is why universally reach out for sound and light. Every culture almost has a festival of light and darkness around now. From Diwali to Samhain, with Eid-al-Adha or Las Posadas inbetween. Many of them have a theme of battle between good and evil, with the ultimate victory of morality. Light plays a prominent feature in most of these. Symbolically, it may represent the light of knowledge and wisdom (as in the Hanukkah candle) or it may just be inspired by the literal need for light to vanquish the growing darkness.


When I had you, I was so lost in you that I was blind to the world. When I lost you, I was so drowned by the shock, that I was deaf.
Now I've made peace with your ghost, comfortably perched on my shoulder
But I am trying to reach out and hold real hands too

Of wolves and dogs, Re-done

I don’t know what hunger or tiredness feels like to you.
Personally, I can go for days with little food or sleep.
And you don’t know what boredom feels like to me.
It implodes in slow motion in my brain.
And makes me desperate.
Like a corkscrew turning slowly in my soul.
And then there is this emptiness,
and this city of every man, peacefully slumbering.
And there is me, trapped in the middle of all this normalcy.
Wriggling uncomfortably behind my funny-friendly mask.
And behind me, desperate, howling, half crazed,
there is a rabid wolf crouching;
and he is seething in hate at the our comfortable nest,
in the golden cage around me
Pre, February 5th, 2015

i had been so long with my opiates
that i thought my pain was gone
but it rained. and someone brought news from home
and there i was, as freshly homeless again
funny how life goes. I found this old blog post from 2005. It ends saying another year is over, who knows what the next year will bring. If only I had known, it brought the most exciting, transformative and yet deadly years of my life. Years to which I sometimes think, the rest of my life will but be a lame sequel. And yet years which are irrevocably gone - like borrowed moment lived in somebody else's life, or a dream. You would think it was unreal, and yet it has really changed you forever
"its december: that time of the year, again. there has always been something magical about winter, for me. Shamiana's in the sun, international-night, bakery carnival, steamer parties, baba's holiday home, endless invites, baba's birthday bash, baba's month at home, boro din, Flury's, cakes, santa claus, christmas trees, picnics, the zoo and a gentler sunshine.
and now its carols, live at surprising places; decorated shops, eateries and office spaces; twinkling street lights every evening; long luxurious nights and tiny quickly over & done with days; cuddling in under big, soft blankets with Floppy, a book and a hot drink. buying cards; getting cards; looking for robins; fairs and markets on blocked streets; glittering frost and snow, on everything;
there's a village-market-style fair set up on fredrick street. as well as, the german fair in princes gardens. tomorrow, some people from work are going to see the roselyn chapel. i want to go but i want to sleep, as much! I am reading the town below the ground: Edinburgh's legendary underground city: its not awfully well written, but its about Ediburgh, and its got some interesting explanations. i think i fall a bit more in love with this place everyday. of all the places i have ever lived in, or even visited, this is the sweetest, funniest, prettiest, to date! and the people are the wonderful!
so 2005 is nearly done. at the end of every year, there is a sense of excitement and anticipation; a rustling in your breath; like the tissue paper under a folded party dress. making progress. getting along. rocking on. what happens next ... what will the new year bring?
Originally Posted at Prerona."


oday I went to a meetup group in san francisco that reads hindi and urdu poems together. it was spectacularly fun. like the tag line of meetup says "come find your own people".
today for the first time, I read out in public something I had written. I felt so scared inside that I could die. But I forced myself to just go through it blindly. I also shared something I had written with someone for the first time, whom I have known forever but never shared anything like this with. It takes a lot of courage, coming out
today i discussed exile and migration - the things I feel so passionately about - with a group of unknown people. to be away from home, alone, can feel like exile. but to be away together, can become an adventure
today, as I rode back from the center, down California street, I saw a young man sitting on one of two fascinating benches, that face each other, right next to a busy intersection, and reading. I have walked by them so often and thought of sitting on them I had felt like they were mine, in a small way. In new places where I am unknown, in airports, and stations, I always feel stripped of my some of the burdens of my identity. I feel free. And strangely I feel at home - just in my skin. That is how I felt about that bench - so that the young man became a guest in my home.
today for the first time, for fraction of a second, this strange place looked like home

Our ways. Their ways

We went for the Durga Pujo at some California suburb. Wandering about in San Francisco, where I dont know a soul except my husband and have noone but my sister on another coast on my speed-dial, I could never imagine so many bengali's existed somewhere nearby. Resplendent in red, white and gold, smeared with sindoor and smiles, I could not help imagine what they would look like tomorrow, back in their "normal life".

