15 May, 2007

"Tell me why you love the sea"

by Sonia Nazareth

Shakti, I met in February this year.

24 hours later we are in a bar. As we sip Cosmopolitans, I think how joyful I am to have met this vital girl, with vividly lashed eyes and lips beautifully swollen into doing her bidding. Two waiters hover by, attentive, but we forget to order for we discover that besides being in college at the same time and being the same age, we are happy together. Space opens up around us. And we fly in. Sharing about our lives is as easy as it was buying the identical black dresses that lie beside us. We talk about what makes our summer's winter and our winter's summer. And the honesty in her makes everything a hopeful shade of spring.

As we bypass the squid in favour of conversation, I see how easy it is to love this girl. For the empathy in her eyes is the space in which we are human. And vulnerability in our interaction has become as easy as strength.

But that's not the only reason I love her. I love her for the way she injects me with warmth. And the world with life. And her gender with androgyny.

I love her for the eloquence in her face that has even the pastry sitting between us with its jammy red heart responding.

It is time to go now. As we leave she presses an Indian sweet into my hand. "You must eat it, it is homemade," she says. I nibble. She encourages me to go further. A hunk of sweetness dislocates in my mouth. Crumbs fly everywhere. We laugh. We hold each other. We promise to write. "Tell me why you love the sea," she cries as her black and yellow cab flies past mine. We know we will always be friends.

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