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Aug 2018
My grandfather passed away on a dewy September morning;
About 17 years ago;
My grandmothers glass eyes still draw a picture of fright in front of me;
I remember as she sat silently for hours;
Cold , vulnerable;
As if she was robbed of her breath;
Since then she has sliced her life into two parts;
Before baba, after baba.
Yesterday as we sorted her cupboard;
Over hot chai;
I asked her about a saree;
" I think it was before baba" she says , like an unconditioned reflex , an involuntary knee ****;
They don't teach you how to love like that anymore;
Love like this swallows dictionaries and renders meanings, meaningless;
It moves mountains and drowns rivers;
It spoons the hatred and vaults it.
My grandmother never went to school;
Even at 24 today, whenever I see her;
She presses a 500Rs note into my fist and asks me to buy something sweet for myself;
Last time she did that, she told me he taught her how to count money after they were married;
And to say words like "curd" and "rice";
Every year on his death anniversary;
She still cooks food for people;
With a metal rod holding the bones in her thighs;
And pressing the bleeding points of her psoriatic palms;
She keeps adding cards to her monument;
And remembers love;
In hushed muted tones;
In lemon pickles and measures of salt;
And in a way that stuns me the most;
Without even realising.
Written by
Sayali  24/F/Mumbai
     Eryck and JL Smith
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