Amma sits me on her lap
And tucks my hair behind my ears
“Look Ammu here comes the Kummatti”
I watch as tiny ants crawl across my grandmothers window
Struggling to find an escape through the glass panes,
Which Ammuma installed to prevent the Present from ever stealing her memories of the Past.
Almost but not quite trapping time with her.
My mid-day naps still carry the scent of kummatti leaves,
While I dream of Ammumas’ coloured chalks and her pleated pink skirts.
After all, my life is just another repetition
Of my Amma’s and her mothers too.
Sung in the same melody but with slightly different pitches.
I am exhausted with myself.
Afraid to touch and to think of anything from the past,
And what doesn’t carry the past with it?
I play hide and seek with my memories
“Ready or not here I come” they say.
I open the window panes
The ants scramble to find their exit
Ammuma sits on her armchair recounting her childhood,
with her eyes half closed repeating the same stories like a prayer.
She faces her past head on while I hide from my mine.
Amma still calls out to me,
“Ammu, the Kummatti has arrived”
Shiva’s spirits playing their welcome dance for King Mahabali’s return.
Year after year playing the same song with the same characters.
I watch the Kummatti
Letting my memories dance with my inner child
A little ugly and terrifying
But still filled with joy and enough love, like the spirits that dance before me.
Gayatri is a B.Com graduate pursuing CS in Kochi. She is passionate about writing as it is the easiest way for her to express herself. Embroidery is her only other passion. You can find her on Instagram @nay_roast