Things that I don’t understand

  1. Fluid mechanics. Office politics. And heart.

Heart because I remember how I waited for this day like one waits for a train when he is in absolute hurry; when he looks at his watch so frequently that his growing impatience is almost invoking in him crazy ideas for genocide. I have waited for this day in such maniacal manner and yet now when I am finally here, unbelievably close to the milestone that I had been dreaming of crossing, when that train has ultimately arrived at the platform, I can’t put my apprehensions aside. Suddenly in my hands, there is a long list of things that can go terribly wrong. It’s ironic because it’s too late to turn back now. I have boarded the train and I have no intention of getting off of it. If you had to make such kind of treacherous argument, heart, you should have spoken a little early! Why would you make this 180 degree turn now? What can you possibly gain from this? Oh wait, how could I forget! Heart isn’t a selfish guy. He doesn’t care about losing or gaining. What irk the heart most are the things that are going smoothly. I guess you yearn for a sudden change of plans again but no, my dearest friend, the great H –  There is no other option but to continue driving ahead. I hate to tell you this but it is how it is.

Remember how happy we both once were, like till yesterday? Now, my steps are small and slow. Thanks to you, I am weak in my knees because of my nervousness, mild panic and a sudden deficiency of excitement. Where, where, where in the name of holy city of Jerusalem has my excitement disappeared to? How could you possibly assert that I am going to miss this? Look at me – Last week at office and I am running around in the shop-floor getting the material stock ready on SAP so that I could get them invoiced – subsequently meeting customer’s requirement – either that or forcibly pushing our sale target on their faces (regardless of the fact whether they want it or not) so that we could reduce our inventory. Forget what is and what is not in my scope of work. It’s my last week and instead of drafting my farewell speech (Not that I was going to do it anyway) I am dodging through my last minute fuck-ups. I am not good at what I am expected to do here. I am less of a god and more of a human. And clearly that makes me under-qualified for my job. I am required to have my brain running in exactly ten thousand three hundred and fourteen directions at the same time. As a project manager and future god everything that doesn’t make sense or gives  you suicidal/ homicidal tendencies are fed to you on regular basis to be digested, to be processed and to be used up in producing platinum quality shit as the ultimate outcome of the process. Maybe I am being too harsh. But I must be! Or else heart can paint this in red and white too. And what will be the tagline? “The good old days”

“But wasn’t it, in some smaller scale, if not good then ‘not that bad’ old days? Maybe?”

Maybe it wasn’t that bad. So, what does this mean that this thing was the best we could hope for? Is that what you are trying to say?

“Not necessarily,” my heart retorts conjoining a different argument altogether, “I am just amazed at how happy we seemed to be parting from here. I am amazed because some months ago the thought of being a part of this place brought us joy. How things change! Or rather how we change.. I am just wondering how our emotions are constantly evolving into another so rapidly.”

Classic move; change the topic. Well played, Mr.H. Well, time changes things. Time changes perspectives. Time changes our need. Hence, time must NOT be underestimated. That’s what I can to add to this.

My heart doesn’t reply. And with its speechlessness, comes my supernatural ability to hear the unspoken. I will miss it. Here, take my confession on a silver platter. “Devour upon it,” if I just may. Is it delicious enough? Why am I bidding adieu with such incomprehensible set of emotions? Wait. Don’t answer. Leave it. I give up the fight. As always, heart will win anyway. So, I am going to wake up tomorrow and it won’t be because of the alarm set at 7:00 AM, I am not going to run to the bus stop, I am not going to see those emails or calls which make me lose faith in humanity, I am not going to pull my hair over stupid arguments and I am not going to secretly shed anger tears in the washroom, I am not NOT going to attend calls intentionally, I am not going to doodle in “supposedly” important meetings, I am not going to curse my safety shoes, I am not going to consider killing myself over my stupidity and general fuck-ups, I am not going to make that follow up call for the tenth time in the day, I am not going to have tea at 11 or 4, I am not going to gaze at the two calendars at my desk and wonder about my last working day, I am not going to draw on the whiteboard at my cubicle or everybody else’s cubicle for that matter, I am not going to have breakfast  over a span of half an hour chatting with my closest friend, I am not going to miss being praised for my unexpected achievements, I am not going to have my account credited monthly, I am not going to meet my close colleagues at office, I am not going to be made fun of at lunch by them, I am not going to get to hear any new office gossips, I am not going to be spending as carelessly as I spent till now, I am not going to carry my laptop bag everywhere (no, actually I will), I am not going to be delighted by the watch when it shows  5:30 PM and I am not going to experience the joy of returning home at the end of the day. I guess I have the tendency to get attached to the complete package of both dreadful and wonderful things of things. But at the end of it all, like life, like people, like so many other pieces of my writing, lays an irony. If I hadn’t decided to leave, I wouldn’t have been writing this and you would have still found me with my signature gloomy & grumpy face yet again. You would have found me complaining about how I have to go through this ordeal every day and how desperately I would like to change this. I would tell you repeatedly that I hate it. I would tell you repeatedly that maybe I don’t. Nevertheless, I would say, things must change. Well, things have changed. Congratulations. And my signature gloominess?  Well, it’s still there.

