Monday, December 29, 2008


He’s been here for the past 40-odd years. Just standing here in this corner, watching, listening.. Just being. No one notices him anymore. Not the books, not the people, not the rest of the shelves. He has seen many librarians come and go. Librarians are so fickle these days – not like those of old. He doesn’t talk much. Not that shelves, in general do much talking. But he doesn’t talk even during the night when the books come to life laughing, jumping around and freaking out. The only ones who’ve heard his voice are the staid, old red leather bound volumes – who don’t talk much themselves, except to each other. The rest of the shelves ignore him for the most part – they like to bicker amongst themselves about who’s got the most number of books or the thickest books or the tallest books .. you get the point.

He doesn’t talk much. So you won’t know that it hurts him when you pluck books off him with careless abandon. Or about his ticklish spot on the left side of his third shelf. So do be careful, yeah? He’s been here for the past 40 years.

(In or near a shelf at the British Library)


Saravanan looked out and realized he could see nothing – it was all dark outside. He sighed. His stomach grumbled – he was hungry. When would she come? When would he get some food? What does a guy have to do for some grub? He sighed again. As he paced up and down, he heard a small sound. He looked outside, again. It was all dark outside. When would she come? When would he get some food? What does a guy have to do for some grub? He sighed again. And then looked outside again.

Who said goldfish have short memories? They just think about the same things all the time.

(On a fishtank)

Friday, December 26, 2008


One night God had finished his daily duties and was resting on his huge cloud bed. He had tried counting sheep and still no sleep. He was bored. There were no stars, planets or the moon then. The sky was black with some occasional clouds. There was nothing to look at in the sky, so he decided to look around his cloud bed instead. He found a huge pin that he used to fluff his bed. Out of sheer boredom he took the pin and poked the sky. The first poke left a hole. It was bright and it sparkled. God got excited and stood up on the cloud bed to make more such holes. He filled up the sky with millions of tiny holes. Each of them sparkled and blinked. God jumped on his cloud bed. He could now count the starts instead of sheep. This was brilliant. He looked at his creation in awe and wondered how these holes sparkled. God couldn't contain his curiosity. He put his hand through one of the holes and tried making it bigger. The hole was now big enough to put his head through. He looked in; I don't know what he saw. But when he pulled his head out there was a huge head-sized hole in the sky. That's how the stars, the planets and moon appeared in the sky. I know this because I'm one of the oldest trees on this planet. And that night, like God, I too was bored counting sheep. I prefer the stars.

(on a tree)

Thursday, December 25, 2008


She imagined the sunflower fields, the long swaying trees, the chirping birds and the peonies. She’d tied up her hair in a pony, the breeze passing through it made her ears cold. Riding on the road she was forced to go over the leaves and flowers that were strewn all over, almost welcoming her. The skies were blue, with clouds spaced out so uniformly that it looked like someone had taken special care to place them in their respective positions. Hanging a basket full of goodies on one of the handles of the cycle, she was looking forward to the little picnic get-together that she had planned with her friends. She was late, her friends had left an hour earlier. She cycled faster and faster. The road sloped down, which meant she’d go even faster. She let the wheels turn by themselves and held her legs away from the pedals, she was flying. She closed her eyes so she could imagine it. And when she opened them, there it was, a big stone right in the middle. She braked and tried to avoid it. The cycle skid. She fell. Just as the gym instructor patted her on her shoulders and said, “good job Bina, you look like you’ve had a great workout. That should do for today.”

(On an exercycle in the gym)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


She didn’t look like she did before. She was a new person. I know they say mirrors never lie. But I’d seen her some minutes back and man! did she look different. Her hair was dry and frizzy. And her skin lacked luster and life. This magician just snipped away her dead ends and made her look like a princess. But that’s a lie, that’s not how she looks. This is one of the many uncertainties of being a mirror at a salon. I’m new, I’ll just have to get used to it.

(On a mirror)


Then they got married and lived happily ever after. I happened to meet them a couple of days back and I asked them if happily ever afters exist or if they’re just for the books. They laughed, the girl’s name was Malinda and the boy was Freddy. They had met here at the same table five years ago. And had been married for three. They loved each other and spoke for hours on end about life and love right here. But things were different today, their topics of conversation had changed, it had gotten more serious.

Oh but I’m digressing. Coming back to what I was saying, they laughed and said, “happily ever afters exist, of course they do, but not like the ones in fairy tales. They’re more real, there’s sadness, there are fights and then there’s this thing called understanding.” For that one moment I wondered if they thought I was human. Freddy continued, “all of it is happy, because we’re constantly working together to keep each other happy.” In a strange way, I feel like I’m a part of their life. The place where they first met, the place where they still fight. The place where happily ever afters are kept alive.

(On a bench)


Sticks don’t usually have lives. But some do.

Smoo and Smaa.

That’s what they called themselves. And they had the ability to call themselves that because they were alive. Like how you wake up one day (when you’re around 5 years old) and say, “Hey, I want to choose my own name, I don’t like this one.”

So Smoo and Smaa called themselves that. They decided to share a common second name. Not that they were married or anything, but because they’d been together from the time they could remember.

Smoo Da and Smaa Da.

Da was the first sound they heard. It was the sound they heard when the tree they were on popped out Smoo and Smaa.

And where did they get their amazing powers from? The tree of course, the Da of all trees. A powerful one, worshipped by the wise sages of the Himalayas, and renowned the world over for its magical properties. Magical properties so magical that I dare not mention it here for fear of invoking the rage of other magical creatures.

Out of the two, Smaa Da was the smarter one. One day he just pronounced himself smart, “I’m Smaa Da therefore I’m smarter.” Smoo Da said okay to it, like all smart people do.

One day while the two were sitting on a ledge watching the sunset, Smoo Da sighed and said, “I love sunsets”. Smaa Da jumped up, turned around, took Smoo Da by her skinny shoulders and kissed her passionately. Smoo Da was gobsmacked. I mean, she had a crush on him all along, and now after 1134 years, he kisses her. Just when she thought she was getting over him that too.
“I love sunsets too,” said Smaa Da and kissed her again, “we have soo much in common, I think we should get together.”

“Like du-uh,” thought Smoo Da, “we’ve been together so long and we’re the only Da sticks we know, like we have no choice other than to get together.”
“Errr, ok, let’s,” replied Smoo Da and put a skinny arm around a skinny hip.

In 9 days, there were li’l Da sticks running all around the place. Smoo Da and Smaa Da went quite mad picking names. Commere. Gothere. Nothere. Whatshere. Lotshere. Gonethere. Etc etc.

And so it was that the Da clan multiplied and grew in numbers enough to cover the world. Many times round. And because of their magical properties they were much loved. The beautiful thing about Da sticks is that they never tell anyone (outside the Da clan) about their magical abilities. So it looks like the person who has a Da stick is a magician.

So the next time you see someone using chopsticks here, you know who’s responsible.

(Poster entitled 'Da looks good' placed at Xian, the Chinese restaurant/ takeaway)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sangita Padiyar

It was where they first set eyes on one another. He was tall dark and handsome. So good looking, he was almost too good to be true. She was no less. With skin as fair as Snow White and a soft body, she was most sought after in whole of Dessert Land.
The minute he looked at her, he began to melt. Since then, he has been called Hot Chocolate. He fell head over heels for her. She, was hence called Nuts.
It all happened in the house on the corner of the street. Their love was Cupid's gift to not just their race, but to mankind as well. Everyone now yearns for Hot Chocolate and Nuts!

(Poster at Corner House)


My froggy friend

This little garden is like an office. And the frogs in it are like people. They work tirelessly to keep their little garden clean, eating away caterpillars and other insects that nibble on the lovely green leaves. One such frog named Hoppy happened to hop on to my pot the other day. He seemed quite happy, with his job, life and stuff. But he did have a grouse. It was about his brother Floppy who lazed around the whole day, hopping only if he was forced to. While poor Hoppy did all the work by himself. The most Floppy ever did was to croak. Hoppy found an agony aunt in me. He would come by everyday and grumble, mumble or just share some happy incident. When I leave this garden, I’ll miss him the most.

(On a plant at Ambara)


She hated it.
The food.
The orgy of it.
The sourness.
The excessive sweetness of it.

She loathed the closeness.
The fact that people pressed up close.
On both side.
Sometimes in front.
The back.

She detested change.
But that’s all she was subject to.
The assault on the senses.
She cringed.

Then it happened.
It was over.
She lay senseless in steel.
‘Clink’, she heard as she was tossed there.

The wisdom tooth has to go.

(Poster at the dentist's)


I pass through hands,
I pass through hair,
I pass through trees,
I pass through buildings,
I pass through where nothing else can,
I even pass through people's minds,
But I saw a board, which said NO TRESPASSING,
Hey I'm not trespassing, I'm just passing.

(Poster strung up, swaying in the breeze)

Sakshi Gaurav

JUMP..higher higher higher ....come here, no no no not that way , roll over here. Yes yes under the bookshelf, quick quick quick , before he grabs you. Ah! Finally , this is a safe place . He won’t be able to find us here .Phew! We finally managed to free ourselves from that painful life. We are now free to move around at our own wish.

You know how I detested that wretched , old tattered dusty box that boy kept us in . I swear it really ain’t any game living a life of a ludo board coin. Anyway Bluebond now our days of struggle are over . We are no longer slaves to any board game or any rolling dices.

Do you remember last christmas time on that chilly winter eveing how that kid shrieked out of joy after he won that stupid game and had almost swallowed me down his throat , had it not been for his mother to come to my rescue. Ah! Yes of course I remember that Greenwhirl. I was so petrified to see that brat almost gulp you down his throat that i almost fainted and fell from that table, and it was then that I discovered this secret place for us. This untouched , unlooked , undiscovered corner of this giant house.

