Monday, July 13, 2015

The Bad-Ass

Pigeons are weird. First, they are dumb. Then, they’re prolific procreators. That combination, in my (non-judgemental, cough) opinion, makes them quite perverted. There is a particular pigeon I know of, who sits on the sill of the tiny window of the equally tiny washroom of my office, and s/he is definitely voyeuristic. Given that it is a unisex washroom, we shall bypass any discussion about the said pigeon’s sexual preferences. Instead, we shall learn about the day I first met this absolutely valorous, fearless and badass creature.

So, it was a fine, ordinary day when I was washing my hands with the very pink, liquid soap (hygiene must be doubled in office loo, but that’s another story for another day) after my business, I heard this faint coo. My eyes immediately shot up towards the ceiling, for I’ve had previous, nasty experiences of aviary creatures stranded on ceiling fans and tube lights and even hooks on the walls, using your shirt as their washroom. Pushing aside the mental image of becoming a loo in a loo (ooooh, looception!), I tried to wrap up quickly. Coo. Again. I would have simply ignored the cooing if I did not finally spot a pair of sharp, beady eyes looking at me through the blinds of the window. I will not lie, it spooked me a little, momentarily. Coo, coo. “Shoo!” I said. Coo, coo. It bobbed its head, but stared at me resolutely. “Shoo! Shoo!” I said again, this time flapping my arms at the bird. Coo, coo. Oh dear god, I thought, it’s mocking me! I made a striking gesture at it. It made a pecking gesture at me. That’s when I realized, it wasn’t afraid of me. It was probably too stupid to know that I could throw a wet mop at it and drench its feathers, rendering it incapable of flying, leaving it to be preyed on by a stray cat or something. While I stood contemplating the various gruesome deaths I wanted to subject it to, it stared at me unblinkingly, making faint gurgling noises. “So, you think you’re some badass, huh? I’ll teach you, you pervert... Staring in through loo windows, shameless creature!” I muttered. I wanted to keep it distracted, while I gathered some water from the tap in my cupped palm. “Take that!” I practically yelled, jerking the water towards it with all my force. It hit the glass and dripped along the length in long, morose, grimy lines. The pigeon looked at me, almost pityingly, moved a little along the length of the sill, pecked at its feet and I swear I am not making this up, slowly curved its neck and gave me a patronizing nod.

Needless to say, I left the battlefield, head hung in defeat, while my adversary stood its ground with all its pea-brained pride intact. I was completely absorbed in my own misery, walking the walk of shame back to my seat of despair. My colleague and next-desk neighbour looked at me questioningly. “Stupid pigeon on the loo window. Wouldn’t budge. Was throwing some water at it.” I tried to make the whole episode sound necessary. She raised her eyebrows. “Mm-hmm.” was all she said.

Monday, February 23, 2015

9 Kinds of People You Don’t Want As Neighbours in an Aircraft

When you are inside a pressurized metal container, flying 30,000 feet in the air you would ideally want a stress-free environment. If the already cramped leg-space and claustrophobia inducing loos weren’t enough, you have these nine gems to ruin your flight experience, if you happen to sit next to one.

1. The Spread
He’s a spread, but definitely not the smoothest one in the market. This one loves to spread out as large as possible and occupy as much area, even the part he hasn’t paid for, as he can. God be with you if you are sitting at the window and the middle seat is hosting a Spread.

2. The Newly-Married Honeymooning Couple
Talk about kebab mein haddi, only it’s your Kebab and they are the haddis. And it is exactly as annoying as the way it sounds. They will make you feel you are invading private space, even though your seat is legitimately yours. The tinkling of the wedding jewellery, which the bride has adorned in copious amounts, the coo-chi-cooing... you’ll be especially unfortunate if you spot some PDA in your peripheral vision.

3. The Human Snorlax
Yes, you’re absolutely allowed to sleep in the aircraft, but if your neighbour is a Snorlax, you’re bound to be annoyed. This one starts the nap time as soon as he seats himself and after that, his vocabulary consists of only one sound - *snore*. “Could you please move your head to the other side?” *snore*. “Please let me pass.” *snore*. “Would you like some coffee?” *snore* *snore* *snore*

4. The Returning College Stud
He’s been away from parental supervision for the first time for so long. He probably has piercings and grizzly manes of hair and beard. Speaks in a fake accent and is so full of himself that he can barely contain it. Poor you is flooded with stories of college debauchery and self-proclaimed heroism. And oh, did he mention his bike, the one that flies faster than this aircraft?

5. The Wannabe Model
She will always be surrounded by a cloud of perfumes and powders, lest the papparazi strike, you know. She will make you feel underdressed and the same time, relieved that you’re not the one caked in compact and chained in brands. And you’re in for some accented verbal abuse if you happen to accidentally touch her Gucci bag or Prada shoes or whatever.

6. The Frequent Loo User
He will use the loo about ten times in a two-hour flight. He is constantly excusing himself, climbing over you to get to the loo. And just when you think he has finally expunged his bladders and guts, he needs to go again. The washroom sign is forever occupied because of him. You start to wonder why he bothers coming back to his seat at all. Oh, of course, to annoy you!

