Showing posts from July, 2014

Black desire

Black is my colour. I have always associated black with anonymity – its ability to hide someone in its folds, almost like a shelter. It allows me to blend into the background, to ‘disappear’, shrouded in a cloak of darkness. Metaphorically. 

Black is a box full of childhood memories. A black umbrella with a dislocated spine, a comfortable pair of black school shoes, a favourite long black sweater that came up to my knees, that coveted bottle of black ink that made my handwriting look prettier than the royal blue one – each one of them precious in my world.

Black is also the colour of desire. Of things I have always read in books and seen on the screen. A silly woman’s wish-list. 

Hush, and I will tell you what I want:

Black caviar

“That caviar is a garnish!”

Remember that scene from the movie You’ve Got Mail where Meg Ryan reprimands Tom Hanks for taking the caviar off a dish, after realizing his real identity? I loved that scene. But I was also a tad curious of the grainy black ‘garnis…

A rainy day in Chikmagalur


Thick and swirling, they come rolling over the hills and engulfs us. The grove of tall silver oak trees bordering our path disappears from our view, hidden behind the thick white veil. A light drizzle dots the windshield with tiny droplets. I lower the window of the car, letting the mist come inside, a light chill embracing us. I take a deep breath, inhaling the cool fresh air of the woods. 

The mist brings along with it the faint fragrance of some unknown flower. I remember seeing a bunch of flowering orchids some time back, nestled cozily in the nook of a shady tree, the bough overgrown with soft moss and ferns. Can it be the orchids, do they smell, I ask myself. 

Or maybe we are passing along an unseen plant nursery, the budding flowers imparting their fragrance to let us know of their impending debut. In my mind, I take a handful of the sweet floral essence and save it in my memory. Maybe one day I will take it out and take a whiff of it.

The eucalyptus trees

Tall, willowy, gr…

The forbidden meal

Jugoda Devi wiped her face with her chadar and smiled satisfied as she took a look at the things on her kitchen floor. She had managed to sneak in some fiddlehead ferns and a few baby potatoes from the backyard into her tiny kitchen, a space that she had carved out for herself in the main kitchen hall. She cooked her meager vegetarian meals here, not partaking of the food cooked for the rest of the family nor sharing hers with anyone. That is how it has been since she attained widowhood decades back. 

She looked with some apprehension at the three little fish that she had caught early that morning in the pond, before anyone had woken up in the household. Would they be enough? She had not touched anything non-vegetarian since her husband’s demise. Would she remember her signature dish after so many years? A niggling thought crept into her mind. Was she right in what she was about to do? 

She shook her head as if to shoo away the thought and steeled her mind to complete the task. There …

Darwin in my dreams

I am a person full of contradictions. So much so that sometimes even I am amazed at myself. I am that much organized with some things, mostly frivolous, as I am unorganized with other things, mostly very important ones. On one hand, I can’t proceed if I don’t have a system in place, and on the other hand, I keep on procrastinating till it is too late. Did you know I am a compulsive list-maker and that I have meticulously prepared a long list of pending things? It is another matter that I have not fulfilled any of them. What is the point of making a list if I don’t even bother to take it up, you may ask. Well, that’s how contradictory I am. Now you know.

But if I had to tell you one thing I am good at, that would be my travel plans. I love to plan and research and dream before embarking on a trip. While the husband is more of ‘spur-of-the-moment’ and we-will-see-when-we-will-need-to-see types, I obsess about the predicaments we might find ourselves in if we don’t plan ahead.

Recently, …

A faceless Mardaani

It was a normal day for Khula Laimayum Sahani as she started her scooter for home. A resident of Manipur, the 50 year old feisty lady had shifted to Delhi in order to pursue her passion – theatre. Her love for theatre activism had nudged her to spread her wings beyond the north-eastern nook of the country to land in the capital city. Little did she know that the events awaiting her that evening would be any less than a theatrical production.

Laimayum ignored the stifling Delhi heat as she drove her scooter amidst the multitude of vehicles teeming on the eastern Delhi roadways. Evening had set in and she was ruminating over the day’s events when she realized that she had already reached Patparganj. 

Not far from home now, she thought to herself.

Suddenly, she felt her sixth sense trigger warning signals as a bike with two men veered close towards her. Before she could sit up alert, the man on the pillion lunged at her and snatched off her gold chain in a swift action. Within the fracti…

Unraveling the secrets of the Omani mountains

There have been times when I made assumptions based on my own limited knowledge about a particular place. Like the time I assumed Oman to be an arid country – its landscape a never ending stretch of sand dunes with nothing much to break the monotony. How unwise I had been, for nothing could be further from the truth.

As I delved deeper into Oman’s places of interest, I was surprised, or even shocked, to see the variety of scenery present in the country. It caters to the whims and fancies of almost everyone who would want to visit this beautiful region. Take me, for instance, a die-hard lover of old ruins, mountains and water bodies. I would have no reason to despair in this ‘desert country’. 

So, if you thought Oman was all about sand dunes, Bedouins and date palm trees, you are sadly mistaken, my friend. (Though I doubt anybody would be that stupid like me.) There is more to the country – secrets that are waiting to be uncovered among the mountains and relished. Let me take you aroun…