Random Excerpts From 


You Must Be Around- 80 Poems on Love, Life and Longing 



"Reside"

Reside not in my eyes, Love
For age renders vision blurred
Nor in my breath
For it leaves at first knock of death
Nor in my heart
For who knows when beats part
Nor in my soul, too
For it will take some form anew
But, there is one abode, my lover
Where you can live forever
In the verses that I shall write
And have our love immortalized
*

"Icarus"
Like Icarus, the unwise one
Who came too close to Sun
And burnt his liberty wings,
Intend I not a different thing
In love, I too wish to burn
For it’s the agony I more yearn
What is love if it is dull and earthy?
Some pains make it cherish worthy
*

"Devil"
There is some kind of spell
In the passion you betray
They say in lure devils dwell
In murk, in dim, in hex, in grey
I have tried a times million
But your sting is all I yearn
Though my patience runs thin
I can’t let go the agony I am in!

 ***

Swati’s Marriage and Other Tales of India




  • The silent movement of the moon, in different shades of white, almost every other day between the grey-black clouds, along with the various intermingled sounds of tiny creeps from frogs, a few birds, and strange insects I have never seen, keep me company when I stay up till late to ponder over something or solve crossword puzzles. - "Birthday"
 
  • The weather is cool and pleasant, and I see a few young couples moving around, holding hands. I wonder whether all of them will board the train, or are they here just for some evening walk? I notice yet another couple with the boy bent on taking a load of all the stuff. I muse again; if the boy carries the entire load, does that mean he can make the girl do her share by making her listen to his useless crap, or maybe by scolding her for no reason, or maybe by torturing her with his never-ending silence that is both bitter and paralyzing? - "Life Goes On"

  • You wither away like a shiny tool, left in bad weather to rust and be worthless. You start living in the past; your back is towards your future, and you see no hope in the present. Of these three, a painful past gives you the sole joy that you badly want now—the joy of intoxication, of losing yourself. You think of all the pieces of your life, and slowly and diligently, burning alone, put them together. Your days are consumed in arranging the pieces so as to get a nice conclusion every time, and even before you know it, you are hooked to this slow-killing psychotic drug. You are sucked inside this never-ending emotional game that you have started but are inevitably going to lose. You see the final picture that is as ugly as your present, and you start all over again and again. - "The Return Gift"

***


The Wedding Trousseau and Other Short Stories



  • Her face had acquired a kind of ruddiness and hair too appeared somewhat darker in the drowning evening sun and along with the slight upward slant of her eyebrows, her irritation was evident. “Where to, madam? What is all this? I have been taking this crap for months now. Many times, I notice young boys hovering around our house,” the woman thundered in a tone that clearly intimidated the timid girl who stood there visibly embarrassed. “Show me what this one has given you.” She snatched the paper bag from her thin hands and ripped it open in the manner of a suspecting wife, and started pulling out all the things, one by one.“Auntyji, I…” Poonam began. Her heart was pounding. She was a pretty young girl of seventeen, clad in a simple blue salwaar-kameez. Nervousness clearly floated in her small kohl-lined eyes, as dark as her neatly plaited hair. - "The Pink Card"

  • The cemetery was of a considerable size compared to its town which rested in tranquility at the foothill of a huge mountain range that seemed as if divided exactly into halves by a river whose greenish-white waters were both, alluring and tempestuous. At one corner of this country side town, a vast expanse of land was converted into a place where dead could be laid in all their peace. In the southward direction there, under an old mango tree, a small mound of mud lay covered with a glittering cloth. It was as lonely as the tree and it seemed that both kept each other’s company. They did not attract any visitor except a thin woman, lovely but somber, who often sat there with head covered as if in reverence. The tree and the mound seemed to have no identity of their own. - "The Solitary Mound"

  • The woman, pleased at his quiet servility, smiled discretely that made the corners of her painted lips move up just a little and basking in the glory of her authority with an air of royalty, reclined slowly. Adjusting the fall of her golden-black silk sari vibrantly contrasting against her soft pink skin, she looked at her son and began, “Look at him." - "One More Bite"