I bid adieu with a heavy heart. Heavy maybe because of my apprehensions. Heavy maybe because of my insecurities. Heavy maybe also because of gratitude. Gratitude towards each and every person who has been there, who has entered & made an exit, who has stayed or who is about to go, who will maybe come back or maybe who won’t, who has smiled, who has loved, who has hated, who has helped, who has made my life miserable – for all those people I bear nothing in my heart but gratitude. Maybe I am being more sentimental than I ought to be. But these two years have meant more to me than I would ever admit. This is what I don’t understand.

*

 

 

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Feminism; The bullshit – III

I

II

III

And it hurts!
Her
And you too
Hearing about feminism again and again!
The very sound of the word is such a pain!
“You aren’t treated wrong, dear girls!
What exactly are the problems that you’re facing?
Apart from periods
And men ogling at you
And the fact you don’t get to roam a lot at night
But are all these really worth this much fight?
Sure, we understand you can’t wear everything you want
But still, hasn’t this been met with too many of your taunts?
And what about the times when you get your things done
When you break our hearts,
When you manipulate us,
Emotionally rape us
All those jokes on wives
Well, they were based on our lives!
And you! You as mothers are extolled everywhere
The one figure about whom the whole universe has always cared
And now you have reservations in all premier institutes!
And yet here you are! So destitute?”

It’s a shame how we haven’t grabbed your buttocks in a crowded bus,
And you haven’t felt the joy of simply ignoring us,
It’s a shame that you don’t make it to the headlines
If you stay at your workplace beyond deadlines,
So, women have been respected as mothers, it seems.
And yet, we’ve refrained her from pursuing her dreams
we don’t let her continue her studies
Not even till a matriculation degree
And sure job has always been out of scope
Since for independence she shouldn’t ever hope
Either that
Or she must be a superwoman
Breaking all forms of dependency
Shuttling between job and home
Handling it both with godlike proficiency
Women after all, must do it all
And men, meanwhile, can laze around
Since women are precious and women are strong
And they don’t need anyone to support them along
So, with a monthly credit in the “joint” account
We, as children should also be her priorities
We, as husbands should also be her priorities
We as her parents, We as her in-laws
We must impose on her our own set of clause,
So, she mustn’t think about herself!
No!
Never at all!
That would be absolute selfishness
It’s bullshit!
When we say women aren’t equally treated!
If not equal, we treat them better!
We worship them as goddesses for fuck sake!
We send our daughters to school,
We set on her no rules,
(Just a little fire in absence of dowry)
And yes she might have to come home a little early,
She might not do everything she desires,
But a little sacrifice
Is a part of her life!
And we have asked her to accept the world outside,
Ready to masturbate at her very first sight
That, my friend, is so acceptable
It’s just her act of exploring her basic rights that is wrong
And single women everywhere are just screaming for sex, aren’t they?
So, when you see men visiting her, she must be sleeping with them.
Hence, don’t let her find a home in a new city
The whole society will turn impure with her mere proximity
And then it’s bullshit!
The word consent.
You are not entitled for it if she is your wife
You are not entitled for it if she is NOT your wife
It pains to have a vagina
Literally
Metaphorically
But then it’s still a bullshit
The blood every month
The cramps every month
The way you have learnt and seen
How it’s right “to just stick it in”
And how she would immediately moan in ecstasy
Well, she wouldn’t!
She would scream in pain.
And you must take it for “asking for it” again.
Consent.
What does it even mean?
Why does it even matter?
It’s matter of a few minutes, right?
A small fraction of an otherwise uneventful night
Sure she can handle it!
Women after all can tolerate.
Men can’t.
SO, she better not tells you what to do
And what not to
Violation of which, by the way, is a perfectly good reason for you to insult her
To physically assault her
And during that she must adhere to silence
As a perfect wife, she must also tolerate domestic violence
And somehow it’s still always the women who must be judged
Even when she charges money for your lust
Even when she doesn’t
Even when she wants it
Even when she doesn’t
But then women are precious.
And so we always teach them to be cautious.
At the time when her breasts begin to grow
She was told to walk a bit slow
And even before the puberty embarked
She was taught to bear with the derogatory remarks
It’s just a part of her life
Ignore, don’t provoke!
You don’t know what events your protest might invoke
It’s right for the criminal to live a guilt-free life
And she,despite her innocence, may contemplate committing suicide
But then of course, women are treated well.
If not equally, then better.
They aren’t destitute, just a little bit confused
About how they have continuously been taught,
that as women, they need to tolerate a lot,
Because that’s what have got us all impressed
In any circumstance, they must always stay suppressed.
And so what if it might have got her a bit hurt,
To stay comparable to filth and dirt!
She, after all, can live with that!
Because even she knows it is indeed a fact –
The important one that keeps our misogyny intact;
The notion of women as equal beings is simply outrageous,
Because women, after all, are just too precious.

