What side of the bed is the right side to get up on?

The one that you do get up from.

What is the happiest moment of your life?

Every time that you smiled at a memory.

Are tears worth the trouble they are a result of?

Only when its after your child is born and you hold them in your arms.

So what are you trying to say really?

That everything is a matter of definitions that you choose to allot them.


A letter to you from me.

Mom, I wish you hadn’t asked me to wear less tight t shirts when I told you the guard outside our building was staring at me.

Dad, I wish you hadn’t said I wasn’t manly enough when I said I had nightmares about Alok uncle asking me to touch him.

Bhai, you should have taught me how to drive a car instead of dropping me to college when I told you about the creepy autowallah

Didi, you shouldn’t have laughed uncomfortably and said it happened to you also, so I should put up with it coz I am the weaker sex

Mom, I wasn’t shy in front of those neighbours, I was scared because that man hid his erection by making me sit on his lap.

Dad, that school senior did not sodomise me because I am homosexual, and you shouldn’t have made me believe I deserved it either.

Bhai, I saw you hitting your girlfriend when she said she didn’t want to sleep with you, and made me believe if I refuse sex, I was going to be abused.

Didi, you should have asked me to slap that asshole who groped me in the bus, not cried like my honor was in the mounds of flesh on my chest.

Mom, you could have pretended to understand when I sat crying with blood on my pants and you knew it wasn’t because I had my period.

Dad, you could have lowered the volume of the TV when I stood their sheepishly trying to confide in you that I don’t like sleeping in the same room with my cousin.

Bhai, you could have kept your filthy hands to yourself and not told me that you’ll tell mom and dad about how I failed my test if I screamed.

Didi, you could have stopped dad, because you knew he came to my room late at night and I was always scared of him when he hugged me.

Mom, Dad, Bhai, Didi…

kisi ko mat bolna, tumhari galti hogi, tumse shaadi kaun karega, thappad maroon wo tera bhai hai how can he do this, hamari rishtedaari kharaab hogi, chaar log kya kahenge, chaar log kya kahenge, chaar log to aap hi ho, and aapne to kuchh kaha hi nahi…


(Originally written for and published on Koral Faces.)

Kab Tak

Kab tak dhoondogi tanzila

Wo muskurahat jismein apni khushi ki jhalak ho

Wo aansoo jinka gham tumhare dil se juda ho

Wo sukoon ki neend jisse subah uthna asaan ho

Wo dhoop jiski chubhan se aankhein band na ho

Wo shaam jismein sirf kuchh pal ka intezaar ho

Wo fursat jahan kharch karne ko sirf waqt ho

Wo lafz jinse sarabor kaagaz sirf dard hi na rista ho

Wo saaki jo jaam ke saath mausiki chhalkaata ho

Kab tak dhoondogi batao?

Jab tak mil na jaaye, ya hum mit na jaaye.

A guide to being lonely. 

Start by finding a corner. Cleanse it of things that make you happy. Crowd it with remnants of memories gone by.

Like shards of glass spread them around.

Next build a barricade. No not a wall. Only trump wants that. More like fencing. With barbed wire, to keep everyone else but you out. 

So that it hurts the ones who want to come in.

Now choose a day. Let their be no significance to the day except it’s emptiness. Let the sadness linger. Don’t answer any questions.

Lunch will be a plate of regret and a glass of humiliation.

Let the sun set. Let all hope in your life set too. Go sit in that corner. And open an empty text. Imagine the vastness of this universe and your small role in it. 

Turn around and find no one to share your day with. 

The weight of this melancholy will finally crush you down till you can’t breath. And you’ll find yourself crying. Let it happen. Let your unanswered texts and glances and hopes flow out of you. Scream if you have to. Sob loudly.

Curl up and feel time slipping away. You are lonely now. 

Follow this guide at the risk of your sanity. Being lonely is an art. Hiding it as indifference and happiness is a masterpiece. 


Shiddat ki gehraayi tab zehen mein samayiJab ibaadat me namaaz Tere naam ki ata ki

Jild pe ehsaas ki chaadar aud ke baithe

Aur ungliyon mein harkat Teri rukh mein ki

Mohabbat ko Teri yuh ghol Kar piya zaalim

Ki sharaab bhi zeher lagna khatm ho gayi

Jab ishq me shiddat thi to nafrat mein kami kyun Hoti

Gham ki chingaari se humne apna aashiyaan jalaaya tha

Nisto nabood kiya aisa har almari aur daraaz se

Ki qayamat ke din bhi tumse waasta Na ho paaye

Aakhirat me agar takra gaya tu kisi kooche pe

To use shiddat ki qasam, apni aakhirat chodd jaayenge

Kyunki Meri ibaadat mein shiddat ki kami nahi thi

Par Teri wafa mein ibaadat hi nahi thi.

Once upon a love note. 

How can this little space be enough to say anything to you.
How can it show you that I am wearing the chains of your love and they pin me under you, that my wrists are raw and my breathing is ragged with the need my heart soul and mind encounters with every sigh that escapes me for you. 

Can you see that my hand shook while writing, and that I mulled over that comma or teased that full stop out of my desire for you. 

And because these are words, I sit in front of you, so you can look up and I can kiss you and you can feel my words coursing through you too.

I love you.

Happiness chronicles. 

The last time I was happy

The midnight sun wasn’t upon the horizon

The monsoon breeze had not taken flight

It was 9 am. 12 hours after he yelled

Made me feel like ‘it was my fault’

An anxiety attack nipped at my heels

And he called me to say he was sorry.


The last time I was happy

We found love in a hopeless place made sense to me

I had an empty stack of A4s and no ink of love flowed through my pen

The trip meter said memories, the cabin was silent

He kept mumbling ‘it’s not you, it’s me’

The dreamcatcher kept me up all night

And he met me to never meet me again


The last time I was happy

The creases in the bedsheet were heavy with neglect

The thick air spoke of unlit cigarettes and lipcolor stains

Limbs entwined, hair entangled, afterglow.

Calling is pedantic, so a text said ‘you’re too emotional’

I unclasped my bra but couldn’t free my thoughts

And looped endlessly on the what ifs


The last time I was happy

They have been careful to never leave a mark

Verbal barbs cut deep enough but never on the surface

The sniggering and the whispers followed me everywhere

‘oh cmon, you’re always overreacting’ played like a symphony

Packing my bags had never been this easy.

And I never unpacked my emotions again


The last time I was happy

I wasn’t trying to fit in a size 10 dress

I wasn’t trying to see if I was good enough

I wasn’t awake.