General

I lived on an island in the middle of the Dhaleshwari River in Dhaka at a time when it was still part of Pakistan. It was close enough to the shore so that my eldest brother could swim across to get to school while the rest of us, a big company of twelve, came by boat. Here the sky and the water seem to fuse into one; blue on an already blue palette; but the colors of the island were very different. They were much hotter like the weather. From the pale tones of rose pink that were the essence of the guava, to the mellow yellows of mango, the cherry red hues of lychee and the fresh brown of soil, these were the epitome of the land. The flecks of green here and there were of the custard apple and freshly grown tea leaves. The cool blue came in the form of a small monsoon. The aftermath of the occasional monsoon left a jittering grey myriad of shrimps flailing around in the water aimlessly. Yet somehow they were successfully ensnared and proved sufficient enough to make shrimp a commodity as common as wheat. It also proved to be a great pastime after tedious school days. As the grey turned tangerine, we savored the sweet succulent flesh of shrimp. And soon, instead of dirt, orange shrimp bits were found more frequently under my nails, something my mother did not approve of. The aroma of my mother's cooking was rivalled by a mixture of sweet, airy, crisp, earthy, floral, light, moist, musty, sour, spicy, tart, and wispy scents - scents born of the island. And every dawn, the sun dyed everything gold.

By L S, April 17, 2015*.