He taught me how to read people’s eyes,

to look deep into their souls

to look beyond the surface of their smiles,

to reach in and see that levels existed

in people’s minds.

He taught me that thoughts and actions

were seldom the same.

What appears and what is perceived

are different; what a shame

that we don’t see this.

He said that neither words

nor actions reveal ; a man’s

silence shows strength when spurred.

He taught me well,

he taught me all.

He told me secrets of life that

 lay in the banalities of each day

He said answers lay within,

all we needed was to think; not sway.

He gave me thought.

He’s left the world now,

left me wiser and alone.

I smile when people see me

oblivious that my eyes are forlorn

filled with unshed tears.

For people don’t read people’s eyes

and if they did, they’d see

that truth seldom lies and seldom is

what people want you to believe.

If only people read eyes.




Weathered Away.

He was ordinary. An ordinary man with a tedious job.

He was the “weather man”. The boring old fart who drew up the charts, compiled the data and sat behind the green curtains while the ditzy blonde with the fake chest droned on about the damn weather. No-one noticed him, not even her. She simply took the date sheets from him, flashed a bit of a smile and walked away. Walked away, never looking back, never a word of thanks. The job paid well, sure, but it got boring. The clouds would shift, the wind would blow, the sun shone behind people’s asses and it would pour. And people waxed eloquent about the changes in weather, for him it was nothing but a monotonous pattern.

He had a swanky computer on a big, expensive desk with coffee spills as art. Images from the company’s satellite were streamed onto the bright screen. All day, images of nothing but clouds and land. Oh what beauty. The swanky computer did the processing while he munched on Cheerios. The night shift weather man did nothing as the folk don’t care about the weather at night. No one cared.  Munching and staring. The office internet didn’t allow for “site browsing” even. Staring at them clouds all day. He wished something would happen. Anything. God, couldn’t the weather DO something? Something he, with the expert knowledge , could report about? Something, anything. He sat there munching.

He blinked; the screen flickered. He figured it was static. Images seemed to blur rapidly , he kept the Cheerios aside and sat up straighter. His mind sluggishly tried to comprehend the phenomena on the screen. There had never been any errors prior to this. He pressed a few keys and turned up the resolution. The flickering continued. It was unsettling. Suddenly, he could see 

The clouds shifted, casting an ominous shadow on the ground.  He could see her too. She was walking towards her car. He didn’t know what was happening. He could hear her; the clickity clack of her heels, the whooshing sound her skirt made. He sat there transfixed. The clouds seemed to circle over her, round and round but strangely there was no wind. She removed her shades on reaching the door to her car. The sun was hidden, the clouds so close, he felt a growing excitement down to his gut. She seemed not to notice anything (when DID she?) and opened the car door. The lipstick in her hand fell and started to  roll away.  She took a step and just like that, in that very instant the clouds gobbled her up. There was no other word for it. Gobble. One minute he could see her expression of irritation and in the next instant she was gone.

“Weathered” away.

The lipstick rolled in the deep end and fell into the nearby drain. The clouds cleared away.

He smiled. He didn’t know what happened but he knew why . He straightened his tie and waited for show time.

Today was his day, finally.













The Cord.


” Winter seemed reluctant to release its hold,

the more she tried to free, the more it controlled.

The cord was cut, brutal and cold,

winter still seemed reluctant to release it hold.”


Funny isn’t it?

Random poetry scrawled across the photo of a fetus, buried inside a musty old book made her cry. Had it been read by you or I, we’d have brushed it aside , turned over to the next page and that would have been the end of it. Not for her.

Perception and memories released because of a change in it are uncontrollable and irrational to say the least. She remembered him; he who had so callously tossed aside her love in a moment of rage, he who had ripped out her heart and left the cords bleeding profusely in intense pain. Blood can be stopped, death brings an end but emotional pain is infinite and endless.

She knew it would heal, that in some time what felt like the stab of a sharp knife would subside into the dull throb of acceptance; she would recover. She knew. Doesn’t make the recovery any less of an ordeal now, does it? Being cast away like a pariah, receiving hate so intensely vitriolic and accepting it not in submission but shock.

He said he was hurt by her actions, so he went ahead and killed her from inside. He demanded explanations to make himself feel better. Now tell me, how do you ask for breath from someone dead? For when he did it, it was a mistake but it became a sin for she.He blamed her for having breached the moral line of conduct; lines that were imaginary when applied to him but were fences when drawn for her.

Lines can join you; lines divide you.

She sat there with that musty book held limply in her hands. It was summer outside, yet winter held her heart. For it was winter when she met him and the dots that they were had been joined only to be wiped down within the millionth of a second.

She shut it and got up. Her thoughts broken with the stir of physical movement. There would be no more thoughts; only healing.

It was time to forgive if not forget. It was time to let live if not live. It was time to start  perceiving the sun as warmth and change.

It was time for summer.

