Orange

This orange glow
Of the heater
And my incessantly beating
Racing, jumping, heart
Feels orange
(Obviously, imagine if I said 
Purple
In a poem titled”orange”)
Anyway so I was
Talking about my room, again.
And my location in the general plane of emotions
And-oh my god heart shut the fuck up 
I can hear you in my ears
Anyway, as I was saying
This is a very bad time to be awake
And being an adult feels weird

Like today I seriously
Talked about internships with my father
What happened to all the righteous angst?
None of this is a fantasy
That my boring 12-year-old self cooked up
It was real, and frightening

I don’t want to be a person yet
Who has to care about linkedin
Can I still have another shot
At immature heartbreak poetry?
I feel like there are metaphors I haven’t
Used yet,
Can I ride to more places with my friends?
I still have time
To sing songs to my mother
Right?

All my life I’ve wanted to grow up
To feel strong and big
But the universe got bigger and I
Used to be the queen of the world 
And now I’m just a person
Who feels orange at 2am.


Hi people, yes I have abandoned NaPoWriMo because not only am I dying, I also have college, and no will to do anything anymore. Hence, I will not subject myself to arbitary deadlines more than I have to.

And as far as this poem goes, I find something quite alluring and attractive about girls forever stuck in their childhood, not wanting to grow up. Adolecense is painful for everyone, but we just make it worse, don’t we? Like taking a barbed wire and using it as a jump rope, just to feel like a kid again. Not yet, the pain is compelling, but I can’t let it go. Not yet.

Day 3 “Nails”

“Nails hi dekhti reh ja tu”
She smiled her crooked grin
And i turned redder than her fingertips
That change colours each day
Somedays glitter- like the Little Dipper
Sometimes black- like the Ballad For Mona Lisa
Yesterday they were lilac
And I told her, like I always do,
Holding her hand briefly, “such pretty nails”
Such sharp corners
Not unlike her ‘devil could care’ eyes
That soften like the fluorescent light above us
When she laughs lightly and says “Thank you,
Burger khaane chalegi?”


 

I know, I didn’t write this today, but nobody wants to read my depressed sick-brain little poems filled with self loathing. Instead read this 2 year old thing about a girl in my physics tuition. And before you ask why I am posting day 3 on 8th of April, let me just interrupt you and remind you that we will all die eventually.

Day 2 “Someone New”

This poem was long time coming.
I mean, you must be wondering
‘Tanu has been travelling in the
Metro for 2 months so, uh
Where’s the poem about
The little kid who annoyed you when you were freaked out
After sitting in the wrong train twice?

Or that stunning woman, jesus christ
You put on sunglasses to marvel at her
Remember the tennis shoes
If you knew how to put on eyeliner like that, you’d never be blue.

And those boys, sorry, men
Who looked like very handsome and very old 12th graders when
You realised some jobs have uniforms too.
Oh, stupid Tanu
I know you still think about that time
That guy pointed at your wallet on the floor, lime
-Haired bassist with his chains dripping
Over alternative skull tshirt, gripping
The pole with you.

There were 3 friends, weren’t there?
Who you could swear were coming back from a Queer
Comic Artists Association meeting in some
DU college. Didn’t you wish they’d take you for another one?

How many people have you wanted to
Go home with and see how they looked when they drew?
Blew balloons on their father’s birthday
Which mobile games do they play?

Where is your love poem
Dedicated to the femme-
butch, chapped lips couple?
Your love poem for all the dull
And tired and happy and exuberant people of the city
That is now your home, cringe intended. Pity
In his eyes, as the uncle asks me for directions
On the rapid metro station, while I’m crying senseless
Doesn’t the Green Park bag sanitation guy
Deserve a verse, or five? ”

Well bitch here it is
How are you thinking this is a phase, this is a bit?
How is this self indulgent poem a surprise to you?
Really, it’s unknown to few, that
I fall in love just a little, oh, little bit
Every day with someone new.


Today I sent a voice note to my friend saying I need him to not forward me 13,000,000,000 poetry prompts, but just tell me what to write. He told me to write something to do with Hozier. Now, I am not emotionally sound enough to sit back and unpack songs like “Like Real People Do” so I chose one of his peppy numbers, “Someone New. ” The last lines are the chorus of the song.

I know, I promised myself I wouldn’t write a poem about all the people I see everyday in the metro. But now that I’m stuck in this 250 gajh of my house, I miss standing in line to pay ₹200 ever 3 days at the card recharge counter. Oh, the human condition can make you romanticize the stupidest of things!

Day #1 “Rule Master”

‘There would be no other time in my life
When getting a drastic haircut
Or blue hair
Would be more justified’
I think
At the ledge of the of the rooftop
That took me two breathing breaks to reach.
My spit tastes like nothing
My hair feels crusty
My lips chapped
I am the poster girl of dehydration.
And stand back and pull out my phone
Play summer of 69
And sway my hips with these trees behind my house
These are the best days of my life?
Maybe not
Youth is just an overhyped nostalgic wet dream
Sold by unfulfilled middle aged rom-com writers
But what do I know of youth

Except for the quote “I need to be youthfully felt
Cause God, I never felt young. “


All I know is that the lit windows on buildings look like glittering fireflies from the distance
And there is the neighbour girl on the roof right now
And I’m hungry
I will go downstairs
Maybe I’ll shower today
Maybe I’ll pretend it’s last year
Sometimes I forget who’s making the rules.


That’s right ladies and gentlemen and folks, it’s  day one of *drumroll*
NaPoWriMo!

It is, in my professional opinion, pretty fucking apt, that the first day of a month dedicated to poets, falls on the day dedicated for fools.
Also, nobody else except me is finding it funny ki after surviving a year of lockdown, I caught the plague 3 days before a party, in the middle of the first wave of college assignment submissions, during my period. I don’t need April Fools pranks, thanks, my life is already a joke. But then, what else is there left to do, except cry about diminished cardio abilities and write vague nonsense about youth? You and I both, dear reader, are in for a month of fever dreams. To quote Sarah Kay, ” I know poems won’t save us. And yet, and yet. “

Growing Pains

Teena had always believed in cleaning her own puke off of the Pac-Man controller. However, being in the service industry had taught her that people are generally not genial; not to underpaid teenagers anyway. She felt her phone buzzing, but she would rather focus on the undigested lunch of a stranger than take the call. She knew who was calling.
She walked over to the arcade owner, an aggressively average man.
“Okay Ganesh, give it up,” she said flatly.
“You don’t get paid till next month kiddo.” He replied somehow more monotonously.
“I quit, man,” She put her hands on his table and whispered, “I can’t scrub air-hockey tables anymore.”
“I can fire Shreya in the morning if you want, I know this is about her.”
“No, it was my fault to think love lasts. I need to grow up.” She took off the glow-in-dark ring and never returned.


