I used to be strong

I used to be independent

I used to think all I need was me

I could get by on my own

I could do my own thing

I could console myself, convince myself

I was able to think just for me

Make my own call on things

I was able to feel I was enough on my own

I had me, my shadow and myself

Then you came along…

In your tattered jeans

Shirt hanging off your thin shoulders

Hair messy, eyes full of feelings I couldn’t name

How did I resist you?

Did I even try?

You waltzed into my life

Took it over

You make me think of you all day

And miss you all night

I wanted to hear your laugh when I felt down

I needed to listen to your voice to silence my fears

I wanted to hold your hand when I took the subway

I wanted to cuddle into your arms when I was took a holiday

You were suddenly everywhere I was

Everywhere you weren’t before

I could find your smell on my pillow

Your shorts in my laundry

Your empty coffee mug hangs off my kitchen rack

And that green toothbrush in the bathroom winks at me every morning

When did you become so important?

When did you become irreplaceable?

When did I start loving you?

When did I start living for you?

When did I begin to think of you when I plan a vacation?

Or when I make my dinner?

When did I become two people instead of one?

I’m walking up the aisle now

I can see your smile

I can feel my smile

I’m holding it in tightly, you see,

Because there’s a lump in my throat

And laughter tickling my belly

I don’t know when this happened

Or how this happened

When did I become yours?

How did you become mine?

But, as I put my hand in yours

As you slip that ring on to my finger

As you wink at me

Like you used to do when we first met

I realise…

I’m not all on my own

I’m not enough anymore

So, I look into your eyes tonight

And when I whisper this, I mean it with the utmost honesty…

I love you…




That morning was typical.

She woke up late; dressed in a rush; chucked an apple in her bag and rushed off to catch the train.

That train journey was typical.

A faint smell of vomit greeted her as she stepped in; a man wrapped in a coat slept huddled next to a window and the rest the world continued to ignore everything but their phones on their way to work.

She too plugged in her music, replied to her mails, updated her twitter account and prepared for the meeting scheduled that morning.

That meeting was typical too.

A lot of people talked; very few listened. Ideas were thrown around and ignored, suggestions were glibly made and equally ignored; Presentations were presented, applause accepted and everyone smiled and pretended that work was being done.

A farce that lasted for 60 minutes broke up when need for coffee interfered and they made their way to the cafeteria.

That coffee break would have been typical too, if not for a detour she felt compelled to take when a sudden wave of dizziness made her light in her knees and clutch the chair for support.

Senses gathered, she surreptitiously slipped away and made her way to the ladies room. And a good thing she did too; because no sooner had the door shut behind her, her stomach heaved and the remnants an undigested apple regurgitated into the toilet.

Her head reeled. She sat down on her heels, head bowed, hair pushed back. Somewhere in her brain, a tiny voice was nagging her about the bare skin touching the toilet floor; but, it got lost in the chaos of a world flipping upside down and doing cartwheels around her head.

She heaved again. Nothing was left in her stomach to come out. But, her brain couldn’t seem to compute that and waves of nausea made her retch again.

She knew this wasn’t typical human body behavior. Some energy gathered, she went through the past few typical days, searching for atypicalities. She found none- not one unexplained meal or any underestimated rise in body temperature. More energy gathered, she went further back- searching through past typical weeks for atypicalities.


Panic made its presence felt for the first time in the mush her brain had become, stretching a stealthy tentacle to feel its ground and gauge its fertility.

This panic was, however, typical.

It spiked her adrenaline, woke her up and her brain rushed through the months gone by.

Typical. Typical. Typical. Typi…….

Hang on a minute.

She whipped out her phone from her back pocket, jabbed open the calendar and feverishly looked down the dates.

Three months.

Her last period was three months ago.

Her free hand crept unconsciously to wrap around her belly. Somewhere in her brain, she could hear the click of things falling into place. Her finger slowly glided down her contacts to her gynecologist and before that threatened smile could break out on her face, she placed the call.

It had been a typical day when she woke up this morning and now, as she sat laughing through her tears on a suspiciously clean toilet floor, she knew nothing is going to be typical ever again.





