October 30, 2010


Somewhere in my neighbourhood, a house owns a grandfather chiming clock. I imagine it must also have a pendulum, because in the quietness of fourteen hundred hours every day, I can bet I hear a swish-swish in the air, like metal ripping gently through the wind, the pendulum swinging back and forth, marking time, time that only you and I can define. Every hour, the grandfather clock chimes, a majestic ding-dong-dong-dong, in a high baritone, making me jump.

It makes me slip off the time track, that ancient sound, as if resonating from a magnificent palace, perhaps a very large bungalow even, its hallways large and forty-feet high, light flooding through its laced windows, bouncing off its porcelain floors. A palace bungalow where the royalty has disappeared from, where only birds and winds and sunlight find time to dance, where dust gather like moss, where human beings do not remain to age anymore.

When the clock chimes, everything freezes for a split second. Everything goes back to its source. I feel the blankness envelop my head for those few moments and in those moments, nothing exists - even I don't. More so at twilight - when the world comes to a standstill, regardless of ancient grandfather chiming pendulum clocks.

The clock belongs to twilight. I wonder what came first - the sound that makes you silent in quiet remembrance of the place you come from, or twilight itself, freezing the world for a few seconds, turning it into the reality we evade all day.

October 24, 2010

The Problem With Mortality

Artificial smiles. And fake concern. She knew how to make people's lives miserable. She would say one thing to a person, a different thing to another. She loved creating misunderstandings. She was one of those girls that ragged her juniors because her seniors had ragged her. She was one of those people who would stamp her bad temper on to somebody that did not deserve it.

Then one day, through her permanent frown, she glanced at her organiser. She was fifty, her face was starting to hold wrinkles and her skin was sagging already. Her lips seemed to be distorted with what looked like a permanent grimace.

And the average human life span bordered somewhere close to sixty.

Assuming she had only ten more years to continue frowning and glowering at people, she hardly had any time left.

And then it hit her.

If mortality is your default setting, you cannot afford the nonsense you think you are eligible to indulge in.

October 14, 2010

The Train

You are in a local train, which is speeding past the trees and sewers and huts and bare behinds of people early morning, taking a crap. Behinds are safer to bare than faces, aren't they? I always thought of it that way.

You are a piece of the mangled mass of humanity, bruised blue by everyday contact that you do not desire, from strange faces and bodies that travel with you to unknown destinations. Every face your eyes fall upon has the rawness of happiness laced with pain writ large on their faces, every face has a father, a mother, a sibling, a lover, a husband, a wife, a neighbour, a teacher, a boss and occasions to celebrate every few days. Every face has the reflected glory of the past, bottled up concern for the future.

In this mass of humanity fused in together in one bogey, how is your face? Empty? Curious? Does your face show wonder at the train that ties you all like a common thread that holds flowers together on a garland? Flowers from different cities, with different fragrances and colours, but flowers nevertheless? Are there faces you see everyday, that you forget once you step out, never think of again? Do you know them, the lines and wrinkles on their faces, the gentle limp in their gait perhaps, the slightly broken symmetry of their person?

Do you think that if you ran into them in a different city or country several years from now, they would know you and recall and smile, perhaps, laugh maybe? maybe even come and talk to you? Are they strangers, really? In an alien city with no known faces, wouldn't they know you more than anybody else in the city? And the only thing that connects you with them is a train, and silence spent inside it for hours, glancing occasionally, intentionally or otherwise?

Perhaps, next time, you will do more than glance, then? Perhaps this time, you will smile, offer a seat or even ask them their name. And you will then have another point of family in a world where its so easy to get hopelessly lost. Perhaps.

