Abhimaan (pronounced Obhimaan in Bangla): The original meaning was pride, but the current usage — anger, or something close to it, at being upset with a loved one. This one word is one whole chapter in any relationship, be it between lovers or between parent and child or between siblings or friends. (Source: Telegraph)

I place a vessel of milk on the stove
to boil, as I do everyday;
and like everyday I watch
for but a few moments, its surface serene,
unmoving and unresponsive to the heat
searing its insides from somewhere below.

I know it will be few moments before
the bubbles line themselves at the perimeter,
as if ready for a grand performance,
and before the cream pushes to the top,
stretching itself across the surface,
barely managing to cover the liquid,
as it tries to contain the steam inside.

And a few minutes more before
the milk finds the energy
to push through the sheath of fat
and gush out of the vessel, landing
on the chilled surface of the counter,
breathing a sigh of relief.

And so I ignore it; and everyday
I am arrogant enough to believe
I can be back in the kitchen
just before the milk has had enough;
and yet everyday I am late.

For does not the milk have its pride?

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…and as you watch, time flows by
never pouring out of its boundaries
its surface calm, and identical
from eternity to now,

until you pierce its gentle facade
and feel the lives beating inside,
everything that gives them meaning –
joy, sorrow, desire, hope, envy –
rising and falling,
growing and dying,
ebbing and intensifying,
yet never breaking the surface,
never blocking its flow.

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one day you find yourself in the middle of The Forest;
how you slipped in here
when the entrance was open
you don’t remember; but that’s what limbo
does to you.

the networks of leaves
carry the vestiges of your memories
intertwined together like a spiders web
with knots intractable
that barely let the last rays of the sun in;

their colors change as seasons do,
fresh as spring, ripe as summer and
frail as autumn; and the little promises in
orange tear away from their branches and
tenderly fall to their death with the loving breeze

while you stay rooted to your spot
refusing to succumb to the loss;
hoping, that this is really the dream of someone
on the other side of the world,
and here –
here it’s still summer.

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Forest Fires

there are days when
you wish you could become empty.

you wish you could be drained off
everything that everyone hears when they speak to you –
the copious stories they call thought
coiled into each other
born from your body and dying slow deaths,
their time constant infinite.

you wish you could be stripped off
everything that everyone sees when they look at you –
the length of skin that conceals
every emotion that flutters your insides
like a wave in the pond
leaving dead fish on the banks.

you wish you could hide in the forest 
where silence and wind would sing to you

then you realize that you would still not be able to hide
from the eyes
which pore into you even when you are a tree in the forest
of oblivion 

where the stones tell the trees 
stories of days past in words of weight and lightness
and the trees respond in shadows and falling leaves;
and the stories rub against each other
to create a violent fire
that will eat through the trees and the stones and your shell

and still you will continue to exist
because no one ever disappears
as long as the fire rages.

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and just like that
as if they were the light of a lamp
that had just been turned on,
the tears start to pour
unearthing with them every secret plan,
dream, love, disappointment and desire

that now finding itself revealed
escapes into the nothingness
that surrounds

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For the one who came through me

You have turned but eight
and already
the labels have started –
talented, friendly, disruptive, naughty –
and be sure, there shall be more.

From those who love you
and those who don’t care;
from friends and acquaintances
and sometimes, passersby too.

From those who preach patience
to the impatient and relentless;
from adults and children,
teachers and role models, too.

Be still;
for no one save you
will fully know you.
So as long as there is truth
in your mind,
a love for this world,
and all its creatures,
be still, son;
for the labels are merely
a way for them to box in waves.

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for all who lay around me
withered, and lost to those
who once knew who they
were, and now barely remember

for all the moments captured
in the roots of trees
hidden, and growing away below
thick trunks, that have lost their leaves

for all the dreams
that once were evolving
stories, and now are memories
lost to those who once loved them

i wish time would unravel itself
and flow to me; and if it cannot
i wish, that at least tears would flow
and never stop.

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