It is just too perfect for us over here. Away from any kind of torture Away from human eyes and touch. This is our our corner , our territory and no one but only our rules are followed and obeyed here. We rule this space and any human trespasser will be prosecuted!!! J

10 years later

Achoo! Oh my gosh!!! This place is so dusty and creepy with all these cobwebs and these insects crawling here and there. The other day, a mouse almost nibbled on my back. How can they ignore this part of the house?? Are they blind ?? Don’t they know this area also needs to be cleaned and taken care of . I think we were better of in that battered ludo box.At least we were wanted there and made sure that we were safe and secure. Here no one even gives us a second glance. No one even misses us.... this place is no longer nice and charming as it used to be . It is now jinxed by our own words . It would have been great if we had a human soul ‘trespass’ this unseen territory ! L

(Poster near the board games in a cafe or a school)


“Lettuce pray!”
The plates bowed their heads down low, and murmured a prayer of thanks for letting them work here.
“It could’ve been any other place, you know?”, said the side-plate to the cup, “but we were brought here.”
“Thank God,” bubbled the bowl from the dishwasher, “I’m so happy here. When I first got here, I wasn’t too comfortable with the umm, smells you know? Indian spices are really not my cuppa.”
“Siiigh, the cold salads here do wonders for my complexion too. Cream, cream and more cream,” said the bone china plate.


“Wooopsie”, said a waiter.

(A poster on the softboard at the Rogue Elephant at Ambara.)

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Like birds that sit on a line.
Hanging down.

Like ants that line an ant hill.
Crawling down.

Like coffee that stains a tooth.
Down to the root.

Like sunshine that hits a floor.
And just sits there.

Yep, babe, you’ve got cellulite.
And it’s here to stay.

(On the mirror, at the OMO, Ambara, changing/ trial room)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Manoj K

Children, I have a story to tell you. I knew a naughty squirrel called Tommy, who stayed just up the tall tree in front of you. He was a mischievous squirrel from the moment he was born. I saw him popping out of his home and falling down many times. Once he grew up a little, Tommy would come down and play with me all the time. Whenever the park was empty, Tommy would run up the bar, and then slide down fast. Till his mommy Gabriel came down the tree and took him away.

One day something painful happened. Tommy and his family moved out of this park. And I was not able to see them and felt very bad about it. Then happiness swung back. I met someone as mischievous as Tommy. His name was Robin and he lived on the first tree near the park’s entrance. But last month, something strange happened again. Tommy came back to play just when Robin was playing here. I thought they will bond together as friends. Unfortunately, I was wrong because a fight broke out.

Robin roared, “Hey, this belongs to me, don’t dare to come near.”

In reply, Tommy thundered, “haa, who said this to you. I know this place from my childhood.”

Robin retorted, “Sad, now I have to break your face.”

Then sadly, I became a mute spectator to a fight between two cute squirrels. All this came to an end, when mothers of both Tommy and Robin came together and brokered a truce. After that incident, they became close friends and kept sliding on me by taking turns.

Now isn’t this a good story with a happy ending?

(On a slide, inside a park)



Once upon a time in a land not so far away, there lived a dew drop. This is the story of his short but spectacular life.

I’m a dew drop. Most of the days, I’m a tiny drop of water sitting on a leaf. In the bright hot sun I evaporate, go higher and higher and become a cloud. I sail for a while over huge mountains, vast oceans and then decide to come down and settle on a leaf. I have a girlfriend too. She's called rain drop.

But today I had the adventure of my life.

I was peacefully sitting on a leaf thinking, as usual, about my girlfriend. When suddenly without warning, I rolled down the leaf and fell into a river. I sailed along for a while and soon entered a great vast ocean. I travelled through beautiful corals and colourful schools of fish until I met a Great White Shark.

I said hello to him and asked him to brush his teeth. He said that it’s hard to brush your teeth when you don’t have hands. I could not argue against such spectacular logic and instead decided to go for a joyride sitting on one of his teeth.

But you can only tolerate bad breath for so long. So I hopped off and said goodbye and was on my way when I met a Clown Fish. He did a couple of antics which were not funny and a couple of more antics which were...well..not funny. So, deciding the ocean is not such a fun place after all, I decided to evaporate and become a cloud once again.

Okay, not so much of an adventure.

(In some bushes/ garden)

Sakshi Gaurav

Hey ! hey you .. yes I am talking to you Mr. Where are you looking ? look here am right in front of you . Stop! Stop whistling like that and get away from me okay. See I am warning you i have just been given this new white dress , and now don’t you dare dirty it .

Haven’t you heard of anything called a public toilet ? Can’t you use that to ease yourself ? Why is it so fascinating for you to perform this shameful act in front of me everyday ? As if this was not enough now you even have the audacity to paint my face with this blobby red liquid ? Why do you eat something like that when you can’t swallow it ?Why do you have to force me to gulp it down my throat ?

Seriously some weird species you humans are , specially the men . I actually don’t have a problem with the women . I guess they can understand my feeling , coz in all these years of my standing i haven’t had a lady perform the act of sprinkling on me . That Oscar can only go to the men !!!

But if you think I will keep quiet and just stand and subject myself to all these tortures, then you are completely wrong . I have my ways of making it even with you. How do you suppose that 13 floor building just collapsed last week ? You thought it was due to bad construction ? Ha Ha......

I hate falling on you , but there is no other way to vent my anger . You don’t really seem to bother much when I am damp with my tears or when my clothes start to tear and tatter here and there , you just patch them up , rather than getting new ones for me . After all if you so strongly believe that we have ears , then why do you miss out the fact that we have a heart too !!!

(On a wall)


Miss Tuft was an old librarian. And as old librarians go, she was tiny, bespectacled and had silver-gray hair. Although she was old, she was not slow. At all. In fact she was faster than most and would often be seen darting around the bookshelves looking for pilferers, loiterers and correcting people on their manners. Anyone who knew her knew she was the world’s best librarian ever. What she loved the most were old books – she loved the smell, the feel and even the fancy edged letters. One day, old Miss Tuft went missing. Seven year old Queenie Smith said that she saw Miss Tuft near the encyclopedias, the day she disappeared. Some say she turned into a tiny silverfish with spectacles. So if you see a quick, agile, little silverfish with glasses near the encyclopedias, be sure to say ‘Good Morning’.

In the library


‘Chirp chirp’ went the little birds.
And every flower in the field turned its head in disgust. The flowers didn’t like birds at all. They were not just useless, they were also messy and forever squawking about one thing or the other. And they were not even pretty to look at it. Ugly grayish brown things that darted about the sky. The flowers themselves were beautiful and so were the hundreds of beautiful butterflies and bees that visited them each day. It was a perfect world. Except for the ugly birds and the dreadful noises they made.

One day, there came screams from the edge of the field. The flowers in the middle craned their heads to see who was screaming. It was Letitia, the beautiful bougainvillea stalk screeching in pain as something, they couldn’t see what - was cruelly plucking out each flowered stem. Then Hermanthus, the hibiscus started yelling when one by one, each of the pretty red shoe flowers were cut away. Then the sunflowers started screeching even before they were plucked up. It looked like they were being attacked by the evil Stalk Cutter twins.

All the noise woke up the sleeping baby birds who started squawking and shrieking. The birds’ screeches and shrieks were the loudest of them all. As the mother and father birds rushed towards the line of nests at the edge of the field, the flapping, rushing and squawking seemed to scare the Stalk Cutter twins away!

That’s why, the flowers love the ugly birds just as much as the beautiful insects. In fact, they are so fond of them that the flowers even lent the birds some of their beautiful colours. Ever since that day whenever the Stalk Cutters attacked, the flowers join the birds in screeching and squawking and they all have a lovely time shrieking away!

On a tree or a park – anywhere near flowers


I don't like the way she looks at me. As if I shouldn't be here. Everyday I wake up to see her glaring at me and murmuring about how I make her job difficult. Her job! Hmpph. What about my job? I have to stand here, everyday, morning and evening looking fresh and green and making everyone who comes by me feel that much better. What with recession and lay-offs, there's so much stress around, that even a small green thing like me makes a difference.
That's it! I'm going to keep all my dried leaves on until the cleaning lady comes with her surly face and let go of all of them in a flurry. Then we'll see how difficult her job becomes.

Above\On a Potted Plant

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Trisha was going back home after a fun-time at the park. She was climbing up the stairs, thinking of all the candies she could eat when she got home. Just then, she saw a 50 rupee note lying here on the steps. She picked it up and wondered who to return it to. Since she didn’t see anyone around, she decided that it was okay to put it in her little pink purse and buy candies with it. She then ran back to a candy store instead of going home. There, she bought candies of different colors. She ate one and remembered what her mother had told her about sharing food with people who had nothing to eat. Trisha went running to her friends Roopa and Gopi who were playing outside their house in the slums. She sat with them under a tree and ate all the candies. Seeing their smiling faces, she decided to buy them candies whenever she could with the pocket money her mother gave her. But if any of you find money lying around the stairs, please try to find its rightful owner. If you still don’t find anyone, you too can use the money like Trisha did to buy candies for children who can’t buy it themselves.

On the stairs

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


In a dusty corner of a magnificent cupboard that stood in a stately room of a royal mansion, lay an emerald green marble. It had been fifteen years, but she continued to lie here, still, silent and sparkling. Once a part of every minute of every day of the children, she now lay in the confines of the dusty shelf. She had forgotten what it was like to run and play and deceive and hide. She yearned for a ray of light, some of the warm, happy sunshine she had grown so used to and a little bit of excitement. But the children had grown up. They didn’t play with marbles anymore; they played with money and lives and reveled in their royal heritage.

Then one day, someone walked into the royal mansion and up to the stately room. They shook the magnificent cupboard violently and the heavy doors flew open. The royal, emerald green marble rolled frightened in her shelf. But then, quick as lightening she jumped off and bounced across the wooden floor towards me. Plop. She was in my bowl. Gulp. She was in my stomach. Oops.

