Thursday, April 16, 2009


Summer storms in Calcutta are delicious.
I wonder if I had that dream again last night,
Or whether my mind made it up later or
Whether it’s the same thing either way:
Cherry blossoms falling in Japan
Soft pink fragile velvety bits of spring
Millions of them, like the stars in the
Enormous rural Indian sky I remember
Being awed by

I always forget most of my dreams, anyway. It’s been so long since I had that one about the house. I guess because there’s no man to hide anymore, and because I am more rebellious. Maybe I’ll stop having it altogether, someday. I’ve stopped having that dream where I’m about to die and running for my life. I always used to have the fan whirring over me during that dream, and wake up in an uncomfortable sweat.

I just ignore things now
People who try to tell me
How to run my life are met
With a stone wall of indifference

Throw open the windows, Shreya
You are not going to go alone, I won’t allow it
Have you eaten lunch?
Pay more attention to me

If you’re really special, I won’t give you the stony stare. Instead I’ll make a joke. Let’s agree to be in parallel places, I say to you in my head, because by this very premise you are not supposed to understand. Last week you said I should put on some weight, and why was I looking so much darker? I smiled at you, and then laughed about how no one would marry me because I’m thin and dark. You looked troubled for a second, even though you smiled too. You said, no, because I know your original colour.

What original colour?
I was a snow white baby
Then I fell in love with the sun
The people who gave me their cells are
What they call fair
One of them has a peaches and cream face
The other one has a bi-colour arm
Most of it brown, and then
Half sleeved underexposed
I love colours: honey and olive and chocolate
I have many

Of course you know my Original Colour. You practically raised me. I can’t find my baby pictures anymore, but that kid doesn’t look like me actually. I love looking at her. She smiles a lot, she plays with her toys and her little blue cycle with three wheels, she used to bite people’s chins while she was teething, and I know a lot about her because people tell me stories. You took all my baby pictures, including the one that is enlarged and framed in the Other Room. We have many memories together. Benaras, Aliporeduar, Siliguri, Seoni. Each one a chronicle, each one monumental: so much so I can’t even talk about them.

Maybe I’ll have a dream tonight
Summer nights rob me of sleep
Someone ask them to pay me back
I am weary and it is easy to let
Gems slip from between my fingers
Multi-coloured gems of incoherence

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