What she said that day meant so much to me.

I still remember very clearly the air smelled coffee

Maroon cushions on white chairs and wooden tables

Big glass windows and classy vintage photos framed on walls

Bunch of students around in unpleasant colored uniforms

It was the coffee shop, I was with mom and dad when I first met her

Confused, shy, and don’t know what and how to start a conversation

She came with her friend, I bent to touch her feet to get blessings and stopped me and hugged me instead

It was an awkward feeling because I never hugged anyone before apart from my family

I started calling her “Bhabi” (sister-in-law) even before she got married to my cousin

Because it was kind of fixed by that time that they are getting married soon

She is the warmest and most caring person I know, I love her aura.

Later that day after having coffee we headed to my new college hostel

She helped a lot and managed things and also talked in Tamil.

 Because I didn’t know Tamil at all neither do my parents

I don’t remember what exactly she said to lady securities but after that, they started giving me special concern. I still wonder that though.

Oh god! Do I need to explain how hard it was to say bye to parents and head to the hostel room (sigh)

Re-correcting it was the hardest bye, I would say. Because of the new city, new language everything was new and being away from family for the first time.

I remember one special incident from this was that while saying bye

Bhabi said to me that “You can call me anytime whenever you need maybe 2 AM or 3 PM. Oh gosh! It gave me little chills because no one had ever said this to me before” and it meant so much to me.

-Susmita Roy

Silence

She chooses silence over talking

Ah! She wasn’t like this before

It’s them who listen to her superficially

Just to prove their perception right

She chooses silence over talking

Because they speak for her

It’s meaningless “conversation”

When one speaks endlessly and another one just listen

She wants to feel being heard and understood just like them

She doesn’t feel heard nor understood

She still tries to keep up with them

She feels tired of all this

Isn’t it simple? That conversation means;

To ask, listen, talk, and give others a chance to talk too.

She chooses silence over speaking

Whenever she feels being undervalued in a conversation.

Have you noticed that you called her an introvert?

But have found her speaking with others

Maybe it is just that you haven’t given her that space or trust

That she can talk to you freely.

She chooses silence over talking

Because she has also understood that you can’t help one

If they don’t want to receive it

No matter how hard you try to help.

-Susmita Roy

They

They is beautiful with brownish-black short curls

Black eyes behind blue-rimmed glasses, cute palm, and fingers

Hugging they mend broken heart pieces like kintsugi

Green leaves, shadowy-patterns, yellow lights, corner table for two

Candlelight, bottle, glasses filled with drinks and;                

Heavy metallic cutlery sets, folded napkins, different cuisines served;

Dim background music heard between pauses

Conversation of dark yet funny life and random stuff

With the conflicting smell of coffee, alcohol, sweets, and cheese

Random distraction, that I tell they;

How that uncle behind they seems happy-alone yet sad-lonely.

They took some clicks of me;

Hilarious yet cute, they found space in my gallery;

A couple of blur photographs too with beautiful feeling.

It turns to be an intoxicated evening as we gulp down our cocktails

As the clock struck 9 p.m. it was time to say bye to the cafe;

Taking good memories as a parcel.

 They helped me walking back to our room

 We walked and then decided to sit on a railing near the beach for a while;

They sat facing sea and I sat next to they facing the road and street lights

They played me my favorite songs, moon shone above our heads;

I hugged they sideways,

I felt happiest and complete with they;

Feeling that I longed for but never express.

I observed few pillars surrounded a tall black iconic statue and;

Lights that change their color

Red, yellow, green, pink! I repeated it again and again;

Thinking I should remember all this tomorrow

And all the tomorrows after that.

We saw some folks walking and clicking pictures;

After a while, we clicked some more pictures

Pictures turned out so different they hold so many emotions in them.

Pictures colored red and pink as lights that reflected on our face

I lived “infinite” at that moment with my they.

-Susmita Roy

Sugar to my curry!

He was sugar to the curry of my life.

How f**ked up you can make your curry my little chef?

The head chef from heaven asked me in a firm yet gentle godly way.

I kept weeping, hitting the bed in despair;

Crying pressing my mouth against a pillow, choking, not knowing the answer.

Let me tell you about the sugar in my life.

He was dazzling personification, clear as those grains of sugar;

Yet sharp when not handled carefully.

Everyone loved him except some diabetic people;

Who can’t have sweet people in their lives right?!

Why was I attracted to him?

