The Visit -1

This cough is going to take the life of me I think to myself. The auto buzzes along nonchalantly up the road to drop me of at the  emergency entrance. After the usual probing by the doctors at the causality, I usher myself to radiology to get an X-ray done. I approach the counter, but the receptionist is busy managing calls and pointing the attendants to various ward transfers which need to be done. I cough. A tiny speck of blood lands on the counter. I apologise immediately, all the while searching my pockets for the handkerchief I had hurriedly stuffed in when I was sitting in the auto. She looks at me in utter disgust, I apologise again and inform her I've come for an X-ray. She signals to the radiographer to take me into the X-ray room. My shirt comes off, my hands folded in a cold embrace with the stand and like a priest at a matrimonial I'm asked to take a deep breath and hold it in. I'll try I say to the man, but he retires behind a shield and leaves me to follow the instruction should I wish to. I inhale. My lungs haven't been very faithful, but then again neither have I. I still remember the first cigarette offered to me in high school. The complicated procedure to do it like the Marlboro man.  Another cough comes, the former speck has now become a splat. I should be worried, but the radiographer screams at me to hold it in. I'm zapped by the beam, and I return to the doctor. It's grim I'm afraid the news I'm about to receive. He looks confused as to what needs to be said to me. Why don't you get a CT done? I utter something about not having the money and I return home, all the while looking at the X-ray. A black and white portrait of me, as I really am. And with me, is a parasite feeding of me. A big white circle of death. This cough is going to get the best of me.              
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Harangue - Part I

Wake up to the same damn song on the phone,  I haven't bothered to change it in months (screw me).
The barking dogs and the siphoning mosquitoes who make the most of the all their all night buffet meal, namely me (screw them).
Feed on a book whilst straining to poo. 
Brush Ayurvedic toothpaste onto my creamy whites, more like oil of Olay gone desecrate.
The bucket fills, cold at first and then hot. I play the role of a hand pump doing away with the cold into a separate bucket but tres desole at the end as I return the H2O to its warm self.
Like a zombie, I eat the meal placed before me, while surfing the net, always raring for something new to see. I'm baked, though I've not had anything in a while. I'm totally baked. But not in a good sort of way. More like been in the oven for too long cos I'm trying to catch whats on TV baked.

Mix and match, though not for me. Cos I suffer from obesity.
What went on my lips, refuses to budge from my hips, or breasts or back or legs.
I've often felt I looked like the meat placed at a shawarma shop. Or on certain days an ice cream cone. with the cherry being the small head of mine. popped on the gigantic spread of my body.
No I'm not happy. GQ tells me what and who to wear, but they don't make it for me. 
Neither am I chauffeured in an expensive car, stepping out in sheepskin Oxfords and having the people around me smell the l'eau d'Issey, I've carefully applied on pressure points or nerve end points or just randomly in the hope I'm being smelt. Everything in Feng Shui.

No that's not me, I say. Head held low, not to be mean or haughty. The wind resurrects far too much dust and the sun is far too unkind. It shines on my skin and then I get stared at. What puzzles me is what's so special to look at in me? 

All they see is fair skin untouched. But beneath runs cracks and sores, which itch and burn and swell. Or to summarise  in Latin, tumor, rubor, calor and dolor...

* Inspired by Kalki Koechlin's powerful monologue, you can watch it here...
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Buses narrowly dodge the unperturbed man, woman, child, its crossing reviled in a plethora of languages this city far cares to imagine or be bothered about.
Auto wallahs and passengers debate the 'here only' malls distance whilst beggars clink their cutlery and sing or grouse, depending on their age, for alms.
The city continues with savoir faire indifferent to what had happened in her life.

She sits at the dressing table mirror. Free at at last, she says to herself.
But her eyes reveal far too many secrets interspersed with lies.
She cordons her Pandora's box with kajal. A black border around her brown green halo.
Her lips wait in anticipation, jealous of their upper floor tenants.
With a swift roll, Cardinal Sin as the label proclaimed, insinuated deep.

What have you in store for me, pray destiny? Adjusting her pallu and side sweeping her hair.
On her feet, she gets ready to seize the night. All the while listening to the radio playing and then she catches on the words...

'Walk on through a red parade, And refuse to make amends, It cuts deep through our ground, And makes us forget all common sense...'

* Inspired by the first story in the film Bombay Talkies and by the song Clarity by Zedd

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Walking along the pavement, a rolling cart filled with bananas which have been soaked in the morning and noon sun till they suffer a bad tan pulls up the road, I see him.
Head wrapped in a turban, a saffron cloth folded and wrapped circumferentially enclosing the snow white hair that he hides beneath.
Sitting on the steps leading to a closed ATM, he pulls up the chillum to his mouth, inhaling the goodness of cannabinoid tobacco, smoke exhaled, senses submitting, he stares on.
Opposite him, the world continues oblivious, ladies dressed in saris, all drenched from standing in long queues since morning waiting for a doctors appointment, men dressed in capris and boxers, walking, joking, spitting. 
Its difficult to pin point whose given up on whom, the sadhu who intermittently rolls his beads chanting prayers to the deities or the world, a by product of the goodness of the deities. 
Carrying the bananas I walk away from it all.
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Take Care

“One beach-colored.

One brown.
One Loved.
One Loved a Little Less.” 