This is a flash fiction piece that I wrote recently, and it is literally one of the three prose thing-ys I have ever written. I like it.

Anyway, I am posting regularly here because NaPoWriMo is coming up, and this year I am participating, so I thought some content on this site might revive it a bit. But I’m not writing for likes this year. I am writing because in 2019 17 year old me wrote 15 poems in a month, each more individual and distinctive than the last, and I have not written anything as ‘me’ ever since. I am excited to see what colours rear their ugly or gorgeous heads through my panicked verses this year. I’m so ready to romanticize the fuck out of everything under the sun. Bachna ae bougainvillea trees aur random people in the metro, lo mai aa gayi!

Ode to All My Half-Written Poems

It is the World Poetry Day as I’m writing this, and I realised earlier in the evening that I do not have any material to honour today. But then I re-realised that I have a year worth of (4-5 poems) lockdown stash leftover to post. Wish I would have sat down to think some more, maybe some other good news might have resurfaced. These days, I am unsure of whatever that goes on around me. It seems like I am waiting for my life to start, some event that will give me the permission to enjoy. I am never going to ‘start’ my life like this lmao. Jo karna hai abhi karle tanu. Why did this get so randomly philosophical and emo? I guess because when I went to the park today, the chaat did not taste life altering, like it always does.

Anyway, this is a poem inspired by Olivia Gatwood, who I’m in love with.

Last year in around february, so like 25 years ago, I finally got my hands on a copy (pirated pdf) of Olivia Gatwood’s “Life of Party”. It is a phenomenal collection of poems by my second favourite poet of all time. It is about the relationship between women and violence and true-crime media. Like, the fact that most serial killers are men killing their exes is not just a correlation. And the fact that out of all the violent assaults reported in print and news channels, most of them are young, rich women does not mean that ugly poor men don’t get murdered – it’s that a pretty red lipstick’ed head is more glamorous and romanticized in popular culture. Like a man who stabs a man is a psychopath, but one who stabs a woman is generally passionate. I don’t know. There’s elements of drug abuse and domestic violence Olivia saw in her neighbourhood growing up, along with all the regular everyday violence women face that isn’t even classified as violence, and the wanting to please people, even if they hate your existence in there. There is also an Ode to a female queer serial killer in there, which was really interesting. I like this book because apart from being about the poet’s paranoia and its roots in her life, it is also an ode to girlhood. It is a celebration of the wisdom of fear, the courage, the decadent love and phenomena it is to be an unmistakable girl.

I like Olivia a lot, not just her body of work, but because she tells me the knife in my purse isn’t big enough. She tells me my blush can be pinker, my laughter shriller, my knees bloodier with bicycle riding. She tells me that the men I love will kill me one day but in the meantime I can sit with my mom and lend her an hour of my life. I love her because she doesn’t believe in God yet writes her odes. I love her because she wrote the lines “when they call you a bitch, say thank you. say thank you, very much.” and  “i do not slice his tires. i do not burn the photos. i do not write the letter. i do not beg. i do not ask for forgiveness. i do not hold my breath while he finishes. the man tells me he does not love me, and he does not love me. the man tells me who he is, and i listen. i have so much beautiful time.” I love her just because.

So poem is sort of an homage to Olivia and her odes. I will never be her, but maybe that’s for the best. I can be myself, and she’ll probably roll her eyes at my outfit if we ever meet, but I’d like to tell her that I too don’t trust the cynics. I too try to write an ode to all of life.

Reading Olivia talk about dead girls
Whored bodies and jealous leftovers
Puts one in a bitchy mood,
Like, you try saying a word you punk shit moo
Not the best outlook when you are about to begin ode-ing,
But listen to me, if tomorrow
There is an article in the Dainik Jagran mourning
My young, pure, future-ful, cis, upper caste, girly body
I don’t want the autopsy surgeon,
An underpaid government employee,
To find sunsets instead of bones
To find my unfinished business in my buccal cavity
Late night rendezvous with stray dogs and leftovers from dinner, in place of veins
And fear instead of plasma in the blood
I don’t want to be cut open and spill.
Create messes worse than the ones in my journal
From when I tried writing about that damn girl
The one with a Victorian soul, a ghost in my contacts.
Plucking my last days at various places out of my lymph nodes,
I don’t have enough time to take care of every memory I still hoard in my love handles.

So, here is my ode to all the poems I conceived
But never delivered, and all those bloody miscarriages on paper.
And if we are really going to extend this metaphor,
This is the ode to all the poems that still live inside me
Ones I can’t abort just yet
Who let their presence be known deep in my belly
Whenever I see a cat or the stars.

I know you! I do! And now I set you free!

Dear all-encompassing, overwhelming moments
Pretty sights, deep insights, little moments past midnight,
I will not apologize for being lazy, for thinking
“what if mummy reads it?”
for trying to live in the awe, for being speechless
For procrastinating, for being tired, for not being in the mood simply,
Which means letting you fade from my memory
Which means letting you die
Which means killing you
Because that is not the type of poem I am writing.
Remember the bitchy mood?
But I will thank you
For your unforgiving rage
And all the patience of the ocean.

The winter last year was bitter,
Once, I did not shower for three days.
On the fourth day, I swear on everything I have ever believed in, I saw a ghost of me
Apparrate out of the steaming bathroom
The fogged mirror reflecting brown and black,
Cleared to show a red face, scorched skin draped over collarbones.
So thank you my unwritten poems,
The abandoned prompts, the forgotten mental notes,
For being the first three days
To whatever twenty lines were my fourth day of soap that week.

Local Moth Flies Into A Torch In A Lighthouse

“Yes Mr. Butterfly I’m aware that
They sent you to ‘interview’ me but you see
There is a lighthouse in the middle of the sea
And I am in a hurry.