September 23, 2010

Star Dust

Your dreams tumble,
Caught by delicate
Silver cobwebs.
Time slips by, and you think
You have only so much time,
Desperate, seeking,
Running out of the time
That you have allowed yourself,
To find your dreams, shaped into real things,
Things you can hold.
But dreams are star dust
And they sprinkle
Over your universe
Of limitations,
Soft and brittle,
Luster dust from long ago.
And before you know,
It's time to go,
And your dreams are scoffing
At you, tired and miserable
You lie under that gravestone,
Counting numbers
That never end,
That expand and stretch,
Like desires,
Scathing you out of your reveries,
Another chance,
Another life,
Star dust over your eyes,
Chains on your legs,
Self imprisoned victims of time,
How many deaths will you die?

August 12, 2010

What Are We..?

Just what are we...energy trapped inside of solid-liquid-gaseous bodies or an ocean of energy inside of which these bodies are floating?

July 26, 2010

What Is Your Excuse?

I am too old.

I am too tired.

It's too late.

I've a loan to pay off.

My parents will kill me if I do this.

My family depends on me for their bread and butter.

I don't have the finances.

I have no time.

I don't think I am good enough to do it.

I am sure it will flop and backfire.

I think there's too much competition.

I cannot afford it.

I am not sure if I want to do this or if I want to do that.

I think this stuff belongs to the books.

I feel it's easy for you to say it because you are not in my situation.

I am too lazy.

What's your excuse for not chasing your dream until its completely yours?

June 23, 2010

The Birth Of A River

She peers hard into the massive wall of water that is twenty feet away from her. The wall that has drenched her entirely from so far away, she is too scared to go anywhere close to it. She is no longer sure if the water is tumbling down in giant gushes to the ground at her feet or if the river is travelling backwards to the top of the cliff. She knows that should she hold out a hand under that liquid force, her bones will be powdered beyond restoration.

How she is going to walk through that water into the cave that's hidden behind this apparently wall of solid water , is possibly the toughest question she has faced in a long, long time.

When she last left him here, there was no massive waterfall, just a small wisp of a stream makings its way down calmly on the vertical rocky expanse. When she last left him here, the cave was well lit from the light that shimmered from the river it was placed over. The river she now stood in, the waters gushing around her shoulders as she waded sideways, wondering if there was some way to find the cave again - the cave he had disappeared into, his lips sealed shut, his eyes hiding the vision that would change their life forever, his back turned to her as he disappeared, forbidding her with one small gesture to follow him.

She did not. She returned quietly to a life that would be screaming its vacuum back to her, the vacuum he had left behind. If it were death, she would probably heal over time. But this? No reason, no explanation, no warning and just like that, one evening, he was running, running and she followed him all the way to the cave's entrance.

She returned everyday but dared not enter. She knew he hadn't left it. She had stayed for several days, nights, expecting he would emerge but he did not. She was forced to go back, hungry and hopeless. Everyday, she stayed and waited, afraid to call, afraid to enter and everyday, the waterfall grew and grew until she knew it had finally barricaded her successfully, entirely, from all possibilities of reaching him.

Five hundred years later, she is wading through these new waters, determined to enter the cave. Splinters of ice cascade down, hitting the water with immense force, melting immediately, and she edges in closer every second, the spray turning into slaps on her face. Until she is standing inside the spray. She feels the force of water, lethal and firm like her inability to enter the cave for centuries.

She can wait no more. She steps in, slipping and falling, while the water smashes on her like boulders, her flesh peeling under its power, her eyes blinded to everything from the stinging foam.

She is in the cave. An empty cave with a blind chimney hole that winds its way into the heart of the cliff. She climbs, her limbs numb from the cold, her eyes burning furiously, her ears still echoing the gushing water that rages and denies entry to the world she has left outside, finally. Hours seem to slip by and she still isn't sure if it has only been minutes. It does not matter, these minutes in the face of five hundred years of waiting to see a stream turn into a menacing waterfall.

