How not to book your International Flight Tickets – The Shock therapy

Part – I

Part – II

Despite the heavy rains outside, somehow it was just me in the whole airport who had been so visibly affected by it. After having relieved my bladder and changed my clothes at the washroom, I engaged in yet another interesting conversation with the attendant inside. She told me how people often carried more than 100 mL fluid material in their hand baggage and how painful it was to discard them after the security check. “Such a shame,”she said, “All that expensive Facewash, lotion and perfumes. We can’t use them. We just have to throw them away.”

In the middle of this conversation, I forgot to pay attention to an announcement that was going to change my life. “Dear travelers, we regret to inform you that one of the planes has skidded on the runaway while trying to take off because of which all flights have been temporarily suspended.”

I heard the announcement but stupidly ignored the implication of what had just been said. Meanwhile, my sister finally managed to arrive at the airport. Due to my impulsive decision (blame my bladder) to enter into the airport I was not able to chat with her for long at the gate. Instead we had to talk over the phone while looking at each other through the glass wall. How tragically romantic. After a series of brief instructions, wishes of good luck and selfies, we bid each other adieu only to meet again later the very same night.

Now I was standing in the queue for check in. However, the queue wasn’t moving anymore because they had stopped taking luggage til the issue at the runaway got resolved. Remember the announcement before? I was finally realizing what it actually meant. Minutes turned to hours, and I was still standing at the same spot in the queue chatting with another fellow passenger – both of us clueless about what we should be doing. And it was then another announcement was made – My flight had been cancelled.

The whole ordeal I had taken to come to the Airport played in front of my eyes in sepia. I waited for the announcement to be made again, hoping I hadn’t heard it right the first time. But I had. Wow. At least, I had prevented myself from a being a no-show. Little did I know that that wouldn’t matter after all. I broke away from the queue only to get into another one. My feet hurt. My head spun. After two hours of waiting, I got my flight rescheduled for the next night. I called my sister and narrated the whole story to her. It was decided that I should return and spend the night in her hotel room. I booked a cab, waited even for that for an hour but finally met my sister again and fell asleep soon after.

Me and my sister spent the next day at our hotel room looking at the clouds through the window and praying it wouldn’t rain hard. Our prayers were answered. It wasn’t the sky’s turn to weep anyway. I returned to the airport at night thinking I would be leaving the country in a couple of hours.

I didn’t.

Deja Vu. I had stood in that check in queue before. But this time at least it was moving forward. I arrived at the fork of the queue (I hate it when it has that) and I started competing with the an old couple for who gets into the main queue first. I won. And then I abandoned it entirely later.

Behold the biggest shock of my life – Imagine this; You have a booked ticket to relatively unknown place in England. Since it’s not a very popular destination, there are no direct flights to this place. So your flight takes you to there via different places in different European countries – let’s say, Paris and Amsterdam. You are happy thinking how you are going to get a brief glance of the airports of these two beautiful cities. But here’s the catch – it’s kinda cute that you are dreamy but unfortunately, you are also stupid. Though you have paid a relatively high fare to reach directly to your “dream” city, you haven’t bothered to check if you require any transit visa for travelling from one Schengen country to another. It’s normal to assume that since you are not going to leave the airport you won’t require any transit Visa at all. However, when you assume you make an ass out of your own self. So you are in the International Airport now, all queued up and then an officer comes up to you, asks you to show your ticket and Visa. You do, confidently. “No, you can’t travel on this,” You hear the dude say. “You require a transit Visa for flying from Paris to Amsterdam.” After a few pleas of “Officer, Can nothing be done now?” and repeatedly hearing the word, “No” you decide to cancel your whole ticket and then later you find out that it can’t be refunded and also all tickets directly going to England are overbooked.

What a night. I spent it all arguing with my travel agent (Makemytrip), Jet airways and Air France. Instead of me losing my temper at them, it was them who lost their temper at me. The guy at Air France customer care was exceptionally hilarious. The only people who treated me with certain amount of sympathy were the ones who had screwed me the hardest in the first place – My travel agent. I asked them to book another flight. They did for the next night. So I had to spend double the money on the new flight and I was not getting any refund on the previous ticket. But the story gets better. My sister had already left Mumbai. So I had nowhere to go. I was so embarrassed and frustrated by the whole situation that I was kind of glad that she wasn’t there. I decided to tell no one and I put my phone on flight mode. Yeah, stupid decision. But haven’t I made it specifically clear by now how stupid I am?

