We believe and believe and then believe some more till our faith becomes a series of arithmetic progression

believe by riya sharma

When I say I want Oxford dictionary to
replace the word childhood with
falsehood I’m 90% joking but also
10% dead-serious.
It’s 2009, Ma holds a plate full
of veggies and claims if you devour
this your hair will grow longer
like Rapunzel and your skin will
shine like the neon stars above
your bed but a certain someone
who pops up on television and
likes to wear a red shirt told you-
Shimla Mirch is the devil’s food.

“five badams a day will multiply
the zero brain cells you like to carry”
‘Mc Donald’s happy meal toys are
just for show and can’t be bought.’

When we stop believing in old lies
we cook up new ones.
So, when Baba says Grandma is
never going to come back, you
think she’s pissed at you for
breaking her glasses the last
time she was here.
You fix them up with glitter tapes
and fevi-quicks only for the postmaster
to tell you that God lives in space
and the celestial world is outside his
jurisdiction.
Your nasty brother says only aliens
and astronauts can go up there
and you’re too dumb to be the latter.

There are lies people tell us and
then there are lies we tell ourselves.
‘As soon as the wounds of that bad
marriage heal, my body will be
as good as new.’
‘Counting backward will stop
this monstrous anxiety attack’
‘If I vomit out this dinner it’ll
be like I never ate it.’
‘A small bottle of sanitizer is
enough protection I need from
a deadly-global pandemic.’
We believe and believe and
then believe some more
till our faith becomes a series
of arithmetic progression
where the common difference
is only our inner misery and
Maths has never been our
strong suit.