The hole ends abruptly. She climbs out into a wide, white space, her fingers cracking from the ice she has been clutching. The snow blinds her and she blinks. Twice. Thrice. But the vision does not go. He stands there, frozen, a figurine of white, his surface sparkling in the light that does not come from any sun. An endless white sky and an endless white landscape of snow and a block of ice that resembles a human being. He doesn't move, his glassy eyes looking into worlds she may not see. Not yet. His lips are lifeless.

But only so. Trickling from his head is a tiny drop of water, that winds its way down his icy white cheeks, his chin, the sculpted chest and belly and hip, his left leg and finally making its way toward her. Gradually turning from a drop to a spillage of water from a cup perhaps, passing by her all the way, transforming into a very tiny channel of water. She turns back, following its path.

A sharp fall. A cliff that ends into an ocean of water several thousand feet below, before winding into distances her eyes cannot gauge. Not yet.

The mighty Ganga, curving her path toward the land of disillusioned mortals, from the forehead of her son, who once ran away, for reasons we will never know.

June 13, 2010

Stop dying.

You. You, who worries about turning twenty-five, or thirty. You, who blames your dis-ease on the pollution and traffic and worrisome children and home loans that stretch out to twenty-five years and you are not even sure you will live until sixty. You, who dyes hair and uses anti-ageing creams. You, who has a sprain in your neck and you who say - I am getting old.

You, who plan your retirement, who worry about health insurance, you. Yes, you. You, who thinks it is normal that your grandparents have painful knees and shoulders that slump and hair that is snow white. You, who wonder if you will need to ever live in an old-age home.

Yes, I am talking to you.

Who taught you in school that you must age? Who taught you at home that you must die one day? What book told you that dis-ease is not invited? Who preached to you that you must retire and that 60 is over the hill?

It's your fault that you picked up these things from adults that are as misguided as you are. It is your fault that you allow your body and mind to succumb to the unnatural and die. Everything you see around you is ageing and dying. Who told you that what's happening around you is natural? Who told you that if it happens to plants and animals, it should happen to us too?

You are human, you have one foot stuck in heaven and one planted on earth and you are on top of the food chain, so don't you think you should be the one that the world around you should imitate? If you decide to age and die, then animals should follow suit too, and so should plants?

This post will have few responses, because nobody seems to make sense of what I am saying. Of course this is fiction, because it is stranger than reality. As much fiction as the airplane was before the Wright brothers came along. But this is important for you to know. Please stop ageing. Please stop dying. There is no need to go full that feat and depress so many people in the process, leave unfinished business behind.

Stop dying. Please. And maybe then, things and people around you will follow suit.

May 18, 2010

Will You Rain Again?

Will you steal across my skies and sing like you did last time? Will you rumble, roar, pour and thunder, just like you did last time? Will you turn dark and angry, grey and blue, and will the sun look crimson wrapped in your fury?

Will the tree sway and tell me then, you are on your way? Will leaves flutter and fall and sail across the river, little boats for ants that have finally decided they have collected more food than they really need? Will these blooms plant little seeds at your feet? Will you make winds hurl dust across these miles so this city converts into that? Will you knead everything into the same flesh, the same blood, the same heartbeat?

Will you bring distant cries from far lands, gentle whispers that were cast into various spaces, whispers that will reach us here to be cast into print in a virtual world? Will somebody read those words and get reminded of long forgotten words, long forgotten people?

Will you make this soil wet and fertile, will fruits roll of the surface, tumbling towards you in their urgency to sprout? Will this air smell of mud and soil and grass and leaves that are trod-upon?

Will you, will you, will you rain, will you shoot streaks of light onto this earth, cracking its surface, releasing its pent up anger, will you crash and bang down with sounds that will keep us all up at night, will you exasperate people, will you flood, will you leak, will you deliver this decomposing, decaying planet with redemption?

Will you? Soon?

April 20, 2010


Have you pondered a sudden unexpected end? Nothing is unchanged. The clothes lie in the same wardrobe, those socks are in the dryer, the book they were reading is still lying with the bookmark on page 259. That shirt on the door smells of their perfume.

