Thought Safari

Run with me in my perpetual haste. Wander with me in my desperate search. Meander with me in my whimsical course. Slalom with me in my endless vacillation. Wade with me through my hopeless misery. Sink with me to my senseless abysses. Spin with me in my eddying emotion. Cruise with me through my youthful fantasy. Flow with me in my surging spontaneity. Swim with me in my verbal euphony. Float with me in my phantasmal heaven. Whirl with me in my fragile bubble. Fly with me as I escape reality.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Change of seasons

yesterday, I learned
that the truth doesn't hurt.
all over again...

maybe, I learned
that the truth never hurts.
once and for all?

yesterday, I learned
that I can give.
even when I need handouts myself.

maybe, I learned
that power forsaken
is power taken, is power brazenly stolen?

my written word, until yesterday-
spun solely from dark threads of thought,
searching frantically for life-giving light...

today, for the first time-
comes from brighter quarters of my brain
caught off guard by relief, drenched in disbelief.

Monday, January 05, 2015


Do not speak,
unless spoken to.
Say not,
a word.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Writer's Block

You, amorphous world of words! Won't you simply devour me and hide me again in your fluid folds? I yearn for the delusion you offer, where imagery is all I need to brew up beauty, where brevity or verbosity is born of pure whim rather than stolen time.

Take me in again, won't you? Let me be rash. And my rashness won't matter, for a smattering of pretty words is all you will need to magically transform it into an artist's anger. It won't matter, my cruelty, for a well crafted metaphor is all you will demand to elevate it to righteousness.

Allow me again to be a denizen of your lush land of letters, where possibility bows to reality, where I can sieve gold dust even from the dourest reality. Allow me my aimless yet fervid meandering. Allow me my accurate yet tangential recitations.

Take my peace. Give me verse. Take my reason. Give me insanity. Take my solitude. Embrace me.

Sunday, August 11, 2013


You were my rock, my only one. And I kicked you aside, in my ever-present callousness and overconfidence. Today I had a glimpse of your rejection and your abandon. Just a glimpse. But such a cold came over my heart- that chill of fear I will never forget, my frozen palms- clammy and shivering, even as I write this to you.

Will you ever find it in your heart, in those intense depths, to forgive me, my dear? Will I ever have your blessing again? Will I, if I become a smaller me? Will I, if I turn over a new leaf? Will I, if I go back to simply hovering around you again?

Give me a sign. Hold my hand. I lie prostrate before you and ask... Please take me back. Please...

Friday, May 03, 2013


She is a phantom, a ghost almost. He- an unsuspecting boy, enshrouded, engulfed even, in her gossamer personality. Today, many sunsets later, he lives on- altered, unrecognizable. He sometimes fondly reminisces the sunshine she had promised to be. At times, he wistfully smiles at the deceptive ease that had crept into their life and tempted to stay on forever. Where did they go- that crafty innocence, her innocuous charm, that illusory permanence? Where did that girl go?

He is a fleeting shadow, dancing to a whimsical physics of his own. She- ever the idealist, lost in her eternal wait for his storied love. Today, she dreams on, still grappling wildly at the threads of romance he'd once spun around her. She sometimes steps in the sunshine, only to hastily retreat, cowered by his blinding absence. At times, she tugs at a stray cord of memory, only to have him slide even deeper into the crevices of her heart. Where did they vanish- that addictive touch, his disarming wit, that melting smile? Where did that boy vanish?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Choices... Paradoxes...

wild fantasy
for suspense is only enticing until wrapped in ribbons

gnawing hunger
for even the most indulgent satiety decays into ennui

reckless insomnia
for what grander theft than stealing from nature itself

eternal, all-consuming fire
for only so long can you fan a gentle diminishing flame

willing inaction
for what higher freedom than righteous self-restraint

relinquishing to the heart
for what greater victory over the ever-imposing mind

Saturday, January 26, 2013


The very same words
from a pitiful vocabulary,
shamelessly rearranged
to deceive you
that this time is different.


I must be a masochist.

I elicit echoes from unwilling spaces. I vainly search for reflections in mirages. I hopelessly hold on to expired chimeras.

I endure, almost enjoy, the sharp twinges and dull aches of mindless running- all for a fleeting moment of peace. I even pass on sugar for bitter chocolate and for dark coffee that sears the throat, I know not why.

I wait eternally, voluntarily, for a string of soothing words- a quest I could give up far too easily. Remember, there is nothing I hate more than waiting?

