By Devangana Mishra
children are at times handed a paintbrush with a palette of colours, except all shades of yellow; they paint broken roads to yellow, dents by the kitchen sink to yellow, windows that one can see through to yellow, blood in hands no knife no dead bodies to yellow, dying dogs to yellow, stained cheeks with blotches of unslept tears to yellow, cancer growing in a body visible on X Rays to yellow, Red Cross signs on hospital doors to yellow, anything that’s green other than grass or trees to yellow- you can’t paint grass or trees, rain washes it all off; potpourri which was once flowers to yellow; noodles from a vending machine dashed with spices to yellow; burglars asking for water before they tell you all they’ll wipe out from your home to yellow; their asks to yellow, their voices to yellow, their skin to yellow, their poking around to yellow; I look to this child’s palette the only colour they were ever given was yellow, now he keeps looking around for what else is broken around desperately seeking what else to paint yellow, I turn his hand to his own body, to himself, facing him to a mirror, listen, paint yourself a little yellow, the kind of yellow you want to see splattered in this world, to that shade of yellow.
Also read: To See Horizons
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