First World Hangover

Sitting in a flat which has two well stocked refrigerators, an oven, a toaster, an induction cooker, a temperature controlling heater, wooden floors, a phone to use as one wishes, a bed with ultra-comfortable mattress, and a hoard of other appliances and elements which would generally be considered a luxury to a high percentage of people (read: students) from back home, if I still rant to you about my life and its issues, fuck me, but you have all the right to call me a privileged crybaby and ignore this textual episode of weeping.
I would have.

You see, the problem with people like me is that we sit on our laptops and puke out our feelings all the while being highly observant and conscious of the journey and consequence of these thoughts words rants and we think that it makes us self-aware which is supposed to be a great thing-ask Maslow- but what we forget while being these philosophical douches is that philosophy rarely heals a soul; it creates it, it confuses it, it tricks it, it educates it, but no- it doesn’t heal us. Healing happens at heart, at the home.

So yes, I’m going to be a philosophical douche and go ahead and rant to you about how luxury and self-awareness and your god damn ideals don’t fucking matter to me because they just don’t heal me. Not right now, no.

I’m your Cioran, guys.
I am going to cry and make a fuss wherever you put me and I’m going to be a pessimist at heart despite all the ‘free hugs’and ‘economical bus passes for students’ you give me. I’m going to eat a 7 Pound worth lunch on three consequent noons and then call myself poor on a Skype call with my friends only because this country makes me feel poor. I’m your type A sad youth.

The thing is, I cannot help but enjoy this first world life. It is so comforting and convenient. I don’t have to ask a hundred ‘excuse me’ uncles walking around about the public transport; the buses almost ply on time every time. I don’t have to keep pulling down my skirt if the weather is too breezy and I don’t have to sit with my legs closed on the steps. It’s so freeing, I am scared it’s addictive. People here don’t drive their cycles on the footpath, knocking off a couple of unwanted kids, and people here don’t cross roads like adrenaline junkies off resources. They’re civil. They’re polite. I feel generally good here, just like I am when I drink.

But that is exactly the problem you see; once I am back into my room, the hangover begins. The freedom rots in the face of reality. I remember the girls in salwars back home to whom an ankle-lenght dress is a symbol of feminism, and I cringe. I remember the 14 years old girls at their homes who have to sit with crossed legs and hands on thighs everytime they have guests over, and something in me hurts.

The people here are civil, not helpful. The people here are polite, not nice.

They don’t come running to my aid, unlike those back home, when my grocery bag spills out and I sit on the road picking up my adulthood. They smile at me when I buy from their cafes and bookstores but they don’t smile at me when I am sitting alone on the bus back home at 1:00am. They are as first world as the soy milk they drink: they are alternative and helpful, but not necessarily the feel-good kind.
To be honest, they don’t make me feel good at all, actually. I am scared of being mugged late at night because unlike back home, my guards aren’t up all the time. And if I were to actually pull on my armor 24*7, I’m not sure where the boundaries between Indian and UK would separate. See? I am again cribbing about something that can easily be fixed; ‘Just deal with it, Prerana’ you would say. BUT NO. I cannot just deal with this feeling of alienation and freedom alike because the confusion is slow poisoning my head into a nationalist, and science forbid the nationalism takes another course. (I do remember the Kohinoor and caste-system guys)

I’m sorry for being least excited about this country that you hold highest for its humour, fashion sense and men, but homesickness is on the verge of patriotism right now and I am not known for my cultural sensitivity anyway; I think their humor is just a by-product of the elite snobbishness they are born with, their fashion sense a disgrace to socialism and creativity, and the hotness of their men only a consequence of the accent.
I know my cultural asshole-ry isn’t something I should be bragging about, but when 2 people (on an average) everyday walk up to you and say ‘how come you speak English? Aren’t you an Indian?!’, I have no choice but to remind them of colonialism and the term called ‘cultural hegemony’; and my disgust at their stupidity simply knows no bounds.

It’s like the comfort of the first world has blinded them to the poetry, the art and the reality of chaos and flaws, and every act is measured against it consequences. There is not one broken fence or littered corner here; not a single moment of absolute disorganization; they are in complete unison in their complacency and utter disregard to mistakes.

