He Said She Said

“Do not talk to me of poetry”, he said

“Unless you can show me any work

That distils the most complicated thoughts

Into¬†a few crisp easy lines”.

And so she showed him Woman.


Night Out

The other night, I went out with a colleague and a couple of ex-colleagues.

What brought us together were memories of work we had done earlier and a connection we felt.

That night was the first time we decided to share a drink.

And of course, once you have three men in the group (and yours truly), each one wants a say in where to meet.

So, we compromised and selected the place that one man had a card for- buy one get one free, which as I calculated and informed them was a 50% discount!

You know the best part of the night when you have had one whiskey while the men have two and then forget basic mathematics. Like 10 drinks at the table means you pay for five.

And it took me twenty minutes to explain the logic to them – that 2+2+1 = 5.

Thankfully, I have a four year old that I teach math to on a regular basis and the glasses on the tables became our props.

Of course, we discussed old colleagues, new ones, swore at each other because we now work for competitors and ended the night wondering why this was the first time we were actually spending some time together outside our offices.

While some of us (read yours truly) were civilized enough to stop at 2, the others went on to have five to six.

And no food was ordered as we wanted to have something at a place where we would not have to pledge our kidneys.

And I discovered that there is a lot to be told for curling up on a sofa with your feet underneath you (resting from those achy joints made because of stylish shoes), watching men make asses of themselves while grinning and glinting your eyes at the cute chap sitting across you (that you have met for the first time).

Promises have been made to meet often, but with families and kids, I take this one occasion as a blessing.

And reconnecting with an old friend who still can bring smiles to your face just with a hug.

Needless to say, the rest of the week has been a blast.




And then they asked me

“Are you back? The real you, we mean”

And I said
“Yes. I am back. The me I mean – not the one you do”

And they asked

“What is the difference?”

And I said

“Since I have known you, I have loved and lost. I have seen people I care for die, people I do not care for have become an important part of my life. I have learnt, I have given of myself and I have partaken of others. I have lost my belief and then found it again. I have cried, laughed and lived. I have seen a child of mine grow inside and outside me – I have learnt to let him be and to grow. I have had the time to think, to remember.

And so it is me that has come to you.

If I have not changed since I have known you, then I have not grown.

And yet I have.

And I hope you have. For friends that we out grow become mere acquaintances and I have enough of those.

Have you grown? “


We are back at his favourite haunt, his balcony.

He points out the tree that has been promising to grow to provide some cover and privacy. He has been encouraging it silently over the last five years.

“Perhaps the tree does not listen. I am sure it is a man”.

The breeze is cooler here, and fresher. In some ways that a Chennai breeze can never be. Or is it just my soul calling out to me; I lost it some time back here and have been searching.

We are comfortable now, sipping at the drinks he has so thoughtfully made. A man grown up finally. He remembers now to ask if I want some ice and I smile. His wife has trained him well.

He gushes about how happy he is finally to be able to relax and do things his way instead. He misses her, but he will never admit it. Not even to his closest friend, because that would  mean he was no more free. And he believed in the power of words, of uttering them out loud. And talking about love meant he had finally become grounded, inhibited.

A call every ten minutes to her, and he shrugs.

“You understand how women worry”.

No, I don’t. But I just smile and nod.

He talks about the book he is working on.

I have stopped listening for the last five minutes, but smile and nod.

“Right. You are tired”.

Yes, I am.

In more ways than I know to say.

Why is it we do not remember being young anymore, I wonder?

I feel my age in my bones and look at my skin, wondering why the wrinkles do not show.

At times I search, obsessively, through the strands of my hair, for the white that should be there.

I wonder every month if this is the month when my body tells me that I have crossed from being a woman to just being.

I look forward to the day I can just close my eyes and say, “Don’t you see? I am old and I have earned my right to rest”.

And yet, there is no rest for sinners. And no sleep for the dreamers.

He Said, She Said

“You blushed! When I came to meet you for lunch…”
“Did I? It was a little hot that day”
“Hmm Hmm”
“Hmm Hmm”
“So, two years of marriage..”
“Two and a half, but who is keeping track…”
“Ok.Two and a half and my wife still blushes when I meet her for lunch!”
“Shaddup! It was the sun!”
“That is so sweet! Still a blushing bride!”
“And of course someone was not beaming or holding my hand throughout…”
“Hmm Hmm”…
Little time to spend together now that we have a little boy to look after while juggling our jobs and travel, but what times those are! Love you!


At dinner on Thursday:



“How are things in Chennai?”

“Not bad”

“By the way…”

A try to lift one eyebrow sardonically, utterly failing and settling for a lopside grin and clenched teeth

“Have you stopped drinking?”


“Well, I heard from an ex colleague of yours that you were well-known for being a party person”

“Hmm hmm”

“So, have you stopped?”


“You are married now right”



“Oh, the last time I drank, I threw up on the person sitting opposite me. I am thinking about it now”


“Shall we get the cheque and leave?”

Why would you discuss any person with ex colleagues? And as long as I am good at my job, what does my personal life mean to you? (Come to think of it, it is none of your business regardless of my performance)

And why does my marriage and any changes post that interest you? The one change that you should be thankful for though is my increased patience and the new polite positive attitude I am trying to cultivate.