People often debate why
I run to lamps
Humans write papers and all
But they never listen
To the hum in the bzzzzzz
To the words in the silence.


I know I am despised
Feared, i know I am repulsive
To the homo sapiens.
I know they make sprays to kill my family
But I pity them
To live so long and so wide
But not to be able to see the hues in my wings


I know they can see the colours in you Mr. Butterfly,
But I am just a moth
A disgusting pest
A cloth-eating criminal
But look at that glow over the water
It’s like I can touch it
I can feel the spectrum of the waves.


I don’t hate the humans sir
I pollinate their crops all day


But I don’t need the world to see
That I’ve been the best I can be

You wanna know my story? Okay so
I was raised by a little girl who mistook me
for one of your kind
She fed me and loved me and then
I came out of my cocoon
And she wept
Under a lamp in a dark room.


Yeah so you can say I don’t really care
If you think i’m stupid for following the light
I know it’s not the moon, I’m not that dumb
I know the humans have their theories
I know a lot buddy, did you know that?
But one thing i don’t
Is that why don’t you run when your feet tell you to?


What is there here
That you don’t look at a candle
And want to melt in it?
You’re telling me
That you see a bulb
And never want to be the tungsten?
You have never wanted to know what it feels
To reflect on a little girl’s wet cheeks?
To glint in her eyes?
To help her run out of a room?


Mr. Butterfly, I appreciate your concern
But i know that flame is only getting bigger
I am going to go
Icarus was not a victim for flying too close to the sun
I say he was the smartest
He steered towards the luminosity
And became brilliant
He died at the hands of his lover
Like i did, on the day i was born.
Now if you’ll excuse me,
I’m going to seek the great perhaps.”

I think it’s safe to say that i’m not going to post my 2020 wrap before 2022 now.

Another Love Poem

yes. I am aware I have still not written my 2020 wrap. shut up.

Every time I open my mouth
To proclaim my affections for a new a commodity
In my immature, stupid, naive,
High- pitched, annoying, vain,
Bimbo-ish teen girl voice,

I dread the clearing throats of the “Love Police”
(Not to be confused with “Anti Romeo Squad”
That is a different shade of the patriarchy)
Telling me that I don’t “love” that boyband.

Their Manifesto of edgy insta-poetry demands me
To banish the L-word to the back of my vocabulary
And pull it out only in the case of
The subject of my adoration being kin
Or a significant other; a significant point

To note here is that
Friends you’ve shared your life with since six months
Or 3 years in case of online interactions
(especially boys)(because God will
Kill puppies if I L-word boys)
Cannot be “loved.”
They are fickle relations
Here for your money or some shit
(Not like I don’t scam my cousins
i meet every 6 years out of moolah every rakhi)

Once-a-quarter opens
The government office in a place
You definitely don’t know
That issues “Love Licence”
You need to bring a DNA test or a
Mangalsutra or a lifelong career committed to the thing
Along with standard IDs
Couple passport sized photos
To have yours minted.
Be sure to dip it in “moonlight”
And “stardust of true love” before depositing it
To your nearest un-ironically
“I hate small-talk.” activist
Before sending Arijit Singh songs to a girl.

Why do you care if I say
I love your new haircut, or
I love all weird trees, or
I love pasta, or
I love my English teacher, or
I love 2000s songs, or
I love pisces memes, or
I love that pisceans are old souls even though I’m mostly sure astrology is bs, or
I love running down a slope, or
I love a good eyeliner wing, or
I love that if I stare at a girl for long enough I will think she is the prettiest, or
I love Tonks, or
I love Ron, or
I love how mummy smiles when she sings, or
I love Leo from Heroes of Olympus, or
I love Persephone, Goddess of Spring and Queen of Hell, or
I love Neil Hilborn, or
I love anything Sia has ever sung, or
I love Finneas’ new song, even though I will be sick of it in a week, or
I love every “Love Wins” shirt, or
I love Phineas and Ferb’s discography even though I don’t remember it, or
I love the show ‘New Girl’, or
I love that I reflexively smile at every mirror irrespective of my mood, or
I love the neighbour’s baby’ smirk when she snatches my flowers, or
I love 17 of my friends currently?
I do!
Life is too lovely not to love things.

My “if it ended it wasn’t true love” brethen
Has informed of their concerns
And I listened. Firstly
They say I like these things, not love.
I really dislike my mother in the morning
But I love her while washing dishes together in the afternoon
I hate when my sister out-snarks me
But I will cut a bitch for her
I dislike even the thought of icecream during my period
But I will always love it for all the summers.

You can like a lot of things
But loving them is a different thrill
Why limit yourself?

I love that Alex Dimitrov’s
Poem called “Love”
Gets updated everyday
And that on the day he dies we will
Have this mammoth scroll
Of everything he shone for.

Next, these people worry about
The word being dirtied by its ubiquity
As if ‘mundane’ can ever be
The antonym of ‘special’
As if love is a piece of cloth that will wear
As if love is a solution in a conical flask
And distribution dilutes
As if my yours our love is so weak
That its abundance will cheapen it
Love cares nothing about economics!
It is not bound by the laws of
Supply and Demand
It won’t follow your inflation rates!

The things you love need company
Tanu, add your cheeks to the list.

I love the memory of when I was 12
And my family went on a road trip in the hills
I kept screaming “THIS SONG IS MY FAVOURITE”
Every four minutes
And mummy laughed “You love all music”
Because I did.

Finally, when the moment arrives
That magical, exclusive thing that you wait for
To let yourself feel
When you do that thing or see that shore
Or meet the people
Who make you feel like a lukewarm donut
Filled with strawberry cream
Fluffy, filled, whole, buoyant,
And you finally say “I’m in love”
Do you think people not getting
Just how much
Will ever be something
That will ever matter?

Randomly, Desperately Philosophical

Hello friends and enemies. Yes, you can believe it, ’tis I, the ever tardy mother of my disciples. I know you all hungry birdlings are wondering, ‘hmm, it is almost February and Tanushka has not showed up with her emo year wrap yet , is she okay?’ Well, firstly, no. I had a – how do I put it gentlyfucked up month, but that’s the story with every January. Every year without fail January gives me trauma and I spend the next 11 months trying to recover. Anyway oversharing aside, I am still writing my 2020 wrap, because writing is hard when you sleep 14 hours a day. In the interim, I present you with this poem I wrote last week. I don’t know what I mean by it, I am not sure what was going on in my head, but it rhymes so there’s that.