I dream never to be real dreams. I often silence my rationality and submit to constant conflict. I invite, savor even, the violent extremes of emotion.

Sanity, I discard... Fear, I disregard... Darkness, I embrace...

I must be a masochist!


Can I have them back?

wittiness, even lightness, if you will
smiling without reason
endless hours of focus
my wild wanton impulse
the possibilities I freely embraced
beautiful prose, of words effortlessly strung together
the solitude I once loved

Please come back!

Take them away...

this wistfulness, casting its dark shadow
this smile, reluctant and often disappearing
this obsession, a new one every moment
this weighty studied restraint
this imagination I helplessly shun
these sputtered words, masquerading as verse
this loneliness I so hate

Go away, I plead!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013


Again, I stand at crossroads.

Behind me- cherished moments- some won, most stolen. Oh how they dazzle- those guileless faces, eternally happy! Composure- lost and regained, time and again, slips away yet again. Serendipity- so undeserved yet so relished, insecurely I cling on.

Now- Familiar fears, of impending loss. Dreams and Demons- crisscross, unwelcome. A tempting unknown beckons. Anticipation- lick my lips; Anxiety- bite those lips.

Faces, to replace
Rituals, to reconfigure
Affections, to redirect

...the enormity of it bears down on me- at once promising, and threatening, and suffocating. 
Gotta move! Gotta run!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Welcome, you!

For long, too long now, I've attempted to keep you away from this dark dark space. For you symbolize happier times, innocent times full of smiles and sweet mischief.

I've begun to explore the idea that you have replaced this space, if I may. For I catch myself painstakingly committing to memory even trivial thoughts, to share with you in our leisurely moments- so few.

You've entwined yourself into my life in the most imperceptible ways. You've become a hand of reason. You are the voice of wisdom. You are my very own wishing well- echoing to me a confidence I so lack at times. I know you are not a mere passerby- for you share with me a restlessness that floats by the world utterly misunderstood. You are like the welcome breeze when I run- calming me and egging me along in my impossible quests.  Why do you indulge me so?

Maybe I've found in you a bottomless receptacle, to pour into my petty woes, my baseless trepidations, my irrationalities- so many. Shamelessly, I impose upon you my childish victories, sometimes even a hint of the ever-lurking darkness. Maybe that explains my long silence.

I hope, wait even, for my time to do you countless favors, for a way to earn your undeserved indulgences, for a fleeting chance to be your sunshine... Until then, this space is yours to reign. Welcome, you!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Deflated, Depleted, 'Simon & Garfunkel'ed...

I am just a poor boy, though my story's seldom told
I have squandered my resistance
For a pocketful of mumbles, such are promises
All lies and jest
Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest. hmmm...

Who are you fooling my dear? You are but trivial, immaterial to the roving world and the churning seas. But go on, delude yourself some more. Self importance and daydreams are but your only crutches that remain. What will you do my poor dear? When your recursive reassurances sound hollow even to yourself... What else will you do?

When I left my home and my family I was no more than a boy
In the company of strangers
In the quiet of the railway station, runnin' scared
Laying low, seeking out the poorer quarters
Where the ragged people go
Lookin' for the places only they would know

No my dear! Don't you look back. For you will know in a flash that this is not where you want to be. This strange place that holds even your whims prisoner, is this where you want to die? Those days when you shared a kinship with Roark and Galt, those wonderful days are gone. Believe me dear, all that is left is a mirage, a fading sheen. A dying light is all that is left. Oh my dear...

Asking only workman's wages, I come lookin' for a job, but I get no offers
Just a come-on from the whores on 7th avenue
I do declare, there were times when I was so lonesome
I took some comfort there

Apologies my dear. I laugh not at you, but at your endearing naiveté and your hopeful face. Clamber all you want, claw at nature, if you may. But a place for everything and everything in its place. You in yours, they in theirs. Sigh! I told you my dear. Of the obsolescence of effort, and the chimera that is hope. I warned you.

Now the years are rolling by me, they are rockin' even me
I am older than I once was, and younger than I'll be, that's not unusual
No it isn't strange, after changes upon changes,
we are more or less the same
After changes we are more or less the same

Run my dear. Run! Melt away those layers of age. Race to the setting sun. Beat the rushing wind. But even rainbows, resplendent as they are, have to vanish and die in time. Some truths don't change my dear. They just take a while to catch up. But run you must. Away from it all. Make like a bird and fly my dear.

