If Em and the Big Hoom was in my home here, I would write on this blog how much I felt while reading it. Jerry said, the amount you bleed, the amount your readers will feel it. I'm guessing he bled a lot. He told me that he would tell himself, "write about the Mendezes … Continue reading Today, I met Jerry Pinto
Hyderabad has shifted in his axis and turned to Christmas kind of winter. I wake up these days with the aftertaste of dreams where I'm discussing with an old school friend about how I haven't slept much. Even now the ones where I've not studied for math and Hindi and chemistry exams don't leave me … Continue reading October, last year
The cyclone has passed. Finally. Sometimes the light still dims as if it's the almost wet cold that threatens to suck our happiness away. Then the sun slinks slightly sending the sound of air upon our sunshine wind chimes and leaving the tendrils of vines blushing in its sweet light. I soak in the balcony … Continue reading Balancing Paper cups
At some point, I fell in love with my freedom and the knowledge that H and R would always wait for me after a long night, just as I would wait for them. On Friday night, we created a triangle on the middle of the floor, heads on each other's laps. Laps for each other’s heads.
It is R's birthday today. Her new home gave me the courage to leave my old one. Her friendship and care reassures my anxieties in starting a new life. In this one, the writer revisits another old draft. Written in the shade of R's new home, away from the brilliant Hyderabad sun. They are another chapter in women leaving parents to make rooms of their own.
In which the writer tries to create a collage full of reasons for return; letting out long-festering drafts of old travel.
S has a mannu kalam full of guppies swimming in them. Light falls on their sunset fins at noon. It is almost as if I write poetry only when the sadness dawns. She has created a home in painted pots, stitched curtains and glass bottles that let money plants fall over. I forget that human … Continue reading Hold it in
A fishing village full of female villathis created by circumstance. I have just discovered Letterboxd. A friend on IG said, there’s a Goodreads for movies type thing. That was enough. I didn’t think I would so easily go and check it out. But like always, procrastination is a nice frothy tub of yoghurt and I … Continue reading Blow the Man Down
I had forgotten my love for details. In one of my classes, a student asked me why I wrote that way - Brigade Road smelling like a Prateek Kuhad song. I remembered the days in college when noticing things was my most favourite thing to do. I'd collect conversations, moments and little details. Like the curve of a person's handwriting, the fall of a palm frond, and the hexagon shaped tower that housed classrooms.
Disclaimer: Spoilers ahead. The thing about reading and watching so many things at once is that they all start to make a muddle in my head. I am drawn to mixture and khichdi, so this might be a tragic flaw. In The Talented Mr Ripley, Italy is a ripe orange waiting to fall. Blood spreads like a painting … Continue reading Difference, Cartesian BS and Mad Writers
One goes jogging to sweat the tears out before he can cry. The other finds them in a torn apartment towel, a thin bar of soap and a giant white teddy bear. At some point I want this to end well. At another, I want them to kiss. I have two crushes: the one who … Continue reading Chungking Express
Episode 1: Research Journal Series Finding, Searching, Reading, Watching and Collecting, Rashomon in Class. This is the story of how I grew to appreciate Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon. I'm forcing my loafer lousick body to write this so that I can finally start and (hopefully) continue a series on the boredom and quiet thrills of academic … Continue reading Re-searching: Rashomon in Class
Incomplete ramble, posting anyway because the day demands it. When I left teaching I had one regret - letting go of students and the space to talk to them. The reassurance they provided to my fragile ego. With students, it was easy to falter. It was easy to be myself and be seen. Because I … Continue reading Teaching Journal 2: On Kindness and Mistakes
I just spilled coffee on the right corner of a book that's becoming a favourite - Olivia Laing's The Lonely City. I have little choice. It always has been an obsession to obsess over loneliness. I wouldn't be writing this if not for the spilled coffee. It suddenly reminded me of Danielle. In the course of … Continue reading Shiva Baby and The Dysfunctional Woman
Some scattered pieces of the self: Reflections on existence as women and with words. For Celine, in Before Sunrise, some parts of her womanhood come from her grandmother. Some from Nina Simone - her tunes on tape and her tones in concert. Some others from a feeling that she's a really old woman in a … Continue reading Being and Woman
In 2017, my heart threatened to shatter into two thousand three hundred and seven pieces. I told everyone at home that I wouldn't marry (I should have added "a boy"). R said he'd bet anything I would. I said okay. He said, okay, if you get married, you need to pay me one lakh rupees. … Continue reading Gambling Hearts, Mutating Tears
Black Soil litanies and Latin American rosaries Macondo is here. Brittle, sensitive. Catholic saints sprinkled on cupboard-tops and radio stands. Heat and sweating skin. Women struggling with mass and words. And then ants, resident geckos and mice. C gave me the book. I slumbered through One Hundred Years in seven blurry months. Liam thought it … Continue reading Naalukettu Memories – 9
/v. time of passage from death to life Ecclesiastical Latin. crossing Today we had a class with Prof. A and I made a fool of myself. I didn't think it was possible after being an awkward teacher for a year and a half. In Masters, I remember Prof. A coming fifteen minutes late to our … Continue reading Transitus
The Beginning I've always wanted to teach. In school, I remember teaching the walls to learn for tests and exams. Sometimes, it would get to Amma and she would scold me. "Can you stop playing and sit and learn?" "But you only said that the more we teach, the more you learn" "Ah! but what … Continue reading Teaching Journal – 1
They met a few months after she had left the city of hills and old forts. He still lived there. He was only visiting her hometown. She didn't know he was nursing heartbreak. He would call it his "dark times". She was passing through her own. Although that had been going on and off for … Continue reading Before Camus and the Books
The road curved a little in the middle. Like a sleeping woman clutching a belly in which she expected to hold life. The family loved some selected ("selected" like the duties they assigned to body parts) saints they had borrowed from a strange culture. They believed that the saint’s souls had power over the weather, … Continue reading Forane Roads and Patron Saints
Naalukettu Memories - #8 (when the emotions turn to stories) When it is like this, I will put pen to paper. Copy these thoughts down. What are they, you will ask me, silently. I will say, remnants. Wet kissed mid mornings. Unbearable lightness inside – where the ticklish giggles will arise. They escalate. When you … Continue reading Kaatile aathmaakkal
I like how there are pastel bits all over that house that is a sad, old brown. A yellow lamp, some off-white poster, the turquoise cigarette case and the mandala shirts that Dorothea wears. I don’t remember who I was talking to when I said, I love talk movies. I know it was a boy. … Continue reading Women I like
It's a listless morning. Amma has started cleaning the house. Her sisters are off to choir practice. She sits on a bed that is washed by a water coloured shade. An orange off the old curtains. She stares into the empty noises of a daily day. The overhead water tank is overflowing. It patters on … Continue reading A Broken Tree of Shards
Arundhati Roy in her interview with Zac O’Yeah for The Hindu says that writing a story, “is a prayer, a song.” If you have read the prose that she has woven together in The God Of Small Things, you’d utter that prayer, you’d hear the song. Roy’s writing is like her description of Estha’s memories … Continue reading The Prayer and The Song – Deconstructing the Case of Arundhati Roy’s new novel