“Bathroom mein mummy!” I shout back
To the calls from the kitchen. I lack
The scurried itchiness of her night routine
As I stare at my strands between
My fingers and try to pull them out of my rubber band.
They are greasy and falling in my hand
Very fucking fast and I try not
To focus on the knot
Between my eyebrows, which are a mess
Of their own and it all feels incessant.

I am prying out a folding bed
From under the stairs outside, all brushed and fed,
 And the cold winds make my fingertips red
I prop the metal and wood plank on my shoulder and open
The door and I walk into warmth, “fun”
Was how my cousins would describe the
Cards game beyond the wall while I shape
The iron legs and suddenly I feel the nape
Of my neck and it is warm and wet.
It feels foolish that I would ever fret
Over wasted youth and other such nagging
Yet compelling truths lagging
My joy and making me feel bad about all the love stories I
Don’t have. I have red blood cells and I can try
To make them stop spilling or I can sit and wallow
But some nights are so hollow
A character in a film called himself damaged
Goods and I felt salvaged
I got up from the floor and wash my neck
And look at the mirror and laugh at my puffy cheeks reminding me of Shrek.

I have been told, mostly by my brain
That I must move across the grain
And beyond semi rhyming poems describing
Mundane activities in detail and stop hiding
Behind line breaks and the moonlight
But I think that it is all that I have to say, that I might

Just be someone who feels like they are Atlas holding the sky
In a bathroom while looking at the hair on the floor and holding in a cry
And is tragically fragile while tightening a bolt
Randomly, desperately, philosophical, dolt
I am, I didn’t mean to sound smart
But I know how it feels to create art

And it is not a crime to write it down
To let all this heaviness drown
Itself on my pages and pray to blooming flowers
That tomorrow has brighter answers and fuller hours.

Daffodil



I know a girl who loves bougainvillea
She is a poet- no, not like me
I just write poetry
She plucks words from the sky
And throws them around, creating meteor showers


She uses the word ‘us’ while describing flowers
She believes in the intrinsic goodness of humanity
She writes me letters,
I told her i’m a gardener


This is not the first poem i’ve written for her
I have been living in this city for 8 years, in this house for five
But when she squealed
When I guessed her favourite flower in the first try
That is when I noticed the pink leafy blooms in our garden


Her polaroid ruby lips and gaping round eyes put the spotlight
On a background motif I never noticed
Gave me one more reason to love spring
Everywhere I go these days, there she is.
Magenta, sometimes light pink
or white, my favourite.


She says she is gentle
But I know
Once, she loved a boy so hard
She wrote him into immortality.


the bougainvillea tree in my garden
Dips its pink boughs
Far into the cotton blue sky
I used to wonder what is it that it is trying to reach
But it seems like she is trying to hold onto the sky himself
People will tell her she cannot keep the clouds in her fist forever
But we both know that a tree cannot
Wrap its leaves around itself
And pretend to be someone else


She’s not too into Harry Potter
But I told her I’m a Hufflepuff
And that my green thumb is not satisfied with
Just pressing buds in thick books
I told her I’m planting her namesake in my room.


I was afraid it’ll die soon
Because you cannot expect a tree to thrive in a pot
But she, ever dreamy
Told me that is why i should name it, honour its life.


The flowers, unnamed, wilted in a week
She told me she is the grandma nobody wants
I told her I am the gardener nobody deserves.


She told me ‘zahra’ means ‘flower’
I told her I am a gardener
I told her I am a poet
And all I write about these days is pink boughs of trees


Once, she asked me what my favourite flower was
I told her daffodil
Because I remember reading it was lucky for my sun sign when I could barely arrange 5 letters together
And because it is yellow and sunny
I pray to her God often
Asking Him to make her ask me again
So that I can pluck all the weeds now growing
In the pot, nourished by the dead flowers
And arrange them on the ground, spelling her name.


I just miss her, alright?

Night Routine

I take a walk at night
To the end of my street
I ask the dog to accompany me
I gaze at the sky
I count the stars
I think the thoughts I couldn’t allow myself to think all day
I tell my racing heart to shut up
I look at a labourer retiring for the night
Her son skitterish at my arrival in his crook
I walk away, back under the streetlights
I consider going back home
I stand
I miss all the people I couldn’t allow myself to miss all day
I lament that I will never be 14, 15, 16 again
I will never go back in time
I crouch down on the road
I scratch my dog
I wonder what I will do if he runs away
I wonder if he’s scared to loose me
I wonder if he loves any other dog
I remember it is late
I say goodbye to the trees
I push down everything to a place I will never be able to reach again.
Next day, I will wonder why the moon makes me terrified of the future
I think about that character in that show
(Today Prince Charles from the crown)
I wonder if the scriptwriters know the lonliness they make him portray
I hope they do, so that I am not alone
I am startled by licks on calves and barks
I remember I am never alone
I look at the bushes
I promise  to walk in the morning to them
I see my mother through the window
I smell the tea
I smile at her
I say bye to the dog
I tell my racing heart to shut up
I carry so much grief in me
I never know why.




I wrote this around last week, while in the bathroom. God bless technology, now I can record my shitty thoughts while shitting (okay too much Tanu.) And I wrote the last two lines first, trying to reverse engineer my way to a beginning. I was retracing my steps on my nightly stroll as a way to retrace my thoughts to understand just what let me to crying in the aforementioned bathroom at midnight. I often just say “I’m in the bottom half of the sine wave” to my diary. But others don’t seem to live life in a sinusoidal function. I think I knew I will not get to the bottom of this from the beginning, because I was right. I never know why. I sat for another hour in my bed that night, trying to tweak this poem to discover some undercurrent of a greater metaphor, but there was none that I could find. This is it, people. Just me talking about my favourite street dog.

Wasteland, Baby! I am in love with you.

At this point, I think it is custom for me to write things on new year’s eves and then go missing for 11 months. Today, I am offering you this ‘thing’ written at 11pm on 31st December 2019 without any explanations. Tomorrow? Who knows.

Firstly, hello ji hello yes nice meeting you too yes aunty indeed I did not grow tall at all in these 3 months hmmm yes the weather is horrible you look dashing uncle.

