I It is already morning. Outside this dark room, sunlight is streaming out of the clouds, birds are chirping out their disdain in indignant song, and I am trying to erase the semicircular shadows under my eyes, mitigate the aching, dull throb in my temples. My mother strides into my room, 8am, a businesslike gait, pulls apart the dark blue curtains, amidst my yawning protests. Sunshine floods my bedsheets, leaves me drowning in gold, I groan, reach to pull the curtains back, my mother's gentle hands stop me. She says, "You have to let some light in here, sometimes." II Yesterday, I watched a film where a house was burning, and the only way out was the narrow first floor window. Some days, I feel like my house is burning, some days, I feel like my mind is burning, some days, I feel like everything is burning, and the only way out is the first floor window. I cannot tell you how many hours I have spent looking down, watching the light catch the shadows of telephone lines and mango leaves, dropping measuring tapes onto the cracked soil below, trying to gauge how much the fall will cost me. III All of the women I know love windows, I watch my best friend look down at the schoolyard, at little girls playing football, sweat and fragmented eruptions of gleeful laughter, she sighs. I watch my grandmother survey the summer sun, drowning in an ocean of blushing apricot orange and radiant hibiscus pink, giving up in grace after offering all that it has inside of itself, she sighs. I watch my mother look out of car windows at burgeoning neem trees and wild rose bushes, at stray dogs and stray people, confused and wandering, she sighs. I look out airplane windows at swimming pools filled with the tears of the sky, at hills shrugging their shoulders in despair. I look out of my bedroom window, scrawl chalky maps onto the granite windowsill, watch as the clouds shield the sky from predators, then float away and leave everything awash in a confused mist. I think to myself, maybe we are all looking for an exit strategy, maybe we are all looking for a way out.
Of Windows and Running Away by Yamini Krishnan
Updated: Sep 5, 2018
Art by Kanika Anand