Rat Killing, And Other Psychotic Pastimes.

Rat Killing

And Other Psychotic Pastimes

One of the things I grew up hearing about my father, and was thankfully too young to remember seeing, was his penchant for rat catching.

My house has two large, spread out yards. The backyard is somewhat separated from a stretch of ditches, scrubby land, and swampy holes. Ever so often when the rain has been heavier than usual, rats tend to shift from their hidey holes (which I assume, fill up with water), and show up on our side of the fence. It’s not unusual anymore, and the rats don’t make a nuisance of themselves. We see them maybe once in the morning, for a couple of days, and when the rain stops and the water vanishes, so do they. Over the time we’ve built a tenuous understanding of sorts with each other, which mostly involves looking the other way from each other. I even managed to make friends with a couple of bigger fellows who even learnt how to sit up and beg for food, or to sit on our sun-rock and wait till someone saw them, and do their begging trick. The cats remain supremely unconcerned of all these goings on, and for the most part, so do we.

Till last week, though.

Friday morning, I woke up earlier than usual. Thought I’d make myself coffee and sit in the yard, watch the morning come in. When I peeked outside, Dad was standing like a knight in boxer armor, holding aloft a Mop-Lance, preparing to sneak up on one of the rats and smack him with the pointy end. The rat was just sitting there minding his own business, probably waiting for one of us to toss him a fruit loop or something. The minute Dad went in for the kill, I nearly spat out my coffee and went running down to stop him. The rat saw me before he did, probably thought I’d gone mental, and skittered off back into his burrow. Safe, though, thankfully.

After a morning of explaining to Dad how the rat system works (and listening to a lot of rants about the bubonic plague and hygiene and what not), the entire matter was settled. Later in the day, mom told me this story- or should I say, horror story.

So apparently, this rat business has been around for ages. Since my grandparents time, even. They show up in the rains, when the lower levels are flooded, and go away on their own. But rat catching has always been a huge favorite of my dad’s. His preferred method employed a wire cage, bread, a sharp iron poker, and boiling water/hot oil. My mom first saw this stake-out-and-trap-the-rat business in their first year of marriage. Mind you, in my opinion that should’ve been warning enough, but she ‘had faiiiiith in him’, back when she was still naive and what not.

The process went like this. When the rain started, Dad would rig up those trapdoor sort of walk in cages for the bigger rats. He wasn’t after the small fry. He wanted a good fight on his hands, or something. The bread anc cheese would lure the rat in, the trapdoor would snap shut, and next morning, the torture began.

First, he’d bean the poor critter with the poker. When he got tired of that, he’d pour boiling hot water or oil on it, so it was essentially fried alive. And then, triumphant and victorious, he’d be mighty satisfied with himself for the next few days or so. Till a few months later, or till the next time it rained for a few days straight.

Obviously, mom was beyond horrified. She told me how she stated crying when she saw the brutal scene, and later told my dad never to do that again. And obviously, dad was all ‘nothing-wrong-with-that’ and ‘religion-says-you-should-kill-harmful-pests’ and all. After seeing how defensive and vehement the topic made him, she dropped the argument. But she saw it happen a couple of times more, and couldn’t take it. She pointed out that his defense of ‘religion-says’ doesn’t work because ‘religion says that you’re NOT, in ANY way whatsoever, supposed to torture any living being, pest or not’, and boiling water, oil, and those beating to death sort approaches, are even more strictly forbidden. You are, under no circumstances whatsoever, to give pain to any animal. Kill it mercifully, or just release it somewhere else. No oil and poker shenanigans.

Well, that put a damper on the rat catching. Thankfully, I should add. I don’t know where those genes went but all my siblings inherited mom’s Love Thy Rat and Love Thy Every Animal philosophy. I’ve had pet house lizards, pet spiders, pet crows, pet random assorted birds, and God knows what other animals. Other girls’ mums would forbid pets, or picking up injured animals. My mom welcomes them. We even had an electrocuted crow who she nursed back to health for three months. He actually flew away on his own two wings afterward, it was the most beautiful sight to see. Dad would’ve probably been like, “yum, yum, roast crow” or something.

