• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 06
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Goblins and Shrapnel

In those benevolent summer evenings when evening still resembled a sun-rising day, the adult in our pubescent body was only a kid knowing more than the secrets swelling out of our parents’ eyes. Back then, we existed in the briefness of warm wind; in the stillness of fleeting weathers. It was summer first, like the skittish brownness in our soul-searching eyeballs. We were enamoured of the pocket-small liberties spurred by cascading dangers. Then, at once, we were tadpoles in dreamful swamps; imitating the convulsive goose bumps on our skinny backs. We were skilfully lost in our song-singing divinities, levitating in-between the rhythmic clasp of hours akin to bubble gums attached behind the giddy time machines. We could never be one. So fickle, we transfigured from machines to time-travelling chariots, galloping through the thinness of solar rays, licking dust storms with mouths wide open. We only stopped to catch our breath. We were stronger than our breaths. We had learned to coexist. Even our stomachs could sustain mud, marmalade and flower buds at once. We ate like today was tomorrow and tomorrow was a bygone and this bygone was a bicycle we eventually outgrew. If we lost a certain cousin A during our tree-climbing escapades, we had normalized not to worry. She was not like our tongue-tarnished parents pirouetting in the endlessness of paper-green mazes. Of course, she would wander home, her pigtails a wondrous nature walk; sweaty and basking in spring. We were the children of Nargis; the mellow Ravi could not withhold our erratic reflections. Some evenings we would practice adulting by getting married to each other. We wrapped our mother’s moonshine chiffon dupatta around our heads, shying away from the naked winds around us. We tried hard to look like our mothers and aunties, so we concealed our chests and practiced the art of quiescence. We tried hard not to be bodies or objects or contained imaginations. We were babies in the wombs and then we became magnifying fantasies. We were goblins and shrapnel, and then our very own catchers in the vast fields of rye.