Good Morning Juice


As my boyfriend shakes me awake from my slumber,

Grumbling, groggily out from the bed I clumber.

His whispered “good morning, love”, gets a grunt back,

His morning cheeriness makes me want to give his head a thwack.


I brush my teeth and splash some water on my face,

Now the grogginess with annoyance has been replaced.

Angry to have to live in the societal construct of a nine-to-five,

Annoyed that this job is what I have to do to stay alive.


Showered and in fresh clothes I am dressed,

“You look pretty”, boyfriend sweetly expressed.

He smiles and I want to throw my shoe at him,

On a Monday, how is he happy and not dim?


On the table, the breakfast he has laid,

I smell something which makes me less dismayed.

Do my hair hurriedly and towards the smell I quicken,

For the first time since I woke up, I feel my pulse kicking.


Grabbing the mug with both my hands,

I take a large gulp and feel my brain expand.

I sit down and drain the mug all the way through,

Holding it out for a refill, I say, “good morning to you too”.

5 Glasses


I pour myself a drink. I swirl the contents of my glass with each sip of the amber liquid. Pretend that I am in a crowded bar with my girlfriends on a Saturday evening. Maybe even hold the gaze of that boy at the bar and then look away.

I pour myself a second drink. Stretch out on my couch with my head back and arms hanging over the sides. Imagining, that if this were the 1800s, this is how I would pose on this couch for my portrait to be painted. Perhaps, spread my legs a little wider than socially acceptable and watch the painter lose his grip on his paintbrush and mop his brow nervously.

I pour myself a third drink. My skin feels a little warm so it seems perfectly acceptable to strip down to my bra and panties. I should have gotten up to close the curtains but I haven’t felt the heat of a man’s gaze in a long time. Perhaps, an occasional voyeur would look in through the window and get a shock to his groin.

I pour myself a fourth drink. Think about how horrified my mother would be to see me in my current state of undress, with my legs spread wide enough to fit two people. Probably call my aunt and tell her to look for a man who would make an honest woman out of me before it is too late.

I pour myself a fifth drink. My skin now feels very warm; so warm that if I shut my eyes tight, I can almost imagine that someone is spooning me. Holding me close. Lulling me to sleep with his warm breath on the nape of my neck. I just have to shut my eyes tight and it becomes real. Real enough to beat down the insomnia and make me fall asleep.

Comforting Dreams


These days, I often find myself touch-starved.

There is a hole in my heart where loneliness sits,

On some days, on life, I would like to call quits.


I tell myself that this is just a bad phase.

Everyone is having a rough go with things,

Loneliness is biting everyone, leaving a sting.


Video calls and virtual dates are trying to compensate,

For the missed hugs and conversations over a shared plate;

But they always fall short of making the loneliness abate.


But this is a phase nonetheless.

I may crib, I may become glum,

But through this, I will have to slum.


So I might as well do things I like.

Work in my pyjamas all day long,

Eat whenever for no time is wrong.


I did once wish to be at home for undefined periods.

Today, it is being offered to me on a platter,

Just with no real, but only virtual chatter.


Yeah, we miss our friends and we miss the cinema popcorn,

Yeah, it sucks not having been held by your girlfriend,

But a few more months, and this would all end.


These days, I often find myself touch-starved.

But close my eyes tight and right behind my eyelids,

Is a pyrotechnic display of everything the pandemic forbid.

Paint me


If I had to do a self-portrait of myself before I met you, it would have been composed of only two colours – black and white.

But I met you. I met you and I felt like adding a new colour to my self-portrait. I added purple.

I loved talking to you so much that I decided to customise notifications for your messages on my phone – every time that you would text, my phone would emit a soft, purple colour. And because I cherished talking to you, I began to associate purple with happy.

I then added another colour. I added yellow.

We were out for dinner one evening when I said something and you gave me this dazzling, blinding smile. And it reminded me of the sun because I have never been able to look at the sun without needing to shield my eyes first. The sun, like your smile, is blindingly bright.

I then added another colour. I added red.

I was at your place one evening. It was late and we were both exhausted. You had just taken a shower and you were pressed up close to me. I could feel the warmth emanating from your skin, and see the water droplets sliding down your still wet hair and slip inside your t-shirt. It was quiet besides the humming of the overhead fan. Your fingers slid towards mine and entangled with them. It was then I felt an emotion which has since ages been depicted by the colour red. I felt love.

Finally, I added two more colours to my self-portrait. I added green and blue.

Of late, spending time with you and being around you was akin to lying on the green grass in an open field and staring at the blue sky dotted with clouds above. Being with you was calming. It was relaxing. It was freeing.

