Walking After You | #AtoZChallenge

It may have been because I told you so much about myself in my drunken haze the other night that I was making extra effort not to get personal over the conversations we had afterwards. Even over the texts we exchanged on Friday nights. It had become a habit now – you’d text me on Fridays and we’d talk late into the night about things that didn’t matter.

Tonight, among all those inconsequential topics, you slipped in one of consequence. I didn’t press, I didn’t ask you to clarify if you meant what I thought you meant, but I understood.

Do you know the story about the boy who, as he waited for the bus one afternoon, found himself thinking about a girl he knew? She walked right into his thoughts, on nimble toes when he was not looking. As the days passed, he began to wonder what she would think about the things he liked, if she would approve of them. He wanted her opinion about little things, yet he never asked her. He held himself back. Then he found himself thinking about her at the quiet hour of 3 am. Even the lethargic hour of 3 pm.

I read that story a while ago, but it reminded me of our Friday nights, of how you first began that tradition. I pictured you as the boy and laughed it off. Where did that thought come from, I wondered then.

Now I knew.


It was around 8.30 in the evening and I blurted out the first thing I could think of. “Can we meet?”


Hi everyone! I’m working on a minimalist fiction project for this year’s #AtoZChallenge. The story will be shared in snippets, and the events occur non-sequentially. It is for the reader to interpret and form the “whole”. You can read all the posts here. Join me, and do share links to your AtoZ posts as well!



Once Upon a Playground Rainy | #AtoZChallenge

What does it take, I muse, for someone as detached as me to fall in love? 

The way you always make breakfast, even when I’d tell you to sleep in.
The way you stealthily click a photograph on Sunday mornings, with my hair in a messy bun and crusts of sleep still around my eyes.
The way you sometimes look at me when I’m standing at the checkout counter at the store. The  way you peek at the girl behind me thinking I wouldn’t notice (Oh, I notice everything!)
The way your face looks concerned and amused at the same time when I wobble unsteadily after I sit for too long, causing my legs to fall asleep.
The way your sentences are peppered with certain words pronounced just a wee bit differently, and how those words entered my own sentences that same way.
The way our eyes have the same downward slant, and the way my fingers link with yours, like they were moulded together some ancient lifetimes ago.

In a moment, dusk turned to night, and in another, the first stars of the evening disappeared behind storm clouds and lightning. The last of the people left, rushing to find a shelter from the rain. You asked, “Home or stay?”

“Stay,” I replied.

So we stayed. And we got thoroughly drenched in the way that you loved.

Hi everyone! I’m working on a minimalist fiction project for this year’s #AtoZChallenge. The story will be shared in snippets, and the events occur non-sequentially. It is for the reader to interpret and form the “whole”. You can read all the posts here. Join me, and do share links to your AtoZ posts as well!


Someday I’ll write an AtoZ series using only POTF songs as titles. It will be mine and Marko Saaresto’s epic love story 😛 ❤ (If you follow me on Instagram, yes, this is what I was day-dreaming about last week.)

Funeral | #AtoZChallenge

Aren’t we a selfish bunch!

Oh, I don’t mean you or me. I mean the human race. We always think of ourselves first. No matter what the catastrophe, big, small, medium, we ask if it affects us in any way. Most of the time, we decide it doesn’t, and continue to think about our own lives and be self-absorbed.

But there’s no excuse for how we behaved on that particular day.

We had begun to describe the “self” as the two of us. And the resulting selfishness was ours to share and feel small about.

In life, you wade through a few bad relationships and get convinced each time you try again, you’re only setting yourself up for another heartbreak. It’s this pessimism that gives way to fears of jinxes and speaking too soon, like how some women hide their pregnancies until they’ve crossed the three-month mark. So far, we had told none of our friends about us. It was swelling up on the inside, the weight of this secret. We expressed disbelief that it wasn’t plain on our guilty faces for everyone to see. It was worse that we didn’t really want to keep it a secret, and we wouldn’t have if it weren’t for the “fear”. It was a bad itch, like living with sewed lips, because we didn’t want to blurt anything out. But blurt it out we did.

At Sara’s father’s funeral.

There was an air of sorrow all around. Her father lay in a casket placed in a small room in a corner of their house. It was just our group, Sara’s closest friends, that refused to step in to the room and pay our respects. Were we afraid suddenly of death? Was the grief sucking out our newfound joy? Or had we just held it in for far too long?

When we told her, Sara should have punched us in our faces for our insensitivity. She didn’t. She smiled through her tears and told us she was happy for us. Our other friends murmured in half-hearted agreement, even as they reproachfully looked at us with the words, “How could you reveal this today?” unsaid but heavy in the space between us. They also chose not to punch us in our faces. Sara went a notch further and said the two of us getting together called for celebration. The worst thing was that she wasn’t being sarcastic. This only made us feel smaller than we already did.

We made excuses. We said we were trying to cheer Sara up with some happy news during this terrible time. But in the end, we knew they were right. What were we thinking? Oh, that’s right. About ourselves.



Hi everyone! I’m working on a minimalist fiction project for this year’s #AtoZChallenge. The story will be shared in snippets, and the events occur non-sequentially. It is for the reader to interpret and form the “whole”. You can read all the posts here. Join me, and do share links to your AtoZ posts as well!


Moth to a Flame

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There’s no silence to be had
Between us, or so my instincts claim.
You rarely let me in even so,
Should I then try again?

