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How can you live with what you did to me?

I had questions storming my mind ever since day one – Why didn’t you see us together, what did I miss, how are you dealing it, are you okay, did I hurt you a lot, etc… Though, I’ve not processed it all, there is one question that I want to look in your eyes and ask – How can you live with what you did to me?
You see. We’ve been talking about breaking up for over a year now. I knew it was coming. But what I didn’t expect is the betrayal. Do you remember how you felt bad when we sat on the beach and spoke in lengths about my insecurities and what my past had done to me? You called me a strong woman. Now, to think of it, I’m realizing, maybe it left a hint that I’d process anything thrown at me. Did you just take the big fat step to leave me stranded for the roof to fall on my head? And, you thought, anyway, she’d handle it?
People around here usually warn me about the winter. They talk about the temperature going to minus 40 and they tell me to keep every step carefully because there’s black ice. Strangely, it reminds how you betrayed me. When my friends pointed out the red flags, I called it sunset. I convinced myself you’re not it. That you know how I have suffered and you’d not put me through the same. You did not just repeat the betrayal but you ensured to strip my capacity to love.
I remember our last hug. I can feel your skin and scent even now. The thing is, I hugged you with all the love I ever had but you didn’t do the same. Did you think of her? Were you texting her when I was talking to you? I showed you the pictures of the puppy that would be in my stay place and I told you how I’m afraid about the whole change and you didn’t have the courtesy to inform me about the new lovely lady in your life? Worst of it, she being a friend of mine.
I convinced myself that you were busy enough to pick my calls. I assumed that the past hurts you enough that you removed yourself from our shared folders. I thought maybe one day you’ll send me a long email. I dreamt that you’d come all the way, crossing the seas to get a glimpse of me. All you did was to let me crumple and use me as a canvas to build your new life.
I tried processing this by just sharing the whole mess with a few friends and I was searching for words from them that would convince me that what you did is right. When one said the other woman is not that pretty anyway, I thought yes, he’s not someone who goes after looks. Do you see how stupid I am? Oh! Maybe, you did see it.
I’ve book recommendations that falls under self-help genre, I’ve a few dating apps on my phone, I’m reading a quote that says if Jennifer Anniston can get over Brad Pitt, so can you for a hundred million times but in vain. Why are you still the first and last thing I think in a day and all that’s in between? Memories umpteen and it adds weight like a personal trainer in the gyms would do to their clients. Do you think of me as much as I think of you? Do you have a fake profile to see an old picture on my Instagram and smile? Will you ever get in touch with any of my friends to check on my mental health?
Questions are all I have. Questions are all I will ever have – How can you live with what you did to me?

What is your definition of rape?

Is it a pretty woman running away from a room, yelling and crying with her clothes so torn? Or, is it a scene from a movie where you see their clothes all over and the woman throwing her hands and legs in all directions? Or, is it a small street, all dark, and you see a group of people in the far with a woman crying out loud for help?
What is the definition of rape? What is your definition of rape?
Or should I ask, What’s your prototype of a rape? Because, we are taught and preached that rape is always performed by a criminal who attacks a screaming woman at a gunpoint, isn’t it? What if I narrate an incident that deviates from your prototype? But, still claim that it indeed was a rape? Would you sympathize? Because evidently, the further the incident deviates from our idea of “how a rape should look like” – We seldom understand it
Have you heard the stories of marital abuse and claimed, he’s your husband after all, he has all the rights? – No. He doesn’t have the rights. It is a rape. Do you know there are men who are victims of rape and have you ever said, huh! Men actually enjoy sex any given day, No. It is a rape. How about mistreatment of sex workers because after all that’s their job and they get paid for it. No, it is a rape. And, same-sex assault, does that ever happen? Yes, it happens. It is again a rape. What if alcohol and drugs are involved? No 2nd thoughts, it can be a rape.
There are millions and millions out there in all the corners of the world, who scoop up the incidents that happened to them and are asking “Was it a rape?” to someone else and are slowly dissolving into their own tears of self-pity.
Because, we usually stick to a few well-known rape incidents and forget to see the whole spectrum of assaults. Such that, many sexual harassment victims are still unsure how to classify the misconduct. Because, people. They always want to just label an incident as rape or assault or harassment or misconduct. But, they fail to understand how it affected the said person.


