RIVER BETWEEN US
“There are three mountains in my memory – blueish, violet, greenish, with fog covering their peaks. There’s a river between us. I am standing on one side, the mountains on the other side. Memory is such an undependable thing so don’t take my word for it. If I so wished, I would take a boat and cross to the other side. If I so wished. There are so many stories that surround these mountain ranges, this river, and these forests. They say that the spirits of the people who drown in the river live in the forests on the other side. Some drown accidentally; others drown on purpose. I went to school with a boy who drowned accidentally. I also went to school with a girl who drowned on purpose. On both occasions, search parties were conducted to locate the bodies and bring them back to their grieving parents. The girl’s body was found within a few days. The boy’s body took longer. When they finally found it after a few weeks, it had been so deformed and mutilated by the water that I had to wonder if it had been hiding from discover
Daddy said “Home is where your grandparents live.” So, one spring morning, I was told to pack only the things that would matter in ten years. To 13 year old me, that was an Enid Blyton book, a few cards and letters from friends, and a sea-shell bracelet I received as a gift from a guy I thought was cute. He must have thought I was cute too, or why the gift? Ten years later, I no longer have a single item I packed that spring.To this day, home remains an elusive concept to me. I’m like a bird, I flit from one sky to another and the ground only sees my foot long enough to say “hello” before it is time to say “goodbye”. There’s no time to hang pictures on walls or have pets or grow plants. When that thought comes to haunt, usually in the voice of family or through words in books, I like to console myself by thinking that if home is an elusive concept to me, I am just as much an elusive concept to home”.
Text by Patricia Thangluai
Styled by Manglien S. Gangte
In collaboration with Minlian Guite, Nem Thian Hoih, Patricia Thangluai,Nathan Lalhruaitluanga, Ruth Gangte, Hengoumang Haokip,
Joy Hanghal, Thianching Tombing, Aylem Guite.
Commissioned by SAY MAGAZINE