While being aware of that I’m going to make curry

May be answer lies in my genes, I know you’ll ask how?

I mean being bong!

We add sugar to everything that’s the specialty you know.

We care about the sweetness, sourness, tanginess in dishes sometimes they are all together making the curry special. All of them are at the right amount.

Right amount! That word was f**king erased from my recipe book

You know I just loved experimental cooking

I just didn’t know how much sugar would have been enough in my curry

You know there is this notion that good things should be unlimited something like that

So I kept adding sugar in my dessert it turned out awesome as expected perfect!

But as I told the right amount I didn’t know I started preparing the curry of my life with everything necessary in it. You know what ruined it “the sugar” was just way too much.

You see sometimes it’s just so much necessary to know the “right amount” and follow the recipe book

Don’t come and say I do follow the recipe book yet my Curry is f**ked up

Can’t help (sigh) sometimes it’s just life that happens to you to me and everyone.

Cheers to acknowledging the f**ked up curry!!

– Susmita Roy

Naphthalene balls

by Annie Spratt

It reminds me of days when I felt, Jack Frost nipping at my nose;

Mom’s hand knitted sweaters, cardigans, socks;

And other winter clothes and accessories soaked in naphthalene balls;

Kept me and family warm.

I remember the big metallic trunk box painted black;

Where all these winter clothes used to rest,

Spending whole summer season with white naphthalene balls around.

And coming out crisp, fresh with familiar smell soaked in them;

Leaving behind gradually sublimated small white pellets.

Opening black metallic trunk box was special;

Because it gave I and my siblings chance to try on;

Our respective bunch of clothes.

Leaving us startled and happy mostly seeing how perfectly our clothes still fits;

And sometimes little upset, because we were growing up and our clothes were not.

Mom knew how to make us happy though;

Either passing younger ones with elder one’s clothes.

We accepted her offer if it felt a good deal in terms of colour and design mostly;

If not we rebel her proposal by complaining/requesting to dad about our serious concern

And problem resolved. He would ask mom to get us new clothes.

Then she would get us new winter clothes in such cases.

And we witnessed how our new winter clothes;

 Turning to familiar ones with naphthalene smells in them.

-Susmita Roy.

Do you also miss me?

I miss your hearty laugh;

Whenever you heard something funny from me

I miss those two small turned up ends of your lips when you smile

I miss noticing how perfectly your specs sits on your nose;

While mine sliding down every now and then.

You got the most bewitching eyes, I miss them.

I miss that pen, tucked in your shirt’s pocket;

Peeping out its silver head.

I remember your favourite color is blue;

You look good in other colors too.

You’re a dapper, no doubt! Effortlessly.

I don’t know why. You might find it silly, but to be honest;

I have always find it appealing that you always carried a handkerchief.

Never did I like metallic belt wrist watch before;

But you see now I miss a glimpse of it, how it wrapped your left wrist.

I miss how you always left me in astonishment by noticing the small details;

About what I told you months to years back.

Honestly, I have never felt that before, like someone has heard me so well.

You were always so patient and gentle with me;

Listening to my boiling rage and rant,

You always offered me with your credible view points;

Which always gave me new way to perceive things more better and clearer way.

I loved our conversations that we had;

From rational science topics to mundane stuffs to life.

It makes me smile when I see times spent with you floating in front of my eyes

I remember how you noticed my handful collection of wrist watches back then;

And told me which one you liked the most.

You also asked me why I wear them on my right wrist instead of left.

I remember how I answered in response saying that;

Because mostly others wear them on their left wrist and I don’t really like it.

I also remember how I was complaining about my phone back then;

And you told me that I keep your new phone and you’ll keep mine (ha-ha)

I miss those a few number of walks with you a lot.

And never will I forget how you always told me “Don’t take life too seriously”.

You see how times spent with you has anchored inside me deeply.

Neither do I know to unhook it, nor any amount effort erasing it from me.

And I left with my internal screams asking. Do you also miss me?

-Susmita Roy.

Small Things

You know sometimes I’m sad

You might be thinking so what’s new about that?

Well I guess nothing.

But!! I have realized that;

We often forget how to come out of it.

I just don’t know!

How magically all good memories marched out of my brain;

Leaving it empty.

But guess what?!

During those times my close ones come to rescue

Cutting the web of sadness and saving me out.

So how do they do it??

By calling me and reminding me to eat, sleep and rest.