(On an aquarium)


The boy was sitting on a chair facing me, just like you. There was a man wearing a mask, sitting next to him. He was holding a scary tool and looking straight into the boy’s wide open mouth. It looked like he was in search of some treasure. After many instruments and a hard pull, he found it. It was a tooth. The whole thing looked exciting the first couple of times. Like it was straight out of a movie or something. I used to look forward to the shriek, the pleading look in the patients eyes and the vengeful pull from the Dentist. But now it’s become monotonous. I wish there was something more exciting happening down there.

(on the ceiling, at the dentist's)


The stars, the moon,
a clear sky on a frosty night.
Enough to give me goosebumps.

They appear as ripples.

I capture the stars and the moon.
For a second.
Maybe more.

They throw reflections that reach your room.

But full moon nights.
Are filled with the best lights.
I become the dance floor.
And the moon, a disco ball.

(poster near a swimming pool)

Manoj K

It was a boring Sunday and something spoilt the peace. It was a song reverberating from somewhere. I looked left and right, and then I was able to pin point the location. It was a song coming from the ants’ colony, which was in front of me on the ground. It was the ‘Yes, we can!’ song (words used by the new American President to convince the American public). At first, I didn’t understand what was happening there. Then I realized it was a song being sung by the hard working soldiers to motivate the occupants of the ants’ colony. The soldiers were building a colossal wall to prevent the termites from attacking the kingdom. And the whole operation was supervised by the queen ant.

I thought the ants will succeed in their task. But a tragic incident happened. A swaggering fat man walking with his bulldog stepped on the ants’ wall. The sweat and toil of the entire colony came down in an instant. The fat man was totally unmindful of his act, and continued his walk on the road. But on the ground, the helpless soldiers were seen running to save their lives and sadly, some of them were crushed to death. I thought the ‘wall building mission’ had come to a close. But I was wrong. I once again heard something. Yes, it was the queen ant who was now singing the ‘Yes, we can!’ song. And soon, I saw the entire colony hum with her and assemble to complete the wall building task. Thus came to an end the heroic mission of the ants.

(On an apartment/ house gate or at the skating rink at Coles Park)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Gumpa’s father worked in the forests of Amazon. He cut trees. Gumpa used to accompany his father to the forests and used to watch him work. He owned an elephant named Tutank, who would help his father lift big trunks and trundle them into the river so they would float down to the sawmill. Gumpa learnt his father’s work by watching him closely. Then one day, when his father was away, he took Tutank to the forest and remembering the words of command that his father used, he asked the Tutank to lift a trunk. Tutank was in a very playful mood that day. Instead of lifting the trunk of tree he started playing it. He stood on one leg and did some funny tricks. Gumpa too played along with him and forgot all about work. After spending the whole day playing, Gumpa decided to get some work done. And ordered Tutank to lift the trunk they had played with all day. Tutank tossed the trunk into the river and Gumpa called it a day. I have never been played with like that ever since. People have only cut me into pieces and made new shapes of me. I’m now a chair.

(On a chair)


“Oh whatte beautiful morninggggg”, sang the sunflower.
“Ignore him”, said the geranium to the grasshopper, “he thinks the son rises everywhere he turns.”
“Oh, ok.”
“What’s the son?” asked the grasshopper.
“Oh, see that bright golden plate up there? That’s it. The son.”
“Whose son?”
“The store-owner’s?”
“Ahhh. Ok. Now it all makes sense. That’s why the son comes out when the store is open, right?”
“Korekto”, said the geranium.

(On a sunflower pot at the Ambara plant nursery)

Sangita Padiyar

Amma sent me in with a packet of Prale-G. No, it was no ordinary packet. This was the one which came with the butterfly sticker. She promised to wait outside till I was done. There were others inside, just like me. Most of them were crying, some wailing even. I thought it was because their Amma didn't give them Parle-G.

I offered mine to the girl sitting next to me, but she looked sternly at me and said "I cannot take anything from strangers". But I was no stranger, I thought. I looked out of the window to see Amma smile at me. She was proud, I could tell. She held her chin high, above all the others standing beside her.

Ms. Bhanumitra walked into class. She looked pleasant yet many of the kids wailed, louder than before. One ran towards the door, Ms. Bhanumitra tried to stop him and he bit her! More kids wailed. Pandemonium broke out.

Why were the kids crying? She was a nice lady, I promise. Yes, she did show us the wooden scale once in a while, but that was only when we disobeyed. My Amma did that too when I didn't listen to her. They didn't seem to understand. I think it was because their Amma's didn't show them the wooden stick, instead told them they would be sent to Ms. Bhanumitra.

One day, Ms. Bhanumitra announced that there would be a Story Telling Competition and we could recite stories that were their on books, or we could make up stories.

I won. This was the story I narrated.

(outside a classroom in a school)


“Boo,” shrieked the creeper to the little plant below it.
“Yaargh”, yelled the little plant in a mighty fit of fright.

“Splash” went the pond in all its mucky glory to the lawn.
“Splat”, retorts the lawn in one big wide yawn.

“Tickle tickle”, goes the cactus to the begonia.
“Swoooosh”, went the begonia to a breeze that strolled by.

“Pitter patter,
pitter patter,
pitter patter,
pitter patter,
pitter patter,
pitter patter,
pitter patter,” went the giant gardening hose.

Playtime in the garden was now closed.

(on the vine at the entrance of Ambara)


Ever since the entry of the nuts into the ice cream kingdom, the ice creams have kinda felt letdown. The nuts say, “they like you better only thanks to us”. The ice creams reply, “you’re only embellishments, adding to the presentation value, nothing more, nothing less”. But ice creams aren’t ready to accept the importance of nuts even till today. Till you came by and the ice creams decided to have a bet. The ice creams said, “if the next customer doesn’t ask for nuts, you’ll have to bow down to us and agree to our supremacy”, The nuts said, “if he does, you’ll have to accept our role in your cold lives”. And the next customer came by and ordered hot chocolate fudge ‘without nuts’.

(At Cornerhouse)


“Ri, ri, ri”, bubbled the li’l tadpole.
Not a soul heard him.

“Rib, rib, rib”, bumbled the li’l tadpole.
Not a fly came close.

“Ribbi, ribbi, ribbi”, bawled the li’l tadpole.
Not a child peeked in.

“Ribbit. Ribbit. Ribbit,’ blurted the li’l tadpole.

“Oh, so you’re a frog are you?”, said the gardener looking into the pond.

(sticking out of the little pond at the Indo-American plant nursery at Ambara)


“O orchid, o orchid”, whispered the fly to the ‘chid.
“How many a-petals you have.”

“Oh fly away fly away,” said she to the stinky fly.
“They’re all reserved for that gorgeous butterfly.”

(On the pot o’ orchids at Ambara’s Indo-American plant nursery)


Once upon a time my leaves were as yellow as a dirty fellow and my trunk was a fiery red. It was around the same time that dinosaurs stomped around the earth and all land was one. And yes, all trees were the same color as me. I lived like that for many a millennia. Spinning around the blazing sun with my branches held aloft, carrying in their sheltering twigs little birds and their eggs and squirrels and nuts. Many million moons later I met a painter no taller than dwarf Dopey (from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) named Twinkleton. His eyes sparkled like the stars and his tiny feet moved faster than that of the squirrels that still run all over me. He spent days scrutinising me taking copious notes all the while. And finally one day, he brought along buckets laden with the color blue. He jumped from one branch to the other splashing the color blue to each of my yellow leaves. Once he’d finished, he turned upon my trunk adding the color green to it. And after that, he stood at a distance appreciating his work. Little Twinkleton had transformed me. He then repeated this exercise with each and every tree. But I wonder if he managed to color all the trees. Or could he have missed that one tree that still stood out, odd and alone with its yellow leaves and red trunk.

(on a tree)


Huff and Puff were two very good friends. But unlike the other creatures in the world, they didn’t have a place to call their own.
The fishes had the seas. The elephants had their forests. The birds had their sky. And we have our homes. But poor little Huff and Puff were the only two of their kind in the world.
“We have to find a place to call our own,” said Huff to Puff one day, “Else we’ll get wiped off this earth, and no one will even know we existed.”
So Huff and Puff first flew up into the skies. They bumped into a falcon up there. She looked at them haughtily and said, “Why’re you two here? We just gave permission to those darn airplanes, and now we have another bunch wanting to claim the skies. Please go back.” And she shooed them down.
Then Huff and Puff went to the forests (actually that’s where they fell after the falcon shooed them off). They fell right onto the back of an elephant. “Do you think we can live here?” whispered Huff into the elephant’s big ears. The elephant didn’t answer, but trumpeted so loud that all the other elephants in the forest came to him. “These guys want to live here with us.”
“No waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay”, trumpeted all the elephants in unison.
So Huff and Puff got blown away by the loud trumpeting, and landed in the ocean. Straight into a fishing trawler (thankfully, else that would’ve been the end of them, because Huff and Puff don’t have gills to breathe under water). Puff peeked off the edge of the little boat, and stopped the first fish he saw, a salmon. “’Scuse me, Sir, but do you think my friend Huff and I could come live with you and everyone else down there?” The salmon splashed some water into poor Puff’s face and laughed and swam away (straight into a fishing net).
“Guess we can’t live here too”, bawled Puff into Huff’s shoulder. They both spent the night crying and soon the boat’s gentle rocking and the wave’s lullaby put them to sleep.
The next morning, when they woke up they realized they were in someone’s bag. They had rolled into it while they were asleep, and now they were being carried off. And since they were a Huff and a Puff, the human couldn't've seen them.
“Yaaarghhh”, screamed Huff, “I haven’t even brushed my teeth!!!”
Puff peeped out the bag and saw that they were on land now. “Phew”, said Puff, “At least we’re outta the water.”
Huff and Puff rolled along and finally got off at a place which was nice and cool and carpeted. Huff leaped down and landed softly next to Puff. He whistled, “Fancy place, huh? Come, let’s take a walk around.”
After walking for an hour, Huff and Puff both realized that no one here could see them and no one asked them to leave. Huff grinned at Puff. Puff sighed “Home Sweet Home” and lay down.
And from that day on, Huff and Puff found a home. And even today, when you go to the gym, you can feel Huff and Puff around.