I think the fact that we can never be together disappoints me.
I could never wake up to see your face, your dishevelled hair
My arms would never be holding you close, nor playing with your shirt buttons.
Our legs would never fight to the end to see whose would come on top.
Come to think of it, its probably your eyes I'd miss the most.
Or your smile, I could never decide. 
I will always love you no matter what.
The world shall turn, birds will fly, time shall never stop.
But I still hold on to the thought that one day, you'd be mine.
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The Visit

He brings the paper closer. The letters all in Malayalam, the cuves do a pirouette while the rest undulate laterally and sidewind. "Arre babu, why you doing all this nakra? Adjust your specs no" says the patient from Bengal sitting next to him. "Ah ah" he replies, nodding his head side to side, while changing his position thinking to himself, 'what a nosy bugger this fellow is'.

'Mr. Jayaram Kutty, kindly come to room numbe 19. Mr. Jayaram Kutty, room number 19' the speaker blares. Folding his paper neatly along the creases, he nestles it under his armpit. Slowly positioning his rickety arms on the metal bars he raises himself up. Then almost as if programmed, makes his way to the consultation room, one step at a time. '

"Arre babu, you dropped this''. He turns and finds the man who had commented on his paper reading vaastu handing him his spectacle case. Smiling a toothless gin, he accepts it and makes his way to the dim lit room where to his right an array of lenses, neatly arranged in power order glaze in the lacquered wooden boxes they are placed in.
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6 am
She sees him, sheets spread away
Boxers worn, clothes picked
Hes off, she sighs, turns away
A half smile, dreams follow ensue

11 am
Drinking her coffee, she notices him
Fresh from college, energy uncontained
He follows her, the door closes
Legs in the air, business associates
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The Promised land

Closing his eyes after the sip of wine, he reflects on what his life had been. Tumultous and torturous. His life, flashes in scenes. The emotional blackmail tobecome a doctor, the drunken rants of his father cursing his pudgy demeanour, secretly crying while his parents fought and he could never forget how his father went on and on about not doing anything in life. He held out for so long but when would it all stop. Dangerous thoughts of ways to finish of his father or perhaps escaping the madness by leaving his earthly abode to seek heavenly peace. 'Just block out whatever your father says', he was reminded often by his mother. The same woman, who in her sixty years shared the endless nagging and thrifty conduct of her husband. 'Concentrate on your studies and they shall lead you out of here', she said. So what could he do except continue to study and cram vast details of the human body or contraindications of medications. Stuff which he didnt care for. Even the suffering patient, would look earnestly into his eyes and find no solace, like a defeated gladiator waiting to meet his match. His eyes open to the blating of the television. He walks towards he window, looking out towards the horizon. Someday I shall be free of all this. If only they didnt happen in the first place. 'Daddy, daddy', his little girl runs to hug him. He smiles. It doesnt seem that bad after all.
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The Writer

Scrunched up papers fill the room, another bounces of the others and rolls to reach back to him instead. Words, having only half lives, soon find themselves struck and evicted along with countless others, struggling to hang on to his masterpiece. My sire is far too young blooded. Ruled by passion rather than experience. But who is to decide where a character has its origins from. Their attributes may arise from the personal pages of the authors life or from distressed neurons who wee themselves into shameful brilliance.

In the room, the bulbs glow in their forty watt glory, insects dance around it and when its time to kiss, they burn. The florid wallapaper holds on for dear life and the infirm floor creaks its aches and pains. An apple half eaten, bronzes away on the wooden table. The novel has converted him into a manic. His stomach filled with occasional sips of wine and his mind, tossing and turning in its rugose sheets. I pray for the day to come soon when the words THE END are written, for he shall then back return to normal.

*Inspired by Ellie Goulding's The Writer
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Standing in front of the mirror, she places back the fallen strap.
Eyes kohl lined and lips rouged, a wink, a smile ensues
Hair left open, earrings dangle
She heads out, scented and stilletoed

Pulling out the note, a number neatly penned
She looks around, the passers by stare
Typing the numbers in, a flick of the hair
'Hello, I'm coming over ....'

Her fingers trace the verse on her arm
Love bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
Pushing the sheets away, her lover unperturbed

As she heads to her car, she sees him
His face revulsed, dignity defiled
He walks away and she runs after
Her life would never be the same

The fight was bitter, screams deafening
But all that was done was done
Typing the numbers in, a tear swept
'Hello, I'm coming over....'

P.S I read this poem again and again to the starting 1:06s of the video Unfaithful by Rihanna and would be worth the experience, if you did too. This was also inspired by the video and lyrics of the same. Also along similar lines L'agent Provocateur
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Medicated Lyrics

Being a medical student entails one to probably spend chunks of time reading up on books which I have a feeling were inspiration for the concept of platform shoes in terms of size and thickness. Anyways this tedious procedure is what often led me to procrastinate about a whole lot of unimportant stuff and the voids filled in with music. So here's a few lyrics, modified ofcourse to suit whatever situation (and in my case which clinical posting) along with phrases you'd hear in the hospital.