Disclaimer- this is not an end of the decade thing. Not even an end of the year sob. Not a mating call either. This is merely a challenge for 31st December 2020 me (who would be looking for inspiration to write something she should have been done with a week ago) to count the number of lines in here that are references to Neil Hilborn, John green, Hozier and Sia (by reference I mean direct copy, or you know, theft.) Answers at the end!

Before we begin, my sister has graciously agreed to bless the general public and my one follower from Tobago with her pearls of wisdom about 2019. P, and I quote her, O P A T. Hear ye, hear ye!

I have procrastinated till the death of every idea I had for this thing, but there are still about 1.5 hours left in the decade. The night may not be young, but I am. You may be too. You may be reading this in 2034. To quote John Mulaney, what the fuck. That’s not a real year. Is Putin still riding horses? How are the bees? Did democracy finally stop fighting for its existence and sell the patent to a big pharma company like a dutiful American capitalist? Did I ever quit using big nonsense words just to seem like I understand economic systems and social justice movements? Did the comrades defeat the bourgeoisie? Did the queer students finally eat the rich? I hope they kept eno handy.

Now with that out of the way, I’d like to get real with y’all. Remove your shoes – keep your socks on- and chillax. Stress, it is a thing. A bad thing; it makes your hair fall off and tea taste boring. What is worse than legitimate and justifiable stress? You are right, it is stress caused by not having an idea to write an end of the year thing summary for a blog you have basically abandoned. I struggled so much. I had written like seven drafts in my head during showers, but none of them were exciting enough. I did have a brilliant idea at 1am though, after a friend had said nice things about me that day (flattery makes me sentimental) but then I didn’t write it because it is so cold here. Alas, sweet talk managed to warm my soul but could not warm my fingers (since it is not a high resistance coil having high current passing through it, causing heat production.) (My father wanted me to include physics somehow. I would have written a chemistry joke, but I was sure I would get no reaction.) (sorry anisha.)

So here I am, at 11:40pm on the last Tuesday of the decade, scribbling into a notebook because I can’t think and type at the same time. Mummy baked a cake, which is tradition. Talking to my 7 followers every year is also a tradition. Time doesn’t wait for traditions. I am so cold and so hungry even though I had dinner a while ago.

John Green, what a guy, right? He’s no Shakespeare, but The Anthropocene Reviewed, a monthly podcast, is nothing short of a masterpiece. Each month he picks two things out of the human centered planet and rates them on a five-star scale. It is his idea of a memoir, recounting life changing advice from former bosses and last memories with a dead friend, while reviewing Taco bell. I have wanted to write my own episode since the beginning of the year. It is past midnight now (Happy 2020!) (I’m sorry the cake looked very tasty) but hey, I can still rate the past, even on a sugar high.

Two thousand and nineteen, was a year. True statement, can’t sue me. Was it a good year? Or was it a shitshow in a dumpster fire? IT IS NOT THAT SIMPLE. I can sit here and cry about all things that broke me this year, like the 2018 review, but who wants to read that? It was a dark time for me, when I wrote this last year, but nobody saved me except me. It didn’t happen overnight, and it sure as hell did not happen by complaining on a blog; it happened by shutting up and sticking it out. It happened by forcing a smile one getting out of bed. I made a resolution to get out of bed last year, right? Hey Tanu, I fucking nailed it.

I am very proud of myself this year. Disappointed too, but deliberately choosing to be proud. No, I’m not going to list all the reasons why I’m proud, all my cherished memories, all the dark nights, because they aren’t for you, dear reader. I apologize for being rude, but they aren’t for my future self either. I will forget and you don’t care. All these little moments are for me to think about in this moment and get overwhelmed with gratitude.

The true recap of my year would be found in my inbox. All of my most meaningful work from this year, perhaps ever, are poems, letters, and birthday cards written for friends and family. I cannot reproduce them here, because they don’t belong only to me. But that makes one think. “I’m not saying you will find the meaning of life in other people/ I’m saying other people are the life to which you provide meaning.” (Here and Away, Neil Hilborn)

Lately I’ve been thinking about the poem ‘Liminality’ by my boy Neil (wow much surprised very unpredictable), especially the last lines:

“Heaven is floating to earth in this already shattered car.
I will lie here forever and sing to you all the things I stopped myself from saying while we were alive.”

I always thought that the girl in the poem was saying the last lines to the poet, but some people think otherwise. Still, I like the former explanation better because damn, imagine being loved enough to hear that from someone. Imagine loving someone enough, platonically and otherwise, to say that and mean it.

There is a line in there that goes “All that has ever mattered is volume.” And I think it’s true. Why listen to your sadboi hours playlist and spiral down into a rabbit hole of self-pity when you could just twerk to some Lizzo? Or even better, just go to sleep. You will need to save yourself, someday surely, so rest up.

Why regret the things you didn’t do when there is so much that you did?

Why focus on the deteriorating state of the planet when you could do something about it? I know, the world is so big and your hands are so small, on some days everything feels on the brink of decay, but nobody benefits from you being stressed about the refugee crisis in your living room. Close a few tabs in your mental browser. Man, just go to sleep.

Social media, the news, there is so much noise. If we increase the volume enough, sound will surpass deafening silence. Silence is not the solution; it is death. But you cannot live with bleeding eardrums either.

If there is one thing I’ve learnt this year, and god knows it might be the only, it is to pick my battles. To say what needs to be said, because there is never enough time. I would rather ruin my throat screaming love letters to my mother, or sleepy appreciations of friends or slogans against fascism than sob silently anymore. “At best you’ll find a little remedy; at worst the world will sing along. So honey, sing.” (To noise make(sing), Hozier)

There is a lyric in a Mountain Goats song called “you were cool” which was introduced to me by John Green (I should not be this obsessed with a 40-something white man). It goes “It’s good to be young, but let’s not kid ourselves. /It’s better to pass on through those years and come out the other side/ With our hearts still beating /Having stared down demons /Come back breathing” My only hope this year was to survive. I had no idea I would come out and LIVE like this. Seriously, my gratitude tonight is unmeasurable.

Yesterday I was toying with the idea of writing ’19 Things I Learnt in 2019’ but it seemed too much work and very cliché. Let me retain at least some of my edge. Exam season is here already. CBSE will test me on what I have learnt in 2019 soon enough. Life doesn’t release datesheets, but I still hope to pass.

