From Churchgate to Esplanade

As the train slowly started coming to a halt, I got down, not waiting for it to completely stop. I checked the time. It was 10:05 am. I needed to get there only by 10:45am. I was early, as usual. I took out my oh-so-dear phone, opened up my GPS and put in “Mumbai Esplanade Court”. It was 1.7 kms away. I started my 23 minute morning walk.

The thing I noticed about Mumbai was, everyone walks as if they are in a walkathon and they need to win. Nobody has time for anyone else. Everyone has earphones in, or they’re talking on the phone, in their own world. I walk along with the crowd past the Cross Maidan where some exhibition was going on. I always wanted to check it out, but never had the time because of the aforementioned walkathon !

I,then, take a left towards the fashion street. The shops are just being opened; almost all of them are still under the blue tarp. There are a few Chai shops open, with men drinking tea and reading newspaper or looking at their phones. There is very little human conversation between them. As I walk past them, avoiding all the Paan spits and normal spits on the road, I reach the first signal on the road. I have to cross that to reach the Azad Maidan. 

Azad Maidan was a ground. What was its true purpose, I never found out. In the morning there were children playing cricket; their coaches yelling out for no apparent reason; some children sitting in the sidelines watching, eagerly awaiting their turn, others just least bothered. It is all fun and games to watch this scenario play out until you have to run for you life because some kid decided to hit the ball along your way.

But this Maidan was home not just for people who wanted to play, but also for street shopping. Everything ranging from earphones to second hand books to even clothes was sold there at different times throughout the day. This was the one thing that always fascinated me about Mumbai. Anybody can earn a living in this city as long as you’re down to do anything it is that will get you there. I got the feeling that even if you started selling cloth hangers, people will buy them as long as you market it well.

Azad Maidan connected the MG Road with the fashion street with the Hazarimal Somani Road (yes, i googled that). The road is a very small road, and always crowded. The footpath beside the road is even smaller and I assume there is a competition happening on this road on who can walk the fastest because people wiz past you, not stopping even when their shoulders use yours as a dandiya stick. At the end of that road, you see the Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Railway Station or as people still dearly call it, the VT. You can never get tired of looking at this magnificent piece of architecture. Whenever I used to walk in front of it, I spend a few minutes staring at it because it would be a shame to the building if no one paid attention to it.

As, it stood tall proudly in the morning light, I continued my walk. There was the usual crowd on my left, where there were so many small breakfast corners that had a normal mumbai wala breakfast, you know, like Vadapav, Pav Bhaji, Sev Puri and all. Coming from a land of Idlis and Dosas, this was a pleasant surprise. Another amusing thing was that every shop basically sold the same thing and they were right next to each other but there was no shortage of crowd in front of any shops. All of them were equally crowded.

Walking forward, I finally see the Court. It’s only around 10:40 and the sessions start only by 11:00, so I’m in absolutely no hurry, taking my own sweet time. There were some advocates standing there as usual asking if I wanted anything notarized. I ignored them and walked in the old court building and found Court room #3 and settled myself in there under the fan, took out my book and started reading till it was time for the court.

This was just one morning during my 23 days in Mumbai. One of the main reasons I loved walking while I was there was because I was able to see a lot more of the places and familiarize myself with the city and its people. I had heard a lot of stories and experiences of the people who’ve spent their share of time in this city. And being there, I found myself falling in love with Mumbai. There was a sort of magic to this place that can’t be explained in words.

As a friend of mine always said, and I finally was able to relate, “Mumbai is not a place, it’s an emotion.”


For A Legend

Dear Chester,

Yesterday was the concert. A concert for you. A tribute to you, a legend.

A lot of your friends sang for you, a lot of your fans sang along with them from the Arena and watching it on their screens. Everybody was so strong. It was so nice to see. We missed you. A lot.

During the concert, Mike sang In the end, and before starting he asked “You guys know which part to sing right?. It broke me; because of course, we knew which part to sing. Your parts. The ones where you bellowed your heart out, or sang with so much emotion that literally saved so many of us. The ones which you’ll never sing from here on now.

You had to be there Chaz. So many people came out to honor you. You walked away from life feeling sad and lonely but if you were there last night you never would’ve felt that way.

