All posts by Bhavana

If You Ever Come Across a Monster

If you ever come across a monster
Tell him I say Hi
Tell him that I miss him
Tell him that I’m still waiting for him

If you ever come across a monster
Don’t look at him and think
That he’s ugly
Or that he’s unworthy
Or that he doesn’t deserve to exist

For he’s my friend
In fact
He’s more than my friend
He’s a part of me
That I have lost after so much pain
After so much regret
That I do not who I am
Without him

If you ever come across a monster
Don’t push him away
Chain him
And bring him to me
Because I still remember
What it was like
When he was here

It was a series of fights
Of curses and demonic chants
It was screaming
At the top of my lungs
For air
That I was wasting
It was a battle
Against what
I do not know
But it was tiring
And confusing
It was easy

If you ever come across a monster
Ask him how he is
Ask him about his latest adventures
Or conquests
About his new life
His new journey
Ask him about whether he remembers our journey
Whether he remembers all those
Long and exciting days
Filled with instability and conflict
Where everyday was a new challenge

If you ever come across a monster
Tell him how I’m doing
Tell him that I am lonely
That this is more difficult
Than having him here
Every day I wake up to sounds of aliens in my head
I hear these voices of other monsters
Trying to seep in
Tell him that I am protecting myself from them
That I am guarding myself

If you ever come across a monster
Tell him that I’m sorry
Tell him that I would give anything to have him back
Tell him that even though I am half empty
I am willing to fill myself
With all his abuse
Because then I would bleed
And I need that blood
To fill in these holes

If you ever come across a monster
Beg him to come home
To look past our history
And turn his if to a when
Because when he doesn’t return
I will not remain
For this monster
Is me

Chopping Onions.

I remember when I was younger
I looked at my mother and asked her
“What do you do?”
She smiled at me with tears in her eyes
And said
“I do what most people overlook and undermine
I nurture, I give and I care.
I am here for you when you come home from school
And I will be here until I feed you and feel you”
Little did I know that those tears were not from chopping onions.

Then, it was different
She gave me motivation for being strong and hardworking and kind
Today, too, she is a motivation
But for what I do not want to be
See, I have dreams
And goals
Ambitions of what I must do in my life
A corner office in some fancy building
Starbucks coffee in one hand and files that seem important in the other
Today, I want to fill my hands
With things to do
And to be.

But, now that I think of it
My mother’s hands were full too
Full of all this purpose and belief
But they were full only to lose
Because they wanted to give
They didn’t want to peck at the last grain of corn
Like that alien bird after a thousand mile flight
Beating for any sign of power
Of ‘empowerment’

But I hate my mother
She was worthless and a coward
She was like a flower during spring
She was always there as one among so many
Beautiful, yes, but weak, nonetheless
Mundane and overdone
Just because she stayed at home.

But now I know that I don’t hate my mother by choice
I hate her because that is what ‘society’ taught me
That if you want to make a mark for yourself
You must go out
You must exude
All this energy that you can’t muster up
Only to be exhausted
By something you don’t know why you’re doing.

‘Society’ has taught me
That as a woman, empowerment is that corner office
Or that starbucks coffee
It has taught me that I am equal to man
Only if I make as much as him
That I am empowered
Not by respect or dignity
But by a grey suit and a briefcase.

But now I know
That empowerment is my mother
It is a winter’s flower
Growing among all this snow
Making the best use of everything around it.
Empowerment is having so much in your hands
That you do not know what to do with it
Other than to give
It is being able to speak without fear
To be a candle in the dark
It is to make your own choices.

It is my choice whether I want to sit
In a kitchen
Or a corner office
Or both

It is my choice if I want to give
Or take
Or both

It is my choice if I want to be a spring flower
Or a winter flower
Or both

But it is not your choice
To deny me
My empowerment

And as I say this I know my mother is watching
With tears in her eyes
But this time
I know for sure
It’s not from chopping onions.


Don’t Ask an Anxious Mind Why it’s Anxious.