But no person to turn the page, wear the shirt, dry out the socks. No movement, just the breeze blowing through the house, carrying their scent away, further and further.

And a few people who realise that they are very uncomfortable dealing with the empty space on earth that they left behind. What should you fill these empty spaces with? Of course they still hear the voice they won't hear anymore. Of course they wake up past midnight to find slippers by the bed that will not be worn again.

What do you do with the remnants?

Pick up the pieces and ask yourself to move on? Leave that empty space behind? Or keep attempting to carry the space with you, hoping against hope that one day, perhaps, you will wake up to see it filled again, the scent strong again, the clothes worn on the body they belong to?

But spaces do not move. Spaces stay and dissolve one day, along with you, along with all those people who carry remnants of memory in their hearts.

In this world of dissolving spaces, what really belongs to you?

April 07, 2010

Two Years

Three years ago, you did not know you would be here writing these words. Three years ago, you did not know the name that would make things go round in your life. Three years, all the wrong things mattered. Not the life-sustaining, soul-stirring truth of today.

Today's smells of cinnamon and spice, today's sunsets and late mornings. Today's aroma of cocoa butter over your skin, today's maddeningly hot temperature, today's swirls of dust motes descending on your palm. Today's power cut and today's flowery rangoli design outside the door.

Three years ago, the streets were humid and dusty and you wanted to sit down on the pavement. Three years ago, you wee running late to work because you missed a local train that was so full, you would have to travel on the roof and risk getting electrocuted. Three years ago, you valued yourself and missed the train. Three years ago, your boss made you realise you were in the wrong job. Three years ago, you were telling yourself that loving a job is about sticking to it.

Three years ago, you put your papers down. You went to work nevertheless to serve your notice period. Three years ago, you were eating ready-to-eat Upma from a packet, unsure if it tasted raw or over-cooked.

Three years ago, you made the sore mistake of not listening to the small voice in your head that wanted you to run away. You were too fast. You were too furious. But not enough to run away on time. You made mistakes and it took you three months to correct yourself.

Three months that were longer than these three years and defined everything else that followed. But you did get up again, dusted yourself and marched ahead, wary, tired and defeated.

Two years ago, life swept you up, blew you away and you were scared to move for fear of falling. You protested, cried, questioned but you would not help drowning because it felt so good to let go.

Two years ago, you officially decided to move into the calming waters that would soothe your soul and stir your spirits. Two years ago, you did not know two years could fly by so fast.

They did, didn't they?

March 30, 2010

Songs Of The Sparrow

Old songs make me nostalgic. They make everybody nostalgic, do they not?

With me, it is different. Time stops. No, there are no memories or flashes from the past. There is just Now, still, quiet, afraid to move because it knows that it has frozen, very precariously and anything frozen is very brittle.

Who wants to break, even if it were a moment in time?

The song plays in tandem, drawing notes that make the moment's frozen heart flutter...everything turns a shade of black and white, the sky turns overcast, the sun decides to hide behind a cloud for a while - what sun would want to cast light on the frozen shadows of yesterday?

Winds calm down and there is just that very gentle breeze flowing in rhythm, lest it ruffle a feather...what wind would want to ruffle feathers that are cast in stone?

There is only bird sound, the gentle chirping, mostly sparrows. No koyels, no crows, no hens. Just sparrows, for their sounds blend in with the past, like sugar in water. Neither happy nor sad, their songs walk in tandem with bygones.

The clock stops. The second hand, especially, must stop. The Now will pass if it doesn't. The Now will pass giving way to another Now...and nostalgia is about one frozen Now.

Ghosts lurking in the dark shadows of your home become real, and if you looked closely enough without moving one bit, maybe you would see them too. They are real in that one moment because they can live only in that one frozen Now. Not outside of it, and so they show. For you to see.

