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Sandcastles That Were Not Built to Last and People Who Gave up Too Soon


Anindya Arif


In a less politically charged world, globalisation did not gulp down my father’s apology for never being there, and my mother’s antique store never sold hemlock dining tables or vinyl records of laughter and forgetting,

and she never contemplated her abonnement issues through absurd questions like —

How many apologies does it take to buy someone’s sympathy?

 

My father, by now, feels like he has lost too much time while making antioxidant tea and killing creased spiders. And now he is making up for the time lost by creating new profound truths about himself. How he prefers everyone around him to be extremely quiet, how he is a reticent man who has always been too fascinated with cinders and things that don’t last nearly long enough, as much they should.

 

Similarly, at 55, my mother realises how she prefers verbose commercial noises over my father’s voice. My mother now believes all that is left of her relationship with my father is the residue of separation anxiety.

My mother lacks restraint but loves Anna Karenina, my mother strongly identifies with my suffering but can not hold herself while clicking a portrait. My mother — she is sinking and she doesn’t believe Dostoyevsky anymore when he says: Beauty will save the world.

 

My mother used to like beaded bracelets but doesn’t anymore, and every time anyone shows her the slightest bit of compassion, she puts her head in an oven and bursts into sobs.

 

My parents are frightened and they are healing wrong.

And by now, they have grown an inordinately long queue of memories that will never get better;

whims that have been poisoned by concerns and false optimism, mixed in Chamomile tea that got cold.

My parents with time have become each other’s necessities but are disconcerted by each other’s voices.

That is all they are strung together by, the mutual hope — of not turning out like each other.

 


Anindya eats music, fiction, and reality — all for breakfast. Send him fresh recipes at [email protected]

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