This home takes after its name, a beautiful flower on a robust tree. For the last 6 days, I’ve been here, quietly working, eternally grateful for the solitude this home has offered me.

I’m not used to Gulmohar being so quiet. There’s something so strange about this big home with dimmed lights, and no chirping. The table is too big to be eating alone, it is quite lonely on a large square table with a printed tablecloth, and only one place set. But I haven’t come here to miss the people that make my life special and colourful– I’m here to work, and that’s what I’ve been up to.

Working with doting Akka– who i call Amma, making sure I eat on time, supplying endless cups of filter coffee. Working as Pramila makes me pasta, noodles and palak parathas. Ignoring Urmila and her inane questions.

I’ve always wanted to take a reading & writing holiday. I’ve endlessly dreamed of whisking myself to a five star hotel, in the middle of nowhere, guaranteed only of food, a swimming pool and peace. I got all three, and a gorgeous 22nd floor view of the only green patch Bombay has to offer. With the townhouse, familiar things, the presence of K & P everywhere and the thoughtfully stocked fridge, I’ve had a better experience than any swanky hotel can offer.

Having said that, I want my people back. I want the chaos, the hyper-energy, the laughter, arguments, the love. I miss my “core family”.


This was a strange Diwali, sandwiched between frenzied activity, socialising and solitude. 

Work, writing, good food and the quiet left me enough time to think about priorities and how we cope with things. I thought of how we make our choices and how we deal with consequences on our own. This Diwali, I think about how easy it is to leave things and people behind, and how difficult it actually is to stand your own ground. 

This Diwali, I think of midnight culinary experiments, of lost and found opportunities, of the romance of lit lamps. Most of all I thank god (actually man) for inventing antibiotics and the face-steam machine. Nothing cures a cold, but this helps you cope. 


Sometimes you can’t write. You really want to, you force yourself to put words on paper, but you just can’t string a sentence. Your mind wanders to interesting places and back, you worry about your day tomorrow and the consequences of not writing, but you don’t write. You bribe yourself, and you berate yourself, you blame everything under the sun, but you still don’t write.

Minutes, hours and days go by, dread settles on you like dust on an unused table but you can’t write. Cue panic and shame, but no words.

Endless cups of coffee, reading other brilliant books, conversations that momentarily inspire but still no words. You stop going out, turn off notifications, delete time trap apps but still nothing on the damned word document.

Comfort food offer no comfort, the internet barely distracts, the to-do list grows and deadlines whoosh by, with you sitting just there, with no words, a jumble of ideas, all that looked good till you began to write, only to realise, they were just words, with little or no potential.

Sometimes you just cannot write.

I never thought I would get over Chhoutu. 

I never thought I would be able to love another dog, although I keep telling everyone the void in my life is a dog, not a husband/ boyfriend. 

Today, I reconsider a lot of my ideas. I have met, fallen in love and completely been adopted by Bubbles, my new canine-nephew. 

Of Godfather Afternoons

I’ve loved Mario Puzo’s Godfather (and the later books) for years now but never watched Coppola’s films- a jinx, I say, because strange things have happened each time I tried to watch– situations outside my control and inexplicable too– but this post isn’t about the why I didn’t watch Godfather. (Thanks, S!)

After a lovely breakfast, we settled down to watch this epic film. I had of course, seen clippings and knew the story, but the cinematic experience was a different one. Memories of summer afternoons spent reading, came back and I enjoyed the film immensely. But the Godfather isn’t about just the storyline or the epic dialogues or the “messages” and the glimpses of the dark side. It’s about people, how they deal with each other and themselves. If you were a character, who would you be? Flippantly, I thought I’d be the Godfather- knowing fully well I had neither the stability nor the stomach for the ruthless, strategies that the Godfather needed.

A poignant conversation of the Godfather is when Don Vito tells Micheal that he was hoping Micheal would be a Senator or even the President- a shade of hope and faith in the ‘American Dream’ and a voice of conscience, with Vito’s role as the head of the Underworld. Micheal shrugs it off, but there is the acknowledgement of crime, of wrongdoing.

