Tuesday, January 09, 2018


I always looked for jobs which allowed me to travel. And the lucky that I am (touché) I have managed to be in jobs that allows me to travel.
Before I stepped into motherhood I had a job which allowed me to travel extensively across North East and the icing on the cake were the cosmetics and personal care goods I was dealing with.
And nine years later (in between taking a break to raise a child, two more jobs) I have again landed in a job where the travel bug in me is back.
So as the head of North East in my current job, my first stop is Mokokchung in Nagaland.
As I started packing, I looked up the weather forecast in Yahoo and it reflected 10 degs as max and 2 degs as min temperature. Already in shivers, I pulled out the warmest and the heaviest jacket from the closet to begin with.
This would be my maiden visit to Mokokchung. Tickets done, hotel booked, I boarded the Shtabdi Express from Guwahati to Marinai. By Guwahati standards too, it was cold, dark and foggy and seemed the whole world was fast asleep as I stepped out of my home.
 It took roughly six hours to reach Mariani, a small town in Jorhat district. To my dismay there were no cabs to Mokokchung at that time. As a stroke of good luck I met a family who were headed to Mokokchung and I paid them my share and hitch hiked with them.
The shared Sumo ride was a good one. The Sumo was dusty. I took the front seat with the driver. We passed by the lush green tea estates on the outer fringes of Jorhat and were finally in Nagaland. The driver halted and asked us to show our inner line permits at the check gate. As I walked towards the check point, I could hear Hotel California being played faintly. There were two cops in the counter. Both were busy playing Candy Crush while crooning to the famous Eagles number. Some things only happen in North East India!
And from then on I started my bumpiest ever road trip. I wonder if there were any roads to begin with. The road zig-zagged the craters. The winds got colder, houses prettier and fog thicker.
We took a pit stop midway at New Camp. The place was lined with a few tea stalls and tiny grocery shops. I bought a packet of biscuits and sipped the milkiest cup of tea. The stopover was for about ten minutes. It was already dark and the wind was hitting hard. We got into the car for the final leg of our ride.
I do not recall much of it as I snoozed right after. I don’t even know if I snored. I opened my eyes when the car took a sharp left turn and infront of me was Mokokchung. It looked like as if the stars had fallen on the hills. The hill was glittering like diamonds and it was the most amazing sight. I almost felt I was on a high and was hallucinating.
As we reached the town the car halted and asked everyone to take their respective luggagages.
“Is that it”, I asked the driver.
“Yes”, he said affirmatively.
“But you have to drop me to my hotel. If not the hotel then at least to the main town area”, I told him.
I called up the hotel to ask exactly where it was located. They directed me well.
I told the driver the address and said “I will pay you another hundred bucks extra. Take me to the hotel”.
““Madam, your hotel is a walking distance. Just keep walking straight, you will reach a police point. That is where your hotel is located”.
I believed him like a fool and started walking,, lulling my heavy trolley bag and the laptop bag on my shoulders.
I kept walking to the police point and there was no signs of my hotel. It was getting colder and the streets were empty. It felt like midnight. I just looked up my watch to see the time. I was just 5:50 p.m.
I asked a passer by about the hotel and he pointed towards the right and said “keep walking that side”.
“Can I get a taxi now?”,  inquired.
“Ma’am, its too late. See.. even the shops are shutting down. You wont get a taxi now.”
I looked towards where the gentleman was pointing. The road was an uphill walk. With a heavy breath I begun my track. And I must tell you… it wasn’t the most amazing thing to experience on earth. After walking which seemed like ages, I reached the town hall. I called the hotel again and told them I was near Town Hall. They were surprized to hear that I had walked that much distance.
I kept walking further asking another man for directions (just to know whether I was on the right track or not) when I saw a Maruti Van approaching me. A girl stepped out from the co-driver seat and said, “I am from Whispering Winds. Did you call up asking for directions?”
I cannot fathom how grateful I will always be for their gesture.
I was starving like a pig. I had a very early grub. Slowly the chill was settling in my system. I could feel my bones freezing. Fingers became numb the moment I took them out of pockets to receive calls (whatever few calls I could manage to answer).
I asked at the reception to give me a room heater. I pulled the heater as close as I could manage to my bed. It was 8:45 pm when I decided to shut eye.
I could hear faintly, happy voices singing Ronan Keating, Extreme, Scorpions ballads as well as guitars strumming too.
Day one ended on a tired yet adventurous note.

