How to be a smartphone

1. Connect to hundreds (or thousands, if you can) of other smartphones through Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram. For the definition of a smartphone, read the rest of this list.

2. See a fraction (say 10%, not more) of population in point 1 in real life.

3. Love yourself. Befriend the selfie, and if possible the velfie. Aspire to be the new-age Narcissus. You may not be alone in this quest, but you will survive the cut-throat competition. Whatever happens, strive to be the best.

4. Brighten the Narcissus halo by broadcasting daily snippets from the life of your companion (a.k.a. smartphone owner). From the time said companion wakes up till he crashes to bed. If you wish to be a smarter smartphone, automate to broadcast events during sleep.

5. Load yourself with apps that improve productivity, which in turn will give you more time to spend on said apps.

6. Buzz / beep every minute to remind your companion of your existence.

7. Capture companion’s data w/o his knowledge so it can be reused to create his digital clone. Flesh and bones can be loaded later.

8. Guide companion when he’s lost. I mean geographically. For help with any other kind of lost, point him to Google.

9. Become companion’s soulmate. To do this, follow steps 2-8.

100 Days of Happy Poems, Poem 4


Why I pick books at a bookstore

1. Because the blurb on the back cover made it irresistible.
2. Because I flipped to a random page and liked what I read.
3. Because the cover was dreamy, trippy or plain intriguing.
4. Because the font size was okay; I would not need a magnifying glass.
5. Because it virtually leapt off the bookshelf, ‘Read me, read me.’
6. Because I’d spent 30 minutes through the first 5 chapters and could not put the book down.
Amazon / Flipkart, you’d never get me to do any of this.
100 Days of Happy Poems, Poem 3

Another poetry challenge

Today I start a new poetry challenge: 100 days of happy poems. Yes, you read that right. It’s bloody tough writing 100 poems sharing happiness. Without a touch of gloom or anything negative. Let’s see how this goes.

Thanks to Bharath, a brilliant poet from Bangalore, for starting this.



Tented Spaces

Our tent is littered
with backpacks whose bellies have been ripped out,
with a notepad chronicling our adventure so far,
with sleeping bags curled like commas to optimize this space,
with shoes whose soles are caked with equal portions of mud and rain,
with dri-fit tees still damp from the evening shower,
with sunscreen lotions whose effectiveness cannot be judged yet,
with a Swiss knife that has been reduced to being a bottle opener thus far,
with bamboo cups from which we swigged apong earlier tonight.

Outside, a bonfire dies out,
its flames searching desperately for an unburnt twig.
Smoke mingles with fog while the moon looks down on paddy fields.

Inside the tent,
our bodies fill unoccupied spaces
like water slithering between rocks.

We drift into each other’s dreams,
waking only when the air inside
warms up with the sun.


I discovered electricity when I touched you.

When the tingle in my skin echoed with the one in yours.
When sparks flew off our tongues
and created electric arcs.

When the jigsaw of your back fit into my arms.

I discovered electricity
when our bodies fused into each other,
and not a single ray of light got through to the other side.

When fingers invented a secret language seen by everyone,
the walkers in the park,
the commuters on the bus,
the joggers taking in the morning sea breeze
while we stared at the concrete tetrapods the city had poured on the shore
to prevent itself from drowning.

When bodies became conduits to transfer passion.

When we navigated each other maps,
when we saw that the bend in the road
did not go hurtling down.

I discovered electricity
when we scraped the bottom of our souls,
unearthing stories buried under years of wilful forgetting,
and offered it to the other,
unedited, unchiseled.
Not a word out of place.

I discovered electricity
when I had deciphered the last symbol in your breath,
when we crashed into each other, wave after wave,
when we left fingerprints on each other,
not caring to wipe our presence from the scene of the crime.

I am only learning to harness all that I have discovered.