They are etching brittleness into the 20 year old table. A candle flickers in the centre and we all wait for the back-up generator to stir.
Bluetooth. Blue. Tooth. Her mouth rolls around the phrase slowly, committing it to memory. He repeats it. Then, he asks, how? How does it work? Just recently, the octogenarian grew accustomed to the wifi. She knows what those words mean separately. She is accounting for the liminality.
Like badam rolling under sofas, the language of connection is lost. Skinny and coerced by blind faith, the threads of comprehension grapple with these dearths of meaning: Whatsapp. Contact. Profile.
But until the power crackles, we bathe in the waxen lustre ricocheting off scabbed walls. We made quick work of drawing candles from the decades of disuse pulled out for this little power-cut episode.
On this instance, there's a stillness in the house. The recognisable sizzle of dosa batter on a pan, the click of the stove, the known rush of coffee touching steel. I watch her place the words in her mind.
Dad doesn't offer any explanations either. He drops words from his palm like pebbles. Unfinished conversations are easier to have. I notice that we let the words hang in these flippant flickers.
Tanisha Rao is a nineteen-year-old writer from Bombay. Her work has been published in L'Ephemere Review and Tiny Spoon Magazine among others. You may read more of her work at sleepingonamadebedd.wordpress.com and reach out to her on Instagram (@tanxshaa_) and Twitter (@warped_writer).