Before Sunset


(Pic –

Celine didn’t shape me. Celine defined me. She was and thought everything I did and thought and in that gave me a definition of my emotional needs and handicaps. But because I am nothing if not an idiot, what did I do?  Did I use those words to tell everyone that here was living breathing manual to help you understand me? No. Far from it. I specialise in talking. And for someone whose one art is to talk, I do a damp, poor job of it. I speak and speak and speak until you find your ears bleeding, but you will never hear me say the words you came to hear.

I don’t beat around the bush. I caress it, cajole it, I bloody well make take it to the point of orgasm and then just before my world is about to explode with clarity and understanding, I let go. Like none of this matters to me. So you come and stand around me and wait to hear the very words you came to hear and all you feel is heat, because suddenly some concept of chivalry take over my Joan of Arc and she needs the other party to walk the next step before she forces herself and them into anything. It is because I am exactly this, detached from the outside so it won’t appear like I care. And completely numb from the inside from feeling too much too often and never ever letting go. It gets so bad that my skin is always red, my words are always red. So red, that they have now turned blue.




Hai main margaye….

So the phrase Punjabi households hear more than anything else from their maternal unit is this. The one the reaper is seeking accountability for from the yellow woman. If there is anemia anywhere in their worlds, it in the supply for the will to live. However, this banal phrase suddenly normalizes it. As if their death is no matter. And maybe it is not. Northern India is amongst the world’s worst places to be a woman. As if it were a choice! After the X – es of the chromosomes meet, all goes downhill, down the train track, down manholes. Nothing is ever the same again. It is as if the survivors (all women, really) of womanhood in this patriarchal world have nothing better but to constantly force into existence an evisceration of the self, a self-vindication if you will.
Mothers say this until their daughters acquire this phrase as the dowry of a mother tongue. A daily ledger of small losses that publicly or privately cause small deaths of self-esteem image and concept.
I wonder if there is anything more pertinent than the synonyms of death that my mother has taught me.
My mother’s hands acquire a new sense of purposelessness each winter as her blood vessels expand to accumulate the little clots of darned desires in them. The doctor advises vitamin creams and oils which she refuses to put on because she has to touch so many things in her day that she feels no point of investing in such luxurious treatments. I admit they are pointless. Maybe what would serve her better if all the knives and papers and pens she touches the whole day are instead smothered with those precious creams and oils and maybe then something less would be wasted.

Image from Instagram account @thepakistanimarthastewart


Punjabi reaper.


The Ministry of Umpteen Digressions

Once a long time ago, someone said, ‘Arundhati should stick to what she knows’. This was obviously a response to a sharing of books and authors one likes, a mandatory cover charge for any one who identifies as sapiosexual. Since, this was still before Tinder was an app on Indian phones, it was more than a hashtag. Hence, like any first interaction, I hid my penchant for offering interruptions and didn’t ask if they meant the novel, storytelling or writing. Instead, decided they wouldn’t say that of male writers. And unfortunately, that bit holds true. 

But, what also shines like a freshly oiled snake’s coil is that I can’t bear the anachronistic digressions of the poet prime minister and the soldier turned fasting prodigy in a story I want to read. 

Why was it easier to accept Tolstoy’s description of peasants and wars in those burgeoning pages that housed the suicide of Anna? (of God, someone look at the name!!!) On some pages, I remember choking with breathless ‘I know’ that of course I couldn’t tell this 100 ml peg of Vodka poured for me by university and obviously couldn’t risk leaving unread. Or may be, I had made peace with the fact that all male told stories were benign mansplaining. All women told stories, however… 

Why can’t I stand this ostentatious retelling of the facts of my mournful city? ‘I know’ , I think to myself and put of reading it. Consequently, the first pages have been marked with doubts and a constant need to go back to that first book about two godless twins and their mortal mother and see why I had at all spoken of the book as one of my liking. 

If at all, one has to become everything to tell a shattered story, then a part of you becomes a pedant who has gone mad from the constant rejection and starts lecturing from the classroom made in the middle of the town’s busiest street, so effectually that people fearing walking off it. 

I don’t know why I am so angry.

Second Innings!

