People & Relationships

Navigating Family, Friendship, Marriage, Colleagues, Companions & other social connections

Hard To Love
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Hard To Love

I am hard to love. This is not news to me. This has been expressed in a range of ways, covert & overt, verbal & otherwise. The revelation is that it has only partly to do with who & how I am. The rest has to do with who &…

Read The Room
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Read The Room

Clubhouse has really brought home the meaning of this phrase. The ability to read a room is a fundamental social skill involving waiting, watching & listening. Any adult who doesn’t display this is choosing not to. People wander into rooms with clear titles, raise their hands to be called up…

To The Guy Who Likes Long Drives
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To The Guy Who Likes Long Drives

I wrote to all the guys who list ‘long drives’ as what they like on dating apps

Mutual Misbehaviour
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Mutual Misbehaviour

Do we know how to relate to other people without fear & hurt driving us?What we call relationships seem to be people taking turns to misbehave.When small children behave badly, it’s called tantrum throwing. They’re parented with punishments to instill fear & distress – adult version of the same. Women…

Watercolours & Words
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Watercolours & Words

Healing is messy. So is art. So is living. With lots of love to @senseslenses and @shaunakde for helping make my life & healing, art.

A Good Conversationalist
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A Good Conversationalist

I haven’t been writing about men or dating much, have I? The last year has forced me to sit with myself, without everything that I thought was my life but which were actually coping mechanisms. Stripped of those, what did I have? Lots of wounds. I’m glad 2020 is over….

The Public Personal
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The Public Personal

I lost a friendship sometime ago because the person took something I said on one of my Instagram Lives, personally. I don’t know what was said or which Live it was but I know I didn’t say anything aimed at them or about them. I know this because I’ve been…

Paper Lovers
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Paper Lovers

We didn’t speak at our first meeting. He wore orange trousers & skulked in a corner.  I was the life of the party in pinstripes. Irony clinked glasses all around. I discovered he had a blog & I visited from my anonymous account. It was much better than the one…

Romancing A Girl Who Is Too Much
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Romancing A Girl Who Is Too Much

I think I can only experience romance when I feel happy. I can only play the games of flirting when playfulness is possible. I can only smile at the mirth of charm when I’m just looking for an excuse to smile anyway. That’s why love becomes a common destination for…

Meeting Desire
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Meeting Desire

You wouldn’t recognise desirein the emptiness in your mouthmaking way for wordsthat your stomach is already breaking down You wouldn’t know desire if it licked youYou think it’s meant to kick & clawNot snuggle between your cellsBreathing the quiet places between people You wouldn’t trust desireEven if you laid bare…

An Evolving Friendzone
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An Evolving Friendzone

Should gender matter in friendship? That’s a question I’ve been asking myself my whole life. After all, gender is a social set of rules (a construct as some call it). Some people follow the rules more vehemently than others. Rules exist to contain & direct human behaviour and almost always…

Lessons On Being Loved
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Lessons On Being Loved

Some of us need to learn how to be loved. How to receive warmth & not fear burns. How to forget that trembling alone, arms wrapped around ourselves, is not the same thing as being held. How to feel without flinching. How to change a body rhythm that only beats…

Crossed Connections
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Crossed Connections

I met Scorpio in a chatroom. Reeling from heartbreak, I blundered into a new internet in 2000. We traded barbs, volleyed rock lyrics. When I was all cried out, I wandered back. This time we chatted. Then emailed, a song lyric here, an essay there, a letter then a poem….

Fullstop Face
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Fullstop Face

People are stories, works in progress Politics of affection and sexual congress But a face is a fullstop, brackets even I picture your face when I’m grieving The ‘I don’t care’ writ large and wide Autographing what’s breaking me inside Happy face, loveface all forgotten Fullstop points to all that…

The Dating Thing

The Dating Thing

Let’s do the dating thing. I say Coffee? You say YUP. I spend the next hour wondering what Yup meansbefore deciding it’s a version of Yes. On time, wondering if it’s desperate, we meet. We talk of things slight acquaintances say-Mumbai weather. Andheri traffic. The waiter interrupts to take our…

Always Familiar: First Boyfriend

Always Familiar: First Boyfriend

I was 19 when I met him. He was too, just a day older, a fact that would serve as a bridge for us, looking for a way to say hello. I spotted him in a crowd outside an event where I was looking for someone else. He turned at…

How To Draw A Straight Line
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How To Draw A Straight Line

A boundary is a lesson in consent, which in turn is rooted in a sense of self. Who you are says what you allow. A boundary is not a weapon or defense mechanism – these are escapes. Boundaries force you to do the hard work of taking responsibility for what…

Red On The Floor
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Red On The Floor

I thought about people who hit me. In plural. I experienced enough before adulthood. Yet at 23, when a man I loved hit me, I knew something was wrong. Was it the force of his blow across my face, ears ringing for 6min, long pause to register its wrongness? Or…

Men Who Feed Me
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Men Who Feed Me

I had a bad relationship with food & men. Being female meant being food provider. Social rules turned to acid in my stomach. Eventually they’d pour out of my mouth as bilious words, undigested pressure. I asked shaadi boys if they could cook before their moms could ask me. No…

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Turquoise Nights

(from the archives) Fridays are a plethora of impressions, a crazy psychedelia of emotions. It is that instantly suffocating smell of smoke I’ve never gotten used to, the headiness of a slight alcohol high I’m constantly playing hide-and-seek with, the giddiness of meaningless jokes & deep conversations sleeping together. It is…