Long hours of waiting awaited me. I took my baggage trolley to the seating area. I spent half of the night weeping and half of it trying to sleep with my head on the trolley and rest of my body adjusted in a single seating chair. I was hungry but I didn’t eat. I was thirsty but I didn’t care. I tried to calm down. I tried telling myself everything was going to be okay. But I really wasn’t sure about the authenticity of that statement. I knew talking to my family would have helped me but I didn’t want anyone else to be worried. So, I sat on that chair with my stupid secret that really didn’t have to be a secret and somewhere in early morning, I fell asleep. After two hours of a painful and uncomfortable nap, I woke up to the gloomiest day ever.


Part – III

Part – IV


How not to book your International Flight Tickets – The Beginning

Part – I

The two months that I had stayed in my home thinking I would be reading, writing and even perhaps learning how to play Piano had ended. I hadn’t read. I hadn’t written. I had forgotten whatever I learnt about playing Piano. I had spent my youth and my old age waiting in Bank and begging them to take my request for Education loan on priority. I had circled around the court for gathering weird documents for this loan, I had printed all sorts of stuff for my VISA application and then I had spent rest of the days compiling them as per VISA guidelines. And whatever time that was left after all this, I had spent it on “trying to learn” how to cook and bitching about State Bank of India to literally every person I could.

But all that struggle had finally come to an end. My loan had been approved, tuition fees had been paid, I had received my VISA, I had packed my bags and now I was ready to leave.The train to Mumbai was going to depart at 1 o’clock in the afternoon. I had woke up early despite staying up late, bathed, ate and now I was sitting restlessly with my eyes fixated on the minute hand of the clock and butterflies fluttering inside my stomach. The adventure was about to begin. In five hours, I would be in Mumbai. In twenty hours I would be in Norwich – my current city of dreams. Odd – I know – not everybody is aware of this city’s existence, certainly I wasn’t till a couple of months ago. But there I was, dreaming of boarding the flight to the smallest city I would ever live in. I called the cab, one of the last times I would be using Uber and I excitedly hopped into the taxi bidding adieu to my mother.

Day one of my nightmare had officially commenced. But I had no idea it was a nightmare at all.

The cab dropped me at the Railway station. I excitedly strode to the Platform with my “Norwich dreams” only to find that my train was delayed by five hours. This was the first indication of how things were going to go horribly wrong down the road but though I acknowledged that it wasn’t a good sign but I merely deemed it as a minor setback. I had booked tickets with good time margin between them. So the delay didn’t bother me much. At least till the next hour. Then doubts began to spring in my head like weeds in a garden. I made the judgement call. I decided to take the bus instead. For the first time in my life, I used the station’s wifi and searched for the earliest bus cursing Indian Railways under my breath. Fortunately, I did find a bus that was about to leave in twenty minutes. Hurriedly, I made a dash for the Exit. I paid the Autorickshaw driver three times higher than the regular fare to reach the bus stop, booked the bus with three times higher fare than the train’s ticket price and unknowingly stepped further into the dreadful adventure. I boarded the sleeper bus, fell asleep with my shoes on, only to be awakened by the conductor asking me to take them off and shift to the upper seat. Though a bit irritated, I obediently did what he asked me to do and stared outside as the first few drops of rain hit the window. I had heard the news that it was raining hard in Mumbai – first from a fellow passenger and then from my sister who was already in Mumbai since the previous day – a visit planned to see me before I fly to Norwich. I hoped for the best and took another small nap.

My phone, one of the last few times my Indian number shall be used, rang. It was my sister again. “It’s raining really hard here.” she said. “Even I am stuck in traffic. Where are you?”

“Somewhere in the highway.” I replied.

“Okay, turn your live location on.”

“I have run out of my net pack.” Because who needs it when you are supposed to leave the country in about six hours?

“I will get it recharged,” she replied.

I could sense higher level of adrenaline in my blood but there was nothing I could do but wait. And waiting is all I did for the next three days but of course I didn’t know that yet. What I did know was Mumbai rains were going to fuck me over. And that they did. Soon the roads turned into shallow rivers and traffic began to drift excruciatingly slowly. Panic? Yeah, I was drenched completely in it. But the movie had just started. My sister was calling me pretty frequently now. We were both wondering how I was going to reach Airport at all. Luckily, the bus conductor came to my rescue. “Where do you want to get off ?” He asked. “Nearest place to the International Airport.”