Would you throw the rape case on a weighing scale?
  • 100 points if you were killed during the rape
  • 99 points if that was a gang rape
  • 90 points if they had inserted an iron rod
  • 80 points if you were just violently attacked
  • 50 if you look physically fine
  • 40 if the other person had used protection?
How about ranks, though?
  • 1st Rank if you had said No and still get raped
  • 2nd Rank if you said ‘Stop’ but the person continued
  • Fail – if you had said yes first and then said no second
  • Fail – if you were forced and coerced to saying yes after a 100 no
  • Fail – if you said maybe
  • Fail – if you just froze and laid there like a corpse.
Anything outside the commonly accepted definition of rape is considered less worthy.
The victims are pressurized to either classify the misconduct or to just shut the fuck up. But, one question from me, who gave anyone the rights to trivialize the victim’s experiences?
Do you know there are women who make the sound of pleasure as a defense mechanism? So the rapist assumes she’s done and would let go of her?
Do you know there are people who think that violence is a part of a woman’s life and it’s just okay because all the other women out there do face something similar or, even worse.
There are women who are advised that they were lucky because it was not a violent rape but the point to note here is, it is a rape. There are women who are brain-washed that it was not a rape but a bad sexual encounter.
There are people who say “How one should take the incident” – let me tell you, you have no rights to say how someone should feel about a traumatic incident. You’re not entitled to an opinion.
Consent has to be given. Consent cannot be taken away.
As much as we understand that “No means No” – we should also understand only “Yes means Yes” – A maybe or errr I need to think or especially, silence is not a substitute for a yes.
  • Disinterest is rape
  • Discomfort is rape
  • Someone not minding your pain but are pushing to finish is definitely a rape
  • Uneasiness is rape
You don’t have the rights to say that someone’s experience of a rape doesn’t “Count” as a rape.
  • You spending money on her doesn’t give you the rights to rape
  • you cannot rape someone just because you’re turned on
  • You cannot rape her just because she’s not a virgin
Let’s summarize? Shall we? If a person does not verbally say YES – yes, for all the sexual acts, it is a rape.

What are your charges for a night?

I’d like to fuck you, I’d like to fuck you, what are your charges for a night. Read the message from an anonymous sender.
I started trembling, like those forks and spoons that’d make jittery sounds when someone carries them on a plate. I could see anxiety, gathering speed, I could sense gravity working its way to droop the smile that was plastered on my face. My heart pounding like a fugitive on the run, And, I caught a glimpse of myself descending into chaos.
I paused. I took a deep breath. I stopped.
My thoughts and ideas are too copious in the nights, Like the curls of vapor from a hot cup of tea, Twisting and turning and blending with the air and slowly, vanishing.
I was revisiting the past, this isn’t the first time I’m being bullied online, There is someone out there, on the other side of the screen, Someone who wants to see me trembling, watch me in discomfort. Plump with poison in their hearts. With clumps of dirt on their minds and souls that are stuck like bats on the ceiling.
Then, something struck me. Like the flame of a candle in the dark, that would cast a shiny orange on our face.
I might as well reply to the person, I might as well share what I charge for a night.What I charge to fuck me for a night.
I charge all the colors in full brightness, though. I charge all the elements – Oxygen, hydrogen, sodium, calcium and every damn thing on a periodic table, Definitely all 4 seasons – summer, winter, spring and autumn, I’d also like the glow of ultraviolet, I need all 12 zodiac signs lined up in a row, I’d like the lakes, and salt from the ocean, All the prayers we could hear in a hospital, All the poems written by those broken hearts, Everything sweet especially more honey, And the wonders of the world, The smell of the grass, Music is a must. And, I would cost you a brand new world designed by the best kickass feminists.
I want all the leftover chocolate pudding from all corners of the world, I’d prefer them to be a little warm.
I want all of it. All of it trapped in a body. That’s what I charge.
Ummm.. Err..Okay!
I know that’s a little too much to ask for.
Let me try to retreat the steps, Let me use the wisdom I accumulated over all these years, Okay! It was not a sensible idea to ask for all those things,
So I dust your request from the surface of my inbox with fingerprint-lifting powder, Wow! The unwavering confidence. I give a good nosy look around, I should admit that my nose wrinkled from the stench of our wild and brave question, I can’t deny your right to adventure, No. Never. But, given that you’re cowering behind the bushes,
And since you’re blurred because you’re wearing a mask. I’m less inclined to open up and say I need strong friendship with the person, love, lust, connection, comfort, spark and a glass of wine that I’d not mind.
But, given that you’ve reduced me from a person to what’s between my legs,
All I can say is though, to have sex,
At least, I need a person with a face, bro!


