A for Always

I don’t know why I write but I think it’s because I keep returning to it. I return to hear myself when there is too much noise. To relocate my self-respect that is still childishly tied to things that it shouldn’t be tied to, snatched when I’m not looking & sometimes even when I am.Continue reading “A for Always”

B for Basavanagudi

The neighbors have been flying kites & on some mornings I see silent blue threads hanging uselessly from the tabebuia tree outside our home. This morning, Appa rescued a pigeon struggling to free itself from one of those threads. The thread, streaked with blood, was caught in the pigeon’s wings & lodged deep inside theContinue reading “B for Basavanagudi”

C for Coming home

This is my workplace. I learnt to read & write here. Over the years, I have tried & failed at finding the right words to say how grateful I am to be here. Futile as it may be, I never tire of trying again – and this time, in the spirit of #DalitHistoryMonth (er, still)Continue reading “C for Coming home”

F for Flight. Friendship. Fight.

After years of living in rented houses marked by fish fried stealthily, by the many agarbattis left alight on window sills, by the swollen rooms that held their breath every time an owner turned up for inspection, and by houses denied to us for not being Brahmin; Amma & Appa built this home from theContinue reading “F for Flight. Friendship. Fight.”

G for Gumption

The first syllable of this word comes from nowhere in particular. Your tongue hangs about without really touching anything in the mouth, making room for its own stomach to gather the ‘guh’. Indeed, it’s a word that requires more than your mouth to say it. It needs the tightness of your fists & the firmnessContinue reading “G for Gumption”

H for hair

The men in my mother’s family inherited a love for gossip. In my father’s, they inherited the more dignified baldness. Ajja had shiny white hair growing at the back of his head, leaving the top shinily exposed. He had a small, round face with the faintest trace of uneven white stubble, like an incomplete gameContinue reading “H for hair”

I for Inventory. Intimacy.

One morning, I held a hot cup of tea in my hands after cutting 15 green chilies lengthwise. When the heat pulsating inwards began pouring outside, I couldn’t tell what was feeding what. When someone who doesn’t want to laugh, laughs — I look for the line of anger on their face that suddenly hides.Continue reading “I for Inventory. Intimacy.”

J for Jabya

Jabya smiling, Jabya laughing, Jabya crying, Jabya studying, Jabya singing – is a boy in love. Jabya doing homework is Jabya writing Shalu’s name on the slate. Jabya, in uniform, is Jabya dreaming of wearing t-shirt & jeans some day. Jabya who makes his friend wait while he combs his hair, who rubs powder onContinue reading “J for Jabya”