***

Author’s little note: This poem has been written as a part of The Bullshit trilogy. which contains other similar articles namely – The Bra strap & The Blood stain.

Feminism; The bullshit – II

I

II

It hurts!
Not you
Just a bit of her reputation
She must be practically illiterate
Given the fact that she is so glamorous
The fact that she may be smarter than you are
Is worth some applause
and a lot of thought
Because beauty with brains is such a rare combination
Women are not wired that way usually
Women can be conveniently stupid and conveniently “wise”
And perpetually something to objectify
She is only good at mugging up the facts
Or applying eyeliner
Or being hairless
Or gossiping
And even if she isn’t into any of these,
She is still just meant to be pretty and to please,
Because who would marry her otherwise?
So, let’s be a little more concerned about our size
And a bit cautious about how we mustn’t stay unmarried after twenty-five
Also, let’s invest some money in the parlors and the cosmetics
One, after all, must always give priority to aesthetics
Be careful though, one shouldn’t to be too attractive
Otherwise “Asking for it” will be your new adjective.
It hurts!
Not you, just a bit of her reputation,
If she asks you to help her,
Or to borrow your books or your notes,
Talks with you politely or share some anecdotes,
She is either using you
Or hitting on you
Anyway if you tell her that you love her
And if she says she doesn’t love you back
Then you must think hard
About the reason why she was even interacting with you.
Because that’s obviously not what classmates do!
Or colleagues do!
Or neighbors do!
You loved her.
But she didn’t love you back.
So, now she qualifies for an acid attack.
Might have been too harsh, mate?
But hasn’t she been the worse to you?
Sure it burns!
Her face less
And your ego more
Women, just as dumb and a show piece, are fine.
Women, at any cost, mustn’t opine.
Her smartness and intelligence should mostly be fictitious
And that kind of women are always precious.

**

III

Author’s little note: This poem has been written as a part of The Bullshit trilogy. which contains other similar articles namely – The Bra strap & The Blood stain.

Feminism; The bullshit – I

I

It hurts,
Just a bit of her reputation
When you see her socializing, it’s obviously flirtation
When you say she was seen going to the boss’s cabin too often
When she was seen laughing a little more than she should have
Some say they even saw them holding hands
And from the way she smiles, what else can one understand!
He is married,
What kind of woman is she?
He is married,
What kind of man is he?
But this is the question you wouldn’t ask,
Oh yeah! It’s a shame
On his part too
But men are entitled to be assholes!
But women?
No, they must act like women!
They must maintain their dignity.
They are precious, after all.
Haven’t we praised her to the suns and moons!
To the flowers of Spring and first rains of June
All the couplets in the world – all dedicated to her!
The smell of the flowers! The murmuring river!
Even the bouquet of stars isn’t what she deserves,
So obviously, shouldn’t she be preserved?
With a burkha?
With a ghunghat?
Who knows what that beautiful face can do to men!
Men will be men
They can’t stop doing their sinless and shameless acts
SO, it’s women who must sacrifice
Because yes, women are wise!
But only in the kitchen
Not at office
where you don’t give her the raise she deserves
since she is just a part of diversity seat she reserves
And what after she gets married?
And decides to relocate?
What if she gets pregnant?
And decides to take a break?
Giving birth is no joke
But the promotion over maternity leave is.
But this isn’t discrimination!
Just deluded incrimination!
From what I see, it’s completely fair.
That’s how it is everywhere.
So you see, we do treat her all righteous
After all, slightly less capable – women are precious.