Matrikas Stationery for the Journal-Fetish

Being a writer is about ‘typing’ a lot but still we use a ‘pen’ to denote the ‘writer’ in a person. As a writer myself, I yearn to own stationery stuff. I love post-its, pens, notebooks that are cute, and journals. So, I somehow stumbled upon this brand new website –
A website that felt so ‘ethnic’ at first sight. I found the red journal with a feather denoting a ‘writer’ and this journal is so far one of the best. I don’t usually write on beautiful journals, I just keep them and admire. This journal’s title itself is ‘write’ and so I penned down my recent micro-fiction on it. It is a hardcover journal with a few adult-coloring pages between pages to keep you stress free and also, a few sheets of stickers that one could use to make their journaling experience interesting.
I love the quality of the journal. More than enough pages, a hardcover bound, an elastic that prevents dog-ears or other usual slight damages that could happen to a notebook.
You can find more details about them on their website, and other social networking sites. Their products are also available on amazon.
Check them out, choose a diary/journal and leave a comment about it.


Let’s be friends…. with ‘benefits’

Because last week was Valentine’s day and there were memes circulated that were trashing people who choose to have premarital sex because they like each other. From that, I thought talking about ‘Friends with benefits’ would cover all the related and interlinked taboos.
In India, by all appearances, a perfect life is to get married and have kids – either you fall in love with the person is not a concern, though.
When our biological clock hit the alarming age of 16, one of our ‘wants’ was to just fall in love. It takes a roller coaster of a few years to understand that there’s much more to life. We all give in to the pull of natural attraction and forget that life always – ALWAYS has other plans. Swallowed by the magical madness, consumed by the three-dimensional monster called boyfriend/girlfriend, drowning helplessly down into the vortex, when the wave of emotions walk the red carpet, after all the hot tears that blur your vision – you just decided, not to fall in love, ever again!
Life has its ways to throw people in and out of our lives, and even when you are sure that you don’t want to fall in love – you eventually would ‘like’ or be ‘interested’ in a person whose mind is attractive and who fits in your life so perfectly. You don’t want to shatter your heart again like a little glass figurine that fell by mistake and so, you both decide to stay together with the realities of life and with-less-to-struggle.
I really don’t believe in getting the ‘certificate’ to have sex (IYKWIM), and I believe takes some emotional-mental-physical attraction and connect for it. You know it is not just because you’re desperate for a relationship, but yet, you’re unwilling to go to the distance that it might take.
Whenever one hears a person saying ‘we are friends with benefits,’ they only focus on the ‘benefits,’ and that means only ‘sex’ to them. Apparently, the focus for those in the relationship is being ‘friends’ by all means. If it was only about ‘sex’ – it is either a one-night-stand or a fling but not FWB.
Being ‘friends with benefits’ is about being mindful of one’s wants and needs. The focus is being ‘right there’ for the other without any boundaries or force. Staying strong, and moving forward in life without any ties and strings. It makes life easier for self and the other. You work things out without cognitive dissonance which makes life beautiful for the brief period.
When married, you’ll have to forgive the other no matter what and you’re forced to, for the sake of life. How many of them in this big world live for the sake-of-being-married? Umpteen. You’re obliged to stay with a person in a marriage even if things go wrong unless it is ultimately wrong, to take the next big step. When you’re ‘friends with benefits’ you get to forgive the other person if you want to, you protect the other person wholeheartedly.
To me, ‘Friends with Benefits’ is about two individuals signing up for staying in each other’s life for a brief period and helping the other to grow as a better person. No ties, no strings and no force to stay but still choosing to, isn’t that a beautiful thing?
P.S — Not endorsing it in any way. But, I really want to convey that ‘Friends with Benefits’ is not just about alcohol in tall glasses, chocolate pralines, and shriveled condoms.

