The Apartment Above Me

As I lay here in bed, sick, I hear all these noises around me, the loudest and most distracting coming from the apartment above me.

All I can picture based on the noises coming from the apartment above me is a two year old. The two year old has made use of her new found gross motor skills and has wobbled her way to the top of the sofa, on top of the cushions, with a handful of marbles, and has, with evil glee, rained them across her kingdom.

Our baby has now got a hold of her mini scooter, and she now scoots over the house as fast as her pudgy legs can take her to the kitchen. What happens in the next seventeen seconds is unclear at the moment, but there seems to be a situation in which the baby’s hair, fries, and parents are on fire.

The baby seems to have managed to salvage the fries and is complaining about the slight dampness with a half hour of bawling, asking for the manager, and the half singed parents tell her that the fries are homemade, there is no manager and please let them go to the hospital they are dying.

Our baby is merciful, so she lets them go, but two thumps tell us a different story. The marbles have taken down two more. I am nex-

Or maybe it’s just my ear infection. Who knows.

To the Moon and Back

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Every night

The witch on the broomstick

She flies

 

She flies to the moon

And on the moon

She mumbles

An age old incantation

A spell

To keep princesses in towers

To keep the old, old grey

From the youthful pink

 

On the moon

She mumbles

The ancient, the powerful

“Abracadabra!”

 

And in her hand

What’s this?

Poof appears a lamp.

 

The lamp she hangs

She hangs it on the moon

 

The witch on the broomstick

She flies

She flies every night

To the moon and back.

greyandpinkcells

“Never put your faith in a Prince. When you require a miracle, trust in a Witch.”  ~Catherynne M. Valente, In the Night Garden

Image from here.

The story of the Beast and the Beast

What a couple they are!

All of town shuns them

All eyes look away from them

All hearts beat back into their cages

What a couple they are!

 

How ugly is one

How mean is the other

How they love each other

What a couple they are!

 

I see a bubble of happiness

What a black, sad bubble of happiness!

Hurry-ho!

For it is them!

What a couple they are!

 

No brunches for you

And for you

For you are a bad bad couple

No karaoke nights for you

And yum, my grandmother’s lasagna

None of that for you

What a couple you are!

 

So hide away your children

Snatch your laundry in

Put the cat inside

For the freaky couple approaches

What a couple they are!

Sunday

Every Sunday, my family has lunch together. We have a meal together every day, but on Sunday, we have lunch. It isn’t a fancyful affair. The silence is filled by a staticky Vividh Bharti blasting out through old-style boxy speakers. You know, the ones where you have to turn the little wheel to tune into the exact frequency and is great practice for using a microscope? 

The lunch itself is simple and typical- roti, sabzi, dal and rice. A couple of remarks about having more dal to get taller are made, and are mostly dismissed with a wave. 

The meal is followed by a lazy afternoon. Thick, dusty curtains are drawn everywhere as everyone finds something to curl up around. 

And then evening arrives. Hustle pillow fight bustle last minute third grade homework we’ll collectively ‘help’ you with. 

We swish on the gloss, let the hair loose. Pull up those pants, we’re going out tonight. 

We’re all prim and proper, and I-spy a man bun feminist. Ooh good one, should we get the sizzler? 

Walking down the street on Sunday night with my family, we enter the little ice cream place we’ve wanted to try out for months now. Let’s order one huge waffle cone. Because that’s a great idea. Swirling the cream and snitching berries, it’s gone in 6 minutes. 

Time to go home, and start waiting for the next today, come back again next week. 

greyandpinkcells

Of Tickets and Blankets

I’m the sort of person who collects ticket stubs, keychains, magnets, shells, brochures, and other little treasures from any place I visit. “It’s here for research, ” I tell my mother when she tells me to throw out my old, now dysfunctional earphones. She shakes her head at my box of wires, paper, notes, pins, ribbons, half used rolls of glittery tape, little coloured clips, cardboard, paper boxes, plastic boxes, random locks and keys from those ‘secret diaries’ everyone had when they were ten, a locket, armbands, a couple of teeth (yes human teeth, they’re my milk teeth, I’m not psychotic), and a little blue handheld mirror, as I shake my head in regret of her non-understanding and non-belief. 

I have a blanket. It is pink, flowery, way too small, and has been around forever. I took that blanket to my first sleepover when I was four. I’m sixteen now and it’s wrapped around my shoulders as I write this. To my eight year old sister, it’s just another thing her weird sister is crazily protective of. But it’s one thing that’s been my constant, wherever, however, I am. 

Maybe this is all a reminder of what your life used to be. Knowing that in a few years, everything will change. Maybe it’s clinging onto this life even though you’re looking forward. Maybe it’s about not wanting to let go, even as you’re running away. 

greyandpinkcells
 

“Intellectuals are too sentimental for me.”      
  ~Margaret Anderson

Image from here

Queen

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Apple. Dark nails. 

