Love in the times of a pandemic


One hears terrible news of deaths all around and finds oneself in front of a cremation ground, looking in, as usual. To even pretend to grieve your passing seems like a vulgarity, with death standing at everyone’s doorsteps! Happy birthday….miss you lots but I’m so glad the doctor didn’t realize you were infected ( at that time they didn’t even test me, though I had trouble breathing, had an infection and my ECG was erratic) otherwise, you too would have been like all those innumerable people dying alone in hospital and in your condition you wouldn’t have survived two days. I’m so glad the last person you saw was the person you loved the most-your husband. Uff, Ishq! So romantic and dramatic, Pinky!!

The Buas, who were like younger sisters to you, sent me messages today. One wrote, ‘ I’m sure the angels are looking after their own!’ Sweet messages for an adorable creature, I miss everyday!

Other than sickness the only thing that seems to be happening is- marriage! Yup! Last year one was taken aback by the absurdity of wanting to tie the knot during a pandemic but as time passes and more people die, one can wrap one’s head around that idea. I see people hooking up left right and centre, a bride and groom were walking on an empty road yesterday, with what seemed like a few relatives…one took charge as official photographer and snapped them for posterity. Another couple apparently took pheras in PPE kits because the groom tested positive. Nothing, seems to work on moi of course!

The radio too plays weird stories called ‘deedh ishqiya’. Yesterday, this is what the the RJ’s recited-a woman is stuck at home, hasn’t met her boyfriend due to the pandemic, so they have this weird ass conversation about getting married because they can’t bear not being with each other. Eye roll! Maybe, I’m just a bit J, can’t think of a single person, I would want to go through this with. Oh and of all the damn times, people are busy making babies. For God’s sakes! By all means hump each other like bunnies but there are no hospital beds, no oxygen, the air we are breathing in any case is poisonous and us Earthlings are hell bent on turning this planet into a dumping ground, at this freaking time you want to bring a child into this world? Slow clap!! People think we are weird, my goodness, I wonder what they’re smoking?

Your husband insists I’m a doomster. He told me the other day, if I was born before he got married, I would have convinced him not to tie the knot and have me. That’s not true. I’m all for love, but the kind that’s crazily passionate and a little bit impossible! I’m trying to change how I’ve always imagined the future- by myself. These days I’m trying projecting, imagining what kind of love would I want, which has led me to become a total Jimkook shipper. Don’t laugh, yes, I do want a love story akin to two twenty year old gay boys. It’s adorable. Now I should start looking for a girl! I wish Amma, please do something and change my sexual orientation!

I’ve been telling R and S that they must marry the girls they’re in love with soon. Of course, I’ll have to find younger boys to hang out with but that’s okay. I really should start hanging out with women more often, friendships with men last till they get married or till either of you falls for the other.

I wish you were around to scream and dance all day. The house is too lonely without you. The Father and I bicker all the time and since you’re not there to pacify us, we have to call a truce on our own, which is quite boring. From wearing a mask, to him shutting down the factory for a few day, everything I say seems too pessimistic to him. ‘Nothing will happen, stop behaving like my mother. Go and have babies of your own!’ he yells till I yell back and storm out. Poor Bhaskarji, just nods his head in dismay! According to him, I give myself too much importance. The other day, I was very upset because someone has been trying to hack my phone and has been repeatedly including text from one of my articles into the HTML code of a website. When you click on it, it drives it into another shady website. This has been going on for months and I have to keep complaining to Google. So, I told your husband and of course he thought I was overreacting. ‘Why do you care? Is it you? No, na, then let the person do whatever he pleases!’ I lost my shit! I told him not because he can do anything about it ( I will complain to the cyber cell and then God help whoever is doing this especially at this time) but a little bit of enragement would have been appreciated! But unlike you and I, there’s just pure pragmatism there, if you can’t do anything about it, ignore it! Oh how I miss you, my darling. Your death has sucked the fun out of most things but I’m trying to have the best life I can, for your sake and mine!


‘ If you thought that you would die today, would you change?’ asked Tracy Chapman and I would think, no! But there’s a gnawing feeling, a restlessness, again and again I find myself thinking, ‘this can’t be my life!’

Don’t get me wrong. At 25, if you asked me or anyone around me, where they saw me at forty- this would be it. Of course the brother and the mother would be alive in that prediction. But something, seems off, like I’m forcing something down my throat, a life that is not my own, choices that aren’t mine!

