Charles Correa – An Elusive Image

          “The complex and ambiguous relationship between man and nature is central to Indian Architecture.”

Charles Correa (1930 – 2015)

Bold openings introducing you into the mind of a Master whose simplistic approach to finding contextual answers for urban issues, challenges our very own understanding of spaces. The way one Hall leads you to a stepped-central courtyard impacts the way you perceive things – his work moves you; pushes you and at the same time defines the program with a form, flawlessly. Sensitivity gives character to an Architect’s work. Capturing this feeling in built form is one the many talents Correa possessed.

Intangibility – the entire idea of it consumes the mind as it finds a way to trap it within the physical realm so it can be revealed to another. This trapping is an art-form wielded by the Master to bring life into his buildings. One such element is Light.

Light in its myriad of playful forms – the harbinger of sight- is one the most intangible elements in Architecture. If scanty it blinds us and on the other extreme, it glares. To keep it from scorching us in its entirety- channelling its beauty into a spatial form- activating its ability to make someone feel is a ruse that Correa applies in many of his creations.

Close your eyes, expecting nothing, stand underneath the pergola and let time pass you by. As the sun makes its journey across the cone, the way light falls upon you in a pattern heating a portion of your skin while the next is a shaded strip, brings your senses alive. The alternative bands of sensation make you see even though you have closed your eyes to light. That is the magic of arresting the intangible.

To evoke emotions similar to the ones ebbing within you is a talent of its own. This sets apart the Actor, the Artist, the Performer and the Architect – the Director of space- from a common observer. Beams of sunlight that filter through the gaps between the thatches and the morning sunlight entering the kitchen window inciting the tendrils of smoke rising from the boiling-milk into a smooth waltz, have a natural splendour of their own. Sun light has always been a focus in traditional architecture -be it purifying water tanks in Agraharas; bringing life to membranes by turning them translucent or as a means to portray symbolism. Charles Correa brought dynamism in the Static by bringing light into play- in all of the element’s forms translating traditional motives into contemporary milieu.

Exposure- the very word launches in your mind images of doors opening as two districts conjoin via the Threshold – the element of transition. Exposure creates form, creates movement just like your pupil dilates as you recede away from light and contracts as you bask in it.

Correa’s spaces are characterized by the experience they provide you as he varies the level f exposure from open-to-sky spaces to shaded porches and pergola-covered terraces. The shadier, more intimate corners ease you as you feel protected by the scale of them- the walls backing you up. A mezzanine platform that you’re perched upon- turns into a realm of your own as you personalize it because of its exclusivity in spatial terms. But as soon as you walk into vast, open courts- where the lightest breeze can rouse a tingle in your spine- the space affects you according to your persona. You’re either intimidated by its agoraphobic scale or stimulated so that your mind breaks through the shell and a barrage of thoughts rush past you- consume you­. Or you recede into a pocket of your own- customizing a haunt of your own to reflect deeply.

When you look around the Jawahar Kala Kendra in Jaipur, a playful Lord Krishna playing his  basuri– painted in hues of black and white- on a boldly coloured wall is a sight you see after climbing a railing-less staircase edged to a wall. The vitality in such art- the Vastu Purusha stretching over the concave curvature of a dome or the stripes adorning the British Council building at various levels and staggered faces of the facade- have a language of their own. They speak to every viewer in a tone suited to their liking, under the broad umbrella of Correa’s objective of their creation.

Art in Architecture is a phrase that comes into play not only in two dimensional manifestations but are also ingrained multi-dimensionally like the way the spiral staircase is articulated  in the Astronomy and Astrophysics Centre in Pune. Materials bring unity while the colours he chooses mirror the intended vibrancy of the spaces. Colours activate a stimulus in our system that we respond in insentience. Our mind has pre-associated generic colours attached to nostalgia. And when they show up, our environment transforms within our mind frame.

Correa provides spaces that mean different things to different people through his artistry. And that is how he complements the multi-faceted yet unique nature of the humankind.

