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Crocheted Mint Memories This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

I unfold it as I stand on the crimson
living room carpet, my back to the mirror
wall and my eyes fixated on the object. My
grandmother is in the kitchen-good-and I look left and
right and wrap the mint crocheted blanket around my
waist twice, leaving a tail, and tucking the rest into the top of my
pants-it’s marshmallowy against my skin-I flip the
pallu over my shoulder and lift a bit of the mint
sari I had just made as my grandmother comes out of  the
kitchen lifting a fold of her sari as she walks, her
chudiyan clanging as she walks and smelling
of the same nice scent—a scent I could not explain then but
I used to wear Passion by Elizabeth Taylor in
eighth grade—.5 fl oz spritzed on my wrists, spritzed onto my
blanket because it for some reason smelled nostalgic and I
did not know why. The mint blanket my grandmother gave me before
I was born, I am thirteen and I see some of the fairy holes
have been stretched out from the days I made tents and
there’s pink and purple and blue strands of yarn tied in knots at the corners so
I could secure the blanket to the backs of chairs and I
would try and try again to untie them when I was six but now, I just hope
they won’t wear out and I dislike washing my blanket because
it becomes sandpapery and dePassioned so I
have to love and cradle it daily, like Nimbus-my cat-so it’s
coldness and resistance is tamed into a fluffy sun and then I
spray and spray the perfume until it smells as if it had been wearing
gajre on it’s slender wrists (or paws) in a Desi wedding once
the scent fades because the only way I can keep calm is if I have
have the blanket folded neatly and pressed against my trembling face, tight
in my embrace and I remember Long Island and family barbecues and I
especially remember eighth grade-when I was thirteen and made my very
first friends in six years and I would wear makeup to Desi get-togethers and I
wore Passion those days for the first time and I recalled Karachi weddings, Bihar
weddings, Patna weddings and especially New York weddings and my cousin said to me
“for some reason-I don’t think it’s a bad thing-but you smell like Ammi”
and I smiled and raised an eyebrow because this strangely made sense and I liked
that but I didn’t figure out that my grandmother and I shared this quality and maybe
that’s why I love my gajre-blanket so much. My grandmother has been
telling me for nine years to throw away my blanket and she’ll get me a new one but
this possession is older than me, an extension of me, oxidized
like the Statue of Liberty and my skin remains coffee copper, and it watches,
watches over me and it was there for me when I was seven and camped
indoors and ate invisible food or when I was eight and I was the Queen
of Purple Stone-my ring-and I needed a very special cape over my shoulders or as I
am writing this and I was feeling hot and cold simultaneously, the fairy-holed
blanket worked just fine and I am overcome with nostalgia or when I was five and
I said “look Ammi, I look like you!” And I pulled up my skirt, not
because I would trip on it if I walked, but
because that is how my grandmother did it.

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