My sister, friend,

 said she was feeling sad

through a WhatsApp message,

sitting in Delhi,

occupying the last few days 

offered to her by the house

 she used to live in

for the last 5 years.

I had returned from a hot day  at my institute

to the shade at home in Palakkad

craving some ice cream.

I ordered  for her a cassatta ice cream

and a nice body wash,

whose smell reminded me of 

a very old smell of oil,

through a delivery app.

My partner and I are returning to our small town

the following week,

on a highway,

from a big city;

he remarked that there are too many trucks on the road

since these online delivery companies

have taken over the world.

My friend felt very touched when she received the ice-cream,

she told me on a video call immediately after.

She shared it with her friend,

and forgot to share a picture with me.

I felt happy too.

What did people do before the time of telephones?

Would the sadness have disappeared 

by the time a letter reached the other side of the country?

Maybe women of a certain age could never  be alone.

Maybe women did not talk to other women who were not family.

Maybe loving vicariously and getting hurt by someone never existed beyond a secret.

Maybe they all deserved cassatta ice creams without delivery apps

We all deserve cassatta ice creams, despite delivery apps.

Cassatta icecreams, shaped like a rainbow, but not with all colours in it…

Another friend texts me, she is a mother too;

She asks me how I am taking everything,

that is happening in another part of the world


She cannot go by a day without it shaking her

I recently went through a surgery

I lay awake the whole of last month

after the surgery

Now  there is embodied pain and real wounds in my uterus

to blame my sleeplessness for

What will happen when I heal?

Will nightmares of Gaza cease?

Will nightmares of impending election results stop?

I have not replied to my friend yet.

Two kittens— white and grey and white and ginger

 sleep peacefully on the net by my bedroom balcony.

They have grown up here on the roof;

Their multicoloured mother has not taken them down to  the earth

keeping them safe, until she will not return one day.

They will sleep until the next moment;

it is raining;

thunder will strike soon.

They are always anxious

not knowing what to expect next from this world

They sleep, yet.

June 2024, Kerala