By Devangana Mishra
summer was my favourite time of the year to be a fugitive and a spy in my own home to be fed lovingly for being both to be loved for dissecting frogs to know the taste of vomit to know why doctor was a profession I never chose to turning leaves to chutneys to learn too late those couldn’t be lunchtime accompaniments digging into earth to see where do ants stay what secrets do they hold looking to the dump yard to see how pigs befriended dogs it was an odd friendship everyone hated pigs and loved those dogs but now they began hating ‘those dogs’ animals didn’t know any of this human gibberish we pronounce as words
summer was my favourite time because mama would be away from home to climb inside her closet to pull out her gold-threaded kanjiwarams to stretch them to sunlight to know what made them so precious so pristine so well preserved for her to keep stretching those to see how every thread was spun with the purest of gold to have it shine in sunlight to blind me to be too young to understand these nine metres of tradition of beauty of grace I wouldn’t give it any other word I wouldn’t then I wouldn’t now to know in those days of boredom by pulling everything apart to understand the human mind’s capacity to stretch shrink see the world inside out to break what shouldn’t be broken but only then can it be fixed at all to look to it all this ride from the moon to home just like the friendship of the pig and the dog or chutneys we mashed made too bitter for fall.
Devangana Mishra wandered and wondered before she even walked. Her wonder turned to words her words turned to stories about imagining a better world and her hope for a better world led to poetry- a way to remain silent in an overpopulated, loud world. Her curiosity about the human mind took her to New York to study autism and intellectual disabilities when she was 21- ever since then she’s been a globe trotter across countries working with quirky kids and putting her learnings out in the world. She moved to India in 2018 and now works at Aangan, an organization working in the child protection space. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram