The Last Poem I Wrote About You

painting by Naomi Okubo:

The greatness lies in the words.
The scribble of an ink on paper
could easily be what your mind is screaming in your closeted head
or the thumping in your chest.
Why does the brain let us think that it is the heart that is the greater, while all it does is pump blood in our veins, on its own instruction?
Why do I think you are the greatest, when you just told me things I should have known last year, or the year before it?
I should have told myself that I am a caring person
and I am a sweet girl and I dont deserve anyone making any less of it.
I don’t deserve myself making any less of it.
You are different, for not who you are because you are just another lesson on a boring school day.
No, you are different because I thought you could’ve been.
But damnit, you just had to twist your words with your action.

I had a good time while it lasted.
I had a great time while you were there.
And then it was time for us to leave.
You could’ve enjoyed the good bye, been less hasty,
I wouldn’t have minded.
I could’ve complained less.
We are who we are.
You are who you are.
But it was my pleasure that you stopped by.

Painting Courtesy: Naomi Okubo



Lights. Camera. Action-
You come in.
You sweep me off my feet.
I hit the ground hard,
Breaking a bone or two.
You creep in under my skin.


Let’s do another take.
You come in.
You make me laugh.
You are still lodged in between my broken bones,
And it hurts,
The space that you fill.
You make me laugh.
And then I cry.


That wasn’t in the scene, darling
Keep the laughter on,
Or at least give away smiles.
Can we do another take of this –
Let’s make this perfect, shall we?
From the top, people:
You come in.
You sweep me off my feet.
You make me laugh.
You make me breathless.
But you are in a hurry
And it all happens a second too fast.
A blurry mess.
You are gone.

I think we had a miscast.

Painting by Nigel Van Wieck

To Cal, With love

Dear Kolkata,

You have given me a lot of shit.

You have thrown rude, indecent people at me who don’t give me change or my money back, people who stomp over my heart. You have made me cry and made me angry. You are lethargic, corrupt and in a state of limbo out of which you just don’t seem to get out no matter from whichever direction change promises to blow through.

There are 99 problems with you but then you do one of those things where suddenly in the midst of the worst heat, you cool down with this beautiful breeze blowing through, the sky is lit up with the sun setting and there is a rainbow and you have red, yellow, white flowers strewn over your paved roads. You make me smile all over again. And I remember all that you have given me.

Sure you have thrown a lot of shit over the three years I have been with you – you made me sick, you made me run down the street crying and you always caught me offguard with the showers (seriously, what’s up with that?). But for every shit you threw at me, you gave me means to clean it up or shrug it off and get on with it. You gave me friends I could call up at 3 am knowing they’d pick up on the other end, you gave me a home away from home, you gave me stories and experiences I’ll remember forever. I learnt to laugh at myself and I learnt to open up and I made my own family here. You gave me random kind strangers who’d give up seats in crowded buses and would point me in the right direction when I’d get lost. Gave me the courage to take risks and face failures and defeat. And most importantly, whenever things got crazy or I got crazy you helped me calm down and uncloud the things in my mind. You helped me become calmer. And you helped me find my voice and how not to just keep it to myself. I grew up and you saw over that.

And just as I am ready to settle in, I will have to make a move soon enough. I have a year in my hand with you left. And this isn’t a premature goodbye. No, I still have a good deal of time with you and I plan to make the most of it with you till the eventual parting comes.

It just felt like one those days I had to tell you how I felt about you. Before it was too late, and I had my bags packed.

So, know that I have loved you dearly. Always have, always will.


Photo courtesy: Sohini Kumar

Oh Well.

I won’t lie, I expected it all to work out.

I really thought the bad guy would be it.
I was the classic good chick. He was the classic man-whore.
Turns out, he had his eyes on the other classic good chick.

I really thought that the good guy would do it.
I took one out of the zone. Pushed him to it.
He complied. He complied with everything.
I got bored.

I made up my mind, the older the better.
They mature with age, don’t they? Like wine. I liked them wines.
He was the perfect wine, made me the right amount of tipsy.
I blabbered. He told me I wasn’t old enough to hold my wines.

I thought the funny one would be fun.
He laughed it off.
Oh well, I was kidding too, you know.

I couldn’t make up my mind about the younger one.
His perfect face convinced me.
But my age and wisdom didn’t make me more secure.
Or worldly enough for him. Medieval worldly.

I tried to drown my sorrow with the tortured one.
But sorry boy, I’m not that down in the dumps.

Oh well.
I made my mistakes.

Because He Breaks It

Knight In Shining Armor
“Do you love me?” he asks,
“Ofcourse”, I say,
“You are the person that I need”,
“But am I the person that you want?”

 “But it is for the better that I don’t get the person I want”
“Who is it that you want?”

 “ I want the jerk.”

“The sweet talker, with all the right moves,
He’ll make me believe I am the most beautiful one in a moment,
he’ll make me believe I am the most unimportant in another.
He’ll lust me, then leave me.
He’ll want me till I don’t want him,
and I’ll want him when he doesn’t.
It’ll be animalistic,
and it’ll be vicious.

He’ll text me deep into the night, because voice betrays sincerity.
And I’ll wait for his call till the sunrise.
I will never be his, I’ll say
Why won’t he be mine, he’ll make me say.
He knows all the tricks and all the trade secrets.
He looks into the eye and says the right things,
does the right things, and shuts up at the right places.
He makes it a moment. And I’ll be naive in that moment.

You know, the jerks are the one we crave for because the jerks are the one we grew up watching in the shining armours.
It’s not our fault that the story ends with the jerk winning the girl and we never get to see him dumping his prize for a new one.

We want to be won.
And that’s why we desire the jerks.”

“So who do you want?”

They still lose

He looked at her,
and so did she.
He saw the years wasted.
She saw her life wasted.
Was it supposed to turn out like this? It was love at first sight. It was the fiery passion. It was one for all and all for one.
Friends were forgotten, families discarded. To separate lives from the world, to make a world of their own.
It was Romeo and Juliet who won at the end.
But were they winning?
The conversations died.
The passion fizzled.
Love became routine.
Romeo missed his friends, “Am I not enough for you?”, asked Juliet.
Juliet missed her home. “Am I not your home now?”, asked Romeo.
Things went cold, and things went bitter.
If you can’t hold onto the love, is it really love?
Time is cruel, it cruelly brings out the truth. Even truths you didn’t think existed. So they ask themselves, were all the tender moments a lie? Was that longing a trick?
They try to hold on. Fight each other to have a fighting chance.
If they let go, it all becomes a mistake.
They try to hold on. But its getting difficult now, mending ties torn require energy.

And he looks at her again and she looks right back.
They try to see the person they fell for.
But the lights are too dim, too hazy to see things clear.

Tomorrow could be a different day.

Photograph courtesy : Manuel Estheim