February 25, 2014

Bombay Diaries

24 December 2013
My neighbour plays carols early in the morning and makes them the earworm for the day. There are cute, ugly, frail, beautiful, gigantic Christmas trees lined all across the streets in the market place. My friends are making Christmas baskets. There are serial lights strung on trees and walls and whatnots! (I am tempted to string some across my head and light 'em up! :P) There is a smell of love, festivity, togetherness and celebration all across the city. While Deepavali down South is a definite winner, Bombay is totally Christmas' city! I think I will burst a nerve with all the Christmas-sy excitement! Merry Christmas, dear world! Hopefully, there are some beautiful times ahead for all of us! 

19 December 2013
The city on a chilly morning is a quiet, calm almost unrecognizable expanse. To witness a city waking up generally makes you fall in love with it. But in a city that never sleeps, it is like seeing it go through a warm up exercise routine. Just a stretch in its existence! And with this city you fall in love - for its relentless spirit and strength as much as for its foggy wintry beauty!

8 December 2013
In this 'maximum city', it so happens that sometimes you can reach neighbouring cities faster than you can reach neighbouring localities!

30 November 2013
Impromptu plans are not for this city. And if you still make some, borrow wings or learn to apparate. Or maybe, begin your lessons in indefinite patience. Nirvana is on its way!

26 October 2013
Situation 1: I am in the house and the door bell rings. I try opening only to find it locked from the outside. I knock from within, my all-in-one man who does plumbing electricity and carpentry knocks from the outside and finally opens the door. Me: aap ne darwaza baahar se band kiya? Him: Mujhe gussa aa raha hain ki aap aise mere baare mein soch sakti ho!!!! 

Situation 2: 
Me: bhaiyya! Paani loft se kyun gir raha hain. Mera room poora geela ho gaya! 
Him: tankipipeupar
Me: Kya?????
Him: tankipipeupar
Me: Achchaa...!

Incoherent vague villainy mumbles, pipe bursts, blackouts and what not- Bombay, you and my plumber sure are dramatic!

24 October 2013
True love comes in the flavours of cinnamon and nutmeg, is brown and steamy and brings a smile on my face every time we meet! 

22 October 2013
To escape traffic, I moved to a house near office. Little did I know the house was on one of the busiest roads around here! Gah! All the same!

18 October 2013
In mumbai traffic you could grow old, expand your families, live lifetimes, be born as new avatars and yet you may have not crossed Andheri east to Andheri west! Such is life also! Thankyouverrymuch for these lessons. I am saving it for my autobiography!

8 October 2013
The brokers of Mumbai sure think I am high maintenance! Neither of us are getting anything out of this, are we now? :/

The Woman

He wrote –
about her red lips,
some verses on her smoky eyes,
and fell in love with her hair.

She –
always bought the best makeup!


"There she was! 
Red lipstick 
Eyes lined with the smoky blues 
And deep grays of the night 
Hair, a burnished bronze. 
Art, they say, is a woman's face!" 

February 23, 2014


There is a voice that lives inside,
I know not if in the brain or heart!
Time and again, it does confide
When to stop and how to start
No rhyme or reason to its ways
It is always loud ad clear
I blindly listen to what it says
Albeit with a shudder and fear!
And one day I wake up happy
To see its words prove true
Times betwixt may have been crappy
But suddenly gone are the blues!

Soul Cobwebs

Cobwebs on the soul, 
Darkness crying foul. 
Praying for lucid waters, 
A stitch to hold the tatters!


Wind beneath the feet
star-struck dreamer
with head in the clouds
drifting like a dandelion

It Rains When You Leave

You are leaving...
The clouds huddle inside me
and it softly rains
Steadily escalates to a downpour
The universe speaks my language

Ekphrasis - 10

The rains came 
And played with my heartstrings
Cold hands stammered 
Words shivered before 
A mere gasp escaped
It had got foggy, the insides
Memory came to write on the walls
Time regaled with a cruel joke
Softly your words drummed again
Within the walls of my being

Ekphrasis - 9

Her name was Malli. And she loved flowers. Not just any, but a particular pink flower that bloomed on the first day it rained in Sirukuruchhi. The village elders used to say that the queen of the land had died during childbirth on the first rain of that year. She never saw the baby and every rain hence, she bloomed as the pink flower, never to appear again till the next year.

Sangli walked the last mile in a quicker pace. It was said to appear in the wasteland behind the temple, clamouring up the old broken wall of where once stood the king’s palace.

It was raining heavily. Like shining evil teeth, lightening struck in regular intervals. The thunder echoed in his ribs, rattling them. Sangli was armed with an umbrella and a stick, and he made his way through the pile of debris that had been dumped in the wasteland. He had with him a plastic cover and a plantain leaf to roll the flowers and preserve them.

The brooding clouds got darker. The village of Sirukuruchhi looked shrouded in blackness. Sangli could barely see the mongoose that was biting away at some obscure object and almost stepped on it! But it scampered away in the last moment, hurling a string of noises that sounded like abuse.

