[Narrow pathways and lazy walks. //Subtle tunes of Balam Pichkari playing from afar./]
"Wasn't it last March we were quarantined and all?"
"I know right? I can't physically process 2020, like that year is a void in my head." Flinging the colours off her finger, she continues, "If I had to describe it as a colour, I'd be lost, because I don't think any one encompasses the terror and havoc that the pandemic wreaked."
Brushing off the colours from his hair, he replies, "And here we are now. The same energy, distanced obviously, for the celebration of colours. Even when the whole year was undefined on the colour spectrum, yet your hazel eyes still sparkled over those Gujiyas."
“Sometimes I think of how I call myself a fierce feminist but had so much internalized misogyny. Do you know I convinced myself I hated pink for years because I didn't want to fit into the caricature of what society painted women as? But 18 year old me is a lot more accepting, and pink adorns my wardrobe in various hues today.”
"Yes, very fierce, says the one who drools at rom-coms."
“Hey. Don't. You. Attack. My. Peter. And. Lara. I will pulverise you with my punches”, she replies threateningly.
"I'm a fragile boy, don't hurt me Miss". He chuckles and says, "Remember? How this statement was a contrast, the epitome of irony? Like you said, when a thing as fluid as colours can be bracketed and associated with gender, we can't even imagine what it will do to the other aspects. But at least since the past year, more and more colours have flourished and somehow the rainbow has started shining again.”
“Well, it certainly hasn’t been all that great, seeing as the rainbow community is still seen as ‘going against our sanskaar’, and ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’ and ‘Aligarh’ have only just begun that conversation. But you know what, maybe my cynicism is a byproduct of this negativity filled year, where we’ve been bombarded with grim news daily”, she sighs, aimlessly kicking a pebble in her path.
“Speaking of colours, can we talk about what a great year it’s been for the Men In Blue?”. Face lighting up, she continues, “Cricket literally sustained me, and seeing the India Blue always brings a smile to my face.”
"God, that does lighten you up. I could literally hear you sighing through your text when you sent me 'the heartbroken post'. “Bro. MS Dhoni has retired.” His journey between the two run outs has been exceptional. Then the IPL and the Border-Gavaskar trophy. The men in whites, wounded, Injured and Inexperienced, yet they didn't back down. That has to be one of the core memories, the main escapism from the brutal 2020.
Hey hey, You remember? After our P.E classes, our History teacher somehow found a way to not make it boring? He brought out the topic of his entire dynasty and how his ancestors had connections with magnificent rulers?"
“That was some terrible acting for an absolutely unconvincing lie. You know, when he talked about grand dynasties, I was immediately reminded of Percy Jackson. Purple, for the regal Romans with their characteristic fierceness and thirst for victory, and the Greeks, their more intellectual counterparts. So alike, yet always at war. Reminds me of a certain modern-day enmity that’s only growing with time.”
"You and your 'Percy Jackson cult'. For me when he said dynasties, I was flooded with memories of my Grandma, how she wraps the surrounding with musty-brown vibes, or my Mom, charming the room with her serene white and you, with the flickering temperament like that of turquoise blue. Isn't it fascinating that all the people around us leave us with some of their colours and slowly and gradually we start becoming a gradient?
“I think it’s pretty damn beautiful, because maybe we start out as being one colour and end up as a chaotic amalgamation of varying colours, one for each person who left their imprints on our souls.”
“Maybe yes 2020 was a void, but because of that, because of each person we interacted with, we discovered new ways to revisit the past, re-colour the faded connection-....", He stops mid sentence and looks at something in the distance. "They are restocking the Gujiya."
"DIBS ON GUJIYA!!"...she shouts, running away.
“AREEEY, DON'T YOU BRING OUT MY INNER SPORTSMAN-” *brain breathe brain breath please breathe*
[As the evening progresses, the skies yet again fill with beautiful hues. Connecting all the metaphors of colours, weaving them into an elaborate embroidery for all to praise.
//Tunes of Balam Pichkari have changed to the iconic Rang Barse./]
Authors: Abhinav Bhadri and Ananya Chaure
Editor: Shashmita Sanyal