As I got ready to leave, I thought about watching my mother get dressed every morning. The whole process had its own grammer. It was made up of little things she did, like holding the sari pallu with one hand and the pleats with the other in a final adjustment, before she turned away from the mirror.

I never thought - maybe I dreamed and wondered - but I never really thought, that my life will end up so different from hers. I wore a Tashor sari today for Ashthami, and in my head I could hear the litany of voices explaining every thing that made the material special. Usually followed by a smooth segue into how everything is a metaphor, Hindusim is philosophy and not a religion, etc. I think about how noone will tell my my children - or rather my sisters children, more likely - these things. They will grow up in a different world and inherit another.

Sometimes when she was in a specially good mood, my mother used to say "I took flesh from my flesh, bones from my bones, heart from my heart, and I made you. My grandmother as she washed and fed me, and caught out my ridiculous lies, used to say something like I made the womb that made you. I know you because you are a part of me. Thus I carry them in my flesh, and in my heart. As long as I live, their hearts will go on. As long as I talk, dream, think, their stories will live.

But then our ways will die out. the saris, the ululation, the stories, the romance, the madness. Maybe my grandmother felt like this too, moving into a virgin south calcutta flat in salt lake with a man from another world. Maybe the world changes on every generation. But it turns slowly, so we don't get giddy and feel too scared to go on.

But like a rolling stone, before it festers, it turns.

Pujo. Crowds. Sari's and Jewelry. Beautiful laughing children. Young couplE looking for a perfect selfie shot. Later I see her stare longingly at the playing kids. Woman singing from Chatuskon. Surreal suddenly, bangla songs in the dark school room. Woman with chicken roll stall shouts at her husband - he is not being very competant in his helping out. An elegant old man & older lady - a couple - sit in a beautiful companionship - looks like an old marraige or friendship.
i have so much, i feel like i am suffocating
and yet i feel bereft
i have walked for miles and miles
and still i could not escape my shell
there is an a point where all things come to an end
threats. one-up-manship. knee jerk reactions. spiralling escalations
even for vishnu-shesha. even for taylor-burton. even for us and our brothers we love to hate when we can tell ourselves apart
there is a point when we need to grow up and get on with our lives
we all have a tryst of some sort we need to remember
To: The world
Re: Photo of boy from war-torn Syria
When I see you crying over the photo of boy from war-torn Syria
I feel more wonderful than emphatic 
It cannot be you, so it must be me
and my weltschmerz
Truly, i am scared to look at the news
Not just because of the preponderance of evil,
but because it does not seem bizarre
And because the good - the tiny flames
in a downpour of madness - feels a bit pathetic
and exceptional
but about the boy,
what about the other boys. and girls
how many can we save?
what will we do with them after
what if, like beauty in the beasts magic castle,
they are not happy in a strange new world
and would rather be home than saved
but their home is gone. and can never be won back
what if by earthquake or tsunami and war
through some strange subconscious statistical calculation,
we decide who is us and them
but what if tomorrow, we are them
and lose everything
what if slowly only the richest & strongest remain
and is that how it has always been through time?
and in their insulated gold pods
who will they then sell and preach to, and cry for
justice does not concern me anymore
because as my days grow fewer in number,
i have lost interest in accounts and record keeping
of what happened
the only thing that interests me now, is today and tomorrow
tell me, what will you do today, and what will that birth tomorrow?
i know that I am not what I look, but what I feel inside
also, i am told i am not what I feel inside, but what i do
lately i have been feeling i am not what i do, but what i wish i did
i know i am not who you think i am. perhaps not even who i think i am
all of this is so confusing.just tell me, am i? sometimes i think i am not

hot summer days

i cant think of anything to write
but i will try

my soul has congealed in the heat
and city has gone to sleep like a panting dog

there was a spring
and there will be another

inbetween is the just the road
and the road is all there is

the stars come out one by one
i count as i wait for the wakefulness to pass

i pat my temptations to sleep
and lovingly kiss each one

the hours run out one by one
till soon, the night is done

thus, slipping tumbling, plodding on
i go on. and i try to become a better man

homesick, Cal-sick

Every day I force myself to write something, whatever it may be. I want to write something from my heart, something that is true, I want to be honest and brave and clean. it rarely comes out that way, but still, every day I try.