Visual connections transcend physical barriers. You can lunge forward into a space just by looking at it. Your conscience can be hauled from where you stand to where you want to be if you can simply see it.Correa’s Levels do that to their users. Being present but at the same time, detached from the activity around you just because you’re at a different pedestal is a bequest Correa offers to you.

The ethereal elements that he believed connect humans to their surroundings as life progresses – the Light, the Exposure, Colours, Visual Play and the plethora of emotions that they stir up in us evolving our capacity to experience spaces as they are subtly intended to- are elements that Correa’s Architecture is conducive to.

His will to defy norms where he believed they needed tweaking; inspire change, to respond to multi-layered contexts both climatologically and culturally, keeping in mind the larger scope of things led him into being the phenomenon that he will forever be remembered as. He is the personality Our Architectural Era will be remembered by.

The gems he has left with us will be sewed in the tapestry we, as his successors, create and pass on as our collective legacy.


(Article for The Indian Arch Magazine 2016 by NASA, India)


Tagore on Art

From his article’My Pictures’

The world of sound is a tiny bubble in the silence of the infinite. The Universe has its only language of gesture; it talks in the voice of pictures and dance. Every object in this world proclaims in the dumb signal of lines and colors, the fact that it is not a mere logical abstraction or a mere thing of use, but it is unique in itself, it carries the miracle of its existence. In a picture the artist creates the language of undoubted reality, and we are satisfied that we see. It may not be the representation of a beautiful woman but that of a commonplace donkey or of something that has no external credential of truth in nature but only in its own inner artistic significance.”

“People often ask me about the meaning of my pictures. I remain silent even as my pictures are. It is for them to express and not to explain. They have nothing ulterior behind their own appearance for the thoughts to explore and words to describe, and that appearance carries its ultimate worth. Then they remain; otherwise they are rejected and forgotten even though they may have some scientific truth or ethical justification. Love is kindred to art, it is inexplicable. Duty can be measured by the degree of its benefit, utility by the profit and power it may bring, but art by nothing but itself. There are other factors of life, which are visitors that come and go. Art is the guest that comes and remains. The dithers may be important, but Art is inevitable.”

ART-ery : Surprises Unfold

“You could be an entrepreneur, a working professional, a mother, a lover, a dreamer or whatever it is you are, we would like to celebrate you and help you find something unique to your personality.”

I’m certainly not the types you’d find sporting a thick gold necklace and heavy bangles. Leave alone the rest of paraphernalia. I like my precious-pieces as elegant as they come. Not too flashy but unique pieces that speak for me. After all they’re an extension of who we are? Wouldn’t you want just the perfect You…that describes you? ART-ery offers pieces that can define who you are on the inside, visually. There’s a piece for every type of occasion – artsy parties, club-nights, weddings or simple office-wear that’s chic and light. Let me some that have got me hooked to them:


Style Code – AC-3ST08-Rope
Color – Gold
Price on request
Contact – +91 85928 59544

Intricate designs, material-sensitivity and attention to detail. Seamlessly suits anyone who decides to wear them but molds itself to your taste. 

You can choose from Arm Cuffs, Anklets, Bangles, Ear rings, rings and necklaces. For a person who shops gadgets and books online, this was a great experience for me. A simple interface which highlights the products : ART-ery is a go-to for some affordable yet delectable designs. A perfect solution for gifts and surprises (men, I hope you’re taking down notes) . But for the independent young women : show your flare for design and ethnic-chic through these. Mix and match; order and get it delivered. More good news? Orders above Rs. 500 can avail Free Delivery throughout the country. Designer is designer. Let me show you my picks so you can actually see what they’ve got up their sleeves :
Style code – ATER-3ST07-SILVERWING
Color – Silver
Price on request
Contact – +91 85928 59544


FR-2ST01-Orange and Gold – Beaded Spherical Ring


Silver Paisley Slip-on Anklet – Traditional and yet contemporary in its singularity. A symbol of the Indian Woman – transitioning yet graceful.


