ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Two Glasses



In my paati’s house we always had two glasses. Both stained permanently brown by tea. Each morning after the day’s prayers were hurriedly said, Karnam would arrive. We knew Karnam for as long as we had cats. And we’ve had cats since when my grandmother wore lipstick. They were stuck together like tongue to the mouth’s roof after a long night of dehydration.

They had held hands when their husbands had coloured them purple, and winked at each other when a half-moon appeared on their necks. They taught each other to pleat sarees and make small jasmine garlands. They had children together and witnessed their breasts droop as if to greet their knees, which were progressively bending upwards.

In death, they knew the correct condolence to offer. Neither too much, for that would seem disingenuous nor too little to appear unconcerned. And in joy, they knew to mask their jealousies with a slight shroud of pleasantries. They had even taken to walking with the same faulting gait, their rhythms in beat with the other.

Each morning after the day’s prayers were hurriedly said, Karnam would arrive. In two glasses they drank tea. Karnam’s steel found place on the ground and paati’s silver on a chair. With careful attention they discussed the day’s plans as Karnam ate last night’s remains. When the words were all spoken, they smiled their crooked smiles. Paati hummed a song about friends, Karnam scrubbed the glasses with soap.


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Updated On : 22nd Dec, 2022
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