Many many years ago when I was much younger and much more trusting an old family friend gifted my parents a piece of art he called ‘a work of genius’. It was a 15” by 12” printed frame with the exact same pattern of coloured dots and petal shapes spread across its surface.
At first we assumed it was the detailing that was the genius part about it. But then, some weeks later that same friend called up to inquire about the artwork. When our answers – revolved around similar phrases of praise, he finally revealed to us that hidden within those dots and shapes was a figure of a dancing Krishna. And that the genius part was to spot that hidden figure within its incredible detailing.
It was first wonderful and then disastrous. (Say that with a CAPITAL ‘D’.)
I’ve never really been distinctively shy of my dark circles, but come September end – when my insomnia was at its peak – I found it hard to dismiss the idea that I had started to – as my mother put it – ‘mildly resemble a raccoon’.
I had the face bone structure for it (not kidding), and the fact that a large part of my wardrobe is dominated by black, only happened to reinforce my mother’s above-mentioned hypothesis of my rapidly developing appearance.
There’s a vase of wilted flowers by my bedside that I refuse to throw away. Outside my window, there’s a tree the colour of the setting sun; its leaves are hanging so loose like they’re about to fall. After a minute or so, a light breeze sweeps one of those leaves right past me. It takes a mid air twirl before gently falling to the ground.
A butterfly is fluttering around the potted plants; there’s a jingle in its flight, but its wings are mellow.
I’m sitting in the NSCI library – one of my favorite places in the city. It is still early in the day, the library is so quiet and my chair is so comfortable. People around me are engrossed into their laptop screens.
My laptop too, is switched on, staring at the keyboard, I’m thinking ‘what should I write?’
I turned 24 on a Friday of the previous week, and for the weekend that followed it, I found myself celebrating with friends, feasting on basil dumplings, marveling at the deliciousness of my pizza, posing before my camera and laughing at every joke I heard.