Thursday, 19 November, 2009


Twenty- eight year old Brahmin girl,
having been stripped of most of her religion
and almost all her dignity thereafter,
super-religious youthinAsia
of any faith, as long as he has it.
You can be antiabortion, antifeminist,
antiapartheid, anticolonialist, antisemicolonialist,
anti-climax (God forbid).
But remember this as we grow old:
If you love me well enough,
then kill me when I’m ill enough.

Thursday, 27 August, 2009

Word Ogres

I mix up words all the time.
Got thrown out of English class
for saying "accomplice" out loud.
while the girl in my head cried,
"Companion! Companion!"

Completely dyslexic
in the order of numbers while calling a lover,
the cacophony of cries while running for cover,
while quoting from poems, befuddled, I hover.
Completely dicklessic.
Like the friend who said he had penis ennui.

I limp through words,
lisp through life,
freeze over fricatives;
my diphthongs take lives.

When I bick the kucket,
having accidentally come in contact with a double-edged words,
they will berry my bones,
curry my poems,
write on my gravestone:
"Anoopa Anand. Born with a silver spoonerism in her mouth."

The number you are trying to reach is busy

The new world
with its weird wireless ways
has taken the zing out of friendships, relationships, romance.

On meeting a boy,
his dimples plugged into your brain
like a shiny new i-Pod,
the memory of his five o'clock shadow colours everything,
and you realise you can't call him at all.
So you text him.

A word stripped of context,
having lost its glory in academia
over smart kids, drunken nights, bad sex.
Where is the literature,
the verbal prowess,
the confidence,
the dramatic beginning of silver screen romance
in "it wuz nic 2 meet u. c u soon. tc."
And so in the bravado of badly written words,
he will say things,
you will say things.

The second date is on e-mail.
Do you dare to spell right,
to punctuate,
to use the evasive sentence case?
Do you dare,
when you are building castles in the air
and the man next to you in the internet parlour
has discovered breasts in his vicinity?
You don't.

But the e-mails go so well,
he is so witty, so pretty,
you can't wait for what's next.
GTalk friends, Facebook friends,
common friends, friends of friends.

And somewhere in the frenzy of an electronic world,
where a power cut could announce the end of a relationship,
you glance left at a little column below his Photoshopped picture.

In A Relationship.

Even a fling these days is devoid
of the delicious
eyes-meeting, hands-grazing, lips-smacking.
Even a fling
is a long-distance thing
played out in Twitter updates and status updates and no dates whatsoever.

Thank god you never got around to calling him.
The number you are trying to reach is busy.
Please hold the line, or try again later.

Neevu dial maadiruva number saddhyakke kaaryaniruthavaagide.
Dayavittu swalpa samayada nantara prayatnisi.

For Christmas
I want a real boy without a cell phone.
Not Pinocchio with his long

Wednesday, 6 May, 2009

Dirty Laundry

The neighbour on my left
has a large slab of stone
stuck out in the sun.
Each afternoon, when the sun is past his rise,
she accosts her laundry and takes it by surprise.
Spinning a shirt high up in the air,
she brings it crashing down on the slab.
Colours bleed freely, the skirt has seen better days
and all the broken buttons sigh,
but they come out looking cleaner
if less healthy.

The neighbour on my right
has a big white washing machine
that shivers in the laundry room.
Sometimes, it shudders.
You know something’s going on there,
but you can only tell on really quiet evenings.
On really quiet evenings,
the silhouette of my neighbour slinks up to the machine
and throws in a bundle of screaming clothes.
(If her dog isn’t barking in the garden, you can hear this.)
Inside the box, the clothes perform unimaginable calisthenics:
Twists, twirls, taps and the meanest pirouettes you’ve seen.
They come out squinting and with their tongues hanging out.
Sparkling, but almost entirely strangled.

I live isolated without stone or box,
but my neighbours are- shockingly- kind.
On weekends I hand over my whimpering garments,
first to Beatrix Kiddo on the left,
then to Terminator on the right.

I may be alone,
but I want to give my clothes the best of both whirls.

Friday, 10 April, 2009

It's been a while since I wrote:

changed their wings, broke mine and sent me
changed hands, fixed mine and sent me to the
changed people, beyond recognition, and sent me

where nothing has changed, everything is warm,
wrap themselves around me, but I remember how to
the old Karkhana air, the green air of the mountains

my soul will fly back on the back of a Hornbill
my body is done with this devastating city
pulls me back whole, my weak hand, my strong one

to leave, but still
in a changed city, changed people, changed air, changed arms
free, but everywhere,

Friday, 23 January, 2009

'Fear not', said she, for mighty dread had filled their troubled minds

Hello, hello, hello! Clearly you are curious about the silence, and wondering about my whereabouts. Thing is:

1. I got mugged in Secunderabad.
2. I was two minutes away from my house, walking, and got my handbag snatched by two men on a motorcycle.
3. Because of what we refer to in my family as 'chest-hair attitude' which, as it turns out, I have, I did not let go of the bag that was being snatched.
4. I held on, fell on the road, got dragged along for a bit on the very unfriendly tar and...
5. ... broke my wrist.
6. Yes.

It has now been over a month, my cast is 5 weeks old, and I have but another week to go. So hang in there and don't get your chaddies in a twist. Typing with one hand is really REALLY annoying, so I will now stop.

Meanwhile, my next adventure/project takes me to Masinagudi, at the foothills of Ooty. The jungles beckon. At least a book that is waiting to be written and edited thereabouts. So watch out for this dog, in the midst of- hopefully- no muggers, but the lush green and the occasional rogue elephant.

I'm a tiger when I want love, and surely you know what I am when I disagree.