4 hours of sleep is not the specification I was designed for. Consequently, when the dual alarms from my mobile phones started a clamour around my head, the only thought was a faint “whhaaatt?” Half an hour later, it pierced through my foggy brain that I needed to wake up, wake up fast, and wake up now. Grumpily I fell out of bed, and silently congratulated myself for setting the alarms half an hour before I needed them.

Greetings from Pisa, Italy. I am back in the country I love so much and nothing has changed. It is still as crazy as ever and it took me all of 2 minutes to realize it.

I landed at the Galileo Galilei International Airport half an hour before midnight, walked past the baggage carousel and was out! Did I mention the airport was small? At the exit, I looked for the information service, which I found so quickly that I was pleasantly surprised. It was closed. I was not surprised.

I have stayed away from ghazals for a while now. But a jumble of recent events had me listening to “Ab ke hum bichde” by the unimitable Ahmed Faraaz. The poet knows how to pluck the right strings to trigger a silent sigh that grows into a thunderstorm of pent up sorrow. Here comes the text and a free...

When I was young, my Grandpa’s brother would always bring story books when he came a-visiting. Today many things have been forgotten and he is no more, but he stays stuck in my head as a memory: the “cool” person who’d always bring me books.

Few things match the “Oh yes, yes! Exactly!” feeling you get when you come across a poem that describes exactly how you are feeling at a given moment. James Kavanaugh did it for me this time.

My sadness has no seasons,
It comes when the leaves
Surrender to the persistent wind
And lie at attention,
When the...

I have gradually come to the realization that one of the most valuable qualities in a person is ‘easy’-ness.

I refer to ‘easy’ as the quality of being easy to be with. Easy is low maintenance. Easy is a low energy, undemanding state. You are easy when people feel absolutely comfortable around you, knowing that you are not judging them and they don’t have to jump through hoops to gain your acceptance. Easy is when you take people and things as they are. Easy is when you don’t need attention. Easy is when you don’t insist on the world catering to your idiosyncrasies. Easy is when you don’t fret over having things exactly as you want. Easy is when you are okay with whatever happens. Easy is when you have no expectations of others. Easy is when you are not annoying.. or a pain in the ass. Easy is happy-go-lucky.. generally, very happy!

A big hello to all intelligent life forms everywhere .. and for the rest of you out there, the secret is to bang the rocks together, guys.