Where Did My City Go?

With foggy mornings and bitter nights
With outdoor fires and trivial revelry
With concerned grandparents and rebellious youths,
Where did those winters go?

With needless laughter and unprovoked cries
With shrill voices and unimpeded pace
With rosy faces and secondhand clothes,
Where did those children go?

With cajoling waiters and barbecue skies
With loitering bad boys and ill-advised families
With dirt cheap meals and thirty rupee tips,
Where did those dhabas go?

With crudely dressed schoolboys and anxious women
With smoky ceilings and vacant kitchens
With flirting and gazing and smiling and frowning,
Where did those cafes go?

With coordinated outfits and over sized sunglasses
With Chanel bags and Burberry scarves
With mighty egos and tiny cups of kava,
Where did those aunties go?

With spontaneous potholes and disintegrated markings
With patchy dividers and poorly marked one-ways
With hapless drivers and tensions high,
Where did those streets go?

With sweaty brows and mismatched suits
With hunching backs and constant limps
With open Gold Leaf cigs and a thirst for chai,
Where did those workmen go?

With jutting terraces and ambient lighting
With one-too-many rooms and truncated gardens
With gated walls and hookah smoking chachas,
Where did those houses go?

With skin-tight jeans and loosely draped shawls
With seductive tantrums and lingering smiles
With fearless legs and contradictory statements,
Where did those women go?

With elaborate setups and valet parking
With disillusioned fuckboys and entitled students
With flowing booze and intermittent heating,
Where did those parties go?

With loud blazers and knotted hair
With curated exhibitions and disinterested crowds
With ambitious price tags and unresolved issues,
Where did those artists go?

With flaky books and unread magazines
With unsuccessful writers and nostalgic poets
With the decadent smell of faltering paper,
Where did those bookstores go?

With matchstick firecrackers and saggy balloons
With repackaged toys and expired chocolates
With multicolored smiles and tar-laden voices,
Where did those hawkers go?

With flightless birds and unsung gardens
With shifty salesmen and blushing girls
With run-down minarets and neglected paint jobs,
Where did my city go?

Professional Courtesy

I drove back with a doctor
Who could tell I was ailing,
And that’s when I stopped her
Just short of the railing.

I drove back with a carpenter
A self-proclaimed presenter,
And before I coulda spent her
I found my own center.

I drove back with a lawyer
Who could tell I was fleeting,
And that’s when I dropped her
Her thoughts were impeding.

I drove back with a chef
She was a hot mess,
And that’s when I left-
You couldn’t even guess.

I drove back with a banker
And oh my lord bless her,
Before I even thanked her
I almost near yanked her.

I drove back with a writer
I did it just to spite her,
She was a ballsy white girl
I didn’t want to fight her. 

I drove back alone.

How To Slap Yourself Out of Pettiness

Stagnancy frustrates me, and I often don’t even know when I’m frustrated. A couple of days ago I found myself becoming increasingly agitated with someone’s decision to post a poorly edited photo on Facebook. I couldn’t stand the thought of people not caring about what they shared on social media; it drove me nuts. I cared quite a lot, and there was no denying it. I pointed out the picture to my siblings, my parents, and my grandparents, trying to evoke the same reaction I had from them. I exaggerated trivial flaws and actively played the individual in the photo down. All of this happened because I had one too many seconds of time at my disposal- an idle mind can bring out the worst in anyone.

Then, starting to feel more and more like an idiot, I channeled my inner me like a shaman; I took a step back, a breath in, and thought, hey! Why in the f*** do I even care? I don’t even use Facebook regularly. This is the only time I’m ever going to see this picture, and it has nothing to do with me in the first place. I should think girls, food, life ambitions, food, golf- in that particular order. And so I did. It was that simple. I wrote two articles and planned my weekend out; this shit isn’t worth my two cents.

Conversations in a Stairwell

“Hellooo?”
“Hello.”
“Are you below me?”
“Depends on where you are. Are you above me?”
“Depends on where you are.”
***
“Let’s do this quick. No one’s coming.”
“Are you sure?”
“No, there’s forty floors in this building.”
***
“These cigarettes take forever to finish. Should have bought the short ones.”
“Suck it up, dude.”
***
“It’s about time they put some lights here.”
“You own the company, Bob.”
“Oh.”
***