(Stuck opposite the treadmill at Talwalkars)

Monday, December 15, 2008


A long time ago, 20 odd years ago actually, there lived a box of chocolates. Now these chocolates were not your normal, everyday chocolates who did normal, everyday things. These chocolates loved making people fall in love with them, then making them sick.

How did they do this? Well, the usual way you know? They used to look as beautiful as ever, so people would go “I want. I want.” But once people took them and had them in their tummies, these nasty little chocolates would turn into the mean little monkeys they actually were. They would run all around the stomach doing their little tribal dance, and the person whose stomach they were dancing in, felt ill. And if that person opened his mouth, you could actually hear the drum beats these little chocolate monkeys made from inside. Burp, burp, burp, it went.

Now the tribal chocolate monkeys and their tribe increased and flourished, till one day, one of the normal chocolates said, “We really need to do something about these guys.”

So the fluffy chocolate bunnies waged war against the tribal chocolate monkeys. It was a war of nuts. Crushed peanuts and macadamia nuts and walnuts were all thrown at each other. Till one tribal chocolate monkey screeched, “Enuffffff, if I get hit by one more nut, I’m going to turn into a nut.”

So the two nutty factions stopped. And reached an agreement.
Said the head of the fluffy chocolate bunnies, “We want you to make it clear to people that you cause harm. It’s not fair that you cheat people like this.”

Said the tribal chocolate monkey head (after much consultation with the rest of his team), “Ok, come tomorrow, and we’ll show you what we will do.”

The next day dawned bright and early. The fluffy chocolate bunnies were there early. When the other team came and showed them their plan, the fluffy choco bunnies were pleased, “Ah, now everyone will know that you are actually harmful.”

“And the best part is no one will finish it off, so there’s always a bit of us left behind for future generations, you know,” said the tribal monkey chief.

“Death By Chocolate. Let’s hope the market buys it," said one of the fluffy bunnies as he hopped off.

(poster in Cornerhouse)


Kinni, a tabby cat was born far far away. She was born in Uttaranchal. And because, she was born in a freezing little hamlet, her mother thought it wise she send her away to a more tropical place. You see, Kinni used to sneeze every morning, non-stop. So Kinni’s grand-mother’s sister’s husband’s second cousin said he knew someone somewhere.
So Kinni was taken down from the hills. She was tied to the warm belly of a goat for the first leg of the journey. Then a donkey agreed to carry her with its bundle of warm woolen clothes, and soon poor, tired Kinni was in the capital of India.
“Dilli, I’m here”, mewed Kinni when she first saw the city.
Barely had the last mew left her than she saw a rat standing with a placard that read “Kinni”.
Kinni waved out to the rat. The rat, a Mr Ratinder, was well-acquainted with the Indian Railway authorities, and had pulled many a string (most of them moustaches) to get Kinni on board to her final destination.
Most of the way, Kinni spent in the laps of various travellers. Because, unlike Mr Ratinder, Kinni was young and beautiful and therefore, loved by all. Because of the oodles of time she spent on laps, Kinni learnt a lot about the fabrics. She knew the difference between silk and cotton; and linen and polyester. She even knew the difference between different prints, like kalamkari and candy-stripes. And so Kinni learnt and traveled, and drank tea from earthen cups in the mornings, and milk from plastic cups at night.
After many many days, an older and wiser Kinni stepped off the train (bid adieu to a teary-eyed Ratinder) and met Catina, the posh relative who lived in this city. Kinni mewed the first few days, for she missed home a lot. Catina got tired of it, and one day took Kinni along with her to work. Kinni was delighted to find that Catina worked in a very fashionable place that dealt with fabrics of all kinds.
“Wheeeee”, mewed Kinni, who plunged straight into all the fabrics and did an inventory of everything the store had. The manager was impressed to bits, and asked Catina to get Kinni along everyday.
Catina and Kinni soon became a team. A very formidable fashion team that traveled to Fashion Weeks in all fashion capitals of the world. Delhi, Paris, Milan, Rome, Hong Kong.
And much later, in an interview, Kinni (now with her own label ‘K’) said, “And to think it all started in an upholstery store in Bangalore.”

(Poster at Soul Seasons, the upholstery store)

Manoj K

As a permanent nest of this lake, I have lots of stories to share with you all. Here is a heroic story about a duckling called Jonathan.

Once upon a time, little Jonathan was swimming in the lake, and then his mother called out for him.

‘Jonathan, Jonathan, where are you”.

Jonathan heard the call, and flew back to this nest instantly.

Once inside, his mother told him, “Jonathan, listen carefully. I have something serious to tell you.”

He said, “Okay mom, go ahead.”

She said, “Yesterday, I saw a ‘bird killer’ with a big gun in his hand. Am scared he will kill us all.”

I knew Jonathan from his childhood days. He was a bold little duckling, so I was not surprised with his answer.

He told her, “Mom, don’t worry, I will handle that bad guy.”

The very next day little Jonathan asked all his friends to gather at the lakeshore. At the meeting, Jonathan convinced his friends to attack the ‘bird killer’ with a special duck song.

The song started off something like this:
‘Quack…quack if you come near me..
Quack…quack if you touch me…
Quack…quack if you even look at me…’

After some initial hiccups, the Jonathan’s choir began to work. The result was really terrific. (The song was horribly loud and the most irritating song I have ever heard.)

The next day, the ‘bird killer’ came to the lake and Jonathan and his friends sang the ‘quack…quack’ song. The song, as expected, was very loud and disturbing. It woke up everyone in the neighbourhood, including the guard who was sleeping at the park’s entrance. The guard upon seeing the ‘bird killer’ caught him within no time. Jonathan and his friends were delighted with their effort and danced in joy. Even his mother was very proud of him.

I can still vividly remember everything that little fellow did. Sadly, he longer stays here. Jonathan is out to see the world and will come back soon.

(poster next to the Bagmane lake)


I was once a foodie. Sitting at a restaurant waiting for the pick of the day was my favourite thing to do. Apart from eating of course. Restaurants made me smile, the aromas made my senses tingle and the ambience just lifted my spirits.
My last meal was eaten at one such table. I was waiting for my friends when a waiter got me a fortune cookie. I broke it and read my fortune, it said, 'a wish will come true'. I smiled and searched my mind for a wish, there were none. Just then I saw a waiter slip and the plate of chicken shaslick he was carrying, fall face down on a table. I was so hungry, I just wished I was the table mat that it landed on. And that was it. I disappeared even before I could place my order.

(Table-mats in restaurants)


Aaaaa…. Ouch that hurts.

Noooooooooooo….. not me, I'm not dead. Cut the dead ones.

Ouch ouch…. I hate these once in three months things.

I hate the sharp edges.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…. I'm just a few months old, why me?

Once we're cut… they'll burn us with that hot drier.

Why do we have to go through this?

Damn it.

We're safe for six more months and back to the snipping chair.

Some mirrors have ears, special ones that can hear what each strand of hair says when it comes for a haircut.

(On a mirror at the beauty salon)


“Deal me a wheel”, said Flippity Bob, the rabbit.

“A real wheel?” asked Twotone Tweet, the penguin.

“Not really. I want one on which I can go wheeeee”, said Flippity Bob squinting up at the sweltering summer sun. And dying to feel the cool wind flap his two ears down.

Twotone Tweet looked slightly confused. “So you don’t want a big one? One in which you can take all the itsy-bitsy bunnies in?”

The rabbit thought awhile, twisted his ears into a bow, and then with a snap he said, “No. I want one all to myself.”

The penguin tiredly sat down. He didn’t like customers who didn’t know what they wanted. He chewed a salted fish, and lay down while Flippity Bob twisted his pointy ears and thought about what sort of a wheel he would want.

“See, if I get a big one, Mrs Flippity Bob will yell at me for buying something which I don’t really need.
And, if I get a medium-sized one all the li’l Flippity Bobs will want it for themselves.
So, I should get a teensy weensy one which I can hide under my bed, and take out only when I want to.
It should also get me far away from Mrs Flippity Bob when she starts looking for me to do the household chores.
So, Twotone Tweet, do you have one which fits all this?”

Twotone Tweet woke up with a start, for he’d fallen asleep waiting for Flippity Bob to make up his mind. Twotone Tweet thought for a minute. And then went into his fake igloo and started making something.

Flippity Bob stood outside trying to undo the knot he’d got his ears into.

Twotone Tweet came out with a pair of shoes. Flippity Bob was livid. “I want wheels I can go wheeee on, that are not too big, that are not medium, that are small, that I can hide, that I can have fun on, and which will keep Mrs Flippity Bob away. Not this!! I have this already.”

Twotone Tweet then pointed to the wheels below the shoes. “See these, he said. Isn’t this exactly what you wanted? It’s called roller skates.”

And so the first pair of roller skates were worn by Mr Flippity Bob. And even today, when little children skate around they always show their teeth like old Flippity Bob, the rabbit.

(Poster for kids and moms at the skating rink in Coles Park)


We ate all the ugly ducklings because we hate competition. When we heard of this restaurant we came to eat the rest. But realised that it's just a name and there aren't any ugly ducklings here. Fortunately for us, the food here was so good, we decided to stay back and play some music and eat the yummy food.