*

II

III

Author’s little note: This poem has been written as a part of The Bullshit trilogy. which contains other similar articles namely – The Bra strap & The Blood stain.

The Bonus

The most annoying tune in the whole world is of my alarm. The most annoying time is 7:00 A.M. The most annoying things are the first few drops of the cold water assaulting my skin when I step into the shower. The very act of dressing up, dragging myself to the bus stop and waiting for that god damned cart while blinking at the idiot sky and homo sapiens walking around, when I should have ideally been asleep under the loving warmth of my blanket, has staggering vexation embedded right into its DNA. Our cart when it finally arrives, takes us all cattle to our farm – wherein we will munch on our fodder on the keypads of our laptops or on the calls on our smartphones and passionately quack over irrelevant topics (about which nobody really knows) or the spicy gossips (about which nobody really confirms) on the tea breaks. And then we will submit ourselves to be milked till our whole ‘work-life-balance’ gets completely annihilated or something and we will settle permanently inside the farm engaged in a perpetual day-dream of someday kicking our manager with our hind legs and leaving the premises forever with a two-legged swag. My cubicle, my sack of hay, my means of living, my catalyst of procrastination is dear to me and I hate it. I hate it when I have to come back here every morning and stare at it as well as at the face of a new disdainful day. I hate it when I have to arrange the sack of papers at the corner of my table which stays useless until the moment I throw them away. Then I hate being part of these immensely popular things called meeting. Meetings; Unofficially defined as nothing but a formal event for all the barking, quacking, squeaking, cackling, neighing, mooing, braying, croaking, cawing and everything else that can be categorized as the antonym of the word “productive”. And today is no different. I am going to graze on this same tasteless grass. Lick the same bitter water from the container decorated with the algae at the bottom. I am going to plough the same way over my forged spreadsheets and try my best to wipe my legs drenched in mine or somebody else’s dirt on someone else’s skin through my e-mails and double bleats. I am going to follow the same routine. I am going to caress the feet of the different customers who might have different faces but they all have the same habit of picking on every bit of our brains. Hell! Look at me whining and constantly bleating! When did I become such a pathetic goat? I almost remember being human once. Though as far as I can recall, everything had always been like this – A monotone; the gray ceiling, the gray walls, the grayer complaints of fellow cattle of how they hate mooing around here and how they would like to leave and explore the greener farms outside but they just don’t. Because let’s face it – no farms are green. Not for the dumb witted animals like us! We exist for the sole reason to get forcibly fed and be butchered later to become a meal. At least, I hope that meal is delicious. But let’s fret not. Let’s adapt ourselves to our fate. And let’s laugh hysterically at a joke we didn’t really get but our manager oinked it with such affection that you just had to show the entire population of teeth in your mouth. And let’s learn to passionately blame the other ducks or the hens or the buffaloes or the cows or if we dare, the ‘favorite’ dogs for anything that turns out wrong and that way we can keep ourselves out of all the troubles all the time. And if you are diplomatic and pretentious enough, you might also grab an undeserved promotion! Vous comprenez?

With this long trail of complaints and gloomy thoughts dangling behind him like a long tail, Amar slowly walks to the bus-stop. When the bus arrives, shining in the ironically cheerful combination of grays, Amar sits on the same seat – fourth from the last, listening to the same playlist that hasn’t been modified at all since the previous year. His eyes, engulfed in a darker circle of brown, droopy from lack/over-abundance of sleep closes immediately with the cradling of the moving bus. He falls asleep with his head leaning on the glass window, mouth half open, earphone wire dancing along with the bus and also complementing a long thread of saliva emanating from his lips. He breaks away from his brief slumber when the bus finally halts at the office. Groggily, he leaves his seat and takes reluctant steps towards the thing that provides him both a comfortable life and an equally uncomfortable state of mind. Before beginning the day’s work, he stops at the smoking zone. After converting two Goldflakes into ashes, he suddenly recalls how he had resolved to quit smoking. As if blaming the cigarette butt for his own lack of will power, Amar thrusts it on the bottom of the ashtray angrily. When he finally inaugurates his day by clicking open his inbox, his eyes start hurting immediately. The day has just begun, and eight more hours need to be spent staring at this screen – How would he accomplish that? His mind wanders back to his delightful morning thoughts –

