Pyasa Pyala


I hope I cleared any doubts about this being a post about Valentine’s Day. I’m trying really hard not to look down upon the celebrations as best I can. I’ve not sent cheeky messages to friends who’ve changed their display pictures into pouting selfies; I’ve not bitten off the heads of the few who came to talk to me about Valentine’s nor did I reply bitterly to anyone who thought it would be a good idea to wish me. So, I’ve behaved pretty well, now, haven’t I? Moving on.

For those of you who don’t know how seriously I take Instagram – I should warn you that the way I fall in love with certain posts that introduce me to a whole new Universe almost every week – can seem quite weird to you. Of the three hundred odd people whose accounts I’ve subscribed to, there are a few that have added pages to my life by giving me tiny bursts of inspiration. It could be the quotes they share or a certain picture they took while travelling – a work in progress – a memory – portraits of people – views I’d never have seen if I hadn’t followed them – experiences that inspire me to go the extra mile. I know this is a generic list but one must find pleasure within their means.

Dayanita Singh is one such person. Photography as art. Subtlety and originality. A curator of memories she is. Her posts capture the essence of her travels and encounters with people and places. Sometimes they speak of the art that she’s making and sometimes about the musician on a bus. Through her I met my love : Vikram Seth.

I had bought A Suitable Boy with great interest in a book fair from one of those second-hand stores – it was one of the early-prints of the book – its white jacked tattered and pages yellowing. My Mother wondered how I’d ever get to finishing the book – it being thicker than her arm – as she paid for it. It’s stayed on my shelf ever since because I believe that every book has its time and I never force myself to read – anything. That was my first encounter with Seth and now suddenly, after two months I see him again on Singh’s post – its a quote, I thought, before realizing its in verse.


I smiled at you because I thought that you
Were someone else; you smiled back; and there grew
Between two strangers in a library
Something that seems like love; but you loved me
(If that’s the word) because you thought that I
Was other than I was. And by and by
We found we’d been mistaken all the while
From that first glance, that first mistaken smile. 

Vikram Seth

And that’s it. I dropped what I was doing and began searching for where I could get more of this. Like a cat lapping up milk. I tracked the book down and then a larger collection of poems until I had almost five of his poetry books in my hands within a weak. And I devoured it – in silent passion. I did’t note verses down or speak about it to anyone because I wanted it all for myself. I’d sit hour after hour in my sanctuary – reading about love, about places afar, sculpture, anguish, resignation, sleep, kinship – and a myriad of other things. I like how simple Seth is. The images that form in my head as I read line after line – are clear and resonate with feelings of my own. I didn’t stop at poetry – I wanted to hear the voice that spoke in his head. And once I found his voice – speaking to me about his impulsiveness and his process of making anything – art or novella – I fell. You can almost here a certain tone of self-importance but at the same time he flashes a humble smile and his fragile hands move in the air painting something from his mind that he’s trying very hard for us to understand.

I am yet to read A Suitable Boy, Two Lives and An Equal Music (All of which I’ve bought and kept in my shelf for the right time) but when I do read them I will write about it because something tells me I will love it. Also, I hope I read these books before he releases A Suitable Girl (whenever that is).


Theatre : the stint

I still remember sitting in the balcony seat with Mom as we saw Shreekumar Varma Sir’s play : Ganga at Rishikesh being performed by artists from Stray Factory in the Hindu Theatre Fest. Madras Players performed, too. At that time, it was another world. Even while riding out of the venue I remember being completely taken by the lights, the laughter, the excitement and the people. It was so much more than cinema – and yet it works on you the same way. Only, its so much more real and absorbing, in the sense that at a certain point the change-overs begin to matter less – the opinions you form and performers keep you riveted or well, looking around, instead.