Is Loyalty = “Not Having Sex with another”

I’ve grown as a better person in the last four years. 2013 – that’s when I first fell in love or rather, a serious relationship kick-started. Like all relationships, it was all good and sweet. Movies and popcorn, stolen kisses and quick hugs at the elevator, and what not? Almost 8 months into the relationship and I found that he’s been cheating on me with someone else – devastating, yes it was. From then on, I’ve not been into any serious relationships at all because I’m afraid that I would be cheated. Until recently, because, the solution to my ‘insecurity’ came via a good friend of mine who is in an open relationship. If I think about it, I feel that I could have handled my reaction and the relationship better.
When it comes to defining a relationship, we stick to ‘monogamy’ that is, to not to have a sexual relationship with any other person. There were times where one was supposed to maintain ‘virginity’ but times have changed, though. ‘Sex’ is no more about bearing the ‘license’ required to sleep with another, it is more of ‘you feel like it? Do it.’ Because, back then, the gap between a person attaining puberty and having sex was short. Women were getting married as early as 12 or 14 yrs and men when they are hardly 16. Now that we have better exposure to everything, passion to explore, ambitions to become rich and a lot more, we are not confined within the walls of not wanting to explore one’s sexual desires until THE person enters the life.
Having worked abroad, I had the opportunities to work with other nationals and understand their lifestyle. I had a set of friends who had to move from their respective countries to work abroad, they stay away from their families for long, but that didn’t stop them from having sex. They had their own sexual partners that the family(husband/wife) is aware of. When I first heard of it, I was thrown aback. But, that’s when I got to know that the same applies to Indians as well, they also had sexual relationships but just that, they didn’t inform their spouse. (This attitude made me more cautious, and I had then decided not to get into any relationship/get married because I was(am) hurt enough from the first betrayal)
My friend simplified the whole concept – “A relationship is about making the other person happy. It is about the other person being the ‘priority’ in one’s life through all thicks and thins. In India, we seldom get the chance to explore how sexually compatible the couple is before the wedding(Things have changed a lot now, though). So, there comes a problem when they really are incompatible. Compartmentalize ‘love’ and ‘sex’ – throw them each in different boxes. You’re not going to have sex for the whole of your life (Mostly) – it takes a back seat after a few years, so why define the term ‘loyalty’ with ‘sex,’ why not define it differently? It can just be the friendship between the two, being right there for each other, understanding and staying through issues. A relationship can be beautiful if two individuals want to raise a family just by standing with each other through the good and bad.
You become jealous or possessive when ‘insecurity’ creeps in when you’re afraid if the other would leave you. We don’t feel the same with family right? You are not possessive about your mom or dad (mostly) and so, how about establishing a relationship that is as good as the trust factor within the families?
I am writing this because I see many who are not in a good relationship but still sticking with each other for the sake of it, a few who are sexually not compatible or happy but still are in the relationship for the society, and most importantly, I see people breaking up because the other had a fling with someone else – How about thinking again? What if we don’t hold ‘not having sex with another’ as a strong component in a relationship?
I asked the same question to Preeti Shenoy and Ravinder Singh at the Chennai Lit Fest as they write about infidelity and extramarital affairs, one word that Preeti told still lingers in my mind – “Having an affair doesn’t define a person, one who has an affair can relatively be a nice person than the one who is not having an extramarital affair,” she said, and that’s so true.
I wouldn’t endorse an affair, but I just want to convey that it is not as bad as we think it is. These relationships might probably wither away with time, polygamy was always a part of Indian traditions, and it was taken easily. Maybe, if we give ‘sex’ a backseat and don’t chew at the skin around the nail – our thumb might not bleed. How about not pondering about one-not-sleeping-with-anyone-else with fingerprint dust? Let’s not anchor a relationship’s hold to ‘sex’ but commitment and being there for one another.
I definitely know how it feels to be cheated on (first-hand experience) and I’ve been through depressing times for months together, it is a sharp pang of pain that goes through the gut and leaves us with a terrible hollow feeling. But, if we could change our mindset and focus, and if we don’t bank on ‘sex’ for ‘loyalty’ life might turn better, ain’t it? I have shifted what ‘loyalty’ means to me.
I’ve just echoed the persistent thoughts that are on my mind, and am pushing aside topics like – feminism, misogyny, sexism, moral authority, etc.. from this blog post. I am just leaving it here with a mere thought that it can be considered a possibility instead of breaking up from a relationship – because, breakup from a marital relationship is still expensive (I don’t mean the money here – if you know what I mean)
I repeat I don’t endorse the concept or anything. I just wrote how my mindset has changed, and I guess this might help someone who is in a confusing relationship. Life is much better and bigger if we ensure to push aside petty things that don’t matter in the long term – it can also be a person in one’s life.

