I don't have a single photograph of you anymore. I don't know where Ammi and Papa have kept them, away from us, away from themselves. I never asked them. Maybe I was afraid of wounding their reels of healing.
For many days after you were gone, I slept with your photograph under my pillow. The one of you in that pink and green gota patti dress, seated in a small wicker chair, your back against the unreal background of that dingy studio. That was the last photograph that saw your face and the only one I can seem to remember. The only one where you seemed like one having life taking your photograph.
I keep going back to your face in it, imagining a thousand smiles that could have lived on it, a thousand photographs that could have aged from that one. Maybe this is how I never let you become black and white. Maybe this is how I can feel you reading this along with me.
My sweet Rubina,
for you a thousand interpretations over,
a thousand times over.