the broken coffee mug



They claim you delineate sadness. They have told me to stay away from you because they think you are going to bring me sorrows. But I will not. I have always loved you and will continue doing so.

Ever since I was a kid, my eyes which dreamt of fairy tales coming true, have wanted you. I have searched for you all my life and found you at someone else’s wedding, away from the crowd, lonely at the gifts table. And you probably won’t believe this but the minute I saw you, visions of my dream wedding started floating in my conscience. It was love at first sight. I have let you stroke my hair, a privilege that even my mom was derived of. I have hugged you before going for my job interviews because you bring me good luck. I have daydreamed in your tranquil company while you apprehended my senses. I have stood before you in awe, fascinated  by your rustic charm and beauty. I have used your name to describe it when someone asked how my day was. And if that’s not love, then I don’t know what is. I have spent countless evenings in my balcony, watching you water my favourite flowers. I have snuggled with you on my bed at 2 a.m. while it rained outside. You have always been there, eager to listen, whenever I wanted to say something. And I cannot and will not let go of you just because they think that you are going to bring me sadness one day. And I have decided that you will be my happiness.

So here’s to my childhood obsession with blue eyes that all the princesses in the fairy tales had, my something “borrowed and blue” hairclip which I’m storing up for my dream wedding, my blue comb that I won in the ring game at the fair, my favourite blue pullover that I wore for my interviews, the clear blue sky of ’97 summer,  the blue post office building near the church that has delighted me since I was 5, the frequent blue days I had when I was an amateur artist, the blue watering can that my nana used to water the flowers, my favourite blue blanket and the notification panel and detail of Twitter and Facebook where I voice my opinions unreservedly. Here’s to you.

Thank you for always comforting me. Thank you for being the colour that has never held the meaning of sorrow for me and never let me down. Thank you, Blue.




​I’m half immersed in death

only my sight remains,

a portal to this world.

The world which has gifted me,

all shades of blues.

I take time

to immerse my other half in.

I want to take time.

But I’m running out of it, 

one thought at a time.

A swarm of thoughts engulf 

my petty brain.

Why don’t they leave me now?

What do they want now?

As my nostrils meet the water,

I take a last look at the world.

I give a last look to the world.

I see, for the last time.

I show my eyes to the world, for the last time. 

I try to memorise the pastels and bright hues of this world

Hoping to add them in my palette in some other world.

And so I am completely immersed.

-by Shambhavi 

Old bedsheets 

I like old bedsheets. They are soft. They have an undying finesse in their fibres which conveniently becomes a cool berth on hot summer days and a heated bunk on nippy nights. The old bedsheets have gotten used to Amma’s repeated scrubbing and thrashing in the wash. They have softened. The coarse fabric has tempered down to a comfortable and snug cloth.

They have lived with us and they have learnt the golden rule of a middle class family like ours, ie. adjustment. They have shrunken after the wash and hence fit in anywhere, from Aaji’s pushtaini chest to the rusted almirah. They comply to our middle class household and don’t throw tantrums while being put on beds. They meekly get pressed under the bulky, poorly sewn mattress too, despite their shrinking. They don’t throw issues, like not fitting on the bed or being too flowy for the bed.

They know stories also. They have soaked buckets of tears over the years. They know my sadness of not getting the aeroplane toy I wanted when I was 7. Apart from Amma, only they know about Reena’s sobs from the night when she was greeted by a woman’s monthly demon friend for the first time. They have been there for Amma on lonely dopehris when me and Reena were off to school and Baba was at the Duwanji’s. They have tolerated the numerous creases and wrinkles that Baba’s feeble body has caused on nights when his illness would not allow him to sleep. They have faded, like the good old times and also like the bad days. They have lightened in colour, like the memories of a family picnic some 2-3 years ago. They are prepared for the worst, like Amma

They know one day they will be given to Sudha Tai in exchange for new utensils. But they don’t get upset over their fate. They know they are old and faded but they are not worn out, just like Sudha Tai’s courage. They know they can harbour new dreams and stories. They know they will adjust on Sudha Tai’s small and creaky chowki also. They will be Sudha Tai’s partner in hard times. They will invite her for a peaceful sleep but will take her rejection positively too. Sigh. Wish her husband could learn this trait from them. They haven’t got used to Amma’s huge bed that was the highlight of her dowry. They are humble like that, actually just like Baba.

They have a lot in them, those old bedsheets.
I like them.  

Dear Creature in denial…

You would want
my memory to diminish,
the repercussions to vanish
But they won’t.

You would want
me to forget,
the war details.
Because they are already lost
in your anatomical labyrinth
But I won’t.

You would want
to let go.
And you would want
me to let go
But I won’t.

You would think
there are no remainders left
to prove your sins
the sins, the deeds that you’ve done
But you’re wrong.

You don’t see
or maybe that is what you would like to believe,
Creature in denial, let me tell you
there remains
a vast sea of scars.
Scars so deep and grotesque,
that men shy away
But I don’t.

I exhibit them.
I take pride.
Flaunt them in your face,
and you turn a blind eye.
Why shy away, Creature in denial?
My scars are your masterpieces
your pieces of art, that I possess.

