Category Archives: Poetry

Picture Credits : Sheetanshu Agarwal & Krishna Kumar

I am coming from a far off place. A place called ‘Two Years Ago’ that I no longer recognize because it was so hideously expensive that I incurred a ginormous debt while in there. 
A debt, I had no idea, would cost me lakhs of heartbeats and millions of feelings. 
A debt where the currency was people and the interest went up with the rise in the moments we shared. 
I am coming from Two Years Ago, but at a very slow pace. 
A pace that is slower than time itself, because two years have happened and ended, and I am still there, making my sluggish way forward, trying to reach The Present.

Picture credits: Agrani Punj

Of course, once I do, I will earn all that stuff back, and try to repay the bankers who keep the memories locked in a special account of nostalgia and hurt and all things bittersweet.
Once I reach The Present, I will empty my life of all those events and conversations that make the walk to it so hard.

Once I reach The Present
I will not spend my nights awake in the classrooms with a motley assortment of people, who came together purely on a stroke of fate, like a package of assorted biscuits on Diwali.
I will not give in to midnight cravings that strike me like thunder and lose a major part of my savings in the night canteen or on sudden trips to Murthal/ India Gate/ Bangla Saheb.
I will not pretend to listen to lectures in class while doing what I do best in life (read daydreaming).

Picture credits: Pixcell, IIFT
I will not celebrate midnight birthdays on campus or spend sleepy-wakeful nights trying to mug up for exams.
I will not watch those puppies grow into mischievous dogs.
I will not click photographs every second day or dance unabashedly at atrium parties.
I will strip my life of all those things and rush to The Present.

Picture credits: Pixcell, IIFT

On second thoughts…
Let me arrive late as usual.
And take my own sweet time to reach. For surely it hasn’t been so long since we were at Two Years Ago, has it?

There was one moment when I wondered if I had done the right thing by filling the form. And there was another moment when I realized that one moment of hesitation was not worth it at all because of course, I had been right. There was only one word for it. Perfect.

Two cabs accommodating laughter and gossip, titbits and tales, texts and the people writing them. Two sauces – red and white, mingling with mouth-watering pasta and eye-watering jokes. With the two arguments over the double cheese pizza and the extra mayo-ed nachos. Two hundred party venues being looked into before homing in on one- the one with the best deal, the best time and of course, the best people.

Three a.m. meetings where brainstorms would occur at the speed of light and ideas would be debated with religious gusto. Three a.m. confession sessions at the Top of the World where intimacies invited confidences and secrets were traded in the hallowed institute of trade.

Four thousand emails skyrocketing into the inbox. Four hundred aspirants to be answered to. Four and twenty articles to be written. Four thousand messages to sift through and apprehensions, turmoils and uproars to be contained.    

Five people sitting side by side in guest lectures, noting down moments and their significance, noting the similar-sounding words like distinguished, esteemed, welcome, campus and leadership, but in essence recording mainly the five million expressions of the ones sitting right next and secretly laughing at their inane comments. Five people taking down notes and one clicking away the five pictures to go with them, but mainly just filing the pictures away in the memory cabinets for flicking through them some time in the future.

Six we were and six we are. I know that six is the devil’s number. And I think it fits us perfectly well. Because we are devilish. Devilishly good together.  

(The above reference would only be clear when you have spent two years (or even one, for that matter) in the sacrosanct precincts of the Media Committee at IIFT and discovered a kind of religious fervor in the writing of a blog, the organizing of chat meets and of course, TEDx or even answering aspirant queries.)  
It is a brand new year and I was just thinking how to give a new start to this blog. But then I realized that my blog, much like my life, has been a series of fits and starts. Perhaps that is how it is supposed to be.
My writing has been pretty scattered the past year what with verses written on tissue papers, short stories noted on cellphone, and blog posts on the university website. As a result, this space got easily ignored. Now, as I begin the end of my journey at IIFT, I decided to bare my thoughts here on this old space of mine.  

Blood is made of a red substance; they call it haemoglobin.
But madness is made of a substance which they haven’t named yet.

It is made of songs sung tunelessly in the dark streets around Sanjay Van. 

It is made of dreadful PJs that emerge from minds that don’t know how to crack jokes because they haven’t learnt the art of laughter. 

It is made of steel. Steel bars of the benches where we sat for hours that disappeared in the web of time. 

It is made of power banks. Power banks that we snatched from each other because our phones were never fully charged. 

It is made of khakras and theplas that they brought every time they came from home. 

It is made of chairs where we sat and sipped bournvita. 

It is made of crumbs. Crumbs and remains of the rusk biscuits that accompanied the bournvita and the tea. 

