In my dreams

I am alone and underwater

I can swim for hours without coming up

For air.

I have never been happier.


I think of the rain

More than I think of people.

Sometimes I sit in air conditioned rooms

And see the sky break out into purple and blue.


When was it that I last danced

In the clear, soft-grass puddles in my backyard

As the rain fell hard enough

To drown everything it touched?

I can see the mango tree shining,

Dogs barking in the distance

And the water rising in grey whirls.


One day the water will come to me

And I will wait with open arms

As it takes me to its womb.


I’d almost drowned when I was a child.

If my life is to end,

Let water take it, dear God.


Your Room

Day#9 of IntrotoPoetry

Prompt: Landscape

Device: Apostrophe

I think of your room sometimes

The penthouse on the fourth floor.

I loved the balcony and the huge windows

You always covered them up though.

I liked the darkness also, and the lamp light

That threw shadows all around the room, and your face.


It was a kind room. Especially on that evening we lay

My hands tracing lines on your wall and pulling at your poster

You talking on and on. I listened, feeling happy

That we were friends. That we could talk, again.


Now when I think of you, I think of your room

And imagine you to be kind, like the soft lights

That kissed both of us, as we lay in a world of our own.

A Little Extra Salt

Day#7 of IntrotoPoetry

Prompt: Flavour


My mother always said,  “a little extra salt means the dish is made with a lot of love.”

When I come home, your gaze is so unbearable

My eyes fill with salt.

Away, now, in this cold city,

I lick a bit of salt off my finger

In the middle of cooking, and I

Think of you, in your kitchen,

Tapping a little gravy off the spoon

Into your palm, and smiling..



The Chooralkasera

Day#4 of IntrotoPoetry

Prompt: Chair

Device: Simile

Note: Chooralkasera is a type of chair made from cane.

This chair had never been adventurous.

Sure, once it was painted a dark green

Like the coriander chutney made without coconut –

The spicy, Delhi kind and not the sweet, cooling one

Amma spread on soft bread for hungry, sunset evenings –

But so were the three others with him. it didn’t

Make him feel any less special, though.


A chair has a very dull life, you see.

The only time it moved where when the veranda

With the brick red floor and the bamboo shades

Had to be cleaned, and then, it was placed back promptly.


But now the chair’s sighs matched the quiet grief

Of the woman who sat next to him, on her chair.

He was old, you see, and old people only long for one thing –

To disappear into photographs.

Elevator Ride

Parents have a tendency to repeat themselves, especially when they talk about their children. Her parents were no exception. When talking about her childhood, there was this one story that they always laughed at: it was about how as a baby, she would cry from the moment she got into an elevator till the moment the ride ended. She used to smile when her parents recounted this, though she could never figure out what was funny.

She still hated elevators. They were tiny, claustrophobic and stifling. She hated the wait between floors, as if the elevator was suspended in time, while the rest of the world went on as usual. She felt empty: the kind of terrifying emptiness you feel when you know that something dreadful is going to happen, but it hasn’t happened yet; and you’re waiting, tired of the sickening anticipation and yet, wishing that it would never end. When people talked about souls, she pictured an elevator as its antonym: empty and enclosed. She hated elevators because they made her feel empty, even when she smiled to shake off the feeling; even when she stepped out of it.

She still took the elevator, though. In one of the magazines her mother read, she found an article which cautioned that riding an elevator was always safer for women than climbing the stairs. So she stuck to it, even though her heart quaked until she stepped out.

The day her father died, she felt like she was stuck in an elevator. She knew she was supposed to scream, to cry, to tear her hair out; but she felt suspended in time, her mind weighing her down with the anticipation of tears that would come, of emotions that she would feel. She was stuck in an elevator: empty, enclosed. She couldn’t get out. She couldn’t feel. She couldn’t cry. All she could do was wait.