“Well, it’s going to be troublesome.” You think so?

But the bus conductor turned out to be much more helpful than I expected. I spent a considerable amount of time talking to him and the driver when I sat next to the driver seat discussing Mumbai rains, occasional “risks” of helping people (especially a woman – Well I would rather not comment), about Conductor’s brother working abroad and finally about my plans of studying in England. The driver asked me how English currency looked like. After a moment of hesitation, I handed him a twenty pound note out of my wallet. He glanced at it in fascination and to my secret sigh of relief returned it to me. We had reached as near as we could to the airport. I had to get off now. Since I didn’t have any umbrella, the conductor walked me over to the back of the bus holding his umbrella over both of us. He took my luggage out of the storage and again walked me over to the nearest bus stop. I was walking barefoot with my shoes dangling over my neck. The rain was pouring down hard. Five minutes outside the bus and I was already wet. The conductor left me after giving me rough instructions for how to reach the Airport which I didn’t quite understand. All I did understand was that I needed to cross the road to get a Taxi. While walking towards the Skywalk that led to the opposite side of the road, I had the best stroll of my life with the clouds showering their brutality over me for no reason whatsoever (How dare you try to go to England, you stupid dumbfuck!), with my blurry vision (How dare you wear specs while it’s raining, you stupid dumbfuck!), my heavy luggage (How dare you carry so much while travelling to another country, you stupid dumbfuck!) and my wet clothes (How dare you wear clothes that get wet at all, you stupid dumbfuck!).

I was struggling hard to carry my bag upstairs in the Sky-walk. My plight must have been visible all over my face. It was then that I met my heroes. I almost choked on my mental tears of gratitude for them when they helped me with my luggage, first by carrying it up the stairs and then down. However, my troubles didn’t end there. I still had to get a taxi to the airport. And finding one had been the hardest thing I ever did in my life. Maybe after the loan. And after Engineering. And my job. By the time I had crossed the road through the foot over-bridge – I was already wet to the bone and so were my bags. I didn’t care anymore. I just wanted to get a cab. I walked up to the middle of the road multiple times leaving my bag into the supervision of a random person, hoping that it wouldn’t get stolen. Nobody stole anything and I finally found a taxi but I paid extraordinarily high fare to the cab driver. I reached the airport – my one and only ultimate goal of my life then. My heart uttered some really creative curse words for the Mumbai rains and the city’s horrendous drainage system but at the same time it brimmed with gratitude for Mumbai people; for all those kind strangers who had helped me. I had been so absorbed in this entire struggle that I didn’t realize that my bladder was very close to a rather embarrassing explosion. I hurriedly entered inside the airport. Duped by the perpetual lost expression on my face, one of the Attendants approached me and asked, “Are you looking for something?”

“Yeah, Washroom.” I said. The same washroom that I was going to use for the coming three days.


Part – II

Part – III

Part – IV

Lonely Bunch of Fuckers

Aren’t we all lonely bunch of fuckers?
Trying to hide from our own demons in each other’s company,
Trying to find our own selves in others,
How does that even work?
How does it even end?
Our eternal search for eternal connection – something or someone who could save us from destroying ourselves.
Aren’t we all lonely bunch of fuckers?
Settling for company we don’t even like,
Listening to things that we sort of despise,
But better that than listening to our babbling brain –
The person will eventually shut up, the brain won’t.
Aren’t we all lonely bunch of fuckers?
We flee with numb solitude when we actually need companionship the most.
Such lonely misguided souls!
Wanting to lead, wanting to be led,
Searching for truth, searching for love,
And at the same time shit scared of both.

Aren’t we both such lonely pair of fuckers?
Cheers to yet another glass of whiskey!
Hope it melts the frozen insides,
And the frozen tongue,
So that the vocal words flow better than the thoughts.
There’s no need for love tonight, for love is scary and too fantastical to be true,
So let’s wait until the line between lust and love vanishes out of the blue.
I might agree to meet you next time,
and the next time next to that,
I might agree to see you, talk to you, laugh with you,
And hate you even more than I possibly can,
But that doesn’t matter as long as you drive my emptiness away,

Until it returns again.