I am aware it is the end of the decade. If I were to try to be more annoying than I already am, I’d point out how the new decade technically doesn’t start till 2021 because there is no such thing as a zero year- but then it would be plain as a day that I’m just increasing the word count. I don’t know what to say about this year, it’s too much pressure! I don’t even remember most of it (which will definitely give me an existential crisis later). I was 8 in 2010. Had no friends in 2011 by virtue of being the new girl at school. 2012 was the year I peaked, getting my face in newspapers, getting all-rounder awards. In 2013, our French teacher used to bake cakes too frequently for the whole class. 2014- literally can’t recall a single thing, except writing this one poem that my teacher accused me of plagiarizing, from my own project, memory is a scam. 2015- turned 13. 2016- we don’t talk about this year. 2017- started a blog. In 2018 I wrote so much emo poetry even god fears me. In 2019 My Chemical Romance came back so that I don’t dethrone them. Also this year, I came out, as a person who is not afraid to step out of the closet and step into a city bus, alone.

If you listen carefully, you can hear an intern at Buzzfeed shaking in their boots in this moment. Bachna ae content writers, lo mai aa gayi!

Whether you’ve known me since the 4th grade when I had a boy-cut or we started talking two weeks ago, welcome. Whether you’ve been reading this since the days of my harry potter rants or you accidentally clicked on a link and have no idea what is going on, welcome. All that has ever mattered is volume, and fortunately, the next stop is the roaring twenties. Doors will open on the left, please mind the gap.

I have said this before on the new year’s eve the previous year and I’ll say it again: maybe the worst is yet to come, but so is the best. You are not 2019 Tanu anymore, it’s 2020, you’ve grown up. You lived to see another year, congratulations.

It’s good to be young, but let’s not kid ourselves. I give 2019 five stars.

(Number of pop culture references- 13, including the title.)

Spinning a Story

Hello people of the world that love me and are impatiently waiting to hear from me! yes, all 2.5 of you!

I am so sorry. I am such a bad blog mom (yes I have 223 children as I write this what do you mean that’s impossible, I AM THEIR MOTHER SHUT UP YOU H8TER) for abandoning you guys for so long. I have these things going for the past few years months called exams and ‘coming of age’ and shit has been stressful to say the least.

Anyway, the only person whom (who? whomsoever? वह ?) I love enough to wake from deep slumber is Anisha and very conveniently she hit 200 followers recently (In mty opinion her Killing The Creator series and wonderful poetry should attract at least 50,000 more but there are many mysteries of the universe that man hasn’t been able to solve yet)! So to commemorate she began this story chain, where each person adds 200 words to a story and we see how it mutates. I was honoured to be person #1, but to be fair is there a better choice in front of her? If you knew Micheal Phelps, why would you even consider sending anybody else swimming? (Please do let me know if you like my self deprecating jokes or my narcissistic jokes better.)

Only she can come up with such wonderful endeavors. So, to pass on her baton, I nominate Kashvi. Although she’s just a wordpress baby, her latest poem is very very sophesticated, a must read.

Now onto the rules!

  1. You have to continue the story from where the previous person left off. Make sure your addition is around 200 words long. Don’t go more than 20 words above or below.
  2. If you’re popular and you’re sure you won’t embarrass yourself by doing so, put out an open call in your post for the person who gets to continue after you- like, the first person who comments on your post and requests to participate gets to continue (or come up with any other rule of your own. The only thing that matters is that only one person should continue after you). Or, if you’re like the host of this thing, nominate one person to continue with the story.
  3. Every person who participates allots themselves a number. I’m number 0. Keep updating this number as this thing exchanges hands. If you’re number 10, you can only nominate the host again because she will then end this story.
  4. Link to number 0 and the person who wrote the part before you so that readers who haven’t read the previous part(s) are able to. There’s no need to link to all of the people who wrote before you since the host will keep adding all the parts in her number 0 post.
  5. Obviously, copy-paste this list of rules in your own post.

view her full post here- https://magicquill17.wordpress.com/2020/06/23/spinning-a-story-for-my-200-followers/


(The part in the italics is the part 0.)

Ashton didn’t understand the logic of Physics being taught at school. According to him, it was basically overanalysing a rolling ball. He could not grasp why or when in his life would he ever need to calculate the velocity of a rolling ball. Or the amplitude of a simple pendulum, as the towering Miss Rhonda was teaching them to at present.
He checked his watch for the umpteenth time in two minutes. Time always seemed to slow down here.
Just as he was nodding off, his eyes were inadvertently drawn to the crude ball-and-string diagram on the whiteboard. Maybe it was because he was so dizzy, but the black-marker pendulum seemed to sway slightly. He squeezed his eyes shut and opened them back again. The pendulum stopped. The sound of the duster being whacked on the table snapped him out of his reverie.

“…and you better pay attention, people, because I’m gonna test you on Oscillations next Tuesday. This is…”
Ashton yawned. Her tirade would continue for another two minutes and then she’d resume teaching, hoping the threat of the test would make students listen. Not him, though.
His eyes went to the pendulum again. As he looked, it started –what was that word Miss Rhonda had said? –oscillating slightly again, seeming to hypnotise him.

(part one)

The hypnotist, however, seemed novice, because Ashton would fall into lulls, only to be snapped out of it with a heightened sense of reality. But this time it was different. A blocked nose and itching throat were not good signs. He peered down at his arms and saw blotchy red patches that hurt when touched. “Oh no,” it dawned upon him that a member of the feline species was in his vicinity.

For the first time in his academic career, he raised his arm.”Excuse me Miss, I need to go the nurse right now.” “What happened to your face?!” To be fair to Miss Rhonda , his face had indeed turned ghastly pale. Her eyes darted from his hands to his eyes, the back down at his neck- dare one say, oscillated- and she decided to let him go lest she catches whatever that has infected him.

Ashton was strangely calm though, because this wasn’t a deadly infection, it was just an allergic reaction, nothing that an epipen couldn’t solve.  However, one thing was still bugging him, and it was the strange motion of the chalkboard drawing. Was it just his eyes playing a trick upon him? But then he saw it.

A small siamese cat was standing upwards, holding a piece of chalk, about ten feet away from Ashton in the middle of an empty hallway.


