It's been quite some time since I wrote you a letter. Until tonight, I blamed it on my being swamped with work. But just now, I found out the real reason why I wasn't writing my long elaborate balcony letters. No, it's not to do with you. It's to do with my reading. For the past one month, I haven't gotten the chance to read anything long form. Only today, I sat down and went through the imaginative long letters hundreds of writers wrote to me, personally. Every letter had its heart and mind in the right place. Some had more heart, some had more mind. I reached out to those with more heart and a good grasp of the language. Good reading instigates good writing. Precisely the reason why we want a full-time letter writer for s/he will provide the quintessential daily dose of good reading. 

Which reminds me: you left your book with me. Guns, Germs and Steel: A Short History of Everything in the Last 13000 Years. A treat for the mind. I am afraid to read it. Will it make it difficult for me to forget the past 4 months? History has never been kind to me. Especially with you.

Balcony letter #51 Click #balconyletters to read the series in continuation. Requesting not to use this hashtag for random posts.

29 SEP AT 1:16

Bengaluru is windy. It's not been raining for the past two days. Seems Mumbai stole the thunder, quite literally. Some rain saw your city, too. It used to be my city. Our city.

Yesterday, I celebrated my 28th birthday. I'm not a sucker for birthday wishes but it does feel nice to hear from folks one has not heard from. I don't remember who forgot yesterday. It is actually relieving if someone forgets, for I don't have to remember to wish them in return. With 5k friends on FB, everyday there's at least 14 friends' birthday. I stopped wishing them long back. Some might call me selfish. I call myself practical. I dial in those who are on my speed dial. They are the ones who will kill me if I don't wish them. Family, mostly. You were my family too. Until 3 weeks back.

You'd messaged me yesterday and I urged you to call. We talked, after not talking for 3 weeks, after fighting for 5 months prior to that. It was somewhere between warm and formal. We spoke of the grind of life. Surprisingly, we'd outgrown our impatience with each other. Maybe, birthdays help one grow up. Maybe, we can be friends hereon. If we do, could you answer one question that I forgot to ask? When is your birthday?

Balcony letter #50 Happy to hit a half-century with this. I will publish a book of my balcony letters once I reach 250. Click #BalconyLetters to read the series.

31 AUG AT 1:15

Your name flashes on my notifications. I gingerly smile. Gullu calling, it says. It's your nickname, coined by your grandfather because you had fat cheeks when you were born. I stole the name and referred to you as Gullu and its permutations. Gul, Gullanda, Gulcharrah, Gulbarga, Gulzar, Guldasta, Guldaodi. The names ripple across my memory. My smile, like a shooting star, disappears before I could figure that it's a smile. I look at your photo, smiling, your bobbed hair making you look smarter than you are. 

You are no more the fat kid you were once upon a time. You are no more there in my life, either. Gul means flower in Urdu. Why is it then that your name in the notification pricks my name like a thorn?

Balcony letter #48 Use #BalconyLetters to read in continuation. A request: please don't use this hashtag for random posts.

20 AUG AT 19:23

Bengaluru is flooded. So is my mind. I told you yesterday that I am lonely, with you, now that you're far away, clocking your 9 to 7 with more and more work. It's the worst kind of loneliness. At 11 in the night, when I munch on the routine naan and chicken curry, I crave to talk to someone. Talk about things that are not routine. That are not product, growth, revenue. Talk about books, history, politics, instead. Talk about music, art, language. I need people, new interesting people around me. People who are brimming with ideas. People I knew in Delhi. Writers, journalists, scholars. Folks with ample time on hand to discourse and discuss. Folks I could tune into when bored and tune out of when weary of their encyclopedic rant. I crave for that armchairish banter. The intellectual masturbation. Something interesting to gulp in a bottle cap, but never the full bottle.

Unfortunately, my Bengaluru network is too narrow, teeming with the regular IT and start-up folks. You asked if I wanted a girlfriend. I said, no, I need someone to have dinner with. To wade through the flooding water, under one umbrella, holding shoulders instead of hands.

Balcony letter #46 Click #BalconyLetters to read in continuation. A request: Please don't use this for your regular posts.

15 AUG AT 22:02

You ask me when did I know that I was into you. I go back to the first time when you came home, and we'd ended up making out. During the course of the act, I was amused to discover that your legs were unwaxed. You'd not come prepared for what had happened. It wasn't on your mind. I looked for anxiety in those eyes. There was none. The unpreparedness didn't make you uncomfortable. You lay there, looking at me with no hurry, as if we were not acquaintances but friends from the past. 

"So this is what it feels to be with a man," I said, immediately repenting for having stereotyped. You could have gotten offended, but you didn't. "This is what it feels to be home with a woman, is that what you meant?" You asked, knowing I wasn't even close. I nodded, like a kindergarten kid to its teacher. You ruffled my hair, as I compared the texture of the two unwaxed legs, one resting on the other. Yours was softer. You, too.

Balcony letter #45 Click #BalconyLetters to read this series in continuation. A request: Please don't use this hashtag for random posts, I have been working on this series for over 1 year now.

11 AUG AT 22:29