Among Other Things…

It’s really late.
Another night that started out with promise.

And is ending.
With random thoughts typed and saved on my phone.
Tasks left unfinished.
For tomorrow morning.

I’m dreaming of drowning in endless cups of strong sweet black coffee.
I’m thinking of friends. Who have come and gone.
Of brownies that were baked in a moment of insufferable optimism.

I’m thinking of my childhood.
Filling up all these essays for forms has led me to introspect a lot.

What is your most significant accomplishment

Well, making a quilt. From start to finish. Finding a piece of cloth with the right pattern. Learning to use the monstrosity that masquerades as a sewing machine. Talking to my mom for hours. Just like she had spent hours talking to her mom while growing up, making beaded purses and conversation.

What are your strengths and weaknesses

My parents who are simply, always there.
Who watch indulgently while i celebrate successes with friends.
Who taught me that when I falter or get lost, I can always come home to find my way.

My baby sister who’ll sit up till 12 at night talking about school and books and fight over pillows.
Friends who taught me that family isn’t just biological. Who’ll remember things about me that I forgot.

These are my strengths.
And my weaknesses? .. Chocolate

I’m trying to remember my childhood.
Memories of books and singing and eating hot fudge sundaes come flooding back.

Eighth grade science fair and fighting with the boy who broke our experiment.
My fifth grade science teacher who taught me to draw the human heart.
Josephine Ma’am who encouraged me to borrow books from the senior library on her account because at ten, i was too young to borrow books from school.

Dressing up in my first grown up gown for our annual day play. And ballroom dancing with a boy who, at age seven was three inches shorter than me.
My first Enid Blyton that i read in KG2

Books covered in brown paper with labels and marked wit my dad’s neat print.

S Sujatha

Being brought home from the hospital to a black and white house on a black and white lane.
I remember through someone else’s words.
A house with a terrace as high as the coconut tree.
Playing with my grandad and watering the plants

In a movie in my head.
With the pictures whirring past.
Black and White
At 16 frames/second.

Do we really remember anything?
Or in the retelling of the story, do the words themselves become the memory?


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