Friday, August 22, 2014

Ode to an aunt

I went to see your grave today
Knew you weren't there but went anyway
I stood and stared at your grave a bit
Brushed off the leaves and some grit

Didn't really know what to do after that
So I paused a while and thought back
To the warmth in your smile when you
Would see me after a year or two

How like a mother you were to me
When my own gave me such misery
Making my father's house a home
Making me feel like I belonged

But when it came to write an epithet
For my own dear Aunt Violet
The words came out crude and artificial
Did no justice to a lady so special

I'm sorry I didn't visit when
Things got bad and then again
When my parents treated you with disgust
For your old age problems and made a fuss

I'll never forgive myself for all this
My first trip home and your presence here I miss
A five minute visit to your grave won't fix
A lifetime serving others who gave you nix

So I'm leaving now, I came to say
You're not here but your grave will stay
Though the memories threaten to fade away

Friday, August 08, 2014

Friends vs companions

After you have crawled out
back into the sun
after years
under your rock where you
sought refuge
from the merciless storm
you'll find
that there are those
who will not let you in
when you knock
remembering how
you'd insisted
on staying in the dark
rather than heed them
be grateful
for those few
who welcome you back
with arms outstretched
not even asking
where you've been
merely offering you
a refreshing beverage
for your parched throat
and a warm smile
to reassure you
that you are still alive
and that's more
than even you
could have asked for.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

The book and its cover

There's more to a person than having just a good sense of humour. Even the man who rescues the stranger bleeding from an accident - is capable of going home to beat his wife. The person who renounces all religion, accepts all people without judgement, who is all knowledgeable in worldly affairs and the ethics of things - may never really puts these ethics into practice when put to the ultimate test.

A person can be your best friend, your most wonderful lover, your most cherished colleague - and still turn out to be a complete monster when left alone with you. Inscrutable behaviour - but you will forgive it in light of everything else they are so good about / in.

Even Ram in all his goodness did not trust Sita even after all she'd been made to endure. We are after all mere mortals.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

It's not my fault

The lover bowing to parental pressure did not choose to have acid obliterating her features forever by her spurned lover.

The loving wife, waking up early every day to prepare a hot breakfast for her family did not ask her husband to rape her in their bed when she said no.

The adoring girlfriend, saving up to buy that phone for her lover that she knew he wanted, did not ask for a black eye when he got drunk later that night.

The girl planning her dream wedding does not plan also her divorce. In our quest to find that special someone, we did not ask for violence or abuse or pain or misery. It's what we chanced upon. Forgive us then for walking away but do not begrudge us our freedom.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Woo app (Bangalore): Online Hating for India

Online dating is never easy. For one thing, you have no idea if the person you're going to meet is going to be the next Unabomber or if they're the friendly neighbourhood pervert disguised as a guy your age. Online dating is really made even more difficult by the fact that some of the people running these online dating sites themselves are Indians.

Off late, I've been dabbling with the idea of having to settle for an online matchmaking site or choose to die alone. Dying alone is a better idea given the standard of service some of these matchmakers provide. I'm really referring to the one app that I've tried out so far: Woo, which is customised for mobile - Android and OS users. The app allows you to enroll yourself and 'verifies' your candidacy based on information in your Facebook or LinkedIn profile. It then displays this information to potential suitors and you can 'like' or 'reject' a match that the app makes for you based on shared interest or location. Since they have this verification process in place, it seemed harmless enough and it was available only in Bangalore for the time being, it seemed as though it was safe enough to try out. After rejecting several profiles and liking only a few, I finally found a 'match' made. A match is basically if both you and your 'suitor' have liked each other's profiles, to ease the risk of rejection and awkward encounters. Only if you a match is made, you can begin to chat with each other. So here I am, heart on sleeve, waiting for suitor no. 1 to make his move and I find curiously enough that there's no conversation for the first day. Undaunted, I went about my day, ignoring the app most pointedly and was excited to see a note from him on day 2. Basically the note went something like this:
Hi: I'm on the team that developed this app. I look forward to hearing your feedback on how the app works.

I was a little taken aback as to why the developer would make a match with me when there was a dedicated feedback button for the cause. I wrote to them on the playstore and the gist of what they had to say was this:
We assure you that there are plenty of interesting men out there on the app and of course some of them were the developers too (occupational hazard) but do give us another chance.
By then it was pretty apparent that the developers had developed this app for them to find dates for themselves. It's like Mark Zuckerberg inventing Facebook to put up pictures of his dog and not really giving a fig if the others on the site are benefitting from the experience the same way or not.

Therefore, after the entire disgusting experience of this app, I have decided to uninstall it and stay away from online dating, as I have for these many years. Woo is shortly planning to become a paid service and it's shocking that people have to be paid to be rejected by the app's developers as potential suitors. At least Zuckerberg kept it free so we can like his dog's pictures with glee any time.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Single and Sexually Active? Here's a song for you!

(Sung to the tune of the overplayed Happy song)

Bought a pack of Whisper yesterday
My nipples hurting, periods on the way
I was scared it wouldn't since my last date
Ovral L may never work as well as they say...

I got my period!
Clap along if you're glad that the sperm didn't fertilise
I got my period!
Clap along if you feel that birth control's a bunch of lies
I got my period!
Clap along if you know that a baby is a bad surprise - eh eh eh
Clap along if you're glad you're bleeding between your thighs

I felt a dribble in my underwear
I had to check to see if I'd peed in there
Bloody patch and I just don't care
I'm gassy as hell and feeling like a bear, that's fair:

I got my period!
Clap along if you're glad that the sperm didn't fertilise
I got my period!
Clap along if you feel that birth control's a bunch of lies
I got my period!
Clap along if you know that a baby is a bad surprise - eh eh eh
Clap along if you're glad you're bleeding between your thighs

Oh ok, it's a song only for women. Who don't want babies. Of menstrual age. Hey, if Weird Al Yankovich can do it, why not I?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Power

(Odd little tale I'd written a long time ago. Not very good but had to publish it here.)


He first knew he had the power when he was six. On the day Mother had slapped him so hard for coming home with a torn sleeve after having got into a fight with that no-good fatso, Donald. He was filled with bright red rage and he wished her dead. And died she had; the very next morning. He saw his dad's bafflement, when she wouldn't wake up even though he kept shaking her awake, turn to hysterical grief. That's when he knew what he was capable of. He tried not to get angry after that again.

Then two years later, the Power was summoned again. It happened at Aunt Rita's when he was having a shower and had forgotten to lock the bathroom door. Aunt Rita opened the door and was shocked for a while until she realised it was his naked body she was staring at. She stuttered an apology and hastily shut the door again. He felt his cheeks burn with anger and shame. Even though he was just eight, he never ever took off his clothes in front of anybody, not even to go swimming. She had seen him and he wished her dead. Three years later she died of a stroke. When his father told him about it, after the phone call came, he was consumed with guilt. It had been the Power again that did it; he knew it. There was no other way to explain it.

Now at eighteen, when he looked back, he felt he had lost the Power. So much happened around him that would fill him with a murderous rage. Atrocities in the name of war, hungry people dying outside his door while politicians in assembly houses cast votes on metro rail projects, people who would oil over those richer or more powerful than themselves but kick in the teeth those who were less fortunate. All these things would bring the red rage into him. But for some reason he had lost the Power forever. Perhaps that was a good thing.