Damn, I could try being like, a prose writer. Why don’t i write flash fiction more often? All my poems are short stories anyway. Maybe I am better off being a poet because I don’t want to steal O. Henry’s daily bread.

Of television, mythology and Whatsapp forwards

“Just because she opened her mouth, she was a bitch.” It’s true, the image of chaste, modest forgiving women must go. Draupadi did not forgive anyone because they did not deserve to be forgiven.

Anisha really nailed it on the head with this one. Whatever I say here is already rendered pointless by the aptness of the post. She opened her mouth, and will likely be called a bitch until some serious shift happens, but i’m proud of being called a bitch if it puts me in the same category as her.

Charlie and the cerebration factory

Disclaimer: This is a rant. If you do not like rants or are currently not in the mood for one, please feel free to leave.

View original post 1,400 more words

Soon

Some nights are beyond poetry

Some thoughts are beyond words

This tear-stained page is an ode

To that rupturing sob into the dark.

May you find peace soon.


This is a sad one. I’d say bordering towards pathetic, but then again, the real question that will arise with that declaration is why do I think of crying as pathetic. At least I’m expressing myself, albeit privately.

I keep trying to write something these days, but I don’t want to bother anyone. This is me forcing myself out of that slump. I have a lot to say, I know I do, but I cannot see the point of it. It’s not that I think that others don’t value my opinion, I think that I don’t value my opinion anymore. What right do I have to be angry? I keep waiting for some tomorrow that will enable me to write about now with a sense of detachment. I crave retrospect. But to quote John Green, retrospect is a thing gained over time.

I try to write a poem about the sky and it’s angry. I’m angry. At the sky, at my friends, at my parents, mostly at myself. I am angry and I cry when I am angry. I’m angry at myself for crying all the time. When outside, I smile, but deep down, I’m angry at the universe for not being the way it should have been. I’m angry at the lemons I’ve been given. I’m angry because I’m not going to get to wear a saree to my farewell. I’m angry at my past self. I’m angry at my friend for not caring. I’m angry at my present self for caring. I’m angry that I have 3 back to back tuitions today. I’m angry at everyone for not noticing how angry I am.

I’m way too young to feel this old.

(On a lighter note, this is my 69th post. Nice.)

Good morning

It’s 5am.

Why am I awake?
To watch you sleep, apparently.

I am sitting on my desk with my books open
And the lamp light bounces off
Your soft skin
Your eyes that have been wide open
And brows that furrowed
From as long as I can remember
Are serene now.
The hands that I romanticised as a child
And antagonised as a teen
And will miss as an adult
Are placed most delicately across the bed.
The legs that never tire on the record
Are curled, I know you get cold like me easily
I’ll turn off the A.C.
You are snoring slightly
hair spilling all over the pillow
And you’re the most beautiful woman in my world
The grace with which you shift in sleep
With which you threaten to wake up
Every time a pen is dropped
Tells the story of how raising two daughters
Turned this heavy thinker into a light sleeper
All I can ever ask for is your brilliant brain
All that I can hope to learn is your patience
All that I ever want to do is watch you sleep peacefully
Muscles untightened
Disappointments delayed
Devoid of anxious reality.
I almost want to wake you up
And tell you that I love you.
Oh
It’s 5am mummy
Yes, I have homework
Do you want some tea?
No? Okay.
Yes, I will sit straight.
Sorry for creating a ruckus early morning
Go back to sleep please.
I love you.

In The Defence of Fairweather Friends

Last week, I was making chai for myself to procrastinate and I decided to play some music, because heavens forbid that I am left alone with the voice inside my head for even a second during the whole day. I was trying out new songs, and this particular one by Bruno Major called “Fairweather Friends” caught my attention. The beat was okay, the vibe as the kids call it these days, was afternoon-y. But that’s not why I am writing this. In the pre chorus, there is a line that goes,

I wish you could see
He’ll never love you
Quite like me
He’ll write you a sad song just like one of mine
But I know it won’t make you cry

First of all, I don’t think you, as a competitor, are the right person to judge my friends’ song writing skills, Bruno bro. Also, my tears hold no value, which is why they are not a giood benchmark for music making. I cry over everything, I can sob for drying plaster. This faucet is looser than a drunk uncle. If we started awarding all the songs I have sung in the shower, puffy eyed, there wouldn’t be enough gold paint in the galaxy to paint all the trophies.

The thing I have actually been thinking about is how villainized the so called Fairweather Friends are. Before I continue ranting any further, I want to clarify, by Fairweather Friends, I do not mean people who are with you only to extract some sort of profit and then ditch you when you need help. Those are not friends, those are assholes.

I think it all started with the propoganda camps called nursery and kindergarten. “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” we chanted, then licked the glue stuck in our toenails. I think that’s not correct. (Everyone is allowed to disagree with me, of course, but my opinion is the only correct one out there, so whatchu gonna do?) A friend in need is a good friend. A true friend. But a friend you only see in corridors and exam halls is still a friend. Is he going to take a bullet for you? Safe to assume, no. But the real problem is why you expected him to do so in the first place.

Expectation is the root of all disappointment. That doesn’t imply that you shouldn’t expect your good friends to not be jerks and support you; but your bar for good friends has gotta be high. Not every person you talk to has to know intimate details about your ups and downs. Being an open book is overrated. Not every person who asked you how your exam went needs to be told you cried yourself to sleep the night before because imposter syndrome is a bitch. Frankly, they don’t deserve to.

Some people are only in your life for a particular purpose, and that’s okay, as long as both parties don’t expect anything else out of the relationship. We contain multitudes, each person has a different perception of us in their heads. But sometimes, one side of the polygon is enough. Some people are only there to borrow notes from, some are only there to reminisce about old teachers with, some only to crack inappropriate jokes and shinchan puns with, and it’s all okay! We’re here for a good time, not a long time.

Not every person you meet is going to be your soulmate, and that’s fine. There’s only so much space inside your chest anyway.

Sure, they won’t be holding your hair back as you vomit into the toilet, but they also won’t be beaming with pride when you finally do the Thing. And you know what, it wouldn’t matter. To quote Remus Lupin, “it is the quality of a man’s convictions that determines success, not the number of one’s followers”

There’s another aspect to this, which is, your close friends are not always the best. I know, you love them so much, but they might not want to do that fun yet reckless thing you’ve been wanting to do. Maybe they don’t share your taste in books and you have a physical urge to discuss the book you read latest with some person. Maybe they don’t get the appeal of shinchan puns.