And I’m laying out my winter clothes, and wishing I was gone, goin’ home
Where the New York City winters aren’t bleedin’ me, leadin’ me goin' home

You walk with your head in the clouds. You really do my dear. Don't you remember you don't have a home? You squandered it away on a bet. A bet against yourself. You have long been a drifter, don't you see? My little destructive dear...

In the clearing stands a boxer and a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down
or cut him till he cried out in his anger and his shame
"I am leaving, I am leaving."
But the fighter still remains

Nurse those scars my dear. Nurse them, for they are not going away. Rest tonight and leave tomorrow dear. But then again, who are we fooling really? For you and I have always known. You are but a fighter my dear...

PS: Written while listening to Simon & Garfunkel's "The Boxer" on repeat. Easily their best song!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I saw an elderly couple on the street. They strolled leisurely, gazing at store windows and stopping for snow cones. He waited patiently as she surveyed shoes. She smiled to herself as he stopped to stare at toy cars. Maybe some things never change, I thought. Maybe the boy or the girl in us lives on forever.

They stopped at a traffic light, cars zipping past in a hurried world that was once theirs. He peered right and she to the left. An unsaid protocol, a tiny idiosyncrasy ingrained in them and habituated over the years. They locked hands with each other and off they went across the road. Did she always walk on his left? Did he take her hand or did she take his? Was it practice or was it chance? No one could say. I’m sure.

They spoke softly, about this and that. He leaned close to her and said something. She let out a low delighted laugh. He chuckled, his eyes twinkling mischievously at his own joke. Did they not argue when they were younger, I wondered. Maybe differences fade away gently. Maybe over time, they had become a little more like each other. But today there was a lovely harmony as they walked along. They were perfectly in step with each other, their pace, fluid and gentle like the breathing of a sleeping child.

It began to rain, a slight drizzle, all but lost in a gusty breeze. He flipped open his umbrella. He didn’t wait, she didn’t hesitate. He wrapped his arm around her shoulder and she took a step closer to him. They walked on, her own umbrella still dangling from her arm. They slowly walked homeward, this profound moment probably just one of the countless others they took for granted.

To me, it was a magical reality dazzling in front of my eyes. I stood there, even as the drizzle became a pattering rain, and looked on at a love that had stood the test of time. I stood there and promised myself our own autumn evening. In that crystallized moment I knew that all I want to do is grow old with you.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


To you, paper roses,
night after night.
Painted birds and doodled love,
Cut, copy and paste,
when sleep comes in haste.
But for you, a little trinket,
night after night.

To you, scribbled poems,
night after night.
Neruda and Dickinson,
when my thoughts get lost
in the midnight frost.
But for you, a special poem,
night after night.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

An Unwarranted Mirth

Today I sat on a swing in the park and swung away to my heart's content. And I suspect I enjoyed it way more than my two year old cousin. For those brief moments I had not the smallest worry. The burdens of life gave way to a lightness I have not felt in years. I stopped. I breathed. I turned my face up to the breeze. Back and forth, back and forth. Life is full of similar oscillations. Secure to stranded, elated to morose, confident to terrified. There is never enough time to categorize life as good or bad amidst this constant interplay of ravaging extremes. But today, in these rare moments of stillness I wondered what is it that makes one brave the downs and seek the ups of life.

What makes one pray to an unknown God? What makes one read astrology? What makes one search for the elusive silver lining to every cloud? It could be need. It could be discontent. Or even greed. I like to think it is faith.

It's funny how faith works. Oftentimes it is difficult for the rational mind to grasp faith as a concept. For it can seem rather blind, baseless and unscientific. The rational mind understands effort and result and expects them to be proportional to each other.
It cannot settle for an aggregate but non-chronological reciprocity between effort and result. Neither can it understand belief without proof, or patience without progress. Rational as I claim to be, I believe effort and faith feed into each other. Faith induces effort even when the fruit is not in sight or within reach. Unrelenting hard work in turn serves to augment the very faith that one is constantly inching towards the fruit.

In principle, one could have faith in anything- in oneself, in instinct, in justice, in the ultimate reign of goodness,
in the immutable laws of nature, in Time, in God. I think it is something, maybe the only thing, that protects our irrevocable right to dream, our sometimes irrational optimism, and our unjustifiable claim to lofty goals and ideals. It is what keeps the innocence in us from escaping.

Back and forth, back and forth, life will go on. I know. But right now, there is a breeze in my hair. The grass is young and green. The moon is high and blue. The world is picturesque. The idealist lives on...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Where are you?

