Seven Stages

    by Suchi Govindarajan

    Some of the things we create stay with us. Others feel like they were made by a stranger. As a chronicler of food, I am sometimes surprised by the images in my gallery. When did I start taking pictures of drained cups of coffee? Why do I have photos of half-eaten bowls of halwa? The more I thought about the word, “appetite”, the more I was reminded about these images. In looking for congruence and alignment, I found myself being led elsewhere. A month ago, I was in Lucknow, where I learnt about the seven stages of love as dreamt of in Urdu. In one reading, the last stage of love is actually death. But then grief too has several stages. Isn’t grief, as the cliché goes, the other side of love? “Risk nahin to ishq nahin”

    My own life requires me to have an appetite for all these things: the bubbling drink, the empty plate, the traces left on things both beautiful and ordinary. 

    The seven stages of love, in Urdu:

    Dilkashi (Attraction), Uns (Infatuation), Ishq (love), Akidat (Trust), Ibadat (Worship), Junoon (Madness), Sukoon (Peace)

    The seven stages of grief:

    Shock, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Reflection, Acceptance

    Dilkashi (Attraction) | Shock

    Uns (Infatuation) | Denial

    Ishq (love) | Anger

    Akidat (Trust) | Bargaining

    Ibadat (Worship) | Depression

    Junoon (Madness) | Reflection

    Sukoon (Peace) | Acceptance

    Suchi Govindarajan is a writer, poet and photographer who lives in Bangalore. She’s the author of three picture-books for children (Pratham Books). Her work has appeared in publications like Cordite Poetry Review, Black Bough Poetry, and iamb. It has also been included in anthologies like the Yearbook of Indian Poetry. In previous lives, Suchi has been a technical writer and a humour columnist. In all of them, she has hated brinjals.

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