In Hindi my name means beautiful creation. It means wisdom and grace. Flower petals and olive wood. the number seven, indecisive and unstable, a petal too large. A dark and dusty green, that of a deceased trunk. It’s the jazz on the streets of sleepy Portland, the smell of burnt bacon wafting into the street from a dingy looking pub. It’s rusted and iodized, like the skeleton of a façade.
Along with my house I inherited her name, but not her grandiose or whispering voice. She was the pure meaning of ‘Sukriti’, muted and unfurled like a cherry blossom. symmetrical, with every petal a replica of the next. Open rooms and windows as though calling the overlooked with open arms. a soft breeze whipping the pale curtains, as though she was ruffling her feathers. An air of acceptance to her that I could never understand, let alone recreate.
A towering mother, who protected us from the storms outside, an entity you could feel safe with. A hearth for a nature, but a scythe for a mind. The numerous facets of the diamond of a heart that I could never excavate, my vision blackened by the coal concealing it. The raging winds of the tempest easily whipping me away into an abyss. An abyss of unspoken insults and barking hellhounds. That’s how they did it, the storm clouds of uncertainty.
Soon she got weaker, as even titanium does. An air of acceptance mutating into an air of foreboding. Ceilings falling to the ground, walls caving in and heart flickering from the blow of the outside world until only the grandfather clock remained on the porch standing poker straight, showing how much time had really passed. Along with my house I solely inherited her name, the diseases of her old age and the drug to cure the malady that destroyed her.
My name has been twisted and turned into grotesque rip-offs more often than not, leaning towards being a block stuck in your throat rather than a whisper of mere air. In Sanskrit it means the trickling of water, the balance of nature, the fluid motion of a running cheetah and a soaring eagle. Sukriti churned down to Shukku. Plain Shukku. Ordinary Shukku. But no matter why the ceiling crumbled or why the grandfather clock stood unswerving on that cloudy day, I will forever remain me, myself and I. Sukriti.
Sukriti Sinha is an eighth grader living in North Texas. In her free time, she loves to read, write and play the violin, but her all-time favorite activity is sleeping. She was born in the drowsy town of Portland in spring and moved to Texas when she was eleven.
(Inspired by Sandra Cisneros)