Indus Chadha

Indus Chadha, born and raised in India, studied literary and artistic expression at Smith College under the guidance of Susan Van Dyne and Annie Boutelle with a major in the Study of Women & Gender and a minor in English Language & Literature. She is now pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Columbia University's School of the Arts and, though she is enjoying being in New York City, often wishes she could still be an intern at the Poetry Center, choosing poems, making postcards, and meeting poets over green curry and jasmine rice.


 

Indus Chadha

 

Sameer

     He has eyes that are the color of the Valleyís lake in late October when the mud raised by the monsoon has not yet had time to settle. He has eyes that are like melted chocolate swirling in a cream colored pan on my motherís old four-burner kitchen stove. He has eyes which change color in the light like the leaves blowing around outside my window on a bright cold day in a New England fall.
     The tips of his fingers smell like his motherís homemade deep-fried mathris and achaar. The shallows of his palms smell of the sweaty steering wheel of his car from his long drive across the city to come collect me. His fingernails are fan-shaped, chewed down, and well thought through. His t-shirt smells of Ariel from his motherís washing machine, and of the blue Bangalore sun.
     The soles of his feet rubbing against the tops of mine feel like the sand on the beach at his college where heís playing football as I write. His hair is tousled like clean laundry blown awry from the clothesline on a Sunday afternoon. His voice is distinctive, cutting through the clatter of the traffic, of the radio, of the rain, of the space between us, across the pillow on my black floor, across the years from fourteen to twenty-one, across Asia and Europe both.
     Each blink changes the color of his t-shirt (although it always smells the same crisp clean smell). Itís yellow now, with a black stripe across the center of his chest, and heís just fourteen. Itís white now, soft beneath my fifteen-year-old finger tips, as he poses for a photograph in Munnar. Itís moss green now, and weíre seventeen. Itís red, with a doorknob sign saying ďalready disturbed,Ē 21.
     His kisses taste like raspberry and vanilla, like stick ice cream on a hot January night, cool, wet, and welcome. His kisses are like the Bangalore monsoon, flooding the amphitheatre at the Valley, as the buses begin to make their way home. His kisses are a glass of water at a crowded dance party, two white orchids wrapped in newspaper, and the feeling of being favored in a game of cards and spoons.



Sameer appeared in the Spring 2009 issue of Labrys, Smith College's Art & Literature Magazine, and was read at the Labrys Poets Reading as part of the Green Street Cafť Poetry Series on April 9, 2009.