cottons the colour of pappads
Convent-educated, perfected smile and gait
thick frames the colour of black, housing convex lenses
lean frame, weighing age and ailments, housing corroded bones

Hurriedly coached to perform life
when Mother, said her father, was far beyond those white walls of nauseating fear, blood and tincture
Bags packed and bullock riding
came mother younger, duskier, unfamiliarly coy and unsettlingly different
Just in time for father’s eighth transfer order

Come the ninth
and father still banged the gavel
as his daughter left home- a lady, a wife
To luxury
to loving in-laws
to status
to fleeting happiness
to childlessness

Yet she doted on us, my brother and I,
related not by blood
by love,
We passed
cold winter nights warmed by embrace
sleepless nights cured by stories, myths and characters that came to life in her voice
nightmares conquered by her, weaponless, unarmored, unflinching, presence by my side

Until the day she tired
and finally inked a deal with her fighter
Bull riding
without my knowledge
without my consent, without my prayers
with my childhood, with my worries,
with my nightmares, with my fears
with her heart of gold
with two kids still waiting for their Grandmother to come back from her journey far beyond those white walls of nauseating fear, blood and tincture.