My point is: a conversation that is both effortless and meaningful is rare, and maybe too much to ask from a single person, let alone every single one. Having inside jokes with someone who you’ve not known since 4th grade is not cheating on your bff of 7 years. It just means that you’re not a loner with one friend.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we’re here for a good time, not a long time.

The more I write, the more I’m convinced that this is a uniquely me problem, and in that case, to the heartbroken me from the future (2 days later): you stupid stubborn donkey, complete your notes.

One thing I’m sure I’ve heard other people complain about tho, is small talk. Oh what a nuclear feat to conquer. No. “I dOnT wAnT tO mAKe SmAlL tAlK, I WaNt To KnOw YoUr SoUl, YoUr HoPeS aNd FeArS.” Fuck no. Imagine you’re buying milk, it’s late, you run into an old acquaintance and they assault you with the question “What type of legacy do you want to leave behind after your inevitable demise?” I have no damned clue. Do you know what I do know though? I know that mummy-papa are doing good, studies are going great, Jiya is in 6th now, and the rains have been a blessing after the soul sucking summer heat.

Not every friend will be your friend forever, and that’s okay too. You don’t need to have a past or a future to enjoy the present.

Do not expect people to love you. If they want to, they will. And if they do, hold onto them; but not too tight. It doesn’t take a fortnight for bestfriends to turn into strangers and classmates to turn into confidants. Honestly, feel free to quote me on this: expect nothing but change.

(Yup, I’ve totally been writing a letter to myself subconsciously.)

Bottom line? The rains nourish the earth and the heavenly sunshine ripens the wheat, but sometimes fair weather and an ice cream cone is just enough.

Most of the times when I say that I have no friends, what I mean is that nobody I know is currently free to listen to me talk about some obscure thing I decided to obsess over today. Maybe that is the perfect time to turn to the aforementioned snarkass in my head. Come to think of it, she’s the indeedest of friends. Been by my side, through literally everything (not considering the will of either party.) So, she’s the one I need to befriend and get to know better, I guess? I guess.

Maybe ‘I guess’ will be our always.

Bedroom Scenes

Chapped lips and cracking sticky skin
I chug perspirating water from a bottle in my bed.
An old table fan coughing it’s last breath
In the vicinity
My assignments fly out the window.

I am careful not to step on mango peels
I trip over a bottle of glitter
Shimmer explodes on abandoned projects
A koyal starts humming and I
Give her a summery smile.


I wrote about koyals because I like their singing a lot and as soon as I wrote the word one started singing in a tree nearby. Life imitates art.

Day 15| Fatal Flaw

“What is your fatal flaw?”
He asked in class, not knowing
That the contents of the Pandora’s Box
Are deadly.

I thought about it for a while
What does he want to hear?
“The need to please others always”
But what about the mother i spite day and night?

I say “No, jealousy.”
Stealing glances at his lips that curve for others
Thinking about my friend who
Sometimes want to go places with people who aren’t me

“You, jealous?!” His eyebrows raised
Lying effortlessly i add to my mental list.

“Oh i know!” i almost stand up
“Calm down Tanushka”
“It’s not knowing how to control myself!”
After i did calm down my mind
Drifted back to the hospital wing
Where I’m forbidden from seeing Nanu
Lest i scream and wake up the dead.

I changed the direction of the arrow and asked
“What do you think it is?”
“Hmm, I’ll think about it, now let me study.”
I write down need to feel important
Alongside my physics notes about the Earth
That tragically doesn’t revolve around me.

“Pride” piped in another boy
And i instantly slouched in my seat
Is my posture too tall?
Is my tone too haughty?
Pride?
What about the nights spent wallowing in self pity?
Why do i care about what he thinks?
Why do i care anyway?

“Hey, you can only have ONE fatal flaw!”
I scowl at him and look down
Peer into my hands and smile sadly.
My fatal flaw is i don’t know it.


*Hansa’s voice* Arre bhaya April khatam hua aur mai toh thak hi gai huh.

This was inspired (read- written exactly what happened) by a question asked by my friend in class yesterday. We were 3 people talking and, everyone gave very interesting answers. But the thing that stood out to me was how specific their fatal flaws according to them were, and how confident were they in their hypothesis. I? I had a list of top 5. I know i am a flawed person. Too many bad tendencies, some might argue, but i don’t know which one of them will cause my end. Pride? Envy? Gluttony? Greed? Sloth? Anger? Lust? Which one of the 7 Deadly Cardinal Sins will take me to purgatory? I don’t know. I joked yesterday that i will die either by hitting my head on something or when someone murders me. What about me will cause my killer to pick up the gun? I don’t know. Which is quite sad. Self awareness is very important, at least according to me, and if i don’t even know what is my biggest fault is, then it makes me a hypocrite. A dead woman too. A DEAD HYPOCRITE.

Sorry for all the morbid talk, all i can think about today is death (so on brand Tanu).

So yeah, i don’t like this poem a lot, but i wrote it yesterday and it was 30 April, which means NaPoWriMo came to an end. I did 15/30, not a bad score really, I’ve gotten worse in physics, but i had a little more expectations from myself. It’s okay, i tried my best, and look forward to not writing any damn thing for a while. All my metaphors have been extracted out from me and I’m as empty as a Fresca juice box.

Bye? I don’t know.

Day 14|Crimson Beast

The rash on my shoulder
Weighs on my mind like a boulder
It drizzled and then it poured
The peculiar visitor became the landlord

I saw a red spot and went back
To eating all the spicy food without slack
No allergies but apologies for being crass
It did come to bite me in the ass.

I know I deserve this hurt
For keeping my insides dry like the Thar Desert
Pizza, pickles, no sleep and water, so much tea
There are bumps all over me

My new enemies include tasty crap
Sweat, fingernails, synthetic tops and bra strap
My mother shrieked at the sight, “No!”
The scream like something written by Edgar Allan Poe

She brewed concoctions hefty
For me to gulp down swiftly
But I fear this crimson beast is here to stay
I hope it doesn’t get any more humid today.


Yes, I, Tanushka Arora, go off for 4 days and come back with a 5 stanza poem about a rash. Itne paise mein itnaich milega.