I was born on a sunny day
In the middle of April
Wrapped in white blanket
to keep my little body warm
I was handed over to my mother’s safekeeping

She remembers that fabric today
the touch of that white cotton
the smoothness of its texture
the gentleness of the tucked-in corner
She clutches on to a memory that feels like
slippery sand in small hands

Hands that she held on to
Hands that she taught to grab
Hands that she kissed
Hands that she tucked carefully
under a blanket on a cold night

She remembers that fabric today
the patchwork quilt lovingly sewed
through the nine months of morning sickness
and back pains
each patch carefully selected
out of her softest linens
lovingly held together
through pin pricks and dropped stitches

Stitches placed with care
Stitches made with love
Stitches made to last forever
long after the abandonment of the quilt in a corner of the attic
in the company of school uniforms,
and pinafores no longer needed.

She remembers that fabric now
of the uniform purchased proudly on the first day of school
Washing it by hand to ensure
no stains stayed behind
Pressing it by hand
to ensure no crease streaked my look
putting the tie on every morning
feeding me breakfast
dropping me off at the bus stand everyday
waving me off to a new world
with her packed lunch and a shiny school bag.

She remembers that fabric now
of a school bag which held
more than it ever should
books and forgotten candy wrappers
pencils broken at the bottom
pencil shavings decorating the sides
A name tag in the corner of a zipper
that was painstakingly filled in with bright colours
and a happy smile
A bag that saw me through middle school
and ripped open in high school
A bag that’s still lying under the bed
proudly holding my storybooks
my journals
my old diaries
my scrapbooks
waiting for me to return
waiting for me to pick them up
waiting for me dig through them
waiting for me to pick my favorites
to carry along to college.

She remembers the fabric now
decorating the wall above my bed
a congratulatory message
a happy graduation
wishing me the best
wishing me a beautiful future

She holds on to the checked shirt in her hands
she wants to smell its fabric
she wants to remember how her baby looked in it
when she bid her goodbye
2 hours ago…

The fabric is stained red and brown
The body is bruised black and blue

she remembers the white blanket
and the fussy baby wrapped in it
she remembers the patchwork quilt
and the difficulty she had in waking me up in the mornings
she remembers the new uniform
and how dirty it got after a fight in school
she remembers the shiny school bag
and how I selected it all by myself

she remembers the graduation poster
and being hugged when she surprised me with it
she remembers the checked shirt
and the last time she saw her baby in it

She remembers that I was alive

She remembers that I smiled
I laughed
I talked
I joked

She remembers that I was alive…

A fabric clutched to her chest
dry eyes staring at the body in the morgue

She remembers that I was alive…



<a href="http://Fabric“>

23:00 hrs, Drunk

There are days when I feel happy; very happy. There’s no particular reason why. That’s the day I go running. I’m up since 4. I cook and I clean my room- corner to corner.

Then, there are days where it’s difficult to get out of bed. I feel half-dead at 8 AM even though I slept at 9 PM last night; I feel unable to deal with a new patient and I just can’t bring myself to care.

I’m a psychiatrist. Should I diagnose myself with bipolar disorder?

I don’t think so.

I think it’s more like I’m experiencing something that most of my generation do.

The feeling of not being enough and being just enough at the same time.

It’s a battle.

We’re told in the media to accept ourselves as we are. That we are awesome any way we are. That there are different ways to define success and we’re all successful in our own way.

But, there’s the fact that we were brought with values that contrast with these concepts.

We were brought with the concepts of hard work and equivalent gains; with early to bed and early bird getting the worm. We were matured with an unhealthy dose of competitiveness and a healthy helping of despair. We were let go of into the world while being told you are what you make of yourself and this is what you should make of yourself.

So, during the nights that I lay awake, conflicting emotions raging through my subconscious and an unexplained restlessness ravaging my conscious, I question the truth.

I wonder if it’s my hard work or natural ability that got me this far. I question if I made it by myself or if I was led here by a subtle hand. I doubt my prowess and my logic. I overthink my past, my present and my imagined future.

Is this just me?

Do you also feel this way?

I was born in ’92. Is it a curse of the generation?

Or is it just…me?



Who am I?


I look in the mirror

I look at myself

I part my hair left

Then, right

I change my lipstick

I wing my eyes


Then, I rub it all off

And look again


I’m searching

I’m finding

I’m losing again


My way


Where am I?

Where am I going?


I look back

I look away

I peer into the darkness

I try to make out

My origins

My secrets

The path I took

That led me here


Where did I come from?

Where do I go?


I try asking my shadow

My memories

In the cobwebbed corners of my mind

I scrutinize the old pictures

I look for hints

In conversations long forgotten


Then, I drive to the cliff

And look over its edge

And wonder how it’d be

To free fall


If I wake up again

Will I remember?


Who am I?

