I want to be Vijay Sethupathi by Srividya Sivakumar


Art by Doodle Masala

I want to be Vijay Sethupathi


I want to be as unaffected as him, sauntering into the foyer of the high-end House with hair flopping on the face, settling myself into a sofa in red shoes and an old pair of jeans with a shirt that gapes open at the buttons

as the others sit perched on the edge of their uncomfortable chairs like angry women confronting girlfriends and trying hard to show disdain, sipping from over-

large mugs in strangely small hands, all ten fingers wrapped around tight

to illustrate vulnerability but also that killer manicure,

in dresses that show off Instagram feeds with a look that's too much makeup and some unwashed hair,

while the men veer between an easy deccani d r a w l

and the (shyster) shy smile of lapping up compliments about being the one, to being too superstar, to expressing opinions in maven fashion,

and both groups speak of their craft and the process and how they

choose and how things have changed and what their miss

universe dream of using their power is,

while I( being him) just watch,

not pretend to laugh at jokes that are in a language I don't follow, speak my few words

with an endearing earnestness that says more than anybody

else with their take- me- seriously vibe,

but try as I might, I cannot replicate that smile and those eyes

and that ease of being you being true.


About the poet:

Dr. Srividya Sivakumar is a poet, teacher, columnist, and speaker. She has two collections of poetry- The Blue Note and the critically-acclaimed The Heart is an Attic. Her weekly column, Running on Poetry, appeared in The Hindu’s MetroPlus for twenty-two months. Her column, Srividya Speaks Poetry currently appears in the online literary magazine, Narrow Road. Srividya is a Best of the Net nominee (2018), was shortlisted for the WE Kamala Das Poetry Awards 2020, and longlisted for the Deepankar Khiwani Memorial Prize, 2021. She is the co-editor of The Shape of a Poem, the Red River Book of Contemporary Erotic Poetry.


About the artist:

Doodle Masala is a multidisciplinary creative studio founded and run by two architect-cum-artists. They have also loved visual contents like films and TV series, so they started creating minimalist pop art for the films and series they love and feel nostalgic about.