If my memory serves me well, I am here, again, after four years. It shouldn’t be surprising for my one-digit row of followers considering my last post promised a barrage of posts while comparing laziness to selective participation. However, today, as I stood looking on at people, for no good reason why, even as they lived on, I had an epiphanous realization that I needed a project or my good mind shall take my leave and revoke any and all claims on me. Now, I am no good at playing a damsel in distress, and this is no way to live.

Hence, in a dire bid to save whatever is left of my sanity and identity (I am a writer, dammit), I bravely embark on a project, that I believe, will change my life. Like any good day dreamer, I already imagine a book and a movie deal (BBC version, pref) at the end of the 365 days where I will read 200 books.

WHY, you ask, my nine followers. Here’s why – I am no reviewer, for reviewers need a detachment that allows them to move between text to text at a speed and proficiency that can put any sponge to shame. I have neither the desire nor the dexterity to match their fluency and books for me are insanely personalised (focus on ‘insane’). I have in the past impersonated, or even better, with moderate to dismal success, lived my life as a fictitious character, quite literally, both inside and outside of my head. Moreover, I have acquired a taste in wallowing and, dios mi, how the traits, lives, travails of another help in viewing the bromidic realities of one’s own life. It’s imperative to mention here how trite my life can sometimes be that the epitome of chaos is built as I google check, like a sailor with amnesia battling the north wind, the spelling for ‘received’. (I had misspelled it even here.)

So, here goes nothing. I will, for the first few week, pick up half read books of the past years and tell you of my life as I read them. Be forewarned, there will be spoilers, but then, at least, you will be saved the trouble of actual reading and proceed to engage, quite unabashedly, in menial conversation, much like I have over the years, and find yourself a menagerie of admirers, who wish they could be you.(You could direct them here.)

And, as you throng your way here, please, if you continue to read me even after a few weeks (that is, if I continue to write) please recommend books you wish for me to allow to direct my life, or what I once knew as it.

Here’s to another something. The first book you will read about is loosely based on my life, if I were young in Iran.

About delays and premonitions.

And, I have so many stories I wanna share, But I have been lazy. And to anyone who has ever come here, I am sorry to have disappointed. But, from 1st of July, there will be a deluge of posts here. Just, bear with me a little longer.

Now, to find good photos to round this up!
From Darling Google. We’d be dead; if it weren’t for you.

You just don’t! Image sources- inside the image. Found on Google Images. 

P.S. This could be me talking to myself. Hey! It’s fun doing it out loud. I. MUSTN’T. STOP!

Food for thought! A sandwich for my thoughts, may be!

Were you ever told by anyone that you were fat? Or that you could look better if you gain or lose something? I have been called fat, unattractive, plain Jane, too pretty, sexy and anything you could call a girl and make her feel like a worthless mass of fat- whose only value could be derived or, worse, not derived from her flesh.

I still don’t feel like I have achieved anything. I keep wondering if I get by because of the way I, some times, look. Not the poems I wrote or the lives that I have lived. I often feel that I have not made anything. As I write this, I again think that that’s true. It must be one of those days.

And, I hate myself on days when I see how much I care about how I look. I confess, sometimes I purposefully dress up or down for the sole reason of getting or avoiding attention. I have failed miserably at both. I mean it. But, I also try so hard to unlearn all those thoughts and ideas about the importance of my looks.

But, anyone who has caught themselves actively thinking will know how warped our minds and thoughts can be. I was told by a lot of people about healthy diet, skin, body hair and each word stays. I am often accused of over-analysing an over-reacting. But, what would you do? Don Draper is allowed to go back to his childhood whenever his problems get too overwhelming. Shouldn’t I be, too?

I have had a very real battle with eating disorders. It made me very sick. We go to or away from food every time we are happy or sad or angry or just hungry or taking a break. Imagine, going to a fridge and not being able to pick out anything because your brain would go into an overdrive regarding nutrition value when all you wanna do is eat because you are 15 and you have a 7-hour school followed by 4 hours of coaching and 4 hours or more travelling to and fro. And you are supposed to study.

And not surprisingly, my body image is so badly dis-morphed that I don’t know whether I consider myself ugly or pretty. People with kids around should know better than to dissect their bodies and point out where the fat reserves are. You wanna watch weight, do it TO YOURSELF if for some reason you can’t exercise or have a sedentary lifestyle. Not to kids, not to teens, not to others. Your body is your own. After the sperm is out, placenta is cut, the body belongs to someone else. That someone is a person with thoughts feelings systems that are DIFFERENT from yours even if they look like you did or do.


