The Valley Where My Heart Broke

I remember trekking up the hills with my home in a backpack, and a little instruction manual on how to assemble it that I knew by heart. That I remember, is marvelous, because this story is from the time I used to have expectations, and I do not quite expect myself to remember that time.

I went there looking for stars to lie under because when I turned 16 and heard that the sky knows no limits, ma’s Mukaish chunni that I had been lying beneath suddenly seemed a little too small. But clouds could never obstruct ma’s chunni, and I don’t know why I thought the same for the sky.

The first few nights were gorgeous, they were the ones on which I do not remember blinking. But soon enough the lights in the sky shut down one after the other the way the streetlights of my city do when dawn breaks. When dawn breaks, but maybe clouds and stars don’t care for that. I still stayed. I stayed still, staring into the same nothingness that used to smile at me mysteriously from between Delhi streets. The nothingness I had run from, at least it was full of voices of the people I love…

If you have ever heard a fresh stream bubble over rocks and pebbles, you would know how a heart sounds like when it breaks. A swift shatter easily lost amongst crisp burbles. I know, because now every time I move, from my chest I can hear a brook. The damned nothingness started to heave inside of me and it was now, when it maliciously pumped blood through my veins, that I realised it was in me and so it was in Delhi streets and mountain skies.

This doesn’t mean I have stopped looking for places where I do not feel the void, but since that day I have only laughed when Ma opens the door wearing a yellow chunni over a navy blue suit, and runs to check if someone left a tap open every time I walk in.


Writers’ Woe

I cannot write –


I close my eyes to drain the voice of my father screaming out the word

‘suicide’ to my mother and the purple on my lavender duvet

expands to absorb pain; I wrap the sorrow laden

covers around me and call it warmth.


Several words climb up my heaving chest,

so I turn to my side and let them slide off.


I step on crunchy leaves to drain the silence between myself and an old

lover walking next to me and the distance amidst our tangled

fingers widens and drops into a void; we empty into

it leftover butterflies and call it a phase.


A few lines escape from beneath the crackles

so I walk over them until all I hear is quietude.


I breathe harder to drain the whisper of his dewy, familiar, safe embrace

slipping out of the crevices in my memory and his touch reminds

of the space between our spirits; we hold each other

stronger than ever before and call it home.


A couple of verses drum upon his heartbeat

so I move my head from his chest to his neck.


I sing to drain the sound of every two atoms brought together by the cosmos

getting torn apart at some point of infinity and the illusion of

love defying this law fades; I accept nature for being

the sadist that it is and call it existence.


Poems emerge from all the destruction

so I stop creating, and nothing gets broken.


I do not write,

but the universe keeps talking to me

and I can only reply with poetry.


Only Too Late

I have had my share of love or exaggerated infatuation,

which one it is I do not know,


I have had my share of people

standing beneath my balcony on the only evenings

of downpour when I chose not to take my mug of tea outside.

I have had my share of

songs played to me on guitars on the only Christmas night

when I wasn’t in love with music or the musician who ran a little too late.

I have had my share

lying at the bottom of the only drawer of the chest, amongst

once lost nail clippers, where I search for a bottle opener with freshly trimmed nails.

I have had my

ribcage dismantled like the handles of the only kind of steel

tiffin dabbas which make a clicking sound before the boxes are unstacked and their content exposed.

I have had

wretchedness seep into my skin on the only nights I starved

of affection, like bitter nourishment filling my pores and cuticles in place of the affinity which once did dearly.

I have

a profound curiosity for the only feeling in the world which

could imitate that of fan air that fills rooms in March, and brings back nostalgia from the first days of last spring, and


know I will only discover the true meaning of love

amidst ignored raindrops, forgotten carols, lost nail clippers, rusted lunch boxes, accepted woes and irretrievable seasons on a day when I will finally

make peace with not knowing the difference between love and exaggerated infatuation.

On Fate


On one of the nights when my father and I discuss life, we were talking about love and of course, that led to us talking of how Van Gogh decided to die and my father told me that he has a memory of a saint telling the masses that Gogh went to sea on a day he was already drowning in thoughts of a decided death, and returned with sundried tears, and the salt and oil they left behind the way the ocean will the day it completely dries.

In my father’s viewpoint, Gogh probably used the salt as inspiration, and the oil as paint or fuel, because he believes it was the sun that made the artist paint, but when I read up on Gogh, I found out such was not the case.

But I grew a deep-rooted affinity for a coincidence that I will now share –

I was only fifteen and when I decided to die, so I gave myself three more days of life for the sake of what the internet had been nagging me to do, and on the fourth day, when I had decided to visit the abandoned park nearby and drink myself insane until there is drain cleaner eating up every artery and vein that had my soul tied down, I woke up with sunshine covering every inch of my face except for my left ear, and I chose to kill myself on another day when the sun wasn’t so beautiful. Since then, I have never found the sun any less breath-taking, even on days preceding rain; maybe I’m only looking for a reason to live.

In my research, I looked up the saint’s work on Gogh and the second page I opened spoke of how an artist is to only create art for the sake of art, for the sake of creation and for the sake of paying the universe back for the life it has given to her, and not for the sake of appreciation, which was exactly the direction I had been lacking, and I was led to it on a Wednesday night because of my father, who doesn’t know what he thinks gave life to Van Gogh was actually what gave life to his daughter exactly two years ago.

So tell me there is no such thing as fate.


