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.


Windows in my house are dealers of bugs, friends with spiders. Shut so tight, if they were women, they’d have identical lips all aligned in a single line. If you tried to open them they’d protest like stiff legs. Windows in my room have forgotten what it feels like to want to run away from small town claustrophobia, except in my mother’s room where they’re flung open like obliging legs. In my mother’s room, windows breathe. My mother has long accepted her suffocation. She sees no point in letting her windows or her children have a part in it.

I ran away from the scary claustrophobia of small town windows and mothers before my hinges grew too tight. I climbed my way to the third floor of a windowless room - airtight. In that space where no fancy survives, I told myself I’d focus. College-topping, career building, ambition, self hate and a singular sense of knowing that I don’t ever want to go back home, require focus.

Free falling does not require focus. Imagine yourself standing at the top of the 100th floor of a building. On edge. Falling. Leisurely crossing one window at a time. Window after window, life after life, more lives than you’d ever read in books or knew you could have. As you fall faster, windows blur until you can see the ground. And all the nights spent in tangled limbs and hair, chasing dust motes, dogs, dreams pass by you in that blur, and make no sense in the raging wind that leaves your bones and breaks your heart. You thought you’d replace windowlessness with a balcony? The crash is inevitable. The crash is welcome. The crash is the price you pay for jumping head first off the 100th floor of reality and for the stolen moments you free fell through the windows of love. The crash is falling out of love.

I had thought I’d replace windowlessness with a balcony. I have French windows in my room now. At night, they rumble with passing traffic, the satisfaction of their existence, the discontent of my ambition. Huge windows that let in all the light I could ever ask for. With this amount of light, I could have the sun in my mouth. With this disproportionate amount of inspiration, I could write endlessly. I don’t have answers to every time they ask why I do not write. I put curtains on my windows. They’re green and yellow and beautiful and smell like the loveliest shroud.

Aparajita Deb

Aparajita is of the mind that human beings are receptacles for stories, and that our legacies are determined by how beautifully, sadly, terribly or carefully we weave magic through ours.