The Sadism of Inanimate Objects


The Truant Towel: 10 degrees on a cold winter morning in an unheated house. You bathe under wonderfully hot water and then stretch out your hand to reach for the towel and find that somewhere in the middle of your hot shower it had sneaked off to chat with its girlfriends. You step out of the shower shivering and tiptoe naked around looking for the damn thing to find it draped over a chair in your bedroom sniggering at the goosebumps on your naked thighs.

The Callous Car key:  You are rushing pillar to post with a never ending list of errands and finally come to the end of a nightmarish day – running back to your car to finally head home – already hallucinating about a glass of wine only to find that after 7 minutes of rummaging through your bag – NO CAR KEYS. After 13 min of frantic searching inside the building you just exited – you find it – comfortably letting it all hang out INSIDE the car. I swear – one time – the damn thing raised its keychain and waved at me from inside the car.

The Petulant Pen: The pen that will keep appearing within arms reach every single time you move your gaze around but go scuttling and hide under a chair the moment you get an important call and have to take down an important message involving a series of numbers which you will not remember otherwise. Oh and sometimes – you do find it right by your right hand when you need it – except this time – it will be constipated and it won’t write.

The Homicidal Heel : The heel of your favorite pair of shoes which will let you parade all about the house when you try it on with multiple outfits without so much as a squeak and then make a break for it in a wedding reception when you decide to make a spectacle of yourself in the middle of a dance floor.

The Flatulent Flat Tyre: The one that will hold all its gas until you are in the middle of the wilderness and then let it all out in one massive odorless fart leaving you stranded on a dark deserted street and a mobile phone with no reception.  So now you are hobbling down NH76  like a one legged pirate flagging down lifts because not only you have a flat – you also locked yourself out of your own stupid car.

The Mobile Manure: When you park carefully by the side of the road and then step out right into freshly baked cow dung which you could swear wasn’t there 1 sec ago. And it will be open sandals. Always. Open. Sandals.

Sometimes they all conspire together. The heel and the key and the tyre. They hold meetings in the dead of the night. Like they are part of a resistance movement. They wait for you to settle into bed with a good book on a hot summer night and then go trip the circuit so that they can plot their next move in peace.

And that is when the most vicious object of them all – strikes.

Under cover of darkness – the corner of the bed tends to grow in the manner of Pinocchio’s nose. And on cue I will get up to check on that tripped circuit and my shin – oh my shin – will contact that effing edge of the bed – and I kid you not – I can hear the bed guffaw – the keys yell ‘bullseye’ while the towel and the pen hi five each other.

It is a cruel world out there.




Child One. Adult Zero.

My almost 4 year old niece stood staring at her reflection in the mirror, examining herself from every possible angle, concentration etched all over her little face.

I waited for a while watching her intently and then couldn’t contain myself any longer and asked – What are you looking at ?

She says – I looking at how I look.

So I asked again – How do you look ?

I expected one or the other version of the following – pretty, cute, beautiful, ugly, fair, dark, fat, thin, nice, etc etc etc

She answered and I quote –  “I look Happy”.

Enough Said.

370b303e1460d2691d353ec28f613396.jpgSo apparently just like you are asked to rate your Ola/Uber drivers..they are expected to rate you too.

The desire to be liked is so strong that I found myself shamelessly peering over my driver’s shoulder to see what rating had he given me and I must admit feeling very relieved to have gotten a five star rating. He probably gave that to everybody but the whole episode got me thinking – How many people are rating me ?

My grocer? My gardner? My hairstylist?

What do they write in the additional comments ?

Talks too little.

Does not receive phone calls.

Does not dress Indian enough.

Loves Methi (Fenugreek). Hates Pumpkin.

 Gets too impatient when late.

Wrinkles up her nose if the cab smells stale.

(Actually I also look closely at the cushioning – ONCE I FOUND BLOOD STAINS  which got my head caught up in a tornado imagining dead rotting bodies in the boot and what not)

Anyway I digress.

I imagine all the star ratings and comments going into a giant database that tells you a little something about a billion people.

In the future you could look for partners like you look for hotels. Log in to (I checked – the domain name is available) and type in your requirement. Add the number of minimum stars four or five. Select criteria like patience. Generosity. Loves kissing in the backseat of a car. And press search.

And you have your perfect match.

Not choosing people solely on their profile pictures and their self commentary but actual ratings by actual people that they deal with every day of their lives.

You could choose someone based on your mutual love for cinema hall popcorn or karela as reported by the vegetable vendor on the app. Or computer games as reported by the techie guy.

If someone is good to the taxi driver I bet there is a high likelihood of him being an overall nice person.

I know one thing though. I am not letting my auxiliary staff get onto that app whenever that is made. I’d be in negative within three minutes.

On the bright side  – everyone would try to be their brightest sweetest best everywhere they go in the hope of a good rating.



Sometimes, Somedays

I wonder

If the darkness

would be kinder

than the raw callousness

of illumination

Would it be more forgiving

than the sanctimonious light?

More tolerant ?

Would it conceal my flaws

with a cloak

of anonymity

ensuring that whatever

breaks through

the seemingly impenetrable

impious blackness

always seems heartbreakingly


and paradoxically


They are on the road again

I was 15.

It was early evening.

Maybe 5 – maybe 6.

That time of day when you don’t really know if the sun is rising or setting

Unless you look at your wristwatch.


I was on my TVS scooty on my way to Biology tuitions.

Where we studied life and such.

I was about to experience it firsthand.

An unsolicited practical.


I took a turn into a lane.

There was a mob of men.

Young. Old.

And that funny age when you don’t know if you are young or old.


They spread out across the road like a giant organism

I stopped. I had to.

They came forward.

As one

They pulled me off my vehicle.

They looked menacing.

They had something in their hands.

They rubbed something on my face.

They were screaming something.

They were reeking of something.

They touched me.

Not one

Not once.

Maybe five men

Maybe ten men

Or did I imagine it all?

In the middle of the street.


I remember my eyes burning.

I remember crying.

I remember touching my face and thinking I am bleeding.

And yet I saw everyone was smiling.

Even passers-by.

Some even laughed.


Then they left.

Just like they arrived.

As one.


Was it 10 min ?

Was it 1 hour ?

I don’t remember.


I remember running.

I remember howling.

I remember a palatial house

I remember barging in

I remember curling up on a stranger’s sofa and crying like a baby.

No not a baby.

A baby has no real sense of loss.

I cried like someone who has had something precious – something irreplaceable snatched from them.

I remember a kind faced lady

I remember a glass of water

I remember a soothing voice.


Then I left.

Was it 10 min?

Was it 1 hour?

I don’t remember.


That lane was not lonely. It was a busy road beside a very prominent college.

It wasn’t late at night. It was evening. Before dark.

I wasn’t wearing a mini skirt. I was in full length baggy jeans and an oversized t-shirt.

I wasn’t a sexy looking woman. I was a skinny gangly teenager.

Those men were not menacing. They were celebrating.

That was not blood on my face. It was my tears mixed with the crimson powder they had rubbed into my eyes.


They weren’t screaming in rage.

They were screaming Ganpati Bappa Morya



It is that time of the year again.

It is 2 decades later.

The beasts are on the road again.

They have forgotten me.



A 15 year old remembers.

I remember.