I write about simple things that often miss one's eyes in a very simple language. Striving to be simpler with time and experience.
Started out as a writer. Realised there are no good writing platforms for smartphones. Started YQ with Ashish. Now on a mission to make the world write. Reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any help/collaboration.
My last book, Green Mango More: Stories from Childhood (2015), is a collection of 36 funny tales from my childhood. Check it on Amazon below.
I accidentally remembered the times
when we were together,
that particular moment when you were in office
and texted me that you read
written by your stalker
about us. You were rattled.
Instead of sympathizing,
I asked curious questions.
How did you encounter it?
You said you’d blocked him.
Somebody shared it, you’d said.
I went deeper into technicalities,
you won’t be able to see it
if indeed he was blocked.
You got further rattled.
When I called 10 mins later,
you lost your temper at me.
Shouted the hell out of your voice.
You were in office then.
Probably around your colleagues.
I didn’t feel good about it.
I didn’t mention.
I don’t know how to take offense.
It hurts me more than others,
so I don’t. You do.
In the evening, you reprimanded me
and I apologized for being insensitive.
I still don’t know
how could you encounter that stalker’s poem.
Maybe you kept checking his profile
from time to time.
Maybe you didn’t block him.
My curiosity still remains unanswered.
All I am left with is
a blot of memory,
which makes me feel humiliated
even months after it first occurred.
It was better when you were around.
the newer bad memories we made
eclipsed the older ones —
which, like tar lining my lungs,
are blood clots in my arteries,
making me restless,
every time I remember them.
Maybe, you shouldn’t have left.
I can always trade
old bad memories
for fresh bad moments.
I live in a hostel. Whenever I go to someone's room, I pick up books and flip through some of the pages. Sometimes it happens to be Vikram Seth's An Equal Music where I read about him talking about the song that the narrator composes in the E minor scale, or sometimes, it's Shashi Tharoor's The Great Indian Novel, where I admire his confidence at naming the title so, for what if the novel is not actually great. I find a lot of Ayn Rand's books in these rooms, while one of my hostel-mates is a fan of Edward De Bono and his personal library is stacked up with his books. I tried reading De Bono once, but gave it up too soon after finding him bragging about all the accolades he had won in the first three pages. But my friend tells me his logic is flawless and his ideas on effective thinking are very original and insightful. I nod unconsciously.
Sometimes I walk into someone's room and just stare at the books, without actually reading them. I fear I might end up distorting the order in which they are meticulously arranged if I take one of them out. I resist my urge in such cases. I saw this book Siddhartha by Herman Hesse resting on a shelf and I immediately wanted to read it; I flipped through a few pages, got riveted but suddenly it dawned upon me that if I allowed myself to be swayed by this book, I'd end up reading it completely at the cost of my studies. So I stopped and planned to read it later. Much like writing, where I keep some plots to be written later when my thinking and writing evolves, I exercise the same with my reading. Some books, for example Tolstoy's War and Peace or Sri Aurobindo's Life Divine, are meant to be read when my grey hair turns entirely white. However, the greatest pleasure is to catch the flavour of the book by opening any random page, reading any random paragraph and breathing in the fragrance it carries, both in words and that of paper. Last night, I opened a random page of Thayil's Narcopolis and read through his limpid description of an opera singer's affair with a taxi driver just because she couldn't believe when he said that he'd never heard opera before, and she consciously went to his place to sing for him. Isn't it so simple, yet so profound?
I not only read books, or stare at them, I also read about books. I love reading interviews of authors, I have keen interest in their lives, about how they have lived their lives - for example, yesterday I started reading The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Hemingway and I could relate to it so much, especially about the fear that a writer feels when he is about to die - what would happen to all his plots which he has kept for the future? I can talk about celebrated books for hours without actually having read them because I would, in all probability, have gone through their book's blurbs or author interviews. I like writers. I like books. I like reading. No wonder I like writing. I see my fourth book on my roommate's shelf, kept neatly above all the other books. I had made him buy it when he came for my book talk last month. I look at my name, I don't like its font - I had even told my publisher, but they did not change it. I look at it for some time, pondering; though I'm immensely proud and happy about it, it is not written for people of all ages, it is not timeless, which makes me restless. I wish to have one such book written by me stacked up here which a young hosteler like me would see, flip through, start reading, and would only get up after finishing it, irrespective of study or assignments the next day. Yes, that's the writing I wish to do.