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Sunday, December 25, 2011


People react differently to pain.
Some deny it deliberately.
Some wallow in it and refuse to let go.
Some fail to recognize it and indulge in activities which they feel will make the lonely, nagging feeling go away.
The best part is to see those who accept it and move on.
I have had my fair share of experiences in life.
Some are extremely painful to remember.
I have questioned myself and life.
I have been broken by guilt and grief.
Some memories are so painful, I often cry in bed.
But then, there is also a silver lining in the cloud.
Without pain, there is no growth.
It is as if a lump of gold is being refined in hot, white fire – the fire of suffering.
And at the end the product might be a sterling character.
Whoever has never experienced pain (and they are exceptions) do not know the essence of life.
Tears may not be pleasant when they fall but once they leave our eyes, our hearts turn more mellow, soft, compassionate and tolerant to others’ faults, and mature.
And what can be more precious in God’s sight than that?
God often uses pain to shape, chisel and mould us into sublime beings.
So hold on there.
It’s not over yet.
You still have to reap the fruits of your pain and how sweet they will be!

Monday, December 19, 2011


My trip to Delhi had been confirmed.
I was worried about not making an appointment with the US embassy for a visa.
I was worried about the interview because there were changes in my professional portfolio.
I was worried that I would have to stay alone in a hotel for 10 days.
I was worried about budget constraints.
I was sad I would have to spend Christmas away from home.
Well, the very next day of my arrival, I got my US visa in a walk-in interview.
I stayed three nights in a seven-star hotel (I stayed with Lyonchhen and his delegation as a friend of mine was part of it).
I had more than enough money to shop and spare.
I got friends to spend my time with and accompany me.
I could finish my work and return after just two days.
What made this possible?
God’s amazing grace.
Everything fell into place like a jigsaw puzzle.
And not because of coincidence.
Although you can say that even coincidences are brought about by God.
I got more than I had asked or hoped for.
God had talked to me through Matthew 6:29 when I was at the Paro airport lounge: “And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
God did glorify me and how!
Christmas is approaching.
It’s a time to re-pledge and rededicate ourselves toward God.
I cannot make any promises but I will try my best to be a better Christian and human being and never ever underestimate God’s amazing grace.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


If I didn’t know pain, how would I joy?
If I didn’t know hate, how would I love?
If I didn’t know trouble, how would I peace?
If I didn’t know betrayal, how would I loyalty?
If I didn’t know suffering, how would I empathy?
If I didn’t know poverty, how would I cherish plenty?
If I didn’t know loneliness, how would I comfort the friendless?
If I didn’t know depression, how would I wipe away another’s tears?
If I didn’t know want, how would I fulfill the needs of the deprived?
If I didn’t know travail, how would I God?

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I was going to the far-east after two long years. I had stayed in remote Trashigang for almost ten years with my family including a year alone as a bureau correspondent for the first private newspaper in the country before being reposted to the capital.
From Thimphu, it takes two days to reach Trashigang and the same applies on the way back. I noticed a peculiar pattern on my four-day journey back and forth in a bus.
The first day, I excitedly boarded the bus and noticed an unkempt young man hovering around the bus. I thought he was the driver but later, a man smartly dressed in a pangtha gho whom I had mistaken to be a gentleman about to board the bus took control of the wheels. The other was the so called “khalasi” (in borrowed Bhutanese parlance) or famous “bus conductor”.
Everybody was speaking in Sarchop so I put in my bit – a smattering of words here and there. The journey from Thimphu to Bumthang where we halted for the first night was ok – if that is the term one uses for boring music, yawns and unusable toilets where we halted for breakfast.
Apparently, the driver was not a chatty, effable one (until later) and every time a good song came up in the music player, he forwarded it but I bit my tongue though it sorely tested my less than saintly patience.
The next day was louder. The passengers warmed up to each other along with the eastern weather. Then followed the “khalasi’s” usual routine – of flirting with the belles in the bus. He was standing just before me and I was sandwiched between the girl who was the target of his corny jokes and who to her credit matched his “wit” with equal candor.
The other passengers joined in and when we reached Mongar, a middle-aged woman clambered up next to me. She would not leave the “khalasi” alone, with her repertoire of equally crude jokes.
Then a father of two kids and the driver started cracking jokes about “mewakchas and fewakchas” (women and men). I think you got the gist. Everybody at least seemed to be enjoying the crass jokes, which we Bhutanese term “humour”.
We finally reached Trashigang and departed ways.
On my way back, the same pattern repeated itself, though the “vulgar verbosity” started a bit earlier, towards evening of the first night back towards Bumthang.
The next day, the whole ride back to Thimphu was riddled with jokes about the male and female anatomy, with suitable metaphors used by the driver - a pot-bellied dark man, the “boy or kota khalasi,” two middle-aged village women (it’s the “aunties” who lead) and again I was in the centre of this cozy and should I say crazy group.
I hate to be judgemental here- of course, many will say that this is the everyday scenario in buses and it’s a Bhutanese way of connecting but I was wondering – Can’t we do far better than that?
I agree there was much merriment involved but in reality not everyone was enjoying it. There was a young man and woman seated together. When the jokes began to get dirtier and dirtier, the man got up and moved to the back seat out of obvious embarrassment. And when the “kota” hinted to his boss about it, the whole group threw a volley of harsh words at him indirectly.
Then, there was a married couple with a kid who also did not take very kindly to their rude remarks about their relationship in front of the whole horde of travelers.
It is not that we should be a robot-like lot with no sense of humour but there is a right and a wrong sense of humour. Cracking jokes, especially ones that are not pleasing to the aesthetic imagination and at the expense of others is height of rudeness.
There are intelligent, bright, innocent, good jokes and if we are good observers with a touch of wit, we can sense something funny in the most atrocious or simplest situations. The Bhutanese need to realize this.
Bhutanese seriously need to learn the art of good conversation.
Good talk counts as much as good manners.