There are many problems with Godfather- the marginalisation of women, for example, or how they are triggers of violence and action but are most replaceable and almost totally powerless. That, of course is another blogpost.

In You’ve Got Mail, Tom Hanks tells Meg Ryan that everything you need to know about conducting a business can be learned from the Godfather. Whether it’s about going to the mattresses or making offers, the Godfather teaches you lessons in thinking, strategy and planning. But what it also distinguishes, is between business and what is personal. This separation, I’m uncomfortable with, because, at some level, business is personal, just as much as it is political. I am not sure I can see how the two are separated, or that you can get away with saying it isn’t personal! You take your views, ideology, value systems into your business, so how does business separate from the personal?

We spent a couple of hours talking about life, choices, communication, all drawing from both experiences and the film we’d watched. We thought about work, about partners, ambition and interpersonal relationships. We talked about the past and the future. We laughed, bantered and agreed/ disagreed on many issues. The Godfather brought out something true from within- the nature of people, and how they stand up to pressure, when the give in and at what point does the prodigal return.

On the (long) drive home, in a haze of fatigue and restlessness, I thought about consequences. If I had to take one thing away from the film, it would be to dwell on consequences, of actions, thoughts and inaction. Consequences that we can predict and most of all, the ones that we didn’t anticipate. The way, an action, a sentence, even a gesture can bring a very carefully constructed world crashing down.

For my Brother

I’m an only child and the closest thing I have experienced to sibling rivalry is fighting for my parent’s affection with my Dog, Chhoutu. He won that race hands down and by a big margin. While I didn’t have brothers to grow up with, I am blessed to have a doting Dada. 

From trusting my with his mammoth Fortuner and fragile kids, to advice on career and life (and so much in between), Dada has helped be become a stronger and better person. 

From dropping me off to college, discussing Malhar and poetry, bringing music and singing into our everyday, Dada (and Mau) show me what ‘joie de vivre’ actually means. Lavish holidays, luxurious lunches, with you and Maushi, I bridged the gap between Mora and Mumbai. 

While some of our choices may not match (except for our absolute belief in the Chandi), it gives me faith knowing we are on the same team. 

For two daughters that light up my life, 

For the wisdom, the jokes, the insight, 

For the mutual love of Faiz and a world of songs beyond Rafi,

For pure love and unflappable faith,

For being an inspiration and a benchmark, 

Thank you.

Happy rakshabandhan 

There’s no doubt, my brother strongest! :) :) 

Unanswered questions make for great poems, stories and literature. In the realm of the real, though, unanswered anything, to me, is largely irritating. 

How do you deal with unreturned phone calls, unreplied texts, emails and letters sent by pigeon post (sending letters by pet carrier pigeons is Atul’s idea- although I don’t think anyone has ever not replied promptly!)?! 

In this hyper connected world, can we forgive a tardy response? Can we appreciate the pain of a delayed reply? 

Have we forgotten how it is to wait for someone to show up? Do you remember how it is to hit send and check your inbox, every six seconds, and feel despondent each time, with no new mail but more spam? Have you ever had an uneasy feeling knowing you’re stirring a hornet’s nest and bracing yourself for the inevitable backlash? Do you remember how it is to send a poem, with controlled flirtation, and hold your breath, wondering if the person will get it, and reciprocate? 

The key to evocative work, is perhaps, absense, yearning and not having all the answers. 

I was obsessively listening to this ghazal over the weekend and it talks about missing someone all night long… The context changed when Faiz adapted Makhdum’s original as a tribute to his friend’s passing. But the pain remained- the pain of waiting. 

The ghazal (Faiz’s version) goes: 

Aapki yaad aati rahi, raat bhar 

Chaandani dil dukhati rahi, raat bhar… 

I kept missing you all night long, the starry sky made my heart ache all night long…

Death, takes people away, brutally ending the conversation and we are left behind, dealing with the void. 


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