(poster on the frogs at Ugly Duckling)


I remembered the day she was first ordered. She was nervous. After all she was just a borrowed recipe from friends. Yes, they did add an extra touch to make her what she is today, but still, she didn't know if people will accept her, like her. Sitting on that plate ready to be eaten, she had finally arrived. And from the very first bite, she left people speechless. People loved her so much that they spoke about her, wrote about her and ate her. They came from far and wide just to get a bite of her. I never for a moment thought that her fame would last this long. But it has, she's the Ugly Duckling Steak.

(On table-mats at Ugly Duckling)

Saturday, December 13, 2008


This is no ordinary swing. So before you sit on it, please read this story. Once upon a time, a girl named Rati used to come to play in this park, to swing. She was always accompanied by her mother who would ask her not to swing that fast. And since she was scared of her mother, she would immediately slow down. But one day she came alone, without her mother. She decided to make the most of this opportunity. And swung so fast that all the children in the park stood staring at her. She laughed and shouted out to them saying, “Look at me, look at me, you can’t swing this fast. No one can.” It looked like the swing would give way and break. Just then, there was a sudden snap and Rati flew away. The magical swing had transformed her into a parrot. Rati flew straight to her mother who couldn’t recognize her anymore. But parrot Rati decided to listen to every word her mother said and repeated it so she would never forget it. And she lived happily ever after, swinging in her mum’s cage, repeating everything she said.

(poster near a swing)


Beam me up Scotty. And today don’t take me to that dungeon filled with fake smiling robots and expressionless faces. Take me back to my planet. Where distorted faces have genuine smiles. And scary looking eyes have true concern. I was sent to this planet on a mission, to learn from this human race, a lesson on love. Sadly though, I’m leaving bitter and in complete shock at how the lives of people here has become. A day at work is routine. Every smile has a hidden expectation. And the only love in their life is self-love. A greedy obsession with material possessions. A life as hollow as the black hole.

(On a lift)


I can remember a conversation between my parents from a long long time ago. The only memory I have of them.

Mom – hey, isn’t it a fine winter evening?
Dad – yes, it is.
Mom – have we gathered all of them already?
Dad - no, not all.
Mom – let’s start looking then.
Dad – hmmm, here?
Mom- no there.
Dad – oh here, I found one.
Mom- good, I found the others.
Dad – can’t find the one I buried here, I know I buried him safe somewhere around this tree.
Mom- forget it, it’s getting late. Let’s head back home.

I was the seed they were talking about, the one foster dad - Mr. Squirrel - buried safe.

(poster on a tree)


Dear litterer,

I’m busy collecting trash. I hope you too are keeping yourself busy by throwing trash. I like everything you throw at me, even when it’s something I don’t like. Because as a dustbin, I can’t really choose the trash I like if, you know what I mean. I’m supposed to take it irrespective of my likes and dislikes. But I’m not sure if you like throwing trash into me just as much. As most of it is usually thrown around me and not into me. I’m sorry if I’m wrong but that’s just how I feel. Maybe it’s just because you have a terrible eyesight. Anyway, there are lots of you who do throw trash into me. Like this boy who came by the other day and played a game of basket-paper-ball with me. He spent hours picking up paper from all around. After which he stood at a distance and chucked the paper ball into me and scored his imaginary points. Not all of it went in, but it was fun all the same, we tied at 5 points. Ya, like I said earlier I’m busy collecting trash. You take care.


(poster on a dustbin)


The plumber was late today. Radha had asked him to come by 12. But he’d turned up at 5 in the evening and was trying desperately to fix the pipe. Her kitchen was wet and the water was all over.
Rahul, her husband would be returning from work soon. He was the suspicious sorts and she didn’t want the plumber at home when he arrived.
The plumber was a young, handsome boy in his 20s. He was working diligently on the pipe in the kitchen sink which refused to stop leaking. Radha had gone into the living room, when she heard a loud noise from the kitchen. She came running to see what it was, when she slipped and fell on the wet kitchen floor hurting her leg. It must have been a fracture. The plumber came running to help her. He lifted her with both arms, and was carrying her to the sofa when Rahul waked in. Radha, who was in incredible pain, felt awkward, she knew her husband and his suspicious nature. He didn’t wait for an explanation. He just turned around and walked out.

'Rahul!', Radha cried out, 'don't leave!'.
'It isn't as it seems….'
Rahul walked away, without so much as acknowledging her presence.
'You'll regret this someday', he heard her saying, 'you'll wish you hadn't left this way.'
Rahul left the room, leaving her broken heart in pieces. And me, the door that he slammed, in pain.

(Poster on a door).


Once upon a time in an enchanted land far, far away, lived a family of beautiful butterflies. Each more beautiful than the other, the Menon family always left a trail of gaping admirers as they flew past. They had exotic colours like magenta, peacock blue, salmon pink and royal purple on their wings and their eyes were a combination of bright green and grey. Ma Menon and Pa Menon were very proud of their three beautiful daughters and made it a point to compliment their beauty three times a day, everyday. Soon, Poo Menon, their older daughter and Soo Menon, the middle one, began to believe they were God’s most beautiful creations. They began to think of themselves as superior to all the inhabitants of the land, including the king. However Roo Menon, the youngest one, believed there was more to life than beauty. She flew around, going about her everyday chores, never once stopping to show off her colours to onlookers like her sisters. Her sisters thought she was silly because she didn’t pay any attention to her beauty; she never visited the spa with them, no face packs, no fashion shows. They thought she really was very silly. Then one day, the king of this enchanted land announced a ball. But it wasn’t just any ball. His personal secretary explained that this ball was a competition to see who found themselves the best partner. The king, she said, promised that he would throw the winner a lavish wedding on the banks of the river Clue, with white lily’s, red and gold ribbon and mouth-watering food. He promised to invite not just everyone who inhabited his land but the neighboring ones and their neighboring ones. Poo and Soo were extremely excited. They began sprucing themselves up for the big day: first spa, then face-pack and finally eye-shadow. They wanted to get the most handsome partners because surely that’s what the king meant by the ‘best partner’. Roo did as much as she could to ready herself and left that evening with her sisters for the ball. Needless to say, all three of them looked stunning. They went about their business enjoying themselves while looking for the ‘best partners.’ Finally it was time for the king to announce his decision. Poo fluttered excitedly next to her excessively handsome catch. Soo nibbled her wings in anticipation next to her hunk. All the other girls stared at them, in fits of jealousy. They did, after all, have the most handsome, drool-worthy, colourful partners. Roo hung around in a corner, standing confidently by her pick. He was dull brown and grey and his eyes had no sparkle.

To cut a long story short, Roo won. Yes she had won the big, lavish wedding, but she had also won herself a kind, gentle partner. He had no colour and couldn’t even be called handsome by mistake, but she was happy, oh so happy. Poo and Soo on the other hand, were stuck with the best looking partners and were most unhappy. Their partners were selfish, self-obsessed and rude. Roo also won the king's appreciation. He told her that a butterfly as wise as her should never leave the world. He promised her that after everyone she loved had left the world; he would turn her into something immortal. And here I stand, 200 years later, a beautiful, immortal, wise, old tree.

(poster on a tree)

Friday, December 12, 2008


My old friend Dudder,
He went to fetch a rudder.
But when he reached the garage,
He realized it was only a mirage.

So he went to see the eye doc
To check if his eyes were blocked.
The doc checked and gave him a prescription
For a pair of glasses that looked Egyptian.

His glasses became the talk of the town
He looked funny, just like a clown.
Ha ha ha, they all laughed,
You Egyptian mummy they coughed.

Dudder never went out on a date,
All the girls thought he wasn’t too great.
That made him detest his glasses,
And he bunked all the classes.

Dudder still wears spectacles,
But they’re nothing like his Egyptian debacles.
He’s a big CEO,
And I’m the table on which he sat.

(poster on a table)


The wicked witch cackled and speaking in a creepy squeaky voice she said, “Why would you do such a terrible thing to the poor kitten?”, Jerry looked at her in sheer fright. He had never before in his life seen a real witch, with a pointy black hat, gown, scary black nails and a broom. He wanted to shout but his throat had run dry and he couldn’t get himself to speak a word. The witch continued, “What if I did the same thing to you?”. He now took a step back and was just about to run when the witch held out her broom and said, “stop right there or I’ll turn you into a cat”. He stood still, gasping for breath. The witch came closer and whispered into his ears, “the black cat that you threw into this pool was mine. You have upset me and my cat. If I hadn’t come in time to help him out of the pool, you my dear child would have been in serious serious trouble. But I don’t like to hurt little children,” she said, still whispering, “so this time I’ll let you go.” Jerry was in tears and trembling by now. The witch did cast a spell on the pool though. And ever since, all apartment and public pools have made it a rule to not allow pets into or near the swimming pool.

(poster near an apartment swimming pool)


Like children in schools who try to outdo each other by trying to get better marks, we lifts too compete with each other to get more people to come with us. For instance, I transported close to five thousand people today. Way more than the lift next to me did. The trick is to stop at every floor so people who’re left stranded can come with you. Having soft mellow music playing in the background makes a world of a difference. So does a clean mirror. But I don’t like children too much because they push all the wrong buttons and turn me off. There is one thing I’d like to warn you about though - never overdo it. I’ve learnt my lesson. Once I decided to take 10 people all at once. I was happy I’d got so many people. But you know what happened? I never moved, yes. It was embarrassing alright. My doors shut and I stayed at the same floor. It’s only when a couple of them walked out that I could move. The same way children too shouldn’t try to cram up all the studying a week before exams. Because they’ll never be able to remember all of it. Instead, they should study a month in advance. So they can remember everything they’ve studied and also get excellent marks.

(on/ in a lift)

Manoj K

I miss the buzzing bees.
I miss the soothing breeze.
I miss the golden sunshine.
I miss the caring gardener.
I miss the shower of a watering can.
I miss the gentle touch of a loving hand.
I ask this a thousand times, everyday.

(poster near a plastic plant)

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Once upon a time.
Time didn’t like it.
So Once got off.

