Raining Red by Mridvi Khetan


I grew up believing that the rain is red.

Red like the scars mapped across my body,
gifted by a man who colour red embodied
Hot stew for all meals resembled the red sandstone,
which brother went to mine from blood-marked zones
Every day we took a bath in red water,
sourced from a brick well
Everywhere we were blocked by red tape,
sourced from bureaucratic cells

You see, red is omnipresent
It’s the colour of resistance but also the colour of our blood
Does this mean we’re born to resist?
I resisted red
but how can you, if all you see are corpses – dead.
A memory surfaces in my head,
how my sister was shamed monthly for her red

I can smell it too, you know
The red, a scent of my morning breath
Remnants of the wars fought by words I can only dare to speak in stealth
If red is the paint I’ve been coloured in, body and bone
It’s only logical to see my surroundings in the same tone
So when it rained the other day
I said,
“Ma, see it’s raining red today!”