P.S Do listen to the song while reading the lyrics. I promise you Medicine would not be the same again. : )

♫ Total eclipse of the Heart - Bonnie Tyler feat Meatloaf

L Ward, every now and then nothing is ever done and the sisters sit around, MICU, every now and then I get a lil bit tired of listenin to the sound of machines, Dept office, Every now n then I get a lil bit nervous that the staff is still sittin inside, Turn around, Every now and then I get a lil bit terrified & then I see the look in ur eyes,Kale gotha, Intern,Whose gonna type pending summaries, Kale gotha, Intern,every now n then I get royally screwed

*Kale gotha - A Konkani phrase which literally translates to 'what you know' or in proper English as Did you know?

♫ Thong song - Sisqo

Ooh dat mets so scandalous And ya know another T cell couldnt handle it See ya positioning that laser like who's da ish With a look in ya eye so precise-ish It likes to dance at all the hip hop spots And on MRI it highlights hot spots Not just brain it likes the blood Cuz she was livin la vida loca.

♫ Rude boy - Rihanna

Wat u know, intern can u fill the card? Wat u know, intern is the dressing done? Take it, take it, intern, intern Take it, take it, blood forms, bt ct Tonight Imma gonna complain to da incharge Tonight I want all case sheets completed Tonight I want all reports collected Giddy up, giddy up, giddy up baba

* BT- Bleeding time
   CT - Clotting time

♫ Dynamite - Taio Cruz

I came to Kudla, kudla, kudla, kudla Roads I abhor Cos Ive got plans, plans, plans, plans Mallus wearing all their favourite brands, brands, brands, brands Give me sterile gloves for both my hands, hands, hands, hands Da, Da Cos it goes on & on & on And it goes on & on & on Aouda I put my finger in peoples bum sometimes Saying AYYO Bidi loosu I wanna celebrate and live my life Kale gotha Enchina Saavu

* Kudla - the tulu word for Mangalore, a south Indian city in Karnataka
   Mallus - a term used for malayalees or people from Kerala
   Da - A Malayalee word used to gather attention
   Aouda - Yes in Kannada
   Bidi loosu - an instruction to the patient to let go in Kannada
   Enchina Saavu - I think it means what the hell in Tulu

DJ got us falling in love again - Usher

So we back in Mullerkad Get tat bodies rockin from side to side Now tat de week is done I feel like a zombie gone back to strife BP's up n suddenly we all got our tondre enus No control of my body Ain't I seen u before? I think I remember those eyes,eyes,eyes Cos baby tonite the Doctor got us takin pills again So Depin, depin like its the last last night of ur life, gonna get u rite

* Mullerkad - a Peripheral health centre in Mangalore
  Tondre enus - What seems to be the problem? in Kannada
  Depin - Nifedipine, an anti-anginal & anti-hypertensive drug

♫ Papparazi - Lady Gaga

We r ENT's We'r co-comin out Got my flash on its true Need tat throat swab frm u It's so diagnostical We'd be so fantastical Lido Betadine Grommet n FESS Nt sure wat it means But dis polyp of urs Its comes wit a price Ready fr those flashing lights Cos u know tat baby I I'm ur operating attendee I'll dissect u until anasthesia lets me septo rhino plasty Baby there’s no other superstar U know that ill be Kama-Kamikazi

♫ Firework - Katy Perry

Do u ever feel like suicide/driftin thru PG books/wonderin why I did MBBS again/Do u ever feel,feel so overweight/like a shawarma roll/1 more kilo,hard to breath again/Do u ever feel already buried deep/6 feet under scream/But noone seems to hear a thing/Do u know tat there's still a chance for u/Cos there's COMEDK too/U jus gotta do an all night/N pls dont whine/Jus own the night/Like a nerd on a high/Cos baby you're an exam goer/Come on show'em wat ur worth/Make 'em go 'AH AH AH'/As u rush to color the ?right answer

♫Deck the halls (sung to the tune of a whiney exam goer during Christmas time)

Deck the halls with CCTV's fa la la la, la la la la la / Tis the season to write out stories fa la la la la, la la la la / Groan your frustration all together Fa la la la la, la la la la / Down with dreaded exams forever fa la la la la, la la la la

♫ Last Christmas - Wham!

Last Christmas I gave you a heart, but the very next day CMI (cell mediated immunity) rejected it away, Now on some inhibitors, Rituximab n Prednisolone, Next year we tried a liver, but the very next day, LFTs went disarray, Now on Tacrolimus and Mycophenolic acid,Once bitten and twice shy, I keep my distance but you still catch my eye,Tell me baby do you recognise me?Well it's been a year, it doesn't surprise me
And finally the best one I've done till date

♫ Waka Waka - Shakira

Your a good intern, choosing your offdays, dress the wound up and check reports off n back in the opd,you're in the frontline,everyone's watching, you know it's serious, gonna get jacked, this isnt over, the pressure is on,you feel it, you've got it all, Believe it,When u fall get up,Oh oh, And if u fall get up,Eh Eh,Kale gotha,What you know,Cos this is Mullerica, Kale gotha wat you know, biki biki eh eh kale gotha, wat u know this time for mullerica

* Biki - Kannada for push, most often used to instruct the mother to push while in labour.
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He lies on the floor. His jute mat with its frayed ends being munched away slowly by the rats that came to visit him. He moans lowly to drive them away but they don’t care and take him for the entertainment at their restaurant, squeaking their appreciation. He's too worn out to bother shooing them away. His hand hurts and every square inch is littered with blisters filled with fluid like puddles on a brick road. He rolls side to side scaring away his dinner guests and rests again for a while. The hospital has been very busy lately with the rains bringing along with its showers, patients by the truck load to St. Mary's.