It is made of chilli potatoes. Chilli potatoes and paneer tikkas that we ate at buffets where we gorged till food threatened to kill us. 

It is made of hands. Hands and legs which moved in every whichever way when we danced inebriated with laughter in the atrium. 

It is made of wings. The wings of wisdom that we saw everyday as we devoured the sunlight while walking towards the ice cream stall.
Our madness is made of a million things. Bits and pieces. Bits and pieces of rights and wrongs, dread and jubilation, thoughts and sensations. Some tiny and some long. Tiny moments snatched in an eye-roll and long hours spent studying presentations.

They say blood makes you related. 
But they don’t know that madness makes you family.
*This year, on mom’s birthday, I was not at my creative best. But a birthday is always special and so, I somehow bunched up a few lines for her. It’s your day, mom :)*

A scarcely blinking light

Throws into shadow 
Your face otherwise lit
By a thousand deeds of the days past.
The shadow lifts at dawn, 
Slow and sure,
But unreckoning, unseeming,
Unknowing of the varied selves
And the number of lives you lead within it.
The dawn breaks 
Like an orange peeled open,
Its juices pouring forth.
The light. The light leaking,
Leaking out in bits and spurts.
And finally shaping into a halo around your head. 
The morning sees you worship it, 
You with your ever open arms,
Your tired and expectant hands.  
With a prayer on your lips.
A prayer for the old and the new.
The old folks and the new times.
It’s a new dawn. 
A new day.
Your day.

On the occasion of World Poetry Day, let me try my hand at some versification. A few free verses. Or doggerel, if you will. For everyone has the right to rhyme. Or not.


Spirits soar and
Leap beyond self, 
Streams trickle towards each other,
Reborn into a cataract,
Gushing from a height.
Essences merge,
Panglossian ideals and pluperfect dreams
Feel real enough,
Lulling you into a sweet madness.

The lines between devilry and sainthood blur,
Shades and hues of all kinds find home
Here, in this habitation of freedom,
In this haven of thoughts,
In this milieu of doodles,
In this tiny land of scribbles,
Where love is the only rule,
Where all are kings of their destinies,
Where dreams have found a way to exist,
Where life has found a way to thrive,

Despite the threat of indifference.

Don’t you try to read between the lines !
With that thick fedora of yours
Crowning your skull,
And thicker lenses
Clouding your vision.
A stranger in your own world
The king of misfits
Are you trying to know me?
Then know that I will not be easily known.
The likes of me stay concealed,
Awaiting those with more welcoming minds.
I’m not for you, who are crammed with ideals,
And wear judgement hats of all kinds.
But if you are one of those kindred spirits,
And me is who you seek,
Then perhaps I will come
In that trance-like stupor
Where reality segues into the unreal
When your eyes close softly
Of their own accord,
I may pay you a visit
In that dreamy world,
You might then know me

Till then, let the night take over.

So, this is the second time my dear little brother has served as my muse and led me to write gibberish. That hat of his sure has some tricks up its sleeve! 
I guess celebrating Engineer’s day by commemorating Sir Visvesvaraya’s birthday would be too mainstream. Plus being from the typical engineering brood and used to doing things only at the fag end of the day (note now), I would like to pay my own respects to the quintessential engineer of this day and age. In the good old Shakespearean style (My Fiction folks would probably know what I am talking about), here is my ode:

The Eight Ages of an Engineer

All the university’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one student in his time plays many parts,
His acts being the eight ages. At first the school passout,
Basking in the glory of his entrance results;
And then the roistering fresher, with his spirit
Full of zest and zeal, ready to take on work
And challenges. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his girlfriend’s eyebrow. Then a nerd,
Full of project ideas, and academic initiatives,
Seeking reputation, yearning for grades in superlatives,
Enter the third year and emerges the wise student,
Observing patterns and knowing teachers, grows prudent.
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth sem shifts
Into strenuous and tiring times,
With spectacles on nose and eyes on laptop;
The heavy timetable wreaking havoc on the minds
The final year comes knocking with a tide
Of placements, exposing a world too wide
Tension builds up and fights nostalgia,
Big decisions loom ahead, time to do away with trivia.
Last scene of all, that ends this strange eventful history,
Is a farewell and goodbye, to this medley and mystery.
An engineer is born, ready to spread his wings
avec grit, avec guts, avec pluck, avec everything.

Dear fellow engineers!
It’s time to feel…
umm…proud? great? swashbuckling?
Cut it.

Maybe it’s just time to feel comradeship, pat ourselves on the backs, empathize with each other and tell ourselves that all those memes, all those endless assignments, codes, projects-in short, our lives have not been a complete waste. There is a poem dedicated to us. See the above lines?

Feel good?
Now get back to work.
Happy Engineer’s Day folks!