The Two Parallel Lines

“Hello ladies, my name is Charles and I will be your waiter tonight,”he says in his slightly accented posh English.

We like Charles already. After all, being addressed as a lady is a rare thing. We try to return his “Hello” with equal charm. Can’t tell if we succeeded but we don’t have time to reflect on that. Happy hours are ending soon and there is a lot of alcohol to order. So, we immediately proceed to digging our heads into the cocktail menu. Beer is something that we don’t even mention once in our discussion. That is going to be ordered by default. In the midst of our deliberation over the choice of cocktails, I look at two of my closest friends and wonder how mystical and surreal being here with them actually is. But that doesn’t last long. “Six pints of beer, for now. We will order the cocktails soon,” I tell our charming waiter.

I am transported back to the time when we three were discussing oral sex for the first time. “What do you mean you put it in your mouth? They pee with that thing!” “I don’t know. I don’t know how people do that…” We three glanced at each other and let out a synchronous shudder. Now, sitting in a bar, sipping on our beer, it’s funny how we don’t seem to be affected by that shudder anymore. “So, all bases?” I am asked. “Well, you could say that.” I confess it with a surprising casual indifference. I am greeted back in the same way. “Uh! Cool.” Where has our shock been assimilated? How could there not be a trace of it? Perhaps I can find the abundance of it in the faces of twelve year old us, sitting on the bench in the classroom a decade ago. If they would have been sitting with us today, they would have killed me with disgust in their eyes. The pre-teenaged us wouldn’t just have stopped with the look. Next thing they would have done was to throw away our bottles, “What is this that you are drinking! Alcohol? We swore we would never do that!” We are perfectly fine with drinking now. In fact there’s a part of us, who can’t live without it. But we (at least I did) indeed swore that we would never consume this wretched liquid. Same thing went with cigarettes. Same thing went with broccoli. Same thing went with green tea. We have grown into liking both the health saviors and health destroyers at the same time. Well, the equation must be balanced, right?

“Forgot to ask, how was it though?” one of my friends asks. “Ah, what sex? Comme ci comme ca. Okay, I guess?” I reply. And like that we go back to our drinks. We are perfectly fine with boys asking us out. Back in school, that was a big deal. I suddenly get the flashbacks of some of our conversations from school – “What do you mean, you are chatting on messenger?” “Well, we have been doing that for past two weeks. Every day.” “What do you mean every day?” “Well, every day.” “Do you have a crush on him?” “No” my friend said blushing. “Is that a yes?” “No” My friend said nodding affirmatively. Wow, back then it used to be huge. “What happened to the guy you met on Tinder?” I ask her. “Meh” she replies. “Still talking even?” I ask further. “Yes” she says. “Then?” I ask. “Meh.”

By now we all are sipping on the last few drops of beer left in the bottle. Our eyes are droopy and our voices heavy and our conversations solely in English. “I am not drunk okay” my friend says. “I am never drunk okay,”the other friend replies. Yeah of course. English though – Ah! It gave me such a hard time in school. All those people with their fancy education in private high class schools spoke such fluent English. I envied them deeply. It was devastating because it took a toll on my public speaking skills. I was so scared of English. That insecurity is lost now. There are greater things to worry about.

It’s surreal in a way that we three are still this close. There were so many other people back in school with whom I had felt I had a ‘deep connection’. They are nothing but a name in my Facebook friend list now. How weird is this. I think you don’t choose friends but life chooses them for you. There are people who connect with you and to each one of those people there stand thousand others who don’t. It’s a bit tricky to find those people who know you like their favorite book. You might find a connection in some moments with a particular person but you have little control over its expiry date. People enter in your life as intersecting straight lines. They come, converge, intersect and diverge. On the other hand, there are people who never intersect but they run parallel with you for the rest of your life.

“Three Classic Martinis, please.” We have finally decided on the cocktails. Charles nods and throws a brief glance at the empty beer bottles at our table as if wondering whether we should be drinking more. Fifteen minutes later, he would be serving us another round of Martinis. The beer has already got our heads buzzed. We are laughing over stupid jokes. We are endlessly taking selfies. We are wondering how painfully overpriced the french fries are. Soon, we will head to the dance floor and dance for three hours straight with basically everyone present in the club. We are going to discuss this night for weeks, maybe years. We are going to be amazed how amazing it was. But for now, I just look at these two people and cringe at my cheesiness but it’s true – they do mean the world to me. These two fuckers are my parallel lines.