Monday, October 31, 2011


The seasons change…..from spring to summer to fall and winter.
The lunar cycle is in constant motion.
The Milky Way changes the course of its billion stars and asteroids once in eons.
The seed germinates, flowers, gives fruits and withers.
What in life is permanent? Nothing.
Change is the name of the game, the only thing that’s constant.
People change, circumstances, relationships and feelings, too.
It is like watching a rainbow.
The beautiful hues which appear at the confluence of rain and sunshine disappear within minutes.
We can only treasure the moment.
Hold onto it. As if our life depends on it.
Because what is a life without memories?
Without those old black and while images eaten by silverfish?
Or the fading colours of those perfumed portraits?
What is man’s love if not a transient phase?
But the effects are eternal.
It shapes a woman’s dreams and self-image.
The memories of her first kiss or her first love-letter make her smile.
The memory of their baby’s first steps or words makes her parents shed a tear of remembrance.
Memories are precious and they last but the events preceding them do not.
There is also hurt and pain from the past.
Grim memories – maybe a heart-rending word, or neglect or sheer hatred.
But we need to let go.
God not only told us to forgive our enemies, he told us to forgive ourselves as well.
By letting go of past hurt and regret, we forgive ourselves and love God.
Change changes the world but we can change the meaning of change by changing ourselves with the times.

Monday, October 24, 2011

LOVE IS.......(for a woman)

Sharing when there is nothing
Crying and laughing together
A touch, a hug, a kiss
Travelling for 24 hours to spend five minutes with him
Getting up in the middle of a wintry night and seeing if the blanket is covering him, too
Making him a hot cup of tea after you return tired from work
Buying him a pair of shoes when your own need repairing
Making a birthday cake for his mother
Letting him have a guys’ night out
Listening to him rave about his favorite soccer team and not yawn
Keeping away when you know you should
Correcting gently when he makes a mistake
Encouraging him to be with other friends
Caring about his spiritual and moral life
Telling him not to be extravagant especially on you
Letting go of the past &
Letting him go if needed

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Admit it. Most human beings in the world are a broken lot. It is the culmination of a long list of unfulfilled dreams and heartaches since we started being cognitive and could reason or feel.
Parental expectations to academic performance to peer pressure to conforming to societal norms, and the result is we often have people who are not reluctant to label themselves “social misfits” and some even declare it proudly because it elevates them to an altogether different realm from the usual “social butterflies” and “commons”.
Apart from these people who claim not to belong to the normal world order, we have others like atheists, apatheists, free thinkers, radicals, conservatives, fanatics, humanists, secularists, you name it. There is every category of people alive on the earth but the bottom line is – WHAT MATTERS?
Evolutionary biologists term people as just an aggregation of selfish cells and molecules which battle for survival as in Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection where the “fittest survives”.
It leaves no room for a human soul or the existence of the Divine.
And unfortunately, many people are broken just because they cannot connect to a source of external Supreme power which exists.
However, surprisingly, the theory of ultimate secularization, which most atheists and agnostics propound, with science making all its gigantic steps is not only nullified; it is being reversed.
In the 21st century, there is a global revival of religion. According to Dinesh D’ Souza, the author of the best selling “What’s so great about Christianity,” more than 90 percent of Americans believe in God, and 60 percent say their faith is important to them. America, thus supposed to be the most secular country in the world is the most religious country in the Western world.
He also states that despite the limitations imposed by the Chinese government, it is estimated that there are now 100 million Christians in China who worship in underground evangelical and Catholic churches.
“Thus, the thesis of inevitable secularization has lost its credibility.”
Ever wonder why this is happening?
Peter Berger argues that “modernization helps people triumph over necessity but it also produces a profound crisis of purpose in modern life. The greater the effects of modernization, the stronger the social anxiety and the striving for something more”.
“Secular culture itself produces a deep need for meaning in life and therefore also for religion," says Wolfhart Pannenberg
I always argue that people essentially are spiritual beings. They have something inside them which materialism and hedonism cannot fulfill. There is always a longing for something more meaningful and the sense of an everlasting.
I would like to believe that a human being is definitely not a robot-like creature which just thrives on survival, satiating its desires and passing on its genes. Living without reason, purpose or hope is one of the greatest tragedies mankind could ever face.
We hope because there is something intrinsic in us which makes us do so. In the same way, we believe in the Divine because there is a sense of the spiritual within us.
We may scoff at the idea of a monotheistic God or Creator but even Science cannot prove cent percent that there is no Divine Being that governs the world and its functions.
In fact, most modern scientists state that the latest findings of Science support religion.
Now, coming back to my lead. How many of us have been broken? Broken by inacceptance, guilt, hatred and shame? Why would we feel this way if we were unfeeling creatures? If we were simply machines made to consume resources, reproduce and die, why do so many find solace in the spiritual?
Every heartbreak has a life lesson to offer.
We often strive for the eternal when things in the limited world don’t go our way. In fact, that is a blessing.
Here I would like to quote from a devotional, “A Cup of Comfort”:
“Have you noticed how God uses broken things? A broken flower blossom gives off sweet perfume. Only broken soil can accept seeds to produce a ripe crop of wheat. And the bread must be broken if it must sustain our lives. So...what about a broken person? What about you?”
Ask yourself this question and think if it’s time you changed your perspective about life and existence.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Animal figments:
Bulls cook up a lot of shit
Lizard tales are always broken
Parrots crack up a lot
Crocodiles smile to welcome while their tears are a façade
Pigs take mud baths as beauty treatment
One can never make out whether a hyena is laughing or crying
How come zebras never cross the road?
….like moths to a flame
….like flies to a jar of honey….Damn! The flies definitely have better taste!
Mom silverfish: Darling, are you still hungry?
Child silverfish: Yes, the book you gave me was too light.

