Unlikely City

There was a slight rustle in the palm tree across the garden abutting the lake and I noticed an old worn-out branch crashing on the manicured lawn below. The city lights reflected in the water and the moon shone bright in a starless sky. I could neither hear the water rippling slowly nor the cars driving by on the other side of the lake made any sound. Just tiny flickers of light following each other, as if in a school parade instructed by a rather stern-looking instructor. I stubbed my cigarette on the rusty balcony railing and waited for the smoke to vanish completely before heading back into the room to plant myself between two bodies and be alone again.   I often find myself alone with my thoughts. Sometimes, it seems like a pointless, melancholic and pretentious exercise of talking to myself. Sometimes, I want to write them down that very moment but often don’t for either lack of effort or resources. And sometimes, I go into long winding imaginations of the future, rather of mysel

Fascinating/Identifying (II)

I don’t want to dwell in the past. But sometimes, it flashes across my mind. That of being decked up. That of my sister saying that I don't need to be stuffed with oranges, I have a plump chest anyway. Of staring at my mother getting ready. Her jewellery. Her cheap, sticky, cakey foundation which she sometimes applied on me. Touching her sarees and feeling beautiful just looking at them. Of observing how my mother and sister emerged from a bath with one towel wrapped around their heads and another pulled upto above their breasts. I imitated that, and no one really said anything. Today, when I put on my sister’s or my girlfriends’ dresses and look in the mirror, I go wow. Who is she? Where was she? When my chest fits into those padded bras, I can’t help feeling gorgeous. When these clothes fit me perfectly, I don’t want to take them off. I want to walk, eat and sleep in them. But when I do take them off and my eyes travel down to my penis, there is a certain awkwardness. Why is it

Love Spoils (II)

Such a weird creature, desire. A few weeks ago, I was narrating my experience of a date to a friend. Although things didn't work out eventually, the night itself was memorable. We had dinner, went on a drive, made out in his car and debated the logistics of having sex in that limited space. But we didn't. Especially because I wanted the date to go, for once, according to me. And anyway, I enjoy making out more than anything else. I can spend hours exploring a person's mouth, ruffling through their hair and touching their skin. And he was happy to oblige. Whenever I think of that night, I ask myself this question - What do I really miss? The person, or the experience? Are these two questions so exclusive anyway? However, the answer is always 'experience'. I do miss the excitement of getting ready, going out, taking the metro, stepping into a restaurant, to (preferably) see someone waiting, talking and then (hopefully) going for a walk or a drive. I miss the process.


Is it fascination or identification? I would not say that I have been struggling  with this conundrum "all my life". But there are several moments of comfort that I can recall. All these moments of comfort (actually not "all" but at least the ones I have in mind) are ones where I dressed in a "woman's" attire. Other than looking (objectively) pretty, there was also a sense of being in one's own skin. An exhilarating feeling of being extremely true to oneself. However, these moments have been extremely private, if one discounts the "dressing up as the other gender" that almost every elder sibling subjects their guinea pigs to, in full-family view, often photographed and memorialized. Whenever I have chosen  to do those things to myself, it was when no one was looking, no one was present and no one but me had the option to remember or record it. If it is not in the public, is it not true? No record, so it didn't happen? But that is not

Love Spoils

I swipe through profiles on Tinder, almost as a force of habit. When I match with someone, I'm thrilled. I send an excited message to them, hoping they'd reply. Sometimes, there is a short lived conversation. Sometimes so short that it ends with an "I'm good". Sometimes, it develops into a long monologue about life, love, loss and longing. And they are reminded of me only when there is something else to rant about. And I'm forced to think, "Am I not approaching people the right way?", "Are my 'hi's and 'hello's too regular and boring?", "Am I a boring person to chat with, in the first place?", "Do people only want to talk about their life problems with me?". One of my friends recently told me (and a group of other friends) that I give "amazing teacher vibes". Now, of course, that's a compliment, considering the professional stage I'm in. But has that always been so? These compliments/cha

Spill it! (I)

I recently started making a weekly plan of action. It consists of tasks to be done every day of the week, a list of which I send to my sister, who makes it a point to check with me daily, about my targets. I figured that as much as I'd like to believe I can monitor myself, I end up cutting myself a lot of slack. So, exercise of some authority seems like a good idea. Gosh, I'm such a sub/bottom. One of these days when I was done with around 8 things out of 10 for the day, I was like yay, time for a break. And as one does, I disabled the flight mode on my phone, opened Grindr and scrolled through my messages. And there were a quite a few. There was one guy who had messaged me weeks ago: shirtless photos, photos in a tank top, and one in a military print body-hugging shirt. I was like okayyy, yeah, happening. There was an unread message from him: "Hey man" I replied: "How's it going?" "Done with this app now" "It's ful

Oh god, fuck me

It started when I saw my kundali in my parents' room, lying on the table underneath the TV.  Calling out to my mother, I asked what was it doing outside, more like why was it out. My father replied instead, "वो बस ऐसे ही देख रहे थे". What do you mean, ऐसे ही, I asked. Since when did the two of you get an astrologer's qualifications? I was also annoyed that my mother was avoiding answering the question. "माँ, ये क्या है? मेरी कुंडली के साथ क्या खेल खेल रहे हो तुम लोग?". She came in rushing. I could see a hint of nervousness in her eyes. "तेरे को बताया तो था! हम पूजा करने जा रहे हैं न, इसीलिए!". I knew about a  पूजा, but what connection did my kundali  have with it? I knew that they had been planning to go some 100 kms away from Lucknow for this पूजा, but why are my stars being studied for that performance? "मुझे क्यों नहीं बताया की मेरी कुंडली दिखाई जा रही है इस पूजा के लिए? और क्यों दिखाई जा रही है, ज़रा ये भी बता दो?", I said, with