I could go out and scream it all to the walls because they might have ears for me, but I live in a busy city and I’d rather not be found in society thinking out loud its worst fears. I could also text myself on WhatsApp the way I used to, but for some reason, I expect replies – maybe it’s intentional, maybe the chat bubbles and blue ticks do make people want to carry conversations further until they are hooked to other human beings who lead lives just as pointless as the conversations that take place on these messengers. I wouldn’t say I prefer face to face talk either; it was only yesterday when my father told me that being a loner is the only way to get around the world. He then carried on to telling mum he’ll give her a divorce someday for the 400th time in the past two years (he never will). The point is, it is nice to have a blog that nobody reads – it’s a lovely place to vent.

I have a desire, and it is to want to live for something. Honestly? Currently, I exist because I do not want the people closest to me to blame themselves for my death when they have worked so hard to keep me happy. Do not misinterpret this, I only exist so I could give it all back to them. But you see, that is where the problem lies – I can only provide them with what they deserve once I’m successful and I don’t care for success. I don’t care for existence in general. People don’t understand it. They think I make no sense, but that is the point – to me, I make absolute sense, and I have to spend the rest of my life with myself, so I stop talking. But that is when they start getting irritated and it puts me in a weird position so I avoid social gatherings with people who know me as much as possible.

It’s adorable how they think extroverts have it good. Sure, we can socialize, but I can only do that with those who have no idea who I am so I wouldn’t have valid reasons to expect reciprocation. They could know me for a day or two and then they will never remember me, just the way I like it. How can people fear oblivion? It’s the most beautiful thing in the universe. If I could, I would fall into oblivion this very second, or maybe after a week so people know this is not a phase. Every year, on my birthday, I feel like I do not deserve all the love that I get, and then a month later I realize I do not want any of that love because it will obviously go away at some point. It is weird how I feel lonely when I’m with the guy I call my brother, or when I’m with school friends because I’m the kind of person who probably doesn’t appear as lonely to anyone. I’m probably messing up my grammar but who cares? Nobody is going to read this and thus, here, I can be my illiterate, negative, mediocre, self-destructive self without inviting any judgment.

What if I really run out on patience sometime in future and decide to end my life? I’ve been dragging myself for the most part of the past two years and might make 6 more, but I am pretty sure that will be it. Will I not be wasting more resources and taking up unnecessary space in an already overcrowded world? Will my parents not get more disappointed in me then after having put in so much only for me to kill myself at 23? Will it not be better if I die right now? It will save everyone the time, effort and money. Also, I wish I at least had the reason to live for vanity’s sake, but I have seen what my future self will look like visualized on someone else and it is the most disgusting thing one could look at.

I wish I had the guts to achieve the one thing I have been wanting so bad, but the sweet thing about death being your dream is that you will surely get there, sooner or later.


Until We Meet


I wish you find me at the library, sitting, skimming through pages of a novel that I will never know the end of, or maybe at a slam poetry open mic night when my brimming inferiority complex spills and splashes out of my body language and sentence formation a little too obviously. We could take the train back home and talk until the sound of “agla station Dwarka sector-21 hai” fights its way through our potentially infinite conversation and screams how I have a home that is not in the eyes of the stranger sitting next to me in public transport. Maybe I will take you there so you can continue your story in my balcony, only to pause at sunrise so you can fall in love with the way I love the sun.

I could love you on your sad days. We could drive out of the city to spend the night somewhere you can actually see the stars, so if you have to cry at least the sky will be full of bokeh in your blurry vision. I might as well play your favourite music and then stop at the petrol pump store to buy those new chips and condoms we have been planning on trying out for so long and come out with dreams of cooking that fancy meal together, and two bags full of ingredients that will never see the kitchen counter, or for that matter, the light of the day. I would do all of this only to watch you finally smile at the sunrise in our balcony so I could fall in love with how you love the sun.

I hope you would recognize the aspiration in my eyes every time we pass that Fabindia store and I hope you take me to that nukkad chai stall for a 7 rupees tea date to remind me that happiness doesn’t always exist in the overpriced linen that elite magazines feature. We could walk on poorly maintained footpaths and laugh until the dust and the noise of our busy city gets forgotten amidst stories of work gossip and tales of all types of Uber drivers. We could eye a stranger’s dog together and plan to get one when we’re both retired and only have our garden, art, and blood pressure to look after. My fingers could find yours in overcrowded streets, art exhibitions, ticket counters for sports matches, at the bottom of empty popcorn tubs, and during sunsets when we fall in love with the sun and each other all over again.

I’m glad I haven’t found you yet, because until then you can be whoever I want you to be, but don’t worry, I am a writer – I do not mind the would haves or could haves existing only in folded pages in a library book I forgot to return.


40 days we have been apart and you are back – back to water dying of stagnancy, plants dying because they have not been watered, a dining table polka dotted for millimetres thick dust and a few mugs and plates that appear to be stationary since the beginning of time, water bottles you should not be drinking from, and a kitchen counter full of packaged food wrappers. You are back to a daughter who didn’t bother calling you before you took off even while knowing you fear flight, and to a husband who hasn’t kept his phone aside ever since you have arrived. My father and I have never stored water in pots, we have never tried to give life to green, we don’t eat on a dining table, we never drank from water bottles, we have always been fixing our own food, I don’t call anyone, and he has never been able to keep his phone off.

It is the way it has always been, the house just lacks parts of you in reminiscence that has a pungent stink, because dear Ma,

the three of us have never been family, and so we never learnt to make a home for anyone but our own selves.