Here is today's truth: I suddenly miss 'Calcutta' like crazy. Before this last trip to Kolkata my angst was like a shattered mirror: with different names and faces on each piece. But something about seeing her unexpectedly, with her madness and contradictions; her rawness and sophistry; the memories and the unfamiliarities; made me either forget all the other wounds & sores, or made them all look like reflections of the original pain: of displacement and disinheritence.

Seeing 'Calcutta' in the streets of Kolkata unexpectedly and unprepared is like seeing the your naked childhood photo on an advertisement in an unfamiliar town

twinkle twinkle berkeley lights

there is a friend, the view from who's house never fails to disarm me. i wish i never had to go. in the middle of a party on the terrace, I snuck away top the dark, deserted living room and looked at the bay and the city lights beyond, laughing as the day ends

i laughed a lot today too. the end will come to all things - whether you fight it or not. days end. love ends. life ends. periods end. childhood and youth ends. chances end. hopes end - eventually you have to let it go

i was sorely tempted to relapse today. a social affair is very surreal when you dont eat drink or smoke. or chit chat, for that matter. but i didnt. very mara

i'm curious to see how long the intoxication of this new indulgence lasts

in some ways losing someone is like an accident. weather it is a lover, a friend, a partner or a parent - you could get over it to some varying degree, or you could be paralyzed: stuck in that moment forever. it could depend on your current state, how hard you work to recover, time, or just fluke chance. 

the depression and the light

i thought depression was a bottomless pit of numbness. but the darkness is pierced by nameless dreads and burning anger
the dog follows me from room to room. does she want to guard my fleeting peace of mind
my favorite fairytale was always beauty and the beast. over the years i have found so many metaphors in it
the phone rang today, but it was too late. after a while even friendship will not pierce the scales on the skin
the wind howled and howled. where must it get all the spirit to mourn
heartbreak is so fragile. and nameless. yet it can shatter you - after many seasons
you are so good, and so beautiful. my heart aches to look in your eyes. can all your goodness dissolve the sin in my heart? or will i dissolve you in the acid of my nameless angst and bitterness of my self loathing
like a lone light in the night
when I lived alone, my life was kind of empty
maybe, like a modern european apartment in spare whites

i had few intimate friends, i was out of reach of most of my relatives,
and i had no serious relationships. All human contact was mostly as and when I wanted and mostly out of the house, and it was spare at that

during those days I think adopted many props to live
my home, after the chaos I grew up in, was always picture perfect:
every coaster, every mat, even the spoons in the kitchen always perfect

over time, perhaps
i grew used to these props
and forgot what the chaos of the living - that I theoretically longed for - really felt like

now I know
it feels surreal
in many ways

like a dog with a bone it never expected, i dont quite know what to do with it
how do you reach out to someone you have not spoken to in a decade and say hey listen, i need to let you go and move on. how do you say good bye to your mothers ghost. how do you leave home. or abandon a dream, for which you walked away from the world.
on a different note, what is the difference between depression and reaction to trauma? how do you know which is which. if i am in a funk and cant shake it off, is it just me, or the world, or is it your memory? am i crazy? or are you mad not to be crazed by this horrendous world
I heard it is raining in Calcutta. Though I am so far away, I can feel the dampness in the air, and I can almost hear the last tired drops falling from the deep dark leaves outside my balcony. in my mind, i can run to the terrace and look out all the way to golpark, while the rain hammers down. The rikshawalla is frowning in the rain, and thinking of him i feel guilty for my middle-class-licensed-poetic euphoria. My mother is sitting down with a brownish plastic bottle of brittania marie biscuit and meticulously brewed tea - middle grade orange pekoe from that same shop in Lake Market, from a mismatched cup and plate. and looking wistfully at the rain out of the window. Maybe my sister will ask her what she is thinking about - and she will say she wonders if I am feeling better, and how my paper is coming along
How would we live, if we had noone to live for?

