What makes you think that you are alive?
Maybe you are dead.
Maybe you have died long ago, like all of us–
like many of us.
What makes someone think that he is dead and not alive?
No one really knows who is dead and who is alive.
It’s all up to us. What we think of us and the other?
I think my Uncle died last week.
My friends say they saw him in the guava orchard a day before,
seated on the branches, eating the fruits.
They say he hasn’t died.
I ask them whether I am dead or alive.
They remain silent.
They go away in peace.
I go to the orchard by the sunset
and climb the branches and sit quietly.
The sun sets in the distance.
There is nothing that could be seen–
not even my Uncle eating all the guavas alone.
Andleeb Shadani is a post-graduate in social work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences. He has also published a novel titled Anny’s Address.