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Sunday, April 30, 2017

My North East

To be a part of this beautiful journey as a content writer it feels proud...
Its about the eight sisters that make of unique North East.
Do check it out and share
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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Curiosity kills the cat (But it saves the rat)

He asked me out of curiosity; well at least that’s what I like to think, “Why haven’t  you written anything ? It’s been a while”.
Yes I had not written a word for quite some time now. It’s not even the writer’s block. It’s the lack of time. There were moments when the urge to write was strong, but to sit down and write a few words seemed next to impossible.
Things were not in tandem.
So Mr. High on Curiosity… well what should I write?
Why not something about you for a change huh?
I still remember the expression on his face when he completed the entire series on Monk. The only thing he said was, “I wish I had someone in my life who’d love me this deeply….” He paused for a while and continued, “…. Or write with so much of affection”.
I had nothing to tell him.
Certain people touch your soul in a magical way.
And then there are those who shake the hell out of your system. Mr. Curiosity, you definitely belong to that category.
With your pointy canines and porcupine like hair, you somehow depict a very wrong picture about yourself.
Only if looks could kill…
Well… lets not discuss looks… that’s something I am not even worried.
The first time I met you, I should have listened to my instincts. I think I did. I had made up my mind to see you as less as I could … and there has been circumstances when I totally avoided you.
But you see, we all learn our lessons in a hard way. For me to learn my lesson well and in a very crude manner I chose you.
And now that I have learnt my lessons well, I no longer fancy looking at your point canines or or porcupine like hair….

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Monday, December 12, 2016

Preview on the short stories drama festival

A week ago when I met Pinky Jayanta Bora over a cup of coffee, she told me about her forthcoming Short Stories Drama Festival. As we delved into the conversation deeper I realized that the festival was about stories that weave threads of human complexness.
Stories that were written decades ago, but is relatable in today’s world of ours where everything is instant and just a click away.
Four prodigious writers who needs no introduction at all and their four incredible tales are about longings – but in different forms.  Munshi Premchand’s Boodhi Kaki, Asha Purna Devi’s Trankorta, Mamoni Raisom Goswami’s Xanskaar and Aabid Surti’s Teesri Aankh (Third Eye) – All four are phenomenal . The one common factor the four stories hold is a sense of desire, wish and craving and if I am permitted to add, I must say the four stories are also about deprivation at the same time.
Abraham Maslow was right when he said and I quote, “Once we have food and shelter -- but before we can seek self-actualization -- we must feel safety, belonging, and mattering. Without these three essential keys a person cannot perform, innovate, be emotionally engaged, agree, or move forward.”

Munshi Premchand’s Boodhi Kaki is a feeble old woman who craves for love and attention with a perpetual gluttony. Her tribulations are akin to an alcoholic – the very thought of food makes her ravenousness and there comes a point of such deprivation that she loses the balance between what is right and wrong and does all that fills her only sense organ left functioning normally – the sense of taste.  And what were the reasons that led her to this state of privation? Her own God fearing nephew and his family, with whom she entrusted all her wealth in return for love and care.

Aabid Surti’s Teesri Aankh or The Third Eye looks calm and peaceful on the surface. A happy and devoted wife, two sincere and honest grown up children and a loving brother - nothing could have been more neat or better, Sundarlal thought and felt always, until one fine day when the eye of the insight; in the form of a pair of silver rimmed sunglasses enters his life and nothing seems what it really is. A family that connives and conspire to push Sundarlal to the point of insanity.