The week after your break up!

You’re my summer,” she said once.
Who is the winter?” I had responded, almost automatically. It had torn her apart, making her shy away and cocoon into herself for days after that.
I knew from experience that she was sensitive. More importantly, how was she living without me? The worry was nagging me, clutching at my throat.
She was a weird combination of many personality traits – obviously not fitting into any of the zodiac stereotypes. She had been a soul filled enigma, irrevocably colouring a few chapters in the otherwise monochrome book of my life in vibrant shades.
I had known she was keeping things from me since day 1. But I had been too comfortable in my own blindness to think hard about it. I knew I was not getting the complete truth but I couldn’t leave her for that.
She was the risk I adored, a failure I’d cherish and a bitch I’d worship.
Every time I touched my Royal Enfield, wanting to escape the shit that was my life with a long morning drive coasting along the ECR, I would remember him. My Raghu – someone I’ll never forget in my lifetime. He was my serendipity. He was the one I had wanted to meet, fall in love with and live happily ever after together. His innocence and care had been unadulterated and unfiltered and even his kisses would seem gentle, giving and wanting simultaneously, and adding a piquancy to the forbidden platter we were relishing.
Staying miles apart, yet sensing his presence almost close to me – it was magical and unique. In a matter of months, our lives had tangibly tangled, messily interlaced. Letting him go was the hardest thing I had done. Of all the things I hate about my life, this goodbye stands at the top of the list.
Our life together was knit by moments rather than the ‘forever and after’ promise.
The usual spot where he dropped me and waited until I had safely entered my house
His cold stares at the creepy perverts who objectified me sexually.
The way he pulled me closer to avoid the oncoming traffic.
I had fallen in love with him a little more every time he had done something like that. I was practically in another world while I was with him.
His entry in my life changed two things – I no longer felt sick and lonely. I finally knew what it meant to be with a constant companion, for he had always been there either physically or emotionally, running in my mind on a loop like a one song playlist. Secondly, he had brought back my feeling of trust in men. The transition from ‘How will I trust anyone ever again’ to ‘Why would I even think of trusting anyone else?’ had been easy for me with him beside me.
It had been a given that I would never love anyone again but he had picked me up from the hard ground where I had fallen and shattered into pieces – nursing me back to health, carrying me around like the most fragile, gentle thing ever.
P.S – The above is an excerpt from my new release – Dirty Martini. Grab your copy from Amazon  If you’ve missed reading the Prologue, please do read now 🙂

A few months of ‘Forever’ with you!