At college, I worked with a small yet very enthusiastic team of actors – whenever we got time, with roughly-edited plays; depending more on improv than real emotions, subtle details and strong scripts. We performed to thoroughly entertain the rest of the college – with cheap props and makeshift sets. Nobody had the upper-hand, the director was usually the script-writer who may or may not have understoodd his/her own play, completely. Casting was based on availability and the capacity to bunk extra classes that were held after 5:30pm. Performances only happened alongside college fests, the odd culturals in another campus or as an opener to an event. Practices led into flat-made dinners and night-outs intended to work on scripts usually turned into a lot of laughter and tom-foolery. We would collect a hundred bucks each to buy the odd prop or paint – we even had an account and a manager of it. There was one designated person (usually a bright child with a good pointer) who would be in-charge of getting the Principal’s signature in permission letters. Well, now that college is done, I can tell you the story of how Eason, my senior and the Captain of our troupe – Black Pearl (what did you expect?) – sneaked in my name in the medical register to get me attendance. Well I’m sure the resident doc found out because the name had no serial number and was scribbled above the margin but he let me go, anyway. That was for Survey and Leveling, I guess. I hope you don’t go tell on me, now.

But after college, things changed (in the past month, that is, not some major past) – and I got the opportunity to play the part of Julie in The Blind Date at the Short & Sweet Festival – South India Chapter. I knew about S&S before – I’d seen Stray Factory perform in the East and win accolades. I knew this was something very different. Well things got real the day we (the cast and the director, Charan Saravana) met at Alliance Francaise which was also the venue of the shows.

Introducing the cast:

I played Julie, yes. And she had a Grandmother : J.J who Sharada played (who is a fellow blogger who writes poetry, erotica and is an outgoing woman who is currently writing her next script, perhaps) and a date, Dave played by Prakash who is also an actor in Tamil Cinema and you should see him when he speaks about how much he likes acting. My favourite character though is : The Waiter (Sravanth – a mime-artist and fabulous performe who is equally funny, if not more, in real life) who started out to be a witty American but then transformed into a Mexican and then an Indian (Tamil, to be more precise) immigrant who fakes a Mexican Accent.

Practices lasted weeks together and I’d drive to the venue which is a nice spot under bel and mango trees and has so many other artists practicing and frolicking about that you’ll never spend a dull moment there. Eating at the bajji stall and the nearby sweet-shop – practicing lines, putting up with tantrums, being difficult, eating up lines, cracking unbearably stupid jokes (mokkai or blade jokes), talking in my incomprehensible Tamil and well, just spending time with a bunch of dreamers and performers is what I did until the show week arrived.

We had two technical rehearsals and then it all happened:

Ten plays- with mixed genres and actors coming from all backgrounds and walks of life – some hoping to compete and some, like us, just wanting to be a part of the theatre festival. I met so many people and interesting is an understatement.

Back-stage is where all the drama really happens with the backstage staff comprising of Char-less and his boys trying to find props on time and keeping actors from smoking in the toilet and maintaining decorum. Well, what do you expect if you put three dozen performers in a small, dark room along with adrenaline and make-up? But it was in no way horrible – it was pure fun. Every person was upto something, if not unusual, then funny. So much comedy. From props getting lost to lights being turned off when actors put make-up to people losing their costumes to actors going missing a minute before their play! Its a party in there.

The silent minutes in the small ante-room next to the stage which is the actor’s entry spot – where you await your turn to perform. You can see the other play from the tiny window. You can hear the audience and yet you’re not out there. The lights haven’t caught you . Do I remember my lines? Will he remember what to do when the cue is right? Will the spotlight light up at the right moment? Will the audience get our jokes? Will we exceed the 10  minute limit? And the the stage goes dark and the blue lights turn on – your props are being set and the audience knows you’re next. And then your fellow actors go out there and do their part while you await your entry cue : and at that precise moment you enter – pretending to be unaware of the two-hundred odd pair of eyes watching you and listening to your every breath. The show goes on – you play your part. The light is so bright that all you see before you are silhouettes but you play your part. And you’re exhilarated when the audience responds to your performance – they did get the joke! That feeling on-stage is a big responsibility –  towards the time you’ve spent gearing up for this, the people you play a part with and those who have come to honor your effort. And then the lights go off and you walk back to the ante-room where you wish luck to the other performers hidden in the dark – and escape into the green-room which is bustling with silent activity and you see smiles. A quick exchange of comments and then you go downstairs for the scrumptious chocolate cake and lemon tea at the canteen. I think I also had a keech and chicken-rolls (if that’s how you spell it) one day.