Asha Purna Devi’s Trankorta has a thirteen year old dirty rotten scoundrel Kanhai who craves for security in the form of shelter and food. He eventually succeeds in gaining this from the very home where he had stepped in to steal. The blind trust the master showered on Kanhai turn tables as he changes and proves one and sundry wrong that sometimes all one needs is a leap of faith.

In Mamoni Raisom Goswami’s Xanskaar, Damayanti is not righteous, yet she has no qualms about it. On the other hand Pitamber; who desperately seeks to have a child of his own, go beyond the limits of self righteousness and does something totally unacceptable. But what would be repercussions?

All the four stories are progressive and undogmatic written excellently by free thinking minds. I am looking forward to these spine-tingling adaptations on stage.

A year ago Girish Karnad’s stage adaptation Malini was a wonderful watch too directed by Manik Roy.

Wishing the entire team of A Cube Dream Production success in all their ventures.

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Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Bahniman - My thoughts

It would not be wrong to say that as a mainstream commercial cinema, Bahniman is one of the few bilingual films to be made in Assamese.  
Biswajeet Bora, the director, story and screenplay writer of the film, started his career on the editing tables and moved on to assist Jahnu Barua , a filmmaker who needs no introduction. His path to direction began with his first movie Ejak Junaakir Jilmil, which gained critical recognition in many international film festivals world over. Much later in the year 2015 he made his first Hindi movie, Aisa Yeh Jahan.
Talking about Bahniman, he says, the movie happened without prior notice.  He wanted to make an Assamese movie, which would be totally a commercial cinema with the right dose of action, drama, giggle and thrills. A movie that would be visually appealing to all section of the masses. 
The story unfolds with a plot of land being the prized booty. Viewers would feel the movie deals with land grabbing issues. But as it progresses, the spectators are pleasantly delighted to realize that there is a cat and mouse chase going on between the four central characters of the movie. The gangster, his confidant and a lady cop are all chasing main protagonist.
On asking him if there were reasons to make the film bilingual, he says, Guwahati is now no longer a small town with a handful of people. The city has grown into a cosmopolitan and is a diverse cluster with people from cross section of society. The target audience was not confined to just one section of the viewers.
The four central characters – Bahadur, Kanu Sharma, Preeti and Bikram (played by Jatin Bora, Yashpal Sharma, Rimi Hazarika and Ravi Janghu correspondingly) are introduced neatly one at a time as the story develops and progresses.
Bikram, the protagonist, is the calm and sober character. His underplay is a fair deal to the boisterous and energetic characters of the other three leads, toning it down evenly.
The film has its lighter moments in the form of dialogues. The characters do not try and attempt too hard to be funny. The humor is situational and is etched out by the characters effortlessly. Arun Hazarika as the assistant cop is definitely the show stopper when it comes to comic timings and it blends in smoothly without interrupting the flow of the story.
While speaking to the Director, I asked him why did he brought in or better outsource the DoP (Titu Jena) ,  action director (Koushal-Moshes) and the editor (Suresh Pai).  And he aptly replied that he wanted to make a movie which would stand at par with movies made nationally. He also added he gave a free hand to his entire team to improvise during the making of the film. All he was looking for was to bring newness to the Assamese film industry.
And he has lived up to his words. The movie is glossy, fast paced and stylishly made.

