This Ashtami, late evening, depressed, I was sitting at a Kali temple. All decked in a maroon saari, the flavors of festivities bright and loud in the atmosphere, I felt a certain loneliness inside. Whether it stemmed from the absence of love, or older, deeper wounds I do not know, but it seared me within. No poems came up, no black writing. I sat there, watching the priest perform the evening rituals, my mind a numb mess of thoughts, cankerous, bleeding. Before my eyes, the Goddess smiled. In her face, I found no sympathy. With the whole city erupting to the staccato beats of the dhak, I searched for wishes, prayers but that evening there came none. I kept staring, my eyes dumb, ignoring the rush of tears that was tearing me inside. I felt like a ghost. Late that night, awake in bed, I searched within me. There was nothing, just a very faint sense of existing. Inbetween questions that asked if I was really so dead inside, I fell asleep. That night I slept without dreams, a little child warming the chill at her breasts. When I see myself in the mirror, I know I’m slowly learning to live the happiest way. Alone.