When you passed, I cried. For days on end, I cried at various points. It felt silly to other people. He was just a singer from a band. He doesn’t even know you exist, why are you this upset? 

But little did they know how much you meant to me. Every song you sang was for me. So what if you didn’t know me? You were always there for me. Your music saved me. I started listening to you because of my brother and we’ve shared so many memories because of the songs. Whenever Linkin Park released new music, we couldn’t wait to listen to all of them and discuss which ones were our favorites. (Spoilers: I always loved the songs where you scream the most.)

And even now, whenever I feel lonely or sad I just listen to Numb or In the end or What I’ve done or even Heavy. They mean so much to me and I feel like, they meant so much to you.

I still miss you and I still cannot believe you are gone. You are gone without a chance for me to meet you, hug you and thank you for, well, being you.

You saved thousands of lives, but nobody could save you. We’re sorry. But we love you so much and hope you’ve finally found the peace you wanted.

The sun set for you Chester, but, God, I wish it hadn’t.


Someone who wishes you were here with your bubbly face and screaming voice to sooth this pain.





To my girls,

To the OG.

The one who watched me grow and the one who helped me grow.

I’m not sure how the three of us ended up being friends, but the earliest memories I have is Winnerz. I remember Shradha raving about Liya and how much fun they’re having and me, being in a separate batch, obviously grew jealous (Classic Anagha). So I instantly changed my batch to theirs. Damn, what a great decision.

From eating in between classes and giving bad relationship advices – we became the best of friends.

It’s impossible to imagine my 11th and 12th grade without my friendship with these two. Some of my happiest memories in Bahrain were with them.

I’ve watched them both grow from insecure to beautiful inside and out and confident af and immature to one of the most mature and wise young person I know.

To the both of you,

Who tolerate and love me even though I’m super needy almost always.

Who care for me better than some of my family

Without whom I’d be a constant mess

There’s not a day where I don’t miss you guys and our shenanigans.

To my support system.

Words will never be enough, but I’ll start somewhere by saying Thank you and I love you.


Untitled #3

Standing there pouring sunscreen onto my face, 

I look at the oh-so-wonderful hanging gardens of babylon 

Working my way up the 7 wonders of the world, 

I should’ve felt happy;ecstatic. 

But I felt like I was in the Sahara Desert, 

Walking around for some water, 

To quench my thirst. 

But this thirst, 

This thirst didn’t go away so easily. 

It was difficult to explain- yet easy to feel

This thirst, that’s been there with me for so long, 

It had been my silent partner, 

Some partner, I didn’t even ask for. 

But partners were supposed to make you feel nice and warm and protected

I felt the opposite. 

This feeling, had kidnapped my conscience, 

I couldn’t  let go, 

I may have had the Stockholm syndrome  – to a feeling

A feeling of never being satisfied, 

You laugh, but it’s a serious one. 

Satisfaction is difficult to come by for me

I wandered  around the world, 

I went to the most amazing places 

And I felt nothing. 

The seven wonders of the world? 

Overrated. (Of course, I saw only the 6,until now) 

The wanderlust in me wanted to continue, 

But every other inch of me said,

 go back. 

This was my life, in a nutshell. 

I could be anywhere, in the world

Doing the most amazing things, 

but I would still wonder about the place I’m not at. 

What am I missing out? 

Ditching the plan, apologizing to the wanderlust, 

I was back home, as usual.  

Never satisfied could be a good thing, 

But not for me. 

I am never able to be satisfied, 

Whatever I did. 

And I convinced myself, I never would be-

Or so I thought. 


one day, 

The day I met you

My brain stopped whirring

I didn’t think of being anywhere else. 

My mind didn’t want to be anywhere else


I was occupied by the brown in your eyes, 

The curls in your hair

The charm in your smile. 

Suddenly – 

Any place other than your arms seemed unnecessary to be in. 

And now, standing in front of the Great Pyramid, 

I look down at you and whisper 

‘ Yes. ‘


Since the day I met you, 

I was never satisfied

Of Being anywhere

Without you. 



This past week, I went to Chennai to visit my cousin. It was the first time I visited Chennai after almost 2 years. It was wonderful thinking about how much I’ve changed, evolved as a person, since the last time the city saw me. 

