It has been a long time since I felt a mellow winter, a winter that was no winter at all, now that I've lived alone through snow and frost.
It seems like a distant life, when I wondered what it would be like to be kissed. The first kiss, in a hidden corner of the university, as a train sped by-thunderously, rapturously, drowning his heartbeat and mine. Far into the distance, some wretched boys clapped and cheered us on. A guard came and turned us away-furious, blushing. That day we had discussed de Sica, ethics, and desire. He was wearing an orange kurta and he had an orange bag. The first taste of tongue-unfamiliar, unwieldy,alien.
It seems like a distant life, Saraswati Puja. Heels, Flury's, my mother met him and liked him. I was 19 and I had a boyfriend and I wanted to be pretty (something I had never wanted before.) The first wearing of sari for someone else's gaze. Conscious of cleavage. Subtext, subtext, textile. Throat ran dry.
The first date we had-a quiz we did not sit for, peanuts, Calcutta, roaming endlessly, my feet hurt. Calcutta. Another city, another life, when will we ever go back? Perhaps never, never, we will never go back.
You did not amuse me, but I loved you with a fierce and tremulous conviction and determination, the worship of a child- and then you failed me, and my idol fell from his pedestal.
I looked for other idols, but they were all hollow, and I shed tears.
Years have gone by, and I no longer eat peanuts.
Calcutta is far away, and the coloured fountain, and everything costs so much money.
Somewhere along the line, the pedestal tarnished and crumbled away, and now I no longer need idols. Snow has gradually given way to spring-there is a chill in the air, but there's also sunlight.
And yet, we will never have those magical afternoons when we curled in each others arms and our eyes glistened with tears as we listened to strange, familiar, forgotten music and felt, felt, felt-as you forgot philosophy and I forgot literature-and we felt, felt, felt. What did we feel? What does youth feel? Golden, hidden, effervescent light- a light that was sepia before we knew it was slipping by...and my other idols have crumbled idly, everything crumbles, and there is no certainty
there is no certainty
except some kind of lost, lingering, (legitimate? perhaps not) love.