I met a lot of people – some great performers, some good-nature’d folk and I had some friends come over to watch my play and that felt quite nice – them seeing another side of me. The last day, I just absorbed all that energy and looked at all those smiles before I left with my Mum who watched all of my shows and probably knows every play by-heart.

I may or may not do theatre again but this chapter in my life has already been written.




Desperate words.

Life is.

Everything hanging out in a random box, unintentionally,  piling up day after day.

Some useful. Some morose.  Some dumped-in because they don’t fit in…perhaps because they are broken or mismatched.
Some just waiting to get noticed because you put them in there in your cleaning spree with NO FORETHOUGHT and now are looking for it everywhere.
Will you find it? Yet, its still there.
Life can be a mess or organised as Cara Delevigne ‘s vanity-box or Bob Borson ‘s architecture blog.
Or just be beautiful, frank and yet original like Anh Duongart ‘s self-portraits.


You jut have to live it to solve the puzzle. Embrace the madness. Be open to possibilities and risk.  Push yourself. Find yourself. Let go. Repeat!

Hold the tension like a Violin String and make something beautiful! (Julie Bernstein)

Get wounded. Accept loss. Cry. Throw Up. Fall down. Tear. Bleed. Burn. Cry again. Let guilt poke you. Sorrow sting you. Because its okay. And you’ll heal.


Joel Meyerowitz says, “Time is unstoppable. Nature as time erases the wounds. Transforms the event as it goes further away.”
Pick up the pieces, make something new. Its all just lying there for you to see.
Passionate optimism.

Customised Playlist : New Beginning

Lately, music has been a driving factor in my life. Be it happiness, frustration (when I got soaked by drainage water; my A-key is almost jammed, etc)

It keeps us running or its the enriching factor. Trust me, I’ve got background music running all the time in my head for all types of situations. Even when girls are cat fighting in the dorm bathing-cubicles, ‘No, I came first!’.

Sometimes, when I get new songs I actually take off on bathroom/coffee breaks from class to listen to the peace. Oh and listening while walking is heaven. I bought new earphones with my first writing-pay. So you can imagine. Anyway, enjoy.

The following list…no real order actually, they re all so fly. I hope you enjoy it. No, it’s not teenage dumb-shit. It’s good music. For people from all walks of life.

1. Hero – Family Of The Year

Love the music and the lyrics just fall in place. It speaks of all our dreams and the need for us to be free. ‘Your masquerade, I don’t wanna be a part of your parade. Everyone deserves a chance to walk with everyone else.’

2.A Girl, A Boy and A Graveyard – Jeremy Messersmith

Mellow, beautiful. Deep. It’ll get onto your lips in no time. Good vocals, too.

3. Superheroes – The Script

I’ve missed this band. But they’re back with a powerful, lively and balld-like song. Heart of Steel. Phrases like that. Energetic. Workout or productivity issues? Use this one.

‘Coz’ you’re stronger than you think. A heart of steel begins to grow.’

‘Every day, every hour, turn the pain into power.’

4. A Sky Full of Stars – Coldplay

This album was  change to their usual style. Mixed bag. But this song just lights up everything in your soul. Chris’s own recovery is felt. Or maybe its just me.

5.All Eyes On You – St. Lucia

New age music on the go. Perfect beats.

‘I will always stand-by, not in the shelf’

6.All of Me – John Legend

His voice is gold. The music video is going to be one of those evergreen-all-time favourites. You can never get tired of this. Beautiful lyrics. Tears your soul apart.

‘All of me loves all of you Love your curves and edges. Love your perfect imperfections’

And yes, That does not sound the least bit cheesy. Absolute favourite. It melts me. And of you sing it/ dedicate it to someone, you’re gonna sweep them right off their feet alright.