Where am I?

Where did I come from?

Where do I go?


Let me sleep now…


Let me sleep now

And if I wake up again,

I’ll remember?


Won’t I?






Look in the mirror everyday
See a familiar stranger
Face, I know; features, I recognise
But, who are you?
And why do I hate you so much?

First thing in the morning
I call you names
I judge you, I blame you
I hold you responsible for my failure
I never give you credit for my success

I make you work, work more
Whatever you do is never enough
I make you ask, beg for forgiveness
Without a smidgen of mercy in my heart
I make you question, doubt yourself
Your motives
I make you insecure, unstable
Angry and unreasonable
I make you tired, I exhaust you
With my whims, fancies, my ridiculous demands

Why do I hate you so much?

You’re by my side
You’re holding my hand
You support me
You help me out
You give me your all
You make me who I am

You’re my reflection in the mirror
My shadow in the heat
You’re my voice when I speak
My thoughts when I write
You’re my all
You’re me

Why do I hate you so much?

Did you do something to me?
Did you hurt me?
Did you make me suffer?
Did you make me cry?
Did I make me cry?
Did I hurt me?

Why do I hate you so much?

Why do I hate myself so much?



I Miss You Guys

I miss you guys.

You were so much better than me- at studying, at playing, at creativity…you made me want to work hard to catch up with you. You made me aim higher, set greater goals. You made me want to be better than I am.

I want to be there again.

Amidst people who’d get caught up in the workings of the world, but tried their hardest to disentangle again. Amidst people who didn’t give a flying fuck what the world thought of them. In the place among you people where I had the most fun in my life even just lounging around.

I want to talk with you guys.

A conversation with honest confessions and frank opinions. A conversation where lies are put aside temporarily because we don’t have time for them. A conversation where I can let myself go without having to censor myself.

I want to cook with you again.

Those nights on that terrace, no plates or glasses, just a bunch of spoons and the weirdest combinations. Indian, Italian, Nawabi and Irani, and then a touch of cake and cream with all of them. We’d leave nothing untouched, we’d leave nothing unfinished…except for conversations and memories.

I want to drink with you guys.

A shot of whiskey shared in camaraderie and good spirits. A shot of tequila for that sense of misguided adventure and thrill. Then, the beer on tap because I want to hear our glasses clink and laugh madly for no reason.

I want to run with you again.

You’d go on ahead because you’re faster, but look back once and again to make sure I didn’t stop. You’d pull me ahead on the last 100 metres across the finishing line. Of course, you’d laugh at me because I look funny when I run and when I collapse at the end while you’re all still standing.

I want to spend a night out with you guys.

Where we talk about nothing and something and everything. Where we share secrets around midnight and sleepy nothings around dawn. Where I feel so excited because I’m with you, yet so relaxed as if I were by myself.

I want to celebrate birthdays with you again.

The elaborate planning and messy handling. The cake and chips and dancing all night. Because you want to show you care; because you want to have fun; because you want to say, what if your family is not around, this is what friends are for.

I want to go out with you guys.

You’d discuss clothes the night before and change them all up in the morning. Stuff on the bed, stuff in the bag and yet, there you are with more in your hands. We’d laugh through the mess, through the chaos before setting off finally an hour and a half late.

I want to watch TV with you again.

Post-dinner, post-post-dinner-walk, collapsing on the couch, laughing, commenting, passing judgement on characters that are ridiculous. Sometimes the final few moments we share in a day. Most times, it’s the final few hours we share in the day, mocking, teasing and laughing over nothing.

I want to study with you guys.

Just knowing you were in the room across slogging away like me was enough to keep me going. Just knowing that you’d come knocking on my door at dinner time kept me motivated to study a little more. Just knowing that I could come and whine and cry on bed helped me keep the frustration at bay.

I want to spend time with you again.

Sharing stories, memories, nostalgia for those days. Sharing concerns, problems, secrets of the past and present. Just us and the minutes ticking by. Until we have to say goodbye again.

I miss you guys.

I miss your faces, your smiles, your laughs, your silliness, your absurdities, your presence in my life.

Seconds, minutes, hours tick by. I miss your faces, your smiles, your laughs, your silliness, your absurdities, your presence in my life.

Days, months and years pass by. I miss your faces, your smiles, your laughs, your silliness, your absurdities, your presence in my life.

My life goes on. But, I miss your faces, your smiles, your laughs, your silliness, your absurdities, your presence in my life.

I miss you all over again.