That day, Gautam
Asked for chai instead of Bournvita
Wore his pants a few inches lower

Ran his father’s Brylcreem through his hair
Sneaked a few pumps of cologne
And took his phone to school

Settled down in the last bench in class
And said hi to Sonali
For the first time in 7 years

Asked the older boys
If he could bat instead of bowl today
And fought back when they said no

He didn’t run home when they punched him
Just wiped the blood running down his elbow
And bowled like nothing had happened

He bought a Pepsi
A can of Axe deodorant
And skipped the school bus to take a rickshaw home

No one noticed
Anything different
With Gautam that day

But for him
Nothing would ever be
The same again

That morning, he had woken up
To find a wispy,
But undeniable
Moustache to call his own

2 thoughts on “Wisp

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