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Semeen Ali

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The ides of March
Longings tend to run backwards
The day I had decided to speak my heart out to you
The skies decided to fall silent
Were made to fall silent…
The familiar roads became a distant memory.
I struggled to remember the turns and the road signs that made them familiar
That made you familiar
The Un-familairities….
The world around me decided to shut down
The one inside of me slowly reaching that phase
It wasn’t only the year of the pandemic
It became a year of isolation
When the walls began closing in
Came too close for me to breathe
Breathing in with me- turning me inside out.
Until I became a wall.
We are shutting down
We will remain shut down
A brick begins to dislodge
Can you feel the crunch of the cement under your shoes?
She sits by the window.
Evening arrives first
They should be arriving by now.
She turns to check time
The ticks have managed to move the minute hand a bit further.
Patting an unruly strand of grey hair down
She adjusts her saree one last time.
The window now reflects her
The outside world becomes a blip
Why haven’t they turned up by now?
She checks her phone to make sure it is working.
Her neighbours have bought a brand new TV- a wall contraption
She trains her eyes on that TV to distract herself
She does not want to take a pill to calm down
Have to buy a new bottle tomorrow.
Breaking news! A flash on the TV
An announcement- NATION WIDE SHUT DOWN
The red letters stand out – blaring into her ears
The room falls dark
She puts the cake back in the fridge.
The lights extinguish the letters written on the cake- Happy Birthday!


Issue 94 (Nov-Dec 2020)

feature Love in the Pandemic
    • Annapurna Sharma A: Editorial Reflections
    • Debanjan Banerjee: Love, Covid-19 & Everything that lies in between
    • Bhaskar Lama: Aesthetics to Teleology – Literature in the time of COVID19
    • Mayank Rai and Debanjan Banerjee: Words of Confession – during the Pandemic
    • Sudipa Mondal: To Survive is to Love – Discovering Myriad Loves in Critical Times
    • Anushree Bose: Self-care & Couple-care amidst Covid-19
    • Annapurna Sharma A: In Conversation with Nandini Raman
    • Annapurna Sharma A: In Conversation with Siddhartha Gigoo
    • Chirantana Mathkari: In Conversation with Dr. Supriya Yadav
    • Srikala Ganapathy: Conversations about Love
    • Supriya Rakesh: Fire Therapy
    • Betty Oldmeadow: Love-The Ultimate Panacea
    • Murli Melwani: Picking up the old threads
    • Marsha Warren Mittman: Kota Nai Nai
    • Nadia Jesmine Rahman: Terrace stories
    • Sat Paul Goyal: Pursuit of Love and Hope in the Corona virus Pandemic
    • Glory Sasikala: Love without boundaries
    • Tanvi Chowdhary: 20504-20503
    • Ram Govardhan: A Blessing in Disguise
    • Abhijit Chaki: A Complicated Thing to Explain
    • Rupkatha Bhowmick: A Greater Love
    • Sonam Sahoo: A Lifetime of Love
    • Chirantana Mathkari: Adopting Aru
    • Carrie Beverly: Alone, Together
    • Srikar Reddy: But, The Hug
    • Sobia Abdin: Difficult Times
    • Anuradha Bhattacharyya: Ex Connection
    • Samya Senaratne: fait accompli
    • Apparaju NagaJyoti: Granny’s word, the golden way
    • Shubhashish Kerketta: It’s all about re-finding love
    • Samya Senaratne: Life finds a Way
    • Sravani Saha: Lost Brotherhood
    • Annapurna Sharma A: Mea Culpa – a cup of cardamom love
    • Meenakshi Shivram: Oil and Wick
    • PV Sesharatnam: On Our Trail…
    • Nighat Gandhi: Safar-E-Ishq – Pilgrimage of Love
    • Sacaria Joseph: The Bobby-Betty Album
    • Anuradha Mazumdar: The Homecoming
    • Rekha Valliappan: The Home-Coming
    • Amita Ray: The Joy of Giving
    • Sunil Sharma: The Rainbow of Love
    • Sangeeta Das: Who will blow my Birthday Candles?
    • Aishwarya Javalgekar
    • Anushree Bose
    • Barnali Sikder
    • Cherime Sangma
    • Debayan Deb Barman
    • Dhee Sankar
    • Frank Joussen
    • Kashiana Singh
    • Lipsa Mohapatra
    • Mahathi
    • Mandakini Bhattacherya
    • Marsha Warren Mittman
    • Rupkatha Bhowmick
    • Sarita Singh
    • Semeen Ali
    • Shuvam Dewanjee
    • Shweta Mishra
    • Sreetanwi Chakraborty
    • Tina Jose
    • Vinita Agrawal
    • Giti Tyagi: A Bend in Time
    • Annapurna Sharma A: The Day before Today – Lockdown Stories