Look at the clock – it’s almost nine!
What were you thinking staying out till this time?
What are you wearing?
Where had you gone?
And why are you so late?
Your skirt is too short –
cover up your legs!
I’m sure you’ve attracted all the wrong sorts of attention
People on the streets
lurking late at night
Don’t trust the cabbie
Don’t talk to strangers
Pull up your top-
Your cleavage shows!
Don’t buy tight tops
or tight jeans
tight clothes
tight tight – your body shows
And all the men will look at you
and they might come to rape you
But ofcourse
they won’t rape you or even look at you
If the shape of your body is all covered up
Because then they won’t know
You have what they want.
Live in fear.
Every time you step out, or talk to someone
Have that fear.
Home is where you are safest.
Because home is where you can trust.
Because we, elders, know it all.
Always listen to us,
Because we know
how the world works
We are always right because we are older
You do not know
the things that happen nowadays
You are young
and therefore unwise, foolish even.

– Oh, but what if I told you
I knew?
What if I told you
I knew that the devil
does not wear his name on his sleeve
He hides behind the mask of a trusted face
What if I told you
I have faced what you tell me to fear?
And I have known that fear
perhaps better than you?
And what if I told you that
sometimes strangers are not strange
but familiar
That home is not always
where I am safest
And that trust is a thing
so broken, battered, abused
it is on-existent almost?
But there are things I don’t know
for instance –
How can you look me in the eye,
flawed as you are,
wrongs that you have done,
lies that you’ve covered,
secrets that you’ve kept,
and judge ME
in a way that you would never dare judge yourself?
How do you pretend?
How do you live?
But I guess loyalty and courage
integrity and honesty
mean little in the “adult” world
where putting up a facade
of piety and purity
while practising all that you preach against
Is the only twisted truth there is.

And I will strive everyday of my life
as the years go by and I am myself an ‘elder’
to never, never, never become a hypocrite
Like you.

Post script: This is more like a stream of consciousness kind of thing, more than a proper poem. I don’t really write too much poetry. If the poem sounds bitter – it is.

Play – A Poem

“Let me play with you.” he said,

She looked at him and smiled.

“Why yes, of course, I’ll get my dolls-“

You are my beautiful little doll,”

he said, and wound his hands

around her in an iron grip.

“But what are we playing, at this time?”

Playing without playthings.

But he is looking, looking – at his


And then he began to play with her

a game she didn’t know,

So she tried to smile, she tried to laugh

But she didn’t understand why anyone

would ever treat their doll this way.

On television she’d seen

the grown ups play like this

And so she asked him if

this was a game he and Grandma played?

“Because if it is, I’d rather you played with her instead-“

But he told her not to feel too bad,

because it was a normal game to play,

He told her it was because he loved her

that he played with her this way.

“But stop, I don’t wan’t to play,” she said

He stopped, he smiled, then said,

“I’m too old to play with you anyway.”

Cupcake Emergency – A Short Story

I simply love cupcakes. I can eat them anytime, anywhere.My favourite is of course, red velvet with cream cheese icing. I don’t know why, but eating cupcakes just makes me very, very happy. Every time we have cupcake sales in college (or anywhere, for that matter), I make it a point to pick up the company’s card or take down a number to call for orders.
So one evening, my cousin and I were craving for cupcakes. This was no ordinary craving, it was a gut-wrenching, brain-freezing, I-want-it I-need-it sort of craving. One step below a pregnant-woman-craving kind of craving. There were no good places that sold cupcakes around, but we just had to get some.
I ran upstairs to our bedroom, and pulled out the bunch of cards and numbers that I’d been collecting in my wallet. I spread them out on the bed, and picked the best. She was a college student, who made home deliveries. And the red velvets she made were absolutely beautiful, topped with thick cream cheese icing and cute, coloured sprinkles.
I ran down with her number in hand, and picked up the phone.
“So how many would you like?” she asked, moments later.
My cousin and I exchanged sheepish looks as I said, “Six?”
“Is this for someone’s birthday?”
“Okay, when shall I deliver them?”
“In a few hours?”
“Uh-” she sounded a bit taken aback. But then I guessed she heard the plea and urgency in my voice.
“Okay, then. Where should I get them?”
Five hours or so later, I was standing outside the house, pacing up and down. Our craving hadn’t abated, it had grown with the wait.
I was getting restless, when a car pulled up in front of me. A girl got out, a brown box in her hand. She looked at me and said my name questioningly. I nodded vigorously, smiling. “The cupcakes?”
“Yeah, got them!” She lifted the box in her hands.
“Thank you so much!” I paid her, took the box from her, and went inside. I couldn’t wait to open it and gorge.
My cousin’s eyes were shining when she opened the door. We kept the box on the table and opened the lid slowly.
There inside were six red velvet cupcakes, three topped with chocolate icing, and three topped with cream cheese icing. No sprinkles, but that was probably because of our last minute order.
We stared at them for a while, and then, without speaking, helped ourselves to one. I will never forget the joy I felt after taking that first bite. The moist, fresh cake and the thick creamy icing. Melting in my mouth. Ah, the glorious feeling of a craving satisfied.We ate in a happy, glowing silence, till there were no cupcakes left, and the table was littered with wrappers and our fingers were flecked with icing.
After even that was gone, we slumped in our seats,and sighed. I’d thought three cupcakes each would be a small number, but these were super filling and quite heavy. My cousin and I kept this incident confidential, it was our secret guilty pleasure.
I have eaten better cupcakes since then, but I will never forget how wonderful those cupcakes tasted to us on that day. They were the best, because that’s how it feels when a craving is satisfied.