Meena Kandasamy

1984 - / Chennai / India

Elegy to my first keyboard

You entered my life when I was twelve. I really didn't
have hormones then. I was lost in a different world. Of
science, of space, and the small small atoms that we were
all made up of. I wanted to be a spy or a scientist. I
thought you would help me become one.

You made me fall in love. With you. And unknown to
my parents, with language.

I started to write. But that is another story.

I loved you too much. Loved you through all those long
nights when you made me cry. When you simply
wouldn't listen to me. And when I couldn't find the
words to tell my love to you.

Living with you was very memorable. Too much fun.
And we were getting better by the day. At least, I was.
Until you decided to add some spice.

I was too weak for them.

To stay ahead of me, you would type on your own. I
don\\\\\\\'t kno\\w what\ these sl\\\\\\\\ashes meant
but they wo\\\\\\uld come everytime I sto\\\pped to
pause. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
Wh en you knew this didn't excite me, you stopped.

Much later

In yopur effoprt at unity, yopu started putting the op's
and p's together. I never knew why.

And-one-hot-summer-morning-the-space- bar-konked-out-i-had-to-separate-every-single-wor d-by-the-use-of-hyphens-or-dashes-and-i-could-not -even-run-the word-counts-and-oh-it-was-so-bad-but-still-i-put- up-with-you. Familiarity-with-you-never-bred-contempt-it-gave- birth-to-love-to-comfort-to-knowing-all-your-litt le-quirks.Disabling-that-vital-cord-which-tied-yo u-was-so-easy-and-even-so-legal-but-i-resisted-i- always-gave-you-chances-and-i-thought-that-your-t easing-would-be-over-soon-soon-anytime-soon-alas- it-was-not-to-be.You-had-grown-haughty-and-ill-te mpered-and-God-i-still-loved-you.Not-to-love-a-st rong-woman-was-very-demeaning-on-me.

One night you repaired yourself. I never asked you how.
Questions are prohibited in love affairs with me.
Finally, you crashed.

You misbehaved, threw your tiny tantrums.
You showed me your keyboard ego.
Or was it my zeal and drive.
Did I misuse-abuse-overuse you?
I loved you. I still do.

You were a great mistress.
Only, you took an early retirement.
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