Like today, as I packed my stuff and was on my way to Noida, it’s like a movie was playing in my head. ‘ Humare jeene marne se ghanta farak pade ga kissi ko. Jee ke mene kyaa ukhad lena he?’ SB tells the boys who fuss over her. But while my eyes itched and my stomach hurt and I forced myself to drive back to the factory to pacify the man, who kept insisting one of us has to work, if it ain’t going to be me, it’s going to him, every cell in my body yelled, ‘Mujhe farak padega! It doesn’t matter if my life is of no consequence to anyone else but it’s freaking precious to me. It’s a gift from my mum!’

That was a first. My entire being, so angry that my life was considered disposable, by another person. For the first time, upon being treated like that ( for the umpteenth time) the thought that ‘ I must be worthless, that’s why I’m treated such!’ didn’t even occur to me. As I sobbed in anger and pain, I promised myself , that its time to make different choices. These thirteen months have taught me, the harshest lessons but self love, is a lesson one really needs to learn. You got to be your own top priority, love because no one will do that for you!


Another lockdown and the man in the house, is as obsessed with money as ever! ‘ Let’s live in the factory and run it for a week’ he says. This when the workers are falling ill, none of them agreeing to get tested. People are dying, no hospital beds are available but God forbid, we should use our common sense!

If I don’t do what he wants, the taunt is that his son is not alive, if he was then he wouldn’t have refused him anything, apparently! Not that I ever witnessed that kind of obedience, but the advantages of being dead, you accomplish sainthood. Unfortunately, even death wouldn’t make one faultless. This never ending, battle to please someone who has never and will never will find anything okay with you, is tiring my soul!


So here one is in Noida, spending the weekend. Before you assume I’m wandering for the sake of it, the employees are working on the machines and I’m supposed to be resting my eyes ( have a terrible infection). Packed five books and my camera as if I was heading for a shoot, with the same determination and a similar mix of books I usually pack- poetry/ holy books to calm the soul, research books ( whatever I need to capture next) and at least one book for inspiration, this time Ayn Rands- The Anthem.

Isn’t there something so lovely about an old book? The yellow tint of the paper, the smell of forever. It reminds me of my old less cynical, more idealistic self. Never easier though- one’s been a classic pain in the rear for what seems like forever. This is lovely, ‘ And the day will come when I shall break all the chains of the earth, and raze the cities of the enslaved, and my home will become the capital of a world where each man be free to exist for his own sake.’ I love how in a world that constantly blames a man’s ego for all of his follies, Ayn, shines a spotlight on it. Lovely!

Anyhooo, unfortunately, the eyes aren’t permitting any reading, so here I’m writing this bs to entertain myself. I really have nothing to say! TP.

Happy birthday

Happy birthday to my support system- wannabe father and surrogate mother. May you have the best of everything. May God return to you manifolds the goodness that you spread. May that spine of yours always remain erect…may you always be as uncontrollable and fearless: unaffected by position, money or power.

Thanks for entertaining me with your silly dances, mimicry, with your never ending supply of trivia and bizarre stories, making me crack up at almost everything- from my anger, to the coming and going of boyfriends and prospects. You have the funniest reactions to the situations I get myself into. Remember what you told the cop when he asked you to explain something to me? With a smirk on your face you looked at him and said ‘aap bol ke dekhlo manti he to!’ Poor man was so confused by your chilled out reaction, thank God you didn’t laugh when I was yelling, as you usually do. When I threw a stone at someone who was passing lewd comments and jerking offinstead of asking me to not go for a walk at night, like most people would suggest, you said, ‘ next time aim on the head, not on the feet!’ Bail tu karvadena!

Thank you for calling me everyday since my mum has passed away. You have been with me through the darkest times albeit from another country by coaxing, scolding ( all the freaking time) and of course fussing over me, like a mother hen. While people leave you at your worst and only want to know you at your best, you my friend are the exact opposite. I’m sure your childhood experience with stray animals comes in handy to do what my mum called ‘handling this thing’ . You’ve taken the promise you made her, too seriously, no wonder she only asked you.

If you’re expecting a thank you for saving my life four times, it ain’t coming. Hero bane ki zaroorat nahi he mamu, sangat apni achi kar le, nahi to teri bhi ticket kat jayegi jahanum ki! Knowing me, kabhi yaah bhi free mein tour mil sakta he!

PS- According to me it should be mandatory to learn how to drive before you turn forty!!


I put up a comment on my fb page, ‘ let’s ride together’ and the people who keep an eye on most things I do, record my conversations etc, see it! The green eyed monster that consumes them and has driven them to say the nastiest things, pops its ugly head. The manipulations begin yet again. This time around I have the proof of their natures, it’s not their words against mine, messages on a group after my messages to a friend.

I want to post them and then I decide, otherwise. Not because I’m stronger or wiser but because karma has always been kinder to me than people!