The ward maid walks among them triaging the various inmates to see whether some have inadvertently succumbed to deaths call. She signals for the ward boys and they come, green masked, stretcher in hand to pick up the unlucky remains. He stirs to let her know he's alive. She smiles for a micro-second and she’s off to scan the remainder. Defeated he looks at his hands again, enclosed pools waiting to be explode. But he knows better now not to pick them, for the previous time it stung so bad that they had to prick him with countless injections so he preferred his body did the job for him and weathered them slowly away.

From silence to crescendo, the rain arrives again. He makes another fruitless effort to gather up courage to cry for help, but his voice like smoke easily gets lost in the madness of the crowd. Pain like a thief attacks him swiftly causing him to whimper and cringe. He lets out a cough. Drops of red spurt on the patterned tiles, the sight of which scares him. His time is up. He tries to breathe again but it gets harder. His heart starts beating frantically almost forcing him to make another attempt. With a last labored breath, he succumbs, into the hands of his heavenly father. "Acha isko bhi le chalo. Mar gaya buddha.” his eulogy read.
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Bollywood Dream

"Saab kuch aur be lega?" the scraggily dressed village boy asks sniffing his snort back into their vacuous black holes. He signals with the flick of his dying Marlboro on the saucer, the flecks traversing the tea outlines whilst his eyes lie in wait for her. In she walks, her pony tails displacing the hot and humid Bombay air due to the inherent spring in her step. She's worn a white blouse with a polka dotted skirt. He smiles remembering the film Bobby. She must have gone to watch the premier. Her entry makes everyone stop their inane routines to stare at the local wonder. He scorns and they quickly cower away...

She orders a couple of samosas, meek food for the busy college going girl. 'I hope Raj notices me today in this outfit', she thinks to herself, waving the zzzzing flies away from her honeysuckle scented neck and bosom. The creaky fan turns and blows her hair and scent towards him as he heads to pay the bill. He inhales deeply, eyes closed and suddenly opens his eyes to have her staring at him. Those chocolate eyes melt his black coal heart and he says I LOVE YOU. Her eyes widen and then
she lets out a laugh all the while cupping her mouth in faint surprise.
Excuse me, she says and then with a flick of her black hair she's out the 
door with her hot samosas wrapped in yesterdays news. Dejected he turns away, humiliated. The restaurant owner lets out a smirk which goes unnoticed. He shall have his revenge....

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A pointless idea I had to get out of my head...

In a country far far away, there were two groups of people who ruled the 3.29 million square metres of it. Of course a bigger chunk went to the group called Doctors and the rest was left to the Engineers. The partition was inevitable considering the country produced 440,000 doctors compared to the 350,000 engineers per annum.

The engineers though owning only a small portion did wonders to what was given unto them. Buildings erupted from the fecund ground, some daring to conquer the limits of the skies. Bridges, hover crafts and various other fancy equipments were built for both the surviving engineers and their families, some of whose wives were children of the Doctors. In order to keep up the traditional Edisonian and countless other scientists principles, colleges were built to impart knowledge about physical, chemical and other sciences. The only subject they didnt teach were Biological sciences.

On the other hand the Doctors were not very far behind. With money to spare, they employed the Lay man to build him the finest. They too, in order to save the Hippocratic way of life managed schools to teach the biological sciences. Knowing fully well this wasnt enough to prosper, they indeed had to find a way to leak out secrets of the Engineers. To resolve this, they offered to treat the old and the ailing of the Engineering lot. Falling for their offer, they readily agreed hence with each entry they were killed and countless information necessary for progress was extracted from their brains, precerved in formalin.

The Doctors even went as far as to genetically modify genes so as to make every child born as a naturally inclined doctor. But of course for everything there are defects and some of these genes mutated leading to some of them gaining only half the interest for medicine. It was these that the Engineers chose to be their wives/husbands knowing fully well that they too could make use of  the knowledge of biological sciences to further their understanding on how to protect themselves against diseases and manage medical emergencies.

However after uniting the Engineer and the Half Doctor could neve return to either lands and hence they migrated to Limbo, where they built both computers and Xray machines, engineering and medical colleges and etcetra etcetra of all the things necessary for them to survive.

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Story of a Loser

He flicks the ash off the butt end careful not to drop any on his privates while he lets off a stream. Zipping up, he thinks over what a crappy day he had.
Heading to the living room which is pretty much a cramped match box, he sits on the wooden chair contemplating over the whitewashed table top.
While he ponders on, his eyes shift to a ball of play dough. He lets out a smile/smirk. Lifting up the orange goo, he pinches it in sweet rememberance of his childhood.
Moulding away corners, defects and smoothening edges he finally makes something hes proud off. He leaves it on the table for one final show.
"There, that should make my son proud of me". He smiles, staring at the photo of Martin looking on with his blue eyes, thumb in mouth and hand held by his mother.
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The Biki amma and Swasha OBGY remix of Beautiful liar

Ai, Ai, Ai
Nobody likes being sedated
Biki amma , Biki amma (oh)
Swasha, Swasha (hey)