So now, when I re-did my self-portrait and sat it beside the one that I had done before I met you, I felt my hands tremble. The contrast between the two was loud: the one earlier was dull and looked like someone who was merely surviving her life. The one now was colourful and looked like someone who was living her life.

You blew life into me with colours. You pushed away the black and white, and painted me in hues of red and yellow, and purple and green and blue. You painted me beautiful. You painted me worthy of being a Bob Ross painting. And if that doesn’t make you twice as beautiful, then I don’t know what does.

I have to do it


I have to do it, I have to.


A man dropped a candy wrapper on the sidewalk,

And bent down to pick it up.

He felt compelled to keep it clean around his block,

So he himself, cleaned up.


I have to do it, I have to.


That is what you would do too, yes?

You would clean up after yourself.

You wouldn’t be okay with dirtiness,

Otherwise, you would hate yourself.


I have to do it, I have to.


I hate dirty things and I hate dirty surroundings.

They must be cleaned, they have to be cleaned.

People who don’t clean-up are astounding,

They are the worst, they are the fiends.


I have to do it, I have to.


I can’t stand dirtiness,

It makes my body shake.

Headaches with stress,

My head is going to break.


I have to do it, I have to.


Talking to people has never been easy for me,

So I can’t tell them to clean-up after they are done.

It is amazing that they ignore even after they see,

They just walk off with no cares under the sun.


I have to do it, I have to.


I tried to ignore it, I tried so hard.

But there is a heavy sense of impending doom.

If it remains dirty, I will be scarred,

Dirty equals something bad happening soon.


I have to do it, I have to.


So I clean-up after the people have left,

But that makes me really very angry.

That with clean everything they’re blessed,

But they can’t pick up the wrapper of a candy.


I have to do it, I have to.


But, if they leave things dirty,

That means they are dirty too.

I must clean everything dirty,

And that includes them too.


I have to do it, I have to.


So I get the supplies, I get the plastic,

I am now ready to begin the cleansing.

Some chloroform and concentrated acid,

It is time to begin the rinsing.


I have to do it, I have to.


I cover the bathtub with the plastic,

And shove in the person to be cleaned.

Unscrew the bottles and pour the acid,

Skin sizzling is skin being cleaned.


I have to do it, I have to.

Not Maktub


Maktub: an Arabic word that stands for “it was written”


I was fifteen and my relatives asked me what I wanted to be,

“A cardiothoracic surgeon,” my eager ass said enthusiastically.

My Uncle got excited and an anatomy book he gifted me;

I started prepping for the medical entrance exam actively.

My father paid a lot of money to get me good coaching,

I paid him back by sleeping during my morning classes.

Reading fanfiction under tables even with exams approaching,

Doing everything wrong to throw away my paid chances.


Obviously, med school told me no,

And I know what led to this rejection.

Not Maktub, but my actions steered in woe,

It is my doing that resulted in this dejection.

I could have chosen to give the exam another shot,

Or I could have chosen to do something new.

My choice decides on which path I would trot,

Not Maktub, but my choice decides my next view.


I could be in the inside of an operating room,

Or I could be hunched over a laptop, writing.

Nothing was written when I emerged from the womb,

I choose whether I want to down whining or fighting.

Destiny isn’t written but in a process of being written;

Every day you hold the pen and you scribble on the paper.

You decide whether you want a puppy or a kitten,

You decide whether the pasta needs more cheese for flavour.


You could argue that it is Maktub that I would make that choice,

But I think that with each day we learn and that affects what we would choose.

My journey isn’t static, it is dynamic and in an active voice,

Each time I fall, it is a fresh choice between getting up and moaning over the bruise.

If there is destiny, you are writing it.

If there is luck, you are making it.

From your choices, your actions take cue;

It has never been Maktub, it has always been you.

Birth of Sadness


I have a proclivity for over-thinking,

I like to believe that I am a fortune teller.

But my predictions are in negativity sinking.

Like everyone who pretends to see the future,

I too use negativity to threaten the user.


At night when I am curled up on my side,

I think of things that would be my worst nightmare.

Within minutes, my thoughts have me teary-eyed;

And like a masochist, I revel in the pain,

I love playing the victim again and again.


I want to feel sorry for myself,

Be the one the world has scorned.

A sad attempt to cover myself,

With the veil of attention I so desire.

For attention, I’d light my own pyre.


I make up scenarios and play them out,

Like a three hour long film no one would see.

Cry until someone asks me what it is all about;

Wet my eyes some more, for now, it is the time,

To convince that against me the world has done a crime.