We were wildfires! I was stuck in tragedies when our eyes locked for the first time. It took me hardly few weeks to fall head over heels. Your words, your eyes, and your voice – and, the way you sing, how can I not fall in love, though?
When you ‘Happened’ to me, I felt ‘free’ more than the usual ‘happy.’
It was good. Not the usual good, but freaking-falling-in-love good when we proceeded from being friends to being close. I tried not to fall in love with you, like kicking away the strands of grass with legs. But, in vain. Little did I know you’ll turn the biggest drug of all those who I ever know, I was addicted to you. Like, crazily! Days when I didn’t have to figure things out on my own, with you – everything felt complete. You loved me through my struggles, you know the internal fires, the pain, et al. You loved me with the heavy baggage that came with. I love you!
We didn’t make it through; we had our own hurdles that stopped us from even giving it a try. We were proud to say ‘Yes, we are in love and are also coward enough to take this forward,’ but hey, you know what? I wish that you fall in love with a heart that loves you as much as I do. Yes, we’ve moved on but still a small part of you will always love me and a teeny weeny part of me will always love you! We were not strong enough to love each other the way we actually deserved, right? The ‘fear’ stopped us, stopped us from every little thing that we ever wanted to do with each other.
Days together – wrestling with you for the bottle of water, and pouring it all over. You snatching the stupid phone of mine and throwing it far. We being ‘just there’ at that moment forgetting our pasts and come-what-may future. Having leftover pizzas with you, and talking some-random-shit. We were not as dramatic enough to call you the yin and to say I am the yang, but, we somewhere down the line were two individuals who appreciated the differences between us.
Maybe, our ‘forever’ was just a few ‘months, ’ but those are worth years, don’t you think? I do, though. Thinking of you leaves me smiling that spreads to my now-glassy eyes. We chucked the idea of ‘forever’ and ‘happily ever afters’ for good, but we fell in love with that thought down the line, didn’t we?  
I’m still in love with you, though I have my reasons to not to be. You left me with a level of peace when we had to depart and bid goodbye.  When did we become so wise? That we chose to make it easier to leave each other before it was time. It was tough to find my footing without you, and you fucking-know-that.
I am indeed happy now, for having fallen in love with you. We are friends now, and you’re someone I’d always count on when times are harder. Thanks for believing in me, and my dreams. It was an honor to be loved by you. For, I am not someone who wants hours and hours with a person but ‘moments,’ thank you for swallowing me in whole and for drenching me in love. I might not thank you for everything you ever did, but I would for the ‘Magic’ and though am not a part of your family (though I wanted to) – for a brief period, I was a part of you, and that would do!
Dedicated to the lovely bunch of practical nut-heads out there! 🙂 And,  I will always wish that you fall in love with a heart that loves you as much as the other did.

Shadow in the Mirror – Book Review

Shadow in the Mirror – Book Review
I’d like to start the review with a few lines from the book:
Page 108: “For hours she would write, and rewrite every word, polishing it till it shone, pruning and recreating, and when the last word was penned down, she felt a deep sense of satisfaction that none of her articles had ever given her.”
That precisely describes what the author – Deepti Menon does.
Shadow in the mirror, a thriller – For about 200 pages, the author keeps your mind busy! A book that’s worth your time and money.
The novel is about Nita – a pregnant woman who falls from the balcony and dies. Soon, Vinny – the journalist receives a hint that it is not a suicide but murder. What happens next? How the find the murderer and the reason is the story. The story spans from the 1950s to 1990s, and the chapters are leafed in a nonlinear fashion.
The novel starts with the suicide/murder and takes off introducing other characters and how they are involved in the life of Nita and the death.
Characters – Nita, Vinny, Krish, Kavita, Roma and a few others. Each character is different; each character has a motivation. Down the line, when I was immersed in other characters, slightly I was confused, though.
The plot and conflict — An excellent plot that’s written well. I loved the way the author handled the plot and the conflicts planned.
The pacing is surprising slow but still keeps you hooked throughout.
The setting and the world building goes way back to 1950s and my mind created a big old bungalow with antique sets. I was teleported!
The best part is the dialogues, very crisp and snappy. Very intriguing. The one-page poems here and there were placed so right.
The craft – The author has done a fabulous job. I loved reading the novel, for an Indian writer who is looking at opportunities to read good books to improve oneself – this book is such a treat. Every single sentence is crafted with acute care, each and every word is included to make sense. The author and the editor have done a good job. I would suggest this book to upcoming writers; lot’s to learn from Deepti.
Overall – I loved reading this book. The plot and the way the author has written the book are commendable. I’m looking forward to reading more from the author.

Dancing with Demons: Book Review

Indeed an enticing cover and title different from usual rom-coms, and the blurb says that the novel is based on ‘boxing’ which is new to me as a reader, and hence I picked this book for review when The Book Club offered.
Excellent characterization – be it Karan or Sonia, the author has fleshed the characters pretty well. Especially Sonia, her character resonates with the reader in you for hours together post reading.
A beautiful novel with the events that concoct to keep the reader in you engaged. The author has done justice for the time spent on this novel. A sheer recommendations for a light read in one go. The chapters are knit well, fast and intriguing throughout. Very well written novel.
There were interesting details about the rule and regulations of boxing which amused me to a great extent.
The novel is also on par with excellence with respect to grammar and sentence structure, the editor deserves a good pat on his/her back for this. Tremendous job!
The only disappointing factor is the abrupt ending, otherwise a very promising novel by the author. Looking forward to read more by the author.