7.Am I Wrong- Nico and Vinz

No time to feel down. This song is gonna smack you nd wake you up from the pit hole you think you’re in.

‘So am I wrong for thinking we could be something for real.

Now am I wrong for trying to reach for thing I cant see?’

8. All of The Stars

I hardly think any other song could complement The Fault In Our Stars better. Touching. Beautiful. If I could, I’f hug Ed Sheeran. Lovely vocals, amazing song.

‘And I know these scars will bleed but both of our hearts believe all of these stars will guide us…’

9. Angel -Jack Johnson

The guitar and the guy. God, lovely music. Deliberately slow so that the lyrics get absorbed into your cortex and make you feel beautiful.

‘She gives me kisses on the lips just for coming home.’

10. Animals – Maroon 5

Adam Levine makes you feel things with that voice of his. He’s got you alright. Ver catchy and makes you dance. Upbeat. I just go crazy. Hot, hot, hot.

‘You can pretend its meant to be, you can’t stay away from me.’

11.Bad Girl aka Tera Naam Japdan Phiran -Waseem Stark ft Mickey Singh’

A playlist by an Indian without a Punjabi song is just SO Wanna-be Firangi.You have to be a saint to not start dancing as soon as this plays. It’ll bring out the crziest moves. Burrrrrah! Dance, dance! Lose yourself to Punjabi music with electro beats if you’re into it. Cannot forget Superwoman ( @iisuperwomanii) dancing to this one dressed up as  guy XD

‘Tere naam toh sdke main jaawaan.’ 

12. Badra Bahaar – Amit Trivedi (Queen OST)

Lovely lyrics. Just amazing. I’ll trnslate it for you if you don’t get it Lovely lyrics by Amit. And highly catchy. Perfect for an awesome movie like Queen. Hindi nahi aata? No problem. Listen to it, anyway.

13. Flaws- Bastille

For the lyrics and because this band is great. Face it, you love them, too.

‘There’s a hole in my soul. I can’t fill it!’

14.Black Widow – Iggy Azzalea ft Ariana Grande

Don’t deny it. You’ll resist it if you’re not into this kinda music. Do not resist. Let it take over. The beats are to die for. And Iggy is awesome, really. Good break-up song, haha.

15. Blood Like Lemonade- Morcheeba

Will remind of popular bands of yesteryear. Catchy. Soulful. Great vocals.

16.Bore Bore – Bluffmaster OST

Old bollywood song. Arabic. And catchy as crazy. You’ll find yourself dancing. Bet! One of my friends actually learnt the Arabic part unlike the rest of us who just bbble shit when the part comes.

17. Break Free – Zedd ft Ariana Grande

Kinda EDM but Grande’s done a really neat job here. Dnace music and areobics. Also energetic and upbeat.

18. Butterfly – Jason  Mraz

You wan’t cheesy in the disguise of a magical voice? This is the song for it. Hehhe, Naughty at its best. Amazing vocals and lovely laid-back music. I’m not quoting it for obvious reasons.

19. Celebrate – MIKA

He makes me happy. This song makes me cartwheel in my head. Love it. So will you. Its the yearning 🙂

20. Chekele- Avial

It’s a band from Kerala. This song is in Malayalam. A language I’m yet to conquer completely. But you MUST listen to it for the Music. What amazing work. And if you understand, even better. Try it. A band with great talent.

21. Cool Kids- Echosmith

New type of music. A good listen.

22. Crossfire – Brandon Flowers

Do it for the lyrics. Amazing song.

‘We’re stuck in the crossfire between Heaven and Hell.’

So true.

Nice to play in parties, too.

23. Medicine 24. Youth – Daughter

Lovely album. And really good vocals. So is the music. Quality stuff.

25. Elephant 26. Mind Mischief – Tame Impala

What’ not to like? Crazy music in a good, good way. It’s my roomie’s ringtone. And you’ll love this.

26. Stay Hight – Tove Lo

Brek up song? Yes. Really good music? Yes. Catchy? Yes.

