Have you ever, even for once, thought that teaching little kids is an easy job? It’s not. I am telling you from my own experience.

Late at night, when all my best friends were probably snuggling cosily with their husbands or boyfriends, I was evaluating the answer sheets of twelve year olds. Quite a life, I have.

You know what I do when I get stressed out? I read poetry. I am that awful writer who always wished that one day I might write something which I wouldn’t regret later on in life. That never happened. I still write like a lovesick teenage girl. Yes, you got it right. I wouldn’t do well as a feminist.

I ran my fingers through my bookshelf and randomly picked up a poetry book and surprise, surprise! It was Blake’s lucky night. As I imagined a fiery, ever powerful man, pouring the flame of his candlelight into the sockets of a tiger which he just sculpted out of thin air, I stood awed. The tiger’s physique and the description were truly sensuous, to the point of hyperventilation even; that is if you know what I mean. The only relief I had after this quick escape to the realms of the imaginary was that ‘Twilight’ was not the first or only book in which people romanticized animals to the point of eccentricity.

I rushed to the kitchen to ease my restlessness by finding something to munch. I quickly made some salad, so that my hunger could find its salvation. Quietly gobbling down the vegetables, I switched on my laptop to find someone online to chat with. Apart from few random friends, nobody was online. At least, not the people I wanted to pour my heart out to. I was getting more restless with each passing second. What can I do?

I woke up the next morning to realize I got only two weeks of vacation left. Two weeks from now, the school will reopen and by then I’ll have to evaluate all the papers and make progress reports too. Surprisingly, I finished all that yesterday night. The perks of having nothing much to do, I should tell you.

I started packing after breakfast. I’ll have to reach the old farmhouse by the evening and set up the ambience for the meeting that was going to take place on the 13th of June. My best friends and I had decided to meet after 10 years and it was day after tomorrow. Even though we were in touch, thanks to technology, we never really got a chance to meet up not even once in these ten years. Five of them were married, two engaged and the one left has been in a steady relationship for 8 years now. I’ve always been the black sheep. An excellent example for the after effects of “playing with the fire”, I was. Some of them call me “commitment-phobic” and the others think I am too proud to be in a relationship with a man. Truth to be told, I got heartbroken once and then I promised myself that I’d never get to that position ever again. And I believe in keeping promises.

When I got to the old farmhouse, it was as quiet and beautiful as ever; like a loving mother, waiting for her children to come back. Look at her; she will forgive us all for our every sin. I asked the housekeeper to clean the place up and decorate the place with red and blue lights: fire and ice would be the theme. I set out to the town to order some flowers for day after. The florist’s place was literally “heaven on earth” with a hundred varieties of flowers and leaves adorning its every nook and corner. I smiled melancholically and they smiled back at me as if they knew my secrets; my pain.

There is this view of the lake on the way back to the farmhouse. There are these wooden benches and a boulevard of cherry trees. I always wished to live in a place like this. Never really liked the din and frenzy of city life, I should add. I sat down on one of those benches and conversed with the water and air about their own beauty. “How come you never age?” I asked them. They laughed and told me that they change with every rain and every drought; “It is you who don’t change”, they told me. “You can die, we can’t and therefore, you are luckier than us; we are cursed”. They looked sad when they engrossed themselves in their melancholic ramblings. I sighed and looked at the sky. She acknowledged my sorrow and sighed with me and the winds roared across the cherry trees.

With my eyes fixed at the distant nothingness, I failed to realize a dark, tall and lonely figure approaching me. It came and sat next to me. The wind brushed past our faces. The long lost fragrance of memories burned my nostrils. “I prayed much that you wouldn’t come”, I said. “I am cursed with a remarkable memory. Even though the optimist in me was made a martyr of love 10 years ago, I never stopped believing in myself”, he said. “Well done, Ry. You’ve managed to keep yourself as insane as you were”, I told him. I stood up and started walking. He followed me.

We walked into the realms of our past. There stood the younger version of us, holding hands and looking at each other with eyes that spoke of profound sadness. That was the first time he broke a promise: let’s part, he told me then. The Us from the present walked further down the memory lane and reached the college gates. Sports day, it was. Sitting in those stands with friends and watching the finale of the intercollegiate football match where Ry was a midfielder, I was waiting for them to win and to end the long awaited suspense. In twenty minutes, I did break it to Ry.