This comfort has ruined them to such an extent that they actually enjoy their weekends sipping beer and playing frisbee in the public park, oh gosh.

They are Beyonce’s favorite people: they are flawless.

They do not know what greed is, only the greedy politics of westernizing the world.

They seem happy.

And I am an Indian born-brought up 21 year old artsy female to whom happiness is only a relative term to console myself with when my depression hits shit low and the shrink tells me to look forward to something. And now that shrinks here are easily accessible, I think I am going to set aside the societal pressure of being intelligent enough and go watch Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania to make myself feel happy.

Thanks for bearing with me guys. (Just being polite yes)


The lover who’ll never say no: Nainital

Clean shaven and dressed in crisp clothes all the time, Nainital is the boy in your class whose overt personality is defined only by the choice of his socks; from Spongebob prints to solid plum, he’s got socks that nitro boost his eye candy powers.

Nainital loves his socks as much as everyone loves Nainital.

Despite his subtle want to be the booze of every party, he’s extremely old fashioned a lover. He still writes letters in calligraphy and smells of after-shave each morning.
He’s extroverted, simple and occasionally witty when drunk. He doesn’t think of post-modern philosophies and enjoys listening to radio when on road.




Given how similar Nainital and Darjeeling seemed to me on arrival, with their fascination for pachees ki Maggi and overcrowded inter-city jeeps, I assumed that Nainital belonged to those artsy lovers I’ve mentioned in the earlier post (link: ), but man- did he prove to be horrifically different. Nainital has an old school heart for an old school mind, and everything about him will make you feel like home the first foot down. His voice is soft and comforting, despite his attire screaming ‘He is too neat to be nice’, and his hobbies are restricted but passionately indulged in.


He’s not a people’s person but he’ll never let you buy that.

Screenshot_2016-05-04-22-07-36-592(Given a chance he’d never let you buy anything but quirky socks, to be honest)

If you like your lover to be the gentle kind with a couple of acceptable quirks, Nainital will surely be yours as long as you like 7:00 am walks and 7:00 pm Goodnights.

Screenshot_2016-05-04-13-16-39-259Told you: he’s old school.



Screenshot_2016-05-04-13-14-20-137The Half Eaten Photograph.



He’s very fond of kids too. (Should I say yes to him, Planco?)



One of his few hobbies



Not as much of lake side as sink side dinner.



You know who to booty call



Maybe it’s time you saw what he looks like



He’s always too bright to let people know about his emotional instability, or so he is accused.



…the instability;
He’s got a fire in his heart that nobody wants to talk about

*Shall be continued


He bent down to pick the best of them, occasionally looking over his shoulders, wiped the dirt off a bright green one and passed the basket to the tiny shadow of a man opposite him.
‘Give me a pau.’
The shadow seemed to move to its right, leaving a gap for her to be seen by his hyper eyes; they first saw the outline of what seemed to be fingers fluttering in the darkness until she stood up, allowing the light from the next thela to make sure he never kissed her fingers instead of her lips. He immediately looked away. He knew his eyes were just like his mother: always giving away his secrets to the public. ‘This Lakshya na. Do you know he used to play the tabla in sixth class? He was such a decent boy then, baap re!’ She’d exclaim during dinner with his friends. Once, she had even gone around showing his photographs dressed as a princess for his second birthday. His attire didn’t embarrass him as much the delight, and the consequent disappointment, in her voice for having a daughter she never could.

‘Here.’ She handed him the packet.

His mind was still at the dinner table when the tips of their hands touched, and he withdrew-remembering the boiling pot of milk on the stove. ‘ouch!’ his eyes invariably ended at her face, and she smiled fully. She looked just as he remembered her. Her eyebrow was raised slightly and there was a fresh scar under her left eye. ‘Billi’ she said, almost understanding his eyes.

She pushed her hand further out under the light. ‘Twenty three rupees please.’ And let it stay in the air, until his hand touched hers another time, the crisp notes chuckling out of awkwardness.
‘He was so pretty na? I wish he’d let me dress him up like that abhi! Now all he wears are these ironed shirts and boring pants. He doesn’t even let me comment on his attire.’ She had mock slapped him on his head. ‘Bada ho gaya hai achanak.’

