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a helium balloon overtakes us as we ride the Ferris wheel

Sohini Basak

From up there it was easy to point at things
so easy to decide where to go next: we would do
everything that we weren’t allowed. We would
get not two but four tickets to the freak show tent
and go in twice, in succession, just to make sure
that the four-headed calf was no contraption, we
would eat the twisted jilipi, its syrup, fuchsia
spinning in our cotton candies, and beguni with its oil.
We would watch the daredevil motorcyclists up close
as they orbited the inside of a giant disco ball, and cheer,
after all we had come together at the old February fair
ground after years of being away and who knows when
the pandal would be made out of peanut shells again; so we
made a map in motion which shifted with our counter-clock
seats, and I felt my stomach grow giddy with gravity or plain
joy. When we got off after three rounds, the ground still
revolved and I said how odd it was that everything looked
smaller, the fair-ground must have shrunk in these ten years
and when we lined up in the last tent with exact change
for four tickets, my brother suddenly said — to think that
these trees have not moved even an inch all this while.

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