Leafless Trees, poetry and translation from Korean by Ihlwha Choi. Click here to read.
Ebar Phirao More(Take me Back) by Tagore, translated from Bengali by Mitali Chakravarty. Click here to read.
These narratives are written by youngsters from the Nithari village who transcended childhood trauma and deprivation. Will to be Human is based on a real life story by Sachin Sharma, translated from Hindustani by Diksha Lamba. Click here to read.
T was a kid who lived next to Jake. He hung around with us a lot, but then, he hung round with a lot of people. Looking back, I’m not sure how he managed to fit us all in.
There’s not a thing you could say about T himself. You might only talk about the places you found him, and the people you found him with. I first saw him when he was nine years old. He was in a sandpit with a bunch of year one kids: average age about five and a half. As I waited for my brother to put on his shoes I listened to their chatter, and it threw me: T was much older than the others. He had their babble.
A couple of weeks later I saw him talking with some year seven kids, out by the bike stands. It took me a while to realise it was the same person. This time, he sounded like a twelve year old. I doubt whether anyone noticed that he was much younger, or that the things he said made no sense. He sounded right, and he looked right.
The only time T didn’t resemble those around him was when he slept. And he slept a lot. We had no name for the thing T did but it was clearly exhausting. During the night his mother would creep into his room and put a few drops of cologne behind his ear. It was a strange fragrance to the people who live here: in the mix of smells around a school, from dogs, packed lunches, wet jerseys and sweat. The smell of T’s Baltic perfume was never noticed.
One day T’s dad walked past the kitchen to hear his wife singing a pop song in English. He waited while she finished, then his car backed out of the driveway never to return. T was gone too, and within six months the smell of Baltic cologne left him.
Soon, no one on this earth was able to pick T out in a crowd. Even when that crowd was very, very small.
His dad never intended to take him away. T had fallen asleep in a warm spot at the back of the wagon. He’d been mistaken for the dog.
In later years, T gained some colour and the people around him stamped a shape that didn’t leave him through the early hours of morning.
He became a keen gardener, lying near the raised beds with one arm deep in the soil, slowly leaking colour down to the roots of their yellow and white roses.
Kieran Martin wrote a couple of short pieces 14 years ago when living in a very small town. He also writes lyrics, essays and code. His sons taught him how to narrate; one of the many gifts they came to him with.
PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL