It is fun for me

to challenge myself

Every day of the week

to write to the prompts provided

Some days what I write

finds resonance with others

But there are days,

when what I write

If not exactly deplorable,

Is nothing to be proud of

And yet, post I must

Is it a compulsion or an addiction!


What do you want from me?

You tie me in knots
Then I know myself not
Are we meant to be together or are we foes!

You play hide and seek
Of jealousy you reek
You so fill me with untold woes!

You make me laugh hard
You make me cry too
What you are, only god knows!

You make my heart go a flutter
You make my heart stop
You have me in passion’s throes!

I am still trying to fathom
Is it really me you want
Or am I just one of those!

What do you want from me?

Day 20: What do you want


क्या रावण जिंदा है?/ Is Raavan still alive?

क्या तुम में से किसी में रावण जिंदा है ?

राम तो बहुतों में देखा, रावण को ढूँढ रही हूँ मैं।

कलयुग में राम की सताई हुई, रावण को पूछ रही हूँ मैं।

वो राम ही है जो मुझ पर रोक-टोक लगाए,

वो राम ही तो है जो मुझे मर्यादा में रहना चेताए,

वो राम ही तो है जो पर-नारी पर जुल्म ढाए,

वो राम ही तो है जो छल कर भी मर्यादित कहलाए।

मैं दुष्ट रावण को न तलाशूँ, न ही ढूँढू पराक्रमी रावण को,

न ही अहंकारी, विनाशी और न ही कपटी रावण को।

मैं उस रावण को तलाश रही हूँ, जिसने सीता को बलात छुआ नही,

हरण तो किया उसने, पर जबरन उस पर टूटा नही।

वो रावण क्यों नही दिखता आजकल के मानुष में?

मैं ढूँढ रही हूँ ऐसा रावण, जो रहता हो मर्यादा में।

आज जब रावण को जलाओगे,

तो तुम क्या ऐसा कर पाओगे?

हठी, अधर्मी, अत्याचारी रावण को जला देना,

पर हो सके तो मर्यादित रावण को बचा लेना।

आज राम की मर्यादा से दुखी नारी को

रावण की मर्यादा की बहुत जरूरत है,

मैं ढूँढ रही हूँ जो रावण, क्या वह तुम में जिंदा है?

Is Raavan alive in any one of you?
I have seen Ram in many of you
I am looking for Raavan presently
In the present age, tortured by so called Ram, I searching for Raavan in each one of you

It is Ram who questions my every move
It is Ram who teaches me morality rules
It is Ram who is an aggressor on other women
It is Ram who cheats, yet is called perfect

I am not looking for the cruel Raavan, nor the brave one
Neither the boastful, the destructive or the wily one
I am looking for that Raavan, who did not lay a finger on Sita
He did kidnap her, but who did not force himself upon her

Why can’t I see that quality of Raavan in the men of today
I am looking for Raavan who knows what his boundaries are
Today when you burn Raavan’s effigy, could you please do this for me!

Burn the stubborn, evil and cruel Raavan
But save the Raavan who never crossed his limits
The woman today is tired of the proprietorial Ram
And needs a dignified Raavan
That Raavan that I am looking for, is he somewhere alive in anyone of you?

(After rescuing Sita from the clutches of Raavan, Ram asked Sita to prove her chastity by undergoing trial by fire. Raavan had not lain a finger on Sita while she was his captive. Ram is considered the ultimate man, whereas Raavan, licentious.)

Ram/ Raavan (revisited)

Today Dusshera/ Vijaydashmi is celebrated across India. It marks the tenth day of the festival of Durga’s stay on earth. On this day after slaying the buffalo- demon Mahisasur, she returns to her abode in Mount Kailash, thus Vijaydashmi; victory on tenth day.

It is also the day to celebrate the slaying of Raavan, the ten-headed demon king at the hands of Ram, an avatar of Vishnu and one of the major gods of the Hindu pantheon. Raavan had abducted Ram’s wife Sita. After an epic battle Ram defeated Raavan and freed Sita. Thus Dussehra symbolises the victory of good over evil. Ram is considered to be an epitome of righteousness, a paragon of virtue. Raavan was known to be a learned man and a master of arts and letters. But his pride and unquenchable thirst for power at all costs, led to his fall.

I am Ram as well as Raavan,

The tussle in me is eternal

Most times Ram triumphs,

But Raavan has his days too

Temptations abound all around

Goodness has no rewards

Evil has so many attractions,

Being good; deemed boring

I want to be Ram all the time,

But my flesh is weak and lets me down

When Raavan awakens in me,

I feel powerful, but ashamed later

I burn down Raavan inside me every now and then

But since my Ram is not fair,

Raavan oft times rears his heads

The shortcomings of Ram plague me

The lofty mind of Raavan beguiles me

This grappling between the two

Embodies choices we are given

Let’s not question Ram or Raavan

They cannot coexist peacefully together

One will win, the other lose,

So let there be Dusshera every year.

Happy Dusshera/ Vijaydashmi

Once upon a time

Let me at the outset warn you, this is far from a fairy tale. I started with the intention of writing one. In fact, I wrote two recently but after the first two lines this took a different turn and after a lot of deliberation, I have decided to share it. It is not my story. But it is the story of many and after almost a year, it has swept across India too.

Once upon a time
Not very long ago
I was a naive underling
And you were a strong satrap
I looked up to you
Idolising you in a way
Your presence in my life
Should have enriched it
But it didn’t
I felt guilty
I felt polluted and dirty
I sort of felt sorry
For falling short
I had limited options
For no one believed me
I was told it was nothing
I was lucky
And maybe it was my fault
And I should be grateful
That it was not that bad
So I pushed this far back
Into an airless, dark closet
For no one to see
Away from my eyes too
And carried on
As if nothing had happened
But the burden
Of that denial
Killed my soul a bit
Slumped my shoulders a bit
Jaded my smile a bit
For years this corpse in the closet
Though unseen
Was a miasmic cloud
In my life
So when I had the courage
To lay this stinking ghost to rest
I laid to rest my shame
Not for glory I confessed
I just wanted to stand tall
I am asked, “Why now?”
Why doesn’t someone say,
“Thank god, high time!”
But then, I did it for me
I am who I am
What you did to me
Does not define me
But it does define you
For life
Now is my happily ever after.


Day 18: Once upon a time