Capture.JPGAnd guess what’s the best part ? All the above articles are priced under Rs. 500. I just heard some budget-shoppers and college-goers (like myself) go yay. Beat the ordinary, find the unique. 

And this I spotted out of the blue. These beauties, well actually, similar ones were owned by my mother who has an exemplary jewellery collection that is elaborate in all its ways – because of all the travelling and experience she’s gained over time. But now I can get my hands on them (for much lesser) :


Style code – ER-2ST32-PEARLCLUSTER
Color – White

Well, before I wrap up I need to show you this because I’m transfixed by it. It was actually a giveaway from ART-ery’s Facebook page. So now you know where to go for future surprises :


We’re all trying to carve out a niche for ourselves in this world’s collective sphere of recognition. Why not choose apt symbols while we’re at it?

ART-ery has a young, vibrant and yet elegant collection. The designers are determined to provide you the best trends of the season. Why not support their craft and gain from it? Doesn’t their name ART-ery say it all? Based in Trivandrum its  a fast growing; trend-setting store. Be the first among your clique to order from here and spread the news. Brownie points up for grabs.

Create that Fashion Statement, start here !

You can catch the ART-ery fever this season via:


Instagram – ART-ery

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Intellectual Stratas – My Take

The difference between intellects; pseudo-intellects; couldn’t-care-lesses and all the Other lots is : the effort – to pursue their interest in a certain matter. It decides how deep they’ll read into it, how much time they’ll spend on it and how elaborate their thesis will be. You can choose your strata. Stand by it. Once that’s done, accept the results and don’t feel bad if the intellect got a better score. Or the Other Lot got a good night’s sleep. Or the pseudo got the better wine. If you know what I mean.



Idols of Inspiration – we look for them in people who have reached the zenith of our profession or the game-changers and trend-setters of the society. I looked at the hashtag and waited for names to hit me. I have friends who selflessly work for the education of orphans; artists who go around the country changing lives with interventions, educationists who bring life to academics, activists who lose lives over social issues and basically people who just live their life as an example to others.

But my #madeofgreat is not one person. 

The first name that will always pop up in my mind would be that of my Mother – Supriya Sudesh. You meet anyone who knows her and they’ll stop all conversation and mention the enigma that lady carries within her. She changes life through pure love and originality. Home is a responsibility that women were born with. You may give me a hundred revolutionary examples (many of whom I know, myself) but in return, I’ll give you the other million realities. The truth is we love it. We’re not complaining. I can’t wait to have a Home with my Family. But its a lot of running around, managing, adjusting and love, you know. But some people rise above just their careers and homes to make others feel loved. She doesn’t preach, she doesn’t interfere. She just listens. And sometimes, that makes the difference between sleeping depressed and knowing someone’s there. And her students absolutely adore her. Some of them are now working professionals and they never stop talking about her -sometimes as a second Mother and sometimes at The Teacher who taught them how to think for themselves. As a family and that too a fauji one we’ve faced many tides together and she has stood strong and gotten us through them all. The entire family once had bouts of malaria and she took care of us (note: my sister Rhea was a baby when she got malaria and that was a scary situation). She was young a mother then. And probably scared but she made it. Hell, that’s why we made it out, alive. And then times in Ladakh when she had to be there for my Dad. And then pretty much my entire life with various this-that’s ranging from hyperactivity as a baby to mood-shifts and stress, now. She’s handling it all. And doing a great job of it. She’s the root that keeps the Scientist Dad, Crazy-hippie-artsy-dreamy-philosopher daughter and the serious-nerdy-future-IAS daughter together. We love you Mom. You are truly #madeofgreat.

But this post is still beginning. And if I’ve kept you with me till now, then good, because only you deserve the rest.

