“I am counting my breath, in numbers one to hundred”
You said.
Today a thing happened. Nishi Nath died. Which my mother corrects “ Say Nishi Nath passed away”
His body was a pack of bones, his face looked like a woman’s. No hair left anywhere. Death looked painful and scary.

“Each time we do something sinful, an hour or so is lessened from our lives” and you believed in it so much.
On new year’s eve ten years ago, at Pom’s terrace as we kissed and we were twelve
In that moment of silence so awkward, you said the exact thing.
“I am counting my breath, in numbers one to hundred”
And I didn’t know what to make of it.

As I saw Nishi Nath dead today. As death looked painful and scary.
I finally got it. And I smiled.


Dear Firefly....
Beneath the old wooden bar and the water leaking ceiling which gives away to a patch of the autumn sky…
In that aging house with old, broken walls.. the plaster coming off in places
In that old bed with iron rods where your grand father breathed his last.
As U n I lay…with our tummies big and bare..
After a wholesome Bengali lunch..
As we giggled like we always do.. over silly things…
Like who had a better back or a bigger bust, who fell in love first,
Whose stomach tied a knot on being kissed on the lips?
I realised how much u loved that fellow who’s gone away now and how much you loved me.
And each time we moved the iron bed creaked, such obnoxious noises.
Silly girls


As we lie awake in this night.
Lets leave this bed, get up and set off in our little red jaguar.
Lets drive until we reach the end.
At the tip on the mountaintop, lets sit with our feet hanging.
Lets sit and cry and cry even more.

Cry for all the woes of this world.
All sorrow and loss.
Cry for the dead people, poor people, mad people, deaf, dumb and blind people.
Cry for the American war. Cry for Lady Di.
Lets not brood or be sullen of these things. Lets genuinely be sad.
For how one life was never enough for love, brotherhood or hate.

Lets hold each other.. comfort and ease each other.
For our inadequacies, for our indifference.
Both to one another and to every thing else.
Lets confess that we lied when we said that we loved ourselves,
When we said
lets say we didn’t care to love enough, we didn’t love enough to care.
Both this world and we in it.

Lets cry for us.
Lets drive away with the radio on full blast. It’s nicely quite now.
Lets not smoke our cigarettes tonight.
Lets not contemplate, lets not reflect.
Lets not lie awake.


Life has a ridiculous way of putting two and two together. Each time you set out to do something different, you fall all the more into its grand spell of classic clichés.

There are scores of men in this planet, black, white and brown; chauvinistic, humanitarian and paranoid. Successful, overtly successful and self-acclaimed disasters! Yet you wind up falling in love with that one man you cannot have, who does not fit into your life or your choices! You land up being the exact sobbing, winning spinster of the bloody mills n boons you so hate.

The most notoriously sentimental, overtly emotional films make you cry. Though you know it’s a marketing gimmick, intentionally playing upon your tear buds, but you just cant help yourself even if you think of a horse or an elephant while watching it. You still hate it, it still makes you cry.

On the perfect days of the month when you in all probability are supposed to be getting your period, you decide to wear a white skirt! and to make matters even better you set out on a eventful day without the slightest clue and absolutely unarmed. The mother of all foolish acts old and contemporary.

“Dream….when I want you in my arms, when I need you and all your charms, whenever I want you all I’ve gotta do is ….dream..”------- The darndest song could never be done away with. Your great grandmother too perhaps had her romantic fantasies singing along this song. And there are countless such mushy dimwitsadded in your list of favourites. John denvor, floyd, louis Armstrong.

Day by day you develop this sullen love for poetry. In your escapade You invariably sift through the one which reads “ Grand Collection of Classic poems.”
The poems are hideously romantic, and their ideas have innumerable poor offsprings in other novels and poems less creative. Stale, worn out and painfully long… aah not to miss the difficulty of language. And yet you dig into them like worm does in a book…as if you couldn’t have enough of it.

You read of Tagore and the women in his verses, of Keats and how he died young loving and writing most of his poems for this one woman who was blunt and knew nothing of poetry or art neither paid any heed to his love. You see a Satyajit Ray or a Stanley Kubrick classic, read about their craft n their vivid imaginations, google their images…stare at them for hours together… getting gooseflesh at sights of what they’ve created…. thinking… Yes these were indeed the brightest that ever shinned.

All this and much more…so much has been said, so much has been done… yet you wind up learning of their existence in your own discovery and loving them all the same, thinking what different have you….from the rest. As for me.. I believe that truly I am a master of clichés.


I cannot find the tombstone for you
I can tell you where to look for it.

Macabre died at the age of 90.
And the tomb of macabre lies where he was born.
At least that’s what people speculate.
He was fond of yellow marigolds.
“ Strew them all over my cold, dead body”
His dying wish was never fulfilled.
Take some along with you if you can.

Macabre was born an epileptic
His limbs were fragile and brittle
He liked painting landscapes
“ My sky is purple and My hills are pink”
His drunken gibberish.
Paint a little hut on his rugged breast..
Fill it with walnut brown colours…

His tombstone bears great secrets
Perhaps all the secrets known, unknown
Stolen mangoes, hidden treasure boxes smuggled letters, and secret lovers.
He kept them and died with them.
Who knows, Maybe you too will find whatever it is that you look for.

If you do find the tombstone…
And there you spot an envelope with my name written on it.
Don’t read it, I beg you, don’t open and read.
It’s a letter that I wrote to you.
The kinds which we write but never mean to send.
Macabre’s tomb guards it with great concealment.

And god knows what is scribbled in it. What doom shall beget if the contents are ever read…
“Dear, sweets
I harboured a little crush on you, and kept it for quite some time.
But that night as you slipped into my room with my roommate friend
Meekly requesting me for privacy…
A tiny chunk of my heart broke off…
And I have never loved you ever since…”