June 10, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Essay: Of Affection and Algorithms by Akshaya Ganesh

2 min read

In this personal essay, Akshaya Ganesh tries to decipher love as it meant for her grandparents and what it means to the current generation.

The artist leaves a piece of themselves in their art. A photographer freezes moments within a photo. Forgotten upon the shelf is a book with powerful words melting through its dusty pages. Abandoned and uninhabited – newspapers and letters remained on the ground. The rusted door knob despises every time someone else touches her. Flowers that once blushed during the sunlight now wither without an admirer. Unknown to the habitants, the storm mercilessly tossed and turned the house upside down. The desires of youth and the yearning for the future are hit by the train of the present.

As I entered the majestic gate, carefully examining the deeply etched memories of passion, a distant yet familiar melody lingered in my ears. If the walls could speak, they would narrate how the residents caressed each other’s shimmering bodies as the stars pulsated in silent ecstasy. It is a privilege to be here in a house built with the tenderness of love, happiness, and joy. The journey of life more often than not feels lonely; we all live within our perceptions of the world and no one will ever know who we are within. The key to unlocking your innermost self lies with that one person because of whom life seems less gloomy. To them, you’re full of light and you smell of lavender. They look into your eyes and time stops. As I unveiled the crumbly pages of joy amid the suffocating ounces of harsh truth, the stories evoked emotions that were otherwise suppressed.

Years ago, this place was an inspiration for poetry. Two soft glowing pairs of eyes glowed with long-lasting love. While I thought of it, I realized the time between life and death flies in a split second, in the blink of an eye. Daylight glared on the photographs melting down tales of togetherness. I wonder how, when our generation fumbles on romantic relationships, our ancestors stepped in and out of the sandstorm called marriage so gracefully. I’m now standing in the middle of a house that stands as a metaphor for a long-lasting and happily-ever-after love. Alas, it is cruel that it is now bereft of the human beings who enchanted the love spell upon it.

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