He proposed in the first year and me, being the haughty New Girl, rejected him and stuck to the Lets-Be-Friends theme. And on that last football match, I proposed to him. He accepted with a cheeky smile that said “You are stuck with me forever, girl”. One more month and college would end. But we were waiting for the end as we planned to make it all known to our parents. We were the craziest couple you could set your eyes on. Our wordplay was quite famous in the whole friend circle. Even more famous were our weird fights – yes, we used to fight for fun. We were that couple who enjoyed being at each other’s throat at every given opportunity; but our love was evident even in those cat-eats-rat games of ours.

The excitement and the adrenaline rush kept on increasing with each kiss and every slap. On the eve of the very last day, he proposed to marriage – the only thing left to do. As always, the coward in me rejected the notion. What was my excuse? We are too young to be married. He was furious. We got into a fierce cold war which resulted in a physical fight and eventually, in sweet lovemaking. I was leaving the next day and we won’t be able to meet up for years. Neither of us liked the idea. So we went for a therapeutic walk. Under the cherry trees, we sat reminiscing the past for a long time. A mad tripe of our insane days together flashed before our eyes. We were meant to be together, said our friends’ adoring eyes. You’ll be remembered, chanted the college walls. So we decided to part and meet in 10 years if we were really meant to be. It was then that he broke our promise. He cried. I never wanted our last meeting to end with tears. But he had to cry. That was how it was supposed to be. So much so that the poetry in his tears rung in my ears even after a decade.

My eyes found its destination and it was reciprocating the gaze. Ryan. How much I missed you! My eyes told him thus. You can read my eyes but I can read your sighs, said his eyes. I have been reading them for 10 years, give me some credit! – He added. I passionately gazed at those windows that showed me my dream. It came true.

“Can we walk into the future together?” he asked earnestly. I thought for a while. “Yes”, I said.
The sky split open to shower us with heavenly fireworks. Invisible crystalline flowers kept tickling us as it fell on our bodies. The Night conquered us with a majestic sweep of her arms. We stepped forward to enter into that wild dance with which the wind was engaged. It swept us off our feet and threw us into the crescent where we landed, giggling wildly. The laughter transgressed the boundaries of inflaming lust. And in that ecstatic moment, did we close our eyes to open it in the split of a second.

I found myself alone, waiting for the night to wake me up. I stood up and followed the quiet path to the old farmhouse. The grassy path whispered an occult chant into my weary ears. But I was too engrossed with the rhythm of my footsteps. An eternity awaits me. Not many get a chance to go back and change the past. My firm footsteps annoyed my tiny grassy friends but I marched on. My heart and foot marched hand in hand to go back to that day, to Ry and to a future that never existed before.


And the poet asked “Who will buy the garden’s sweet shivers? Who will buy the blissful mirth on dawn’s smiling lips?”
I listened to how my mother sang these lines, and for a moment I saw the young girl she was. She was too young to be a mother. Forever. But she was already one. Too late. How do one pay for someone’s lost days?

Those were days of struggle ; each leaf added to the tree. I waited each night, outside the trembling hut, waiting to see a lonely traveller in need of food or accommodation. “A man can sleep outside”, I remembered my mother’s voice when I initially started sleeping out, shaking and screaming at night in fear. That me doesn’t exist anymore. Of course, that mother too. Living alone, I had to fend for myself alone, but living-in all my life, I didn’t know the kind of work other men did. All I knew was to take care of the house and surroundings, to weave baskets out of wires, and to knit baby clothes. “What woman would like you?” my old mother would ask during her last days. I’d sit there like a good daughter-in-law, listening to the taunts at her husband’s home. Sadly, they expected me to bring a wife home. How do I tell them, that I’d rather be married off?

I’ll be starting a new series where I’d use a picture and a corresponding story excerpt of my own. Of course, the picture would be mine too. Please feel free to give me your responses

Goodbye, Summer.

Goodbye to your needless persuasions, goodbye to the foam left on the coffee cups, left to dry over the lonely hours of togetherness.

Goodbye to the windless, closed rooms behind which love never bloomed, goodbye to a spring that forgot its way home.

Goodbye to the roads that led to long winters ahead of toil and daily tussles.

Goodbye to the fallen winter flowers and the moist eyes which closed not knowing the weight of autumn.

Newborn leaves,
Baby winds,
Luscious mud beds,
Vinyl whispers,
Two dancing feet,
Cooing bird heads,
Nuzzling cold noses,
Trippy skies,



Posted: September 13, 2020 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“When it rains it is broad daylight in my mind, Krsna, even in the dead of night. “

In another day he was your man, standing on a brick,
A lotus that bloomed out of the mud—
But so miry is love that it made a God out of your man and a seeker of alms out of the woman.
Irony is when he is lost upon references and she revered in each thought.

