Without Love

Without Love

You think you’re okay
and then, every once in a while,
you stumble upon that beautiful verse,
that disarming canvas of art,
that balmy air up the mountain,
and it just stops your heart.
Because you remember
what it was like to be in love!
To be irrevocably intoxicated,
unabashedly euphoric,
and hopelessly undone.

Continue reading “Without Love”

Thoughts on a plane

I’m flying to Phoenix this weekend for a quick getaway with my girlfriends. Well, Arizona is not something you plan for summer, but it was the only place that’d work for all of us, so here we are!
My work week has been pretty chill, that is, until today. I was slammed with meetings that continued through my ride to the airport until I boarded my flight. I’m mid-air now, and it’s a long flight from Atlanta. (Well, it’s only 4 hours, but 4 hours without internet isn’t pretty!)


I’m reading both Don Quixote and Songs of Fire and Ice and have been switching between the two books for 2 hours restlessly. Why wouldn’t the plot move along! I tried to get some shut-eye, but repetitive announcements make it quite impossible. So here I’m writing my thoughts down.

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The human heart could not possibly endure the loss of a child and sometimes, sons end up paying for the sins of their fathers. While funerals may vary between the rich and the poor, the grappling grief remains the same.

“You shall not bow down to (idols) or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

– (Deuteronomy 5:9-10, NIV)

Meet my Grandma

My grandma is older than India’s independence. She’s no taller than 4 feet 9 and I call her ‘Amma’. She was married at 16 to my grandfather, who she says looked like a Bollywood superstar. I have no memory of my grandfather but judging by her pride, I bet he was a catch!

Recently, I got a notification Amma was live on Facebook and I instinctively clicked to see her singing one of her favorite songs too close to the camera. The other day, I got a concerned call from her when someone commented on my display pic, “This is sick!”. She religiously explained to me how to make the perfect herbal tea to feel better. She also insisted I send her pictures of me drinking the tea for the next five days. She is addicted to online games and I often see her posting her results from quizzes like “Which Game of Thrones character are You?” or “How will you die?”. Now she’s on Twitter and her tweets crack me up every time.

Growing up, whenever I would come home after my day’s shopping, try on the clothes once again, and show them to my mom and her, she wouldn’t hold back and tell me the dress looked absolutely awful. Her complete lack of tact in ripping off the bandage amazed me every time and I would look at my mom who would say I looked beautiful anyway. That’s also the reason why I could not trust my mother with things like these!

Although deeply spiritual, Amma was never the religious type and when I would see my dad and mom going these extra miles organizing religious rites and rituals, I would see her sitting nonchalantly in a corner munching peanuts. There was a constant tiff in our house for the TV remote between my dad who wanted to watch news and godmen, and my grandma who wanted her daily dose of Ekta Kapoor soap operas. She told me one day, “Your dad is really superstitious and morbidly boring.” I mean between the two, definitely my grandma knew how to have more fun!

She was my best friend growing up and she still is. As a kid, I would look forward to accompanying her to local markets because I would get my pick at anything I wanted. Everyday before school, she would pack my lunch. She was also my go-to home tutor for Math, English, Hindi and Sanskrit. I remember asking her the same question every other day and her explaining it to me over and over again, with the same enthusiasm as the first time. She has not been cooking for years now as her health deteriorates, and I stopped eating ‘Malpuas’ the day she stepped out of kitchen.

We have our own secret handshake that ends up with me hugging and kissing her cheeks and her pretend annoyance with the whole goddamn thing. Once I was late for my flight and left the house in a hurry just kissing her goodbye only to learn later that she cried I forgot about our secret handshake. So, I made sure I did it right the next time and I saw her getting worked up and annoyed and absolutely thankful at the same time!

I have been seeing her less and less over the years and we’re not even in the same continent anymore. I try keeping up with her, but she can barely hear me over the phone. Whenever I video call her, she tells everyone I came home to visit her and my heart breaks a little. I know she won’t read or understand this anymore, even if I tell her myself, but I really do hope she knows that I carry a bit of her with me every day wherever I go!

Per Mahabharata, the epic Hindu mythology, Savitri was Satyavan’s beautiful, loyal and devoted wife, who was able to revive him after his demise by outwitting Yama (the God of Death). Side note: she was also deemed ‘Sati’, a title conferred to the most chaste of all women. Sati practice (widow burning) on the other hand emerged when the original Sati from another tale sacrificed her life for the love of Shiva, the Hindu God. Sati practice dictates that the widow must immolate herself alive on her husband’s funeral pyre should he die. The husbands do not need to burn themselves if their wives die of course. We abolished that in 1829, so I’m grateful for that! (I’m aware of oversimplifying this- it started as a voluntary tradition for widows, progressing quickly to become a forced practice that did not discount a widow’s wishes, much like every other blast from the past – topic for another day!)

Continue reading “Sati Savitri – Empowered or Enslaved?”

An Open Letter to my Ex

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Dear Ex boyfriend,

I miss you sometimes. You, or the idea of you, I’m not sure. Never mind. Today is one such day.

Let’s try to catch up. I met a lot of people in the short span of the life after you. You will never know about them. I’m sure you have come a long way too and there’s no turning back.

Apparently, I am an amazing kisser. Apparently, I am not as bloated as you made me believe. Apparently, I am a strong woman and it turns out, I have dreams and aspirations too.

“How could he leave you?”

“How can anyone leave you?”

But, then,

Continue reading “An Open Letter to my Ex”

Blur

That is some hideous wall art. Yellow is probably the worst color in the world, or is it brown? I mean, look at it, or you could, had not the sun been staring blatantly at you the whole time. Damn you Ricky! Why wouldn’t you draw the screens for once? What is more repulsive than the constipated February sun? I want to bark at him, but that would invite a conversation, I don’t want that. Where’s the bloody coffee again?

Oh! The stench of Jasmine. Meera is here. I will just stare at my screen now. I had actually cared about her once. Hah! What a douche! That little wench doesn’t know why she’s here, forget the whats and hows. TL my foot! Continue reading “Blur”