He knew it was time to smile at her; afterall, he had a habit of smiling at even the oddest of strangers; and even the oddest of strangers walked up to him and complimented his smile; how bad could it have gotten?

She smiled back and his heart cursed his head.
It was the first time since last week he had felt anything.

‘Are you okay?’ His chest hardened. His throat warmed up. If he could look at himself at that moment, he’d never want to be seen to the world another time. ‘I guess’ he breathed under his flaring nose. ‘Do you want anything else?’ Something was irking him and he wasn’t sure if it was her constant need to chat or his need to stay staring at her while running back home. He nodded a nay and set a step back, only to jerk a look over his shoulders. ‘Are you waiting for someone?’ He wanted to yell at her to stop talking. It wasn’t helping. She wasn’t helping. Every letter of hers made him look at her lips. ‘I really think you should sit down. I have some water if you don’t mind.’
“YOU SHOULD SIT DOWN” The words crept through his head to his mouth. ‘You want me to sit down? Is that what you want, eh? You want me to sit down! Ofcourse you want me to sit down! Here-‘ He squatted on the mucky road, forgetting to pull up his pants from the ankles, creating creases over his thighs and a tiny tear near the re-stitched right pocket. ‘HERE!’ He screamed.

Luckily for him, the dark winter evenings convinced his flat-walleh to sit at home, drink wine and watch the primetime News while their kids went around doing what they did all day: stick to their phones, looking up to nod their heads or make faces at the television sets only during ellipsis.

The mud seeped into the back of his trousers while she laughed like a mad woman in love. Minutes passed as he stared at her laughing. The mandi disappeared, her brother went back to being a shadow on a moonless night, and all the screams of ‘Aaj aapke ghar tevar hai, Tamatar ko fever hai’ slid under her hiccups and snorts.
‘I am sorry’ he said, straightening himself. She did something with her hands that made him stay put. She sat beside him. ‘I saw you that day, at the crossroads.’
‘I’m really sorry.’
Her eyebrow rose again and he could see the scar seeking to be talked about. He pointed at it.
‘What happened? Billi, sachchi?!’
She chuckled another time. It made him angry and happy at the same time.
While they sat silent, cars drove by at high speed behind them and he could almost hear his mother screaming out to him. ‘Lakshya… Do you know how to turn off our stove?!’ Always giving out his secrets. He felt something again.
‘I recognised you abhi because I’ve seen you since um…since you used to go to those music classes?! You used to wear shorts which matched the colour of your socks. You always fascinated me, but you never talked. Always hiding behind your moth-’
She found him staring at her lips. She moved around, indicating that it was time they got up when he interrupted her ruffling.
‘It’s like she’s talking to me’
‘I was one of the many who took you both to the aspataal. I don’t expect you to remember. I just want you to know that I’ve-’
‘I do. You were next to me when I woke up. I do. I just never thought you’d-’

She helped him up, dusted her kurta with her chunni and smiled at him. He smiled back. ‘With that face, you can scare any kid you want!’ She laughed again, like the monster had eaten into her mother’s womb during her pregnancy. He smiled back.

The impenetrable romance

Before I begin to rant- rant, as this shall be- I will have to mention that I secretly sell heartbreak in the left extreme counter of my pharmacy. It is prepared with utmost honesty and works within 23 seconds of consumption.


For a compulsive liar, it’s funny that I am defined by my need for constant honesty in any relationship; and the day I share a heart sticker I don’t mean, is the day I would have betrayed my only ideal: irony. You see, irony and I are the kind of bestfriends who promise to grow up together, wearing matching skirts on respective birthdays and sharing boys post 12, and somehow, despite all the bumper prizes life has thrown at us, we’ve turned 21 together and shared our boys without drama. But one not-so-fine day, not very long after celebrating our 21st, lying in my bed that then stunk of shaved legs and sharp satire, I realised the time had come.

We had turned adults.