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Monday, August 08, 2016

To daddy with love

This is for the most important man of my life.
My dad.
I lost him when I was sixteen years old. Its been quite a long time that I have lived my life without him. Do I miss him? Oh yes! I do that… I miss him terribly….
I was a typical daddy’s pet. And I always supported him. Even during the times and instances when he was wrog and at fault.
Do I come from a dysfunctional family? I don’t know… I think I do… for that matter I have to dig deeper and study what actually stands for dysfunctional…
Yes… I was raised in a family where life was easy…fun… privileged as far as I can recall… and there were the ugly egos, drunken brawls, nasty fights which were at times were physically abusive too; which walked hand in hand when I was growing up.
For every daughter her dad is the MAN. I am not denying that.
But my dad was more than that. He was no nonsense to begin with, no unnecessary frills, with a huge and bad temper. He was an excellent swimmer, roller skater, tennis player, shooter and driver. He was a chain smoker too and an alcoholic.
Who is an alcoholic? The book says there is no specific definition to define an alcoholic. And most of the times the word alcoholic is used in the wrong ways because we do not actually understand it. So to cut it short an alcoholic is someone who cannot limit the amount of alcohol one drinks; they always have an overwhelming urge for a drink; it affects their personal lives yet they do not stop drinking and they lose interest in other activities.
Yes my dad was an alcoholic to some extent. He would drink even during the day hours.
It did create problems and when I saw him and mom arguing during the rounds of binge drinking, I always stood by my dad’s side.
He was definitely a nice man. He was a voracious reader. He loved cars. He loved the good things in life.
For me he was more of a friend. I listened to Deep Purple, Jim Morrison, The Beatles, The Who and The Rolling Stones on LPs with him.
I could talk to him about anything under the sun.
In some instances I was petrified of him, but still he was my number one. Mom always stood at number two.
I think I am more of him. I represent him more through my attitude.
Just before I lost him in 1995, we were driving from Shillong to Guwahati back to home; seeing off my mom in Shillong.
The plan was initially different. It was the month of June and mom loved to spend a month in Shillong with my maternal grandparents. Dad always drove us to Shillong. Stayed overnight; usually checked in at Pinewood; and would come back to Guwahati the next day. I was supposed to stay there too. But somehow, the next morning as he bid us goodbye in our Oakland house and got inside his putting the ignition on, I hopped with him and decided to come back to Guwahati. I was almost in tears. I could never afford to stay without him for a month. Or maybe at that time it was the inner calling. That I should be with him. That as soon as the month of June would pass I would lose him forever.
We drove in his red Skoda in silence for quite a while. The air was getting warmer as we crossed Barapani.
As we reached Nayabungalow; he stopped the car to watch a local football match in progress. He was an avid football lover. It took roughly an hour for the match to get over and when I asked him, “Did your team win?”, he looked at me and chuckled and replied, “I just supported both the teams and the best team won!”
He asked me to wait inside the car and walked to a bootlegger.
It didn’t take much time though. He mixed the vodka with water and we started our onward journey yet again.
We had crossed Nongpoh thirty minutes later. Still driving with his right hand, he handed me the lighter and the packet of cigarettes.
I look at them and then at him.
“Light one”, he said in a matter-of-fact way.
I still kept looking at him like an ass.
As I lit the first cigarette infront of my dad, the feelings inside me were kind of mixed.
I handed him the smoke and looked on to the road straight. He continued enjoying his smoke and sipping the vodka.
The silence was broken by him as he spoke looking on to the highway, “See Nan... soon you will be out of school and be in college. You will meet boys. But I want you to meet men. Intelligent men. Its not the age. Its the attitude that separates men from boys. You will go out on dates, you will party, you will drink and you will smoke. So have your first drag with me.”
“And ...one more thing”, he continued further. “Studies should be intact. Wherver you go, with whom you go and what time you reach home, you should always let me know. Rest... life is good. And ...do not get pregnant.”
The deepest daddy daughetr conversation I had....
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Saturday, July 30, 2016


I feel I am amidst a crowd of people, its congested, it warm and that is aggravated more with the body heat; there are too many people, almost sticking to one another. And these people are not known to me. I do not know their names. It’s only their faces which are familiar to me by now. I have been stuck up with them, sweaty like a pig for a way too long time.
My limbs ache for standing so long. I can take it no more and I need to get out of this congestion and breathe some fresh air.
No… this is not a nightmare. These are things I feel even when I am functioning normally.
I feel like a failure…. For a few reasons….And that I shall continue soon…
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Tuesday, March 01, 2016


“I don’t need a weepy goodbye”, he said, looking fixedly at me. 

