Illustration by Reya Ahmed

There’s a place hidden from common scrutiny,

Sheltered in carefully woven nestle of principles, hope, and unity,

Where people are a bit more happy, where roads wind at peculiar angles,

Time doesn’t bind actions there,

It’s a place I hold dear to myself.

In my heart, I never really thought I could fall for the inexorable waves, lashing on the shore playfully, as much as I did for the forests, the mountains, the cold.

But it came off as a gentle surprise, and I couldn’t help but jump in.

Tables are joined for families, made into a family that is wonderfully big and ever-expanding.

I was present in one, bamboozled by the vibe of this wonderful place,

Molded with unbelievable care, bricks put one by one to construct this little haven.

The constraints of my daily life gave way,

There were new shapes, new smells and a new wind blowing in my hair.

I walked for miles, knowing that the road loved me as much as I loved its expanse.

Blue, green, hazel, brown colors exploded and mingled in a cloud of bliss and ecstasy.

I was quick to adapt, though,

For little did I realize what my heart longed for.

The sunshine every morning brought,

The cold that sweetly whispered its arrival,

The long dusty roads that promise to lead you somewhere.

Sometimes, even to search for Sound.

In hushed jungles, where trees bore secrets the roads wanted to reveal,

Flowers smelled like decaying time,

Pebbles played with the steps I took.

We looked and looked and looked,

And there it lay, Sound,

Hiding in the corners of an old, tattered building.

Sometimes, these roads took me to unknown spaces.

This is where Memory stayed,

In a beautiful house, small and cozy, filled with warm light…

But shapes couldn’t hold us

And so, we merged into the widening vastness of the night,

While others kept hushing and shushing.

No, we aren’t friends,

But, we remember each other.

I passed the riddle test

And was greeted by Image.

Vibrant and forbidding,

Remarkable yet submissive.

We talked about home, and how we missed Color…

Time was stained with the absoluteness of black and white.

The last night, I sat down to write a letter,

Thoughts gave way to words,

Day gave way to night.

A silence, quiet and weary, robbed my words…

by Shubhanjana Das

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