The cord was cut.



From ‘What If’ To ‘What Is’.


Life had once been defined by linears and absolutes. Life had once been colored all in black

and grey.Life had once been orderly and monotonous.

She had been content; she slept at night with a clean conscience. A devoted mother, an excellent teacher and a wife who tried hard; she was unhappy but she tried. Her weekdays were set in their path like the Earth’s revolutionary orbit and her weekends were just that; the week’s end.

Unhappiness and discontentment are slow gradual feelings. They sneak into your heart, planting seeds of doubt and discord in your mind and make life miserable in general. It’s slow poison. Twenty three years of marriage;  a long time for those seeds to turn into trees. How does a woman with undeniable beauty and grace, with a passion for life and a heart of gold get reduced to nothing but a haggard shell who goes through the motions of life just because death is  not an option? When does life become about settling rather than achieving? When do memories from a golden youth become the only reasons for your smile in the present?

It was yet another day of getting stuck in the horror story that is the Delhi evening traffic. Or was it? Her cell phone vibrated, a message on Whats-app. She sneaked a look while waiting for the light to turn green. 132 seconds.

“Hey! Remember me? Rahul here. Long time!”

Of course she remembered. How could she not? He had been one of her best friends back in college. He was the one guy in their group of four. He had been the provider of pens, pencils, samosas and photocopied notes before an exam. He had had a crush on her. She never deigned to acknowledge it. In her eyes he had been a dear friend, a happy-go-lucky boy. That and only that.

“Hello! I remember, obviously. How are you? How’d you get my number? Its been 20 years since we last talked.”

Her heart was beating faster. Odd. Continue reading

He Never Left.

http://images2.fanpop.com/images/photos/3900000/Phantom-Wallpaper-the-phantom-of-the-opera-3936937-1024-768.jpg   “Please keep your damn cell phones on silent” barked the director to no-one in particular as the take was ruined for the umpteenth time.

“Shit!” he muttered, he had been sure that the phone had been on vibrate. It was his second day on the job and he did not want to be kicked out for something as stupid as this at least.

As the shooting resumed his heart beat too returned to normal. He was on the sets of The Phantom Returns,2013. He had been selected as the lead make-up artist. He had not been able to believe his luck when Mark had informed him about his selection. Working on this film, the film he had loved as a teenager and the videos of which he had watched repeatedly on You tube, had been a  dream come true. The atmosphere on the sets had been definitely spooky he thought.

This was the studio that horror came alive in. The half melted candles, the darkness, the fake cobwebs indistinguishable from the real ones and the feeling that maybe, just maybe The Phantom was indeed watching them all.

“CUT. Good take both of you. Pack up!”

It was time to remove the layers of make-up, pack away the cosmetics and go home. He cleaned Christie’s face, amazed by her beauty. He wished he could touch the contours of her face without the adage of brushes or tissues.  Oh how he yearned to kiss her and love her. Almost everybody had left for the night. The set was eerily silent. The only lights were coming from the hot fluorescent bulbs dotting the mirror. Make-up fully removed Christie hurriedly got up to her feet.

“Date tonight. See you tomorrow Eric!” she said merrily. The strap of her bag caught onto the cosmetic case’s handle, causing the kit to crash down on the floor. The white tiles were now covered with rouge and eye- shadows of all possible colors.

Eric wanted to slap her. That was his personal MAC box. Destroyed in seconds. “Stupid klutz” he muttered.

“I’m sorry, really. I could help clean up.”

He was in no mood to listen. That was two grand worth of make up that was lost and he wanted to cuss in peace.

“Christie, please go. Have a good time”  he said icily.

Thank fully, she left. She had tears in her eyes but he could not care less. He was all alone. Or so he thought. He crouched on the floor, replacing the small tin boxes on the trays while trying to find  salvageable pellets.  He got up to get the room from the broom closet. Something moved in the shadows. Was he imagining things?

Being alone on the sets of a creepy movie could make anybody’s imagination go wild. His footsteps echoed loudly down the dark hallway. He switched on the torch on his phone and held the screen high. The site that met him turned his blood cold. The phone fell from his hands and fell. The shattering of the glass screen could not be heard over the scream that came from his mouth.  His legs were paralyzed, his mind numb with denial. His brain refused to process what his eyes had just seen.

“Eric, you do not speak to my Christine in that tone of voice. Am I clear?”, The Phantom hissed menacingly in his ear

. “Y-y-y-es-s” he stuttered, the word as incoherent as his terrified thoughts.

“I will be watching you”, the cool blade of the knife sliced into Eric’s sweat slicked neck, “Don’t let this happen again Eric. I will not hesitate in killing my namesake for my love.”

The trickle of warm blood down his spine was the last sensation he remembered before the world went black.

The Phantom had indeed returned. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ This is my first ever attempt at anything remotely spooky. If you want to try your hand do check out http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/badges-130/. Go on, participate!