He took the last drag of the cigarette, threw it with a flick of his fingers and continued, “Goodbyes should be on a happy note…”; took a deep breath and added “ALWAYS”.

Even before I could say a word he got excited as he rubbed both his palms together and said, “Let’s make a plan!”

“What plan”?, I asked him. I let my thoughts pass by, swallowing all that I had to say about goodbyes, weepy or otherwise.

He stood up, took out his phone from the right hand side of his denims and got restless as he began unlocking the screen. He looked quite lost and mumbled something as he opened the calendar on his phone.

I said nothing. I almost snatched his phone and fed in my birth date, setting as a reminder with the most annoying alarm tone.

He scratched his head and said, “I don’t remember birthdays”, and we both smiled. 

We sat in silence for a while on the rickety bamboo bench gazing on to the pine trees. Soon it would be dusk. It’d get cold and a thick layer of fog would surround us.

“But I will remember yours”, he said and removed the reminder in no time.

I looked at him, questioningly now as I raised both my eyebrows.

“It’s on 7th Feb da” he said.

He rather looked cute…. No he looked cuter.

It was our last evening together. One on one. We still had thirty six hours at our disposal but that would be spent travelling.

I felt a heavy lump inside my throat.

Things had just got better. We were in sync.

He stood up, took out the camera from his black sling bag and walked towards the main stage. My favourite artist Prateek Kuhad had just taken control on the center stage and the crowd began to gather and swell. My eyes followed his footsteps as long as I could and after a while he got lost amidst the swarm of people.

I sat alone, still gazing on to the pine trees. I don’t know how many minutes I sat there all by myself. As I turned my head to my right to take a good glimpse of Prateek Kuhad, I saw him at a distance, taking pictures of me.

He came walking towards me, put the camera inside the bag and handed it to me.

“Sit!, I told him.

“Wait a minute”, he said, as he pulled out something from his back. Well… it was a bamboo hollow filled with Apong.

“Cheers!”, he said, as  he took a sip and handed the Apong to me.

“Let’s make a plan”, he said yet one more time.

So we got back to where we had started.

I smiled at him and asked the same question as I sipped the Apong, “What plan?”

“Let me check the air fares from your place to mine”. He wasted no time and started looking up the air fares.

“Man it’s cheap if we book it right away!” he exclaimed as I kept sipping the Apong.

“So… 7th is a Sunday and your Saturdays are off days too. Take the early morning flight on Saturday and I will receive you at the airport and we will drive down straight to Auroville. Your birthday will be in Auroville with me. I want to make it special!”

He took my phone and set reminders this time!

It sounded special and it felt nice.

“Four months huh?”, I questioned him teasingly.

“It’s only four months da! If we could have waited for five years, four months should not be a big thing”.

“Yes!” I exclaimed and gave him the tightest hug.

For the rest of the evening we happily let ourselves get drowned in music, Apong and the fog, holding hands all the while.

The next thirty six hours passed too soon travelling and finally the moment came I dreaded the most. The time to bid adieu. It wasn’t a weepy goodbye at all. For we knew we’d be seeing each other soon… it was just a matter of four months.

The next four months were no easy. I felt I was getting clingy and he seemed to go inside his shell. We spoke on and off. But he said he was in his own zone and preferred keeping quiet.

It took a while to gather myself and get used to my life the way it was and the way it is.

And finally the day arrived. 
My phone beeped with the reminder on time! I looked at the screen and smiled at myself. We made plans and the plans remained plans! I don’t know whether I was happy or not. But I smiled and recalled that last evening.

I prefer quiet and noiseless birthdays. 
I never expected him to call or wish me. In the six years (yes it is now six years) I have known him he never has wished me once!

And then he called. Whoa! He called! Yes he did!

“Happy birthday girl!”, he said. I know he was smiling. I could make out from his voice.
“Thank you!” I replied.
“See, I told you I’d remember your birthday. And in the last six years that I have known you this is the first time I am wishing you!”
We both laughed at the same time and I said, “Yes! And I will remember this for the rest of my life!”
We spoke for a long time.