Things that I don’t understand – IV

      1. Fluid mechanics. Office politics. And heart
      2. Black holes. Black-heads. What existed before big bang. And heart.
      3. X-men movie timeline, Donnie Darko and why I suck at receiving compliments.
      4. Complex philosophical theories. The Tree of Life movie. And my procrastinating habits.

I glance at my phone again. Its screen is plain black with light reflecting through its cracked edges and it is idiotly smiling back at me as if it doesn’t understand my irritation at all. Why aren’t you blinking with a notification? A telephone under a chat circle or an f under a square? Why aren’t you quenching my curiosity? But I thought you wanted me to be silent and not disturb you. And now when I am doing exactly that, you have a problem? Again?

I and my smartphone are in an abusive relationship. My palms have huge holes and they are pretty fond of providing free fall experiences to my phone.

Even with its bruised and malfunctioning screen, my wounded and weak phone can still torture me effortlessly. In fact more now.

If you hate me so much, why don’t you get rid of me? I don’t mind being sold. You can go back to using landlines. I know you terribly miss them.

I don’t know how my phone learnt sarcasm but certainly it’s more fluent in it than I can ever be. “I should do that. I should sell you.” I retort.

I am proud of your decision. I am sure you won’t find it hard to let go of all the applications you are fond of using.

All the applications? Facebook? Twitter? Maps? Gmails? Uber? Chrome? Camera?

Yes, you can ‘clearly’ live easily without them of course.

Whatever. What matters right now is not this stupid argument but the question,”Why aren’t you blinking yet?”

Blinking with what. You need to be specific. You meant the drop-but-actually-a- fire thing?

Shut up. I wasn’t asking for that notification.

No? So I suppose you are asking for notifications of the news app you never bother to use?

Okay, the telephone under the circle thing. Now you know, go blink.

No. I won’t.

Exasperated I return to my book. Sure, actually it’s good I am away from all those distractions. I can concentrate. Two lines into the paragraph, some idiot in my head speaks,”But why hasn’t he messaged you yet? Is he ignoring you?”

“Does it matter?” I ask back.

Silence again. Fifth line into the paragraph, the idiot speaks again, “But why hasn’t he messaged you yet? Are you not interesting enough?”

“Does it matter?”

The question works again. I tell my brain, rather I request my brain for his kind attention on the words that I am trying to read. It obeys. For three minutes. Then I go on a date, with the same guy who did text me back in this dreamworld. He had apologized. He said he was too busy with work. But he also said he would make up for it by a dinner in a good Sushi restaurant. Ah! Sushi. How did he even know I love Sushi? Now we are in this fancy restaurant, eating the most delicious Sushi ever made on the face of the Earth. And I have finally learnt how to use chopsticks. There’s a huge platter of Sushi in front of me. There are so many varieties and each one is equally delicious. But if you ask which one’s my favorite–

My phone blinks with the telephone thing for real. I snap out of my date-but-increasingly-transforming-into-food daydreams. Has he finally texted? You are blinking, my love. You are finally blinking.

Hold your horses, young lady. How can you be so sure that I am blinking with his text.

Ah no. Don’t say it. Don’t imply it. Don’t jinx it. No. It has already been jinxed, hasn’t it? Yeah, it’s not from him. It’s a message on the school group – another useless GIF.

You do know I can’t make him text, right? Stop being stupid.

You are stupider.

Oh really? Let’s check your search history on Google, shall we?

How does my own phone gets to speak with me like that? You are supposed to be my servant.

And you are supposed to be worthy of being served to. I will tell you – Here’s what is going to happen now. You are going to continue gawking at me for like 12 straight hours. Then you shall finally give up only till you send him a drunk text like an hour later. He is going to reply with a conversation-ender. Suddenly, your ego that you had carelessly sold in your drunkenness will come running back to you. Horrified, you won’t reply. You will archive/delete the chat and resolve you are never going to text him again. That resolution will end in exactly two hours and twenty seven minutes. Then you are going to start obsessing again. Be better than this obsession cycle, your highness. Be better.

Okay duck him. Let’s scroll through our Facebook Newsfeed again.

You did that like 27.25 seconds ago but I am happy to comply.

I need to read but a quick glance through twitter?

Of course.

Facebook again?