Adults don’t wear matching outfits or share boys because adults don’t like boys. Boys are for the lolly-sucking, trinklet-wearing, Tinkle-reading girls who’s favorite smell is rain drops on earth or Vanilla. If I were a writer, I would have paid attention to my tense and narration here, but sadly- I am only here to tell what my writer has told me to: ‘Go and blurt it out, you little useless thing! Tell your fellow characters that the writers of the world are taking over and you have no time to backtrack on your ideals!’ My writer is a funny woman, you see; she talks straight and kisses gay. But she is unimportant here. Her words, more so. And I must tell you that she never said any of those things about the writers taking over the world; she’s extremely busy playing with my life currently. But believe me, if she were here, sitting in my head, making me write these words, she would have definitely added a ‘So. Um.’ somewhere after Vanilla.

I will be honest now. Because you and I, we have already shared more than hundred words between us and that calls for a serious relationship check. As I said: I will be honest, and in all honesty, I’ll tell you that I love everybody and everything I hate and I hate everybody and everything I love and I have my days of absolute silence. I am just like that Television set in your home which blares and shuts for no reason during the monsoon, tempting you with its often crappy and (when paid extra) rarely intelligent content. I will shut when it rains outside. I will dwell deep in my words and I will only let silence interrupt my thoughts. I will also say both silly and wise things in the same breath most often. So incase you love television, you must stay away from me because despite my obnoxious habit of falling love with every other guy I meet, I do not know what love is. My writer says that it makes me a likeable character because I’m staying true to my ideals, but I know better than to trust a wine-consuming self-loathing poet. I also know that my writer wants me to fetch her more readers, and can you imagine a character better than the one who’s traumatized by her own ideals? So. Um. Yeah.


I was right. Irony and I- our time had come. It’s been a day since we’ve broken up, and I now go to fancy restaurants in my well ironed trousers, and not my usual Khadi kurtas. I write letters to my friends without calling my words ‘pretentious and bitchy’ and I can now stop writing this post too because my writer has abandoned me and my thoughts have run out.

If there ever is a love greater than wanting your best friend back, it exists in not wanting her around at all.

To Irony,
till eternity.

Classic Clementine

Ding dong, ding dong
the bell rang
king kong, king kong
her head grew
‘shhhh, baby; let them out’
his face, like that out of a women’s magazine
Ding dong, ding dong
the bell rang
king kong, king kong,
her head grew
his collarbones seduced  women of the North:
women like her, women who knew cherries to cherry tomatoes,
his hair, as smooth as her pale skin
the sun shone on his translucent eyes
ding dong, ding dong,
the bell rang
in her head;
he was a capitalist’s favourite dessert.

he pulled his beige overcoat closer,
the lightness of the cloth mimicking his mind.
There was a wink that got lost amongst all the bells.
There was a smile that morphed into a grin.
Bells overrode melody; lust, perhaps, sadness.

‘God damn it! Say! Talk!’
she bit her upper lip,
a hungry little girl at the dinner table.
ding dong, ding dong,
time was faster than her head
another wink, another blink,
caramel turned to sugar;
blood clots to wounds.
‘We were lovelier when we knew each other.’
his lips parted in perfect harmony, unlike hers;
they knew exactly how much to open without
giving away the smell of his tongue.
‘I didn’t even realise when I left.’
They were dancing to the rhythm of her sighs: his lips.
‘Yeah’ she finally managed to utter.

bells weren’t her favourite; commitment, his.


Fiddling, his hands in hers,
he smiled
‘your hands were happy then…
always on my face.’
‘Are you tempted?’
‘Are you okay?’
‘Do you want me back?’
‘Do you think we still have a chance together?’
‘Yeah’ she continued to utter,
even after he picked up his fallen face,
and slapped his tears against her chest.

Ofcourse, she only ever understood him that much.

He was gone.
They were gone.
Now all she had was the taste of his tongue,
the smell far away from what it hid.
‘Yeahhhh’ she kept mumbling;
the little girl, too content with her pie.

she picked up the smell,
ran with it-
all the way to her heart.

‘Here’ she cried.
‘…take what’s yours.’

Organic destruction

There is an increasing dread in her bowels
while the radio hums a heartbroken lullaby
A lion roars down a dead body
as she picks at the skin on her ankles
‘Calm down, calm down, calm dow’
roaring turns into weeping
weeping into laughter
laughter into frequencies
‘Don’t bother, don’t bother’
her freckles starts to bleed out
her skull,
crushed by the weight of the world,
strays through the skinned bones
‘it’ll all be okay in the end’

There are constellations on her face,
a faded tattoo scars her stomach.
While she purges
immigrants of lost lives,
she picks a star and cuts her tongue;
ah, the testimony!