The Chinese discovered silk and tea
The Greeks discovered philosophy
The Italians Art
And the Bhutanese an excuse

Albert Einstein apparently encountered a lot of static in his experiments. Evidence: His flyaway hair

Mona Lisa’s smile fetched a fortune. Lucky we don’t have to look for the toothpaste otherwise we would have to spend a hell lot of energy and resources for it

With the China-India-USA intrigue building up in the Himalayas we need little heat from global warming to melt the glaciers

Heard in the (famous for media people) Jorden restaurant:
“Are you a vegetarian?”
“No, I am a carnivore.”
“Monks in Bhutan do a lot of monk(ey)ing around”

Heard in a Bhutanese home:
Father- In the good old days, we used to go to school in shabby clothes, walk in chappals, collect firewood and water, and cook ourselves.
Son-I would rather be in the bad days

Girl 1- I paid Nu 10,000 for my new hair-do
Girl 2 to Girl 3 (in a whisper)- I would not pay a penny more to look like that!

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Have you ever loved someone so much that your heart literally bled with pain?
Have you ever loved someone so passionately yet him could never attain?
Have you ever loved someone so madly that to lose him would be gain?
Have you ever loved someone so badly that you wished you would die?
Have you ever loved someone so truly that all you wanted was his happiness at your expense?
Have you ever loved someone so much that you would not mind losing him?
Have you ever loved someone so deeply that all the pathos you could see in his eyes?
And hope to see fulfilled all his desires?
Have you ever loved someone so madly that to be close to him was your life’s wish?
Even if it could not end in a kiss?
Have you ever loved someone so much that you were willing to sacrifice your desire?
And never ever end up in a mire?
Have you ever loved someone so deeply that you could bear the distance between you two?
And all other contradictions, too!

Friday, September 9, 2011


God has been gracious.
They say repeating mistakes is a crime.
I have committed many and I have repeated them, too.
But through all my trials and tribulations, through all my guilt and self- hatred and brokenness, God has been there.
He has nurtured me as a Father would a petulant child.
And I am grateful to the Almighty that he has forgiven and forgotten my past, wiped clean the slate and presented me a pristine new sheet of paper to write my life on.
It was hard going.
When morals clashed, when madness reigned, when passions surged.
It was tough.
When guilt robbed me of inner peace, when my cherished morals were shattered, when my ideals came crashing down.
I have had my fair share of inner demons torturing me.
I have not been immune to gossip, self-condemnation and a burning resentment against God and all mankind.
I have asked the question “why?” a thousand times.
“Why me, God?” I have wailed in despair and shed copious tears.
But then I realized that you learn.
The elements can transform the crudest piece of rock into a glittering diamond.
I can’t say I have attained my ultimate form.
But I have changed, yes.
And all the bitterness, rage and heartbreaks I went through have made me a stronger person who can now comfort others going through similar predicaments.
Maybe God meant it that way.
After all, He is the Great Teacher.
And when a teacher or a parent reproves his student or child, the latter always gains.
It may take ages for him to realize the good that the cane has done him but when he does, there is nothing but gratitude.
Now that, I have been given a new lease of life, I can’t afford to commit a crime.
I can’t afford to repeat my mistakes.
Though even if I do, but return with a contrite heart, my Father remains ever welcoming with open arms.
Bertrand Russell, the famous atheist, once said: “Unless you assume a God, the question of life’s purpose is meaningless.”
What is there to life if there isn’t an “ever after?”
Isn’t everything then futile? All life’s toils and troubles?
But we carry on because we have a sense of the eternal in us.
This life is just a preparation for what comes next.
The Nazi camp survivors confirmed this. Those who survived the worst, most inhumane conditions in concentration camps had a hope that fueled their desire to live and they did not give up.
That hope was God.
As one of them, Corrie ten Boom, said: “If you look at the world you will be distressed, if you look within you will be depressed. But if you look at Christ, you will be at rest!”

