My First Love

When I was a young girl, I don't remember liking boys, I thought all boys were useless, I could not connect. I was also from a noisy, troubled home. I was looking for love, 'where is it?' I asked.

I wandered around, looking for it, searching. I found it finally. I found love in the pages of books. I found love in music. I found love in laughter. I basked in it, bathed in it, conjured it, danced with it. Every day I would step inside and bathe myself in this love. It helped me survive a noisy home.

Till today, this love has remained, loyal, ever-lasting, true, nourishing. It now takes my love of humans, of men, of women, of animals, of my self, and breathes life into it. I am grateful like a cat sleeping on a warm floor in the sun.

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My translation of the Bengali song “Monta Re" from the film “Lootera" — inspired when a link was shared with me by a student from my online English classroom.

With wings as fragile as paper, it flies
Where it should not go, it goes
It does not understand
The complicated rules of ages

Those worthless attractions...
It doesn't see, think, or know limits
This silly, mad heart of mine
Wanders happy aimless

It can conquer all forts
Break through walls
Love is a beautiful thing

Yes! No!
The heart is tossed around...
It looks more like a ball that way!

Confused, it thinks this sand is sandalwood
And applies it on its forehead

It accepts every grief with a smile
It doesn't see, think, or know limits
This silly, mad heart of mine
Wanders happy aimless

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Shifani Reffai

Shifani Reffai

Sri Lankan storyteller. Neither here nor there, curating an in-between space, for order, chaos, community, healing and humour. @dingiribanda