Thursday, October 24, 2013


An overcast afternoon, a listless mind and an uninteresting workday. Listening to the drops of water bouncing off the heartless concrete while a gentle voice croons in the background reverberating my thoughts. Ruminating on things decided which will have far reaching effects, things I have set off in motion but those that have already moved ahead, consuming and discarding me. Doubts that swirl in and out leaving more confusion and chaos, than which were around even as they were taking shape.

What if, have been the two words preceding various thoughts on numerous occasions of late. What if – they promise to make everything real seem surreal, they take me far away from the present where everything is just what I want to be, and they hold a promise which otherwise seems amiss. They leave me bereft of words sometimes, but I wish they left me devoid of thoughts at times.

All that has been worked for till now has been threatened. All that was nurtured destroyed swiftly. All that has been dreamt off squashed mercilessly. Will it be spring or will it be doom, or will it be neither just an endless, tasteless life worse than being either happy or sad? A lost chance, a sinking disappointment or a life lost, which of them will it be….

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Three years on

The first time I visited the Falaknuma Palace, I was a child for whom the huge Palace meant a day out with Family. When I went there three years back to do a story, it was a story of a lifetime to watch a beautiful Palace being restored to its prime. Third time was lucky too, when we went there last month to shoot. Its beauty only grows more luminous by each passing day and I was still enthralled by it, its splendor doesn't not dim you, it takes you in its shimmering folds.

To think that we who are capable of creating this should now find refuge in things which should never have been raised in the first place. That one who who has set his sight on such splendor should witness the regular in an instant. That such beauty should exist amongst such torpor is an inherent contradiction, or maybe its just a co-incidence.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Lowland

So many thoughts swirled in and out of my head when I embarked upon a start to finish campaign of Jhumpa Lahiri's , "The Lowland" today. My first reaction to it when I received the book was that it's color was so appealing - green, full of life and brimming with promise, flush and radiant, hopeful and benign. Not the green you see on leaves when it rains nor that which covers a parrot but that of a green in transition from one serious tone to another, that of fresh grass at its radiant best. I couldn't read it for two days after I set my eyes upon it but today I resolved that even a headache wouldn't take me away from it.

Was it the best book I've ever read, of course not. Did it reach out to me like the aching loneliness of "The Namesake" no it did not. Did I unearth some life changing truth from it, no such thing happened. Then why have I been so captivated by it? In the initial stages when two love stories bloom, I found myself pacing restlessly eager to know how they turn out to be, when a character floundered on his way to receive love which was rightfully his I rooted for him and when finally an exile ended I was soaked with peace.

I realized that the reason it appealed to me was that the scale it was set was so appealing. It didn't harp on a happy ending or a bad one, it basically allowed the ebb and flow of life to be captured so lyrically that it was hard not to be drawn to it. Jhumpa's writing has a clear, evocative style to emote, one that rises from the book and wraps itself around you. You cannot but be a part of her writing, you transcend from being a mere reader to a pivotal character, at least in both the aforementioned books.

Nothing beats the pleasure of a good story reaching its deserved destination. That it lives up to deliver what it promised is as much a joy as the act of reading itself. It leaves you satisfied, making you feel satiated as after a  hearty meal, a hungered conversation or a herculean act of facing what you always dreaded. Till the next one comes along, of course...

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Sometimes I feel that you are with me.
Sometimes it drives me crazy that you do not even think of me.
Sometimes I would give up myself to start over.
Sometimes nothing can makeup for the lost love and misplaced notions.

Sometimes, I wish that you were here.
Sometimes I wonder how that would be.
Sometimes all I think about is you.
Sometimes I would give anything not to think of you.

Sometimes I wish that life would be cruel enough to let us be together.
Sometimes yours is the first and last thoughts of my day.
Sometimes I wonder at the power you still exert over me.
Sometimes I ponder if you ever think of me.

Sometimes I wish you never happened to me.
Sometimes I wish things would be different.
Sometimes your thoughts drive me to insanity.
Sometimes you are the only one that keeps me sane.

Sometimes you and I are one.
Sometimes there is no I nor you.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Chandra Taal - Where Man meets the Gods

This is the image of the lake Chrandrataal, where apparently Yudhisthira left his mortal body and moved to heaven. Did I ever imagine, that a reluctant traveler would leave his perch in the Deccan Plateau and leap for the mighty Himalayas? That would make a great story but for now, I was there and I, an almost comatose photographer clicked the image.

Did I think I would make it ever, to leave the zone of my comfort and move towards the unknown. I who turn my back even to the known? I cannot answer but to say that I was there and that is what matters.

More will come, but for today a reminder to myself that surprises do lurk around the corner and they need not always be bad.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


It’s just one of those times that you feel that everything you write is not what you want to write. I want to scream and shout to the world about the one great conversation had today with Mi, I want to tell everyone I know about how I did nothing more than to complain, whine and gossip. I want to share with all those I know that though I didn’t win anything, though it didn’t really lead anywhere or solve anything, it filled me with so much joy and contentment. I want to smile stupidly because I think that though no great things were done, I can get through the rest of the day basking in the sunlight of one talk.