The first time I was here, I came with my mom, she took care of everything and then she left. All I had to do was go for classes till noon and come back and study. And that’s all I did. I was all alone in a city I didn’t know and all I heard everyday in the phone calls from my parents and relatives was to be careful. So that’s what I did. I was careful. I shut myself up in that apartment and only went out for the daily dosage of CLAT prep. 

To me, Chennai was an intimidating city. Everything was new and scary. For instance, I walked to classes. And I remember how terrified I was of crossing roads. I even took the long way round if it meant that I could avoid crossing busy roads. 

And when my classes ended after 25 days, I didn’t want to travel in a train all by myself, so my uncle came all the way from Kerala to drop me back to Kerala. 

It all seems so silly now. Now I travel every chance I get. And If I’m alone, its better.  The roads aren’t intimidating anymore, it’s just annoying(how drivers refuse to stop!). I take care of all my needs myself. I feel independent and free.

Chennai always holds a special place in my heart, for, it’s where the second phase of my life started. 

Thinking about all these instances gives my a small sort of pride; this is character development right? 


Six more to go.

I was young when they announced Taj Mahal situated in Agra, India as one of the Seven Wonders of the New World. I remember thinking then that, this monument, made entirely of white marble, and semi precious stone and spent over 32 million at that time, must be a magnificent sight. I mean, why else would a TOMB and a building around it be named as one of the Wonders of the world, right?

This year, during March, I had the opportunity to visit, New Delhi. And I didn’t waste that, and immediately booked a tour ticket to Taj Mahal. My excitement was beyond words. I was so close,to witnessing a beauty of a building!

Finally, the day arrived. The people who organised the tour were smart. They took us to Agra Fort where we got the first view of the white marbled domes and the River Yamuna. The King Shah Jahan under who’s reign, the Taj Mahal was built wanted to see the beautiful building he built for her- Mumtaz Mahal, who was supposed to be his favorite wife, all the way from his palace, the Agra Fort.

All this history lessons lead up to the grand finale, the big one- Taj Mahal, aka, Crown Palace.

We entered through the west gate. We had to travel almost half a kilometer from where the bus was to the ticket counter. A Rs 40 ticket was all that stood between me and one of my childhood dreams. We started walking from the ticket counter to the gate.

And there it was. Through the doorway for the west gate, we could see the main dome of Taj Mahal. I had shivers all over my body. It was not how they described at all. It was much more that anyone could ever put into words. We walked forward, closer. Even though the white marble, was significantly yellow-ish, it still stood majestically. For a moment I didn’t know what to do, or say. All I could do was look at this marvel barely 500m away from me. It was crowded, filled with tourists and photographers asking us if we needed pictures, but my eyes didn’t move. They were set on, the beauty, Taj Mahal.

As we got closer, the beauty just increased. After the traditional picture-taking session, we entered the building. There they were- King Shah Jahan and his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.* The cold air inside was soothing after walking under the scorching heat. We came outside again to a beautiful view of the river Yamuna. Even though, there was barely any water in it now, it must’ve looked beautiful long ago, when the Taj was built. We sat on the cold marble for a while and I couldn’t help but be spellbound by the sheer brilliance of artistic talent, just to make one building for the tomb of one person.

While leaving, I turned around and looked at it again. They say Taj Mahal  is the monument of love. It must be true. I was in love-

In love with the craftsmanship it took to build this;

In love with the folklore behind it,

In love with the emotions surround the building.

And that’s one down. Six more to go.

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When buying new books, was your addiction 
Reading new books was pure joy

Smelling new books made your whole day

When did that change? 

Reading books is a task now

I am ashamed. 

Picking up a new book, 

Liking it

Reading it

And being obsessed with it

I miss that

I miss the book lover in me

She starved?

I starved her to death?

I’m scared. 

Going to second hand books stores

Returning with more books than I can carry

That happiness

That happiness brought on by buying cheap good books

When did that change? 

Who do I blame? 

Queen that rules my life-Time?  

Or my best friend-laziness? 

I am disappoi-

Oh, is that a new book by (x author)? 

Oooh, can i borrow it? 


What can I say- 

Book lovers don’t really change, 

They’re just waiting for the right book.