Of course.


Of course.


Of course.

Two hours later, I finally decide to turn off my phone and return to my book. The words don’t make sense initially but I continue to read anyway. Somewhere, along some paragraphs, I finally immerse in the text. The black screen of my phone still keeps radiating temptation in the background. My smartphone pretends it is not doing that on purpose. Evil bastard, I resolve not to fall into his trap again. Twenty two minutes later, I am watching some random shit on YouTube. How and why exactly is what I don’t understand.


Infinity Loop

The other side of the dream
lies another dream
lies another clean slate
that you need to start scribbling on –
Infinity loop
According to my disoriented head
And according to my head high with hope
I am just in a bad mood.

The other side of dream
lies new sets of insecurities,
More shit to deal with.
What did you think, you’d get away so easily?
What the hell is wrong with you?
I think even happiness hurts sometimes
When I laugh
often my heart yearns for the solace in sorrow.
Crazy, isn’t it?
What the hell is wrong with me?
Most of us don’t even know how to live!
Why do they not train you before throwing you out to Earth?
Here, we are trying to decipher the meaning of life
through random Instagram posts
deemed inspirational according to current popular culture.
Hence, the training,
Hence, my point.

Anyway, the other side of dream
lies a new list of confusions
But wait
Why is this moron complaining again?
Can’t she just revere what she has?
Who’s complaining?
I am not complaining!
I am just trying to get rid of some pathetic filters of my mood
I hate it when I am poetic like this
I hate it
I hate poems
Though those are mostly what I write
I hate the honesty it drips with
And I hate how people simply don’t get it
Not their fault though
Poetry is pathetic.
Here, I admit it.

The other side of the dream
lies the new kind of rage
and ungratefulness,
New sets of blows to conscience
New sets of excuses
New kinds of cruel addictions
You thought you could get away so easily?
Sit back
And get another cup of coffee;
The door just leads into another room
for you to find another door
to yet another room.
I guess the key is to not lose patience
(At least, that’s what the tweet said)
What do you even want from your life?
Maybe food?
Or a quick nap?
Long naps, actually,
Very long indeed
But then you cross a threshold
And you enter into a series of nightmares
Not your position of particular liking,
But you are too lazy to wake up
And your brain is too desperate for you to do the very same.
So ultimately you give in,
Eyes open
Mind shut.
Inherent surviving skills, I figure.
I am impressed
Maybe they will come handy
when I am being too harsh on life
on myself,
like today?
Come on get me out of here,
Where the hell does it go when you need it the most?
Wake me up, will you?
I know,
It will watch me suffer.
Let me get some popcorn for you
Loser. Fucker.
Oh, you need coke too?

But anyway,
The other side of the dream;
Welcome to the infinity loop,
To the Hotel California rules
It will be easier to ignore, easier not to perceive
That once you check in, you kind of never leave.
The hotel is humongous;
Infinite rooms, infinite doors
You are lost now
Just like you were lost before.
So does it really make a difference?
On the other hand,
I heard the room service is great
And the food ain’t that bad
And despite being in the gigantic maze of rooms,
And corridors,
And floors,
And halls,
And what not,
You can still easily find the bar.

I mean, just saying.



You are beautiful,
You are beautiful, almost,
When you forget to sync sound to your thoughts,
God I am soaking wet under your accented syllables (just the syllables?)
Sometimes they make sense,
Sometimes I forget to make sense out of them.
You are beautiful,
Really, in all your peculiarity,
The hair falling on your forehead,
The walk with your shoulders slightly converged,
Snigger, giggle, god if only you’d shut up,
I can paint your naked portrait in my head,
And maybe even worship it,
If only you’d shut up
And kiss
And touch
And what not.
Man, you could call me the one with weird choices,
Benefits of doubts, suppressed judgement and mostly I, trying to choose the right thing among infinite voices,
A mistake – I know it,
But trust me I have read the Terms & Conditions,
A mistake – I know it,
But what’s life without one?
So, hey weirdo!
I invite you to be among my favorite anecdotes,
I invite you to invite me into a situation that none of us has to care about,
Kiss me again, I know you would,
Lust wins after all,
I might just find meaning out of your babbles,
Once, twice, maybe a couple of more times,
As long as I keep experiencing paradise under your dexterous tongue,
Among other things.


How’s life in England?

