Browsing Tag


Espresso Shots

by the pond

i dreamt of my father and mother today. he was looking handsome. she had that calm air about her which had always been hers, as though she had made it herself. with every gaze of her sharp brown eyes, every raising and lowering of her eyelids, the slow purposeful turn of her head, the stillness she held in every line and curve. she could turn the calm into what she willed in an instant. it always impacted you with such…

Continue Reading

sarees tell stories

how do you wear your saree

she wasn’t very tall, had a slight figure, hair in a bun, a pleasant expression, nothing remarkable really, yet the two of us were staring at her riveted. next thing i remember, we’d waylaid her and started an animated conversation. i looked at the photograph recalling things. it was the winter of 1980, i think. no internet, no google, no photoshop; i have to rely on good old memory. nice feeling. in fact, when i found the photograph, and grinned…

Continue Reading


remember the code?

this morning, twitter took me to an article in the washington post, which in turn hauled me straight back to school. 1976… or was it ’77? grade ten or eleven. we all had to do a national cadet corps (ncc) certificate course. tt was compulsory. that’s when we heard “dit dit dit dah dah dah dit dit dit” for the first time. our instructor was teaching us morse code. the dit was a short sound, the dah a long one,…

Continue Reading


Did you Smell the Roses?

Smell the Roses

Reposting since am without electricity at my house again… I returned home to darkness. They had disconnected power supply to my house because I had not paid the bill. Growing up, I lived in a city where power cuts were the norm. We had different forms of battery back up, which were crucial for some respite, but eventually they would all die down. I have survived in darkness. I have enjoyed watching the faint flicker of candlelight. Not because I…

Continue Reading

sarees tell stories

in a pink nylon saree

it was my maternal uncle’s wedding. may 1966. i was six, my cousins between four and ten. we were five of us girls i think. we were all going to attend the wedding in calcutta and then go to delhi for the reception. my grandmother, always generous, fun, a bit over the top as grandmothers really ought to be, decided to get nearly identical lehengas and sarees made for us. the lehengas were in red silk with green cholis and…

Continue Reading

aarwen Poetry

A Home Is…

Home Poetry

That wall against which I rest my tired head The last step sitting on which I stare blankly ahead I see my dog curled for hours in his happy spot From where he barks at neighbours no matter what The soothing hum of gently falling rain Sleepy at midnights I hear it time and again All around is wild green grass I never did mow I’ll throw away those sunflower seeds I never could sow The kitchen was forever mine…

Continue Reading


the queue

you are green bamboo forests bending in the evening as i fear its creatures and shiver to its call you are the wide surging river, sand banks ever stretching the long bridge crosses and takes me to the other side you are the three cornered toy in moghalserai station and the sound of a coal engine screaming in the night you are the twisting grey road up the steepening mountain rhododendrons fiery by its side, my breath held tight you…

Continue Reading

Mythology and More

Home Is Where The Light Is – A Diwali Memory

Home Is Where The Light Is A Diwali Memory

First, I thought about food that my dadiji (grandmother) would make every Diwali. It was as much part of the ritual of the day as the new clay idols that my mother would buy – Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth) and Ganesh (God of good luck and success). Diyas (tiny mud lamps) with oil and cotton wicks were spread out on the roof, window sills and boundary walls. I maintained a smug superiority because we used traditional diyas over the more common…

Continue Reading


The Boy Who Lived.. and how I have lived with him..

boy who lived how i lived with him

At the stroke of the midnight hour, the start of 31st of July, I stood in a parking lot waiting with hundreds of other people in a queue, in front of a brightly lit truck. The truck is called the Amazon Treasure Truck. And for this once, I can personally vouch for the treasure it carried within. I got my copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I have read all the books, of course. And watched all the movies.…

Continue Reading

road to singapore

how do you say ang mo kio

the flags are up. i frown, still a bit disoriented after the europe trip. what’s the month, i wonder. it’s july… of course, national day, just round the corner. okay, about three weeks away, but what’s to stop you from getting ready to celebrate, wear red. ang mo kio – the prime minister’s constituency, he leads the grc, aj informs me – is looking lovely in the dusk. there are flags everywhere, up on hdb blocks, in food centres, at…

Continue Reading