This is also a summary of my favorite scene of my upcoming NaNo novel, Adrishta. It may not make any sense at all; it comes somewhere deep within the novel — and I got excited because I’m using a character I used to write about extensively a few years ago — but I had a lot of fun writing it.

**

Hema and Mani, from Timepass.
Finally meeting.

They meet in the airport, and Hema is drenched with sweat from an uncomfortable flight. She still looks young, even though she is worried. It’s that vulnerability, that wretched loneliness. She’s unused to being back in India, her Telugu is very rusty. She’s holding a battered suitcase with a change of clothes because that’s all she can manage. Every waking moment is occupied with thinking about her daughter, the diamond token from Parvati buried in her blouse piece between her breasts. She feels the guilt pierce her throughout, because she thinks about her nephew, Mani, as someone she neglected. She knows that even though she never got along with her sister, estrangement from her nephew is unforgivable.

But Hema, still shaking, leaves the Hyderabad airport and, waiting for her in the dark, is Mani. Mani is tall — six feet three inches — and has a rounded face and a  sturdy, youthful body.(He’s not lanky, is what I mean; his black t-shirt hangs on him just so, and the beginnings of powerful arms. He is only eighteen after all.) It is at least thirty five degrees celsius outside, and Hema is unused to that kind of heat, but when she sets eyes on her nephew, she walks up to him and says her name. Just Hema. And Mani holds her hand. Grips it, not shaking it. There is that inexplicable connection, because they are bound by a common loss. But that shake means her mind is no longer so fragmented. She no longer thinks about the past. There is only love, and fear for what will come ahead.

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