A coffee brownness laps the edges of my consciousness, As I stir in luxurious sleep Resisting for a few seconds more, the totality of awakening “Coffee?” asks her smiling voice, Rich and dark with shades of brown As the drink she offers me. I smile and sip, In our blue-curtained room, Our cocoon set delicately in the neon noise Of the anonymous city. The high-definition screen by my pillow Brings stories from far away Earthquakes, ‘terrorists’, pandemic lockdowns and protests A long ant-line of migrants marching incomprehensible distances Past inhospitable cities Past brick, mortar, glass, sewer systems The lifeblood of our city All impossible without their toil All invisible behind our curtained-blues. I shake my head and sip Safe and comfortable in my cocoon Cradled in the garish anonymity of the city. ‘Honour killings’ in my hometown, yesterday. A high caste girl, a low caste boy Death on the railway tracks, The vengeful honour of a family. For a moment I shudder, As I look at my love. Her wavy black curls, wispy unruly cloud-like Her deep dark eyes Her chocolate-brown skin, rainbow tinted in a ray of sunshine Her soft lilting voice... And thank our different Gods For the anonymity of two young women Sharing a room, a life, a love, Blending into the milling crowds Of the big city.
GITANJALI JOSHUA is a perennial student, who enjoys skipping across disciplines. She is currently exploring an intersection of law, religion and gender in her doctoral thesis. She enjoys reading, writing, painting, an assortment of crafts, long walks and swimming. She loves dinosaurs, the sea and things that give her a sense of scale. She somehow manages to find cats to befriend wherever she goes. You can find some of her works at: https://linktr.ee/GitanjaliJ