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Valentine

June 18, 2013

“Ae ajnabi, tub hi kabhi awaaz de kahin se…” a bass voice juxtaposed against the high-pitched plaintive violin notes formed the backdrop to her jumbled emotions. Scattered across her bed, a collapsed card-house of handwritten sheets rustled dejectedly… yellow foolscap sheets in a neat, precise cursive against white notepapers torn hurriedly from an exercise book, a bold, impassioned hand having made a mad dash against time to capture fleeting thoughts, like children chasing bubbles. Faint traces of ginger and cedarwood, his cologne, catch her unawares and a sob with the bitter aftertaste of licorice catches in her throat.
Like flipping the pages of an oft-thumbed old edition, she slowly pulls out her memories and gazes at them, patting a few with a gentle touch, dusting a few others off to peer more closely… her first valentine, the boy she never met but knew intimately, pen-pals who poured their young hearts into verses of angst and tenderness – handmade papier-mâché treasure chests they offered each other, bits of their fledgling selves poured into the shaping…
Her writing has never been hers ever since, searching for him in every metaphor she met, till her pen slowly turned to rust. Without him, she is, simply, not – no truth without a seeker…

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