of hangups

You remember how, when you were young, calendars were meant to be hung on the wall. You liked being the one to see it first – to check if they had mountains, or flowers or deities on them. You always hated the ones with the deities; the house was full of their pictures anyway!
As soon as a new calendar arrived, you’d turn to February. Your birth month. The picture on this one was always the best. Next, you’d go to October. Your brother’s birth month. You’d show it to him, but he would be unimpressed. He didn’t care much for calendars anyway.
Dadi would look for a clean spot on the wall in the kitchen and hang it there, out of your reach. You’d loiter around for a while, but eventually forget all about it.
At the beginning of every month, dadi would take you to the kitchen, where the calendar was hung. Smiling, she’d tear out the first page from the calendar, almost in slow motion. She’d look at you intently as she gave you that old, yellowing month, stained with turmeric and oil and memories. You’d hold the sheet in your hands, look at the new, glossy picture that had just been revealed, and wink gleefully.

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