Thursday, July 14, 2011


A void lurks before me
I enter the pitch black darkness
So thick you could slice it with a knife
I feel myself and I cannot
I am lost
Seamlessly submerged into the surroundings
I cry out but my voice fails me
My subconscious roves around the corners
Of the black-hole like cave
There is yet a thought, an impulse
Am I still living?
Or am I matter vaporized?
I exist in the crevices of thoughts
I long for a sign, a tangible feel of life and the living
I try to breathe
But I am all air
Nothing exists as me or within me
Nothing exists outside me, too
I am an abyss of thoughts and memories
I travel down a tunnel
There is a flicker of light at the end
I float towards it like wind
Maybe it will revive my being, my substance
Maybe I will regain my former form
But the passage is endless
I can’t reach the end
Suddenly, the darkness turns into a swirling vortex
I am sucked in deeper and deeper
And I am lost forever

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I was sitting by the river, listening to the rapids cascade over boulders and rocks.
A gentle breeze rustled the nearby shrubs and I was in another world.
The setting sun cast a fiery golden glow over the horizon which the water reflected.
I picked up a handful of sand from the river bank and grasped it tightly.
It slipped through my fingers until there was no more left in my fist.
I grabbed another fistful, this time letting the inside of my hand cradle it loosely. It held on.
Maybe this is an apt metaphor for what often happens in our life with loved ones.
Be too possessive, rave and rant for an ounce of their affection and tighten your grip on them till they have no breathing space and they elude you. There is no more love in the relationship. It becomes a source of heartache to both parties.
But give them their own space. Love them but don’t impinge on their freedom. Care for them but don’t suffocate them and you have a wonderful relationship that works both ways.
It took me a long time to realize this. Of course, it involves a certain amount of sacrifice especially if the other person concerned is someone you love or care for deeply but then, it is worth it.
God has set an example. He knocks at the door of our hearts but never forces his way in. That is love.
Selfless love that gives the other the freedom of choice.

Friday, July 8, 2011


I have raved and ranted. I have shed copious tears about what I feel has been unfairly offered to or deprived off me by life. I have gone into depressive mode. I have even been analyzing the prospect of going incommunicado with a few people in my life who have hurt me or at least whom I blame for hurting me. I have been bitter and cynical and sarcastic with my loved ones.
But at the end, I realized it does not pay. It really does not. To sit on your high moral stool and pass judgments and condemn and spit fire and venom or scheming insidiously to hurt those who have betrayed your trust.
There is a book called the Bible. It was written over a period of 1,500 years by at least forty authors including kings, scholars, philosophers, fishermen, poets, statesmen, historians and doctors.
And reading its soothing messages, hearing the Spirit of God speak to me through it, I knew that when we feel weak, it can be a sign of blessings to come.
Jesus Christ, the Man-God sacrificed everything including his life for me on the Cross just so that I could receive God’s grace, forgiveness and be free of my bondages.
People equate living a Christian life with bondage and slavery because they say there are “too many rules”.
But then, there are rules that bind and rules that free.
If you watch a soccer match and there are no rules, no referee, and no markings for the boundaries of the pitch, rest assured chaos will prevail.
But put everything, the correct things in place and soon you have an enjoyable match.
Christianity is something like that. It is not a religion. It is living for God, the only true, omnipresent and omnipotent Creator. And there is always something new to discover each day.
Sometimes, things happen in life which we least expect and we may sooner be in the middle of an island but trusting in God helps us remain calm because he gifts us with precious inner peace.
Even when we are in a dilemma, submitting our problem to him will ultimately take us on the right course.
I have experienced this. I am schizophrenic; I am have been on medication for the last 12 years; my mom and elder brother suffer from the same debilitating disease; my dad confessed to me that he once attempted suicide because of all the domestic pressure (fortunately, he was unsuccessful); I still get attacks; And for the past few months I have been in moral and spiritual crisis with problems at work to boot.
It was no smooth sailing. But just tonight, as I was going through gospel literature, God opened my eyes. And said: “Hey, I am with you and things are not that bad!”
Right, I have a great, cozy job, I have great friends, I have a wonderful, supportive family, I have my own strengths and talents, I have a place of my own, I am independent, I have people who care for me………
So, what was I being so morose and depressed about?
People in life don’t have it easy and for me God has almost presented blessings to me on a platter.
I resolve to rectify my attitude. I resolve to be happy. I resolve to be grateful for every little thing.
Of course, I will not always be bubbling over with joy but then, I will try to remember my Saviour in times of dire need and even in moments of overwhelming prosperity and happiness
I will try to keep the faith. Touchwood.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Tenderly lovely like a rosebud, her smile was like the blossoms opening up to receive the first rays of sunlight. She had a pixie charm; curly locks, alabaster skin, rosy lips and wide, innocent eyes which could transform from limpid pools of deep pathos to twinkling stars of mischief. Everyone knew she was a girl who had yet to see and experience the world and its wonders and disappointments.
Then the retrogression started once she attained her twenties.
The disillusionments of life overcame her. Her parents divorced when she passed out from college, her brother was struck with a terminal disease and she was soon on the lookout for a job to sustain her broken family.
And then the final blow came in the form of a man whom she fell in love with. He bestowed kisses upon her, whispered sweet nothings into her ears and finally managed to steal her innocence.
Then he left her never to return. The lovely appearance faded slowly. There was no rosiness or charm in her looks anymore. There was no longer any coquetry and mischief in her behavior. She withdrew and withdrew into a shell. She just existed. The outer now hag-like form was all that remained of her.
People say sometimes you can spot her on lonely evenings taking a solitary walk in the forest hiding her face with a shawl and often gazing at the far away horizon or the dawning stars and moon.
I have never seen her but this is a story of the end of innocence, love and goodness in the world that I often rue over.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


