‘Souvenir’ by Anam Tariq

So many suns spent cleaving, yarns of memories knitted, but where to begin when they run deeper than the roots? Her hushed, endearing face in the folds of age, light hair like a Barbie’s. Her love, a river’s constancy. In vacations en route to the ancestral home, those dark streets and brownout scowled upon us but emanated warmth, her abode’s embrace.

Souvenir image Anam Tariq 17.7.22 crop

Grandmother mostly got me what I craved, victual when it especially was (paramount in her pyramid of worries). Like a theatre actor with his props, paired with a parasol and her watch she ever stepped out. If there was a table to be cleared or beds made, for deferments I was berated and pressed for promptness by Grandmother’s advancing years. While contacts in the smartphones settled, her little brown phonebook still housed hundreds whom she rang to fill the growing silence.

Soap operas: an interest shared. A meal of omelette and chapati laid out while “Na Aana Is Des Laado” filled the edges of the screen. What went unnoticed? The soap opera had a finite running period.

The last few years were not what we would exactly call voluble, ricocheting with revelation. The jests were not among us, nor the holiday fun. Lately, she remained recumbent, buried below the weight of pipes and systems.

Ten moons and I ponder over the length of my levity which returned grandmother’s golden favours, second only to a mother’s intensity.

Now I sit attaching I love you to the knitted souvenir.


(Copyright: Anam Tariq, 2022)


Note: “Na Aana Is Des Laado” (“Don’t come to this land dear daughter”) is an Indian soap opera which remained on-air from 2009 to 2012.


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