In your childhood you learn about life and how to go about it, in a language that had its own syntax and vocabulary. When you immigrate the language of life changes on you. Most  people either live in the same place all their lives or move a few times; and like in plants, early clean grafts can usually adapt and survive simply. But too many changes and too much going back forth, are harder to learn to navigate. Gradually your ability the learn to understand - and moreover learn to like - a new place and its customs - runs out. In parallel, the amount of life that stretches out in front of you reduces - perhaps that also impacts your motivation. As you get older, and your story gets more complex, your ability to share it with others, or make genuine friends, reduces. So on top of everything else, you become lonely too
i am walking around the garden path around the self-centric palace of my mind, and talking to me and myself. I am trying understand why I feel so unmotivated. ion. i'm trying to understand what I really want - because if what I thought I desired was what i really wanted why can't I reach out and grab it - when it's finally within reach
What is the difference between happiness and joy? 

The hen who dreamed she could fly

This was the last fictional book I read - its been a while. It was surreal reading it at a time of the refuge crisis, immigration debates and at a time when many more women than before are arriving at their Forties in-style, only to be greeted at the door by biology. It's a book about a hen, who longs for a child of her own. Every time she lays an egg, she tries to will it into a baby with all her mental strength. But her will-power proves impotent to fight her age, the farmer and her circumstances. The days pass in quiet desperation. But then one day she escapes. Knowing the dangers that surround the hen-coop, the farmer and his wife assume she will be killed and dont bother looking for her, but by some freak accident she survives all the dangers: from the wolf to the roosters. The different animals live in the farm in varying degrees of autonomy and plenty. On her way out she lands with one and then other group; and they all treat her with different medley of acceptance and hostility, welcome and suspicion. Eventually, she makes her way to the hills, where she is free, but also has to deal with the menaces (like the vicious wolf and the dangerous snake) on her own.  She makes a friend, adopts and child and finally sails away with her child to a far away land, dreaming of how she will always remember where she came from, for its bitterness and sweetness. 
She had asked me for money that day. It was sudden. I didn't know what to say. I said nothing. But the silence could only be a negative. She went away

I never saw her all these months. I dont know what happened to her. For me, the days which had stretched out before me unfathomably, like a summer vacation, suddenly picked up pace, like a regular school week. Between getting the house ready (a perfect house is never done) and learning to be newly married at the ripe old age of forty; between negotiating my rights and freedoms in an unexpected merger, and soothing the wounds of decades of solitude, and learning to hide the ugliest of scars; and most of all, tending and hiding the embers of the call to return to the wild. Between all that, and somewhere in my spare time, trying to keep up the pretense of fighting what was fast becoming a lost cause - my career

Calcutta Edinburgh Halep ... So homesick but I suspect the places I long for don't exist outside my memories. Home is just a fast fading snapshot of someone who has changed beyond recognition since you said goodbye

Cal sick. There is a rubber band stuck between me and my city, my lakes, my gariahat and the grins and horns and tragi-comic-melodrama-for-fucks-sake and through it all incessant passionate and pointless debate, of living less and thinking about life more and when it rains in Calcutta wherever I may be, the rubber band pulls back
Where I am from, sometimes its okay to make fun of people - even those you love, especially when they are trying hard. Somewhere humor crosses over to ridicule and mockery as we desperately struggle to avoid sounding naive and corny. this is often saddens me but especially now.
Like most indians, I am desperately proud of my athletes, how much they overcome and what odds they face. Growing up in a privileged world one cannot even imagine what life is like outside that bubble; And moreover what a vast chasm there is between someone like him and the elite, who may even be his neighbor and not even acknowledge him as a fellow human. The oppression of caste, class, race and the english language merge to an insurmountable wall between people.
What makes a posh-society-crapwriter who makes a living out of vile gossip and dirt, and not even honest well written funny gossip - who writes books that most people would be ashamed to be caught reading - qualified to call anyone a loser?

