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Remember Us

Two Years Ago

Fluttering dupattas in the orange haze,

Our fingers barely touching.

The racing beat of my heart sending a new wave of clarity.

The poetry you call mehendi sinking into my soul,

An unspoken story in the curls of each vine - a song of hesitation,

And the details of each petal a declaration of intention.

Sunset, and your eyes seeing right through me, your callouses on my cheek - I blink. 

The gentle touch of your kajal on my waterline makes me view the horizon from your eyes,

Unspoken words, glances, touches, gestures.

Kaise jiyu apni zindagi?*

Without my heart flying away with the patang we wield together,

Without my heart’s thread snapping like when we play kati patang.

How can I go on as if today’s softness won’t be a distant memory - colourless and vintage - by dawn?

You stand up, and the payal I gifted you chimes softly,

Sounds around us leave us hurrying away.

Begging the arms of the clock to slow down and opening my arms to you,

Both of us know the harsh end closing in on us without time by our side,

Both of us hoping to be remembered on the other side.

Her: Two Years Later

Doobate doobate saas leh lia.**

Recognising myself in the depths of your eyes,

Accepting your touch as my own,

Our past miles behind us right next to our home.

Finding the people who reach out (not lash out) when pouring out the truth of my story,

Meeting you was the safest part of my journey,

We used to hide ourselves, lose ourselves in the wars of society vs identity,

Worrying about the subdued whispers we thought followed us through every corner we turned.

When I couldn’t stand with you I’d stand within you, 

With the inscription of our truth running down the veins on your skin - the mehendi I drew each month.

Two years on, holding hands, walking and working to be allowed to exist,

The mass of support swarming in bringing colour to a dull world, setting a positive precedent for our future.

A future of us, one where we will remember us.


*Kaise jiyu apni zindagi?: How do I live my life?

**Doobate doobate saas leh lia: Breathing in as I drown.

Editors: Evie F., Amshu V.

Image Source: Unsplash


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