It was early on a chilly morning in New Delhi with a fog situation so bad that I couldn’t see the road-divider,meters away from me. My sister was a tiny bundle of red sweaters and a blazer next to me while my long legs froze to their death. Guys get to wear full pants and we still have to wear skirts with these useless stalkings, thermocot pants don’t fit my socks, cha. Unfair! I thought to myself. We were waiting for our school bus to arrive. You’ll find at least a hundred APSDK (Armt Public School, Dhaula Kuan) buses in the morning, in every part of Delhi (especially the west) plying from one corner to another with little red-blue bodies (depending upon whether or not they’re wearing the blazer)  within them jumping around like monkeys or sleeping to the sound of the morning radio (the irony). It was almost 6:30AM and something was wrong.

‘We’ve missed it,’ my sister announced, tugging at my sleeve. I felt ashamed because she was so tiny and cold and this was all probably my fault. I always felt responsible when it came to taking care of her. I’ve also taken it too far sometimes, getting into brawls in her name and sorts like that.

We probably had to get back home but the little one had an exam. Our parents were not in sight, our home was a long walk away (Dad dropped us in the bike before going for a jog) and I had no money to travel any way. I could see hope draining away from her face as the traffic built up. Assembly would have started. That’s when we saw a huge green Army Bus with DK 71 on it. Not ours but the destination was the same and we had our bus-passes hanging around our necks. So the tiny self that was me asked my sister to stay put as I ran towards the edge to stop the bus. It was moving pretty fast. And I, in my natural-self ways, ran along with the bus shouting.. ‘ROKO! ROKO! Arre bhaiya dekho!’ and I kept running to no avail. The few stupid kids who saw me from the window actually found it funny to see me run but said nothing of it to their conductor and driver. My sister was crying by the time I came back and all hell broke loose.

‘Beta, kaunsa route hai?’ someone said. It was a young man in a Jawaan’s uniform with the crew cut. We know Army when we see Army, isn’t it? And believe it or not, once a fauji forever a fauji. You see someone in the uniform and you know you belong under the same tree and you feel brotherhood. But then in that age, it was a bhaiya we could trust.

‘Bhaiya, DK 75,’ I replied. I was probably sobbing, too.

Chalo phir, pakadwaate hai bus aapka,’ he said, ‘Chalte rehna uss taraf pe, hum aage se bus rukwaate hai. Jaldi theeke?’ 

He asked us to keep walking in the direction of the bus that left us and he’d go ahead of us to stop it. We agreed because, why not? The neighborhood was familiar. In the worst case scenario : we’d walk up to some office or CSD and make a call. He quickly got onto his cycle and broke into a freak-wave speed. We walked as fast as we could with bottles and bags dangling around our necks and shoulders. I had Rhea’s tiny hand, tightly clasped in mine. She kept up, occasionally wiping her leaky nose with the sleeve of her blazer. We walked a couple of minutes and I was probably hoping I had not landed my unsuspecting sister into another one of my menaces.

The flyover came. Far from home is what it spelled to me. 

Are chotu!’ came a voice. It was the Jawaan. He was standing a little ahead of us with the conductor and the bus. We went running towards it. With one deft move they lifted my sister and all her paraphernalia into the bus and helped me, too. I just had enough time to look out of my window and shout , ‘Thank you, bhaiya!’

Now, this was not a gallant war-story of an Army Soldier – the ones you come across aplenty. This was the story of a man who would run behind buses to make little kids who belonged to his comrade – catch their morning school bus. He is the same man who worked through nail, blood, sand, mountains and sweat to become a fauji. Who will give his life at a moment’s notice of ambush. Who has a family waiting for him, praying every time he left for TD’s that he returned safely, back to them.

But their lives are on the line, as we speak. And they signed up for it in full conscience. I’ve heard people reprimand others saying people join the forces just because they couldn’t get any other job. How I pity those foolhardy people. To get into the Defense is one of the toughest things ever. But even beyond that is the commitment for life. And its a bondage that the rest of  his family gets into, as well.

