Change 

“Are you sure about this?”

“Yes.”
Snip, snip, snip and suddenly she was a completely different person.
She had a sudden moment of terror when she took in her image on in the mirror. A frightening flashback to when she had earlier sported a short hairstyle. How they’d started calling her a boy. How they’d teased her every time she did something ‘girly’ because she was a boy, wasn’t she? Her childhood sweetheart confessing that he’d never thought of her as a girl because girls have long hair. 
Then all of a sudden the memories stopped coming, and she was back in the saloon, paying a surprisingly cheap fee.
She took a deep breath before stepping out. Continue reading

Farewell, Ivanios :)

Ivanios was the first option that popped up when I googled “best college trivandrum english”. Sure, I’d heard about it before. But never to the point of wanting to go so much that I’d work especially hard to get in. All I wanted was a decent place to study English literature. 

That google search led me to other things, though. Praises for the department. Pictures of the campus. Descriptions of Ivanofest.

And suddenly, I found myself very willing to get in. Continue reading

Love, for me is…

I believe in true love. And to be honest, people have made fun of it for more than I can remember.

My family names love as the feeling you get when you lead a life with a person they choose for you. My friends decide that true love is what we see in Bollywood movies. My brother laughs at love because he still thinks girls have cooties. My ex, for a long time, tried to convince me that love was a lie- a mere mix of chemicals and other decidedly unromantic things. The senior I admire chose a girlfriend who was nice to him because he thought that was love.

To be honest, I’m still not quite sure myself.  Continue reading

Little fan-letter 

Hey

It’s probably really creepy, this fan-letter coming from someone you barely know.

At least, we’ve talked and you know my name, so I hope you are slightly aware of my existence.

(Also, I’m positive that you’ve caught me staring at you many times. I’m also sure that you know my feelings for you, because my friends are never quiet with their teasings and I almost always blush like a tomato)

Maybe this is a crush? I’m not really sure. All I know is that seeing you makes me happy, and I find myself chasing you with my eyes till you disappear from sight. 

Remember the first time we talked? Your classmate introduced me as ‘possibly the craziest girl’ you’d ever meet, and you looked down, introduced yourself and called me cute.

The whole night I tossed and turned in my sleep, wondering if it was a ‘little-sister’ cute or a ‘little animal’ cute. Even when morning came I was still confused about why I cared. 

Hey, will it bother you if I say that I’ve seen you do things you thought no one would see? I’ve seen you feed scraps to the strays. I’ve seen you pick up papers for someone who dropped them. I’ve seen you see me trip and watch, concerned, till I got up and waved to tell you I’m okay. 

We haven’t really talked much, have we? 

My tongue turns against me when I’m in front of you, and I speak like a drunk buffoon. But you always wait patiently till I finish, and pat my head to encourage me through. 

Hey, I’m pretty sure you saw me as a little sister at the very most. 

And I’m actually quite fine with it for once 🙂 as long as I get to see your smile again. 

Open letter to my mother

Amma,

You’ve always been with me. A constant presence in my life that I could not do without. The one who I follow around at every party where I see strangers I am related to but I don’t know. The person who gives me delicious food everyday, even though I may not fully appreciate the greens. You called me your sweetie, your smart princess. The one jewel you loved over all other.

But amma, when did I stop being that to you?

I used to love dressing up and showing you just so I could hear “pretty” from your lips. But now everything I wear is either slutty or old-fashioned. Suddenly my dresses make me look young, some make me look old and others make me look oddly thin. Some are too boyish, others are just ‘wrong’. Amma, why do I now have that one moment of fear before I show you the clothes I like? And even when I succumb to your wishes and wear something I hate to see myself in, why do you not call me “pretty” anymore?

Amma, it means more to me from you than from anyone else.  Continue reading

Of little girls and the masks we all wear 

Whenever my parents speak of my childhood, they start with this one particular story. I was barely three, and they’d taken me to a wedding where we scarcely knew anyone. They took their eyes off me for a few minutes, and I disappeared. After searching for me frantically and nearly giving my grandma (who was at home) a heart attack, they found me in the midst of a group of kids almost thrice my age. They’d all gathered around me, patiently listening to some grand story I was telling them in baby-talk. All of them came to wave me goodbye when it was my time to leave.

And then they turn to the present me with a sigh, and remark “Where has that little girl gone now?”

I dont know. I like to think that she’s still hiding inside me somewhere Continue reading

Evanescent 

It all started with that one stray look. He had caught the other man staring at her, judging her curves and found her answering grin.

The next moment, he was pushing her through the hotel, using her weight and his strength to open doors whilst still keeping eye contact, until they both reached their destination.

Hands on her thighs, gripping the soft flesh until it turned a luscious pink. His snakey tongue taking the opportunity to dart out and savour a few drops of her sultry sweat. Her face held roughly to his chest, muffling any sweet groans she might otherwise let out.

They struggled with the key, but eventually the door opened. For a moment they stood still, taking in the beauty of the room.  Continue reading

Repentance 

When she was three, they took away her mother because she was a ‘witch’. She remembers the mute acceptance on her mother’s face, as if that ridiculous accusation had been expected for a long time.

Four, and she remembers waking up in cold sweat, desperately clawing through the covers to touch her older sister, making sure she hasn’t been taken away as well. She remembers her father’s sad eyes resting much too often on her, his even sadder remarks that she looked so much like her mother.

Five, and she remembers the thrill she felt on healing an injured fawn. She’d cleaned the wounds and applied some medicinal leaves, and a few weeks later the creature was bounding about like normal. She remembers her sister’s eyes widening in surprise and the fervent whispers to keep it a secret.  Continue reading

Liar Liar 

He likes to find happiness in the slightest of things.

The smell of a bakery, the wetness of a puppy’s nose.

The flowers raining down on a particularly windy spring day, the tiny rainbows trapped in soap bubbles….. and her.

Though, to be fair, she couldn’t exactly be considered a ‘small’ thing- unless, of course, one was describing her height.

There was happiness in watching the grace with which she took others’ comments on her physique. The way her black eyes showed a tint of brown in the sun. How her hair, though short, managed to dance along with the breeze.  Continue reading