7. The Luggage Fretter
The Loo User must have learned it from the master, for this one is forever checking the overhead luggage to ensure his hasn’t been stolen. Seriously? Luggage stolen in an aircraft? But no, he is paranoid enough for both of you. He also needs something in the likes of headphones, tablets, tissues, moisturizer and so on from his bag, every five minutes.

8. The Gossip Girls
It’s okay to gossip, we all do it, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Only, it is acceptable in closed quarters. You don’t want to find yourself privy to the scandalous lives of some aunty or the lecherous habits of the old man you’ll never have to meet (thankfully). These chatterboxes also don’t seem to have volume control and will continuously give you mini heart attacks with every peal of shrill laughter.

9. The Curious Aunty
The most annoying aircraft neighbour ever. You’re travelling alone; she’s travelling alone, voila! You’re now the best of friends. She will ask you questions with the authority of a visa interviewer. She might also want to stuff he ghar ka khana down your throat. And then ask for compliments on her cooking. Sorry auntieji, this one’s not for you.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

When I Opened My Eyes This Morning

When I opened my eyes this morning
(Most people wouldn’t call it morning)
There was a bullet in me.
So I didn’t sit up, or turn over.
I lay with my eyes open and the day
Breathed around me,
Inhaling light, exhaling shadows.
I bled beautifully, needlessly, profusely.
There was no pain. There was no wound.
I did not know where the bullet had lodged itself.
It may have been my rib-cage,
My thigh, my wrist, my brain.

They shouted, “That is art!” and clamoured for a better view.
But it wasn’t.

There was no pain. There was no wound.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Of Cakes and Candles

“Happy birthday to you!” sang the throng in the hall in whose centre I stood beaming, with the usual slight awkwardness. Despite the ‘I-don’t-know-where-to-look’ dilemma, happiness was filling me like helium fills balloons. I could almost feel myself lifting off the ground to join the red and blue and yellow ones sticking to the high ceiling. I didn’t need a wish! I had all the people I loved around me on my special day and they were here for me. They had made their way to me, squeezed me into their rapid, crowded schedules. As the singing, albeit off-key (but who cared), fizzled out, the lights around me dimmed, making the candles on the three-pound, chocolate mud cake before me spread their orange-y glow seep out. I still didn’t need a wish, but, taking a panorama around the room, I closed my eyes for a customary one anyway.
I closed my eyes and blew out the solitary candle on the cupcake on my bedside table, plunging my tiny, one-bedroom flat into complete darkness. Turning over, I pulled the covers over my head on my narrow single bed and went to sleep. The cat didn’t come back tonight either.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Of Wrongs and Rights

She felt as though her ribs had shattered
Into a million shark-teeth
That were slowly sinking
Into her ravaged heart
That someone had squeezed
Into a pulp, a bloody, messy pulp
That could be rotting away
Into a stinking bitterness
That smelled pungent, boring
Into her flaring nostrils
That made her eyes pour
Into a tear-stained pillow
That lay beneath her throbbing head.

They said what she felt was wrong

Simply because,
She didn't have the right

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Scars Do Not Heal

Love returned had caused a funny sensation in his heart. It was the most curious of emotions; if he were to touch it, it tingled; if he were to poke it, it screamed in agony. Knowing not what to do with it, he finally fashioned from it a breathtakingly, devastatingly handsome double-edged sword. It was sharp enough to slice a strand of spiderweb into two perfect halves down the middle and shiny enough to reflect the sun one hundred  thousand times more.

Yet, there was something more wonderous than the fashioning of this magnificent sword was happening inside his heart. The place now made vacant by the disappearing pain was gradually being seduced by revenge. Revenge made him angry. Revenge made him wish others ill. He wanted the beautiful sword to bleed them, reduce them into an excruciating mess. And, it made him feel good.

So he did. Remorselessly. Unabashedly. Illogically. The sight of the flowing blood made him grin.

But soon he discovered weals, cuts and wounds on his own arms and legs, face too. He had forgotten that his sword of pain had two equally dangerous edges. Slowly his whole body was tattooed with scars from unfought battles. He, however, did not realize this until he attained a great age and children and grandchildren of his own.

His progeny, blinded by the sword's brilliance, wanted it exclusively for himself or herself. He, however, before they could make their claims, understood at last that the people he had hurt were no different from his own self. That very moment, the sword shattered into millions and millions of minuscule shards, each still as sharp and shiny as their original. The pieces, left to themselves, were scattered by unknowing winds far and wide.

Histories later, all of us have inherited those shards. All of us have used it too. They have caused us the scars we no longer want to explain.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Hey, Stupid

Slid the metal into its latch,
Closed, shut and locked
One more door. 

Checked for gaps and chinks
And sealed them in bad poetry
Mean sarcasm
And junk food, at times.

Was busy
Checking, rechecking and multichecking
Locked, relocked and multilocked doors,
Separating, hiding, shielding.

Didn't realize
That the walls were crumbling,
Whispering their demise
Into unnoticed breaths and sighs.
Walls made of still-frames
And favourite quotes
Of memories,
And growing-up-pains;

I was sitting behind closed doors
In a room with no walls.

Of course,I looked stupid.