Beauty and The Beast

Excerpts from a poem I found online.

Depression, anxiety and lack of self esteem are real monsters. If you know somebody that you suspect is battling these demons, help them, be kind, be supportive, and tell them they are not alone while they fight their own selves.

There’s a villain in every story.
The wicked witch of the east.
The evil step mother,
A monster, a beast.

What does this villain look like?
Some people may ask.
It doesn’t always have a black cape,
A witch’s broom, or a scary mask.

I have a villain of my own,
But she’s kind of hard to see,
She has a really good disguise,
She looks a lot like me.

Rip me apart
Tear me to shreds
Make me a prisoner
Inside my own head.
Tell me what I am
And tell me what I am not.
Tell me what I need
And tell me what I’ve got.

You bring out my scars,
My sadness, fears, and aggression.
You cause me a lot of envy,
And leave me with depression.
Deprive me of my confidence,
Take away my self esteem.
Cause me to fear judgement
And make me yell and scream.
You taunt me with your words
Like this is some kind of game.
But when it comes down to it,
There’s no one else to blame.

This villain isn’t a creature.
Or a devil sent from hell.
It isn’t a witch or demon.
This demon is myself.

I try to fight it but it won’t stop.
It’s never going to cease.
It’s mean. It’s a liar.
I’m the beauty and the beast.

There’s a villain in every story,
A statement that is true.
But how do you kill the monster,
When it lives inside of you?

Dear Dad

I wish you’d stayed.
The coffee is still warm.
Not piping hot though, as you always liked it.
Flawless brown in a vessel of steel.
Sounds a lot like you.

The Hindu is still lying, unfolded-
But of course, when was the last time you saw me read the paper?
Except forcing myself to read when you would insist at the breakfast table.
The table where Amma devotedly made you oothappams and olan.
And for lunch- eriseri, and morkuzhambu.
For years.
And then, years later –the karela juice, to help with the diabetes.
But the cake was always me.
The small slices of chocolate cake,
That we had decided not to serve you.
But look, I saved you a piece anyway.
I know how much you love a little dessert when no one’s looking.

No sirree, I never read the paper.
Nor did I read all the emails you sent me dad.
In fact, I didn’t read 193 of them.
Letters from a father to a daughter.
And now I want to.
Cause I still see them, in my inbox. In the folder that says dad.
They are mostly reminders I am pretty sure-
To book tickets home.
To finish something on my to-do list.
To file my taxes.
To send you my itinerary so you can text me at the exact minutes I take off or land.

But I am scared to open them- because I know I will find, in them-
Occasionally, a loving greeting or two.
Some valuable life advice.
A note of pride.
A rare compliment.
A memory.
A plea to be a little older, a little wiser, a little calmer, a little more accepting
Of life and its wicked ways.

O wicked art thou, sweet breath.

Or, I may find, a not so funny forward,
That probably tickled your great big belly,
And you sent my way,
Chuckling earnestly, your merry eyes crinkled,
And not the unseeing orbs I wish I had never seen.

I will always remember you and your smile.
A joyous smile, that leaps up unabashedly,
And lights up most rooms.
May it could even light up our little black car,
The one whose tail lamps you smashed accidentally,
But told me not to tell mum.

Of course I told her.
We always thought you were a terrible driver.
Singing unconcernedly in traffic,
Or turning around to look at me while driving,
“Don’t look Dad!
“It’s okay kondhe, the car can drive itself.”
“Haha, stop it Pappa!”
Moorthy, stop.
And you never did.
Always rushing to get through the reds,
Always too quick to go,
Never stopping.
Until one day, you did.

But I can’t stop. Loving you. Missing you.

Double Pyaar was our family’s coat of arms.
A phrase Dad chose.
Amma and Appa love me, Appa and I love Amma, and Amma and I love you.
And now that’s what you have Pops. For the life beyond. For eternity.
Two people, incomplete, learning to be whole
By sharing the love you left behind, and sending it back to you.