I recently read a post by an officer’s wife who was sharing the story of a couple from their previous unit in Dehra- the officer and his wife, Surbhi were as charming and in-love as any newly wed couple is. There were stories and anecdotes of how perfect they’re for each other with pictures of them. Maj. Dhruv was an avid photographer, Bullet-enthusiast and biker (goes without saying :with the Bullet) and a man with fine artillery skills. His wife, Surbhi is a simple woman with a flare for life that shines through her smile. The post then went on to announce the grim reality : the passing away of Maj Dhruv on the 22nd of Septemper (2015) due to a stray shrapnel that hit him in a firing drill in Pokhran.

Maj Dhruv and Surbhi Yadav

The writer said she didn’t know how she’d face the young wife. She was still recounting the lovely moments of affection between the newlyweds who are now parents of a months-old baby. When she finally did meet Surbhi, she saw a child who was broken.

Woh chala gaya‘ is all Surbhi said. 

Those three words, if you can read into them, show you the magnitude of her loss. He was a part of her. A soulmate. This was not a loss. This was her everything. Her hopes, her love, her dream, the reason she woke up every morning just an hour early so she could surprise him with a favorite breakfast, her prayer, her husband. The Father of her child. He left them without his own will. He left them without wanting to. He left them without a goodbye. He left without celebrating his baby’s first year.

I don’t even know them but I can feel the pain. 

In Bareilly, about eight years ago, I’d lived through a similar story. Only I knew them firsthand and that made it all the more unbearable. They were, too, a new couple with a baby in the house. We’d see them in parties and functions – as happy as any family could be. We’d play with the baby and cycle up to their house in the evenings to go see the kid again. My friend Prajakta and I would do that for a long time before the tragedy.

One day,Dad called late in the night from office. The entire unit was in there waiting for a signal. The Commanding officer’s chopper ( three members in it : a General, himself and a co-pilot) had stopped pinging back around two hours of reaching Joshimath in the morning. 

The confirmed news came late but came crashing : We had lost them. 

The rest is too hard for me to share but the crux of it will tell you what I’m trying to say. These people who’s prayers for their husbands, sons, brother, father’s safe return are unanswered, are the people who are #madeofgreat.

They know the risks, they know the responsibility and yet they embrace the nomadic Fauji life with their Fauji. They support them – on all fronts. The man’s might comes from the satisfaction that his family is taken care of. They put their future, invest their life in His career. And do so with love. Implicit faith and love.

And when such mishaps take place and they lose the one man that made their world- they are left without roots, without shelter. Their tiny home is broken. 

But it doesn’t stop them. They keep the memory of the beloved departed alive. They stand up, then walk, they bring themselves back, they fight harder, stronger – to be more than what they can. To achieve more for themselves and the spirit of their loved one. They become the father and the mother, fill in every gap left. These women, these parents, these kids, these families are #madeofgreat

Despite their loss, they don’t think twice before allowing their kids to join the forces, or become a Fauji’s beloved despite losing their Dad to the profession. Their loss doesn’t deter them from supporting the others. Protecting this nation, forevermore. These people are the Great ones. The families of he Faujis are the ones the nation bows to.

To pick up yourself up when things fall apart and stay strong – move on- keeping their memory alive and never back down. Live their spirit in your life. That is what I’ve learnt from all these women and family members of the Fallen Heroes. The Martyrs. They don’t give up on life because they have no one to blame. They move ahead, stronger, doing their sons-husbands-brothers-friends proud.

Jai Hind.

Yours truly,

– A Fellow Fauji.



This post was written in association with IndiBlogger and TATA Motors . Do check out : to know more about the #madeofgreat campaign with Messi as their ambassador. And what do you think about it? Comment below and chances are, you may just win something.


