The Fire Within

Self Portrait by Rishal Bhide

Self Portrait by Rishal Bhide

The fiery sun is out

minds swim in salty seas

wounds burn endlessly

Somewhere along the line, the inner spark for haiku derailed from its course. Here’s picking up the threads and continuing the journey. Again.

The Knife Story

(Written for Alastair’s Photo Fiction)

It was late when I got home.

The first thing I heard were ominous whispers emanating through the door.

Take the big knife, and cut the thigh here.

O god an evil sadist has got Grandma! , I panicked.

Then take the medium knife to separate the shoulder joint.

My feet seemed to have fallen asleep and wouldn’t accompany my upper body in the sudden dash towards the door. The inertia made me fall. I expected the hacker to lunge towards me at any moment but the whispering continued.

And use the smallest knife for better precision.


Photograph by Alastair Forbes

Large, medium, small!


Shushing the ‘English teacher’ in me, I decided to take matters into my (horribly jittery and sweaty) hands.

I could barely hear the whispers now, because my heart was beating in my ears.

 ‘..and then grill the meat..’

I couldn’t bear to hear anymore and rushed to rescue (what remained of) Grandma.




Grandma slept on the couch peacefully and a chef on TV was sharing his recipe for making Chicken Tandoori.

Not everything is a murder mystery.

The Corner Guy

(Written for #FWF Free Write Friday)


I am John. Also known as ‘The corner guy’.

If you’ve been here long enough, you know who I am.

And if you don’t know me, let me clarify that I am not in-sane. I am in-love.

I still remember that day, 21 autumns back, when my dear Jenny turned around this very corner and never came back. I yelled after her despite my sore throat,

“I’ll wait for you forever”.

I’m still here as promised, but she never came back. There hasn’t been a day when I haven’t sat on this very piece of concrete waiting for her. My apartment window sits facing me grimly, but I have no intention of going back home, lest she comes back looking for me and I miss seeing her.

I regret giving her no choice other than leaving me. I was a broken man then. I am a shattered man now. With every breath I try to piece together my heart which broke into a million pieces, with the hope that when she sees me again, I shall be whole.

Maybe they’ll write a book about me someday. Maybe they’ll make a movie. Maybe they laugh at me for being the weird guy who writes and sings love songs on his guitar. Maybe they think I am an epitome of true love.

There are a lot of maybes. But just one you.  

Jen darling, if you are out there, you know where to find me. Just around our favourite corner.

Let’s give love another chance.


‘Chennai Express’ Movie Review: Derailed. Completely.



Chennai Express was so shamelessly over promoted that the film was quite anti-climatic in comparison. But then again, does the script matter when you have Shahrukh ‘pompous’ Khan shake his booty with Deepika ‘long-legs-hot-bod’ Padukone and Rohit ‘action’ Shetty helming the affair? The makers of this movie definitely think so.

Chennai Express is the story of Rahul who is supposed to spread half of his Dadaji’s ashes at Rameshwaram while his Dadi is willing to take the other half to the Ganga, as per Dadaji’s wishes (how weird is that – but then again, if Rahul didn’t travel south, there would be no ‘Chennai’ Express). But what about the fun Goa plan with hot girls and dizzy nights? Rahul obviously chooses Goa over Rameshwaram, but can’t break poor Dadi’s trust. Bingo! In a flash of genius someone discovers that if the ashes are immersed in Goan waters, they would flow directly to Rameshwaram. (Screw you, Geography). So Rahul decides to deceive Dadi (don’t give a damn if she raised your 40-year-old-ass) and climbs aboard the Chennai Express, with the intention of climbing off midway and making that road trip to Goa.

Fate takes an unexpected turn and parody pops her head when Rahul helps Meenamma (Deepika) board a running train in classic DDLJ style. What follows is 43 seconds of humour which give you some hope to sit through the rest of the movie. However, you are simply reduced to watching a mumbo-jumbo of thrash-worthy, mind-numbingly lame attempts at comedy.

1)      If Meenamma is running away from her family, why is she running to board a train that will take her right to her doorstep? (Screw you, Logic)

2)      Why would a common man fall in love with a Don’s daughter whose cousins don’t think twice before throwing the TC out of a running train?

3)      Why is quarter of the movie in Tamil without any subtitles? (I left my brains home before coming to the theatre dude, don’t make me tediously draw my own conclusions)


chennai_express_poster-HDShahrukh Khan has put loads of effort in his over-acting. You fell in love every time Raj spouted romantic dialogues to his love, and felt hopeless when Rahul had to face trouble from his lady’s parents. It is sad to see the once fine actor being reduced to such extensive hamming that you cringe every moment he appears on screen. There is even a scene where he has a completely deranged conversation with a squinted midget who talks in various patterns of ‘Tok-toks’! Hope this is just a phase. We want more from the actor who delivered believable performances in Swades, Chak De and the likes.


chennai_350_073113062016Deepika as Meena is cute. Her thick gibberish accent and thick well-applied eyeliner are the only likeable things in the movie. Never mind if the accent gets a bit too irritating towards the end, especially in the emotional scenes. But this girl sure makes lungis look hot!

Rohit Shetty fails to relive the magic of his Golmaal series with the half-baked and half-hearted Chennai Express. Cars chasing, cars crashing, cars exploding – you’ve seen all that before. The dialogues have been shamelessly borrowed from Shahrukh’s previous movies like Baazigar, Koyla, Dil Se and My Name Is Khan. There are moments of respite such as the antakshari sequences which elicit a rare moment of chuckle. However, these are not enough to carry the weight of the movie on their weak shoulders. The story is extremely predictable, the romance forced, the acting shabby and the music forgettable (except ‘I,2,3,4 Get on the dance floor’…quite catchy that one).

C’mon guys, we’ve seen you do better! In the meanwhile, the audience will definitely be excused for missing this train.


If wishes were horses…

(Written for #FWF: Free Write Friday)

This week’s FWF prompt is a word bank: blanket – falsetto – cumbersome – cinema – coins



They returned from the cinema house to their shabby home,

Dreaming of London, Paris, New York and Rome.

“Mama why can’t we live in bungalow like the movie stars”, asked young Jill

“Instead of this rundown down place on a lonely hill”

“But we live in such a lovely house,” argued Mary

With a wide open playground and trees full of cherry”

“But this rain taps annoyingly on the tin roof all night”

Oh but the wonderful rhythm it gives to our songs is just perfectly right.

“Mama why can’t we eat cheese and pasta and the delicious risotto?”

“But that doesn’t beat the taste of our garden veggies, eh?”, Mary asked, acutely aware of her own falsetto

“I too want to be rich movie star and wear pretty frocks”

“Dream high pretty girl”, said Mary, counting the pennies stashed in some torn socks.

“Why can’t I come with you Mama, it scares me to be alone when all is dark outside”

“Honey the stars will give you company tonight, I’ll soon be back by your side”

It was not an easy job to have these cumbersome conversations all day long

Life would have been so nice if it was just one happy song

How Mary wished she could be like the other mothers and not live a life of lies

And tuck her baby under the blanket each night and sing her lullabies

She put on her fishnet stockings and corset and whipped a brush through her hair

“Life is unfortunately not a movie, little one”, her tear whispered in the air.