Once upon a tree.
The tree turned a new leaf.
So Once took leave.

Once upon a beach.
The tide turned high.
So Once ran nigh.

Once upon a cat.
The cat purred.
And Once fell off.

Once upon a foot.
The foot went ahead.
And Once dropped behind.

Once upon a book.
The book closed shut.
And Once stayed on.

(poster in a library)


Meet the smelly chemistry lab.
Yes the stench is like that of a dead crab.
Filled with chemicals, test tubes, apparatus and tools
It’s the one place that makes some hate school.

Classes go on.
You try to hide your yawn.
And a combination of hydrogen and sulfide
Make you wonder if something just died.

It smells quite bad, it smells like egg
“Please tell me if I can get rid of it,” you beg.
“Not so soon”, your teacher replies,
“First, get the solution right”, she cries.

(poster in a chem lab)

Manoj K

Please don’t think I’m a lazy little spider. I have a serious job on hand. It’s the role of being the supreme protector of this city. Yes, I’m the real Spiderman. Just yesterday, an old lady was robbed on the busy Gotham Nagar main road. And as usual, I had to step out of my web and catch that bloody brute. He was faster than I imagined. He ran like a cheetah and I had to jump from one building to another. Like always, I got bruised and I had to buy some Handiplast (can the Gotham Nagar City Council consider reimbursing me?). Well, let’s get back to the story. I finally got hold of him, near the big Gotham Nagar drainage (a stinking place). I had to catch him in front of curious public (help-less). And what made me sad was that some school boys were busy making those ‘dushom..dushom’ sound for all the blows I was receiving. Finally, I saw some help coming my way. Upon seeing our big belly police force, the robber relented and I was able to apprehend him. Then in midst of the loud applause of the public, I had to run away from that place and come back to this sticky web house.
Hey guys, not again. I hear one more grandma calling for help (Is there someone who can help the Spiderman?).

(poster near a spider web!)


Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap… tap on the left, tap on the right, tap on the left again…. And yet again.

Push(move) up, pull(move) down and push(move) all around… again…. And yet again

Phew!! You would think I would be a lean mean machine with all of this moving(dancing) around. But instead I just am a-round… And with the name of a lil furry animal (to top it all)

(Poster about a comp's mouse to be put up in a children's comp lab in school)


In a bush near us, there lives a little green caterpillar named Toodle. Toodle lives a happy life with his family on a little green leaf, enjoying the suns rays, the monsoon’s raindrops and the winter’s chilly breeze. He is a lovely, well mannered little caterpillar: He cleans his part of the leaf everyday, without his mother having to yell at him to do so. He folds his clothes neatly and never leaves his wet bath towel on the bed. He even combs his hair before breakfast and wears a dress robe so his family doesn’t have to see him in those ugly polka dotted sleep shorts he never has the time to change out of. He shares his toys with his brothers and sisters and all his friends, and even lets them borrow it for the night if they want. But there is one bad thing about Toodle. He is very greedy about food. He never shares his food. If he sees any one of his brothers or sisters or friends or even his parents eating anything, he grabs it right out of their hands and gobbles it up immediately. He even eats a lot of the things that lie around the leaf. His mother and father are very upset about this and punish him everyday. But Toodle doesn’t learn. They tell him that if he eats so much he will have to puke everything out because his stomach isn’t big enough. He is scared of puking but every day he forgets that it will happen to him. Today, after Toodle had grabbed and gobbled a strawberry yoghurt cereal bar from his figure conscious sister, his stomach began to rumble. It growled and made the funniest noises he had ever heard. Suddenly his mouth was forced open and out flew everything he had eaten. If you look into the dustbin now, you will see what Toodle ate today.

(poster near/ on a dustbin)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Once upon a time this ordinary park bench was at a royal palace. It used to be the throne of king Gajanthara. He ruled the kingdom of Amarapura, situated on the banks of river Yamuna. Unlike most rulers who never listened to their subjects, Gajanthara held meetings just to address their woes. That made all his subjects look up to him and love him all the more. He would sit on his throne addressing the assembly and listening patiently to everyone who came there. At one such meeting there came a sadhu. In those days sadhus used to be revered and respected, because they never cheated people or harmed anyone. They just blessed people and occasionally cursed the ones who did wrong. And so the guards welcomed the sadhu and bowed down to him in respect. The sadhu walked straight into the assembly and sat on the king’s throne. Everyone looked at him perplexed as to why he would do something like that. Just then, king Gajanthara walked into the assembly and saw the sadhu sitting on his throne. This made him very angry. Though he was patient with people, he couldn’t tolerate such behaviour. He ordered the guards to show the sadhu his way out and to never let him in again. The sadhu quietly got up and paying his respects to his majesty, he said, “ Oh Gajanthara the great, I have traveled all over your kingdom. And everywhere I went, I heard people singing your praises. They said there’s no one kinder than you or more compassionate. Having heard so much, I decided to check for myself. And forgive me for my test dear lord, but you’ve failed”. Having said that, he let the guards take him away. But just before leaving, he spoke once again. He said, “From this day on, you’ll never be able to sit on the throne”. The upset king sat on the throne which instantly changed into a park bench. The sadhu’s words had come true, the king never sat on it again.

(poster on a park bench in a kid's park)


There was a once a boy named Akaash who was curious about everything he saw. He questioned authority and rules. He ate with his left hand, walked backwards. And did everything he was asked not to.
Once, he was at the park and saw a monkey playing. The monkey did everything it was asked not to and it seemed to be having more fun. Like on the swing, instead of sitting, it stood. On the slide, instead of sliding down, it walked up. As soon as the monkey left the park, Akaash did everything the monkey had done. He stood on the swing and climbed up the slide. What fun he had. And slowly children, seeing him having so much fun, did exactly what he did. Since then, children all over the world prefer climbing up the slide.

(poster on a slide, in a playground)


This is no ordinary swing. So before you sit on it, please read this story. Once upon a time, a girl named Rati used to come to play in this park and to swing. She was always accompanied by her mother who would ask her not to swing that fast. And since she was scared of her mother, she would immediately slow down. But one day she came alone. Her mother hadn’t come along. She decided to make the most of this opportunity and swung so fast that all the children in the park stood staring at her. She laughed and shouted out to them saying, “Look at me, look at me, you can’t swing this fast. No one can.” She was swinging so fast that it looked like the swing would give way and break. Just then, there was a sudden snap and Rati flew away. The magical swing had transformed her into a bird. And poor little Rati flew straight to her mother who couldn’t recognize her anymore. From then on, she decided to listen to everything her mother said. Sadly, her mother never said a word to her.

(poster near a swing)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Kunal Ashok

Once upon a time, on a farm in Himachal Pradesh, lived five cows. Their names were Nithya, Delores, Sandra, Martine and Zeba. They were the best of friends. They used to graze from first light to dusk. They loved to talk. But the one thing they spoke about more than anything else, was about the places they'd love to visit once. Places that weren't as boring as the farm they lived on. 

Nithya, the eldest of them all, loved green valleys. Naturally, New Zealand was her favourite. Delores adored beaches while Sandra loved the walled cities and places of historical importance. Martine was the quiet one. She said she didn't mind anyplace, as long as it had some peace and quiet. The rest suggested playfully that she ought to try Morocco and the deserts of Africa. Zeba was the youngest of the group. She was also the most playful. She loved chasing butterflies and lady bugs. She loved to ski. So, Switzerland was her preferred choice. 

One late afternoon, as they were chomping down on their favourite wild grass on the slopes, they saw a bolt of lightning followed by a loud bang! They were terrified. They were used to thunderstorms, but this looked and sounded sinister. They could see smoke rising from beyond the hill. Although Zeba was scared like the rest, her curiosity got the better of her as she trundled up the hill to see what's going on.

"No Zeba! Don't go there! It could be dangerous", shouted Martine and Delores in unison. 

"If you're going. We are coming too. Let us investigate together", said Nithya. 

And so they set off in search of the source of the lightning. As they got closer, they could see a shiny object - a golden chair! And next to it stood an old man dressed in a purple robe. His frail fingers had rings with bright rubies. But what shone the brightest was the twinkle in his eye. The man had thick white hair, bushy eyebrows and a long nose. He smiled at the gang and waved. He asked them to come closer. 

"Hello there girls! How are we doing today then!", he exclaimed in a booming yet jovial voice. "I am Treoche! I come from Zaeora, from the constellation Antilla." 

The cows looked at Treoche in awe. Only Martine showed some signs of being frightened as her thin legs started to shiver. 

"Don't be frightened Martine. I'm not here to hurt you.", he smiled at Martine. 

"How do you know who we are?", asked Zeba "We've not introduced ourselves to you!" 

"Oh girls... Don't worry. We have been listening to your conversations at an observatory in Zaeora for a long time now. Which is why I've been sent here by the king. To help you get to the places you love to go!"

He pointed his ruby filled fingers to the golden chair. "This chair, will take you to a place you've only dreamed of. You simply sit on it, think where you want to be. Voila! You're at your dream destination in nanoseconds!"

The girls were ecstatic! A chair that could take them anywhere simply thrilled them to bits. So, one by one, they climbed into the chair and off they went in a zap. Zeba went first. Zap! Followed by Nithya, Sandra and Delores. Zap! Zap! Zap! Martine was the last one to be transported to her dream destination. Zap!

As Treoche saw the excitement in their eyes as they waited to be whisked away, he was overcome with joy. Never had he seen such happiness. Their dreams had come true. And it was all thanks to him. So, after all five cows were gone, he packed up his chair and waited for another bolt of lightning to take him back to Zaeora. He snoozed under the shade of an apple  tree. But, he was rudely awoken by a huge bang followed by a flash of light. It couldn't be the transport lightning. It was too early. As the smoke cleared out, he saw Zeba. 

"Zeba! What are you doing here?", he asked in amazement. 

