Tag Archives: Love

The Yesterdays I want back

The yesterdays that call out to me
are not things.
I don’t want my paper and ink days back
I don’t want my 1500 page long A suitable boy days back.

The yesterdays I want back
Are the people I love.
My father and his sense of purpose
When he was a mere entity
Who I looked up to when I fell.

Knowing him up close
I see all of his cracks and indentation.
The yesterdays I want back
Are the privileges of bring your daughter to work day

The yesterdays I want back
Is the health of my grandmum
Who told us stories of naughty Gods
Who stole cream, and held up the universe in their mouth
The grandmum who remembers my favorite dish
And goes out of her way to make it
Even when I beg her not to.

I want the warmth of my grandmother’s lap
The smelly oil she massaged my scalp with
The kisses she blew over the phone
And the eyes that cried for me when I left her home.

The yesterdays I want back
Are my sister’s ability to love
Her cute little hands and her crooked teeth
When she loved herself,
And believed that I love her too.

My sister before her diagnosis
Before she hated herself
And cried in agony
By locking herself in a room.

I’d take those yesterdays
With self hatred, and school yard bullies
Over this today
With lots of love to give
And nobody to receive.


Untouchable- Part 4

all we are
and all we’ll ever be
is skin and bones,
flesh and blood.

all we are
and all we’ll ever be
are death threats
and poverty
and food to fleas
and to ants
and to the vultures
of human kind

whatever we’re made of
we will always have
and stardust
and moonlight;
the skies
and the earth

and yet,
it’s your skin
that I can’t touch
and if I do,
it’s you that i’m
forced to wash away
from my skin
every day
the offchance
that our skins

and yet,
it’s your fire
that kindles the flames
in my bones.

Untouchable- Part 3

the smell of chickens
and cows and bulls
hit me as i reach
my grandmother’s house.

she lives alone
with the echoes of her past
haunting her.

her only friend is
the maid who now cooks
mid day meals to support herself.

the maid’s daughter married
an alcoholic to save herself from poverty
but came back running home
when she had a son

All these people
Getting divorces now
Back then we stuck to our spouses
In sickness and in health

My husband had cancer
And I stayed by his bedside
Till his last breath
Taking a sabbatical from work

Kunju ettan taught me
how to pick mangoes
and how to make manga chamandi
with a stone mortar

he taught me to play
catch, and seven stones
and to act for a play he’d written
about forbidden love

he teased me about boys
i was friends with
and girls i wasn’t

he told me to call him kunju
or vaishakh,
because ettan is too formal
i now know why.

he sat a bit away when we were eating
and my grandmother didn’t touch him
he had to throw his leaf elsewhere
and burn it to the ground.

every evening
my mother interrupted me
from our games
and i had to go
to our kollam
and have a bath
to rinse him away from my skin.

The Girl with the Square Glasses

Her dark kohl eyes
Have sunshine and stardust in them
And when she smiles,
Diamonds falter.

Her innocence radiates from her tongue
Everytime she rolls out a word
Long legs, short skirts
Laughing with the boys like she’s one of them

Words of worship for that one fictional hero
Distributing chocolates on his birthday
Broken up with her boyfriend
The day I left her behind.

See her photographs with a hundred likes
And her funny status updates everyone can relate to
Her ideas, her wisdom, her humor, her isms
Growing up into a wonderful woman.

The girl with the square glasses
With her good girl faith and her tight little skirt
Her long, shiny hair and her hot red lips
Reminding you of your imperfect life.

It was, but, a month ago
When you swore it was a joke
When you saw her status update
And a picture with mehandi
Till you saw the video
You didn’t believe it was true.
But the cheesy song and the congratulations posts
Took you out of your reverie.

Engaged to be married, she says
Happy to be his soon-to-be wife.
Photographs after photographs pour in
And the cheesy video of an orchestrated act
Chokes you a bit. With disgust, you’re sure
Who does that in front of family and guests?

Unsure of what to think
A quick phone call and a panic attack later
You’re sure you’ve heard the truth
Not pregnant, not forced,
At twenty she’s tying the knott.

You think back to seven years ago
Eighth grade, her first boyfriend
Like Romeo and Juliet-from fighting schools
An affair for all of you to remember
When they broke up over the telephone and she cried for a month about him

You remember your school plays
Your basketball games, and cellophane crafts
Your pyjama parties with make believe tea
And your love for that popular TV show
Which paired characters with your and your crush’s names.

You think back to your grand plans of world tours
And living together as roommates,
Because you can cook and she can clean
The idea of growing up improbable
For an infinitely long time.

I live in Denial

My lips curl in an involuntary curve
As my phone blinks to reveal your name
My heart glows a warm fire
As you write me a beautiful letter
In a hot summer afternoon, I live in denial,
As you draw me to you, inch after inch

As we tread softly, and slowly through
Word after word, universe after universe
And dream after dream, plan after plan
And as it becomes clear that we are a team
I live in denial, as you fill me with joy unbound
And leave me hoping for a happy forever

All the bright places we wander through
Dim out the monsters within us,
And the darkness that engulfed our past
And threatens to endanger our future
I live in denial about where it all starts
The potential of a you and me, and a here and now unrecognized.

As we preach about the phases of the human mind
And the beauty of the human kind
As we laugh about the clueless colleagues
And the stupidness of the grand scheme of things,
I live in denial about my feelings
About the impossibility of you and me.


I remember when we were talking
About our lives, our dreams, our insecurities
I remember your distinct flavour
You’re a cinnamon roll, with a paprika piece
Not too sweet, just the right taste.

I remember how we kissed
For the very first time
Under the street lamps
On a New Moon night

Now I see your ghost
In every thing I do
When I’m watching a movie
About taciturn men;
When I’m reading a book
Doubting if therapy works:
When I’m crying tears
Hoping you’d hold me.

I see your ghost
In the strangers on the crowded subways
Who have the same hairstyle
And my broken laptop
That you knew how to fix.
When I want to score
The beatiful numbness.

I see your ghost
In stories that are funny
Because you’d have rolled your eyes at them
Now I look over and see plain white sheets
Impregnated with black ink
That mean nothing to me.

I see your ghost
In poems I write for other people
Before you and I were crafted
Into a beautiful melody
Before I gave my heart to you
Under the laurel tree.
Before you said you loved me
And you always will.

I see your ghost
Haunting my memories
In the darkest of hours
Haunting my dreams
In the most beautiful nightmares
Haunting my day
In the busiest of hours
Haunting my nights
In the whitest of sheets.

Going back in time.

Do you sometimes want to go back?
He asks me, his eyes full of fear and hope
He’s looking like the home
I ran away from, because it was time.

To the place in our lives
When you could hold me all the time?

I miss his soft lips,
The way they move against mine.

I still love the way your brown eyes shine
I miss his hoodie that he’d given me to keep
I miss the prickly hair on his cheeks
I miss his soapy scent just after a bath.

I still love your insanely frizzy hair
I miss the paragraphs of love declarations that he’d send
I miss the side eyes that he’d give
I miss his reassuring bear hugs.

I still love you, let’s make it alright
I miss the heated debates that were never fights
I miss our late night phone karaokes
But I do not miss him.

If I could travel back in time,
I’d want us to be back together

If I could travel back in time, I’d like for him to hold me again.

If I could go back in time,
I would never let you go

If I could travel back in time,
I swear I’d love him right.

If I could go back in time,
I’d want us to be together forever

If I could go back in time,
I would choose not to.