Vous comprenez? Non! Je ne comprends pas! Why should the undeserved be promoted? And get the highest incentives? Why should the meetings be unproductive? Why can’t the grass be green here? Why can’t the managers be inspiring? Why can’t this job be exciting? Why can’t-

Ping! The vibration of his cellphone diverts Amar’s train of thought to another route. Without even bothering to look at the content, he starts cursing the SMS(s) too – How they practically spam his cellphone and take up so much of space! And what do they convey anyway? That there’s a sale at the mall where he will never go? Or the special offer at the pizza place that he absolutely detests? Or the discounts on the brands that shall remain too expensive for him to afford even after the reduction in their prices?

The message today, however, says something else entirely – something that is going to brighten the rest of his day for a change.

“Your account XXXXX1111 has been credited with …”

He is both surprised and shocked by this message. Not because this message has been sent at an unusual day. It is 30th after all and this SMS was thoroughly expected. But what has left him surprised is the slight change in the order of digits which has led to a figure that bears significantly higher value than his usual monthly salary. A bit excited and at the same time apprehensive, Amar asks his team mate –

“Hey Bhavna! Did you check your salary?”

“Yeah, I received the bonus as well!”

“Wow, what is it for? Any idea?”

“Our project!”

The confirmation on the fact that his salary is not a mistake results in a mild smile on Amar’s face. His annoyance and desire for a break from his monotonous life turns into reluctant appreciation as well as gratitude towards his manager and office. Suddenly the farm transforms into a workplace and the surrounding cattle turn into people-

I guess the most beautiful day is the 30th of the month. The most pleasing message is not of a proposal or confession of love but the bank telling you that your account has been credited with a good amount of money. I wasn’t being completely honest when I was talking about this place earlier. Morning blues, one can say. You know when you work on your project, dedicating your days and nights to it, being showered with all kinds of weird obstacles and yet when you are able to succeed, you can’t help but feel a certain kind of satisfaction seeping right into your heart. And when this hard work is finally recognized, transforms us all cattle, I mean people, from being employees to being proud engineers. Sure, work can ask too much from you sometimes. But isn’t this work the reason why your personal life exists? Yes, we all get carried away in emotions. Sometimes being here isn’t very pleasing. We get furious. We get disappointed. But we can’t always keep looking at the troughs of the waves, can we? My cubicle, my corner of inspiration, my means of living is the center of my existence. Here, I admit it. Sometimes, days aren’t that bad – they are merely a little challenging. Here, I admit it. Sometimes, I even love coming here. Here, I admit it. So, today is different. Today is the day when I am confessing all this –  that it’s not always a monotone. That the grass, right here, can be green. That people here can indeed be people.

Wait. Why am I being this joyous? It’s just a little of extra cash, that’s all!

But isn’t fifteen a decent amount?  We could do a lot of things with it. Go on a short trip maybe. Or buy Arpita a surprise gift. Or maybe a saree for Ma? Or maybe I can buy those speakers I had been wanting to for so long! There are these plethora of options to explore suddenly! It’s good. It’s good.

Amar spots Rohan passing by his cubicle, he excitedly asks him about the bonus hoping that he hasn’t been given any and he would get to witness an amusing expression on his face.

“Hey! Rohan! Did you hear about the bonus?”

“Yeah! I got 25! Cool, no? Didn’t expect this at all!”

With his jaws dropped to the floor, Amar unsuccessfully tries to conceal the shocked expression on his face. The figure 25 echoes so loudly in his head that for a moment he isn’t sure if it is his thought or he is actually speaking out loud.

Rohan got twenty-five?

The person who did nothing, NOTHING AT ALL on the project got twenty-five?

Twenty-five?                    

T-W-E-N-T-Y-F-I-V-E? And what is mine? A fucking charity?

Amar gets up from his cubicle, heads straight towards the smoking zone. “Nothing has changed of course! The undeserved will always be rewarded! And the actual talent, well, the actual talent will always be greeted with a few pennies or not even that! Fucking bullshit these people! Fucking bullshit these animals! Fucking bitch this job!” He angrily mutters as he takes the last puff from his third cigarette and resumes making a mental To-do-list for the day.

***

 Author’s little note: You can find the other two stories of Bitch Trilogy here.