There is an apple tree outside my window.
It is a proud tree with a sturdy trunk covered with whitish brown bark; long, thick branches sprout from the mid-base and taper into thin twigs. The rain often beats down on its jade-green leaves. Clusters of tender leaves in lighter hues of emerald grow at the tips along with the young fruits.
The baby apples are like little round balls of crisp flesh right now, enclosed in light green cover. I often watch the tree from my window and listen to the rustling of its boughs in the breeze.
Today, it has rained and the leaves hold the precious dew drops like a mother cradling her new-born baby. The sky is grey and looks like it is going to shower down on earth again.
I have watched this tree grow since winter when it was nothing but a barren shrub. It was cold every morning and the frost would settle down on the withered plant, rendering it the quaint air of a man old and huddled over with age.
Then, spring came and the tree gained a life of its own. Tender green sprouted from its twigs and soon it was covered with white, fragrant blossoms spotted pink from which the bees and butterflies drank richly. The birds would hop from branch to branch and declare its glory.
Its flowers would scatter in my courtyard or a lone petal would get entangled in the web a spider had spun outside my window pane.
It is a wonderful sight to see the apple tree every once in a while and sip a cup of aromatic tea, contemplating the changes that have come over it.
Soon, the fruits will ripen, turn rosy and sumptuous, and will be harvested.
Then, Autumn will arrive with its winds and a lonely shroud will envelop the tree. The leaves will blow away in the wind, curled up and a golden brown. Maybe the spider web will catch some of them.
Then again it will be accosting the freezing winter with its feathery snowflakes; the surroundings will transform into a mini Ice-land.
I am changing, too with the seasons. And I often wonder whether it is progressive or regressive but the apple tree always revives in me hope of a new spring and the beauty the world holds.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I see her by the window always. She is past her mid-twenties but there is a certain vulnerability and naivety in her childish face that makes her look much younger.
Today, she is wearing a beige summer dress with frills and her hair has been arranged into a loose bun with the help of a polka-dotted brown clutch. A few strands are loose and they fall by her face blown by gentle gusts of wind.
I see her most of the time looking out of the window with a far-away look in her eyes. Sometimes, she is watching the peach trees blossom, sometimes her eyes follow the pale yellow butterflies feasting on the blossom-nectar and at times, I see her stretch out her hands to touch the rain drops as they fall.
At times, she sits by the window, deeply focused on a book or scribbling something in a blue-bound diary, a forlorn melody or song emanating from her room.
She is always alone and lost in her own contemplations.
Someone once told me her story.
She was a woman who had loved and lost.
As a young girl, she had been something of a recluse but as time passed youthful and worldly fancies occupied her. She opened up in college to a certain extent and then when she finally got a job and became independent, she belonged to the world at last.
However, her upbringing had always been conservative and she had never fallen in actual love except for the usual school crushes.
Then, when she had blossomed into a full, young woman, he came into her life.
She gave him everything – her heart, soul and love.
But it was not meant to be.
One day, he left for a distant land saying he would return and take her with him.
He promised her they would have a wonderful house to live in and he would treat her like a princess.
Oh, how she loved him!
She waited for a fortnight but he did not turn up. Then she waited for a month but in vain. Then it was months of loneliness and then years. He never came back.
She returned to her old habit of reclusiveness. Solitude became her sole companion. Her heart had been broken and the bloody tears it shed soon dried up. Her heart was replaced by a stone – unfeeling, unknowing.
She had lost the ability to feel, leave alone love or hate.
Her old parents gave up on her and they soon died leaving her with a tidy inheritance.
She left her job and now, she never leaves the house or the window.
A maid servant does her shopping and chores for her.
There is a dullness in her eyes as if she is looking right through you or at nobody in particular.
If you pass that cottage and look over the threshold someday, you will see her; watching the sunset or the birds flying over her garden.
She will never see another human being again.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Pain pricks like a thousand needles
My heart blood lies splattered
A knife has gone through the beating organ
And a sword through my spirit
I am wounded both in flesh and mind
Memories haunt me, beckon me
Shady, dark yet unbearably precious
The heart of Evil
The past bygone but ruthless
The future unseen and mysterious
Yielding to passion is way to shame
It is the Tempter’s twisted game
Can I live with a memory that suffers
And a conscience that chides every single day?
What is it in man that makes a woman love him?
And in a woman that beguiles a man?
Leaving the safe bosom of moral sanity
I dive into an abyss of darkness and passionate abandon
That sticks to me like an aura
I struggle to set myself free
Like a wild falcon whose feathers have been clipped
This is madness against sanity
Man against morality
Who will win the battle or the war for the matter?
Time heals but too slowly
Memories will fade but the scars will remain
Like a deep burn or an acid attack
My thoughts are dark and deep
My longings too strong to keep
I ride the wind and pick up a shield
But it breaks into a thousand shards
Like glasses broken by drunkards
Divine help I need
Is it there indeed?
I pass my days in gloom, agony and guilt
Hoping one day I will be removed from this filth