I have always believed that being at peace with yourself is the greatest thing in world. I’m neither clever not clicky, nor confident or charming and the maximum I wish at most times is t be content. Was all that possible in the course of 17 minutes? yes, all that and more. How do you put into worlds the immense satisfaction you feel when you say exactly what you want to say and it’s received exactly how it’s supposed to be. How do you articulate that feeling that you can crib, cry or criticize with someone who knows exactly what you are trying to say. That perfect understanding which shelters you and saves you from judgment. No conflicts resolved, no angst repaired, no doubts removed, no depression lifted but still I feel like I’m on the top on the world.  I still am and will be there for some time to come.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Bits and Pieces

Of late, the bug of re-reading has really hit me hard. From books I have re-read over a period of time like says The last of Dusk or The Clear Light of Day to ones I have read only once like Midnight’s Children and Lunatic in my Head, I am rediscovering the joy of books I have once read and its simply fabulous to do it again. The forgotten phrases, those hazy plots and the crazy characters, all seem to come back and it really makes me glad that I’m doing something I wanted to do for a long time.

A visit to the Srikalahasthi Temple near Tirupati nearly made me weep recently. It is truly one of the most majestic temples in India, with huge pillars, intricate carvings and stones which are centuries old. Half of the temple has been shoddily white washed, with really bizarre temporary constructions and wires hanging on arbitrarily. Our immense talent in reducing a centuries old marvel to a shoddy joke really has no competition. This is the same temple which once used to make me wonder about the strength of men, to build something like this when you had no modern tools and then again to destroy something so beautiful when you have every conceivable modern aid.

I am hooked to Everybody likes Raymond, I don’t like half of it but am watching episode after episode, guess when the sitcom bite bites, it bites hard!

Friday, February 15, 2013

A night which never ends

12.32 am

Rekha Bharadwaj playing in the background.

Tossing and turning, awake and distrustful.
I finally throw off the covers and think what I can do now.
All the books I can read are not with me right now.
I have given up on television so long ago.

I think of cleaning my room but am not annoyed enough.
Get a bar of Toblerone, move quickly to my third one.
Thinking of browsing the net, but what more news will satisfy my curiosity?
So give up on yet another idea, another fleeting thought.

Want to call someone, but have exhausted everyone.
Open the window and the breeze comes in, cheering me up.
My only companion, which wafts in and out carefully.
I think I will trap it somehow but never act on it, like countless others.

12. 40 am

Jagjit Singh takes over

He fills the room with his pain and pathos.
He becomes a part of me and its my voice in the room suddenly.
I realize that we are both alone.
He, running away from grief, I running towards it.

Suddenly I realize that the kind wind is still around.
Engulfing and enlivening everything around.
Suddenly everything seems not so bleak..
I believe that this too shall pass.

I slowly return to where I rose from.
Thinking that one day everything shall come together.
I will assuage the losses and make good all that was not mine.
The kind breeze. A lilting song. A silent hope.

One day, all will be fine.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mangalagiri- A mélange of colors

Offering something for everyone, Mangalagiri near Vijayawada has numerous charms in its folds. Rediscover the many charms of a village famous for its saris and temples…

At a distance of 18 kms from Vijayawada, Mangalagiri a place as famous for its temples as for the colorful bouquet of weaves it produces. Time spent in this sleepy village simply flies by, with its quaint streets, friendly villagers and numerous stores selling the famous Mangalari saris. You can visit the temple for a quick darshan, shop at the many stores, simply soak in the clean village air and walk around the countryside and farms.

Things to do in Mangalagiri

-          Panakala Narasimhaswamy temple perched atop the Mangalagiri hills was built in 1650 AD by Raja Vasireddy Venkadri Naidu, the ruler of the town. A splendid gate leads you to the main temple and the entrance is flanked a gigantic chariot or ratham.

Upon inquiry regarding the origins of the name of the temple an interesting story was told to us. The temple got its name from panakam (water mixed with jaggery) served as an offering to the deity. The region was prone to volcanic eruptions in the past due to the abundance of sulphur found in the region. The eruptions were attributed as the angry outbursts of Lord Narasimhaswamy and panakam was poured into the idol’s mouth to placate him. Till date every visitor offers jaggery water to the deity. The temple closes by 4 in the afternoon. 

-          Lakshmi Narasimhaswamy temple is located at the bottom of the hill and is the first thing you notice the minute you drive into the town with its arresting gopuram which towers over the town. Built in the 16th century by Krishnadevaraya, the temple is beautiful and the intricate carvings on the gopuram speak volumes about the quality of artisans in the past. Walking around the temple transports you to the past with its fallen pillars, stone walls and vast spaces exuding heritage from every corner. 