The Culture Shift – Stylori Special

Finding someone date-able on a dating site is like picking ladies fingers in the market. You have to nip the ends to see if its ripe or not. It took months, no wait it took a year. He was twenty seven. Too old for me. I remember childishly saying, ‘Too old for flings. Too young for Love’ whenever friends asked me my position in college. My parents were of the career-oriented fashion who didn’t worry too much about my marriage or relationships. They wanted me settled academically and stable. And that was a boon to me. But when the world is spinning around you and your friends are getting engaged while you’re selecting colleges after clearing GATE, you just slump on the pillow and try to wash away the tiny pinch of loneliness you feel when you look at the blank screen on the phone. The only notifications I got were from class-groups and friends’ circles. I didn’t really care too much except on those nights when the parents went o holidays leaving me behind to love my neighbor’s dog. I had friends all over the country so I was never really bored for too long. 

On one such night, when the mundane YouTube had run out of playlists to share with me and my eye had burned out from reading college brochures. Everyone had the same old achievements and students settled in Germany posting happy pictures on their profiles. I wanted to sleep off as I browsed one last page when someone pinged me on Facebook. It was my aunt. She was a senior-associate of an International Law Firm in Singapore and I was the niece she doted upon. I’d usually have open chats with her about achievements and the occasional lows.

‘Join tinder, you.’ she said.

And I was about to send her a sloppy smiley and ask her to go away. But she sent me a link and a plethora of Tinder hacks and I couldn’t understand what was on my mind. ‘You’re going to go away anyway. Just enjoy while you’re still there in Bengaluru. You’re probably headed to some town to get that Masters,’

I pretended to ignore her. She knew.

‘It’s no big deal. Live a little. You can handle this- you need to. You should know things before you blindly fall for some nerd who’ll earn a lakh but fart after tea,’ she sent.

And I had to reply to that. She abhorred the guys I went out with. I was a shameless brain-digger. After my initial failures – hot men, I decided to go for the ones who’ll actually appreciate my intelligence. But within a month, I’d already be ignoring his calls like a mean person and consoling myself that it was better to let them know before they fell in love with me or something worse. I never learned. Rough. If I called that experimenting, the heavens would send a shoe to kick my head.

So I decided to play. To actually get out of that silly comfort zone of being a safe-playing girl who smiled at friends and ended conversations before the clock hit ten. I created that profile… the one a hundred different kind of guys would judge by the day. I revealed too less about me. But I was embarrassed to death when I made it public. Apprehension came in but left as soon as I realized half my friends were also running the same race. I began checking profiles, swiped left-right depending on how they expressed themselves. Some appalled me while some made me roll my eyes at the screen. A few clicked and the matches were instant. The 1:100 ratio made things worse. I had twenty matches and confusing conversations by the end of the day. One was a doctor who sung in choirs. Who spoke about classic rock the way I liked to play it on rainy evenings. And he matched instantly. He wouldn’t message me all night. I felt a tiny tinge. I swiped through his messages. He had a bright face with curly hair that softly framed his head. He sang, he saved lives, he attended indie-gigs and his profile had a lot of good music in it. Perhaps I should make the first move but isn’t that a bad , desperate move? Was I actually into Tinder? Was this the guy who my Aunt could make fun of me with when she finds out? 

By the time my head fell on my pillow, I’d typed in a H, had a instant blood-rush; switched off my phone and passed out of mortification. Somehow messaging someone you admired was tricky. The next morning I remember checking my inbox the first thing. Few messages below, I found his face. ‘Hello, I’m Aaron. You listen to Pearl Jam, too? Very few who quote them in their bio.’

I replied instantly without realizing he had sent it minutes ago. Desperate girl on a binge. 

‘Ah, yeah, thanks. You sing?’

‘Yeah, I have a band back here. I’m surprised I found someone, though,’

‘Why is that? Where do you live?’

‘Well I’ve been doing some research in a small town but I live in Pondicherry. Doctor at JIPMER,’ he replied.

Is he boasting?

‘What do you do?’ he replied when he saw I had gone mute.

‘Just finished Architecture. Passed GATE. College-hunting,’

‘Busy time to be love-hunting?’