She said I'm pregnant, his n'th child
I’ve done it places that you wouldn't wanna know about
She examined me, with kuskus n jelly, (yes) OBG dactor
Tell me how you manage all the children you delivered out

We'll never know
Why are we the ones who suffer
I have to let go
He won't be the one to cry

(Ay) Let's not use contraceptives
(Ay) Let's not practice safe sex
(Ay) It's not worth the drama
For the OBGY
(Oh) Can't we be ignorant about it (hah hah hah)
(Oh) It's not worth our time
(Oh) We cant live without him
Checkups jus to pass our time

I trusted him, look what he did to me, got me pregnant
I didn’t know about oc pills, how do they work doc?
I walked in on your love scene, labour room
You gave me xylocaine, hope nothing goes wrong

We'll never know when the pain and screaming's over
I have to let go
The baby is aaooout

(Ay) Let's not use contraceptives
(Ay) Let's not practice safe sex
(Ay) It's not worth the drama
For the OBGY
(Oh) Can't we ignore facts about it (hah hah hah
(Oh) It's not worth our time
(Oh) We cant live without him
Checkups jus to pass our time

Tell me how to advise you
When it's me who's ashamed,
And I wish I could free you
Of the hurt and the pain
But the answer is simple
He's the one to blame (hey)

(Ay) Biki amma, Biki amma
(Ay) Swasha, Swasha
(Oh) Biki amma, Biki amma
(Oh) Swasha, Swasha

(Ay) Let's jus do it again
(Ay) Let's not space our child
(Ay) It's not worth the drama
For the OBGY
(Oh) Can't we jus screw around it (hah hah hah)
(Oh) We’ll think about it some other time
(Oh) We cant live without him
Just a visit to OBGY

Yea i know it doesn't make sense but it was ringing in my head after I had recently seen the video and since I was in my OBG posting at the time, i jus had to edit the lyrics out... enjoy

*The song Beautiful Liar was originally written by Knowles, Amanda Ghost, Ian Dench, Mikkel S. Eriksen and Tor Erik Hermansen.

*Biki - kannada for Push
*Swasha - breathe
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Voices in my head

4 am - Eyes wide open, the sheep jump over fences. Parting the blanket I head towards the bathroom. Splash, the water droplets slide over my bumpy skin over hair follicles to finally land into the big wide ocean collected in the deep sink. Looking up, the mirror shows a person Im not sure is me. He looks skinny, some may even say emaciated. Outlines of orbital sockets and a strong jawline clearly marked. But what strikes me are his eyes. Darkness shadowing the blood spill. I turn away.


9am - I reach the hospital. Heading towards the Biometrics, I notice people staring, students, faculty, patients. Some greet me with the cursed Good morning Sir. The faculty laugh and smile as they walk away. Im sure they are all mocking me. Saying all sorts of stuff like my broken marriage, children long forsaken , property tiffs between brothers. A lavish buffet in waiting for their wagging tongues. Imbeciles them all.

I arrive at my office and place my coat on the chair. The climate will never be right to wear them even for official purposes. I sit there waiting and waiting. Seeing me idle, the voices come whispering poisonous nothings into my ears.

"Aren't you tired of this life? Day after day, you wake up like a bloody zombie and head over here to listen to peoples problems. Dont you have enough of your own?" says one of them. " Good thing your wife left you 'innit? She never really loved you, sleeping around with the neighbour boys or with her colleagues. She was a disgusting whore." "Oh common why fool yourself, it was you who drove away both your wife and sons with your addictions. Who can love a drunk man who beats his wife and abuses his kinds huh??"

A knock on the door brings me back. Its the nursing aid with a file at hand. Placing it on the table she leaves and I watch as her tight fitting dress accentuates her curves. Maybe...hmph I smirk.

The patient enters and his affect is cheerful. Too cheerful even. He talks excessively about things which make no sence. Some moron quack asked him to stop his meds. He might as well have told him to jump from the rooftop. I pull out my Montblanc, a gift from a good friend of mine and write out the prescription while explaining to them that he needs to take the pills for life and that Im the one who tells him when to stop and no one else.

Handing the prescription he holds my hand and kisses it in gratitude. I mutter a thankyou and head for the sink. One, two, three spurts of the soapy fluid and off starts the medically approved method of washing hands, purging every crease, every ridge and every depression. Turning the tap on, the water starts to flow, initially cold then hot. The heat scalds but I like that. I return to my seat, massaging my hands, now a rosy pink. 

8 pm - After the long drive back home, the sofa invites me to sink in. Glass in hand I sip the delicious whisky, imported. To finish off this pathetic excuse of a day, I draw out my credit card and use it to dice the fine powder. Once done, a small puff is all it takes and Im off....

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The Man who didnt Care

He stood there blankly as they lowered the coffin. "From dust to dust", a single phrase from the Bible always made him smile but he didnt know why. 

Middle of the lot, he was often ignored sometimes even forgotten. He's arrive at the dining table only to find people leaving it to wash their plates. "Go grab what's remaining Stuart" his mom would say. Tilting the pot for the last millie of soup,he'd clang it with the spoon hoping for somemore.

At school, he blended in. Standing in class, with arms stretched out, palms facing up. PHAT came the rubber scale to greet its waiting guest. He'd just stare at the lines. They were pointing upwards. A sign that good luck is sure to follow. And then he'd sit down, as if nothing ever happened.