High brows. Cold stare. 

A snap. They jolt. 

A glare. They bow. 

 

I sit before the mirror

Away 

From prying eyes

From withering hearts 

 

And let it fall away

The cold mask

The icy calm

The lurking rage  

 

In their place appears

A lady. 

A person. 

A frown. 

A tear. 

 

Why must I

Fight for attention so

From my beloved

Is the pretty child

My only option? 

 

Perhaps not. 

But that is not reason

Enough for my

Black, black heart. 

 

So I get ready

At my vanity

Before my lying mirror 

So similar to me. 

 

I get ready 

At my vanity 

Before my lying mirror 

Place a crown atop my head

Turn around

And place in another’s hand

An apple so very red. 

 

 
greyandpinkcells

“Nothing makes one so vain as being told that one is a sinner. ” ~ Oscar Wilde 

 
Image from here.

Candle

blow candle

I blew out a candle yesterday

For the sixteenth time

I made a wish yesterday

For the sixteenth time

 

The candle glared at me

Asking what I wanted

The regular, please

The one I’ve asked sixteen times

 

Wax and wick obliged

Has obliged every time

Everything has been okay

All sixteen times.

greyandpinkcells

“To wish was to hope, and to hope was to expect.” -Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibilty

Image from here.

The Dabba Culture 

6 am. Phones begin to sound their alarms from all corners of the house. All of them are hastily slapped on to shut up but a second time they ring and everyone’s up. 

6:05 am. The kitchen is opened and after multiple rounds of “What do you want for lunch?” “Anything” “I don’t know how to make that haha” “Mum.”, a menu is decided. 

6:20 am. The whole house is filled with the smell of spices cooking and the inevitable pshhhhh sound that is heard (from heaven knows where) when the process of cooking is taking place. 

6:45 am. The dining room fan is on full speed despite it being a cold rainy morning to cool down the hot food before packing it into dabbas because obviously hot food + tupperware = cancer. The fan results in every person walking through the room violently shivering through the course of their journey across the local tundra. 

7:00 am. Dabbas have been successfully packed into bags that will be manhandled through the course of the day by noisy, restless kids and food and kid have safely boarded the bus. 

9:30 am. Said noisy, restless kids have by now lost all attention in class and the mind has drifted off to decidedly non-mathematical things, such as the food under the bench inside said manhandled bag. The dabba is snuck out and a mini feast is had in the last bench without the teacher taking any notice. 

​12:30 pm. The bell rings and within seconds the school field is filled with hungry people whose brains have been slogging it out all day.

12:35 pm. Hundreds of boxes open to a homemade lunch cooked with love. Each dabba lid has been turned into a plate with little heaps of the best treats that have been brought to school that day. These heaps are to be saved for last.

12:45 pm. Every last morsel has been polished off, dabbas are closed and put back into manhandled bags. The job has been done.

 –

greyandpinkcells

dabba. /ˈdæbə/ noun. 1. (in Indian cookery) a round metal box used to transport hot food, either from home or from a restaurant, to a person’s place of work.

Together

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Two ten year olds

“Can I sit here?”

A smile.

 

Smile forgotten,

They meet again three years later

Fiercely competitive

Yet working together

Perfectly.

 

The next year

They take on the world

Together

While living their own little lives

Together

Read books

Flirt shamelessly

Laugh out loud

Together

 

But the year after

They drifted apart

Priorities that come

With leaving behind childhood

He stopped talking

She stopped looking

 

Do they miss each other?

We like to think so.

 greyandpinkcells 

“Half as lonely we will be, when we walk as two.”  ~ The Magnetic Fields, Walk A Lonely Road

 

Image from here.

Screaming

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//This is something I wrote based off a prompt my English teacher gave us, “I will never again experiment with things I do not understand.”

I will never again experiment with things I do not understand. You see, I had a theory. I believed that every person who is not male be treated the same as every person who is male. That’s all. No terms and conditions. However, society was outraged. How on earth can a mere girl ask for anything, let alone something as big as equality? How dare she even think about being let out of her shell, her cage, her prison? How dare she suggest that girls, who are nothing but child producing machines, be given consideration and acknowledgement? Society was outraged, oh yes. I was punished for my thoughts. I was punished for wanting the concept of equality being applied just so that life gets easier- not just blood and sorrow but a voice and hope.

I have learned my lesson now. I will not say or even think about making society a better place. I will not talk about an idea that can make the lives of half the people on this planet easier. Or less than half, because people are being killed just because they are girls- the weaker sex. Most importantly, I have learned that I will not experiment with things I do not understand, mainly because I am a girl and am not allowed to experiment, but also because the patriarchy needs to push down everyone else to prove its might.

greyandpinkcells

“A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.” ~ Gloria Steinem

 

Image from here.