She giggledShayista

When I asked her to lie down

And be my

Human Body for the chart,

She jumped along

When we played our games in lunch.

We communicated

Through shy smiles and 

Whispers in class,

And walking back home together

We discussed

A world she longed to visit, 

But couldn’t.

Intrigued – is what she was by me,

And I by her.

Unfazed – we didn’t care that we looked like

The Odd Couple shayista-and-me

When we talked,

A blonde haired peculiarity

And a 12 year old dreamer.

I learned 

About her world

As she imbibed 

As much of mine as she could,

And we laughed 

At the state it was in

Before conveniently forgetting it

As we chose to play 

‘Our Game’.

We exchanged numbers

As I departed,

Pieces of paper 

With ‘Ananya’ and ‘Shayista Noor’

Written on top in bold letters.

She hugged me

Before I walked away,

A lingering embrace – 

Clips and dried apricots 

Were exchanged,

Along with the words 

She whispered in my ear:

“Meri koi didi nahi hain, aap hi meri didi ho.”1

Tears glistened 

In both our eyes alike,

And when I was halfway down the road

I heard 

Someone shout 

“Didi!”

I turned around

To see her wave 

And say bye 

For the last time,

Before she disappeared

Down the road 

And out of my sight.

  1. Meri koi didi nahi hain, aap hi meri didi ho – I have no sister, you alone are a sister to me.

Written by Ananya Saluja

I’m your average seventeen-year old girl from New Delhi studying in the 12th grade at The Shri Ram School, Moulsari. I volunteered during my last three summer vacations in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, teaching children in the schools of remote villages through the 17000 ft Foundation. It was the most life changing experience, and the childrens’ amazing reactions and responses made even the occasional accompanying altitude sickness worth it.

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