It’s the same old thing every single day
You wake up to screams in your head
Flashes of car crashes and blinking lights
A pulse rate going down
But your heart beat going up
You feel it in your chest
You feel it in your bones
You feel it bursting through your soul
It’s like you’re thinking about things unforeseen
Things that don’t matter, things that don’t make sense
Still you see that body bag: black, grey, red
And you wonder how did you end up here
How did you make this mess

A pool of sweat wakes you up
And you check your phone to see if everything’s okay
How do you trust that piece of metal
When you can’t trust your own subconscious
It’s 3 a.m. now so go back to sleep
Forget about these voices that beg for your help
But you know you can’t do that
You know you’re going to stay up
Worrying, over-thinking, crying
About things that are so trivial, so shallow
But you can’t help it
Don’t ask an anxious mind why it’s anxious

You’re transported to that day so long ago
When someone called you a name
A name that took over your identity
You fought the pain, you laughed it away
Why didn’t you stand up and say you’re better than this
Why didn’t you tell yourself not to move on
To stay put and make a scene
Instead, you’re making a scene now
So you wipe away the tears and go back to sleep

Don’t worry about that other day when you felt so lonely
When all the demons in your head warred against the angels
And won
And you let them win
You rooted for them
Why did you tell yourself that it was okay to be the only one there for you
Why did you find happiness in being alone
To see it as a sign of strength
To be proud of yourself for surviving
Survival, huh
That thing that everyone seems to do so effortlessly
That same thing that everyone does without sleepless nights
And countless self-induced heartbreaks
By holding candles as sources of hope
Not as heat that burns your soul
Melts it
And turns it into a mould of wax
Because that’s what you are
A moulded figure that only fits
Always brimming but never overflowing
Always there but somehow invisible
Like your mind right now
That’s getting so fogged and translucent

You stop thinking because you can’t breathe
You feel your body squeezed by your thoughts
As you try to think about happy things
It doesn’t help
You close your eyes because you know that’s the only escape
The darkness gives you solace
You’re tired now so you shut your mind down
As you ask it “Why me?”
And it slyly replies
Don’t ask an anxious mind why it’s anxious.


If I could be the ocean,
I don’t think I would be blue.
And if I could be a fragment of soil,
I probably wouldn’t produce.

If the sun didn’t rise
Or the flowers didn’t bloom
I would say “Oh, well”
For now I’ve summoned
A gush of remorse
Which I don’t think can be undone.

I’ve tried to give in
Or rather, give up
But this darkness clings to me.
For now I’ve blown out
A Candle
And my skin burns with wax.

On and on,
Like tides high and low
I feel the rise and fall.
For I can only recount
The illusion behind it all
And it cannot be


I Weigh You.

She came to me day after day
And showed me her two bare feet
She searched for validation
And blamed me for her flaws.

Her time with me was absurd
As she cried and yelled vehemently
She sucked her stomach and turned her back
All until the next day.

My saying was her cyanideWeigh
She swallowed it outright and veritable
It burnt her vacant frame
But she craved this distinct pain.

To her, it was all a number game
A series of substandard loss and gain
She found the loss enthralling
But the gain highly unworthy.

I could tell she was restricted
She was chained by her own image
She was forced to swallow her imperfection
In this world where zero means infinite.

She was constantly pressurized
To make me point left at all times
Her hunger for my approval
Turned into her very own suicide note.

I don’t see her anymore
I fail to understand what happened
She’s probably afraid of me now
Or her chains tightened even more.

If only she knew that her tears weighed the most.

The Senses of Nature

I feel the kiss of mist
Seeping through my skindownload
Bringing out the believer in me
Knowing not what it did.

I hear the swishing crash of a wave
Alarming every corner of me
Taking me away with it
Knowing not what it did. images

I smell the perfume of a gentle rose
Numbing my heart
Filling me with a sense of ecstasy
Knowing not what it did.

I taste a syrupy toothsome honey
Stinging my tongue
Making me sway with joyimages (1)
Knowing not what it did.