He’s a lot more civilized now. The traveling and the job and the money have taught him how to maintain the veneer. But after hearing all that, as I sat opposite him laughing and joking around with his actually civilized friends, and doing a brilliant job of faking it, all I could think of was the barbarian who lives inside his ‘gentleman shaped suit’.

Rat Killer.

I Want You To Know

I want you to know that I know. I know that you don’t believe.

I know that you don’t believe in love. Or, that you believe in love the way that you believe in God- something’s out there, you know that much, but you don’t know if you can confine it to a name, or a figure, or a person.

I know.

I know that you think ‘forever’ is a lie. It might be- but it’s not mine. When I gave you my word for a forever, for our forever, I was sure enough to stake every single breath I will be given on it. And I still am.

We are a forever. I want you to know, that I know that.

That there is a certainty in every time you cross my mind. I may have a million thoughts and a hundred things happening in my day, but I want you to know that when I turn to you, even in my head- there is no doubt.

We are immovable. Unbreakable. Indestructible.

I want you to know that.

I also know that we are to be divided, by time and space. And I know, that you hide your fear of being hurt behind caution, and a pretended lack of emotion. We will hurt by our division, you and I.

But we’ll still not be broken. I want you to know that.

I know that you won’t say things. I know you won’t show things. But I still see the love, feel the love, know the love- I know your love. I want you to know that I am not blind or mute, and I wish I had the restraint you do, but I have none. You know what you are to me. My words are always an ocean for you, and I crash, and I crash, and I crash on the shore, but I’m never any emptier than before. I will never be empty.

I want you to know that.

I want you to know that no matter how far we walk on, and where we choose to walk, the parts of us that walked together will always be walking together. Those parts of us are immovable, unbreakable indestructible, eternal.

Those parts of us are a forever. I want you to know that.

I want you. You know that as much as I do.

But know this, too-

I know you



Breathe as though your
Lungs are sore but breathe
As if you’d soar
Take flight
On wings of air, breathe
Like a mind awakening
Breathe like you can
Swallow light
Inhale the madness, exhale
the calm, and
like a seed who fell asleep
Like a planet whose soil has
Just discovered how to live
Reach to the surface and



What Henna Means


What Henna Means

Henna is synonymous with everything desi weddings are- messy, all over the place, fussy, even smelly, but in the end, gorgeous. It’s one of those things that no wedding in indian or pakistani families is complete without. Even so far away from all the cultural roots, henna still *ahem* stains the parties red. There’s no life lessons in the leaves or the patterns, but it’s funny how much a simple ritual can signify.

Different religions have different reasons or reasonings for henna, but in the cultural hodge podge that the indian subcontinent is, henna is an absolute prerequisite for every newly wed bride, whether hindu, muslim, or sikh. There’s different patterns, spirals and leaves and flower motifs. A particular thing I didn’t know about that till today was that apparently, the groom’s name is worked into the intricate henna designs on the bride’s hands. Plus, there’s different patterns for hands and arms and legs and feet, it’s practically a science of its own! I’ve had a spate of weddings in our community here recently, and the current one’s my cousin’s wedding. Today was a looooong session of, well, just henna everywhere, really.

It’s totally not my thing. I don’t remember the last time I had henna on my hands (I’m pretty sure a butterfly on my neck doesn’t count in the traditional sense, lol). But instead of sitting on the sidelines ducking away from all the girls walking around with outstretched arms, or the so called dance floor for the ones whose hands have dried, I actually sat in the pit. And I got my hands done.


It’s messy. And it’s so, SO smelly. Not even the freshly mown grass kind of smell, or the crushed leaves kind of aroma. It’s a strong, earthy odor that quickly takes over the room (and your head, trust me). And it’s cold and ticklish, even though the ladies who apply it are seriously pro. They go swish swash swoosh across your palm with crazy detailing, and you’re done in like ten minutes, tops. It’s just… the atmosphere it sets.

But it’s beautiful too, if you look right.

It’s supposed to be a promise of happiness. Of new beginnings, and of two people starting a life together. Of families sitting together and singing and dancing and celebrating their happiness. It’s times like these when the dormant streak in me that hopes for domestic bliss, raises its head and looks around wistfully. I was sitting next to the bride, who was sitting rather gracefully for a girl splayed out like a starfish, a different artist working on each of her limbs. And the cloying surge of emotion threatened to overpower even the smell.