I know that this was not about that. I am conflating issues. But to me they felt related. Its as if in this fierce competition for resources you have to qualify for everything - even to try. But effort is not wasted, even if you do not "win". We do not waste money on these people - we could not "waste" enough money on . We waste money on the clubs and schools that nourish this system of pseudo-superiority
The land of dreams. The imaginary home. Where we come from. And where we are headed. Where we are as innocent and brave as children. Where happiness and belonging are not blamed. Where we live without thinking and think without censor
What is love but an excuse for verbal gymnastics and dancing on the hyperbole 
age is just a number. and a number has nothing to do with it. but there may be a point in your life when it sinks in, that time is passing. for me, it is now. life, always a kaleidoscope, in the hands of a capricious child, is falling into - perhaps not final - but bolder strokes. i have come past my friendships of my childhood. food, alcohol, and almost nicotine. but most of all what i miss is prviate leisure - and about it, the sense of time sprawled out seductively and slumberously, a million possibilities sparkling in her eyes
How do I do a seven hour commute? I take the train - it runs along the coast. Whenever I look out of the window, the water and the sky seem to be playing with each other, and all the debris of humantity - rotting pier stilts, abandoned tires, a decaying iron drum, they all seem to be toys. The sun shines on the water at a jaunty angle. The world glistens. The skies are bluer than robins eggs. And there I stayed, temporarily lost it seemed.

I never fell in love with California. But I was struck by it at first sight. From the first moment I set foot here I knew there was something about the place. It almost felt like destiny. That first time, I was spellbound and speechless. From the beginning I felt a nameless comfort here.

But I have never felt like I was in love with it the way I fell in love with edinburgh. Words of praise and poetry don't trip off my tongue and dance in my brain constantly. I don't ache when I am away. There is no madness, no passion, no expectation of self-destruction and abnegation. Most of all, it is not cerebral. I dont think about it, argue with and about it constantly, drive myself mad thinking about how and why it is. It just is. And I am. It is a friendly comfortable feeling. Tame as a middle age affair.

But California is not tame. As time wears on, the false comfort of familiarity wears off. I realise this is a strange land. Underneath the sweet smooth smiles, its more hard hitting and edgy than anything I probably encountered before. And the weather changes every inch of my mad new city.

For my morning run, if I turn right to Chrissy Fields and the Golden Gate bridge, it is broody and fog shrouded. You cannot get to know him there - you can only gawk in wonder and run back. And marvel at the gold of the sun that breaks through. But on my right, is the Bay bridge. As casually sharp as the Grand Prix and dizzyingly urbane. And in between it is chirpy, suave and frilly - earthy and hippy.

Far from Eden, that did not want me and that I could not accept on fallen terms (whoever killed whomever may it be), I am finding something different from love and passion in the Bay. I am finding a clue to myself

six cups of green tea and 6 miles at 4AM for health. 3 cups of coffee to wake up. 6 glasses of water to stay hydrated. just one cup of childhood-flavoured orange pekoe, for me

It's a mad mad world from a dystopia novel. The news seems more surreal every time I look around
we almost always fixate more on emotionally salient information. That is the whole point of it. The salience may vary depending on how much we can discount - not just delays but also indirection
Everything is like sand. you cannot to hold on to anything. and even your grip weakens. you cannot hold on even to holding on. those who love their work, their work slips away. those who find solace in friendship, their friendship slips away. and love, that morphs every day. those to take pride in who they are, their self changes. even memories fade. nothing remains. to try to hold on is madness. we can only live in the moment, because to hold on to past love becomes like gripping a corpse when the spirit has fled.

But the same time that brings destruction also recreates. like the form of sand dunes that perpetually dance with the wind, the universe is forever recreated.

and yet something remains. forever changing, but never dying. some essence. and the fact that that it was: life, love, achievement. And empire destroyed in the present still lived in the past. a perfect love, that was foolishly lost still "was". and you and me we were, and will always be, even if our lives are gone and all traces wiped away.
Whats love got to do with it. All of these years we live; all of the things we do and the emotions we feel. It all feels so fragile and so pointless. Relationships that are so deep they become your core - eating your skeleton and growing its own inside you - can dissolve into ether in seconds. Leaving you an empty shell, walking talking laughing loving, and yet vacant. And nothingness and empty as the mist can sneak in as suddenly and become your whole life before you notice it - so you suddenly wake up and all your days are filled with things that suddenly feel so important, though they mean nothing. And it does not make any sense. It does not make any sense. A loss can be so crippling that even the restoration cannot rebuild you. Heartbreak can be so corrosive that even the beloved is rendered impotent - and then nothing can do any good again. Not time for sure - because every year that passes only lays another layer of fossil and rock on my petrified heart. Yet above the surface little wildflowers bloom everyday. That mean nothing. And yet everything to someone. I am torn and broken and bitter. Unable to go back and unable to move forward. hysterical. And I resent your calm
hell is a place you go on forever with a broken heart
they lie who tell you that you need a warm heart to survive
you can limp along just fine
and spout bad poetry occasionally if you stumble

