The Medley

is a twice-a-year literary journal run by the students of Hansraj College, University of Delhi. It is a repository of stories, poems and essays sent to us from around the world since 2018.


When the cracks first appeared, she decided to ignore it. Who would care for it anyway, those blemishes on the wall. It was his job and he just may do it once she tells him to. Maybe.

It’s been 30 years and the cracks couldn’t have appeared earlier. She tried to remain oblivious of the inevitable danger those cracks posed.

Only last week when her favourite set of china cups showed the premature lines of fracture, her nerves were worn to a frazzle. She tried to repair it with milk and was successful. To a certain extent. But do flowers give off the same scent once conquered?

And the week before, she had to bear the eternal loss of her prized photo frame that held her photograph with her parents in a gilt edged frame. Her parents had gone gentle into the good night, and now their dusted memories were lost forever in the ashes of time. She had cried, for the treble loss. Ready to waste away more tears to time.

This week eroded her remaining happiness at a pace collectively quicker than the last two combined.

Her wedding sari was ripped at seven places and all the town’s darners had refused her help. She had then carefully assigned her sari to dust, wrapping it carefully in a time stained box.

Her mirror, which previously belonged to her daughter, was also rusting along the edges. Her daughter was gone too. Now in Canada, she had secluded herself from their lives very conveniently, letting them into her life as little as possible. She still bears the burden of anomalous upbringing. 25 years and she couldn’t even nurture and bring up a proper child. ‘What more could have I done?’ she sighs, her fingers tracing her slight wrinkles and crinkles. Age had blenched her black hair white, and she was unsure of an added hue of wisdom.

She bores her eyes deep into the unfamiliarly familiar face. 30 years and she was noticing it for the first time. Perhaps, she has betrayed the image. But to betray she should have first belonged.

The mirror and she were physically apart but joint identities. The rust and those wrinkles, those greying hairs and stooping shoulders and lacklustre hair. The harshness of reality was engulfing her, drowning her in despair.

With doctored dreams, or perhaps no dreams, with her share of sorrows not sad enough and joys never happy enough, she was one of time’s numerous hapless products and victims, aware that circumstances were more or less beyond her control. She had blend into the background of wherever she was – daughter, wife and mother but never herself.

She continues to stare at whatever remains of her now. Cracks have appeared deep within.

She continues to stare at the stale glass, those cracks of the walls visible too.

She continues to stare at the rusted edge dabbled with memories, unsure whether he will take notice of the cracks this time.

She continues to stare at herself, whiling away time, withering away even before she gets a chance to blossom.

Sonakshi Srivastava

Sonakshi Srivastava is a final year postgraduate student of English Literature at Delhi University and has an array of interests, ranging from creative writing to academia. A culture and arts enthusiast, she is currently intrigued by memes, and hopes to fulfill her mission of conquering world literature when not engaged with memes.