I envy nature
For its transcendent aura
For its unparalleled power
To create and destroy.

I look around me images (2)
And I know for sure
That everything is nature’s gift
That everything is for rapture.


There are some people in your life without whom your entire life feels worthless. You can’t make a single decision without consulting these people. You can’t take a step forward in life without looking back to see that these people are behind you. You can’t ever let go of these people. These are the people you love.

Most people do not recognize these people until they’re gone. They don’t realize their importance in their lives. These are the unfortunate ones.

Then there are the fortunate ones. The ones who know who they want in their life. I know that I belong to this category because of one person: my dad.

My dad, to me, is a complete weirdo. I probably sound like a hypocrite when I say this but, his ego and his attitude are the most annoying things in the world. The way he never gives up on an argument and can drag a conversation until no one cares are very irritating. His temper, oh lord! He gets angry for every tiny thing. He’s probably mad at me right now for staying up past my bed time to write this (Sorry daddy).

At the same time, he’s the most amazing man ever. He is the most influential person in my life. Without his stupid debates and lame jokes, god knows what I’d be. The way he pisses me off and messes with me is one of my favorite things. Don’t even get me started on our intellectual conversations. The amount of senseless wisdom that comes out of these conversations is irreplaceable. The way we can talk about anything from nuclear war to Balakrishna’s amazing punch lines as we fiddle with our food at the dinner table annoys my mom in a way I cannot explain in words (Ask her about those conversations and she won’t stop complaining about us).

I just wanted to say that my father, to me, is the best father in the world. Everything I achieved and will achieve is because of all the love and support he gives me. He is the wisest and most smart person I know. I may never buy him a Lambhorgini (I don’t even know how to spell it) or take him around the world but, I will always respect him and love him. I never say anything positive about him because I know he’ll use it against me someday. That’s why you’ve always seen me crib and complain about him. But, in reality, I cannot live without all those things that make me crib and complain about him.

Happy birthday, nanna. I love you. You’re best daddy in the entire universe. Thanks for always being there.

Forever and always,

P.S. Again, sorry for staying up late. Please don’t ground me.
P.P.S. Yes. You did teach me Remainder Theorem and Factor Theorem. Happy?

Finest China

I have a vase
It’s made of the finest China.
I know not where I found it.
I know not what it means.
I know not what its absence would do to me.

I have a vase
It’s made of the finest China.
Its beauty is inexplicable.
Its existence enigmatic.
Its place in my heart an irrational question.

I have a vase
It’s made of the finest China.
I refuse to touch it with my tangible hands.
I refuse to let go of its transcendent state.
I refuse to let a dark eye ruin its legacy.

I have a vase
It’s made of the finest China.
It wants to be explored.
It wants to move ahead.
It wants to display its timeless aura across a wider spread.

I have a vase
It’s made of  the finest China.
It does not realize its mortality.
It does not realize its  pestilent stupidity.
It does not realize it shall shatter at fall.

I have a vase
It’s made of the finest China.
It irks me to let it fall out.
It kills me to watch it hurt.
It devastates me to ignore its loss.

I have a vase
It’s made of the  finest China.
I know it’s my selfishness that draws all the lines.
I know that my childish whims annoy.
I know that my foolishness is severe.

I have a vase
It’s made of the finest China.
Alas! I must enter the stage.
I must ignore my conscience.
I must try.


Crashing Waves

Sometimes you feel like you don’t belong somewhere. As though everything else is enormous but you alone microscopic. You feel like you’re not worthy enough to be standing there. Somehow, these feelings might have made you feel as though I’m talking about a very negative thing. And rightly so, these feelings are judged to mean very bad thoughts or experiences. Recently, in a raft ride at the Na Pali coast of Hawaii, I felt all those things. But the funny part is, I had the time of my life.

The Na Pali coast is a huge mountainous coast on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. Getting there by drive isn’t possible because one third of the island is not drivable and that so conveniently happens to be the Na Pali part of it.  Hence, the only way to get there was by boat. Although there were catamarans (sail boats), being the expert adventurers that my father and I are, we decided to take a bumpy and ‘you will TOTALLY get wet’ raft.