But suddenly, the song ends, the sun pops back into place, the air gushes into your home, your ghost-vision fades into nothingness, the heat filters back into the air, sounds become audible again, that faraway radio, that honking on the main street, that wailing child, that television, those footsteps above your home.

Of course, you have the bird songs still...but are they strong enough to pull you back into their timelessness? Perhaps not. Perhaps other sounds are too loud. So they try...they do try, early in the morning, just before the sun rises and soon after it sets, they assault you with their songs.

Now you know why everything freezes at twilight. Now you know why sparrow songs can be heard only at that time.

Now you know.

March 11, 2010

Nobody Knows

Cry a little, let those tears flow,

Laugh out loud and candles blow,

Maybe tomorrow the sun will shine,

Sit up in your cloud with the silver line.

Maybe tomorrow the doors will close,

Maybe tomorrow coz nobody knows...

Coz you know its going to end one day,

It matters today but just for a day,

God knows its an impasse and so do you,

Its unreal though it feels its true.

Maybe tomorrow the doors will close,

Maybe tomorrow coz nobody knows...

March 03, 2010


He keeps himself busy. So he doesn't have the time to keep checking the calendar. He has refused himself the pleasure of counting the hours since she left but he cannot seem to ignore days. He knows it's a Monday on a work heavy day, a Friday when work closes sooner than usual and so he unconsciously knows that it has been a while.

He can count it. Quantified, it seems like a short time. But he knows how the days have dragged and stretched out cruelly in front of him and nothing he does makes them rush by.

He is happiest at night when several hours pass by without his noticing - he sleeps and before he knows it, seven hours have rushed by.

He looks forward to nights greedily for not just this reason but also because he counts days only before he sleeps.

1, 2, 3, 4 , 5...

He wonders how people live from day to day knowing that they may never stop counting.

He knows he is not one of those people. He knows she will be back. He is grateful.

He wonders how life would have spread itself out thin had he not known her. How the length of time would eventually wrap and mummify him entirely and he would drown, smother, choke and die.

This time, it feels like a brief reminder of those days that are not his in reality. Just a glimpse, he reminds himself, so I can know and acknowledge what I have.

He wonders if that is precisely how her days pass too, and he knows.

They don't.

He wonders what her realisations are and immediately draws back that thought - no, he does not wish to know. Now he has one more thought to not dwell on, one more alley that he must avoid, to not think of what her learnings are lest he attract those learnings into his life.

He finds it odd, how he is trapped inside his own head while the winds blow free and wild through his house, carrying her scent but unable to penetrate his mind. He senses something familiar but is too far away inside his own world to notice.

She wonders what his learnings are, and if he caught her wafting through the breeze.

February 16, 2010

The Absoluteness Of Truth

There is an extensive blue sky stretching out above you. You have been taught to believe it is the atmosphere that wraps the earth protectively, cradling it in its arms. You look at the sky and see clouds drifting by, a few birds flit across. You see dust motes floating in the air before they drop away from that one beam of sunlight that has filtered through to the land beneath your feet.

You peel away that layer of blue from above and stare into the black hole that is the universe. An endless, large black. You will yourself to travel into that abyss and get sucked into the unknown. You spend the next eighty years of your lfie in that blackness, while it rushes past you, only to give way to more blackness.

On the last day of your life, you realize that you have not even made it past your own solar system, the one you labelled in your geography notebooks.

What are you trapped inside? And what does the cloud cradle the earth against? What is it that we are not meant to know. And why?

There have been people who have wondered if the universe has an edge, perhaps a glass wall that defines that the end is 'here' and you can go no further. Nobody lived long enough to find out. Nobody had the means to make that journey happen.

And so you are sucked back into your cocoon and you are once again lying under that great big blue, staring up at the sky. You wonder where to go next.

You decide to try the vortex. You go within.