“So, how’s life in England?” My phone notifies me of yet another text bearing the same question I’ve heard daily since the past two months. And I am left wondering, yet again, how the hell do I answer this?

How’s life in England? Each day, I wake up with a slight hangover because somehow I have developed a habit of mistaking beer for water. The morning begins with me brewing a tasteless tea and slicing an apple, often along with my fingers. Then I connect my phone to the speakers as I eat my so-called breakfast and start preparing my lunch. Two months back, cooking was my least favorite task and now it is my top choice for procrastination. I chop vegetables while dancing to some 2000s rock. I still don’t know how I manage to pull that off. The day progresses as I finish cooking my lunch which is almost never completely consumed by me. I leave some curry for my flatmates. And by the evening, there’s no trace of it left. My utensils are cleaned and neatly placed back in my shelf. Cooking a little extra so that you don’t have to clean? I figure it’s a pretty good strategy to go by. But this is not what you want to know, do you?

How’s life in England? Well, mostly it’s the blue sky and chartreuse grass spread across remarkably vast stretches of land. Each day I discover a new breed of dog. Each day I come across those cars that I never thought I would see in three dimensions with my own eyes. Each day I meet different kinds of people. And almost each day, I write about them in a small cafe with a small blackboard placed at its gate happily flaunting the beautiful handwriting and the supposedly reasonable rates of different kinds of coffees. Hours pass by as I type random stuff on random things and before it gets too cold (and it’s not even Winter yet!) I return to my kitchen to enjoy a multi-cuisine dinner cooked by flatmates. My kitchen is not a particularly attractive one. The dining table is almost never cleaned. Sometimes, the refrigerators stink. Noone is ever able to find his/her plates or spoons or coffee cup on time. When one of us burns food accidentally, we don’t pray for our own safety. Instead we pray for the inefficiency of the smoke detector. I look at the small exhaust, the electric heat stove, the rarely used oven, the toaster that partially works and the silver platform that’s turning grey – This kitchen is as ordinary as it can be. I look at the people I am dining with. This kitchen is my favorite place. But this is not what you want to know either, is it?

How’s life in England? Whenever the sun shines outside my tiny window my heart swells with happiness and hope. And then I think of the pending work, my spinning head and my heart immediately sinks. My table is splashed with my clumsiness. I am running out of clean clothes to wear. The bedsheet of my bed is beginning to stink. The mattress has given me a permanent back ache but I love my tiny little corner. My cupboard is bare but surprisingly, I don’t hate my limited collection of clothes. I am slipping below the poverty line slowly but steadily. However, somehow I don’t hate my depleting financial state. I am not sure why I am here sometimes. To write life? To live life? Sometimes my room haunts me too – to make it more eerie, there are unexplained bruise marks on my limbs. My financial burden haunts me. My insecurity and uncertain future haunts me. My dreams haunt me. But I am here anyway, I guess, happily haunted.

Days in England – It was clear sky a second ago and it’s suddenly raining. And despite the unpredictable weather, I can safely predict that it would never rain when I do have an umbrella with me. The cloudy night sky is bit of a shame but at times when it is clear I can almost get lost among the diamonds shining above, along with the silhouettes of the trees caressing the edges of the river. And then there’s the moon. The same moon I wrote a letter to saying that I would do what I love to do and in some surreal way I am still keeping that promise. I like to picture myself looking at this satellite somewhere someday in the future and instead of the moon, I like to believe that I would be looking at my own present self. We would briefly acknowledge each other, smile and whisper, “It is going to be alright.” The moon is my imaginary time travelling machine. When I look at it now, I suddenly see myself searching for it through the clusters of buildings back in Vadodara or strolling under the moonlight through the peaceful beaches of Goa during my final undergraduate year or picturing nose or eyes on it during my kindergarten days.

How’s my life? Each day I am going older. Each day I am learning something new. Though I can’t specifically point out the change but I can still feel a certain kind of novelty running through my blood. Life in England – It’s the walks among the pretty homes in red bricks. It’s playing with the amber leaves lining the footpaths. It’s being marvelled by the sparrows with orange necks. It’s walking through the trails lining the river. It’s catching a brief experience of forest and making an escape from urban life during those walks. Living here is modern and ancient at the same time. I am simultaneously falling in love in Swedish beer and cutting masala chai found in the streets of India. I am simultaneously falling in love with butter croissant and Latte and also with freshly cooked potato paratha made by my mother back home. I am amazed by the quiet and peaceful locality but at the same time I sometimes miss the crowd and the cacophony as well.