That woman in my office

You might have been unconsciously or deliberately avoiding hence you have never admitted it even to yourself but the truth is that when you look at her, you have to look at her again. You have to look at her again and stop whatever you are thinking and start wondering why exactly she is so attractive. She is not the most beautiful woman you have ever seen. She looks ordinary in a way. She should ideally easily blend into the crowd. But then, she doesn’t. Maybe her hairstyle is different, you guess, her clothes could be, you think but nothing really brings down the air of mystery. You find yourself a little baffled, and then you realize that you are staring at her, you look away immediately, you don’t want to seem rude or look like a pervert after all! But her face is imprinted in your mind and you can’t rid of it.

Chances are you might not even see her again. Good. Even if you were to meet her once more what change would that have brought?  You are certainly not going to go talk to her! And if you do, despite all odds, your conversation will end before it even starts. Hi. Hello. Who is she? Who are you? There’s only so much decency can allow you to say. There’s only so much you can allow yourself to say. It’s a work place after all, not a bar and you are not drunk.

Why is she so attractive you wonder again.She resembles the daydream you often have when you sit at your desk scanning through your mails but not really reading them.She resembles the attractive thought of a faraway vacation that hits you when you look at the ever increasing figure of your privilege leaves. She resembles the content of your resignation letter. She resembles all of your vacillating escape plans. She resembles a life – faraway and far different and far amazing. Uncanny! Now you are utterly perplexed. You need to work. Why are you thinking about her? She is just a temporary face at office! Temporary phase in your head! Come on!

No use complaining, no use telling yourself how utterly stupid all this is. You can’t go back to work. You are too preoccupied now. Hell, what to do. How do you stop it?

So, you think about her. Unabashedly now. You think about her face, her voice, her eyes, her hair, her kajal, the heels of her sandals and think about all of it despite knowing that your thoughts won’t answer the question. You steal glances at her more frequently now. You try to notice even the minor details; shade of her nail paint, her ear rings, border of her dupatta, embroidery of her kurti…

Interesting part is – You are not the only one. Everybody else appears to be engaged doing the same thing. It’s amazing how this woman is unaware of all the attention or maybe she is just very much used to it.

Dreaming and dreaming.Suddenly, the spell breaks. Screen. SAP. Codes. Programmes.Desk. Cubicle. Manager. Phone calls.

Welcome back. Where is that woman now? You search for her all around but she is nowhere to be seen. She is gone. Your thoughts are gone. You are used to being alone but today loneliness leaks through out of nowhere. The walls are damp, pipes have burst somewhere and you are staring at all the Dear Sirs and Dear Ma’ams. Hope has gone out for a lunch at a fancy restaurant and you are left without a single bit of him. Bastard! Such sad mess your life seems to be. Where is that woman? Come back! Maybe you will go and talk to her! Who knows conversation might not meet an awkward end! Who knows it might turn out to be worth it after all.

But where is she? Will she come back? Will she? And if she does, and if you do meet her this time, will she stay?

To April, among other things

It’s hot now. I smell dust and deodorant covered sweat in the air. I smell cigarettes and mint. I smell tea and something sad in the irrelevant office gossips & back bitching. I smell my own selfishness and stupidity. My heart stinks. My safety shoes stink as well and so do my feet. My office Canteen has a distinct smell of its own. Anyway, it’s chole again. I smell Aluzinc in my hands, so I wash them. Now, they reek of dettol. Also,Quarter one has  ended, it smells of missed targets and unacheived goals. But anyway, Second quarter has begun and it smells of April!
April?
We get that your olfactory senses have heightened tremendously turquoise ink, but what does April smell like?

April. Well, April reeks of nostalgia, of the fresh pages of my new textbooks,
of the benches of my new class, of the perfume of my new class teacher, of the shining new brown cover of my notebooks, of new pens and pencils, of ink, of erasers with perfect edges, of my polished shining shoes, of fresh cut grass of the playground, of my friend’s lunchboxes that I had longed for almost a month now, of my own lunchboxes, of the beautiful blooming trees of Amaltas and Gulmohar, of mangoes, of my newly stitched Prussian blue skirt and clean ironed white shirt, of lame April fool jokes, of my new crush, of the fevicol we use in SUPW class which never happens again through out the rest of the year, of recess, of the carpet of my music class, of my new sketchbook, of my class’s notice board that needs to be decorated with new works of art, of my perfect little alum crystals, of the first poem of Hindi textbook and the first English story by Ruskin Bond, of the excitement running through my arteries that I am trying not to show too much and my unsuccessful desire to make the new year go perfectly.

That’s how April smells to me. Oddly and sadly perfect.