– My baby cousin’s face, when I make her listen to music from headphones for the first time
– When the beauty of streets in traffic jams is sudden, in the suddenness of winter twilight; naked concrete buildings blowing bubbles of luminous red and green. That’s when Dinah Washington makes sense.
– Being out of reasons to whine when your best friend asks you how you are, and “great” isn’t the only option, but a really, really good option
– The top of a flyover when a rainstorm has rung the doorbell and is brushing its feet on smoke-coated trees
– A little girl with wet strands of hair walking home from swimming class on a humid summer evening, probably to watch a little TV, and later, solve some simultaneous equations, which possibly is the biggest problem she has in her life right now
– The colours aquamarine, magenta, scarlet and Prussian blue. If they had to be emotions, they would be that gorgeous exhaustion after getting drenched in the rain, the joy of looking good and not just to your mother, the feeling of being broken but having moved far enough from the tornado to rebuild yourself, and a long dream which made you wake up with a smile, respectively.
– A song like “Manja”, preferably when the moon is shining, and a plane is throwing its searchlights into the night over your head in the middle of “Soyi taqdeer’e jaga denge/ Kal ko ambar bhi jhuka denge”.
– Momos. And Jason Momoa (I’m only including this because “momos” actually got autocorrected to “Momoa”). (Okay, maybe not only for that. What a burst of gruff beauty, that man.)
– Urdu poetry. For all the constellations of English poetry in the sky, Urdu poetry is the candle you hold in your own two hands
– My baby cousin laughing while watching “Friends” with me, and wow, nobody had to sing “Baby Got Back”.