Dear RAILWAY CRONIES AND ALL YOU WHITE (S)WEARING MINISTERS,(For translations to various mothertongues, I’m looking for volunteers.)I write this as I sit in a TRAIN. I could have been locked inside a public toilet by bullies and I wouldn’t have known the difference. I paid for 2 tier a/c for the first time and guess what! Since, this train doesn’t transit via Bihar and Bengal, it’s going to take more than 24 hours to cover a distance of about 1400 kilometres to one of the 2/3 famous sikh shrines and guess what! The train doesn’t have food. The 2-tier a/c doesn’t have doors but dirty/torn curtains. The toilets are the hangout zone for syphilis typhus and whatever other STD you could think of!EX-DIDI AND EX-BHAIYAJEE, you started Duronto and GareebRath and made the necessary up-keep of Rajhdani and Shatabdi and here we have one charging point for phones to be shared between 6 people! I paid and I could have paid a little more and I know millions of people could too. You give us a discount, we’ll line outside McDonald’s for a free burger but this is reprehensible. I haven’t eaten and I won’t drink because I don’t want to use the loo again. I spent the last 12 hours sleeping and not looking out. I am a wannabe writer, don’t you think that this nation will never have a Rowling or Yeats or even Premchand or Tagore (again) because a wannabe would be dying of OCD and unclean windows and toilet seats in some train here. I can’t sit on the pavement or go around the streets in a wet t-shirt without raising a million erections and the cabinet and its cronies think that’s how love blossoms. But, dear Cabinet, why did you sell yourself to Didi and Bhaiyajee when they didn’t give a fart about the trains in the rest of the country. No, I am not fascist! Didi, YOU WERE AND YOU KNOW IT!
Forget WIFI, I risk dying of STD and you can’t imagine how shameful it’ll be because the good Indian Virginal Beauty that I am. NO, YOU CAN’T IMAGINE.

On a serious note, I want my money back and I want that the next time, I have to go somewhere for a trip, I don’t have to pay Railway uncles any bribe and get my tickets no matter when I book them. I want you to ensure that within 5 minutes of this post going viral, all trains will be cleaned and so will be the IRCTC website. AND the stations, they could be much better. Just because fat rats are no longer common sight at Delhi Railways stations doesn’t mean they are all gone. We know they conduct mass orgies at night at meeting points that Didi KNEW about since she knows about it all.

JOSHI, you also RESIGN, like DIDI and her cronies did, or give me a better train. ON ALL THE ROUTES.




of Love and Other Dead Feelings


Photo Source: Internet


As much as I want it, It doesn’t work out, 
As much I’d like him, he won’t come around,
As much as I have loved him, more than everyone else,
He doesn’t feel the same way about us.

Love, we hoped, would solve everything,
Love, we thought, would secure everything,
Love, we fought for, would absolve everything.

Love, it turns out, is just like us,
Love, we found out, is prone to rust,
Love, even as I now speak, has nothing to do with poetry,
Love, is a ritual.
A rite.

And,tribal ceremonies or what we understand of them,
Have made us believe,
That rituals and rites need blood of at least one person,
And, that with simple mathematics, hurts at least a few.

X and Y,
No longer talk.
X, lies in a double-storey room, losing blood from arms and legs.
Vomiting more blood and bile,
And, almost, enjoying it.
It’s like the moon is controlling her,
With fingers if not hands.
She loses another eye,
and still lies sighing, relief, on the land.

This ritual takes place as X dies,
There are people who are trying for alibis,
She laughs at them,
They don’t stop.

They look all around,
She her half-dead ghost,
think she’ll replace her good,
So, they kill her again.

This time,
without moving,
she dies.

The colour of pagan blood burns the sky,
It is blue like an ancestor’s eyes,
It’s like someone has replaced the moon,
and overthrown the sky.

So, there is a endless void,
that could suck her in,
like drinking soup instead of eating it.

The only 5 stars that are left there,
Are allies of Y.
Y, himself, is not around.
He’s off to looking at a false oasis in a false land.
He’s no longer even required.
Y, exits.
The story.

The thing is,
That love is a dying disease,
But an art of dying?
Because, as we know, art is an imitation of life.
However, I haven’t read notes on dying.

Steps to death, yes.
To afterlife, everyone tries.
But, nobody’s explanation of death satisfies.