"Treoche! I loved the slopes of Switzerland. It was so white and pure. The air was crisp and the sun shone with a golden glow. But, I felt there was something missing. My friends." She started to cry. "I don't want to be in a happy place all alone. I want to be with Nithya, Sandra, Delores and Martine", she sobbed.

"Oh poor Zee..." He did not complete his sentence because he was startled by another flash of lightning. Followed by another one. And three more. Zeba and Treoche waited for the plume of smoke to clear. What they saw thrilled  and amazed them. The rest of the girls were back! 

"Oh I never want to go anywhere alone. New Zealand was so lonely!", exclaimed Nithya. 

"Me too!", screamed Martine as they hugged each other. 

"Thank you Treoche for helping us find our favourite places in the world. We realised our favourite destinations are each other's hearts.", they said together as they watched a smilind Treoche disappear in a bolt of lightning with his golden chair.

(poster in a children's playground)


This tank has a family of three fishes. The papa fish’s name is Gaga. The mama fish’s name is Gigi and the baby fish’s name is Gugu. Gugu hated his name. His friends who had cooler names like Remo and Dido, teased him to no end about what a funny name he had. And said things like once a mama’s Gugu always a gugu. Poor little Gugu, not knowing what else to do, went sobbing to his parents. But since they were under water, Gigi and Gaga didn’t notice his tears. They welcomed Gugu with a big fin hug and a fishy kiss. Gugu shrugged away and started bawling, saying, ‘if you love me so much, how could you give me such a name?’. Gigi and Gaga loved their son’s name and didn’t think there was anything wrong with it. But they didn’t want their son to be so unhappy. Please help Gigi and Gaga give Gugu a better name. Leave your name for Gugu here: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

(poster near a fishtank)

Monday, December 8, 2008


Imagine this bus to be a pumpkin that Fairy Godmother has magically transformed into your chariot. The driver to be a horse who drives the chariot. The wheels to be tiny little mice. And the conductor to be a rat who shows the way. Dressed in neatly ironed clothes and polished shoes, you’re all set to dance your way through the day. No, not at the school, but at the grand ball where interesting children like yourself come to have fun. And when you’re done having fun, the bell goes trrrrriiingg. That’s your cue to run back to your chariot – the bus, before it can transform back into a pumpkin. But in your hurry to catch the bus, don’t lose your shoe.

(poster on a bus)


Once upon a time my leaves were yellow and my trunk was red. It was around the same time that dinosaurs walked the earth and all land was one. And yes, all trees were the same color as me. I lived like that for centuries together. Until one day when I met a three feet tall painter named CMYK. He spent days looking at me. And finally one day, he brought along buckets full of the color blue. And jumped from one branch to the other adding the color blue to each of my yellow leaves. Once he’d finished, he stood at a distance appreciating his work but I knew something had gone terribly wrong. The next day I realized it was my trunk and my branches. He didn’t like the red anymore and started adding the color green to it. He went around painting every tree around me. It’s only then that I realized that my leaves, like theirs were green and my trunk was brown. And I lived happily ever after with the blue sky as my background forever and ever.

(poster on a tree)


A long long time ago, teachers were owls and students were sparrows. It was a time when schools had just started. And like you, all the little sparrows didn’t like school much. But when they started going to school they realised that it was a lot of fun.
This was because they could sit in the classroom and twitter and twatter away the whole time, while Miss Owl wrote with her white chalk on a white board! Yes, in those days, no one knew how to make a black board, so they had to use a white board. And since no one knew how to make a black chalk, they had to use a white chalk. So now no one could read anything that was written on it. So the lucky little sparrows didn’t have to learn anything because they couldn’t see anything.
Now many years passed this way, and the sparrows only learnt how to twitter away. They did not know anything else. They did not know that 1 and 1 makes 2 and that they should say ‘thank you’ when someone gave them 2 seeds. All they knew was that white board with nothing on it.
One sunny morning, a raven came along. Now ravens are mean birds and they like scaring everyone. So this Raven frightened Miss Owl so much that she flew out of the classroom. “Ha ha ha, now I am in charge of this class. And everyone has to listen to me,” and he walked up and down the classroom and the little sparrows were so scared they kept very quiet and still. The raven walked up and down the entire day. And pecked out of everyone’s tuck boxes. And when the bell rang, he flew up with a big huge tummy filled with all the yummy food the little sparrows should have eaten.
What the little sparrows didn’t see, however, was that the raven had walked around so much that he had turned everything around him as black as himself. Including the board! The sparrows all twittered in fright.
And the next morning when Miss Owl came into class and saw a black board instead of a white board she said, “Ah, that raven has done something good for us at last.”
And that is the story of how the black board was born.
Ever since that day everyone could see what was written on the board, and everyone studied and became doctor-sparrows and engineer-sparrows and President-sparrows.

(poster next to a blackboard in school)

Nikhil Narayanan

It was the last I would see of him. Like the others before him who had fallen prey to cruel fate, he could do nothing about it. Neither could I. All I could do was pray. Pray for the bloodshed to stop. Saving the lives of the rest of us. If only for the time being.

Giant minutes passed. Wall echoed our heavy breathing. With fear and loathing in my eyes, I turned towards my tormentor. There was God! The prayers were heard! My unfortunate friend would be the last of us to die the bloody death. There would be no more blood.

A cold winter breeze swept across the room. I lay back and let it make love to me. Death had made me a little more adventurous. A little giggle escaped my clutches. Peace was restored. And then… he sneezed.

(Poster on the wall next to the tissue dispenser)

Sunday, December 7, 2008


I have never lied.
But is the payoff of an eternity in heaven really worth it?
Not many people can take the blatant, unforgiving truth. They’d rather be lied to. I’ve been insulted, cursed, spat at, hit with a chair and thrown through a window, simply because I speak the truth. The price I pay is far worse than anything you can imagine. To experience even one-hundredth of what I’ve been through, tell a woman that she looks fat.
And here’s the worst part. I can’t do shit about it. It’s not that I willingly adhere to the ninth commandment. It’s just that I don’t have much of a choice.

(poster on a mirror)


It was 1 am on a Monday morning, there weren't too many vehicles on the road. Most people slept peacefully trying to escape the reality of the week ahead. I stood in the corner that I'd stood in from the time I could remember. I wasn't in the best of shapes, my paint was fading and a couple of bricks were loose. It was in a busy part of the town and no one paid much attention to me. Except maybe the groundnuts vendor who sat in my shade. But he had long gone home, leaving behind a small pile of discarded shells. There were still a few late night revelers scurrying past.

Among them was a couple who caught my attention. They seemed so distant, so in love. They obviously didn't care about what time of day it was. They were holding hands and walking by themselves. Like lovers everywhere, they were in a world of their own. As they reached me, they leaned against me kissing.

The boy whispered gently "I will always love you darling and this December when I get a raise we'll get married nothing too grand, just a few close people". She whispered back, "I love you too". They were so contented and full of dreams that they never saw it coming.

But I think I heard it before them. The loud screech that broke the silence of the night. Careening wildly out of control a swanky convertible filled with twenty-somethings screamed around the corner. One of them threw an empty scotch bottle on me shattering it to a million fragments. And were headed straight for the lovers, who stood transfixed too stunned to move. Like two startled deer.

The car rammed straight into them - dead center. Spinning their bodies like rag dolls and slamming them once again onto me.

The car screamed off into the night with a dent on its fender, leaving behind 2 blotches of blood and two bodies inseparable in death.

(poster on a wall)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Sangita Padiyar

Slurp! She tasted good! I love it when people stumble-crumble-tumble on me. Its my favourite drink, human blood! Muhahahaha!

(poster on staircase)


That morning the lift had decided to stay shut. The protesters stood there trying all possible passwords to get it to open. But I decided to take the shortcut, the stairs. It was like old times again, counting the steps, stopping for breath on the landings and running out of breath just as I reached office. It reminded me of my childhood when an elevator was a luxury and the stairway, the only way. We played all kinds of games on it, sliding down the railing, jumping over steps and other games we invented on the spot. Well, there’s no time for that now, there’s no time for most of the things that we did when we were little. Nonetheless, it was a good workout. If I took the stairs everyday, I could probably avoid the stepper in the gym. And if I could take the stairs everywhere, I could probably even avoid the gym.
I’ve been taking the stairs ever since. Trust me, it might take a few extra minutes to climb and a couple of seconds of breathlessness, but it has saved me from many elevator mishaps and helped me lose more than a pound. I hope you stumble on this humble stairway sometime.
- A Stair Lover

(poster near a staircase)

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Have you ever thought about the world in here?
What do think happens inside here?
It’s a dark world, everything’s dark brown.
You must be wondering why I am talking about the color dark brown.
You want to know a secret? Everything in here is made up of dark chocolate!!
You don’t believe me? Lift up the cement lid you are staring at right now and grab some before it disappears!

(It's supposed to be on a manhole cover. I will get Sankalpa to go there and paste it :)

Manoj K

Once upon a time, I was an insignificant little door. My friends teased me as ‘the lazy little door’. I felt miserable about my life. I had one big complaint
though – people pushed me hard. So I bled during the day and cried during the night. Then on one sad Thursday, my head almost cracked when a fat manager rushed in and slammed me hard. (I desperately wanted one of those ‘handle with care’ boards on me.) But all my pain vanished one fine day. I heard a filthy rich man called Bill Gates had taken over the building I was located in. The very next day, some gizmo guys fixed an electronic gadget on my head. Thankfully, now my friends no longer call me the ‘lazy little door’.

(poster next to a electronic sliding door)


"WHAT have you done!?”
“I have dipped myself in black vegetable dye.”
“Um, it’s fun? Why are you so scandalized?”
“Because we’re um, WHITE.”
“Yeah, but now I’m black. There’s not much I can do about it.”
“You can wash it off, can’t you!?”
“Erm, no, not really. It was permanent vegetable dye.”
“OH MY GOD. So what do you expect your father and I and the rest of the community to do, Sebastian!? You can’t be the ONLY black one.”
“Well mother, I could source large amounts of permanent black vegetable dye?”