It’s writing, so much writing, reading, scribbling, dancing, drinking and being terrified of the fact that these days are disappearing much faster than they should and also the fact that I would miss this more terribly than I can ever imagine. My life in England? Well, honestly, life seems to be chasing me instead of I chasing it for a change. At first it was overwhelmingly surreal. Now, it’s overwhelmingly busy. Like the gas compressed in a cylinder, it seems like a whole lifetime has been squeezed into a couple of months. Weeks are long but yet they fly by. And sometimes all I do is breathe and watch yet another sun explode into thousands of shades of Crimson and Magenta and all those hues that I can’t even name.

“So, how’s life in England?” My phone is still beeping with that whatsapp message.
“Good.” I text back.

I don’t miss home,

Of course I don’t miss home,
Though it’s cold out here but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I miss the warmth.
Of course I don’t miss home,
Yes, I confess that the green bed of my dorm,
The matching duvets and pillows aren’t as somniferous as the violet hues of my room,
The humongous pin board bears such a vast scope for creativity,
But I admit it seems that I have left it all behind on the walls of a small place that I am not supposed to think much about.
But still I don’t miss home,
Not when I look through my tiny window and remember how large it used to be.
I don’t miss home,
I am too happy to bear such delusions,
After all the beauty of my surroundings hasn’t even sunk in,
The notion that I might be sharing same time and same space as this place still lies dangling as a mad hypothesis,
I haven’t properly forgotten the crowds, the dust, the hot weather of the past,
I haven’t even forgotten the sweat, the noise, the boredom, the four walls confining my life,
I haven’t forgotten that the food wasn’t always this tasteless,
I haven’t forgotten that the water used to cheaper than alcohol,
I haven’t forgotten about the time I had to waste,
I haven’t forgotten the anticipation, the butterflies, the apprehensions,
Regarding what that could now be called my present,
I haven’t forgotten much,
Despite being here,
I haven’t forgotten anything at all.
Though the dates in my calendar keeps rapidly changing,
Perhaps I can sit here listening to the same downtrodden playlist,
With my pen and a few things in my head to reminisce,
I can sit here for eternity or so it seems,
I can sit here pretending that the time is frozen.
So I don’t miss home.
I don’t miss it at all.
When I wake up tomorrow,
It would still be incredibly hard to believe
That I am here
Miles away,
In a strange beautiful land,
With strange people,
Under strange circumstances.
Some call it bold,
Some call it cowardly escape,
Some call it love,
Some call it outrageous stupidity,
Some exclaim in disbelief,
Some silently mutter in jealousy,
Some say “You don’t deserve it.”
Some say, “You are worth every penny.”
Some, so many,
All these people in my head,
Who travelled overseas on free tickets with me,
An entire world,
An infuriating celestial miracle,
Obnoxious electrochemical reactions inside my brain,
These people and I,
My room, my pen, the blue blue sky,
Beautiful things, beautiful places, beautiful beautiful faces,
That I peek through my invisibility cloak,
That I look at in wonder,
That I look at with curiosity,
That I look at in boredom…
Happy places, laughing faces,
Of course,
Of course it’s too early to miss home,
Too early to miss the recent past,
Too early to miss the current present.

What is this?
Caught up in a few fucked up tenses,
Trying to make some decent sentences,
Stringing along the pearls of words,
Trying to weave a good fabric through some odd phrases,
Living the life,
Denouncing it at the same time,
Awed, and indifferent,
Amazed and hurt.
How nice! How wonderful!
How enigmatic! How treacherous!
How confusing! How difficult!
A simple question;
A lost answer,
And all this adventure in between –
“What do you want, dear heart?”


Human Skin

Is it just the human skin?
Or is it the character altogether?
Because each year,
In fact each day,
I find that I am growing more stupid along the way,
Each day, each minute,
I find myself to be a bit different, possibly better or so to say,
Each minute, each second,
The change in my thoughts are growing rampant,
Each second, each moment,
Despite being the same,
The very same,
I realize I couldn’t have changed more,
Like my perceptions,
Like my reflections,
Like my age,
Like my skin.


P.S. Wrote this honoring the fact that the human skin gets completely changed around 900 times during the average human lifespan.