Literature

Cardigan

There is a green cardigan, buried deep under my bed

Not the green of leaves, or green of eyes

But the green of lollipops meets the green of vintage hardbacks

It is buried with blankets, and old clothes that no longer fit,

and my parents’ marriage photo album.

The cardigan smells of mothballs, and lonely winters, and ecstatic sweat

Motorbike rides and long childhoods, flowers that no longer grow

And growing up

The cardigan is much older than me

Knitted by my grandmother in her forties

Before her eyesight betrayed her

The last she would ever knit.

And when I unfold it, it is like unfolding the space-time warp 

A ball of tangled green wool

Knitted across the year, the 90s of Bollywood

Worn across winters, memories, and two first loves

My mother wore it, the first time she met my father

Its a bit scratchy from the inside

Just like their marriage

It’s soft and nostalgic 

And wearing it feels like an embrace 

From all the people I know 

Who lived lives I will never know

Sometimes in summers, I take it out and smell it 

Smells never really fade?

they are imprinted in the mind

You just need recollection, a poke

Maybe it still smells of long, secret nights 

And rendezvous

And all the gossip exchanged when it was made

Today I am going to meet you 

And I will wear the green cardigan 

One more story, one more memory, one more life stitched into this mosaic

I hope you know how much it means 

Because if you leave

Your touch will be stitched forever 

Carefully folded, under one more bed, one more life

To brave the winters and carry wisps of the passing times.


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