(in response to Frances Leviston’s Scandinavia) I think I could be happy there, my safe house, where I stood once under the gnarled neem, searching for the rosary pea, or saw my form reflected in the asymmetry of that mango tree, mid-point to Nargol. The wild rose and the marigold wafted away as the breeze carried our cart along. Waters wound up our legs on the casuarina-dotted sand. Shrieks and whispers, from gulls to girls, strip the air of its stillness. Grinding-stone and pickle jar, remind me of all that’s slipped through our fingers. I could live, I could thrive on fluffy rice flour spheres, Bombay duck sizzling on wood fires, and udder-fresh milk; idling on the verandah. Even enjoy a slothful sleep in that house, its magnificence marred, not broken; so what if it’s halved?

Zarin Virji