Much later a night I sent him a message.
Me:“Thank you”
Monk:“For what?”
Me:“For remembering my birthday”
Monk:“I told you I would”
Me:“We were supposed to be together on this day Monk”
Monk“Yes, I know”
Me:“Maybe some other time”
Monk:“Maybe we are used to not seeing each other for five years!”
Me:“I miss you”
Monk:“I miss you sometimes”
Me:“I miss you mostly”
Monk:“I hate the distance”

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Monday, February 15, 2016


It took me four months to finally meet the person from the virtual world to the real and it was worth the wait. Meet Dhruv Dholakia, the man on a soulful journey, On A Bullet Yatra ; to be more precise and apt.
I started following his blog in Facebook when he had just begun this journey. The first story I read was about his experiences in Goa and that really intrigued me. Because I had just done a travelogue about Goa around the same time as well.
And today afternoon as we were eating a hearty meal of authentic Assamese food at Paradise we spoke for a long time. He looked on to his king sized plate filled with ten bowls of different kinds of food which would tease his taste buds and I briefed him to start with Khar which is alkaline and end with Tenga which is acidic. Before he could ask me “Why”?, I said, “We Assamese eat the Khar and end with Tenga to keep the Ph balance in our body intact!”.
The first thing which he has answered about a hundred of times is, “What triggered and inspired him to take up on this mammoth solo ride? Was it a much thought and detailed plan or was it just a flash of wisdom that struck him?”
He leaned back, flashed me a broad smile with a raised eyebrow and said, “I had been working as an investment banker for the last ten years. And I felt I was getting nowhere. I was becoming a very boring person. I was doing the same things day in and day out. And when I went out on weekends, I realized there were no interesting conversations. I was growing at a receded pace. So I decided to explore.”
So on the fine morning after Ganpati Visarjan, i.e 29th September, 2015 to be exact, he put the ignition of his 500 CC Royal Enfield on and there has been no looking back.
He has traversed from the Western Ghats to the Southern tip of India and now is in North East to explore the furthest Eastern point where the sun rises for the country. And he said, “This is perhaps the best leg of my journey.”
Assam is his twelfth state that he has stepped on.  He has seventeen more states to traverse.
“I want to explore the twenty nine states in fourteen months’, he said, as he savored on his meal.
And he feels life is so peaceful here with zero pollution and no traffic as compared to Mumbai. I did not know whether to laugh out loud or have second thoughts. So I took it as a big compliment and thanked him wholeheartedly.
I told him as we finished our meal, he is doing an incredible job and it is so inspiring.
“What are your plans?”, I asked
“Plans?, he questioned me back.
“Yes, plans”, I said.
“Nothing as of now. When I started my journey I did not know what was in store for me. My mother was worried. I just asked her to pray for me, being the spiritual and religious woman that she is”.
He further continued, “The entire journey till now has been an assortment of experiences. With landscapes, weather, food, culture and language changing every hundred kilometers.Travelling across India is like time travel. Every place takes me to different era with its own highs & lows. Spanning from the very beginning of the mankind”.
I smiled and nodded my head in affirmation. He is so true. Being a traveler myself I know the joys of trotting and learning about life.
To travel is to live and learn. He spoke about Gautama Buddha, Swami Vivekananda, Mark Zuckerburg  and Steve Jobs; to mention a few who travelled to find their true calling.
All I could do was nod my head in total agreement.
We shook hands firmly knowing well we will be meeting again as long as he is in North East. And I walked to back to my work as he rode on his Bullet and agreeing for sure….He Who Does Not Enjoy The Journey Can Never Reach His Destination.