She slits deeper and deeper
frequencies turn into laughter
laughter into weeping
weeping into roaring.

There are mountains running across her breasts,
forest ash and stardust-
fresh residues of old turmoils.
While she slaps herself in the face,
she sparks every forest fire ever known to her body;
ah, the pleasure.

She lights fiercer and fiercer
the lion is dead
the radio, broken, like her lullabies
she lights and slits and grins and smiles
while she slights and slits and grins and smiles

Ah, the joy of being alive.

The rivers running down her bowels
make a quick escape,
ebbing into her veins,
drawing drains in her abandoned insides.
While she rips her bones to the pile of nothing she once was,
she breaks every proof of construction she is;
ah, the satisfaction.

Her fundamentals have charred,
now being fed to the rotting body’s ego:
stains of a self that never was.

Ah, the confusion succeeding death.

You science’d me to sanity

People get bad.
Every now and then, they do bad things; either to those they love or those they hate; every now and then, they inflict the same upon themselves because they can’t figure out if they love or hate themselves. People get bad. They get drunk and puke all over their best friend’s favorite sofa, or they get under their bed and don’t come out for evenings altogether. They get bad. They start skipping classes to go on lonely 2:00 pm walks. They turn hostile and cold and detached and no amounts of dogs chasing ball videos or dead baby jokes crack them up then. They get real bad sometimes and hurt the ones who stick by them. They run away, they cut all ties, they get disillusioned by the passions of the world and every now and then, they sit in the middle of the road and hope for a rash truck driver to ease their pain.
People get bad.

It may happen in phases or since they’ve known how to feel, but it happens to them alright. People get bad. They get so bad, they forget that someone somewhere once had a crush on them or their momma still freaks out when they don’t answer her calls at 10:30 pm. They forget that the passerby at the bus stop found them real interesting or that their best friend still thinks the world of them. They forget that puddles are not mirrors and that muck can only stain them so long. People get bad.

And sometimes, people forget that magic and hope and faith are not just fairytales but positive defence mechanisms. They ignore science, they hold art god. They get bad, and sometimes they lose all interest in anything that ever mattered to them. People get bad.

In a similar time, I found you. You led me to kernels and logic and morbid artworks and things I almost knew about but somehow, everything helped. It was the same old things spilt into rationality and romanticism, but I found you and you led me away from my bad self. Not entirely no, no. You didn’t heal me or buy me bandages, you just reminded me that I wasn’t as wounded as I made myself seem. People get bad. And you led me away from my bad self.

I remember the first time I threw myself against a car, and I had come back brimming of guilt and fear only to find you explain me life by pointing to the stars out there. It was science. It was you. And contrary to what most people believe, the distance between us never played hindrance to your skills as an empathetic stranger. You made me believe in my actions and their consequences. You science’d me to sanity. And then you turned into a friend I never saw coming.
I remember the doodle you made for my birthday which talked of math equations and what not, and though I’ve hated maths since I was young, you compelled me to understand those numbers those signs those symbols that got me crazy ass about you. You did things. You did them without considering my response. You scolded me and you threatened to slap me. There were days when you got on my nerves because you got bad when I got bad and we were just two bad kids sitting far away trying to help each other like they show in most movies about losers. Then there were days when I wanted to hug you and cry to you and I hated the fact that both of us were awkward losers who could never gather enough guts to get it real. I hated feeling helpless about you. I hated that I doubted your existence. But you science’d me then too. You spoke analytics like poetry and introduced me eerie playlists and quirky literature and called me names like you owned me whole. Those were days I wished I could trade you for that friend of mine from kindergarten who’s not even on my Whastsapp contact anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I just feel like we should have met earlier. Much earlier.

Afterall, I was always battered for no reason.

I know you’re not into social conduct as much as I am, and maybe I should save this affection for our mails and currently-in-coma Whatsapp conversations, but I miss you so much I just have to.

Happy Birthday Geekfest.
I’m not great with my words, so thanks for everything.
Especially for the one time we met. It means memories.