(poster next to a blackboard)


Paan. Sweat. Ammonia. Paint. Glue. Mud. Rain. Phlegm. Smoke.

A few of my favourite flavours.

(Poster on wall)

Sangita Padiyar

Pimple! Go wash face
Ah! Nice eyes
Too fat! Change out of it
Hoot! Sexy bra
Er… Wrestler’s arms
Yes yes, looking just fine
Naah, not for this occasion

All of these described him.. No wait, He’s a her now.

(poster next to the mirror in the lady's loo)


B1: What if I pop off?
B2: I don’t think you can. Not without the will of god.
B1: But nothing can stop me from trying.
B2: Maybe.
B1: Can you help me though.
B2: Sure.
B1: Okay, you just have to push me off.
B2: That sounds easy… ok.
B1: Okay now. Pushsshhhhh.
B2: Oh man, this is hard.
B1: But I did hear a crack.
B2: That’s you, the cracked one.
B1: Fine! Let’s just sit here then. And go unnoticed. And be just another brick in the wall.

On a compound wall

Sangita Padiyar

The way her legs hit the accelerator one would think she didn't know there was a break. She had a reason though.
Amith was racing from the other side, with the same intention!
Too bad for them, Smriti was the smartest. She stood on the spot, saving it for her boyfriend.
And so the race ended, only to begin. Again.

(Poster in a parking lot)


I mean NO LEFT TURN. Don’t turn left! Cant you see me? Are you blind? I have witnessed many people meeting with accidents, some have lost their limbs and even their lives. Please listen to me when I tell you not to turn left before the signal turns green. Or I’ll have to stand here and watch you get hurt helplessly as I have always done for the past 20 years. I wish I can help. But its only this much I can do.

(Poster next to a 'no left turn' sign)


I can see everything you do. I know your secrets, your fears, your joys, your conspiracies. I can hear all the conversations you have on your phone which are supposed to be private.
They say walls have ears… but ceilings have sharper ones.

(poster on the ceiling)

Sangita Padiyar

Tick tock tick tock

I watched as the hands moved

Gliding almost


I was still sitting there

Mesmerized by its movements


Not budged!



"You had to be here over an hour ago! Where the hell are you? No, not that wretched place again. How many times have I told you not to go there? Are you listening? Don't hang up on me! Get home NOW!"


She breathed her last.

This is why I sit here everyday.

(Poster next to the clock. On the wall :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


And on the eighth day God surveyed all that He had created. And it was all good and wholesome and beautiful. Then suddenly his I-need-things-in-order personality took over. He said I want to CLEARLY divide the oceans from the lands, I want to make sure everyone knows there’s a big difference between that and this. And I really don’t want people walking straight into the oceans or into an iceberg, you know.
So He told the labourer-angels to drag some mountains and place it as a demarcation between different forms. And so there was a clear demarcation between the oceans and the green fields, between the rivers and the valleys, between the red soil areas and the dead soil areas, between waterfalls and pine trees, between white-skinned people and brown-skinned people, between animals with tusks and animals with horns, and between everything He thought was different and which He thought needed a ‘Warning’ sign before entry. And so it came to be that mountains were born as a ‘Do-you-really-want-to-climb-this’ sign.
Now God was very happy with his new idea. On the twelfth day, he said he’d apply this to His abode too. So on the twelfth day, Mrs God spent the whole day piling heaps of clouds between God’s bath area and her changing area, between God’s car park and her car park, between the angels’ singing area and her garden area, between St Peter’s post at the pearly gates and the Devil’s peephole just outside the pearly gates. And She was happy, and God blessed her immensely that evening.
Later that night St Peter wrote his daily diary entry, “And today he created the wall. I cannot hear them today at all.”

(poster on a wall)


I was just reading W. Somerset Maugham, collected short stories, volume 4, page 3, when I slipped into a reverie. And my thoughts wandered off to how writers wrote. Did they look at the ceiling or the floor. Or did they look at the pen they wrote with. Maybe it didn’t matter what they looked at, because they were never looking at the floor, the ceiling, the paper or the pen. But looking through them, pondering over visions of yesterday or of the day after. What ever suited their flights of fancy. But mine rested on the crack on my ceiling. And trailed away following its many twists and turns. Like the river in which I used to play, back at home. With its rippling currents and small sweet waves. That used to lap gently at my feet. The unadulterated stream that was the centre of my universe. That has now run dry and looks deceptively similar to this growing crack.

(Poster on a ceiling)

Nishat Ahmed

Please be gentle.
Everyone else just pushes me out of their way.

(Poster on a door)

Aparna Das

Stop pacing up and down the corridor like that. You are disturbing the rest. And hey, smsing and fiddling with your silly phone won't help. Go inside. Why are you like this? Thirty years back when I saw you leave, I knew you were not the 'strong' type. Seems like I wasn't wrong in my assement, eh. Ahhhh, you are irking me now with your anxiety. Just go in buster. Come on, I don't see why YOU have to be this nervous. And isn't this your second? You men make me sick. I warn you, don't come back after this one. OK now, hurry up and go go go. What? You can't take all that moaning? How about me??? Been here for the last 57 years. I live with this every single day. And boy, yours has a horribly high pitched voice. Why just her, today there are 15 due. All moaning at different decibel levels. Imagine my life, buster. Ufffff! Someone, wheel them into the OT for a C section pullleease and save me from this ear splitting madness . It's getting so annoying. I know I know, I am growing old and senile.

(Poster in a labour ward)

Aparna Das

Chooodamani Samson. That what my parents named me. Ma told me she named me so after my grandmother. What a name to live with, all my life. That too in a city like Bangalore , and in a school like Sacred Heart. Where, girls had hep names. Suzzana, Sophie, Priscilla. They conveniently became Sue, Soph, Silly. What could one do with Choodamani? Choo? Huh.
I had no choice but to live with it. But, shuddered each time my name was called out during roll call in school, or later when I appeared for interviews and introduced myself. 'Hi, I am chooooodamani'. Ugh. Even worse was, when, years later he started called me 'Chooda', affectionately. I hated it even more.
Then our little angel was born. And I gave her a beautiful name. Or so I thought. She hated it as much as I hated mine. But I think, she knew my story.
That's why she insisted I be left nameless. And when she visits every Sunday, she comes with a bunch of roses. That's perhaps her way of telling me that she knew, I named her after the flower, because I so wanted that name for myself.

(Near a grave)

Sangita Padiyar

A Meeting Place

Movements so rapid
Changes within a blink
Feet above the ground
Hands everywhere
Music pulsating
Beckoning, inviting
So[u]le reminder
Of love not lost,
Inhibitions none,
Motive ONE
Salvation, liberation...

(Next to the dance floor)


The fat lady walked in and the red light went off. What the lift was trying to say to us was, “Mujhko bhi to lift kara de Thodi si to lift kara de”.

(In the lift, next to the "max weight" sign)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Hi, sorry to send you this long text message, but I am not coming in today because (choose one of the following): My grand dad passed away. I’m sick. I’m not in the working mood. It’s that time of the month again. I have an appointment with the doc. I can't come in to work today because I'll be stalking my previous boss, who fired me for not showing up for work. OK? My mother-in-law has come back as one of the undead and we must track her to her coffin to drive a stake through her heart and give her eternal peace. One day should do it. If it is all the same to you I won't be coming in to work. I have a rare case of 48-hour projectile leprosy. Yes, I seem to have contracted some attention-deficit disorder and, hey, how about them Skins, huh? So, I won't be able to, yes, could I help you? No, no, I'll be sticking with Sprint, but thank you for calling. Constipation has made me a walking time bomb. The dog ate my car keys. We're going to hitchhike to the vet. I have relatives over. I’m so hung over. The flu it’s all over the city, don’t want to catch it today. I’m bored. I have a headache. My cat/dog passed away. My birthday, I want to spend it with people I like. It’s such a beautiful day, how can anyone work on such a day. A black cat crossed my path, can’t come to work. I’m getting married. I have a terrible attack of diarrhea. My mother’s unwell. I fractured my brain. I quit.

(poster next to the swiping machine at the entrance of the office)

Sangita Padiyar

I have a dream. I dream to look as good as the beautiful woman in the photo frame on the opposite desk. Well, I have looked at her every minute of every day, and night. I'm her insomniac lover.
Alas! The one who last used me had no consideration. He threw his things around. I have drawers where his things ccould be kept, but he didn't seem to understand. Lunch box, water bottle (didn bother to clean up the liquid off me when he spilt it), bag, helmet, phone, papers, pens, pins, wallet, empty chips packet [!] et al- just strewn from one end to the other!
Pease! You don't do this to me. I've been promised a 'human-life' in my next birth. For all you know, you could be me - a simple office desk!

(on an office desk)

Sangita Padiyar

What would you do when poked with several pins? Scream, shout, wince? Well, I do it too, the only difference is, no one can hear me. You think you are the only one with a sense of touch? Ha! You'd be surprised at the things that are also tangible, just like you.
The next time you want to decorate your vicinity, remember, not to jab sharp objects into them. I have been bruised several times, every time I think to myself, I'll let it pass. Some day he'll be gentle.
You wouldn't like it if I chipped out and refused to let anything patch me up, would you now?

(on a softboard)


This is the elevator that is filled with the air that is polluted from the basement that is carried to the top floor that is let out in spurts at all floors that is filled with dust motes that look like fairies that remind you of childhood that was a beautiful period of your life that right now is nowhere close to a carefree life that makes you feel grown-up that makes you not believe in fairies that actually do exist that loves air that actually strengthens fairy wings that are strong enough to push an elevator up and down.

Poster inside an elevator.