Friday, 3 March 2017

The clichéd poem of clichés Or This Women’s Day, a guide to women etiquette

do not say:
you’ve put on weight.
you’ve lost weight.
you look lovely.
you look tired.
you’re not colouring your hair!
oh look at all that grey!
don’t tell me- you’re one of those feminist types?
do not say:
you’ve filled out in all the right places.

do not ask:
so, when are you getting married?
so when you having kids?
a Ph.D is more important than children?
Surely you can do both?
are you doing nothing with your doctorate?
this is what you did engineering for?

Handy tips to speak to issue-less women

do not say:
you are selfish.
own it.
well, you never wanted children anyway.
wow, you must have so much free time.
being a mother is the true meaning of being a woman.
kids aren’t the be-all of life, so just chill!
you’ll regret it.

do not ask:
why did you get married then?
any good news?
have you seen a doctor?
is it you?
what’s his sperm count like?
are you doing it right?
would you like a doctor recommendation?
you’re not really a woman unless you’ve given birth to kids, you know that, right?
who will look after you when you’re older?

do not say:
It’s this whole modern woman idea, new-fangled notions to start a family late, that’s ruining our country. Too busy with career and studies, to do what you’re meant to do. If your mother had thought that, you wouldn’t even have been here.
maybe you’ll have children when we are dead.
i hope this year at least you’ll make it a truly happy new year for us.
how old are you?

do not say:
you don’t want any responsibilities, that’s why.
we’ll all help you when the baby arrives. just have it.
only a son’s child is a true heir, not a daughter’s.

do not ask:
who will you leave all your books to?

(Based on true events.)

Monday, 6 June 2016


didn't your flesh crawl ?
she is dalit after all
and we share nothing with them
not tumblers daughters or village walls.
your cock should have shrivelled and died
the thought of it inside
a spinster a law student a low caste woman
living on the street and hence proven
that she was up to no good at all.
and yet here you are
helping yourself to her self
like you were some coveted guest
helping yourself to her life- bringing cunt
her skin
her organs
her mind.
was she blind to try and move beyond
a strictly laid out life plan and rule
and so here you are. 
her knight in shining armour
to teach her her place.
buried in the ground and in the inner pages of a newspaper.
three minutes of sound bytes and countless candle marches later
we give her her name.
she always had a name.
and a dream.

she is Jisha.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015


because of the distance between us
i finally see how much my body can hold. 
oh the heart. the head. the eyes.
i can cross continents in two strides. 
take the world in with all its good byes. 
i can hold a man a thought a child. 
i can fill my heart for a long passionate while.
yes so much space has been freed up. 
without you I feel four kilos light. 
it must be your departure that's making my skin glow. 
friends wonder but what do they know.
my head multiplies complex numbers. 
okay no it doesn't but who'd want to. 
my head is filled with thoughts of someone else. 
it's not overwhelming or overpowering. 
i can safely dwell here in this space
that smells like almonds and feels like water. 
it's hot now. he's doing that to me. 
and yet there's room. 
between my legs.
beneath the sheets. 
balanced on the tips of my nipples 
and the soles of my feet. 
i can crumble discontent like it is a smoked weed and spit you out, an afterthought
lord knows that’s what i did.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015


any day now
the demons will come home
chasing me through the forest
knocking at my door
and i will welcome them
they'll make themselves at home
stretching out on the sofa
curling up on the floor
they'll drink water from the refrigerator
snack on chocolate from the biscuit tin
they'll pluck my precious hibiscus
and call themselves my kin.
neighbours won't see them
lolling on my bookshelf
they'll look at me and wonder as always
about the world in which i dwell.
but the demons they see me
they know that i know they're there
i do not repel them
quite the opposite in fact.
they wear colours of my disappointments
the fabric of my failed romance
they smile the smile of knowing
knowing they will always care.
the demons have come knocking
and i have willingly let them in
slowly they take over my day my life
all together now, fin.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Once and for all

unfinished business sets my teeth on edge
makes me dysfunctional like you wouldn't believe.
makes me numb even dead.
the confrontations the anger the anger the speed
these are the stuff of my dreams
when conversation flows to and fro
and I want to hide but have nowhere to go
that's when I am most alive.
these loose ends need definite trimming
chopping hacking killing
this bastard heart promiscuous in its will
will stay still even
if i have to hack it up
i will.
one conversation one letter one text
one post one blog one note and all the rest
loose ends unfinished business and these matters unsaid
when I am done with you
the past will truly be dead.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

All about the good news

forced friendships fade with fierce foetal heartbeats.
the air is pregnant with families in waiting
and dreams in flight
dynasties want to be alive to fight
an unwinnable battle against the indifferent times
this is where dreams come to die.
work. love. liberation. life.
this is where dreams come alive.
family. birthday baking. festivals. being a mother and wife.
the man walks busily. a son on his mind.
the woman is pain-filled and ponderous
she's with her kind.
a young couple waits in zebra stripes and shorts
a woman with an evil eye charm
is bejewelled and much sought
after by a doting husband who holds
her file
i see him worried even when she smiles.
self conscious men wait in chairs. 
papers magazines and patience.
their wives are inside getting tests
to determine their future vocation.
there is suppressed desperation in the air the chairs and everywhere
but time is of the essence the children can't wait
make haste. 
don't let the eggs go


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

My kind of math

two hands but not mine
ten fingers but not yours
two tongues   you understand
legs entangled  how else can it be
twenty four hundred strands of hair drape across your chest
fingers tries to forget themselves in me
breaths toomany toofast to count
dreams are disparate and differential
emotions are tangential   even a null equation
the unknowns play algebra in the heart

sometimes math can be magical.