You would want
me to not care
and here, right here, Creature in denial
I want to agree with you.
But where were your same wise words
when I burned myself to keep you lighted?

You Creature in denial, must know
I don’t live for your sins
or my scars.
A bountiful life like mine,
how do you expect me to live for you?

But you don’t want
and you don’t know,
my scars will always be fresh for you.

Years later, if we bump again
I’ll smile and you’ll hurry away.
Because my scars,
fresh and bloody just for you
will still greet you there.

The Parallel World 

In a parallel world
Blue is a happy colour
and Neons and pastels scream sadness.
What if, in that world
tears only trickle down the sad face
and do not embrace happiness?

In that parallel world
I don’t go in circles to find myself
in the centre of this foolish world, my foolish world.
What if, in that world
finding oneself is tragic
and getting lost is an achievement?

In that parallel world
they give flowers to the people they hate.
What if, in that world
all those colours flushing on the petals
are monotonous and pale?

And in that parallel world
they talk and not whisper
What if, in that world
screaming loudly shows weakness
and mumbling is brave?

What if…
What if this parallel world
that we talk and think and sing about
does not exist in our heads?
What if, this parallel world
is here, right here
in us, with us,
curled up with our other ugly thoughts, on our beds?

The Pink Petal Army 

I stood there like a queen
Knowing these flowers have got my back
They are my army

I stood there like a queen
Knowing I have befriended the thorns
The petals have soaked my blood
And hence they bloom afresh with a new tint

I stood there like a queen
Mystified, how they have the same story to tell as me
Have they been in between the pages of my diary forever?

I stood there like a queen
Smiling with pride
Pride, which boasted of having a battalion
Of tissued petals
Of bright fuchsia flowers
Instead of piercing arrows and bullets

I stood there like a queen
Smirking, on how I have tamed
This wild bush
To be baneful to my enemies
And helpful to me.

I stood there like a queen
Feeling content in years
to have called something mine
Something other than my own conscience.



C for confusion 

I linger on all minds,
favourite abode is of a student’s.
I wait in between the pages
of one’s new geometry book
I lie within the words, especially synonyms
to greet the writers too.
Science and arts, I am there for both
I don’t discriminate between the two.
I am used, no wait,
exploited indeed, as an excuse always.
Numberless blames feed on my innocence,
am cornered for the things that didn’t go their way.
I am also in the amateur cook’s hands,
slipping out, right in the curry
taking the blame proudly for the distaste.
When done with the quota of blames,
I work part-time in the Hope department too.
Bad marks, unlucky results and sad messages;
in all these cases, I’m prayed to exist.
For the first time,
my innocence is not negated.
I am the work of hopeless , some say
The same people call me art, when
I’m a part of hopeless love.
I am the wrong train they say,
why I wonder though is it a bad thing
Because wrong trains lead to right stations also.
All try to avoid me, not knowing
answers and conclusions have to carve their ways through me.

You over bestsellers

There you lie,

in the silken folds of the bed.
Staring at me,
while I try to avoid your gaze.
I move around the room,
Engaging myself,
in the humdrums of the four walls.
As I furtively glance towards the bed,
I see the gaze again.
How am I to resist this glim of pure love?
As I finally give up
and move towards the bed,
time plays the devil
engages me in the oh so monotonous moils.
I keep throwing glances at you,
as you playfully invite me,
to join you in the silken folds
and lose myself in a trance.
And when finally I am freed
from the wicked hands of time,
I walk towards you
take you in my arms,
hold you in my hands.
You smell like history,
you feel like my future plans.
The world has your replacement,
but who would want
to ditch the faded familiar fringes
of one’s favourite novel,
one’s adored book
and risk picking up a new bestseller?
And that, oh classical literature,
is how you are my constant!

-Shambhavi Sinha 

In one’s shoes – A Flickering Bulb

Hey world. I’m Thomas, the bulb. I was named after the inventor of our species, the great Thomas Alva Edison. I am feeling quite dejected right now. I have fever. I keep shivering all the time. The housemates had called Dr. Electrician. He diagnosed me with the seasonal disease, Flickering. The housemates, especially Ishita, in whose room I reside, are tired of me now. They have started disliking me because of the Flickering disease. I am hurt. How could Ishita despair me so easily? I have always been there for her. I was with her during her board exams, guiding her while she crammed up all the notes till 3am. I was with her when she had seen Conjuring. I remember I was up all night with her, only so that she could feel safe and have a sound sleep. And now, this is how she shows her gratitude? When I first showed the symptoms of the Flickering disease, she did not even think twice before announcing it to everyone, that I had been infested by a ghost. She thought I was a sign of the presence of evil. And all this disliking, only because I shivered (flickered) because of my sickness? You won’t believe what she did today. She came back home with the one thing she knows I hate with all my filament. She brought Mr. Magic fairy lights home. She even stuck him on to the walls. And while I die slowly in my sickness, Mr.Magic grins at me from the walls. I am really broken right now. Getting replaced by something you know you are better than, and especially knowing that you love the person more than the new thing, is heart breaking. I guess everyone and everything in this universe, has to undergo a heartbreak once, at least. This was my “once”.

Thomas flickered for one more evening before finally dying out. 

-Shambhavi Sinha

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