Who said I want love or anything for that matter? Haha’

‘Oh. Sorry, my bad. What re you looking for?’

‘I really don’t know. Nothing indecent though,’

‘Depends on your perspective. So, GATE huh? Smart much?’


And that conversation went on until he had to drive to work. I waited the entire day for a ping that never came. Alas, the Queen of Desperate messaged him by dusk. Apparently he was caught up with work. We continued our virtual rendezvous on music, art, medical-work and architecture until we fell asleep. This went on until every message of his made me jump like a cliched heroine of the 90’s. Soon we were talking on Whatsapp. Calls were out of the question as  I get too nervous and blabber stuff that I regret immediately. And I replace English words with sound-effects like ‘Gahhhh’; ‘Zwing!’. ‘Baaaah!’ Un-date-able.

He didn’t mind it. I didn’t mind his schedules. Soon it was time for form-submissions. And the stress sessions began and it was such a relief to talk to him every evening after multiple exam counselling sessions. He became a part of my day. And me his. We needed to meet. Not because I doubted he was a maniac but because I needed to run my hands over those soft curls and see him smile as those dimples turned up. I wanted to sit and watch him sing at parties; read his papers; check out his records-collection and cycle along the beach. I had to go there. He was going back home for his vacation and he hinted at me being there. Six months. That’s the time we spent virtually allowing our strings to intricately tie themselves to each other’s. We were entwined but the ends were loose. I was smitten as a bee. And earning a Master’s degree was getting to me. I was not too far away from him but neither too close. We didn’t even share the same coast. Mumbai had it lights, Pondi had its canals. I needed to get on the train to that city where the French lounged for decades together. And I took my chance. He said his Mother would pick me up. She was a senior surgeon, too but the warmest one I knew. We’d spoken on his birthday, then mine and recently, for Christmas. Judy had the same curls, longer but a bigger smile and eyes that had grown wrinkles around them with wisdom. We broke into a warm hug that smelled of subtle roses as soon as we met. I was already happy. The chilly morning didn’t matter, nor did the bag that was weighing my shoulders down. 

‘Sasha, how are you? God have I been waiting to see you!’

I had a delirious excitement in my heart like I knew I was going to explode any moment. 

‘I’m sorry, Aaron couldn’t come, love. He’s at the clinic,’

I nodded as we walked towards the car. I recognized their Estilo from the pictures. She opened the dickey to place my bag.

‘There, we’re set. I’ll see you later, then?’ she said, turning around. What?

And she blew a kiss on my forehead before getting into the car. I walked to her window. 


‘Sweet, look across the road,’ and she started the engine. My heart stopped. And I thought I’d faint any moment. All this waiting.

I looked up across the hood and the road. He was there – a messy shirt, a tie falling off his neck and the perfect smile. The curls were all over his face, though.

‘Munchkin!’, he called out.

And I ran for him. I heard the car drive by and I couldn’t care less. He pulled me into the warmest hug I’d ever got and pressed his lips on my head. I had tears in my eyes and his collar was taking the brunt.

‘Aaron,’ I whimpered like a wet-kitten.

‘You, angel,’ he smiled down at me.

I laughed.

‘Welcome to my city,’ he winked before putting his arms around my waist and leading me into the two-wheeler parking. His bike stood there. We drove until the shops began closing down. A cold rush of breeze that broke on his body, trickled past him to brush past me. I smelled his many fragrances – perfume, after-shave, dettol and a floral talc. I couldn’t stop gazing at his frame. I couldn’t believe the warmth that I held in my embrace. It was his breathing self. The one that sent voice records to remind me to sleep and made ugly sketches cartoons. 

Days flew past. Roy, Judy Aaron and I had danced to every song his records; tasted wines from every bottle; made the craziest dinners; attended the nicest parties and spent every evening in the beaches like families do. All until after New Year’s eve. Aaron had just kissed me for the first time after I finally gave in (just playing hard to get and nothing else) when Judy brought in the cake. 