I have friends who are by my side in a second,

A boyfriend who puts up with my moods.

“Touchwood”; I have the good blessings.

So pretence is how I make myself feel sad,

A victim is only the one, who in tears is clad.


I have a proclivity for over-thinking,

I like to believe that I am a fortune teller.

Make myself sad so people look at me with hearts sinking,

“Poor child, what a difficult life fate has dealt for her”,

But the difficulty is only from the despair my thoughts stir.

Hate and Desecrate


I have often wondered,

How people are able to hate their ex,

After months of being under,

Their love, affection, and sex.

How do you stop caring,

And asking them where they are?

How you go from sharing to swearing,

And forget the way their fingers played the guitar?

How do you stop worrying about them,

And asking them whether they had dinner?

Because you know after a day wearying,

All they would want is a bottle of liquor.

Can you forget their pet’s birthday,

Or their parent’s anniversary?

Remember how you joined your hands to pray,

When they underwent a minor surgery?

Remember how you mirrored their breathing,

When they were fast asleep in your arms?

Remember when you were tired and sleeping,

And they would repeatedly snooze the alarm?

Do you remember all those little things,

Which made you fall in love over and over?

Do you remember how you wanted that ring,

And forever rest your head on their shoulders?

With all of this and a lot more,

How are you even able to hate?

From adore you went to abhor;

Those memories you’re trying to desecrate.

3 am


My thoughts keep going back to the book that I was reading,

I imagine myself playing a major role in the book’s ending.

Thinking that the protagonist wouldn’t be the protagonist if there was me,

That I would have rescued the prisoners and still made it home in time for tea.


At this point, I usually check my phone to see the time,

Seeing that it’s 3 am makes me feel like I have committed a crime.

Broken my promise to try and sleep at normal hours,

Knowing that the dark circles are here to stay, make me feel sour.


But its 3 am, so hungry is what I feel,

Instant noodles at this hour is the real meal.

But as I am waiting for the water to boil,

My brain starts unwrapping thoughts from a different coil.


I start worrying about the email that I had sent earlier in the day,

Putting “regards” instead of “warm regards” causes me dismay.

And suddenly I feel bad for eating,

Because on my diet, I was cheating.


Diet reminds me that I haven’t exercised in a while,

Allowed this quarantine to add extra pounds to my profile.

Promise myself that I will start exercising from tomorrow,

Which was something as likely as me licking my own elbow.


Licking reminds me of ice-cream dates,

And dates remind me of that boy that I’ve been talking to off late.

And the dinner date that we had last night,

Though virtual, he had my cheeks blushing and my eyes bright.


Realizing that the water has started boiling,

I add the noodles into the water scalding.

Stir while humming a song I don’t recognise,

Gone are the thoughts of a diet and exercise.


Transferring the contents from the pot into a bowl,

Through Netflix I start to scroll.

Selected a movie that was three hours long,

Because at this point, isn’t the night where I truly belong?

Happy Endings


I met a boy one fine December evening,

When from a heartbreak I was grieving.

But my friends forced me to take a chance,

Play yet another hand in the game of romance.


So I went online and tried my hand,

None of the profiles seemed any grand.

But this boy I met because he seemed sweet,

More of a friend than someone who’d make me feel complete.


He was understanding and lovely,

Very wholesome and funny.

In him, I saw nothing more than a friend,

But he broke through my walls and helped my heart mend.


He held my hands and kissed my forehead,

My heart was soaring, my lips were cherry red.

So much more than a friend; he became a part of my soul,

This boy that I met had made me feel whole.


From then on, every day became a good day,

I knew he was the one who’d stay.

My parents loved the way he made me smile,

It was evident from how joyous my father was to walk me down the aisle.


We adopted a beautiful boy,

And two rescue dogs who added to the joy.

This was the life that I had dreamed about,

On those long nights when heartbreak had made me bawl out.


A few years had passed,

As a family, joy had amassed.

For once, the sky was clear;

For once, my loved ones were near.


But then he came home one day,

For me, he had got a large bouquet.

He thought that the bouquet would mask the fact,

That his shirt reeked of strawberry extract.


My perfume didn’t smell of strawberries;

To explain the smell, he started making up stories.

I could feel everything around me crashing down,

And yet once more, I looked like a clown.


Of course, he had found someone new;

Someone who fit better in my shoes.

But this time, my heart wasn’t the only thing that broke;

His spine too, as I pushed him off the balcony with a small poke.


But it was an accident, I swear;

Just like how the smell of strawberries don’t necessarily mean an affair.

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