After about 45 minutes of a description guaranteed journey on the raft, we sighted dolphins. The dolphins weren’t as playful as the ones you might see in Sea World. They weren’t twirling around or anything. Just swimming and breathing. Bummer. Turns out ‘social animals’, like dolphins, are just animals that aren’t scared to be near you. They’re not animals that would come to you and say “Hey! How are you doin’?” or “I like your earrings.” Maybe that’s why humans are considered ‘social beings’.

Once the early morning sun had been replaced, rocky mountainous beaches replaced the sandy beaches. This wasn’t a very normal coastline because when I say ‘mountain’, I mean it quite literally. The mountains were towering high. One of the mountains, our guide tells me, is taller than the ‘Empire State Building’ in New York. As stunning as that mountain was, the sea caves created due to the friction between the waves and the mountains were even more unique. As our raft went into those caves, I was awestruck by the the illuminated Copper Sulphate Blue water, which happens to be my favorite color of ocean. The friction created so many other natural wonders like high arches, most of which looked like they had been carefully carved by the most skillful of people. Being the city girl I am, I have grown very disconnected with nature and its true self. Before, I thought of nature as a destructive being, capable of haunting things. How wrong I was. If not for those ‘haunting things’, I wouldn’t be writing this at my own convenience.

Later, we stopped at an inhabited ancient Hawaiian town on the coast and settled down for lunch followed by snorkeling. We toured the little town whose culture and history was very similar to many Asian countries. The ancient Hawaiians danced a sacred dance, prayed to gods based on their natural powers and weren’t discovered until a Westerner found them. Sound familiar? The only tragic difference being: their fate turned out to be different.

After lunch in that town, my mom, dad and I decided to go snorkeling. My parents don’t know how to swim, but they have to do everything, right? So, they were wearing all the snorkeling gear and standing by the raft, while I went actual snorkeling. A bit of an overstatement considering the fact that this was the first time I snorkeled. Now, floating over nearly 40 feet of water with wild fish might seem terrifying at first, but when you get the hang of it, you will not want to leave the water at all. I was one of the last four people to finish. The fish in the reef were just awesome. Not the modernly used, rotten ‘awesome’ but the very literal ‘awesome’. The one that means to be in complete awe of something. While snorkeling, you are aware of every breath you take. You are in command of every one of your senses. Unlike most times, you are controlled by your body, not your brain. It takes away everything but the peace within you. And yes, I’m talking about snorkeling, not death. It is definitely something everyone should have on his or her bucket list.

A trip back wrapped up the tour. If you ask me to go on that tour with you, the left side of me will reject. Let me explain why. Everyone loves ice cream (At least I do). If I give you ice cream everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you will enjoy it for the first couple of days. Later, you’ll get bored of it and will want something else. Anything but ice cream. Beauty has the same effect on you. If I go back there, I am afraid that I will get used to that caliber of beauty and I will stop appreciating it. The left side of me doesn’t want that.

But my right side is a rebel. It will long for it. It will want to go back. It will want to see the beauty again and again.

I do not know, for sure, what I would pick. I do not know, for sure, if I would crash waves. Again.



The Lion and the Bird

Here’s to the bird that sang to heavens
Who laid its fate for a melody
Who lost its voice in utterance
Who ended for beginning.

Here’s to the lion that sat in its den
Who hoped for light for nothing but feast
Who craved for life with utmost pleasure
Who lived upon denial.

Here’s to the bird that is forever lost
Whose last breath was air’s feeding
Whose body filled with fatigue couldn’t find a tree
Whose remains were consumed by the king.

Here’s to the lion to whom this was no loss
To whom the jungle was a mere puppet
To whom life was a new toy
To whom the bird was only a delicacy.

A moment comes when a question arises
It haunts us for all eternity
Alas, between the lion and the bird
Who is the real king?