Everybody said I should forget

I fell in love with a strange land.
One day, it went back to its people,
And I was banished
I wandered, in my heart,
I was happy with my mourning and memories
And when I closed my eyes,
I roamed its streets
And whoever I spoke to, I heard its voices
So I told myself it didn’t matter,
Reality, and other trivialities.
But then they said I should forget.
And I felt cold and lonely
So I left my mind, and stepped out
Into the world
And now I have forgotten
the memories of Eden
My heart only remembers there was something:
a sound, a sight, a feeling without which i cant bear to be 
And the needs which the world cannot replace
Still throb; sometimes a glow, sometimes a fire
In misunderstood conversations
In books that are undiscussed
In jokes that dawn a strange look
In fights and debates
In every day, in every second
in unremembered memories
and disowned desires.
In dreams. In wounds and scars of a secret beginning
In the unrequited admirations for forgetful fathers
In the evening news. In the morning breeze
In neighborhood gossip. And deep reflection
In ambitions for greatness and purity
In humble simplicity
If the heart has danced with the devil once
can it be saved
it just dances on in the moonlight

distraught and distracted as i have been about my father the last few days, i heard the news and i could not help compare the feelings i had. my sorrow versus your sorrow versus some strangers sorrow - it's strange and bitter, the ways of the heart.

but it also makes me think that there are at least two kinds of love. there is a selfish love - the people we "love" because of something we need from them or think we get from them - and there is the love of affection where you care about someone else's well-being and want them to be happy. and they are not necessarily dichotomous
Somethings in life I knew I should not have done, and that I would pay for l them terribly - but I did them anyway. And had no regrets - because I had really wanted to do them, and besides I had felt in no way capable of not doing them, of walking away.

I chanced upon a book with a girl who felt like that. She"married" a man and followed him across the world, though he was married once already, and had a child, though she would have to give up everything - her whole world - to be with him, though he didnt even really care about her - though I wonder if she realized it. But he really wanted her. And later when he was done wanting her wasted life felt as inevitable as her falling under his spell. Her love was like cancer. It's not easy to cut off a part of yourself. Yet once you do, you do not 'regret' it, though it hurts in so many ways.

I think I lost track of my own metaphor ...

Other things I did not want to do, but I did them anyway - for a multitude of silly fears like hurting someone or being unemployed or bored or just feeling to lazy to deal with the alternative - and I have never stopped regretting them and feeling trapped by them.

Here, it is still raining. It feels surreal, so much rain in a desert, in the drought. Glossy leaves, shiny grass. When I woke up this morning, it was still dark, but the sky was a polished bright sparkling cerulean. As the morning light grew, the sky was soft and glowing with a silver fog. It had rained all night.

But I stayed

It's not hard to tell the difference between what we must do and what we feel like doing. Yet sometimes we so badly want the ride, we close our eyes to road and hop carousel. Without the heady rush of emotion, life is meaningless. A life spent as a slave to feelings is wasted.

I've explored both sides now. I'm looking for a sweet spot in the middle
I talk to you in my head all day
Are these real conversations,
from some other world
Which we perhaps cohabit
From the moment I wake up,
till I fall asleep, I keep telling:
I cant go. I cant go. I cant go
I just cant go away
I wish there was a way
To go and also stay

in the past I never thought about writing on the blog - I just wrote, and the words just came. But now that I have stopped and I think about what to write, its so hard. I cant think of anything - its just like when you want to talk to someone - there is nothing absolutely to say

It's been raining since yesterday. In a weird way it makes me homesick, the rain. After all those jokes about the Wetlands. I dont feel like working - I want to go home, hide in my room and read a book, or stare at the sultry sky.

random rambling - thinking out loud

I had some bad news last night. First a mini-personal tragedy - a broken tooth - which seems silly in hindsight. And then at four in the morning a message from my mother, about my father's health. I remembered a early morning conversation with him on a couch behind my house. He was in one of his early morning good moods - chatty and funny. We talked about the existence of God - he said that there can be no God. I asked him why then did he ask random people to pray for things he wanted. And he said, there is "Something"... and we laughed. I love it when he laughs. I love how we get each others jokes. Over the years, we spent a lot times like that - main hued like a glossy bubble; as random and fragile. I cant wait to see him again.