Just another thing I’ll never have.

Not that I particularly want to be graffitied all over, mind you. Or be one of those harried married chicks with a squalling demon baby and a straying husband. But the rest, all of it. Sometimes I find myself wanting the promise of a home, and love, and the happily ever after. Reminders of more things, just more things I’ll never have.

Never realized that flower patterns could be so depressing.

Oh well, at least I don’t have to bother with this again, at least for few years. Or till the next wedding when they manage to emotionally blackmail me into it. Whichever’s later.

That’s one thing henna’s good for, I guess. Whatever it means, but it’s good for hiding someone turning a delicate shade of jealous green. :p :p Till the moment passes, and I’m back staring exhaustedly at the people mucking about, and wondering when this torture will end.

Goddamn this smell, though. SERIOUSLY!!!!

Cheers and face masks,

Cookie <3

Ps. Peekaboo, peekabee- you see me!

It’s Like This

It’s like looking at someone
And realizing that they’re
The undefinable sum total of your universe
Confined in one person shaped vessel

It’s like looking at everything you’ll
Never have
And realizing that what you have outshines it more than anyone could see

It’s like waking up to a soft arm around you
It’s like realizing that you smile from within
It’s like rain in your face and a song in the wind and storms in your heart
And stars in your eyes

It’s like closing your eyes, with those stars, and a smile, and realizing that it’s like this

It’s like bliss.

On the Rocks- V

On the Rocks- V

You don’t seem to love me
When our glasses are empty
And if you can’t love me, without alcohol
I guess
That means
You don’t love me at all


Hey y’all

I’d like to add a small note in here. Bear with me.

Oftentimes, when I write, I write from a dark place. But there are times when I can sit in the light and still write of the dark.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that just because my poems may seem like I’m in a bad place, doesn’t mean that I’m not in control of where and how I am. This particular set of poems caused a lot of confusion with an acquaintance of mine, since she assumed that I’m drinking nonstop and drinking on the job, and am even suicidal. And the fact that this blog, and my identity, must necessarily be anonymous, led her to believe that I was about to attempt suicide, and then to the other extreme- that I’m a troll. Like one of those middle aged men pretending to be teen girls or something. It got extremely accusatory on her side, and extremely confused on mine, before I could sort everything out. She still refused to believe that I wasn’t drinking while working, because of the difference in our time zones. My drinking time in the western hemisphere was her morning/ afternoon, so she assumed that I was also spending my lunch breaks at the hospital hiding and chugging from a flask, or something.

Pardon my French, y’all, but I know my shit. I know my responsibilities and I carry my ethics and my moral duties more precious than life. That applies not only to my patients, but to my friends, my acquaintances, and just about every thing and person in the universe around me. And I do get in bad places inside my head sometimes, but I defy anyone to find a moment whee I gave less than my all to someone who needed my attention, both professionally and personally. And I take it as an insult of the most personal form.

There’s probably not a soul luckier than me, to have found the most caring and loving corner of the Internet to flourish in. There are people here who’ve nurtured me, tempered me, schooled me and taught me- and loved me all the while. There have also been those who got carried away by some of my writing. With utmost humbleness, let me please remind you- poems are open to interpretation. If I’m writing of drowning myself in whiskey, I’m drinking, not actually drowning. If I’m writing of crying myself to sleep, I may be, I may be not- but that is no reason for you to hurt yourself. The Internet is a vast place. If I’m away for a day and there’s a delay in my response, it does not mean that I’m hanging from a ceiling fan somewhere. Please don’t take such drastic steps- I feel terribly and horribly guilty that I even left space for such interpretation, that caused someone pain.

I feel like an ass, pretty much.

I’m way too confused to make sense, even. So I’m winding this up here, with a bucket load of love and cuddles to all of y’all. I might be a depressed, dysfunction and drunkaholic cookie monstah, but I’m your loving cookie monstah nonetheless.

Always with love, and always with light,

Cookie <3 <3