I sprinkle water. The droplets darken the soil in front of my house. As my wet hands dig into the rice flour, a dog barks somewhere in the distance. Saraswati akka’s new Pomeranian answers its call. I take a pinch of the flour and drop it on the floor, repeating at regular distances -- the blobs of white. I’m new at this. The Euclidian figures amma used to draw had always fascinated me. But the arcs are not perfect. This is irritating -- to think that I'm incapable of doing something that she used to. My anklet feels odd, it sits on my tanned legs with a certain degree of incongruence -- a meaningful logo for me, riveting to a few. The door opposite opens and the proud Pomeranian-owner comes out with a katori and new ideas for a kolam. Her eyes find me and I feel tangled in her ire, trying desperately to come undone. She stares with disgust at my light blue saree and the jasmines in my hair. But this is nothing new. The ‘aravanis’ are used to this, this feeling of not belonging.
Note: Transgenders are known as 'Aravanis' in Tamil Nadu, India Kolam: Kolam