The Melancholia Of Words

Inspired by this tale on TTT.

If we had all the time and words in the world,
We would talk of where work was going,
And discuss music and cinema.
We would argue the merits of each others’ ideological positions,
And watch funny videos, laughing at the silliness in the world.

If we had all the time and words in the world,
We would speak of the beauty of the mountains,
And of distant lands like Iceland and Egypt.
We would discuss our favorite foods,
And plan lunches and dinners.

But if we had all the time and words in the world,
They would still not be enough for the truth –
You wouldn’t know who I was
Or what I wanted.
For even if I poured my words out to you
Would you want to understand?

And even if we had all the time and words in the world,
They would still not be enough for you –
I wouldn’t know who you are
And what you wanted.
For even if I gave you all my words
Would you rearrange them to show me you?

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On dreams and reality

Inspired by random conversations and some beautiful stories on Terribly Tiny Tales.

That day at mid-morning, she stood at the window watching the rain fall and sipping on the last of her almost cold tea, thinking of old conversations.


“I tell you, I’m such a lazy guy. You’ll get a call from me one day,” he had said as they lay in bed one morning, before kissing her again, “telling you that I’m really late for work.”

“So what’s new? I’ll ask.” She had replied pulling him to her. And they laughed. It was only half joking though; it was half wistful, for she knew that it would kill her to say those words when the call actually came. Because he would be in another part of the world and she would be here. Because he would be late on account of someone else and she would be here. Because they would be back to being “just friends”. Because he would be in love with someone else and she would …she would still be here.


On the counter in front of her, the phone vibrated and she picked it up without checking who it was. “Hello?” She said. “I am so late for work.” His voice said.

She looked out of the kitchen window and smiled. “So what’s new?” She replied and waved, as he looked up and gave her his widest smile before disconnecting the phone and turning the corner towards his office. She turned around and sighed. Somehow she had gotten lucky – she had got a few days to live that conversation from long ago.

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(I wish I could name this)

I fall into the depths
Of words, of memories, of images, of people,
And emerge into the emptiness
Of emotion, of tears, of joy, of me.

I am alone;
But I am all one with you,
And you and you and you.
I touch your pain,
And see your thoughts.
I give you my happiness,
And suck your love into me.
I feel your stories,
And smell your sorrow.
I float on your words,
And drown in your music.
I imagine your pictures,
And decipher your smile.

I know you and you and you.
I am all one with all of you.
So I am not alone,
I am all many inside me.

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I surrender

“If you want to listen to thumri, listen to Girija Devi.” I was told this morning. So I opened youtube, searched for Girija Devi and played the first thumri that popped up, “Piya nahin aaye” in Desh Raag. I am of course, very much a novice explorer in the world of music and will listen to anything once. The music moved me, but I did not notice the lyrics at all. And then got caught up in morning rush hour.

Mid morning, I settled down to work in a partly open cafeteria, the trees swaying vigorously in the Monsoon breeze and played Girija Devi, getting caught up in work again. Until the rain started pouring down ominously, falling so loudly on the roof that it became impossible to concentrate on anything else. The sky darkened and the fans and lights started swaying dangerously. I looked up to see sheaths of rain entering sideways into the cafeteria and people sitting near the sides moved away. Since I couldn’t work, I listened to the music and heard these words,

“Piya nahin aaye

Kaali badariya barse maa re.”

I am seeker of patterns, trying to make sense out of meaningless data. “You are so data driven”, someone said to me recently. Give me data, any data, events, numbers, words, pictures and I will analyse and infer the crap out of it in search of “understanding”.

And yet, on days like today, I surrender to data. I stop looking for meaning. It is impossible to make sense of this combination of music and words – its beauty and emptiness and the beauty in the emptiness which simultaneously leaves a hole inside me and a smile on my face. Which leaves me alone and elated, hopeful and hopeless, one and many.

So I surrender.  I accept everything that comes my way today. And think of Siddhartha at the river bank again.

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The Secrets of Walls

A scream entered the wall,

Piercing the concrete and settling in its centre;

The scream that held her tired breathing,

Her squeezes of his hand, her whispers in his ears,

And his thrusts against her body.

There the scream met another scream,

Hiding deep in the concrete,

Shaken and beaten, dying a slow death.

The other scream held her gasping breaths,

His squeezes of her hands, his words in her ears,

And her pushes against his body.

“Doesn’t she have a lovely smile?” The scream asked.

“She smiles?” The other scream asked in surprise.

“In the end she always does…”

“But I’ve never seen the smile.”

“Oh, you must be an unhappy scream.”

“Or may be, you are a scream of relief, and me of happiness.”

“How will we ever know?”

“Hmm…we could ask her?”

“Does she even know?”


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I am red –
I flicker in your eyes and play on your lips,
Spot your neck and splash your hair,
I line your waist and squeeze your fingers.
I lay on your wrists and jingle,
Singing the sounds of life.
And sometimes I sit quietly in a box,
A holder of smiles and memories.
I course through you, in you
And dare you to breathe.
I dare you to live and see
And love the world around you,
As if I don’t hurt you.
I am red –
I am you and you are me.
I am what drives this world,
And you are what make me, me.

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Red, blue and green, black and white,
They string together, often wrong and sometimes right,
Making chains and knots in my chest.
I loosen one knot to let some air in,
And there went a blue, right up to you,
Stop! I cried. It’s not really true.
But words once out can never go back  –
True or not, they float the seas,
Sometimes creating a ripple, sometimes a high tide.


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