Sunday, May 22, 2011


People call me a loner.
I think and try to define the word “loneliness”.
What exactly do you mean by “being lonely”?
And are “loners” necessarily lonely?
I come to a conclusion: There are two types of loneliness – the loneliness without and the loneliness within.
The first type thrives on the need for company or at least companions, people around you.
I have come across people where this need is their strength while it can also become their weakness.
Many people, especially extroverts have a manic need of being in a crowd, and noise, sounds and conversation becomes a habit with them. When they are alone, they feel something is missing.
This is the loneliness dependent on exterior conditions and it can be a kind of addiction which can lead to either harm or good. Excesses can destroy while moderation can be constructive and lead to social health and vitality.
This kind of people is usually fun-loving, daring and love talking. In fact, talking fulfills their psychological, social and personality needs. They are the ones who enliven a party or a group conversation and usually take initiatives.
So if suddenly, they are deprived of their friends or associates, they are most likely going to be subjected to dejection, depression and yes, “loneliness”.
This is the loneliness without.
Now the other one, the loneliness within, is a bit complicated.
This usually happens with introverts. Have you encountered the word – “spacing out?” Well, this kind of people is alone even in a wild, raucous crowd. Have you seen the occasional person who likes to be alone as a choice? And when the whole company is in high spirits, he seems to be the silent observer or listener?
He loves solitude and maybe poetry (to add a bit of romanticism).
He may talk but there is a certain quiet and calm in him.
He usually controls his passions to a high degree.
Surrounded by people but you just feel like you are the only one existing – loneliness within.
And to bring up the question, I brought up earlier – are loners necessarily lonely?
I don’t think so.
They live in a world that has a charm of its won.
Reminds you of art, literature, jazz, solitary walks by the river, listening to the rustling of leaves and watching the butterflies.
Reminds you of creativity, ideas, romance, dreaming and an ecstasy strange and secret.
The world tends to label people and put them into compartments.
It is stifling.
Let the company-lovers enjoy their talk and their glasses of wine. And let the so-called loner dream on and create.
Loneliness is not always a handicap but fear of it certainly is.

Friday, May 20, 2011


I sit by the window watching the seasons pass by. It is summer-time now. Drops of rain beat on the roof sonorously and trickle down the eaves leaving a trail of wetness along the walls.
The skies are overcast with promising grey clouds. The rhythm of the rain drops is like a jazz song played out slowly. I hold out my hand and feel the cool drops on my palm. I try to hold the tiny, transparent beads but they elude me. They pass through my fingers as easily as light penetrating a crevice.
Reminds me of him like every other thing does.
Was it a year or a month back, or just yesterday?
I remember sitting by the sea-shore with him. He held me as I drew his name on the sand but the waves would not let the letters be. The waters came again and again washing away the sand and gravel and along with it those precious words.
Some moments freeze in time. And no matter how hard you try to exterminate them from your memory, you cannot. They hold onto you and become a part of you, like the air you breathe, the food you take and the clothes you wear.
I remember how we used to share an ice-cream cone in freezing winter. I would rub the gooey stuff onto his nose and he would ruffle my hair and laugh.
I remember playing in the rain with him, screaming like little kids as we jumped into puddles, splashing muddy water on each other.
We used to go on long rides in his car and return to “our” place and sit by the balcony watching the moon and stars cast a gigantic motif in the dark night sky, sipping glasses of wine.
But all this changed.
It changed the night I received the call.
It was a broken voice – a shattered being; a woman crying.
His wife.
I knew he had a family. He often talked about them. But without emotion.
I knew he loved them though. I could feel it. Women’s intuition, I guess.
I once saw his wife and kids’ picture in his purse.
They looked like a cozy, happy family, smiling and filled with warmth.
After the call, the phone dropped from my hands.
What was I doing?
I have been brought up in a respectable family. But many people do not know my dad loved another woman throughout his life. And my mom was a broken woman who withdrew deeper and deeper into her shell until she no longer lived, just existed.
Here, I was replicating the story with my life and I was the other woman.
The other woman.
How does it feel like being called that?
The villainess who broke up a family, the whore who shattered a home most probably for his money.
I still remember his wife crying, pleading, asking me to leave them in peace.
I decided to do that.
Next morning, I packed my bags while he was still sleeping, left an apology note and made an exit from our secret haven.
I looked at him long and hard before I left. I wanted to kiss his forehead but I was scared he would wake up.
That was it.
I no longer exist for him, I am sure. I have tried to build another life alone. I can’t forget but at least I am surviving, maybe moving on.
I never regretted my decision.
The rain has stopped. Pale shards of light filter through the clearing clouds. A ray falls on my hand.
I will soon hear the cuckoos sing. I will see gaily-colored butterflies sucking honey from the blossoms in my garden. I smile slightly, open the windows wider and listen to the crickets singing their twilight song.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