All the while.
When I’m in trains, with no one to play book cricket with.
When I’m walking in Lalbagh, no hearty companion to keep pace with me.
When I’m trying to watch a soccer match, with no one to explain what’s really happening on screen.

I only watched FIFA for you. Thank god it was only once in four years. It’s only fun when there are penalty shootouts Dad.

There are so many things we have to do.
Our trip to Switzerland- Mum wants to go for her 60th,  and then, maybe an evening in Paris.
Or to Kerala to see the boat races.
To Shenkottai and the fields.
Or even just to Malleswaram, to walk past the little lane you lived in,
The roads you drove your bike on,
As a young hoodlum.

Were you ever though?
A hoodlum?
Or were you born this way?
A warrior? A giver?
Blood and bone be interred,
You are fire and fight, courage and compassion, love and life.

And you are also my friend.
My oldest friend.
My teacher.
Without you I would have never
learned to tie my shoelaces,
do math,
write essays in hindi,
Drive a bike,
be social in a foreign setting,
love marketing,
Have a weird passion for trucks,
Have an inexplicable fondness for Reynolds pens
Tell unnecessary white lies,
Carry business cards (what were you thinking)
That I can’t win an argument with mom and it’s easier not to try,
Love a good song,
do the two step waltz,
Know that being alone is being in good company.
And so i have come to be- alone-but never lonely.
You taught me well.
I may not have the strength to live without you if I hadn’t lived with you.

Ah well, it was a good run. ( Come back)
25 years, was it?
It’s more than some lifetimes. (come back!!)
It’s 5 times 5.
10 and 10.
Its twenty five ones.
It’s 20 and 5 more.

I love you Pappa.
Won’t you come back for your Sunday mornings with me?
I wish you’d stayed.
After all, the coffee is still warm.

Letter to myself

Dear me,

Today- you are at rock bottom. Yes, there’s no mistaking it. Because it’s familiar. Because you have been here before.  And that means you can recover -once again.

2000. First encounter with abuse and depression. You patiently prayed for a better tomorrow. You went through the counseling, you ate the pills, you listened to your mum and dad, and they nursed you back to health, and soon enough, you were getting those top grades of the year awards again.

2004. Your next big trial. Your life was torn apart in a life changing accident. Your face blew up into a thousand smithereens. You were bleeding from everywhere when a bunch of strangers scooped you up and put you in the ICU. You lay in the hospital for two months while doctors nursed you back to health.

3 months later, when you returned to school, you were received with catcalls and nervous smiles, as you walked in, unsteady, teeth gone, a hideous and grotesque figure, a shadow of the vivacious girl you used to be.

There was no time to process this though. Before you knew it, you were back in the hospital again. For an appendicitis surgery.

The road to recovery lasted 4 years. At the end of four years, you emerged, perhaps a little less fitter and a  more bitter, but more importantly stronger.

And the hits kept on coming.

2009- Social isolation and the road to fitness.

2014. Columbia, Cisco and others.

2016- Death, loss, and career.

And on and on it goes. What can you do but try again? Try until you can try no more. Fight until your last breath. And hope for the best.



#100days of healing

I’ve decided to spontaneously embark on a healing journey-100 days of mindfulness, positivity, and an attempt to return to the old me.

These posts are going to be where I dump my anxieties, and concerns, and maybe some self motivational jazz ( look away, i warned ya).

These posts may not be daily, but I will endeavor to post as often as possible.

If you’re coming along, hold on, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

Day 1 : Nov 29/2016

Started the day on a high with 2 early morning meetings. Had a good breakfast. Wore my favorite Harry Potter tee to work. Did some work and had a leisurely lunch with my team.

After lunch, my mind began to wander. I’ve completely lost the ability to focus. It’s really scary. I spent 3 hours doing almost nothing productive.

It’s 5 p.m now, and I’m listening to classical music to bring back my focus on work.

I so badly want another cup of coffee, but I’ve been told it does NOTHING for anxiety, and I don’t do black decaf ( that’s just silicon valley hipsters, or wannabe silicon valley hipsters. I mean, what next, chamomile tea?)

God. I have  7 hours until this dreadful day is over.