He finally reached the wall. There were vines covering the entire stretch. He scanned the wall and finally found it. Pink in colour and with drops of rain hugging its petals.

Malli would be waiting at home, a hot pot of fish curry bubbling, clutching her pregnant belly and wishing she could pluck the flowers this year too, like she did every year.

Ekphrasis - 8

“Washed out!” Ajay declared
“You know maybe there is a reason for this” Dev suggested
“Like what? Not to plan anymore?”
“No! That maybe we should try to shoot the whole film in the rains.”
“Are you kidding me? That would change the whole story, dude!”
“No! It adds a dimension. Think of your characters. All the sadness and tragedy would get enhanced. Pathos. Rain? Get the drift? You could say that was your backdrop. A ‘premeditated backdrop to bring out the inner emotions of your character’. Duuuuude! The jury will love it!”
“What are you thinking? Let’s go. All we need are some umbrellas and polythene! I can shoot it. Don’t worry!”
“Hmm… Yeah! Let’s do it. That actor won’t come again. He is already demanding five cups of chai every hour….”

Ekphrasis - 4

It was a secret ledge. She took him there, holding his hand. It was the place she used to run to when everydays got the better of her. It was a stranded corner. They sat there for a while and spoke. It began to rain. Softly.

And it didn’t matter who started, but they began to sing.

February 22, 2014

Ekphrasis - 7

A rain of crackers!
Rude, crude and rejecting at first-
A city opening itself now,

Ekphrasis - 6

Never this, never that
The in between undefined
The blurred lines and foggy images
Twilight, they named me.

Ekphrasis - 5

whispers of a story of long long ago -
elements blurred, essence living -
let out in a gasp, an inkling of breath
in a rumble before a tryst with death,
in the golden glow of the morning's rays
from petals all ruddy and delicate
a fragrance escapes, muttering the tale

Ekphrasis - 3

A frosted glass
A puff of cold
Needles of rain
Like buttons
Cling, the drops-
A painting

Ekphrasis - 2

Ekphrasis - 1

How you will listen to my song...

So listen to it when dusk unfurls. 
When it is 
neither dark 
nor light 
and it is that unsure time 
when anything can happen 
and magic is just around the corner! 
This song was made 
for twilight!  


And no,
there are no definitives
Things will happen the way they will
a master puppeteer pulling strings
a tug for you - a snag for another
Will, work, try- all illusions
destiny has written her tales
there is a time when the cards will fall
a time when the empire will rise


Destiny, the crafty witch
sniffing around lives
scribbling punctuations
not an end, a comma
a fullstop to draw to close
dramatic exclamations
question marked confusions
and sorrow wails its story
quivering within an ellipsis

like dunes of the desert
the ever changing planes
destiny the whistling wind
charting the ebb and the flow
and when on a whim
stages out the play of a mirage

Tamil Poetry

திருவிழாவில் துளைந்துபோன குழந்தைக்கு 
அம்மாவின் முகத்தை பார்க்கும்வரை 

February 17, 2014

In The Bean, I place my trust!

People often ask me if I believe in God. I was always ambiguous, flirting with words like agnostic, ‘an atheist but spiritual’, and the like. Finally I have given my God a form. God is a coffee bean. Referred to as ‘The Bean’ or ‘It’.  

The Bean roasted Itself to give us our daily brew. And in my own life, it has taught me so many things. Every time I waited for the decoction to percolate for my morning cup of filter kaapi, I learnt patience. Grating nutmeg and making sure it is the right amount taught me a balancing act in life. The Bean was very flexible – it could be worshipped instantly or It could be savoured as an experience with patient brewing.

With the various forms in which It manifested itself, It taught me diversity and tolerance. I could love a mocha as much as an espresso. Never hurl a cappuccino out of the window. All foams are a part of life. The Bean was the greatest leveller!

It made sure that I had reasons to work everyday – so I earn my Kopi Luwac! It manifested as the fancy espresso maker at Starbucks and made me long to get it. Meditation was coffee, nirvana was reaching the perfect cup.

When It closed one Cafe Coffee Day, It always opened another Costa. The Bean tested my resilience and trust through watery cups of the brew available solely via the Indian Railways and certain houses of aunties-who-cannot-be-named! 

The Bean is great. It told me to trust in myself and my brewing skills. That is how I learnt to beat my cinnamon with the sugar before adding the milk so the coffee becomes light and tastier. The Bean always gives us the coffee we need, in time. Be it 4 am to study for exams or an excuse to flirt with that cute boy who sat next to you in the computer lab - there was always The Bean with a cup of coffee to the rescue.

And to The Bean we all wrote odes, painted pictures and found different ways to pay obeisance. And to The Bean, I dedicate my life. The Bean is love, love is The Bean! It shall solve everything!

Remember, The Bean loves you!

(DISCLAIMER: This article is written completely in jest and is not meant to offend the religious sentiments of anyone. Also, this has no reference to Rowan Atkinson)

© Dryad's Peak
Maira Gall