But he is so far away now ...

When something goes wrong, I sometimes look for a reason. I feel like I am being punished - and I think but why - I was so good! I eat clean, I wake up early and run and then I do my work - till I am tired and I pass out. I help people as much as I can. don't drink. I don't kill insects. I barely lie or cheat. Was it that one phone call, or chocolate, or half-lie ... But it doesn't work like that. There children dying everywhere for no fault of their own. There are accidents where someone just died for no good reason. I cant go looking for a reason for things and I cant expect everything - or anything to go my own way. I can only do my bit - because I want to do it, not as insurance, protection tax, bribe, or sentence. And I can try to ignore how I feel and focus on how others feel and what I can do to help. I can just try to be the best person I know how to be.

But sometimes it gets so quiet ...

And yet despite all of this night comes. And the whole world becomes peaceful and still. If you look out of the window, the moon is indecently bright; the orange tree and the jasmine bushes gossip together and the spider spins a large gossamer yarn, as the ants sleep dreamless in a corner, too exhausted to ask pointless questions, and too full of plans for tomorrow to care.


I feel like I have three lives.

Every now and then, in my present life, a memory from the past floats up to the surface of my consciousness - unbidden, and unformed. I don't know how to describe what I mean by "unformed". I spent a lot of time there trying to think of the right word, or metaphor - but nothing just right came to my mind. Perhaps what I meant is that it is not a whole memory - it is a snatch or an essence - like a half remembered smell or a song - that teases me from the edge of my awareness.

The first life is almost wholly buried. I see pictures or hear stories from friends, but they don't seem like my stories. They second life I remember somewhat, but even that is now fading.

Is this partial amnesia? Or am I just growing older. But it feels like  lobotomy of the spheres of my existence - would it, could it, be so sharp if it was just the gradual aging of brain cells? Stroke victims I heard - and I heard it in my second life - can lose one language and retain the other completely. Anyway, these are the ways I usually remember my second life. In stories. And characters and ghosts. They were stories that were told to me. And they woke into my own memory so casually till I am often unsure which one's are my own memories and which ones are someone else's.

Some of the memories are like that - like faded like sepia photographs of an immigrant to a new continent - he hordes them obsessively as the last link to someone he used to be - someone he used to know how to be, and yet he never dare look at them for fear of drowning in the storm of emotions they arouse. They are like a scene abruptly cut from a movie - no beginning no end. A loose page from a book that doesn't fit anywhere on the new bookshelf. Like my mother asking me if I really want to go away for seven years - and matter of factly noting she would not live that long. Or the strange shape of the lock in a small swiss hotel. The madness and immaturity laced into the first poem or letter of admission I dared to write and send out to the world outside - but then my chest feels funny and compressed and I cant breathe so I tuck away the photo in the back of the suitcase and move on again.

Other memories are innocuous. The peculiar taste and feel of Kwalities Strawberry Stick ice-creams - I have never found that texture anywhere again. Or the burst of colors from the first time I printed out a slide film - on my first independent camera.

All the harmless things are the ones I liked, but did not love too much

Aritra Part 3

there is faith and their is disappointment. and there is a vast chasm between. As he sat on the rock, Aritra thought about his constant crisis of faith. What did it say about him, he thought, how frequently he vacillated between the lust for good and the familiarity of evil. He was happy when he was in the sunshine, when he was working hard

Perhaps in a dream, Or in another Universe

perhaps in a dream
or in another universe
we will, once again seamlessly take up
the life we once shared
like a book, picked up at bent page
will will fly back to norway - where I had never been
where our story was so rudely interrupted
nothing was ever quite the same again after that time, was it?
and then, on rambling and aimless road trips
bickering about music and politics that belong to neither
we will pick up the music from the pause
we will watch the moonrise
and count the stars
and fight about an election somewhere
and then I will tell you about the book I am reading
and cry because I got carried away by how rousing it was
and you will be torn between loving me more
and telling me romanticizing the emergency is such a dangerous affair
sooner or later we will dance to our favorite songs
fathers and fear of death
and laughing or crying, as the mood takes us,
we fall asleep

then the sun will rise
and wake me up
and i will wake up,
wash my eyes
say my prayers
and walk away from
dreams of dancing
with the devil in the dark
and go back
to the Temple of Vesta