Or calling me to listen my rants or monologues without judging me.

Sending me texts, audio messages, songs, photos.

Letters and cards are the best things that;

I have ever received from my bestie.

You know these reminders “small things” are amazing;

They save me through tough times.

I know these aren’t huge things;

But are small acts with profound impact in my life.

And I’m strong because of you peeps.

And I just want to thank you! All for being there always.

Love

-Susmita Roy

Trying to declutter…

Huh! Finally got time to take out my laptop to declutter my perplexed brain

Sounds dramatic now, college is resuming from Monday onwards

Feeling like that zeal is gone in general and finding myself so lonely

Oh yes! I’m aware about the word “lonely” here

I think it’s okay to feel that way because I’m living alone

Damn! Realizing that it was such a long duration of isolation more than 8 months!

Wow! I mean wowww 8 months dude!!

8 months of sleepy mornings, sleepless nights

Unstoppable weird thoughts,

Sometimes badly missing home or friends.

Working, cooking, cleaning

Weeping or crying for don’t know what!!

Finding myself binge watching series/movies

Scrolling phones or switching between phone and laptop and repeating

Of course! Thanks to my saviour online food delivery services;

Have helped me a lot to cope up my bad mood swings.

Finding out the fact that people they can really leave you;

Despite of the love that you offer to them.

Realizing friends can become strangers too.

Suddenly noticing that I’m not being productive;

Then trying hard fighting with my own thoughts that its okay! To be like this;

And sometimes not agreeing with my own thoughts at all.

It’s a loop!

Thinking to change my sleeping habits but guess what?!

My phone doesn’t leaves me or may be other way around (Eeee)

Also found out myself being so moody, irritating and have lost interest in talking to people.

No! Not the actual talking, I still love talking to people directly than through phone/messages

But that’s what makes me and my loved ones connected, no I’m not against tech

But I really have lost interest in typing messages, you know what I mean (meh)

I know I’m not even making any point here, anyways whoever reads this, I hope you are doing fine.

If you’re like me messed up (it’s just an outline lol) don’t worry, you are not alone (Eeee).

Hope things will be fine again. Take care.

-Susmita Roy

A Rainy evening

photo by Alicia Zinn

I thought I have no memories left

I was wrong

Now I feel it haunts me

The harder I try to forget the more I get caught into it

Don’t know what’s wrong?

I stepped out my room bare foot on balcony

I sensed cold water droplets,

Then I realized that it rained

I stand slightly tilt, my right arms with support of wall

Suddenly wind rushed towards me as if it wanted tell me something

It rushed and penetrated my skin and got absorbed into my bones

Giving me chills,

I took deep breath;

Inhaled beautiful smell of wet earth

I observed few water droplets on grills

I looked into one droplet sliding

But noticed other win the race;

Or May be there wasn’t any race at all!

I saw my plant on balcony, showing me direction of the wind

I remember I spotted moon a few minutes ago

I moved few steps ahead and tried to find it again

But the blanket of clouds have covered it so well

Leaving no clue.

Then I placed myself back to the same position again

Noticed lightening, up there in clouds

Sharp, with random creases;

And within fraction of seconds it went off

I waited for another one,

But I didn’t find it there, where I was looking

Rather I have noticed it somewhere else

It made me to think that may be sometimes what we are looking for

Need not to be found in the place where we have lost them

May be we can spot them out somewhere else, may be better place

But in between observing all these, one thing was constant in my mind;

And it was memories of how people have made me feel, as I have met them;

With passing time.

-Susmita Roy

Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric

You matter

Photo by cottonbro

I wish I could write happy poetries

But I couldn’t, you know why?

Because I don’t feel so

I feel sorry for myself

For the sleepless nights that I spend in pain

With heavy heart, wet pillows

Weeping till eyes are swollen again

Hugging pillow tight;

Trying endlessly to mend hollowness inside

Remembering your talk, your gaze

That shine in your eyes;

When I see you happy inside out

Those soft wrinkles around your eyes;

When you smile,

I wish you could understand;

How much you matter to me.

Whatever I have treasured;

Are the memories that holds you in them

All I have asked is for your presence, is it too much to ask?

It’s not even to make you mine, just your mere presence.  

I wish you could see and feel, what I feel;

May be that might could have make you stay.

I wish you could come back again

Not just because I want it;

But because I know you want it too.

-Susmita Roy

Photo by fotografierende