We were a group of four going to Shillong – me, my friend and her two sisters who were seeking admission into colleges in the capital of Meghalaya. As for me, I was going to collect my degree certificates after three long years.
From the capital, we boarded a bus to Phuentsholing early morning. It was a cake-walk. Good music on our mobiles and good conversation.
On reaching the border town, we went to Jaigoan where we did some cheap shopping but the stuff we bought was good.
It was the next day that our troubles started.
The hour long journey from Phuentsholing to Alipur had us in high spirits.
Vast expanses of green meadows, lakes and elf-like straw huts with more music and laughter had not prepared us for what was coming next.
We got general tickets from Alipur to Guwahati.
For me and my friend’s sisters, this was the first time travelling by train.
We had to wait for almost two hours for the Bramaputra Express to arrive and we learnt later that it is one of the dirtiest and slowest trains in India.
Four of us had to share seats with a married couple from Guwahati.
The heat, smell, dirt, humidity and the cramped space almost had us crying.
Food and ware vendors came in proclaiming their arrival with loud chants.
We looked different from the locals so on several occasions we were cheated off money by the vendors.
The couple we were travelling with was sweet enough to tell us that and warn us (though a tad too late).
After six long hours we finally reached Guwahati and got into a sumo where a Khasi woman and her daughter were sharing the front seats.
From there, it was torture. The two women kept blabbering into their mobiles and giggling like school girls, all the way from the sumo stand to our destination (They were talking about the daughter’s boyfriend from what we could make out).
Honking trucks, dust, noise, the chatter and weariness made me throw up. The others were also having a tough time.
Finally, when we reached Shillong, we booked into a hotel which the driver recommended – Ashutosh inn, a dingy, shady place so cramped we could hardly move about.
It was too late to look for a better hotel so we had to compromise. At night, we could hear strange sounds coming from the adjacent room.
They offered tea so sweet we could have got diabetes. Moreover, they had run out of mineral water.
It was a terrible night.
The very next morning we embarked on a search for a better hotel and though expensive, we checked into Hotel Alpine.
Then began the quest for colleges for the two girls.
We walked from pillar to post, took cabs and asked around but on day one we could only get the prospectus of two well known colleges in Shillong – St. Anthony’s and St.Edmund’s.
Dead tired, we returned to the hotel, took relaxing baths and had wine.
Day two – We went to Raid Laban College, my alma mater. We talked to and got the college prospectus from a professor there. The girls decided this was it.
They got admitted and were asked to collect their ID cards in the afternoon (which they did).
Now, I had to get my degree certificates. We waited for a couple of hours. Finally, the counter opened but when the man there checked, he said my certificates had already been collected.
I was puzzled but thought that one of my previous hostel mates must have collected my certificates on my saying so and that I must have forgotten about it.
Sure enough, when I contacted the matron of the hostel I had stayed in, she said the documents were with here (sigh of relief).
Thus, our tasks were completed.
But my friend and I were talking among ourselves that had we had one more day to stay in Shillong, it would have been ideal because we wanted to explore and do some sight-seeing.
But with our limited budget, we had to return the next day, so we did.
Early morning, it was pouring cats and dogs when we booked an Alto for Guwahati.
In Guwahati, we again bought general tickets and hired a coolie to get us seats in the train going to Alipur.
The station where we were waiting was dirty and stinky. One of my friend’s sisters almost puked.
We laughed like crazy as we posed for the camera with cotton plugs in our nose.
There were some lecherous police officers making suggestive gestures at us but luckily I did not see it (my friend told me later).
Finally, our train arrived and we had to walk till the first compartment because there was such a wild stampede for seats.
We finally got into an empty compartment but it turned out that it was reserved.
We had to explain to the ticket collector and painfully fish out a few more bucks to avail the seats.
Soon, fresh green meadows and lakes and birds made their presence felt as we took pictures of each other and the scenery, munched on “jhaal muri”, spicy “motor”, and finger chips.
We heaved a sigh of relief as our train stopped at Alipur and we took a cab. A Bhutanese guy who almost got into a fight with an Indian cabbie joined us.
It was raining when we entered Phuentsholing gate (We were overjoyed when we reached Bhutan).
We headed for the hotel we had stayed in earlier – West End with a swimming pool.
After refreshing ourselves, we took dinner and more wine.
Since we had got lucky at the BoB ATM, we decided to relax the next day at Phuentsholing after our hectic tour.
The next day, we did some more shopping at Jaigoan. But since it was a Monday, the shops were closed and we could only buy from street vendors. We bargained and haggled in the scorching sun but it was worth it.
Upon returning, my friend swam while I watched. We had fresh lime and tea and sumptuous meals.
We watched TV, conversed near the swimming pool and took walks in the twilight.
At last, at bed time we had some expensive wine and I went off to sleep immediately while the others had fun.
The next morning, we boarded a bus to the capital, laughing all the way but the bus played some really good music so we weren’t bored.
The bus driver and conductor were cracking their own corny jokes and laughing while we laughed at them from the back seats.
At 4 PM, we reached Thimphu and parted ways.
And that was how our week long trip to Shillong ended.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


