Did you see the sky at dawn?
It was painted a dusty maroon and yellow at the horizon, and the palm and eucalyptus trees were silhouetted inky black like in the Mughal miniatures on your room’s walls. I never believed that an evening could be so surreal, forever born and trapped in paintings from five hundred years ago. Then again, I never believed in many things being real, like the pain in your throat, which I thought only existed in fanfics on AO3 with a lengthy trigger warning plastered all over it. You should have seen it, the way the lake shimmered saffron and blue in the dying moments of the day and the awakening of the mosque’s lights next to it. The drums from a temple behind the building, on the 8th floor landing of which I was stood, broke the stillness of the night. There have been no winds and no clouds in the sky, except the gradients of grey rising from above the trees like that Japanese painting of waves on Tumblr. Yah, that one. Oh, and the cresent moon was perfectly aligned, a little below Venus, gleaming white together in a water-washed background.
That’s when I realised it was real, because such a sight would have had to have been real for the Sultans and Mughals to paint so exquisitely. That’s also when I realised how pathetically real it was, the way you were being swallowed into the depths of your own hell. Suddenly, words written by someone half way across the world were the same as in the text messages you send me every evening. I can’t read those stories anymore, not without my stomach curling at the thought of yours eating away at the rest of you. It takes so much not to scream and want to shake you back into normalcy because its killing you and I cannot do anything but watch.
I cant watch.
I’m in the car on my way back, listening to the first programme on the government classical music station, a Tyagarajada-kruti again. The town centre is bustling below the many textile stores, sarees draped over mannequins caged in glass, sarees which would look sublime on you regardless of whether you can feel your hip bones or your 53 kgs, but I know its not about your weight or frame, its about something else, something more putrid and like ash – something I can’t fix as easily as I turn away from the shops’ blinking lights and clothes of silk. I’m not sure how to end, but I know you are one of the watercolour wonders of the world, and more precious than the dusk today.