Your baby? She asks, visibly amused.
You’re beaming with pride as you talk. Yes, my baby. I am the one who tells him bedtime stories, wakes him up with kisses and irons his clothes and cooks for him and packs his school bag and helps him with homework and goes to his PTA meetings. I am the one who hand-painted the t-shirt he’s wearing right now. I am the one he comes to with bruises on his knees. I’m the one he counts on to protect him, you know. So yes, he is my baby more than he’s yours. Continue reading of motherhood
What are you writing?
I can’t tell you. It’s a secret.
Crap. Now you have to know what she’s writing. Continue reading of secret-sharing
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.
Continue reading of hangups
on yellowing paper,
corners rusted brown.
among ancient diaries
I found an old letter.
a day or
a century ago.
it doesn’t matter
anymore. The letter
that was never sent.
Between its writing
as my questions
find their own answers
Me, or her? You scream at him, vaguely aware of all the eyes on you. You have to choose, you know! Me, or her?
He looks at you bewildered. For a while he is super quiet. You are sure he will pick you. He’s your brother and wouldn’t care if you suck at cricket.
But he doesn’t.
She does her stupid tilly-lilly dance. You stick your tongue out at her in response. They high-five. You look at him like a hurt kitten, but he doesn’t even pretend to look apologetic.
Confidence slowly leaks out as the crack in your heart widens.