Help me stay afloat.

Life is spiraling out of control.


My job is at risk. My future at my work is at risk. My chances of getting a visa look bleak.

My health has gotten visibly worse. I have panic attacks, nightmares, and stomachaches. The grief and anxiety have gotten too powerful.

Money is a concern. Our family’s future – so many questions.

How much can one person do?

Just how much can one get kicked when they’re down?

Please stop it. And help me stay afloat, if you can.

Send me love. Send me courage. Send me a hug. Send me positivity. Tell me I am brave for trying every single day. Don’t shut me out.

This has what it has come to. Me begging for a chance.

I hate my effing life.




Hymn for the week

Mum was humming a hymn she’d learned at school today. I rather liked it as well. I’m sharing a solemn version I found online, so you can find a little comfort if you too feel like the night is dark, and you’re far from home.


There and Back Again

This one’s from the archives. Jan 2010, to be precise. Because I was way more articulate seven years ago.

When is the end?
Everyone faces trials.Trials test people,and reward them with pure unadulterated joy at the end.The survivor is crowned and all is forgotten as he catches up with long sought peace.
The question is : How long do these trials last?

All of us pay.Pay for our foolishness.Pay for our sins.Pay for our “free” lunches.Pay in exchange for any small glory.No more.I’m broke.I can’t pay anymore.

I want to know where my redemption is ,and when it will come find me.

I want to know when the present will become the past and rest ,closed, as an unceremonious chapter in history,forgotten in the wake of a great new beginning.I wait for the day my trial ends,and the jury acknowledges my survival and makes suitable compensation.I don’t want to consider the possibility that this day will never come,for hope ..I must.

Hope is all that I have.How pitiful it is that I hope,even as the night fades into a cold dreary morning.Cold mornings are pretty only in Jane Austen’s novels and in books about hiking expeditions to Antarctica.Sunshine is what I want for my life.

I want to go ashore,or sink in the deluge.Staying afloat amidst the currents can be very tiring.
Watching and waiting as of now,is passe,and how we all hate anything passe.






The best things in life are unsaid.


The warmest of meals are  rustic. The sweetest of moments happen suddenly. The prettiest of sunsets, unannounced.

Put away your pomp and glitter.

Some things ought to be alive in your mind and heart and nowhere else.

Delight in childish glee as you realise these moments are yours and yours alone to cherish, to rewind and watch in slow motion, to examine for possible undercurrents, and to stash away for another day.





Six Feet Under

I am so upset and embarrassed at how emotionally vulnerable I am right now. I wish it wasn’t this way.  I wish I didn’t crave the company of others as I do at the mo. It is the absolute truth, and nothing else though, when I say that I am alone and terrified.

It’s hard enough to reboot when your plan A is shot in hell, but what when your 2 year long plan B looks like it’s going down the drain as well?

You have to pick yourself up from six feet under, which is where your ego plummets down to.

And you will have to learn to do it, for most parts, alone.

I wish I could hire some emotional help. Some unconditional love and positivity.

The only people I can ask this of, are my mum and dad. But I can’t. My dad is sick. Seriously sick. He is no longer the person he was. Each day, I see him retreat into his shell.  He doesn’t connect with us the way he used to. He stays in his room all day, and doesn’t talk to me as much anymore. My mum is my savior. She’s the guardian angel I pray for every night. She is human though. How many people can she care for? I can’t drown her with my insecurities and worries for the future.

I need a support system, and I need to build one inside me. A constant companion to navigate rough patches, a strict parole officer that will ensure I stick to the plan, an enthusiastic lifecoach that will remind me not to give up on my dreams, a hand that will hold out a candle as I fumble in the dark.

Luckily for me, I’m not a person that gives up easily. But this is eating at me- bit by bit, slowly but surely.

I want to shout a random prayer into the universe, praying for a miracle that will heal me and make everything whole and happy again.

I’m going to be writing in this blog to understand what I’m feeling. Writing has proven to be therapeutic in the past, and I hope it will help me feel understood again.

Song of the mo- Comfortably Numb