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As I turn off the lights on a Sunday evening, it’s dark and the only sound is of the dishwasher running. I pad around the house, filling up my water bottle for the night. Yawning, I crash into bed, ready for the world of dreams to take me. Right before I drift off, I have a sudden thought… I wonder what my apartment would think, if it could think at all. Does it have a life, rich in thought, full of stories? What would that be like?

Here is what I imagine.

Perhaps the house comes alive in…

Back when landlines were popular, we would ring 022–25635866

TB Subramanian’, he would answer.

Thatha!’, one of us would exclaim. ‘Cholu Konde’, he would say without skipping a heart beat.

Veshti clad, vibuthi sporting, filter kaapi drinking — our thatha was a man of quiet strength.

All those who rang his door bell would be greeted by his beaming face, saying ‘Welcome, Welcome’.

His name has an interesting origin. The TB in TB Subramanian is short for Thirumalai Kozhundupuram Bhaskara Subramanian. The first two names are indicative of his hometown, the third is in memory of his father, Bhaskara and…

In the midst of a pandemic, we made a dream come true. With travel regulations eased in Europe over the summer, we managed to sneak in a ten day long road trip to Iceland, a place that has been on my bucket list since about forever.

There is a lot I could say about the wondrous beauty of the place, the breath taking landscape, the incredible natural phenomena. But those ten days in Iceland left an imprint deeper than just that.

Mind you, as far as tourism goes, every day astounded me and I ticked off a plethora of firsts…

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Pitter patter rain drops,
The Earth smells anew
My dreams take flight,
Veering close enough to be true.

Could I be someone else?
Alternate realities, I imagine, I dare
A life where I am content
Someday, somehow, somewhere.

Conviction fills me, somedays,
Where fulfilment feels close
An end to the monotony,
Will it come, who knows?

A game of chance,
A travesty of fate
What the future brings,
is but an outcome of the choices I make.

Photo by Margarita Zueva on Unsplash

On Catharsis and Pomegranates

Take your life apart, like a pomegranate deseed,
Get your hands dirty, let every secret be revealed.

Watch your life kernels as they tumble and fall apart
Bloody and raw, coming straight from the heart.

See the imprint of the past, ingrained on the husk,
Free it from your self made cage, free it you must.

Stay focused, follow the brightness of the sun
Don’t hold back, let yourself come undone.

Crimson smudged, bloody, doubtless you will tire.
But try and persevere, and in reward you will rewire.

In the breaking, the unbecoming, you will surely find
A spurt of growth, almost a reincarnation of a kind.

Photo by Match Sùmàyà on Unsplash

Smoke billows from the incense stick, snaking its way to the ceiling.
In it is my mother, a whiff of home, a creature comfort calling.

Some spices smell like family, hidden in a nook or corner
Unfamiliar is this feeling; of adulthood likening you a foreigner.

The days go on, like clockwork they come routine clad
Keep pretending now, don’t let up on this grand charade.

Wake up, show up, do what is always expected.
Go home, or what should be home, alone and exhausted.

A little life you can build, a place to call your own.
Your new world with new friends, aren’t you still alone?

Photo by Manyu Varma on Unsplash

Is love enough to make a life?
Are thoughts enough to make up your mind?

Can Destiny’s hands preempt all that is?
Is it conscious action or divine providence?

With grace, with courage, onward we go.
We think, we believe. But will we ever know?


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I’m not a statistic, a number
Confined to a title or grade.
Not an occurrence to study,
A stick figure to mutilate.

I’m not my nationality, nor ethnicity,
Not my height, my weight.
I’m not a toy at your feet,
A delicacy on your plate.

I’m not a plastic doll,
A puppet at your disposal
I’m not, I am not,
Another horse on your carousel.

I’m not to be studied,
To be examined, to be explained
I’m a universe, an experience
That you can never assuage.

I’m not this body, this hair,
Bones, nails and teeth.
I’m infinite, boundless,
Whose magnitude makes you seethe.

Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

In the soft sheen of rain,
Strangers shuffle to and fro
Jettison your worries and cares,
As you watch them come and go.

Caress your weary face,
Rest your broken heart.
Watch the world move on,
Even as you fall apart.

Let yourself come undone,
No more strength to be ashamed.
Give yourself over now,
Tomorrow brings a clean slate.

Photo by Kai Pilger on Unsplash

No, it doesn’t have to be today,
o, it doesn’t have to be now.
No, it doesn’t have to be the best,
And no, noone knows why or how.

No, you cannot avoid it,
And no, you cannot ever escape.
No, I know it’s not easy,
But you cannot blame Fate.

No, it doesn’t have to be like the others,
Yes, being you is just fine.
But no, I don’t have a solution,
This is fully yours to define.

And no, it will never be simple,
nd yes, perfection is a lie.
But no, you have to listen:
You are what makes your life.

Srividya Bhaskar

Reflections on life, travel, sunflowers and twenty something things.

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