Sneaky cat, Jo

I made a list of things I need to accomplish.
Start a fully functional blog
Write more
Learn to cartwheel
Learn to whistle like Amir from Rangeela
Bind a book
Stitch something

I have slid, in the past few days, on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Now I
Don’t forget to drink water
Eat, please
Take medicines
Breath…count till 10

And I don’t ‘write more’ because all cognitive energy (and physical) is spent in ‘breath…count to 10’

But I write today, from somewhere in the middle of ‘don’t share personal details on social media’ and ‘when was the last time you let them tell you what to do. Your actions, your consequences.’ and from some dingy corner of the lowest level of Maslow’s hierarchy where aunties use body shaming for conversation starters, where deodorants smell of candy floss (in a bad way), where sad songs play when you leave and where people have no pet names. I write from there about these uncomfortable black sandals a 8 year old wore that made too much noise. I write, to get out of my head, the walk she walked in the empty night hospital corridors, banging heel on the floor loud enough to drown the screams she did not want to be hearing; harder and harder till heels hurt and ears hurt and the floor hurt; but just not loud enough.
I do not ‘learn to cartwheel’ because all my energy, cognitive and physical, is used in keeping my being in the imagination of a happier future, away from the childhood I never want to visit and a present that I was pinky promised gets better.

My therapist told me to not be stoic. But I be stoic around a father who is stoic. I cannot ‘whistle like Amir’ because all my energy is spent in protecting the protector. But my protector has his ways of failing when he hugs too tight, for 3 moments too long and pats on the back that is just stoic for ‘this sucks but we will be okay, maybe’
We walk to the television to let virtual people help us get over the embarrassment of almost-tears. And we watch Amitabh climb a commode and my father laughs. And a splurge of warmth rises from the pit of my stomach as I hear my second favorite sound in the universe after the sound of his hums of a off-tune old Hindi song. And I laugh with warmth in my stomach as Amitabh compares life to bowel movements. And happiness, like a stealthy cat, creeps on us from the back and I jump in surprise as it brushes against  my ankle and cowers in the corner in fright.

I imagine Manu Josheph smirk as he ruffles my hair and says “told you, cant escape happiness, can you?”


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