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Life Lived Apart

Kiran whiffs the air of Jaipur and Lahore through poetry


In jaipur, India - The air holds itself smooth, laden in humidity, curved like a ripe, promising mango. Remarkable- the color of the sky is mellow enough to set even the crows dreaming. under muted tones, his body gentles, edges loose their harsh protrusions, he eases. 

When he walks home, he counts the number of people who share features with him. His grandmother once told him the ocean and the sky were brothers, same features, made for the same purpose, God smiles, grabs the biggest paintbrush he can find, paints BLUE. 

At night, an orchestra secretly congregates below his bedroom window. in the key of listlessness, the insects play their heart out, and he doesn’t mind because it takes his mind off the aching. 

Detached, he sets off into the night, unknown to a country asleep, he tiptoes around, ransacking the world around him in search of meaning. 

 

 In Lahore, Pakistan - The dust is orange enough to be beautiful, she tells herself she is scrubbing out sunshine when the dust spills out of her hair under shower water. 

Her grandmother speaks poetry just by speaking Urdu, some languages were made this soft that prose becomes lyrical, even when the words are meaningless, a ‘goodbye’ becomes a rose, breathed to life through her lips. 

In front of an elementary school, she stops for a tree that looks like an old friend back home, same canopy and all. under the tree’s shadow, she looks at the world and the world doesn’t look back. 

She says, I am a wanderer in your streets, reeled in by your music and colors, but this balmy breeze knows I am not made up of the same fibre of being as you. 

She wanders at night, Pakistan looks at her with one heavy-lidded eye, huffs a deep puff of air, rolls over, falls back asleep, snoring giant.

 

Main artwork produced by South Asian Today's designer, Charanja Thavendra, @tararaemerd

About the author

Kiran Masroor is a first year at Yale University where she’s majoring in Neuroscience. On campus, she is in the performance group, TEETH Slam Poets, and she greatly enjoys writing about her Pakistani culture. Instagram: kiranmasroor_

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