College got out the best of him if thats what you could call it. He found similar people who just led their lives without a care. Their hair was jet black, long and fringed. Some even shot it with color. They dressed in black and met after school in each ones houses. 

After getting good grades he joined Medicine. He'd heard they needed people who didnt care over there. Bodies laid out for dissection, he neatly carved out each muscle, vein, artery and nerve as the cadaver stood still basking in the scent of formalin.

Years passed, he became an oncologist. Day after day, he'd sit in his office seeing heads shamefully covered in caps and bandanas. Eyes, weary after the radiation and hearts, eagerly beating to hear that nothing was wrong. He'd council them, they cried. His eyes just looked on.

One day he got a call. His patient had died and was requested to be at the funeral. Dressed in black, the mother delivered the eulogy. Final prayers said they lowered the box. He turned to leave. Not a single tear or heartfelt emotion, nothing, as he walked on.    
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Dolls for girls and Coins for adults

Light struggles to insinuate the forever under construction, traffic jammed, polluted city and yet the day has already begun in the metropolitan city within a developing country.

Placing her knapsack on the dusty concrete, she unties the knot securely fastened, a skill her mother had taught her before the countless days of bloody coughs drained her dry to the grave. The sack opened revealing a bright maroon cloth with white motifs shaped like eyes. She would often stare at it wating for it to blink back, which it did sometimes when she concentrated hard enough.

Now smoothening the cloth, she would place in descending order wooden dolls with limbs shaped like almonds, thread being both the skeleton and blood running through it. They were all dressed in mini versions of clothes worn by the local village people, all bright and inviting to the passerby's eyes. After the routine she would then wait. It was the season when tourist thronged the city for some festival or the other. A sure profit in the making.

Sure enough, tourists with bags as big as boulders with boisterous children in tow cross her and then rewind back thanks to the kids. Their eyes, tranced by the colorful wooden people. "I want that one, mommy!! Could I have it please??" After a short thought, she askes her " yeh kitna?" her hindi heavily accented and funny sounding to the little girl. "50 rupees, madam." "That seems like a bargain, theek hai".

The exchange takes place. Dolls from a girls hand to an adult and bills and coins from an adult to the child. Tucking the bills, she observes the coins. Simple, lifeless things same as her toys. But what game would she play with the coins, a simple flip or stack them into a tower. With her dolls, she could dress them and make them attend fancy parties or dance to hit numbers. But they dont pay for the food or clothes or shelter. No, they just go on leading parasitic lives.

Joie de Vivre....
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Stolen glances, always caught
Eyebrow raised
Her lips pout
And a smile soon appears.

Willowy wisps curled
Her nose ring twinkles
In the apricot evening.
Her cheeks, now blushed.

Nearing close
Her perfume inhaled.
Hands over mine,
Alternating his and her fingers.

Inspired by the hindi song Dil To baccha hai (my heart is still a child) from the movie Ishqiya
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When dreams fall drop by drop, filling up on my eyes

Curled up in the armchair, she watched as the raindrops raced each other on the icy glass. Closing her eyes, she hoped he was standing at the door, asking her if she was not coming to bed. But when she did open her eyes, she saw him, through the crack of the bedroom door, his left arm covering one half of his face,his back exposed, the light, highlighting his spine. He was all dreams and tranquility.

She smiled. But it was a sad smile. An expression one gives when the battle is lost and you know that you could never achieve ones perceived goal. But why settle for thoughts based on failure when you could always close your eyes and imagine the sweetest of thoughts, so diabetic, that a person would go into a coma, she thought to herself. And thats exactly what she did...

Damn it, she cursed. Her mental darkness was now, disturbed by the occasional lighting courtesy the chemical reaction taking place in the clouds, she tried hard to picture them being together but the polaroid just didnt click from her mental camera. Again dissatisfied, she switched on the tv and as fate would have it, all that were playing were romantic numbers. Switching it off, the channel disappeared into a vortex, taking with it, the romantic musical couple.

"What the heck, might as well", she said. Stepping out into the rain, she went around in circles, the cool wind studding her skin with glttery droplets. Its an amazing feeling, almost rejuvinating. As she continued to hop, jump, twirl in the cool monsoon rains, she constantly hoped he would be there. Drenched as he watched his lady love. A scene embedded in her head from all the Hindi movies she had been watching.

But he never came. Perfect love is only in the movies she reminded herself. Dejected she walked back into the house. As she headed towards the closet for a towel and a change of clothes,she turned to find him standing there. Albeit groggy eyed and dressed in boxers, but he was there. "You're all wet. Wanna catch a cold that badly,huh??" She smiled as she headed for the bathroom.

"I think I'm in love" she said to herself, closing the door behind her.
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Gora Rani

Please do watch the vdeo I've hyperlinked to both the text word Rani and Gora Rani so that the characters may spring to life.

The stories of kings and queens have never failed to allure the curious minded. What follows is a tale of love, recounted by those faithful to the Rani. A tale, to be told and retold. Its narration, never to cease. May it be made known to those who dwell in the sky, the earth, the netherworld and the re-incarnate.