“Long have I admired her, dear man, O but how, Krsna, have I become her without knowing it.”

I have waited on bricks in vain, I have written love in a thousand hymns, all upon a name,
I have fallen without bleeding, I have wept without tears,
I have bathed his shadow with the best words lest he fears,
I have drawn colors out of winter,
I have stolen swaras out of the winds,
I have made ragas out of my womb,
I have tuned each drop of my blood to play his lyre.

“But listen, Krsna, not he, only she could tell me about the future—”

Not the God, but the barefooted lover.
Not the ranks but the cracked, blood-dried heels know the way out of this vyuha,

“But how would you know, Krsna, you only know how to destroy in order to make anew,
She created the universe out of your broken bits,
Even a toenail would become a shell, each shell an ocean.”


IMG_20180131_190058.jpg©Nandini Pradeep J

Image  —  Posted: January 31, 2018 in Literature, Pain, Poet, Poetry, Quote


Posted: October 5, 2016 in Uncategorized


മരണം നിശബ്ദത ആണെന്നു പലപ്പോഴും തോന്നിയിട്ടുണ്ട്. പക്ഷെ ഇപ്പോൾ അതോടടുക്കുംതോറും ഒരു ബഹളം അയി തോന്നുന്നു. ശബ്ദകോലാഹലം. ആത്‌മാവിന്റെ കലഹവും ഗേഹത്തിന്റെ വിരഹവും ഉൾക്കൊണ്ട് മുന്നോട്ടു പോകാനുള്ളൊരു ബഹളം.കണ്ണടയ്ക്കുമ്പോൾ നിങ്ങളെ ചുറ്റിപറ്റി എല്ലാവരും കലഹിക്കുകയാണ്: ചിലർ സമ്പത്തിനെ  ചൊല്ലി, ചിലർ ശരീരത്തിന്, ചിലർ മാംസത്തിന്, ചിലർ നിങ്ങളിലെ പ്രേക്ഷകനു വേണ്ടി. അൽപം പഴംചോറും ഉപ്പും പുളിയും മുളകും കൊതിക്കുന്ന ആത്‌മാവ്‌ അവിടെ മൃത്യു വരിക്കുന്നു, നിങ്ങളെ ഇല്ലാതെ ആക്കിയ ആ കലഹങ്ങളുടെ നടുവിൽ നിങ്ങളുടെ ആത്‌മാവിന്റെ ശവം മണ്ണോടലിയുന്നു. നിങ്ങൾക്കുമേലുള്ള അവകാശങ്ങൾ മാത്രം വേണ്ടുള്ള , നിങ്ങളെ വേണ്ടാത്ത നിങ്ങളുടെ ജനത നിങ്ങളുടെ  ആത്‌മാവിന്റെ ശവക്കല്ലറ പിഴുതെറിയുന്നു. ഇതോ മരണം? എന്ത് നിശ്ശബ്ദതയെക്കുറിച്ചാണ് നിങ്ങൾ ഈ സംസാരിക്കുന്നതു? ഒരു “സാധാരണക്കാരനു” നിരക്കാത്ത ഒന്നിനെക്കുറിച്ച് , അല്ലെ?

Shall I wish or perish, Keats,
In your remembrances?
I saw closed doors with black ribbons of your choice
And heard laces humming late hymns.
The cold winter races up to the moon forever.
Yet in all times do I find you, warm as wine and fever;
Only in death does ice on ice grow like a tree.

Draw on me; divine me,
I wait at the threshold, eager to be called in.
Yet. Yet, you speak only in riddles.
Malachite and mirrors do adorn your windows,
Why don’t you let me through too?

I saw those fences in mourning;
Alabaster-clad winds and alcoholic fire –
Your friends in desire.
Drown me in a cup of hot chocolate,
Smother me with poetry.
Is that too much to ask for?



Bright lights would perish, all of a sudden.
Those that persevere, ember to ember, flame to flame, shall remain.

Erebus shall dine on light, night after night.
You and I, we shall keep adding coal to this fire.

Gorging on corpses, Nekhbet saw afar a tomb-
Painted grey and red, darling I knew it was yours.

“Hide it from her eyes”, you said.
I stood bemused: “Are you a better lover or her?”, I asked.

Soul withers; alas, were you too bright?
I counted the pebbles nigh yon Nile amid your bones, teeth, etc.

Adieu to your flame, I said;
Along with life, death and other things.