The rough love I know in your arms is the most rustic and human of things: in the tickles that make me laugh uncontrollably and playfully, in how your unshaven face brushes against mine early in the morning and in how I absolutely loathe you when you wake me up in the morning so that I spit crude curses at you within my head, and how we relish that! Because its uncouth and ill mannered really, what we have—with teeth that have not been brushed, but that is what I cherish. Our rough love
The best vegetarian thali that I have had in my life was just off the highway in the Karnataka Andra border, got 60 rupees (a little more than a dollar) I was served steaming and multiple portions of rice, sambar, raita, Saaru, curd and 7 different types of side dishes and also crunchy pappads. Best food ever. Super hot and delicious. I’m kinda reminded of that as I wait for my food here
When I was young, in my hazy petticoat days, Amma would take me outside to the worn white steps of my house. We have five of those, and each one was a dulled slab of concrete nothingness, like no sculptor wanted to inflict his ideas on them, so they made their home as simple steps to my house. I often played Sun Moon Sky Water Land on them.
I hated eating food, but she’d tempt with some curd rice and pickle. And I’d timidly follow her outside, and we sat there below the stars—back then, back then, stars were still seen and not overshadowed by skyscrapers. And then she’d sit me down and then she’d read me the stories from Sanskrit Chandamaama as she fed me.
That day, he made mosaranna and we sat outside below the stars and the tall redwoods rustled. And then he fed me food in small spoonfuls and told me a story as if he knew I needed that medicine.
I felt like a kid again.
And you know, that feels priceless.
Q:what is your name
The light has behaved admirably, melting in flower-print patterns, bruising the stratosphere with blue blooms. They make home in their second skin, and I am perplexed. I take a different bus home.
The wane is like teeth marks, it eats like a strategic layered erosion. But you see, there is one thing that I hold to be true—you cannot uncloth a naked man. And that knowledge is what keeps love safe, what keeps it cradled, what keeps it flourishing in the land of bombshells—like the blue bruises of the saw-tooth sky.
All gone, and still living.
Survival is like a beautiful paradox.
And then I come home to the same things: frothy coffee waiting eagerly. I kiss him like I know. And trust me, I do. And our telepathy hasn’t dissapeared. He knows me like a language, and the coffee is exactly ready as soon as I knock. And I still like to have him walk me through the kitchen, I still like to cuddle, to complain about the arrival of mornings, and to talk about children at night. I like his breathing. I like to watch music videos with him.
You know, you cannot undress a naked man. You cannot destroy dust. You cannot erode ash.
and no matter the calls that tell me, poisonously, ‘But then, he must be disturbed, and you must be disturbed, and these things aren’t right because he didn’t have a perfect childhood and you didn’t have a perfect adolescence…’ I’d rather laugh to that and accept that our madness is equal and measurable and lovable than ever call it deranged.
Because in the lateness of the night, I like to sit with him and tell him stories of kanasu, of poetry, of living and loving and growing and making life meaningful for every single day we have.
Today, lights flickered and burned out, like there was a power-cut. And it refused to oblige, so I bought out the old lantern.
By a flickering flame, we looked at each other.
He is the face I’ll remember forever, how the lights and shadows played with his eyes. ‘I feel so alive’ I told him, ‘and so happy’
The warmth in his cupped palms was beautiful.
I cradled him and thought—we still have time. While we still have time, while we do—
we need to live.
Because we still have time and love always, always survives.
Here, all is well and I love you.