The night was indeed auspicious as the pundit had predicted. Chandra, in all his glory was drifting across the night sky, the clouds parting upon hearing the sound of his advancing steed. The twenty seven Nakshatras twinkled above us in all their finery. This was indeed a night to celebrate. Musicians strummed away at their sitars and songs were sung from honey mouthed nightingales brought from various parts of the country. The whole palace was decorated in shades of ruby and gold in honor of the celebration.

Hearing the clinking of bangles and seeing shadows dance across the hall I followed it hoping it wasn’t a demon that had chanced upon this auspicious occasion. But as I neared, all I could hear were her delicate laugh and the sound of her payals tinkling in delight. The diyas on the wall only added to the beauty, that she’d already been. Twirling around, she showed her gown to the others. She was dressed as an English memsaab would on her wedding day. When our eyes met I realized that our Gora Rani had indeed been sent from above. Her blue eyes, shining brighter, in contrast, to her, pale skin….

Here I am rambling about the Rani without having given you a formal introduction about her. As I have mentioned before she was indeed a gift sent from above. Wrapped in warm clothing, she came to us floating in a basket woven out of reeds. The Maharani, who happened to be on her stroll across the palace grounds noticed the mysterious object floating upon the Lake Pichola, summoned her servants who fished it out and revealed to the Maharani, that it was in fact a baby and not just any ordinary baby but that of an Angrezi. This obviously had come as a shock to her but as she lifted the little angel in her arms, she found two big blue eyes like pools staring at her. Now the Maharani had been barren for a great many years and yearned for a seed to continue their legacy. She pleaded with her husband who refused to even consider the idea for who knew what the Angrez would do upon finding that we possessed one of their kind. But the Maharaja loved his wife dearly and to upset her was far worse than not having any children. He at last caved in to the Maharani’s adamancy but insisted that the baby be kept under total secrecy and not a word is to leave the Palace walls about the origins of their newly adopted daughter, whom they christened Sunayna, one with beautiful eyes.

Now the Maharani didn’t leave any page unturned in the lessons of spoiling her daughter but Sunayna grew into a beautiful girl, with her skin ever so pale, we often wondered, along with the royal physician, if she had any blood in her. She was trained in the various arts. She could sing beautifully and played the sitar ever so delightfully, I could sit hours listening to her. She was even trained by her father, the Maharana in the field of swords and archery, in case the need ever arose for her to defend her self. The years passed by quickly and the Gora Rani, a nickname she had heard some kids on the street call her, was now a woman. Upon hearing this the Kings of various kingdoms had arrived hoping for the hand of our Rani but she didn’t seem to like any as they were all interested in producing lines of Gora people with blue eyes instead of providing her with the one thing she longed for, love. One day, as the Rani was walking across the grounds, she noticed a man, mostly a prince, because of the way his horse was decorated, who had stopped for a drink of water from the lake. As he raised his hand to drink, he noticed her staring at him and you can imagine what a sight it would have been to see a pale blue eyed girl in the middle of a land surrounded by black eyes and brown skin. After that day the Rani made it a point to linger around the grounds in hope to see her prince again. And as sure as the sun rose in the east he did come, day after day to chance upon the Rani waiting for him.

The princess confided in me, that perhaps she was in love. Her nights having been spent on his thought. A smile lit her face, whenever she pictured his face. Holding my hand now we hurry down the stairs where she stands there waiting for her prince, who has come from afar. As he neared her, he raised her veil and like a gentle breeze she caressed his cheek with her own and gently slipped away. Her scent, lingering in the hallway. And thus concludes my story of Sunayna, the Gora Rani.
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When Darkness met Light

Darkness watches ‘neath the window sill
Curtains of chiffon and silk.
Roses in bloom, glasses clink.
Crystals dangling from their
Wrought iron branches.
And the band, begins to play.

One by one the couples line up
Curtsy and the dance begins.
There’s laughter heard
Amongst the gentlemen.
The ladies prattle amongst themselves
But his eyes are still searching.

Then all at once his roving eye stops
For there at the head of the stairs, she stands
Amidst the crowds gasps and awe
Light descends the stairs
To greet her father, with a kiss.
Darkness’ heart trembles.

After having mingled with the guests
And danced with the boys
She heads to the balcony
Their eyes meet as he waits for her
In a swift, she’s with him
His hand around her waist.

As they dance beneath
Cloudless climes and starry skies.
The moon, their only witness.
Love entwined them both.
And all shall remember that night
When Darkness met Light.

Inspired by She walks in Beauty by Lord Byron
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Loving you was kinda like... developing a taste for beer. Bitter at first, but it slowly grows on you, as you continue sipping the arctic beverage. Now when I see myself in the mirror, there is not even a trace of your love left. Your possessions, all been taken over. The loss of which I do not twist and turn in my bed wondering what it could have been. On the contrary I'm relieved it’s over between us.

As I seat myself on the floor I open the first album with Fond Memories written on it. The first picture, my mom holding a cocooned baby with love forming its aura around us. Flipping through I reach infancy. My, what a chubby baby was I. The heart and soul of all conversations be it with aunties, uncles, grandparents, and strangers. Yup, a true magnet which led to an incident between the servant and me. Feeling me up and undressing me. Closing the album, I smirk as it flashes again in its flowery script, Fond Memories.

