I don’t remember my Nani.
My memory is sketched by my mother’s retelling,
a woman carrying infinite love for mangoes,
my mother and knitting in her kind blue eyes, and
who always kissed me on the hands.
Discovering her saree in almirah was rainfall in summers,
and I went for the drenching,
my patterned fingertips grazing through embroidered flowers on pastel green silk.
maybe that’s how I would have held her.
The fullness of unfamiliarity. Tabula Rasa,
for love to splash and dissolve.
The fabric folds opened like collected polaroids,
an alternate map for knowing her- tender and honest,
reverberating shared fondness for mangoes and mummy and
the sweaters she knitted for the three-year-old me.
The unpacking was muddled by unwarranted truth.
My reverie ruptured by my mother’s voice
“She never wore it, she always felt it was too good”.
And here it is, in her granddaughter’s hand, her treasure.
The oceanic signature of her. Distasteful dregs at the bottom of the brewers for her unfulfilled desires.
Blue dreams. Remnants revealing a life tied down by ribbons.
I get up, put the saree back to notice my mother’s pashmina shawl. Never worn.