The Background | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 30, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:54 AM, July 30, 2020


The Background

There is a white backdrop. Scattered over it are images of people and places like pixels on a television screen. Bright little squares forming the circle of life.

I'm there too. Our picture lies rather inconspicuously among the graduation pictures. I'm sitting at a café with you by my side. It's a group picture but the other faces surrounding us have dissolved making it all about us. We had posed with big smiles knowing that the rest of our life was out there. It was the beginning. You need to gaze in deeper now to remember the exact depth of the indentations made in my cheeks as my lips curved around the edges.

As the circle of picture outgrows its predecessors, the dissolved but familiar faces give way to completely unknown ones with your spectre in the middle remaining the only source of solace and understanding.

The fading away seemed palpable to me. It was a tangible rope on a continuous journey of gliding away. A force pushing me back while I tried to hold on until at one point I slipped way back into the background.

From the bright pink sheets your mother had bought to the beige ones you sleep in now in your very own city apartment, I have watched you. But, I can only see you now through a blurry lens. It gets dirtier every day and more and more difficult to peer through.

There you are through storms that felled trees and through all the forest fires sweeping nation after nation. Year after another one I sit through as my vision blurs further. It is okay. You're too busy inside to look out.

I tell myself it is all okay as I see the pixels in your white backdrop get smaller by the minute until I am unrecognisable.

Tasnim Odrika likes pineapple on pizza and is willing to fight anyone who opposes her on this. Reach her at


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