School wasn't exactly un-eventful. With you by my side, the punches didn’t hurt that much during recess time. Neither did the kicks. I liked that I could hide you and take you with me in my banyan during swimming lessons in spite of the constant reprimands of the teacher, there was no separating us. I didn’t really have any friends but I’m happy you were there and that you would bring your friends along when I gorged on the doughnuts and candy.

I kept checking my weight. It’s turning into an obsession. The kilos just pile up leaving me looking like a humungous hulk though of the fat variety as opposed to the ripped variety. My t-shirts have been pre-stretched before I leave for school. All tightness relieved along the chest and waist and back. Guess Ill go with black again. Seems to hide me of my iniquities.

The taunting became worse in High school. Repeated bangs against the lockers, fists rolled up to punch you in and words hurled like pointed javelins. I remember how I used to run home and lock myself in the room crying, hoping for someone to console me and then you came and said it'll be all ok, have a doughnut instead and be happy. I smiled and obediently followed your orders and gobbled all the doughnuts and soft drinks I could find. Being fat was probably not so bad. I guess.

Senior year saw me join a bunch of rejects. Their meetings, in these dark and dingy attics, the window acting like a chimney. I finally felt at ease. Here I was, with others who didn’t conform to society's standard of perfection. Those who weren’t thin and tall with six pack abs and wore glasses. Yes, I have found my home. The place where I could belong. That is until our parents caught us which led to the expected grounding and hence the split of the rejects gang.

I hoped college would be different and it was. I made some good friends and then with some coaxing I joined the gym. It was horrible coming back home breathless and my back and sides paining like hell. No pain, no gain I kept reminding my self. As I opened the refrigerator sequined with many magnets holding on to dear life all the diets and exercise routines I was meaning to try out, I often wondered how you were feeling. How with the hour long cardio and weight training would rid you of your friends as they got metabolized away.

I head to the calendar to cross out another day and note down my waist size and my biceps to see what progress I’ve been making. It’s been going good till now. I've lost two inches off my waist and my biceps has grown two centimeters. I pat myself on the back and hed to make a salad in the kitchen. It definitely isn't easy loosing all the weight considering I pride myself with finishing a whole large pizza. Hmmm gone are those days. Its just grilled chicken, fish and salads now. No soft drinks. No candy.

But not having you with me now, I guess has done me good. No more do people stare at me and giggle when I cross by with my XXL shirt blowing in the wind and forming embarrassing shapes with the fat beneath. Even the anger of what I had done to myself had gone. I'm at peace and happy with my body. I read this line in a book once and it’s stuck with me since "I'm perfect, cos God made me that way" so I guess as I have to do now is work towards getting an amazing bod.

I love you my lipidous lover, even thought you were the soul cause of all my troubles, I'd still like to say thank you for being there, to console and protect me. Being thin doesn’t mean I have no use of you anymore. I do, but just in small amounts. Time to hit the shower. Gotta a meeting to go to. Miss you dearly. Lots of love....
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The streets like haunted caves beckon me and its ghost goes by the name of Dope...

I lay there on the bed. Lipstick smeared across my cheeks and mascara like black holes encircling my sodden eyes. He rained the hundred dollars in tens and left, the door slammed shut. My duty was done. Hurriedly I scramble to pick up the precious green and stuff it into my purse. I dress up, redo my makeup and head out.

My story is like many others. I emancipated myself when I was 18 and from then I was on a roll. "Hey there doll. You look mighty fine for a young thing like yourself. Have you ever considered modeling?" Well what would you expect. I fell for it and soon found myself in the dump. My dignity stripped along with my clothes.

I guess I always was a rebel. My parents couldn't tolerate me any longer so I decided to do them a favor. Take some load of. So I left to Mumbai, city of... wait I need a smoke... Aaah yes, where was I... Oh ya Mumbai... city of dreams, city of Bollywood, sin city of India... After Goa that is.

"Hey Charlie... I need some more. I'm low for the week. When aren't you?? Cash?? Ya I have it with me. Money first.Ok fine here." He hands me the frosted crystals. I take its aroma in. Never know when these cheap low lives will be cheating you. You have to be on the look out no matter what in this place. Everybody lies.

I head into his place. A party is going on as usual. Pinky, Simi and Rose are here. Figures. Hindi music plays in the background like mist in the sky. Nobody bothers. All are here for one thing and one thing only. Crack. Their whole lives go by it. Their mere existance encapsulated in this small granule. I inhale...

"Hey boss, you want me, you can have me. Like this body have you seen anywhere. Full fit like item girl only. How much? Hundred. That's too much. Kya boss, experience raises the bar don't you think. Hmmm..." I linger on allowing him to scan me. "Okay, get in." Here I am, Lady of the night being driven in a Mercedes.Cant wait to tell the others.

Good evening. I'm Sheethal Mehta and here is today's breaking news. In a series of murders involving call girls yet another has succumbed. The police have found a Mercedes on Marine Drive. They suspect it was stolen from Poison. Investigations are going on and the search remains for the elusive criminals.

My story is like many other unlucky ones. Lipstick smeared across my cheeks and mascara like black holes encircling my sodden eyes. I guess I always was a rebel. Nobody bothers. Here I am, Lady of the night. Bleeding, dying, regretting. If only it were a happy death. My eyes close. My last thoughts... How I wish I had a cig rite now.....
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