You single down on your heart, for it is the only organ you can sense all day long as it beats, like a drum that is chasing the end of a song. A countdown. You single down on it, and you feel the blood pulsing in and out of your arteries. You know blood colours your insides and you zero down on the walls of your heart, the expanding, the contracting. You travel further to see that it is made of tissues, membranes. You then see that each tissue is made up of tiny little molecules. But that is not the end. Not yet.

You see a very tiny atom, made up of atomic particles that zing around a radius. Which is made up of sub atomic particles.

You realise now that all things have these atoms, which are just little bits of matter revolving around a centre. And these bits of matter are themselves, tinier bits that are eventually, not even solid. Not liquid, not gaseous. Are they even matter? We are not sure. We do not yet have the equipment to identify the basic unit of life.

Everything around you and inside you is just that...bits of nothingness revolving around nothingness.

Even the people you love. And the people you hate.

If you had that detail in your vision, you probably would just see empty spaces, not people. People who are born and who die, who have souls, trapped balls of energy. As if they are not solid at all. Like memories. Bits floating in and out, living and dying, bits of nothing. What happens to those trapped balls of energy? Energy is always constant, is it not? No creation, no destruction, just reuse, recycle, replace.

Now that you know it is all nothingness with misplaced-trapped balls of energy, where did the big point to your life disappear? Where is mine? What about all the hatred, all the failures? All the successes even? If you could disintegrate failures and success to the level of atoms then...would you be able to make out the difference?

Would it really matter who you loved and who you hated, where you lived and what you ate? Maybe not.

Then again, maybe it would. We have yet not agreed on the absoluteness of reality. So we all have the benefit of doubt.

However...what about the absoluteness of truth?

February 09, 2010


The winds carry you. To places far and not known yet. Where you will breathe the air I have not yet touched. Or have I?

Where you will see sights I have not yet seen. Sounds I have not heard yet, and smells I have not breathed in. You will be away and you will eat, drink, sleep, work, smile, laugh, learn. By the time you come back, you will be altered. Will you be a new person then?

Will I know you all over again when you are back, from scratch? Will I fall in love with you all over again, will you set my heart racing when you touch me unintentionally? Will it all happen again?

Will I be altered forever in the time I live away from you? Will I be new? Will you know me, the me you are going to leave behind? And will you know me, the me I will have become when you come back?

Will the loneliness matter on that day? Will the tides turn? Will the day seem as windy, as end-of-winter as it does today? Will the landscape change? Will the soil shift, will the skies transform, will the stars realign?

By then, dear story-teller, won't you know me enough?

January 19, 2010

Love Stories

Images fly by on bikes. Trees and dogs, cows in alleyways, people. They catch glimpses of their faces, the way they smile. They know those familiar expressions...disgust at highly priced onions on one, the sly smile of a pickpocket, the anger in a girl's eyes at the man who just leered at her, anxiety in the man's as he waits for the daughter to cross the road and reach him.

They catch sight of a young face at the the traffic signal. The bike halts and they see.

The girl of the dark complexion, pouted lips. Soft brown eyes that are shadowed by heavy lashes. The girl's smile is fervent and her pupils dart. Looking for familiar faces. Faces with mouths that would go to her parents and tell them that they saw their daughter on the road. Mouths that the girl hopes would remain closed, minds that should forget the sights they see.

The girl is meeting a boy. Her fingers are entwined into his. He plays with the rings on her fingers as he helps her climb onto a divider. She follows, in his shadows, content in its shade, protected from the sunlight and stares that follow. He turns to look at her, his eyes meet hers, they smile. She blushes and he looks away, still smiling.

The girl and the boy enter a shop. The girl is buying something she needs from the store. The boy stealthily hops into the nearby flower shop and gets her a rose. She is thrilled to have it. She smiles, says thanks, and while nobody notices, gives his hand a squeeze.

The signal turns green and they zoom away on the bike. Nostalgic. They remember the days things were similar for them. The uncertainty, the stealth, the hours compressing themselves into mere minutes. They remember the days they fought to be able to be together with the sanction of their families and society. They remember the ecstasy of their approval. They remember the day they married.