Museum of Illusions

‘Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.’ This famous quote by Albert Einstein can be found on the walls of the newest museum in town- The Museum Of Illusions. Situated in the heart of Delhi- Connaught Place, right above the iconic Wenger’s.

The concept is highly unusual-to teach you more about your brain. About how we perceive things, and how easy it is to miss the tiniest details. From Visual Illusions, that play with your retinal sensitivity, to size illusions, to Kaleidoscopes, to 3 D images, to Upside down rooms, the tricks will leave you bewildered. The 50 illusions that are part of the exhibit have been studied by some notable physicists and psychologists like Ehrenstein and Jastrow. Hence, they would be of great interest to anybody with an inclination towards science or the arts. For six hundred and ninety rupees, you get an hour of brain twisters and fabulous imagery.

Since, one navigates the city, primarily by oneself, as soon as I entered the space, for a fraction of a second I regretted going alone. But the staff was so attentive, that they immediately figured out I would need some assistance, as selfies don’t work with the tricks. So, all my pictures were taken by the crew: mostly by Neeraj who accompanied and took pictures of me, while giving me a guided tour. Since, the cases are spiking, the museum is very strict about COVID protocols and the only time people are allowed to remove their masks is when pictures are being taken. So take your kids, a date or just yourself without hesitation.

The museum in Delhi, is the first of its kind in India. The backgrounds used here, have local references- from a picture of Gandhi to a backdrop of CP. Initially, it opened up in Zagreb, Croatia in the year 2015 and now there are around thirty such museums around the world in – Athens, New York , Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Paris, Riyadh etc. I hear, Bangalore and Bombay, too, will be getting their very own Museums of Illusions.


The other day someone said to me, that when one questions a man’s feelings towards oneself, not only is one being disrespectful to the said men but also to oneself. That somehow my Daddy issues overpower my ability to deal with someone who actually likes me- who is not physically and verbally abusive. That somehow, the kid inside me looks at all men and thinks they are all like that. Wellll, you know most people have Daddy issues, my gay friends will vouch for having many. Let’s not blame one mere mortal, for my screwed up choices. I’m going to be forty freaking two years old. I must have met people and experienced life beyond the walls of this house.

Has said man skewed my vision of the world? Little bit! But you know what, go for a Landmark Forum basic course and a roomful of people will tell you the exact moment, their parents fell from grace and became mere, fallible mortals. One just came from obviously dysfunctional, trust me I’ve seen functional families and there’s barely any difference. The secrets are just concealed better. So spare me the psych analysis.

What has truly sunk in though, is that I have great instincts. For the first time in my entire life, they have become less self destructive and more about preserving my sanity ( which one barely manages to cling to). So, relax, take a chill pill. Read this, that I chanced upon from a couple of years ago.



One loafed about yesterday, as I had to come to Noida later on, for a shift. Oiled my thinning, greying hair and thought of dragging myself to the parlour but you know it has to be my least favourite place in the world. Darling, you had some patience!

I wish I’d gotten off my ass, though. A friend recommended, I watch Mr Holmes but I wasn’t in the mood, so I chanced upon this series called Firefly Lane. Well, it seems our screwed up lives and choices, have been normalised greatly in the past few years by the entertainment industry! Watching it, broke my heart a little bit, if my blood pumping left atrium and right atrium can be called thus! The protagonist seemed all commitment phobic, scattered, incapable of real intimacy and with a tongue that spewed words, like this to a lover-‘ I never met my father, are you him?’ Does that sound familiar? Hmmm! And to top it goes from falling for much older men to a much younger one! Yup, I ain’t making this shit up, that’s part of the narrative!

So, of course one was hooked. The mother’s addiction, the love hate relationship shared by them, uff, what may seem like an exaggeration to many, is actually understating, sometimes. Very often, reality is stranger than fiction! Anyhow, what was supposed be a series about friendship, seemed to be a lot more than that. At one point, when the little boy’s had enough of her quills, I was literally yelling at the television- ‘ No, no no don’t listen to the words, look at her eyes!’, it was mental. Bhaskarji actually thought I’d lost it! He was just so sick of me, he was like go for work or ride a bike, get out!

Pinky, I’m learning to ride. There are a number of mother- daughter duos, who turn up for the workshops. If you were around, though, you would have never gone with me, instead, what a fit you would have thrown! Considering, how accident prone all of us are, you would have fretted, fumed and shown me those big puppy eyes, with tears in them and I would have had to succumb. But don’t worry, I’m like a scared little wuss on that thing, so I won’t do anything crazy, other, than using this as my pick up line, ‘come on baby, let me take you for a ride!’ Greece two, hangover! I never got my cool rider, might as well find a way, to make out on a bike before I die!