Reshma K Barshikar, Author of Fade Into Red, writes a beautiful love story for Cosmo




I was never the pretty one growing up. It was always Mina who got the attention. 'Pretty little Mina,' mummy used to say; there was no reference to me. Sometimes she would say, 'The other one? Her eyes are pretty, same colour as Mina's'. Our ashen eyes, like the vibhudi mummy would press on our foreheads, were the only evidence of our shared birth. And at the Tuesday meeting of the Rotary Club of Durban, our eyes stood out like samosas on a table laden with cold meats. Amusing that cold samosas are a lasting childhood memory but no need to bring out the violins yet. You see, I was never the pretty one growing up, until the day I met Akiva. Akiva was standing between the buffet table and the dining area, his clammy hands pinned to his side, heart aflutter like butterfly wings. He rapidly scanned the room, looking, peering through human pillars, and settling on a flash of grey. Akiva's mouth widened. They belonged to a girl, the eyes, grey like the sky during the rains. His heart stilled. She returned his stare, nibbling on her plait, until someone pulled it and he glanced at another girl, beautiful, but only for a second before his eyes were back on hers. Found.