The party lasted until dawn when I began dozing off next to him in the couch. He woke me up. And nudged  my elbow with a paper.

I woke up. A letter? An appointment letter. The Title was in French. I read on. His application was accepted and he was to continue his research there for two entire semesters.I was happy. I was mad. I had knots in my tummy. My lips had planted a kiss on his. My eyes were teary and my heart hurt. I was holding him, but shaking myself. This was it. 

‘I know,’ he said as he placed his chin over my head that was resting in the hollow under his face. I could feel his Adam’s apple bound up and down as he swallowed back words…tears? Or just explanations?

‘I love you,’ he breathed, finally, when I looked up to see his eyes reflecting my tears, only they flowed for real. He was happy and he was sad. And he was mad. Circumstances.We pulled apart. We heard his parents enter. 

Judy sat next to me and her single gaze made me melt into her arms. I was upset. I never wanted to leave them. And I said it out loud.

‘You don’t have to. You are as much ours as you are his. And we are most definitely yours. You’ve changed our lives in a week, kid,’

Roy sat across me and took my hand in his. I hid my face by looking down. I could feel Aaron’s arm around my shoulder tighten.

I felt something cool slide over my wrist. I looked to see the most beautiful and slender handlet glitter. 

‘And this should remind you that we are now, family,’ she said.

Aaron kissed my cheek.

It was a symbol of love : distances don’t so families apart. Stylori’s intricately designed gold handlet. 

This was something special. This was not a fling, not winter-love. This was hearts joining through moments of happiness as people come close. France was miles away. But Pondi was not. I had a home to come back to, to feel closer to Aaron and those who loved us. This is how relationships happened in my home :it was always too mundane or it had too many links attached. Simplicity was never a door. And here, I belonged in a pattern. I had his smile, his warmth, his words, his music, his tensions, their love, their warm hugs, ridiculous expressions when we tasted my experiments.

I also had my family who supported my bold decision to just visit my boyfriend’s home. Their trust, their love that didn’t really paint walls but gave me the peace of having people who care about me. Their busy lives made me feel dull sometimes but knowing Aaron’s parents made me realize how hard mine tried to give me everything despite their preoccupations. A culture shift. From work-home-dinner to love-time-hugs-dettol. A shift I was ready to accept. A home away from home. A place where another family awaited me.

This post is written in association with CBC for stylori, do check them out and their brilliant designs. Unique to the U. And, the interface is very user-friendly. The best part is, the choices are amazing.

Fever Dream Musing

Time is made when you stitch together moments you’d otherwise have whiled away Daydreaming, biting your nails thinking of nothing, exploring areas your life that are hard to get at, stick snapshots of your childhood along the walls of the dark tunnel as a reminder of a time that you would like to go back to, not to change anything, but to experience bitter-sweet things, things you wish you could bring back : like the first guy you held hands with, the Birthday-parties you cut cakes in with both parents holding your hands, the evening you spent playing monopoly with your sister, the times you wish you could grow up faster not realising its a trap (cliché-gun) and Sunday mornings without a care of laundry, pending assignments or budgets (so metropolitan).

Nostalgic cupcakes. Exploding in my head. I’m playing all these slow core songs even as I clear my throat in the morning cold. I smell a hint of my perfume mixed with the vapour-rub and it reminds me of mother?

I have to pick myself up for class. Thinking about it sitting here, itself, makes me want to dive right back into the bed. I know I won’t find any sleep now. I want coffee flowing warm in my throat and the sunlight to touch my temples.

I’m thinking about nothing else, really. I have sketched a few elaborate ideas that are a continuation from previous design class. I know they’ll have thicker rolls when we enter class. I living up to my satisfaction of having progressed and no comparison. Because well,that’s just going to bring someone down. I can hear a hair-dryer being used at a distance. And doors banging. Class is at 0830 and attendance beckons. To a day full of light? Or longing to be back? I know naught. Here ends my morning musing.