Time tempts and torments. Yes, the same Time that raced past us that day when I lay wrapped in your arms. The same Time that, miles away from you, ticks laboriously. Second after excruciating second. 

I miss you... All the time indeed. So much, that sometimes it unleashes the devil in me. Sometimes I want to grab you and admonish you for not missing me yourself. But No, I will not strangle you for no fault of yours. For it is Time that made false promises of eternity. You never did. I know, no need to remind me. The truth is stark naked. As always.

Most nights I tire myself to sleep, grinded teeth and clenched fists. Some nights I cry myself to sleep. I later laugh at how you struggle to understand the tears and my bitten lips. Pray don't chastise yourself. You are just a boy.

Oh yes, there are ways to fill time. None that I've not tried. I discover that you've taken away with you the romance of the movies I so love. Heroes in my books speak your language and take your silhouette. The iPod plays but one song on repeat. I can write about nothing but you. Time has become unbearable.

Memories sear the heart. The mind sweats with unchaste thoughts. Dreams stand indefinitely deferred. Fear abounds of the terrible unknown. 

Thursday, April 30, 2009


The older we grow, the more of our mind's spaces we shut down. We shut them forever, allowing not a glimpse of the pristine faith that once resided in them. We shut them, leaving not a trace of the child's undemanding love, of the teenager's insatiable thirst, of the lover's boundless passion. Sometimes we paint over the artist's dream. Sometimes we burst the dreamer's bubble. These spaces, we shut them to the world, we shut them to ourselves.

Oftentimes wisdom from experience serves to mar the mind. This is not to say experiences do not leave us richer. But oftentimes wisdom brings with it reckless scars of memory. Unknowingly we change, unwillingly even. The metamorphosis however is thorough and clinical.

So I stand at the helm of my life, looking back instead of forward. I wish I could go back in time. Not to change anything. Just to be in that time instead of this. Just because my anchors are still planted there. Just to be childish, ignorant and cocky one more time. I stand at the helm of my life, knowing not where to go.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Here I sit at my table, trying to write to you. It's incredible how difficult I find it to tell you my thoughts. Maybe because I don't even know you. If I did, I would write you a ream. I would write you my dream. About our book of yellowing pictures. Echoes of your favorite songs. Crumbling letters of love and loss. If I knew you I would describe to you, that wrinkle on your nose, that curve of your brow, that shining brilliance of your smile. If I knew you I would write you lengthy verse. Of shy favors and ticklish whispers. Of moonlit nights and sweet surprise. If only I knew you...

Here I am, wondering if I can have you. If I could, I would etch my footsteps next to yours. Our fingers locked tight. My time ticking with yours. If I had you I would hide you in the crevices of my thoughts. Weave you into the seams of my dreams. Wrap you in frills of poetry. If I had you I would reel and swoon. And drown and merrily die. If only I had you...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lessons galore

Need is not immutable. It is simply desire fooling the brain. And desire, of course, is whimsical as ever. 

Distance tarnishes memory rather quickly. My misery shuns company and has become best friends with silence instead. 

God does not hear your questions.  And it is always too late when life chooses to answer them. 

Obsession is not as easy as it seems. It can get quite tediously mathmatical as you try to work out all the possibilities in your head. 

Desperation cannot accelerate life. Neither can today's effort make up for yesterday's misdeeds. 

I spend most of my life chasing concepts that belonged to a more innocent me. 

Time and again I struggle to make the impossible choice between idealism and cynicism. I unfailingly choose the wrong one. 

Hope can be delusional. Pitiful as this may sound, ego is the only steadfast armor against denied hope.

Well! Well! Doesn't reality love to snatch away those rose tinted glasses?

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Disappearing Constants

Everything comes with an expiry date. Most things in life are like medicines that turn poisonous over time. Excitement turns into ennui. Ennui becomes indifference. Novelty turns into routine which morphs into boredom. Knowledge turns into memory. Memories are forgotten. Intensity turns into weariness that slowly degenrates into inertia. Ambition turns into achievement. Achievement becomes mundane. Love turns into pain. Pain is replaced by numbness.

All that remains is a ceaseless obsession with details, an incurable insecurity and a deep fear of the unknown.

Monday, March 30, 2009


My swimming coach pushed me underwater with one quick thrust. He is firmly pressing down my shoulder, not allowing me to surface. I'm supposed to practice holding my breath underwater until I simply cannot do so any longer. I open my mouth and the water rushes in. I'm choking, I'm flailing my arms and screaming in panic. I cause not a ripple in the world above me. They cannot hear a thing. The water around me sways in silence, threatening to swallow me.