They hope it works out well for the boy and the girl. They hope that they, too, grow, and remember, what it took to turn that love into accepted reality. And even if accepted reality seems less adventurous than love, they hope that the boy and the girl remember that they would, one day, trade their life, for a minute of that same accepted reality.

Sometimes, realities are stranger than dreams. And more valuable too.

January 08, 2010

Great Expectations

It is frail. It falters and stumbles and we still spend our lives chasing it and feeling the compulsive need to acquire it. To have it in our lives. To want it, to live it. Many crimes are committed in its name, many lives lost, many sacrifices made, many sorrows lived.

And yet, when we have it, it isn't what we envisioned. It isn't always the joy-imparting goodness that we thought it would be. It fails us and we fail it. We look for new-ness in our lives so we do not have the time to look at the cracks that have appeared in it while the sands of time slipped between our fingers.

We travel, we have hobbies, we invest, we save, we spend, we have children, we work long hours, we write, we read, we socialise, we eat more than we should, we drink, we make love, we talk more than we need to, just so we can avoid looking at what we have in our hands, just so time passes quickly and we can say, in one great rush, that life was beautiful.

But time and again, it surfaces and resurfaces, and we realise in our hearts that the perfection we seek eludes us, the imperfect ones, in our need to understand the unknown, in our need to acquire that which cannot be possessed. Time and again, in our heart of hearts, we know we will never have it for it will not come from the sources we are looking at. Like expecting nectar from the serpent't mouth that can only spew venom, like expecting honey from the ocean, like expecting immortality from the human body.

The illusion shatters, every instance, for neither can we live up to it, nor can it live up to us. And so we go on, century after century, looking for unconditional love from humans. For we know this chase will never cease, the end will never come.

In that unceasing search, we find our immortality. In that immortality, we find the un-end we are looking for, every minute of the day. For unconditional love is an ideal. Not the reality we truly desire.

January 03, 2010


She hated the girl. And she did not want to spend a single minute with her in the same room. Roomie for a year??! Unthinkable! But the girl came and settled down on the top bunk.

She kept finding a million reasons to dislike her...the girl was messy, disorganized, had a set of ideals that she defended with her life. But most importantly, she found it irritating that all her attempts to isolate the girl did not work. The girl had her own set of friends outside of the course they studied in. And the girl got along fine for the few hours she spent in the same hostel room with her.

Until one day, they announced groups for a project. Everybody was grouping up with people they liked. Friends and peers. She did not. She hung around, waiting for all her friends to get taken. She did not want to work with friends. She decided to work with people she didn't know, people she would not choose...for the real world would offer her just that - people she didn't know, choose, or like.

She found out she had been put in the same group with the girl. No! This was not what she had wanted! But she decided she would do it still. The girl was, after all, somebody she did NOT like.

They set out working on the project. It took a month to finish. They worked together, travelled together, planned together. They ate together, fell asleep on the same bed discussing ideas, they would come back late from work to find all the hostel food was over...so they cooked for each other and they dreamt together, about a project they both were proud of.

Along the way, she found out they worked with the same ideals. They had similar beliefs. They both had similar ideas of having fun. They were both stubborn. And they both found that they were perfect together. Like best friends. No, wait. Like sisters.

They grew together, they grew apart and they still stayed together. They married, they travelled, the worked, they gathered experiences. Sisters that led parallel lives. Sisters that learnt the same lessons. Sisters that grew differently but grew into similar things.

Long ago, she remembered, they had had 'the talk' about how the girl should stay in the room if there was to be peace. Cleanliness, organisation, timeliness. The girl agreed. With hurt. Hurt that she lived with people who did not know her and perhaps, did not want to know her.

Three years later, as she took her marital vows, they both knew how important they were to each other. To know, cherish and value. Like best friends. No wait...like sisters.