Your glass is full of stories
Of your friends and your fame.
I’ve tried to wade in twice or more,
Gone against the grain.

Standoffish are you, or merely quiet?
Indifference, or am I a reminder of an old pain?
A puzzle, a mystery, so enticing.
So tell me, do I dare try again?

Linking to dVerse Poets OLN

This poem earned me the title of Blogstar on BlogChatter!


Hopeless Romantic: Part 1 – Tokens


There was a time when I thought of myself as a hopeless romantic. Even as I wrote endless reports on Shakespeare’s villains for school or wrote about gruesomely severed heads to amuse myself, my secret ambition was to write a love story of epic proportions. And when no one was looking, I would let the facade crumble and write poems of love (which sound horribly cheesy now) on the lines of “I haven’t found you yet.”

All of this was before I became the hopeless cynic that I am now.

One of the reasons why I was a hopeless romantic was, I think, because unlike everyone else I knew, I was single (is single too heavy a word to be assigned to teenagers?), and the proverbial grass beckoned me like the glint of green glass. My grandmother and her sister firmly believed I was destined to die an old maid, and my academic achievements were therefore null and void. We are, sadly, after all, raised to believe that if you do not find a Prince Charming for a companion, you’re worthless. It took a lot of years for me to come out of that demeaning mindset, but the day they uttered that “prophecy”, I think a part of me believed all of life was meaningless, and everyone I knew had something that I did not. But I digress.

One day, while helping a friend choose a birthday present for another friend, I found myself looking at a greeting card. A simple one, no fancy fonts or glittery picture. All it said was “For you”. It appealed to the romantic in me, and I thought if there was a chance in hell that I wouldn’t die an old maid, then this would be something to gift whoever it was I hadn’t found yet. I bought the card, and kept it hidden in a notebook.

That was the first in a series of “tokens” I bought. My fairy tale idea of love was cemented with each token I bought, fed and watered by all the notions pop culture offered. More song lyrics, more secret poetry followed. All of it hidden in the same notebook with the greeting cards, quotes and sometimes, even old bits of gift wrapping paper, if they happened to have hearts on them.

That picture of me isn’t something I can relate to today, over a decade later. A few years ago, I was back home, in my old room, and decided to throw all the tokens away. I just decided it wasn’t me, and all those bits had no place in my life. Interestingly, I could not find the notebook. Maybe somebody found it, had a hearty laugh and threw it out. I can’t say.

Or maybe, it will turn up years later, when I’m older, to remind me who I used to be – full of wide-eyed innocence and dreams of impractical puppy love.




Dear Heart, Why Did You?


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Dear Heart, why did you love him?

Because all you said is,

Look at me,

And he replied with a kiss on your lips.

Dear Heart, why did that shake you?

But my dear, it did not,

Nor did I skip a beat;

What it did was make the universe crack and stop.

Dear Heart, tell me more, remind me again,

Why, my dear, how could I,

Love like that doesn’t happen twice,

All I have are his eyes and a collection of your smiles

Dear Heart, why do you hurt me so?

My dear, in desperation, I found nothing but to leave,

For you, I will preserve,

Clasped hands in a car and an apology.

And dear heart, why did you tell me to let go?

That, my dear, is what I never learned.


Of Regrets In Love

You remember being young and reckless, never hurt, never believing you ever would be. You remember shouting out to summer winds and winter blizzards about having lived a life with no regrets. You know now that you were wrong. That you are only now learning what regrets truly are. And you’re learning what regrets are not.

You learn regret isn’t that pang caused by unannounced flashbacks to those one night stands that drenched you fibre by fibre in shame and guilt. They peel off.

Regret isn’t that one-sided love affair you, when you built a sculpture of someone who did not exist, except in your imagination. You put the sculpture on a pedestal so high that the sun hurt your eyes when you looked at it. Regret isn’t loving that someone. It isn’t not telling them how you feel. It isn’t telling them either.

Regret isn’t a missed chance – two people in love with each other on either ends of a timeline.

Regret isn’t being with the wrong person. There are no regrets in lessons you learn, no matter how long it took.

Regret isn’t even sleeping next to the one person in this world who makes you feel the loneliest every single night, even when their breathing patterns are as familiar to you as your own…

Regret is having to make yourself forget the world exists, day by day, second by grating second.

Regret is having to listen to the loudest music, so you can’t hear the pain of your bleeding heart.

Regret is getting a whiff of a familiar fragrance, and having to shut your eyes against the tears that threaten to spill.

Regret is burying yourself in a pile of books, just so you could shut reality out, live in a warm world of fantasy, where the dragons are real within the pages, and outside is something that momentarily stops being.

Regret is forcing yourself to think of the worst memories you had with that one person you miss every day, because sometimes happier memories threaten to appear like shooting stars across your dark thoughtscape. You cannot let that happen. You think. All the time. Even when you’re talking to people, you’re immersed. Elsewhere. Constantly thinking. You lose yourself in your own thoughts, because the din of the real world keeps rising like a tide, and you would do everything in your power to keep it down. You think, so that you don’t have to think.

Regret is wearing the truth like skin, that you had everything you wanted, but you chose to be a coward. That’s the skin does not shed. Like the cells that never regenerate. Truth, stuck to you like a migraine-causing odour.

Regret is knowing that happiness comes in small black boxes, like surprises that you least expect. And once you foolishly let go, it’s gone.