I have often seen her smiling
Radiating glow like morning shine
She likes to put a bright pink lipstick
Sometimes she chooses red ones too
But when she voices her mind, it is definitive like a bright sun
Her lovely earrings dangle like flowers
And she plays with them like a baby plays with her mother’s fingers
She has grown a liking for short hair
Just as summer grows a liking for carefree starry nights
She is flowing through life like mighty Ganga flows
But if you want to see her heart
She reveals it only to those who sit patiently and wait for full moon night.
Wait, have I told you about what she wears?
She has a large beautiful wardrobe
A wardrobe full of memories
Sweet, sour, bitter
Memories which even she can’t recall when she bought, why she bought
Certainly, she didn’t need all of them
But you know how she is
Never leaving an opportunity to go shopping
Although now she reflects a lot, she has become smarter
She asks herself, what colour would suit me?
And she knows, no not the dull maroon, for sure.
One night, she was standing in front of her mirror
Seeing herself in a beautiful black dress
The same black that conceals everything
Like the ache in her heart
Looking at her one couldn’t help but fall for her
And countless have indeed fallen
And yet she knew something was amiss
This black dress is not able to hide something ugly
Something that she has been fighting for years now
Something that she didn’t deserve to carry
The ache in her heart
She tried everything, every combination of black
Yet nothing worked.
Tired, defeated, she fell asleep
That night a spirit came through her open window
He hovered above her, admiring, absorbing her serenity
And then he gave one small kiss on her forehead
He lifted her and carried her to bed
He slowly undressed her, the suffocating pile of years of clothing from her gentle skin
And watched the marks that they have left
He watched her heart pumping and her breast rising and falling
And till the sun rose, he lay there hugging her
Running his finger across all the marks that made her afraid
Keeping his one palm on her heart throughout to keep it warm in the cold night.
She woke up the next morning not remembering anything
All the dresses were still there, and the marks on her skin too
But they didn’t bother her like before
She looked at all the clothes and laughed
She thought what damn superpower I must have to collect so many clothes!
Somehow she was proud now
All her clothes were lying around and she packed them according to use
The heartache was still there
But she was not looking for any dress now
She wasn’t even wishing for any such dress to exist.
I still remember that day
It was like any other day
I was passing by her home
But that day, there was a nice aroma of tea coming from her window
I greeted her from a distance
She waved back at me with a smile
And I continued on the road ahead.
Anand Yadav is a final year Master’s student in Economics at the Delhi School of Economics.