And if with life, the artist expires,
So must her art.
If death were made of fire, so should have been my heart.
But, death is not, so heart mustn’t be.

Don’t argue about pyre,
That’s not what death looks like.
That’s a blood-less ritual,
To make manure.
And to keep municipal services working.

If this is what happens when one is inspired,
Then I know why death must be.

It ends.


Photo Source: Internet

Ring Road Chronicles #1

The dog’s body lies decomposing on the Ring Road. Imagine wearing a ring covered with a skin of a 3-day old dog’s body. I have been calling MCD for three days. After lying to me for almost 2 days, they gave me a complaint number and asked me to accept the truth. The truth being that the dead dog won’t get to feel soft earth any time soon.

Somewhere else, another dog lies festering as it fights concrete and road side urinary deposits.

Its body lies outside a cremation ground. It’s decomposing off like cheese only the ground won’t suck it in like a hungry child at lunch. It is a feast for the vultures and the crows. They hadn’t celebrated a weekend buffet in a long time. I suspect that the dog was Parsi.

Why I Started Blogging and Other Facts about the Place I have visited over Ten Times.

I started this blog about various facts about the world because I can talk and I can write. and more than anything else I wish to Travel and so does my mind. I basically wish to speak to everybody and in every tongue.

But, the only thing about the World I know well about, yet, is something that my parents’ attempts at religious upbringing led me to.

I know! Parents again..right! Ah! Well..

I admit I have been to the Golden Temple more than ten times in my life. And I don’t believe in religions or practice one.

The Golden Temple in Amritsar is a shrine of the Sikh Religion and that which is of prime significance to Sikhs all over the world due to cultural, location-al and religious reasons. Towns in Punjab have legends about the Sikh Gurus’ (most of them were born around here or had significant details of their lives dealt hereabouts). Besides Patna and Nanded, towns in Bihar and Maharashtra respectively, the cities of Punjab and Amritsar especially hold maximum significance in Sikh Culture. But, due to a more thick presence and belief in the Sikh and Punjabi culture in Northern India the Cultural Relevance of Golden Temple in very high. The Golden Temple at Amritsar attracts the Maximum footfall among all Sikh shrines in the World.

(Photo Sourced from-

The central shrine is a Gold-Plated structure that stands in the Middle of a water body which is considered sacred. The Temple has 4 entrances, one on each side of its cubical lower-half representing a door for every class from the society. However, entry for all is one. On special occasions the queue for the Main shrine, covered and well ventilated, makes people wait for about 2 Hours before they can enter. The shrine is almost always and at all times extremely crowded. The rituals here can be between awe-inspiring and extravagant to minds depending upon their bent. (Cue- Press Button to React)  For Example- The place is cleaned with milk each night!

The food served in the kitchen is called ‘Langar’. ‘Langar’ is the Punjabi word for Communal Kitchen and was conceptualized by the First Sikh Guru who taught equality and believed that everyone should sit down to eat together.

The Kitchen at Golden Temple feeds upwards of 40,000 people from all segments of society. A humongous hall with two floors allows hundreds of people to sit down and eat together every 15 minutes. This number and the frequency go up on special occasions that range from Sundays to Public Holidays to the Birth and Death Anniversaries of the Gurus.

90% of the staff who prepare the food consists of volunteers. A room as big as a school hall is devoted to making Chappatis (breads) using a huge machine that rolls out dough and then make flat breads out of it. This ensures that the breads aren’t burnt or half-baked which is possible when so many people want to contribute! Earlier, the Chappatis were hand-made, even now villages and towns send baskets full of prepared food, out of reverence, every now and then.

And some how, there is hygiene of the highest order- people cooking with clean hands, covered hair (and sometimes with their mouths covered up too..)
(Photo Sourced from-

I eat as if my life depends on it and for all my salt’s worth I can guarantee nobody falls sick after eating here. And I am not religious or even sure about my beliefs. But, if I were to choose one religion it’ll be eating together- even though I am allergic to or don’t do well with half the ingredients in the world.

After one is done eating and comes out, the plates are taken over by Sewadars (comprising of volunteers and Temple staff) who empty the plates and wash them step-by-step and dry them for the Next Serving.

And this unending cycle of eating and cooking continues 24 hours of a day…All days of the week..All weeks of the year and…All years of life….Much like life…..