-          Shopping for handlooms is a major draw. The temple town offers some of the finest cotton saris and fabric to the country and the town is full of stores where you can shop to your heart’s content. For those interested in knowing how the saris are made, a visit to the weavers loom is a must, the weavers are friendly and share interesting anecdotes. It takes about two days to complete a sari and the commonly seen motifs are mango, leaves, flowers and geometric designs. Fab India sources its fabric from here and the most arresting features of Mangalagiri fabric is its mélange of colors- reds, oranges, greens and yellow make the sari as vibrant as a rainbow. Bargaining is tough here as the storekeepers refuse to give in to any tactics employed by even the most seasoned shoppers.
Part of my first ever travel piece!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


What secrets do you behold?
What lies behind the closed exteriors?

I think often of those soulful eyes sought to be mine
I think often of the recherche that ought to be mine

Restless and rancid,
Rancor runs amok

The purposeful silences and invidious glances
The if and buts of a promise never fulfilled

The beauty that lies within you
That which you seek never be known

Strong and Silent
Graceful and Gregarious

A withdrawn you and a withered me
Stare into oblivion fleeing all things glee

Will you not let me in
O my loved one

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I was reading a couple of articles I had written early 2008, (one of which is the first ever pieces to be posted on this space) and was astounded by the irrelevant use of adjectives, the complete going overboard with the hyperbole and the lack of cohesiveness in writing. I was appalled by my own earlier writing. (Not that it’s any great now, but the quality has toned down considerably. In a 180 word  movie review I did of Revolutionary Road, I used 6 exclamation marks. 6!) On the same day I was talking to a colleague who wistfully remarked that life she was so happy in the past and now her life is a complete mess.

All of that really got me to wonder, were things really good in the past or does history always seem better because you don’t have to face it anymore? We've often heard of how simple things were in times gone by or how happy we once were, but was it really so? Isn't looking about the past and thinking how wonderful it was merely an exercise to divert attention from today and the odious everydayness it carries with it? Getting wistful about the past is alright but the sort of starry eyed-ness is nothing but escapism, an epiphany we have perfected over the years.

We look back at that which has happened only because it’s easier to deal with the past than the present, you can negotiate with it, believe that it happened your way and term it easy because you no longer have to face it or fight it. Past is important but present is sacrosanct. It is, because it allows you to shape your ideal of the future. While yesterday withholds you to ransom, today releases you with reason.

Today is a bright wonderful day. A day looming large with possibilities, enticing you with its exuberance and brimming over with the euphemisms. Allowing you to marauder alongside the margins, simmer in the silence of the known and covet the credulous innocence of the unknown.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Influx and Redux

On a day spent watching old Telugu movies, I am feeling alternately wistful and wasteful. Thinking about the relationships which are the way they are and are not, brooding about the people who are around and who aren’t, longing for things which have happened and have not, wishing for the future which may or may not happen.

I sit alone unreachable by those around me, I feel alone unmoved by those who can reach me and I dream alone unmindful of those who are a part of those dreams. My thoughts are in a flux- angry, agitated and annoyed: at everything which dares to become involved and anything which dares to be too distant.

Unable to want any of those who are around and wanting those who will never ever be around again, my distant daze is confused by its own terror and the terrifying tenacity of its thoughts. I am tired of waging the same battles over and over again with the expected variations resulting in the expected results.

I am desperate for calm but will shatter it once it comes closer. I want to run away far and wide but feel shackled by the air that surrounds me. I want to make true all that my heart wants by am engulfed by a wave of despair which sinks me each time I move. Desire and despair, Querulous quiet and lost loves, all battle silently together.

A single tear makes its way through silent sorrow, a solitary flame stutters in abject neglect and a sole wish is lost in the maze of confusion. Life, seems at once cheerless, at second glance it appears unrelenting, refusing to let me go, drowning me with its lifelessness, choking me with its dejection.

To the glorious grief lording over and refusing to let go,
To sinking deeper into darkness and not caring to try,
To how things were and how they promise not to be.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

This year

will hopefully leave me alone! When I was about to write in my diary on Jan 1, 2013, my curiosity got better of me and I read what I wrote on the first day of last year. I read that I wished I for a kind and compassionate year. That most certainly didnt happen, what I got was a year which was merciless and mostly cruel, draining me in every way possible- personally, professionally and financially. That shock of a year I guess, is the reason I dont wish for much. I have always found that keeping your expectations abysmally low helps, always. I only hope that it bloody leaves me alone.

This year didnt exactly begin on a great note but I made my peace with it already. If at the end of the year I remain just as I am right now, I will take my blessings and leave quite happily. Another bloody big disappointment last year was that 2012 was when world was supposed to end and was quite the high point of the year for me, sad that didnt quite materialize the way I hoped it would.

The only wishlist for 2013 would be...
- Leave me alone. Period.
- Finally making that trip I've been meaning to.
- Reading more non-fiction. Reading more of anything actually.
- Writing in something else than the one I currently do. Also, getting a raise where I currently work.
- Not losing any more money.
- Buying the bed I want to, not doing it because the one I like is ridiculously expensive.

Will not be overtly ambitious and wish for more. But then wishes sometimes grow wings and want to soar far above, what does one do then?