Nandini Raybaruah (nandini.raybaruah@gmail.com)

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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Coz I don’t wanna write (About you)

It takes one crazy to know another crazy.
“Say something?” he told me one day.
“What should I say?” I asked.
There was a pause. I am sure he was in deep thoughts for a while. And then he said, “it’s you I want to hear and I end up doing all the talking’. He sounded miffed and not quite amused.
I did not have much to say. I have told him a lot about me. In details at times and in bits and pieces otherwise.
He is a good listener. He remembers well. He questions me about things I had told him about a month back at times.
“I was pissed off the first night”, he told me one day in between our talks.
It took a while for me to pin point which night he was saying.
Foggy brains that I am mostly, he teased, “Oh! So you like to remember only the good things and edit the bad ones easily!”That left me laughing out loud like a woman gone nutty.
When I keep calm, he says, “So you need fodder for your stories! Hence you wanna listen to me.”
I kept shut and he retorts with some uncanny fondness, “Did that hurt you? I am so mean”.
Yes he does! And I tell him so. That he is ruthless and rude.
“Love my rudeness to love me”, is all that he says.
So one fine day I tell him, “I am not going to write about you”.
“Why?” he asked.
“I am superstitious”, I replied.
He asked me the reason.
But I did not reply.
I am superstitious to write about it… more than “it” … its him… its about him and me.
I don’t wanna write about it.
The peole I have written about are the ones I have lost and whom I have love deeply.
He is someone I don’t wanna let go so easily or too soon.
So I said, “I don’t want this bubble to burst”.
If only if I made any Goddamn sense!
“Which bubble?”, he asked.
“Let it be”, I said and changed the topic.
A few days later he asked me’ “Did you sleep well?”
“Yes”, I said
“Enough to keep the bubble charged?”, he asked!
“Enough to last a lifetime”, I answered.
He did not say anything much. I think I sounded too intimidating.
He keeps me in tenterhooks. Perplexed. Confused.  All the time.
I wished him “Goodnight” yesterday.
“Love you????????????”, he replied with unending question marks!
“Do you?” I asked him back. Because everytime I tell him so, he says it is difficult to reply in affirmative.
“No!No!No”! , he replied and this is how I deal with my Serpent!
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Monday, December 14, 2015

The Cake Story

For the love of baking.
Its like making love. 
Lots of foreplay goes in when you beat eggs, add sugar, pour in the melted butter, gently fold flour and add some cream.
And then you can dip your fingers in the batter and taste it to know how well the ingredients have mixed... if it does not taste good enough add some more vanilla. When the cake is in the oven and it rises, the aroma fills your senses like an aphrodisiac.... To know that the cake is perfecto...insert a fork in the middle... if it comes out clean your cake is done...

Monday, December 07, 2015

A Tribute To Artisans

Their hands are lofty,
Soaked in clay;
That’s  the only game,
They know to play.
The hands that labour,
Through needles and pins;
Intricate patterns come to life,
Like a peacock fluttering its wings.
Passing thoughts and messages,
Through the craft they mould;
Handing down legacy,
As stories unfold.
Masters of their craft,
With limited scope;
Lets acknowledge their efforts,
And give them a little hope.
Endlessly transforming,
Clays into mugs,
Threads woven to rugs.
Their work reflect their soul,
Many more stories,
Yet to be told.
Mirror of their thoughts,
Masters of their imagination;
A world without thme,
Would be an empty illustration.
Encourage their labour of love,
And the beauty of imperfections.
Known by many names,
Artisans they are,
We hope, beauty in their silence remains.