27.Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger – Daft Punk version

I’ve got you on this. DP is irresistable. I’d kill to see the faces behind the robot. I’m going to Google them up NOW. Catchy, motivating.

28.Heard It On The Radio – The Bird and The Bee

Discovered this band recently. They do really good covers. You must check them out. This song i particularly like!

29. Into The Fire- 13 Senses

Evergreen on ll my lists. The music, the beats. I was mindeffed when I listened to it for the first time and there is a bag of nostalgia sticking to it. I absolutely want you to try it.

30. June 31. Keep You 32. When It’s Over 33. Take Me Away- Wild Belle

4! Yes, check them out if you’re into Music for the Independent Soul. Laid back and chill.

34. Lost Stars  35. Like  Fool – Keira Knightley

No, I’m not fooling around. She can sing and very well. All rounder Knightley. Be it theatre, films or songs. I love this song. And the lyrics.

‘Are we all lost stars trying to light up the dark’

36.Khul Kabhi – Arijit Singh- Haider OST

For the lyrics and music. Pure music. And takes you to just another dimensions.Beautiful.

37. Kiss From A Rose- Seal

Timeless music. Classic. You must listen to it if you haven’t already.

38. Maahi Ve 39. Patakha Guddi (Nooran Sisters) – A.R Rahman- Highway OST

What music, God. He’s a genius. Yes, the same guy who won an Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire for those who don’t know him well. For Indians, he’s magic. And this song comes from one of the best movies, ever. It’s about The Journey of a girl who gets kidnapped but that’s how she actually tastes freedom. And love. And Randeep Hooda. Oh God, it took me so much time to get over his rough handsomeness. Uncut Diamond.

Patakha Guddi is a must-listen.

39. Open – Rhye

Some more Indepent Soul Music. Beauty in music, my reader.

40. Rude – MAGIC

You will love this song, its so catchy. Sway to its beats.

41.Stay With Me 42. Latch – Sam Smith

To die-for vocals. Stay with me gives me goosebumps. That powerful. Latch has David Guetta getting you dancing. I love Sam Smith now.

43. Swing Lo Magellan

Old-timer’s. And sway-able. Background music to my mad life.

44. Trumpets- Jason Derulo

He’ll get you on your feet. Party music, yes. Gym, too. Enjoy it.

45. Tu Meri – Vishal Dadlani – Bang Bang OST

Refreshing music at its best. Beach party. Come, dance with me!

46. La La La – Shakira

Lazy people not dancing in the party? This will help. LET IT GO!

47. Blame- Calvin Harris ft John Newman

Beautiful. What lovely music.

48. You & Me- Disclosure

Something  new for me, too.

49.Your Love- Nicole Scherzinger


50. Tonight You Belong To Me – Eddie Vedder

Its a cover. And my roomie Rhea and I re obsessed with it. Pretty lyrics and what melody.

51. Wake Up Call -Maroon 5


52. RUBY -Kaise Chiefs

I bet you a 100 $ (no) tht you’ll start singing RUBY! RUBY! RUBY! when the chorus starts. I love it. Classic.

53. My Favourite Girl – The Hit Parade

Old-timer’s classic. If someone sang this for me, I’d melt like an ice lolly. What fun lyrics and music. Get it. Makes me smile like crazy. THIS is the song I want playing when Andy Samberg asks me out. (Unfortunately he’s almost a decade elder to me and probably married)

54. Yer Blues – Beatles

THIS is a Rhea-certified song. Classic, bitches.

55. Photogrph – Air

The video frees you. And the music wakes you up in a submliml way.

56. (BONUS )

Suga Suga- Baby Bash

It’s our guilty pleasure, sing-along song. Yes, reminds us of Blue and all those mellow and catchy pop bands.

57. (BONUS) Come As You Are – NIRVANA

Because we love him and Nirvana. How could someone possibly be so deep and good-looking. Those casual blonde strands dancing when he sang, shaking his head.

58. Shake It Off- Taylor Swift

Are you seriously not enjoying this?

59. You Know I’m No Good- Amy Winehouse

We love her.

I jope you liked this.