Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 57, Tuesday March 3, 2009



“MY life” she said “is a series of lies.” She took time to speak. Long pauses, long lashes took their time to flaunt down and up. Everything about her was calculated. Even the messiest part; her hair sat on her head like a carefully done set of errors. What she wore, how it matched/mismatched and defined, all of it she had learnt to put together through years of calculation, consciously and bit by bit.

Travelling through Dhaka I met her, common friends, known faces. Here unknowns don't last too long, familiarity is a disease that contaminates all. I got to know her like we all get to know each other these days; SMSs and Facebook, evening coffee and photo exhibition, popping Tylenols and bottled drinking water. I got to know her through our drives between Gulshan and Dhanmondi, rickshaw rides between Shakari Bazaar and Charukola. Settling into the rickshaw seats I felt the side of her thighs against mine, the smell of her body rubbed off on me. I carried her to my home even after dropping her off at her place; she stayed closed to my heart those days, very close to my heart.

It was spring then, the first days. There were breezes that made Dhaka seem like Paris, My rooftop gave us refuge from the busy streets and stares. By then we were seeking privacy. It was as needed as packs of cigarettes, between her lips and mine.

We didn't want labels, we didn't want definitions. Not yet. She cherished her freedom and longed to be a poet. I liked my boundaries; my fear of commitment, and my age told me she wasn't the one. But still we felt close. It was spring after all.

There were many others before her and many before me for her. These were known feelings, repeated with different people, each one not unique but in their own rights addictive. I felt the high, my calculated girl, our fling this spring and her face dissolving into the night's wind.

And then one morning we woke up, no not together, separately yet in sync. It was still spring, and I longed for rain. And it was gone; our eyes didn't look for each other in crowds, the addiction swallowed, there was no recovery needed. The calculated messiness of our lives became a huge ball of ash and disappeared into the air. I blew a kiss towards nothingness, no love, no attachments, just familiarity and a perfect Dhaka spring.


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