And the link to the videohttps://goo.gl/photos/H67PjMe3FdF4ZtME8

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Two months ago exactly around this time we were together… walking amidst slushes… and for me letting the feeling to sink in that we were together….
I did not know if I was happy and excited or nervous.
And there are chapters to write about the things that have happened in between these sixty days.
Sixth sense is precise…but yet I keep my fingers crossed. Because it’s you..
I remember our return journey…
We were undecided, whether to hop on to the train where we had an A/C II Tier tickets booked or hitch- hike with our friends…
But we got practical and decided to hitch-hike till midway and then hop on to the train.
The return from Ziro to Nirjuli was an annoying one for me… I, for starters like to have a bath before wearing a set of fresh clothes. But we were running short of time. So I changed without a shower and breakfast. The journey was dusty… famished to the bones… yet we knew we would be in time to catch the train.
We reached Nirjuli around three in the afternoon. And our train was at nine at night.
I looked at my Monk and said, “Let’s go to Itanagar.”
He looked at me quite clueless-ly. This was his first visit to the North East and I was the one who had travelled widely on these exotic terrains.
We took a cab and proceeded towards Itanagar which was roughly twenty odd minutes. I almost wanted to ask the driver to stop the car when I saw a wine shop, and he asked me “Why?”
“I need some beer”, I told him.
“Beer?” he asked as he raised his eyebrows and continued, “Why do you need beer now?”
“I have a craving for some beer. I want to have a good bath, chill down my system before I head home to my regular routine”, I said.
“Why do you need beer? We will have some good sex”, he replied.
I looked onto him questioningly.
He thought for a while and said, “See we have spent such amazing days together. Early morning sex followed by lots of cuddling and spooning… a huge breakfast… nice baths… long walks… Apong…music… more Apong and more music …some food and the sleeping right next to you feeling your warmth and falling asleep and snoring afterwards”.
I smiled. Yes! I had the time of my life… I don’t know what that meant to him or what that means to him now. But these are the moments I will always cherish.
So yes… after twenty minutes or so we reached Itanagar and checked into the Hotel I always did when I visited this place twice a month for my sales targets. It swanky… spacious and super clean.
By the time I was happy with my extended and luxurious warm shower, I knew he had asked one of the waiters to get some Budweisers and smokes.
As I applied a body moisturizer, he switched off the A/C. I grabbed the remote from his hands and put the A/C on again.
“I am feeling cold’, he said.
“But we are paying twenty two hundred fucking bucks for four hours. We must make the best use of it”, I replied.
He looked quite disappointed and said, “What about me?”
I pointed towards the chair across the bed, near the dressing table and told him, “You can make yourself comfortable there”, as I lay on the bed, with the pillows as a head rest and looking at him to say something.
He arranged the coffee table neatly, poured the beer on to the glasses, pushed my glass a bit and took his and sat on the chair I had pointed towards.
We did a “Cheers” and sipped on to the beer.
After a while I asked him, “Why are you so far?”
“Because you wanted to”, he replied.
Without saying anything, I took the remote and switched off the A/C.
“That was not necessary”, he said.
And after the beer was over, he said, “let me take a shower”.
“Lets go together”, I said.
“No! I want a shower on my own”, he said, as he tried to kiss me.
I pushed him apart and said, “Go”.
That is the way things are between us – The Monk and The Mistress… the way he terms it.
With the Monk, its not about being without clothes on or off… its so much deeper than that… we share our inner most secrets…fears… insecurities and we know the time is not right.
He is the one I want to get old and wrinkled.
And when we hopped on to the train… we were reading some spiritual writings together. I do not remember anyone with whom I have read chapters together and discussing thereafter.
“I want to kiss you”, he said as we were about to sleep. I was on the lower berth and he was on the upper.
“Now?”, I asked him.
“Now”, he replied.
“I never stopped you”, I said and we kissed for a long time, no having a care in world or for the life of mine who was looking.
I do not know when sleep set in….
I am an early riser. I was looking out of the window onto the dawn when my phone beeped.
“Good Morning!”
“I love you”, he messaged me.
I read them and replied, “I love you too. Why don’t you come down?”

And now after two months, my Monk is either always “busy”, “tired”, “sleepy” or is in his “zone”.
I feel neglected… I feel disappointed.
At the same time I know he talks less… finds it difficult to express and I believe he is seriously busy… tired…sleepy or is in his zone…
But to look on to the better side of things… on one Diwali he had messaged me “Happy Diwali”… this was after a gap of almost a year and half when we had a misunderstanding… but this time around he made it a point to call me up and wish me a “Very Happy Diwali Nans!”
I love you my Monk… you will never guess or know how much… but I am happy with these feelings… though at times it pains a lot.