It did not last one whole minute. Several years later, that memory is still raw. The fear of water is long gone. But my associations with the memory are dark and ominous. It promises to haunt me for a long time yet.

What does one do when life morphs into a cycle of anxiety, uncertainty, doubt and fear? I seek control and calm. I'm left staring at calamitous chaos instead. Gosh! My brakes gave way while going downhill on hairpin bends.

Quests can be tiring, especially when they renew themselves without notice. Even more so when they pawn me in their duels with each other. Is it even possible to deserve such extreme conflict?

The dots of life shine on, slowly drifting apart in some preordained continuum. No thread remains to go from one to the next. No shortcut. No lifeline.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


I put life behind a magnifying glass. The exaggerated details jumped out at me. Menacing. Chilling. My diary of dreams stands irreversibly altered, marked all over in a merciless red. The soft sepia glow is gone. The crystal chandelier has turned into ugly shards of glass strewn beneath my feet, checkered again with scrapes and bruises. Voices in my head scream, "I told you so." Ouch! Such sarcasm in the undertone.

Words capture but a passing moment, I always insist. I will this one to pass too, but in vain. For a pervasive hopelessness now prevails where innocent happiness once abounded. Eternity to me will remain a concept, a lost faith. Ether, simply ether.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Zip my mouth shut!

Nothing is a safe thing to say. Even frivolous comments have surprisingly disproportionate consequences. It is amazing how intent is enslaved and vanquished by semantics and poor timing. I need a crash course in wise choice of words, non-opinionated tone and holding a straight face. Can I get a touchiness sensor and also an omniscient disclaimer machine?

I think I'm learning to think before I talk, really learning it the hard way. The curve is steep and the metamorphosis is fascinating. I'm slowly resorting to drawing decision trees in my mind before uttering anything. Trust me, it is not a bad skill to have. I have found the elusive silver lining! It significantly slows down my speaking. Soon I might actually be heard and understood. I might even sound intelligent! Well, almost... I still wish I could blab away thoughtlessly now and then. Maybe I should talk more to my mother... Ha!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


The shadow on my wall grows, I stretch impossibly to make it look as tall as you. Imagination is a heartbreaking substitute for proximity, and your voice, and your footsteps across the dark room. I've taught the talking parrot your name and mine. I make her recite it now and then, when I need to feel we are one. I've also taught her to complete my sentences just like you do.

Your words paint my wall. My eyes travel to them from time to time and rest on the beautiful red flower you've painted in the corner. I always drink two cups of coffee these days. One of them with sugar, exactly the way you like it. A man passed by me today. He was wearing your cologne. I forgot where I was going for a few minutes. Chocolates on drugstore shelves can kill. I don't enter that aisle anymore.

*Pop* That shadow is not yours. No! You would have smiled, I'm sure.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


You live inside me these days. Or memory has befriended me in special ways. Your image in my mind is precision itself. I see your neatly parted hair, the corners of your boyish grin, the fine creases of thoughts on your forehead, a hint of a dimple teasing your face, the angle of your questioning head. I can see your fingers flying over the keyboard, the way you squint at an error, your eyes shining bright in the screen's light. I remember your measured pace, even the tiny skip in your shadow's gait.

I write to you a lot these days, oftentimes in my mind. Sometimes in class, punctuating the professor's wisdom with cryptic verses meant only for you. You make me very tongue-tied. Maybe that is why I write so much to you. Or maybe because I don't trust myself to say the right things. You've taught me, painstakingly, that anger and sadness, exhilaration and joy, misconception and doubt, everything diminishes with time. I've learned, on my own, that writing helps greatly at such times. Can I really fill silence with writing? I try. It is always more exciting to try the seemingly impossible.

I talk to you when you sleep. I whisper actually. I'm sure you hear me, every time. You smile, you even murmur back. I like it when you talk to me with your eyes closed, your voice husky and distant. I wish you would reveal your dreams now and then. Am I in them? I always wonder what it would feel like if you say a different name or if I do, for that matter. These fine lines of fire that we tread so carefully within never cease to amaze me. Nevertheless, talk to me in your sleep please...

I've etched each memory a hundred times in my mind. I have resolved to save every note I scribble to you. I guess I can talk to you when you sleep, no matter where you are. Sigh!
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