Home & Identity

Finding home & a sense of belonging within shifting identity politics of geography, region, language, politics, ideologies and culture.

Welcome To The Real Mumbai Metro
|

Welcome To The Real Mumbai Metro

Mumbai is a boardgame of big power, big money, big everything. A new metro network just changed the balance of all things that count. What does this mean for the city?

Confused Patriarchy Made Me A Feminist
|

Confused Patriarchy Made Me A Feminist

Why does a woman have to earn a life of dignity through abuse & assault when men receive it as birthright?

2023: Comfort Is Served
| | | |

2023: Comfort Is Served

We are all angry. Seething and out for blood. Where do we go from here? The pandemic has been the arsenic cherry on the difficult lessons of a decade.

A Beautiful Day In A Soft Neighborhood
| | |

A Beautiful Day In A Soft Neighborhood

There is an interesting thing about memory foam. It yields to your touch & pressure. Not fast, not reacting. More like an indulgence, a consideration. Later it pauses with the impression you’ve left on it, as if ruminating. Just as meditatively it returns to its original self.

Finding Myself In My Body: Reclaiming Pain
| | | | |

Finding Myself In My Body: Reclaiming Pain

A house that is a warzone. A courtroom for custody battles. Dumping ground for other people’s pain. My body.

A Truce With Gender
| | |

A Truce With Gender

If I were fifteen years younger, I’d identify as nonbinary. Or maybe not, I don’t know if the beaten gender path has beat me down too often mercilessly.

Two Cities I’ve Loved – Bangalore & Mumbai
| | |

Two Cities I’ve Loved – Bangalore & Mumbai

Feeling the tug between two places – one that feels like home and one that is dutifully home.

BOOK | Fearlessly Flying With Erica Jong
| | | | |

BOOK | Fearlessly Flying With Erica Jong

Giving sex an easy place in my mind, required moving around the furniture inside my head – old traumas, inherited shame, cultural taboos. This book taught me flying.

Wayfarer On An Open Road
| | |

Wayfarer On An Open Road

Post COVID, life is uncertain but it’s an open road. Everything is a lesson, every meeting is a gift.

I Will Listen
| |

I Will Listen

I’ve been in so many conversations. I’ve come back overflowing with so much. Wisps of other people clinging to me. They turn into dreams, into nightmares, into fantasies, into nagging nameless worries. Then someone says hello and they pass. I started to worry about losing myself in you, in them,…

Back To School
|

Back To School

I started teaching an undergraduate course at a college that is allied with the one from where I graduated. I have taken exams in this very building. I’ve also represented another alma mater years later in a college festival and performed on the stage of this one. Now, I take…

Checklist Of Closures
|

Checklist Of Closures

2022 feels like a checklist of long pending accounts being closed. The year began completely wrenched out of my control. Ignoring my qualms about a new variant & their lingering health issues, my familiy insisted on traveling in the first week of January. They returned with COVID. For years now,…

What Do We Owe Each Other In Shifting Normals?
| | | | |

What Do We Owe Each Other In Shifting Normals?

After I wrote yesterday’s fan post about And Just Like That, I stayed up late reading reviews & the subreddit of the show. Well. There is so much vitriol. I believe most of it is the punishment our overly capitalist world is wrecking on anyone who hasn’t paid the requisite…

The “Do They Treat You Well?” Play
| | | | |

The “Do They Treat You Well?” Play

I was watching an episode of ‘Kim’s Convenience’ where a concerned (possibly over protective) family is talking to their daughter about her love life. One of them asks, “Does he treat you well?” And I realised no one had ever asked me that. Not family members, not friends, not classmates,…

Being My Age Is A Feminist Act
| |

Being My Age Is A Feminist Act

I’m often told I ‘don’t look’ my age. It’s served up as a compliment. It’s not. What’s complimentary about telling someone they don’t fit the box into which you’re trying to put them? I already know that by being open about my age (43 a week ago, when this photo…

The Compassion Chemical
| |

The Compassion Chemical

I have been thinking about compassion. I find there’s no room for it in the stories we embrace to guide our lives. It is this that makes me feel I’m overflowing out of my body, spaces & life. What I have in me is labelled & pre-valued for tangible effects….

|

What’s In A Name?

IdeaSmith is not just my name My Clubhouse bio says “That is my name. Say it like that only.” IdeaSmith is a filter on who bothers to read the bio and who wants you to explain why you won’t fit the boxes they have in their heads. “What an idea,…

Lemonade
| | |

Lemonade

Little bits of crueltydrop off your wordslike ice shardsoff a glass of nimboopanithat still has a sliver or twoof lemon floating in it And I hesitate to point it out I want to pick it out of your beingBefore you taste your own sournessBefore you have to swallowyour imperfectionsAnd before the…

My Solo Dating Life
| | |

My Solo Dating Life

Solo dates are my most enjoyable dates. Everything else is a blur of regressive social rituals, burdensome insights into other people slipping out from badly created pretences. The agency to be solo is hardwon. Solitude is a privilege for women. Everyone tries to fill up a woman’s time with their…

Sweet Tooth
| | |

Sweet Tooth

This was written for the prompt Sweet | given by Girish Krishnakumar for Alphabet Sambar’s weekly themed mic room. ~O~O~O~O~O~O~ Sweet Tooth. I didn’t have one. There was no room for sweetness in my world that demanded the efficiency of kitchen logistics & transactions of nutrition. Or the speed of…