It is a warm but windy Sunday afternoon.
I have finished my chores for the day and am outside in the sun warming myself while the wind combs through my hair. I have my diary before me and a pen. I am playing some soulful songs on my mobile.
I look at the city sprawling below me. Concrete buildings, people and cars… is moving at its pace.
Then suddenly, I ask myself: What am I doing? Where am I headed? What lies before me in the unknown future?
A sense of emptiness fills me and a brooding melancholy occupies my thoughts. Ever felt like you are not living, simply existing? Ever felt like you have run your race? There is nothing to look forward to and a few regrets to mull over.
If the world were to end now, what would I lose? Nothing. I would die happily.
No dreams, no aspirations, no hopes.
Loneliness, sadness and a mild feeling of lethargy.
What is happening to me? I feel so alone.
Like a lone observer in a metropolitan crowd.
The world is moving but I am stuck.
Life has come to a stand still for me. There is no pleasure in living and laughing.
I put on a pair of converse and plug in the headphones.
I head for a long, lonely, leisurely walk. People are staring at me. Most probably because I am wearing shorts (Damn the Bhutanese mentality!)
Cars honk and swerve by me. I don’t care. I put the same song on repeat twenty times. I like the sadness in it, the acoustics evokes feelings in me.
I have loved and lost.
Memories, guilt, regrets.
More stares and a few wolf whistles. I walk on, uncaring, unseeing.
What is this? Emotional inertia? I am tired now. I don’t feel like looking people in the eyes. I avoid gazes and walk on, looking down at the buildings, roads and new constructions and at my shoes.
Did that white lady who just passed by smile at me? I am in no mood for smiles or gaiety.
A tall, beautiful lady all dolled up, most probably for the wedding function going on by the side way passes me.
I look at my short legs (in shorts, for God’s sake!) and think would the world look different if I were a bit taller?
In an hour and a half, my mourning (pun intended) walk has ended.
I am back at home. I fix myself a cup of tea and get into bed.
I remember I am resigning from work on Tuesday.
And I wonder what will become of me at this rate.
Fine. I gulp down another cup of tea ( I am bloating up depressingly) and try to think of something else.
Dad is coming over tonight. He said he would cook chicken for me. That is the only saving grace.
Let’s see what happens. Let me take a day at a time.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


There comes a time in life when you have to take a tough decision. And it isn’t easy.
Everything is picture perfect. It seems like a movie shot in progress. You are on a Caribbean cruise. The warm sunlight, the gentle breeze, the cool tumbler of refreshing drink, the lapping of the waves and then fate says:”Cut!”
What happened? I have asked myself a thousand times. And I know I made a mistake. A blunder, in fact. I am only human and I trusted myself too much.
I trusted myself not to make a mistake. I trusted myself not to waver from my principles and I failed. I failed, miserably. I was blind.
It taught me how weak I am, how fallible. It taught me man should not do what God has NOT ordained for them.
I have shed tears, I have been filled with remorse. How could I, I have asked myself numerous times.
The pieces are broken. I can’t put them back together again. It is late. But not TOO late.
I see me picking myself up and moving on. Away from the shame and sordidness of it all. I have to venture out on another path, an untrodden path but which at least my conscience solicits.
God told us to forgive our enemies. He told us to forgive ourselves, too. I am seeing a new sun in the horizon. A new future. Away from it all.
My memories make me hang my head in shame but hope beckons me with silent whispers of new glad tidings.
I am on my own now. I bid farewell to my past. I move onto a brand new future. I take a step at a time.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


A waste land stretches before me.
I trudge along, dying for a drop of water.
The scorching sun and parched, dry land,
The hot winds and the endless sojourn
Is taking the life out of me.
My garment is in tatters, the burning sand consumes my feet,
Flies into my bleared eyes.
There is no oasis in sight.
Rain clouds have abandoned the sky.
Yet, I stumble along, unseeing, unfeeling.
Where am I? Where have I reached?
Is that a caravan I see afar?
Tinkling of bells and the shout of travelers?
Is there life in this desert?
I no longer have the strength to go on.
My steps falter, I fall.
Is there a God? Where are you?
Help me!
Memories of the past flood my tremulous mind.
I remember the green grass, the sparkling lakes,
The verdant growth along the valleys, the sweet smelling sandal trees.
I hear the brooks singing their passing song.
Where is heaven?
Is this what I was destined for?
The heat makes me faint, I can’t bear it.
Save me before I turn into vapor.

Friday, February 25, 2011


“How old are you?”
I am unmarried, not seeing anybody and single at 27.
And I must make a shocking (to some) confession – I have never been in a relationship with a man.
How does it feel like?
Hmmmm… does it feel like? I ask myself and can’t suppress a chuckle.
I have never had a romantic conversation with a man, never been gifted a rose or a packet of heart-shaped chocolates and never gone on a real date (except once with a Japanese man who asked me out for dinner but that’s another story altogether).
Do I miss all these?
Honestly, sometimes I find myself wondering how it would feel like to be seeing somebody but another part of me revels in the kind of uncomplicated, free life I lead.
I know it will always feel good to have someone there for you, especially during your low moments and times of loneliness. Sometimes you do desire companionship but then I have my own little world where I am happy being myself and doing all those things I love doing.
I get up on my own sweet time on lazy Sundays, clean up my place, do my routine or extra house-chores, read a lot of books at the same time, write, plan out my work and assignments, drop in at my next door neighbour’s, listen to Eagles, Richie Sambora and Dolly Parton, sit by the window in the afternoon sun all alone sipping a glass of green-tea and writing in my diary…….little pleasures in life. In a way I am lucky, hehehe…..
At other times, I watch the busy roads and alleys below from my apartment window, go shopping alone and buy a good book to read or a rejuvenating face-pack to pamper myself with and sometimes I sit before my lap-top and write my memoirs like this one! Then I wind up the day watching the sunset (Lucky, I have a good view from my window).
Life is good. I have friends who care for me. I have a wonderful family. I have a great boss who teases me constantly about my single status. But I love my life.
It is not that I don’t feel the need for male companionship. Sometimes, I feel my time is running out and at times pangs of loneliness do gnaw at me, especially after a bad day when I need some solace but then, I feel the other side of it balances things out.
I look forward to each new day. In fact, I feel this is one of the best phases of my life.
Maybe it just depends on which side of the fence you are.